Expert Picks: 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open


This week marks the 11th event of the 2014-15 PGA Tour season, as the Tour heads to Arizona for the Waste Management Phoenix 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; 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: Matt Kuchar: Mr. Consistent has been particularly dependable this season, finishing T-17, T-3 and T-2 in his first three starts of 2015.

Group 2: Ryan Palmer: Put the golf world on a “59 watch” last Friday on his way to a second-round 61at the Humana Challenge and in three stars this season he hasn’t finished outside the top 25.

Group 3: Rory Sabbatini: Although he’s never played particularly well at TPC Scottsdale, Sabbatini is off to his fastest start in years following a tie for sixth at the Sony Open and 24th last week in California.

Group 4: Lucas Glover: Told your scribe last week at the Humana Challenge that his game is “close,” and finished 15th in the Coachella Valley for his best showing this season.

Will Gray

Group 1: Bubba Watson: His track record at TPC Scottsdale can't be ignored. This week's venue is one that tends to suit Bubba Golf, and that should be the case again this week.

Group 2: Brooks Koepka: Koepka is making his first start of 2015 after a pair of top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour in October and a win in Turkey in November. He will embrace the aggressive gameplan that often yields birdies in Phoenix.

Group 3: Scott Piercy: The veteran is on the mend after an injury-plagued 2014, but he was a runner-up two weeks ago in Hawaii and he has earned four top-15 finishes from his last six trips to this event.

Group 4: Michael Putnam: Buoyed by his T-15 finish last week in Palm Springs, the Washington native will look to pick up some Seahawks mojo this week in Arizona.