Expert Picks: 2014 Players Championship


This week marks the 26th event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as players head to Ponte Vedra Beach for The Players Championship. 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; contributors John Hawkins and John Antonini; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams; staff writer Ryan Lavner and defending fantasy champion Charlie Rymer.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Sergio Garcia: El Nino has finished in the top 10 in three of his four PGA Tour starts this year and in 14 starts at the circuit’s flagship event he’s finished inside the top 25 seven times, including his victory in 2008.

Group 2: Rickie Fowler: Although he has a love/hate relationship with the Players, three missed cuts and a runner-up finish (2012), he is playing well following a slow start to 2014 and showed plenty of moxie on Tuesday when he hit the green at No. 17...left-handed.

Group 3: Chris Kirk: The picture of consistency this season, with 15 starts and no missed cuts and he played well at the circuit’s last stop on a Pete Dye gym, finishing tied for 27th at the RBC Heritage.

Group 4: Stewart Cink: Veteran is on a nice roll in recent weeks, finishing tied for 23rd at the Wells Fargo Championship and 14th at the Masters, and has the length to play a softer-than-normal Stadium Course.

Jason Sobel

Group 1: Henrik Stenson: Past champion is slowly starting to show signs of returning to last year’s strong form.

Group 2: Luke Donald: In a tournament where very few players own solid career records, Donald is the anomaly.

Group 3: Brendon de Jonge: Karma works in mysterious ways and his perseverance last week could be rewarded.

Group 4: Stewart Cink: Another player on a mini-comeback, Cink owns a pair of top-25 results in his last three starts.

John Antonini

Group 1: Sergio Garcia: The Spaniard won in 2008 and was second to Phil Mickelson the year before that. Some might remember the trouble he had with Tiger Woods in 2013, but Sergio's in a better place this year for a lot of reasons, and Tiger's not here this week.

Group 2: Jimmy Walker: The only three-time winner on Tour this year, Walker played well at the Masters and could be one of those players whose stars are so well-aligned this year that nothing can slow him down.

Group 3: J.B. Holmes: Even if he didn't win last week in Charlotte, Holmes would be a safe bet here. He's made five cuts in seven starts at Sawgrass and was T-6 in 2011.

Group 4: Luke Guthrie: There really isn't anyone in this group who cries out to be picked, but Guthrie has played decent this year with 11 cuts made in 14 starts. And he's 141st on the world ranking, which this year is right where you want to be to win tournaments.