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Fantasy Island: 111th U.S. Open

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GolfChannel.com experts offer up their picks for the 111th U.S. Open. Each week a panel of experts will offer up their picks from three 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 Charlie Rymer; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' hosts Gary Williams and Erik Kuselias; contributor Win McMurry; writer for NBCSports.com's ProGolf Talk, Ryan Ballengee; and RotoWorld.com's Rob Bolton.

You can battle the experts and play along as well. Just click here to get into the game.Compete against the GolfChannel.com experts and other fans in our Fantasy Challenge.

In parentheses, next to the names, are the participants' 2011 points earned and ranking among the 17 Fantasy Challenge 'experts.'


Rex Hoggard

Rex Hoggard (6,784,872; 5th)

Group A: Dustin Johnson: It's a question of when, not if, he captures a major.

Group B: Retief Goosen: The two-time Open champ tied for third last week in Memphis.

Group C: Davis Love III: Tied for sixth at Pebble Beach last year. Still has that desire.             


Randall Mell

Randall Mell (4,535,889; 15th)

Group A: Steve Stricker: His game's perfect for Congressional, and he should arrive emboldened after winning the Memorial.

Group B: David Toms: Terrific iron player, he needs to find that zone he was in winning at Colonial and in finishing runner up at The Players.

Group C: Gregory Havret: His weekend grit at the U.S. Open a year ago impressed. He'll be looking to make it five major triumphs in a row for European Tour pros.

 


Jason Sobel

Jason Sobel (N/A, N/A)

Group A: Robert Karlsson: Just like David Toms last month, Karlsson can use a playoff loss as motivation one week later.

Group B: Edoardo Molinari: He’s 27, is ranked in the top-40 and has never won on the PGA Tour. Sounds just like every other recent major champion.

Group C: Will Wilcox: Darkhorse? Absolutely. But at No. 2 on the Nationwide Tour all-around ranking, you know he does everything well.

 


Charlie Rymer

Charlie Rymer (6,452,088; 6th)

Group A: Steve Stricker: He'll get major No. 1 with his rock-solid putting.

Group B: Rickie Fowler: He's going to win at some point. Might as well do it here.

Group C: Brian Gay: Straight driving and great putting are required. He has both.

 


John Hawkins

John Hawkins (6,060,041; 9th)

Group A: Phil Mickelson: Rarely a U.S. Open passes without him factoring heavily.

Group B: Rickie Fowler: Just like him. No real reasoning behind it.

Group C: Brandt Jobe: Best of the bunch.

 


Jay Coffin

Jay Coffin (7,013,276; 4th)

Group A: Matt Kuchar: He fits the bill of the previous 10 majors champions - they've all been different.

Group B: Hunter Mahan: Same for Mahan. He's good enough to win a major now.

Group C: D.A. Points: He's one of the highest ranked players in the C group. Good enough.

 


Gary Williams

Gary Williams (6,064,938; 8th)

Group A: Phil Mickelson: This is his moment to finally win the U.S. Open.

Group B: Hunter Mahan: Shot 62 at Congressional in 2009 to finish runner-up.

Group C: Kevin Streelman: Some of his best finishes have come at tree-lined courses.

 


Erik Kuselias

Erik Kuselias (6,040,264; 10th)

Group A: Luke Donald: Length is not an issue if the course stays dry and he's one of the best short-game players in the world.

Group B: Hunter Mahan: Three top-12 finishes at Congressional in the AT&T National.

Group C: Kevin Streelman: Top-10s at Colonial and Muirfield, both major-caliber courses.

 


Win McMurry

Win McMurry (8,903,401; 1st)

Group A: Phil Mickelson: This year he gets it done and no better place than the nation's capitol.

Group B: Brandt Snedeker: Has two top-10s in the U.S. Open in the last three years.

Group C: Davis Love: DL3 had a great U.S. Open last year at Pebble where he tied for sixth.

 


Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee (4,529,592; 16th)

Group A: Phil Mickelson: Phil likes this place. Also has five runner-up Open showings.

Group B: Hunter Mahan: He's happily married, in a band, playing good golf. What's not to like?

Group C: Gregory Havret: Finished second last year at Pebble Beach. That's good, right?

 


Rob Bolton

Rob Bolton (5,814,023; 11th)

Group A: Lee Westwood: Top-3 finishes in five of his last 11 starts in majors.

Group B: Hunter Mahan: Shares course record (62) at Congressional.

Group C: Robert Rock: Ranks 111th in the world entering 111th U.S. Open. Won last week in Italy.

 



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