Expert Picks: 2015 Arnold Palmer Invitational


This week marks the 19th event of the 2014-15 PGA Tour season, as the Tour remains in Florida for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. 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; editorial director Jay Coffin; associate editor Will Gray; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams; host Charlie Rymer and defending fantasy champion Ryan Lavner.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Henrik Stenson: The Swede has back-to-back fourth-place finishes to start his season on the PGA Tour and a solid history at Bay Hill where he has finished in the top 10 in his last two starts.

Group 2: J.B. Holmes: Although the bomber came up short at Doral and Torrey Pines he’s due for a breakout Sunday and Bay Hill is a perfect “big porch” for his power game.

Group 3: Charles Howell III: The Augusta, Ga., native continues to make his push for a start at the Masters and following his T-10 finish last week at Innisbrook he still has a glimmer of hope.

Group 4: Sam Saunders: The King’s grandson has been playing solid lately, he finished 24th last week at the Valspar Championship and was runner-up at the Puerto Rico Open, and how cool would it be for Saunders to earn his first Tour title at Arnie’s place?

Ryan Lavner

Group 1: Henrik Stenson: Back-to-back fourth-place finishes followed a run of consecutive top 15s. Strong record at Arnie’s Place too, with three consecutive top 15s, including a T-5 a year ago.

Group 2: J.B. Holmes: Playing too well to ignore. Pair of second-place finishes in his last four starts, including his most recent appearance at Doral. Made the cut in all eight tries at Bay Hill, including a top 10 last year.

Group 3: Matt Jones: Approaching the one-year anniversary of his Houston win. First start since Riviera, and he was playing well before his time off, with consecutive top 15s.

Group 4: Sean O'Hair: Took a lot of confidence from his playoff loss at Innisbrook, especially with his play down the stretch. Even during his struggles he tied for 10th here in 2014.

Will Gray

Group 1: Henrik Stenson: The Swede enters off two straight top-five finishes and has cracked the top 15 each of the last three years at Bay Hill. His game is rounding into form just as the season heats up.

Group 2: J.B. Holmes: He let one get away at Doral, but Holmes still has a pair of runner-up finishes this season and four straight top-25 finishes. Another solid performance and he will join the conversation when talking Augusta National sleepers.

Group 3: Martin Laird: A former champ here, Laird had a successful West Coast Swing and after taking a few weeks off returned with a solid T-33 finish at Innisbrook, highlighted by a Sunday 68.

Group 4: William McGirt: McGirt has quietly put together four straight top-30 finishes before a missed cut in Tampa, and he tied for eighth at Bay Hill just two years ago.