This week marks the 44th event of the 2014-15 PGA Tour season, as 120 players tee it up at The Barclays. 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 and Randall Mell; editorial director Jay Coffin; associate editor Will Gray; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams; host Charlie Rymer and defending fantasy champion Ryan Lavner.
Group 1: Jordan Spieth: The world No. 1 returns to action this week with something to prove. No player since Tiger Woods in 2009 has entered the FedEx Cup playoffs first on the points list and gone on to win the season-long race.
Group 2: Paul Casey: Healthy and happy, Casey has four near misses this year, including playoff losses at the Northern Trust Open and Travelers Championship as well as a tie for third last week at the Wyndham Championship.
Group 3: Tony Finau: He has shown flashes of the game that lifted the Englishman to the top spot in the World Golf Ranking and on Plainfield’s fast greens his short game will be a distinct advantage.
Group 4: Scott Brown: It wasn’t the Sunday he’d hoped for in Greensboro, where he finished tied for third after teeing off in the final group on Sunday, but he continues to take steps toward becoming an elite player.
Group 1: Justin Rose: Despite a pair of close calls in majors this year, the Englishman has played some stellar golf. Four straight top-six finishes, and five such results dating back to his playoff loss at the Memorial, back up that claim. He remains one of the game's most consistent players tee-to-green, and should thrive again this week.
Group 2: Matt Kuchar: Kuchar finished second at Plainfield in 2011, and he knows how to get off to a fast start in the postseason: three top-five finishes in the last five years at this event, including a win in 2010. After a slow summer, he has shown positive signs, notably a T-7 finish at the PGA Championship in his most recent start.
Group 3: Tony Finau: This has been an above average rookie class, but Finau has been one of its standouts. Nine top-25 finishes in his last 11 starts, including a T-14 finish at the U.S. Open and highlighted by his run up the leaderboard at Whistling Straits. He appears poised to make a run deep into the playoffs.
Group 4: Will Wilcox: Wilcox has come on strong in recent weeks and has maintained his momentum after clinching his card at the Barbasol. With five straight finishes of T-26 or better, he is peaking at the right time.