This week the best female players in the world tee it up at Pinehurst No. 2 for the U.S. Women's 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.
Group 1: Lydia Ko: With Fluff carrying the bag, the youngster could make a serious run at history this week.
Group 2: Cristie Kerr: It takes a tough player to win an Open and Kerr is about as tough as they come.
Group 3: Belen Mozo: Quietly enjoying a solid season so far, with a few top-10 results already.
Group 4: Jaye Marie Green: Another young player who blew away the field in earning medalist honors at Q-School.
Group 1: Lexi Thompson: Amazingly, at age 19, this is Thompson's eight national championship. Equally amazing, the Kraft Nabisco champ only has one top-10 at the Women's Open. Now that she's won a major, the assumption is she'll be able to handle Open pressure. Lexi slam, anyone?
Group 2: Michelle Wie: The runner to Thompson at the Kraft, Wie appears to have more enthusiasm for golf than at any time since she turned pro. It's showing in the results and makes her a solid pick at Pinehurst. And, hey, who in the Women's Open field has more experience playing men's courses?
Group 3: Brittany Lang: Not sure how often, if at all, Lang played at Pinehurst when she was schooling at Duke, but we'll take the North Carolina connection. Besides, Lang's U.S. Women's Open record is pretty good. She was T-7 last year and T-2 as an amateur in 2005.
Group 4: Weiling Hsu: The 19-year-old Taiwanese player lives in California and advanced to the Open from the North Carolina qualifier. She's a winner on the Symetra Tour this year, and is a bit more Americanized than many of her Asian compatriots.