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Expert picks: FedEx St. Jude Classic

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This week the PGA Tour heads to Memphis, where players will have one final chance to fine-tune their game before next week's U.S. Open. Harrison Frazar defends his title against a field that includes Zach Johnson, David Toms and Rory McIlroy. 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.



Ryan Ballengee

Group 1: Zach Johnson: Won at Colonial and has a pair of runner-up finishes in his last four starts. Sold.

Group 2: Bob Estes: Former champion in this event; he was T-8 here just two years ago. Plus he just got into the U.S. Open.

Group 3: Kyle Reifers: Reifers has been in the top 25 in his last two starts. He tends to hover around par, which is good for the tough sledding in Memphis.

Group 4: Nathan Green: Sleeper special of the week. Missed three cuts this year, but in the top 25 in Memphis the last two years.


Win McMurry

Group 1: Graeme McDowell: GMac has only played here once before, but that resulted in a T-7 finish in 2009. He has been streaky this season, but I expect a high finish from a guy who has been known to play some pretty good golf in June in years past.

Group 2: Charles Howell III: A fantasy stud earlier this year, Howell has struggled a bit recently. He's returning to a course where he finished T-3 last year, though, and I expect him to return to his money-making ways this week at TPC Southwind.

Group 3: Davis Love III: The U.S. Ryder Cup captain is riding a wave of momentum into Memphis this week. A strong finish at the Memorial was followed by a great performance on Monday to qualify for the U.S. Open, and I expect DL3's strong play to continue for at least another week.

Group 4: Jason Bohn: Showed flashes of brilliance last month en route to a T-9 finish at the Byron Nelson, and his ability to find the fairway (currently 20th on Tour in driving accuracy) should pay dividends this week.


Gary Williams

Group 1: Robert Karlsson: I know he hasn't had the best season but he returns to a course where he has finished runner-up each of the last two years. I think that this is a great chance for him to get his season back on track.

Group 2: Bob Estes: Estes has quietly put up a solid 2012 season and has always played well here in Memphis, with a win in 2001 and seven top-10 finishes in 23 starts. He is a bit under the radar but with a win this week, he won't be there anymore. 

Group 3: Tim Herron: Herron earned a spot in the field at Olympic Club this week and will be teeing it up on a course where he finished T-3 last year. In 14 starts in Memphis, Lumpy has three top-10s and has missed the cut just once.

Group 4: Stephen Ames: Ames has played well in Memphis the last two years, finishing T-15 in 2010 and T-8 in 2011. He enters this week having missed the cut in his last three starts but Tuesday's U.S. Open qualifier performance may have gotten him back to where he needs to be.



Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Zach Johnson: Not a lot of history in Memphis - he's only played the event three times - but in his last four starts he's finished second, T-69, second and first. That's trending.

Group 2: Charles Howell III: Improved with each round last year on his way to a tie for third at TPC Southwind (72-67-67-66) and has been as consistent as anyone this season.

Group 3: Davis Love III: The U.S. Ryder Cup captain went on an Ohio tear last week, finishing T-16 at the Memorial for his best showing this season and enduring 36 holes of qualifying on Monday across town to earn a spot in next week's U.S. Open.

Group 4: Shaun Micheel: Hometown event has not always been his most successful stop, but he has had some success at TPC Southwind and is in need of something positive.




Randall Mell

Group 1: Robert Karlsson: The man is due after losing in a playoff at this event the last two years.

Group 2: Henrik Stenson: He hasn't brought the comeback all the way home yet, but he's knocking on the door.

Group 3: Justin Leonard: His form's not good, but there are good vibes in Memphis where he won in 2008.

Group 4: John Peterson: The kid has the moxie to go to the U.S. Open off a win in Memphis.




Rob Bolton

Group 1: Zach Johnson: The only obvious choice in the entire field. Won at Colonial two weeks ago, and posted a pair of seconds in three starts prior to that. Also has a pair of top-15s at TPC Southwind.

Group 2: Tim Clark: Wielded a taut tee-to-green game en route to a share of 19th place at Colonial, his second consecutive top-25 finish. That kind of game sets up nicely for TPC Southwind, where he's recorded top-30s in his last two trips.

Group 3: Davis Love III: Hope to strike while this iron is hot. A day after tying for 16th at Muirfield Village - his third top-25 in his last six starts - he comfortably secured a berth into the U.S. Open at the sectional qualifier in Columbus.

Group 4: Jason Bohn: If I weren't leading the Experts, I'd take a flier on open qualifier John Peterson, but I'll stick with the veteran Bohn. He led the field in fairways at the Byron Nelson where he posted a T-9 finish. Also was medalist at the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Georgia on Monday.

**Join Fantasy Expert Rob Bolton for a live golf chat Wednesday at 12:00p ET at www.rotoworld.com**

Tune in to Golf Channel this Thursday-Friday from 3-6PM ET for live coverage of the FedEx St. Jude Classic.