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Fantasy Island: Hyundai Tournament of Champions

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GolfChannel.com experts offer up their picks for the PGA Tour season opener, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Each week, senior writers Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell, contributors John Hawkins and Charlie Rymer, and editorial director Jay Coffin will give 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.

You can battle the experts and play along as well. Just click here to get into the game.

Hyundai Tournament of Champions

 

Rex Hoggard

Rex Hoggard
Score (Standing):
0 (T1)
Group A:
Graeme McDowell

Group B:
Geoff Ogilvy

Group C:
Stuart Appleby

New year, new equipment deal, but it's the same Northern Irishman who finished last season with a tie for second place (Shark Shootout) and a playoff victory over Tiger Woods (Chevron World Challenge).

He didn't do much after his second consecutive victory at Kapalua last year, but then he didn't have to. He's also fresh off a 1-2 finish at the Australian Open and Aussie PGA, respectively.

Co-Mr. 59 capped his comeback year with a victory at November's Australian Masters and there was a time, not that long ago, when he owned Kapalua with three consecutive 'W's' (2004-2006).

Randall Mell

Randall Mell
Score (Standing):
0 (T1)
Group A:
Ian Poulter

Group B:
Ernie Els

Group C:
Stuart Appleby

With the Euros pushing each other to impressive heights, this Englishman is motivated to scale past them all.

After a nice warm-up victory in South Africa, the Big Easy is ready for a hot start.

With three victories in a row at Kapalua, from 2004-06, Appleby could contend here blindfolded.

Charlie Rymer

Charlie Rymer
Score (Standing):
0 (T1)
 Group A:
Jim Furyk

Group B:
Adam Scott

Group C:
Stuart Appleby

Staying in his home behind the third green has to be an advantage on a course he loves and has won on.

The Aussie turned it around last year and could get off to a great start this year.

Another Aussie that turned it around in 2010 and has won this event three times.

John Hawkins

John Hawkins
Score (Standing):
0 (T1)
 Group A:
Ian Poulter

Group B:
Ernie Els

Group C:
Stuart Appleby

 

At a laid-back opener, his intensity is worth a few strokes at the least. Very good putter on tough-to-read greens.

He has been playing, so no rust, which will derail many Americans. Has won here before.

Another past champ, terrific wind player in his prime. Could become an extension of his so-called comeback – the dude fell off the face of the earth before winning last summer.

 

Jay Coffin

Jay Coffin
Score (Standing):
0 (T1)
 Group A:
Graeme McDowell

Group B:
Matt Kuchar

Group C:
Stuart Appleby

 

I’m never doubting this dude again. Anyone who can stare Tiger Woods in the face and beat him has the chance to win any week.

Played well here last year, which propelled him to his best season on Tour. I’m guess he’d like another solid beginning.

It’s crazy to classify a three-time winner at Kapalua as just happy-to-be-there, but Appleby is. But good vibes, are good vibes.

 


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