GolfChannel.com experts offer up their picks for the Memorial Tournament. 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.
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In parentheses, next to the names, are the participants' 2011 points earned and ranking among the 17 Fantasy Challenge 'experts.'
Rex Hoggard (6,538,230; 4th)
Group A: Luke Donald: Simply put, the newly crowned world No. 1 is playing better than anyone else and he’s been close at the Memorial before (T-6 in 2008).
Group B: Justin Rose: The Englishman ignited here last year on his way to a torrid first-T-9-first run and his swing coach Sean Foley likes where his pupil is at.
Group C: Arjun Atwal: The ultimate “under the radar” player, Atwal is 15th in the Tour’s new strokes gained putting statistic, which seems to be important at Muirfield Village.
Randall Mell (4,304,889; 15th)
Group A: Phil Mickelson: Comfortable at Muirfield Village now (T-9, T-4, T-5 among last five starts there), he’s got to be feeling left out of the mix in this year’s biggest events and stories.
Group B: Rickie Fowler: Finishes off what he started last year, when he was runner-up to Justin Rose.
Group C: Pat Perez: Terrible early history at Jack’s place, but he seems to have found a plan there the last couple years.
Jason Sobel (N/A, N/A)
Group A: Steve Stricker: When in doubt, go with the best putter available.
Group B: Ricky Barnes: Shared third place last year and first win is coming soon.
Group C: Kenny Perry: If he's ever going to reclaim the magic for one week, it'll be at this tournament.
Charlie Rymer (5,744,188; 8th)
Group A: Matt Kuchar: I'm getting back on the Kuchar bandwagon. He's gotta pick up a trophy at some point.
Group B: Vijay Singh: Singh has always looked very comfortable at Mr. Nicklaus' golf course and he's showing signs of being ready to win again.
Group C: Trevor Immelman: How about a blast from the past in a now healthy Immelman?
John Hawkins (6,016,454; 6th)
Group A: Nick Watney: Got back in the mix last week. Should have a better weekend at Muirfield this week.
Group B: Lucas Glover: The bearded one has been playing well lately and we like guys on a hot streak.
Group C: Kenny Perry: Perry plays certain courses very well. This is one of them.
Jay Coffin (6,689,953; 3rd)
Group B: Justin Rose: Did I mention that Bradley won for me last week? If he can do it, the guy who torched the place last year should have another chance to be in contention.
Group C: Vaughn Taylor: Bradley's win vaulted him intro Group B, so I'll go with a guy who I have a gut feeling about. It worked out well last week, if you didn't notice.
Gary Williams (5,802,607; 7th)
Group A: Hunter Mahan: Mahan is playing great golf in 2011 and we have seen several times this year that players can win, regardless of the track, when they are playing well.
Group B: Rickie Fowler: We keep waiting for Fowler to get that first win. He was runner-up here last year and could be one better this week.
Group C: Pat Perez: He has three top-6 finishes in the last six weeks and while he has not played great at Jack’s place, Perez had his best finish in 2010 (T-19).
Erik Kuselias (5,343,659; 12th)
Group A: Matt Kuchar: With his tie for sixth last week, he enters an event where he has four top-13 finishes in the last four years.
Group B: Rickie Fowler: Fowler has shown he likes Muirfield Village, having finished runner-up finish in 2010. He can definitely contend again.
Group C: Fred Couples: Couples in contention would be the top story of the week. He won at Muirfield Village in 1998 and finished runner-up in 2004 and 2005.
Ryan Ballengee (3,983,992; 16th)
Group A: Matt Kuchar: The guy loves this place. He's not finished outside of the top-10 in his last three Memorial starts and is ranked 7th in the world right now.
Group B: Steve Marino: It's time to get back on board the Marino Express. This guy is going to win sometime and, if he doesn't, he will finish inside the top-20. Eventually, this pick will pay off big.
Rob Bolton (4,443,473; 13th)
Group A: Luke Donald: I’m in no position to get cute. I’ll take his nine consecutive top-10s and sleep well. And jet lag is of zero concern.
Group B: Stewart Cink: He’s cashed in his last 13 starts here, six of which were top-10s, including his last two.
Group C: Brandt Jobe: Coming off his fifth top-25 of the year. Ranks seventh in total driving and 23rd in greens hit. Placed T-4 here in 2006.
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