Expert Picks: 2014 Scottish Open

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This week marks a two-event week for fantasy, as the European Tour heads to Royal Aberdeen for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. 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: Rory McIlroy: The Northern Irishman is still the most explosive player in the game and needs a boost heading into next week's Open Championship.

Group 2: Paul Casey: The Englishman has been on a steady climb out of a mid-career slump, but still needs to put four good rounds together.

Group 3: Peter Uihlein: Although the young American has struggled lately - he hasn't made a cut since the WGC-Cadillac Championship - he finished tied for 10th at last year's Scottish Open and has proven himself capable of quick competitive turnarounds.

Group 4: Joachim B. Hansen: He has missed more cuts (nine) than he's made (six) this season, but tied for third last year at the Scottish Open and finished T-33 at the BMW Interrnational Open two weeks ago.


Will Gray

Group 1: Rory McIlroy: The missed cut at the Irish Open last time out was the first time all year he has finished outside the top 25 in an event. Expect him to reinstate that trend, as his play has been solid all year long and the confidence is starting to match it. If he can avoid another nine-hole implosion, he could leave Royal Aberdeen with the trophy.

Group 2: Jamie Donaldson: A surprise runner-up at Doral in March, Donaldson has posted top-five finishes on the European Tour each of the last two weeks and is now playing with some serious momentum as he looks to earn his spot onto the European Ryder Cup team for the first time.

Group 3: Marcel Siem: The German has quietly been playing some solid golf this year, including a tie for 12th last month at the U.S. Open. He tied for 10th last year in this event at Castle Stuart, so he clearly knows how to fit his game for a links layout.

Group 4: Padraig Harrington: If anyone in this week's field knows how to play links golf it's Harrington, a winner of two Open Championships. That form has deserted him of late, especially on the greens, but if there's ever a two-week stretch that could rekindle his game, it's the upcoming fortnight of golf.