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Expert Picks: 2015 Players Championship

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This week marks the 26th event of the 2014-15 PGA Tour season, as 144 players tee it up at The Players Championship. Each week, a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players, based on Golf Channel's fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel includes: senior writers Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell; editorial director Jay Coffin; associate editor Will Gray; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams; host Charlie Rymer and defending fantasy champion Ryan Lavner.

Randall Mell

Group 1: Jordan Spieth: This is just like the Masters. Yeah, completely different test, but Spieth’s looking to redeem himself again.

Group 2: Sergio Garcia: You would think this place could drive Garcia crazy with its wicked kicks into hellish places, but it rewards his ball striking.

Group 3: Charley Hoffman: Not a great record at Sawgrass, but he’s playing nicely this season with some good overall momentum. Confidence should be high.

Group 4: Boo Weekley: Going with a good ball striker coming off a third-place finish at Zurich Classic.

Ryan Lavner

Group 1: Jordan Spieth: Played great for three days at Harding Park and, as a bonus, didn¹t wear himself out on the weekend. The 54-hole leader here a year ago wound up in a tie for fourth.

Group 2: Hideki Matsuyama: Seven top 10s this season, and his strengths (iron play, scrambling) should play well at TPC.

Group 3: Justin Thomas: Back-to-back top 12s. May be a first-timer at Sawgrass, but he played the course a few times during his junior career.

Group 4: Tiger Woods: Long-game woes could lead to a short week, but worth the flier Š you know, just in case.

Will Gray

Group 1: Jordan Spieth: He doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon, despite his early exit in San Francisco. Spieth played his first 54 holes here without a bogey last year, and if he comes close to repeating that performance he'll contend again.

Group 2: Hideki Matsuyama: Five straight top-25s for the Japanese phenom, whose tee-to-green game is among the best in the game. He will create plenty of birdie chances, and he should fare well with even just a decent week on the greens with an admittedly balky putter.

Group 3: Russell Knox: The Scot went to college in Jacksonville, lives there now and calls the Stadium Course his home track. He played well in his debut last year and has contended on other ball-striking venues (PGA National, Harbour Town).

Group 4: Daniel Summerhays: It's a calculated risk not taking Tiger Woods here, but I'll go with Summerhays who keeps the ball in play, hits plenty of greens and has seven straight cuts.