Expert Picks: CMN Hospitals Classic


This week the focus of fantasy golf returns to the U.S. for the first time in three weeks. The Fall Series finale takes place from Orlando, as the CMN Hospitals Classic serves as the final event of the 2012 season. 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 includes: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and Win McMurry; editorial director Jay Coffin;'s Rob Bolton; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams and staff writer Ryan Lavner.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Charles Howell III: He's been trending in the right direction for weeks, finishing T-11 ( Open) and T-7 (McGladrey Classic) in his last two starts. Plus, he has just one round over par in 40 trips around the two Disney courses.

Group 2: Gary Woodland: Lack of consistency has been the bomber's biggest problem in 2012 (he's finished outside the top 25 in all but three starts), but he played well at Disney last year (T-12) and is a perfect match for the 7,516-yard Magnolia Course.

Group 3: James Driscoll: Quintessential bubble boy who arrives in central Florida in a familiar position (No. 120 in earnings). He was 125th on the money list last year to start Disney week, but fought through a stomach virus - or maybe it was nerves - to post a closing 68 and retain his Tour card.

Group 4: Arjun Atwal: Opened with a 66 last year at Disney and was solid in his last start at Sea Island (T-10). At 166th in earnings, history also suggests he is pretty good when the pressure is on (see Championship, Wyndham 2010).

Randall Mell

Group 1: Robert Garrigus: Won at Disney two years ago, and is having a strong second half this season.

Group 2: Davis Love III: McGladrey slipped away, but he'll give himself a chance to win his second Disney event in four years.

Group 3: Erik Compton: Would there be a more fitting winner of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic?

Group 4: Arjun Atwal: Practically playing a home game off a T-10 finish at McGladrey.

Win McMurry

Group 1: Robert Garrigus: The highest-ranked player in this week's field made the trek back to Orlando after tying for 51st at the WGC-HSBC. That poor finish and the jet lag aren't holding me back from taking him; just look at his previous starts which include a T-2 result at the CIMB Classic, T-10 at the Tour Championship and T-4 at the BMW Championship. While he missed the cut here a  year ago, he won it the year before.

Group 2: Henrik Stenson: In just 14 starts this season on the PGA Tour, the Swede has managed six top-25 finishes. Over the last month on the European Tour, he has added a T-6 and T-5 finish as well. A year ago at Disney, he tied for 12th.

Group 3: James Driscoll: He has proven he can play well here, with a T-12 finish a year ago. He's also safe with his Tour card for next season, finishing 115th in the FedEx Cup on the merit of two top-10 finishes and 14 top 25s. Most recently, he tied for 27th in Sea Island so his game is still looking good as he looks to close out his season on a high note.

Group 4: Kevin Kisner: He comes in off three straight missed cuts in the Fall Series, but he should have good feelings here at Disney where he carded his only top 25 finish last year, a tie for 12th.

Jason Sobel

Group 1: Charles Howell III: Playing well lately, finishing 11th and T-7 in his last two starts. Home game for him, as he lives in Orlando.

Group 2: Tommy Gainey: Floodgates may have been opened with his win at The McGladrey Classic. Now he's playing with house money and nothing to lose.

Group 3: D.J. Trahan: Finished 125th last year. This year he's 130th on the money list, but fresh off a season-best T-4 finish at Sea Island.

Group 4: Bobby Gates: Finished 126th last year. I was there when he three-putted his final hole, which was the difference between keeping his card and losing it. Something to prove now.

Rob Bolton

Group 1: Brendon de Jonge: While Robert Garrigus probably has a better chance at winning, de Jonge is a guaranteed payday, which is critical if I'm going to finish on top among the Experts and wear the sash. De Jonge has missed only one cut in his last 22 starts, the last three of which went for top-fives. He's also 3-for-3 at Disney.

Group 2: Davis Love III: Even though he is the all-time money leader at this week's event with a win (2008) and six other top-five finishes, he probably wouldn't be my choice if he didn't tie for fourth at Seaside three weeks ago. Can't ignore the swagger factor either; he has some unfinished business to close.

Group 3: Billy Horschel: I was tempted by the surging Jason Kokrak here, but Horschel has cashed in 10 straight starts on limited status. He ranks 11th on Tour in greens in regulation, so he'd have to forget to put his putter in his bag not to survive this week's cut.

Group 4: Nathan Green: The goal here is to make the cut. The Aussie has survived 14 of 21 this season, including his last three. Finished T-51 at the McGladrey Classic, but led the field in putting. Currently 42nd on the PGA Tour in greens hit and 56th in par breakers. Also posted a T-28 finish at Disney last year.