Expert Picks: 2015 Open de Espana


This week the European Tour heads to Barcelona for the Open de Espana. 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.

Randall Mell

Group 1: Sergio Garcia: Takes momentum from a brilliant performance at The Players back home to Spain. Home cookin' should keep the energy level up.

Group 2: Richie Ramsay: T-5 in this event last year, and he's hot of late with three T-11 or better finishes in his last three starts.

Group 3: David Horsey: Horsey for the Spanish courseys? ... Three top-10s in this event.

Group 4: Paul Lawrie: Won the Spanish Open seven years agok, T-16 in it the last two years.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Sergio Garcia: Putting will always be an issue for the Spaniard (see 2015, The Players), but this week's Open de Espana means the world to El Nino and he will find a way to win.

Group 2: Ross Fisher: The Englishman has been consistent this season (he's missed just one cut in 2015), and he tied for 15th last year in Spain.

Group 3: Dawie van der Walt: Big South African already has a victory this year at the Chile Classic and is poised to surprise.

Group 4: John Parry: The Englishman finished fifth last week and he has top-10 finishes in two out of his last four European Tour starts.

Will Gray

Group 1: Sergio Garcia: When in doubt, take the top-ranked player in his national Open. If Garcia gets the putter to even remotely cooperate, he should be able to contend.

Group 2: Emiliano Grillo: The Argentine lost in a playoff at the Puerto Rico in March, hasn't finished worse than T-38 on the European Tour this year and cracked the top 20 each of the last two years at this event. That'll do.

Group 3: Richard Green: The Aussie was a runner-up at this event a year ago and has five top-30 finishes in six starts this season.

Group 4: Paul Lawrie: The former Open champ is also a former winner here, and he has begun to show flashes of the form that helped him make the Ryder Cup team as recently as 2012.