This week the 2016 fantasy golf season heads to Florida, 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.
Group 1: Rory McIlroy: He's coming off a (mostly) strong performance at Quail Hollow, and he has finished T-8 or better each of the last three years on the Stadium Course. One of these times, he's going to figure out the front nine and run away with the title.
Group 2: Hideki Matsuyama: Tough to leave Sergio Garcia on the bench, but I'll go with Matsuyama who won earlier this year, has been a perennial contender in recent weeks and cracked the top 25 in each of his two prior trips to TPC Sawgrass.
Group 3: Daniel Berger: The reigning Rookie of the Year is arguably having an even better sophomore season. Top-20 finishes in each of his last five stroke-play starts, and he has plenty of experience playing in the state of Florida.
Group 4: Daniel Summerhays: The BYU product has a pair of top-30 finishes in his three prior Players starts, and he has missed only three cuts in 15 starts this season with top-15 results in each of his last two starts.
Group 1: Henrik Stenson: Seems to like Florida courses, the grasses and courses that favor ball strikers. He won The Players in ’09.
Group 2: Sergio Garcia: For all the Stadium Course’s maddening challenges, you’d think it would exhaust Garcia’s patience, but it doesn’t. He excels there.
Group 3: Martin Kaymer: His form hasn’t been sharp as of late, but that didn’t stop James Hahn last week. Kaymer has shown he can get comfortable on this uncomfortable venue.
Group 4: Bryce Molder: Three top 10s for Molder this year, two in his last three starts. Taking his current form over his track record at the Stadium Course.