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Expert Picks: 2016 Honda Classic

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This week the 2016 fantasy golf season heads to Florida, as 144 players tee it up at the Honda Classic. 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: Rory McIlroy: McIlroy is in his American backyard, on a golf course where he’s a proven winner. 

Group 2: Daniel Berger: That closing 64 last year at PGA National sticks in the mind. He looks really comfortable on this uncomfortable track. 

Group 3: Russell Henley: Just two years ago, Henley won at PGA National. Henley likes the Bermuda grasses you see in Florida.

Group 4: Ernie Els: The ball striking is there, an important factor on this difficult course and through the typical high winds here.

Will Gray

Group 1: Branden Grace: Eschewing conventional wisdom and taking a chance with the South African, who plays sparingly in the U.S. but has been red-hot elsewhere since the fall.

Group 2: Russell Knox: The Scot has lived in Florida for years and his ball-striking seems to suit the Champion Course based on recent results: a playoff loss in 2014 followed by a T-3 finish last year.

Group 3: Luke Donald: The Englishman cobbled together solid outings at Sony and Pebble, and he now gets a venue where he has cracked the top 10 in each of his last four trips.

Group 4: Tom Gillis: The journeyman has three top-25 finishes in his last four trips to PGA National, including a surprise runner-up result in 2012.