Expert Picks: 2014 Hyundai TOC


This week marks the seventh event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season as the Plantation Course at Kapalua plays host to the winners-only Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Each week, a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players, based on Golf Channel's fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel includes: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributor John Hawkins; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams; staff writer Ryan Lavner and defending fantasy champion Charlie Rymer.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Dustin Johnson: Kapalua is a big hitter’s ballpark and as DJ demonstrated last year his game, and his game plan, is a perfect fit for the Hawaiian opener.

Group 2: Jordan Spieth: Although it’s the phenom’s first trip to the winner’s only event he has been virtually perfect in his young career and there’s no reason to think that will change in 2014.

Group 3: Gary Woodland: He wasn’t at his best in his maiden trip to Maui in 2012 (24th place) but he has the power for Kapalua and after his rebound year last season the confidence to win any week.

Group 4: Ken Duke: The veteran waited 186 starts to earn his first trip to Kapalua with his victory at last year’s Travelers Championship and it stands to reason he will make the most of the chance.

Jason Sobel

Group 1: Dustin Johnson: This tourney has been susceptible to repeat winners and DJ could be primed to become another.

Group 2: Bill Haas: Nobody has played this event more consecutive years, so the experience should help.

Group 3: Gary Woodland: I’m banking on a monster year for Woodland, beginning with a huge week at Kapalua.

Group 4: Martin Laird: Best of the bunch in Group 4, as his decided length should be a factor on this course.

Randall Mell

Group 1: Matt Kuchar: Heavy Kona winds can't wipe the smile off Matt Kuchar's face. He seems poised for something big this year.

Group 2: Webb Simpson: Simpson tied for third at Kapalua just two years ago. He already has a win and T-7 in 2013-14 wrap-around season.

Group 3: Russell Henley: Hawaii was awfully good to him last year (Sony Open win).

Group 4: Martin Laird: Hey, a Scot who can win in Texas (Valero) can win in Hawaii's winds, can't he?

Ryan Lavner

Group 1: Adam Scott: Closed out 2013 with a pair of wins and two other top 3s. Better start him while you can in early ’14.

Group 2: Webb Simpson: Another player who seemed to find his groove as 2013 came to a close. His last four starts: 4th-1st-7th-5th. Tied for third here a year ago.

Group 3: Harris English: A pair of top 10s in the early portion of the 2013-14 campaign, including the win at Mayakoba. Alikely candidate to surge in the rankings this year.

Group 4: Martin Laird: Apparently likes the Plantation Course. Was solo second in 2012 and T-4 in ’10.