This week the PGA Tour heads to Washington, D.C. as Congressional CC plays host to the AT&T National for the first time since 2009. Nick Watney defends his title against a field that includes Jim Furyk, Hunter Mahan and Tiger Woods. Each week a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players based on Golf Channel's new fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel consists of: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and Win McMurry; editorial director Jay Coffin; RotoWorld.com's Rob Bolton; "Morning Drive" host Gary Williams; and Golf Talk Central contributor Ryan Ballengee.
Group 1: Tiger Woods: The last time he played Congressional in 2009 he ranked 93rd in driving accuracy, 71st in greens in regulation and 35th in total putting. He won by a stroke. Coming into this week's event he's 32nd in driving accuracy, ninth in greens in regulation and 15th in total putting. You do the math.
Group 2: Brendon de Jonge: It's been another workmanlike year for de Jonge, who has made 16 of 19 cuts and has five top-25 finishes, but closing rounds of 65-66-66 at the Travelers Championship suggests he may be ready to take the next step.
Group 3: Davis Love III: The U.S. Ryder Cup captain continues a strong summer season this week on a course where he finished T-11 in last year's U.S. Open. If his recent form holds, announcing his assistant captains on Wednesday may not be the only news DLIII makes this week.
Group 4: Patrick Cantlay: The newly-minted professional got off to a rough start last week at TPC River Highlands, but he has good vibes at Congressional - where he took low amateur honors during last year's U.S. Open - and too much talent to be in Group 4.
Group 1: Tiger Woods: He is twice a winner this year and the champion when the AT&T National was last played at Congressional.
Group 2: Rory Sabbatini: The South African is starting to find confidence in his work with Rick Smith, including a T-2 at Memorial to Tiger Woods.
Group 3: Bryce Molder: Molder is playing pretty well of late and has two top-eight finishes in his last three AT&T National starts.
Group 4: David Mathis: More of a pick based on current form, as Mathis has five top-25 finishes since April.
Group 1: Hunter Mahan: Mahan has won twice this year and he ended his Travelers Championship with a bang by shooting a final-round 61 on Sunday. In three AT&T National starts from 2007-2009 at Congressional, he has not finished out of the top 12 and was runner-up in 2009.
Group 2: Rory Sabbatini: After a rough start to his 2012 season, Sabbatini is showing signs of life as seen by his runner-up finish in the Memorial and a T-18 showing last week. This is his first appearance in the AT&T National but he has had success in the D.C. area before, winning the Booz Allen Classic in Bethesda in 2003.
Group 3: Kevin Chappell: Chappell made a splash at Congressional in 2011, finishing T-3 in the U.S. Open as a sectional qualifier. That finish got him into this year's U.S. Open at Olympic, where he finished T-10 for his first top-10 showing of 2012. Chappell has good memories of the Blue Course and I can see him earning his second top-10 finish of the season this week.
Group 4: Brian Harman: Harman is a rookie this year on Tour and has five top-25 finishes in 19 starts. He had been struggling recently with four straight missed cuts, but ended that slump with a T-24 finish last week in Connecticut. He has proven he can play well on tough courses and since Congressional is definitely tough, Harman may be in for a great week.
Group 1: Jim Furyk: In vintage form over the last three months with seven top-15 finishes in nine starts. Contended at the U.S. Open en route to a T-4 finish. He's recorded a pair of T-3 finishes and a T-7 in his three appearances at Congressional in the AT&T National.
Group 2: Ryan Palmer: Rory Sabbatini and Cameron Tringale also tugged on me here, but Palmer has four top-10s in his last five starts. Also placed T-21 at Congressional in last year's U.S. Open.
Group 3: Seung-yul Noh: Surging rookie that is finding a groove. Other than accuracy off the tee, he's consistently solid across the board and playing like it. Riding a consecutive cuts made streak of eight with four top-20s including in each of his last two starts.
Group 4: Graham DeLaet: Tough choices this week, especially as I didn't want to lean on more than one rookie. The Canadian has cashed in six of his last seven starts although he's struggled on the weekends. A made cut in Group 4 is just fine, however.**Join Fantasy Expert Rob Bolton for a live golf chat Wednesday at 12:00p ET at www.rotoworld.com**
Tune in to Golf Channel Thursday-Friday from 3P-6P ET for live coverage of the AT&T National.
Contributions from writers and editors on the Golf Channel Digital team.
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