Expert Picks: 2016 Farmers Insurance Open


This week the 2016 fantasy golf season remains in California, as 156 players tee it up at the Farmers Insurance 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 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.

Ryan Lavner

Group 1: Jason DayThree consecutive top-10shere, including a victory last year. Plenty of motivation after Jordan, Rickie and Rory started the new year strong.

Group 2: Brandt SnedekerLost in a playoff at the Sony, and now returns to the place where he has top-20 finishes five of the past six years.  

Group 3: Charles Howell III: Picked him each of the past two weeks, and all he has done is string together consecutive top-15s. He’s 13-for-13 with cuts made at Torrey Pines, including top-10s twice in the past three years.

Group 4: Paul Dunne: Has impressed in limited pro action, including a ninth-place showing a few weeks ago at the Joburg Open.  

Randall Mell

Group 1: Jason Day: The big hitter thrives in a big ballpark. Day has a victory and T-2 over the last two years at Torrey Pines.

Group 2: Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker is putting his game back together quickly this year, and now he’s on a course where he has thrived. His history at Torrey Pines includes a win, two runner-ups and a 3rd.

Group 3: Harris English: Sluggish at the Sony Open, Torrey Pines should wake English up. He lost in a four-way playoff there last year, but came away with lots of good memories having led after the second and third rounds. 

Group 4: Scott StallingsNot a good start to this new year for Stallings, but Torrey Pines should be good for what ails him. He won there two years ago and made the four-way playoff at Torrey Pines last year before being eliminated. 

Will Gray

Group 1: Justin RoseI'm shying away from Day this week since he's not 100 percent. Instead I'll take my chances with the usually-reliable Rose, who has been solid (albeit not spectacular) at Torrey and who ended 2015 in strong fashion.

Group 2: Brandt Snedeker: A great mixture of recent form and course history. Snedeker went T-3, P-2 in Hawaii and now returns to a course where he has a pair of runner-up finishes to go along with his 2012 victory.

Group 3: Charles Howell III: Continuing his strong start to the wraparound season, and now has five straight results of T-17 or better. Howell missed out on a playoff here by a shot last year and has four top-15 finishes since 2010.

Group 4: Lucas GloverThe putter remains an issue, but Glover's tee-to-green game is well-suited for the burly South Course. He picked up a bit of momentum last fall in the Tour Finals and was in Sunday's final group at Torrey last year.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Jason Day: Because Jordan Spieth won the year-opener in Maui and Rickie Fowler cashed last week in Abu Dhabi. The Australian, who won at Torrey Pines last year, is the next man up.

Group 2: Brandt Snedeker: Swing change with Butch Harmon has paid off early, with top-3 finishes in his first two events of 2016 (Hyundai Tournament of Champions and Sony Open).

Group 3: Charles Howell III: The veteran has been consistent to start this season and he has plenty of history at Torrey Pines, where he has six top-10 finishes including a tie for fifth last season.

Group 4: Lucas Glover: Resurgent play continues for Glover, who tied for 17th last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge and has missed just one cut in six starts this season.