This week marks the 25th event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as players head to Charlotte for the Wells Fargo 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.
Group 1: Rory McIlroy: In four starts at Quail Hollow the Ulsterman has won, finished runner-up, tied for 10th and missed the cut, which pretty much makes him the man to beat. He’s also dropped outside the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking, which given recent history should help his chances.
Group 2: Bill Haas: He was born in Charlotte, N.C., and has a handful of top finishes at the Wells Fargo Championship, but more importantly he hasn’t missed a cut in 13 starts this season and has nine top-25 showings.
Group 3: Robert Karlsson: Like Haas, Karlsson is a local via Sweden and has played the redesigned Quail Hollow Club as much as anyone. He’s also made the most of his limited status this year, with top-15 finishes in each of his three starts.
Group 4: Jonathan Byrd: He lost a playoff at Quail Hollow in 2011 and until last week in New Orleans he hadn’t missed a cut since February. Not bad for a Group 4 pick.
Group 1: Rory McIlroy: He fell outside the world’s top-10 this week for the first time in three years, but the smart money says he’ll be right back there a week from now.
Group 2: Webb Simpson: Home game for Simpson, who doesn’t live too far from Quail Hollow and should reap the benefits of sleeping in his own bed this week.
Group 4: Brice Garnett: Playing well with limited status this year, Garnett has the look of a guy who will stick in the big leagues for the long haul.