Expert picks: The Barclays


This week marks the first event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs as Liberty National plays host to 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, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and Win McMurry; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams and staff writer Ryan Lavner. They are joined by former 'Saturday Night Live' star Norm Macdonald, who will serve as a celebrity guest.

Ryan Lavner

Group 1: Tiger Woods: Had a week to correct what went so wrong at the PGA Championship. The five-time winner is still the odds-on favorite this week, especially since he was co-runner-up here in 2009.

Group 2: Webb Simpson: Three consecutive top 25s, including a Sunday 63 at the Wyndham Championship. Clearly likes Liberty National, too, as he was the 36-hole leader in 2009 before eventually finishing eighth. 

Group 3: Matt Jones: Sneaky-good season includes four top-10 finishes in his last seven starts. Had a tie for fifth in Greensboro, where he closed with 62.

Group 4: Rory Sabbatini: With four consecutive finishes of 17th or better, he's good value among the guys who need a good week to prolong their 2013 season.

Randall Mell

Group 1: Phil Mickelson: The linksy feel at Liberty National, and all the love New Yorkers will shower upon him, should serve Mickelson well coming off his Scottish and British Open wins last month.

Group 2: Keegan Bradley: Coming off five finishes of T-19 or better in his last eight starts, Bradley is playing at a high level and ready to take it higher.

Group 3: Harris English: Liking the form of late again, with the win in June and then three finishes of T-15 or better in his last four starts.

Group 4: Gary Woodland: Confidence gained winning in Reno can't hurt him going into the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Jason Sobel

Group 1: Henrik Stenson: Here's guessing the man with four straight top-three finishes still won't be picked by many in Group 1.

Group 2: Jason Day: Doesn't it just sort of feel like this guy is long overdue for a second career PGA Tour win?

Group 3: Graham DeLaet: I've been saying all year that he's ready to win. Starting to run out of chances.

Group 4: Brian Harman: Coming off a strong week in Greensboro, the lefty is coming to Jersey with some momentum.