GolfChannel.com experts offer up their picks for the Open Championship. 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 (8,490,435; 4th)
Group A: Paul Casey: If not for a triple bogey on No. 12 last year, he may well have won the Open.
Group B: Matteo Manassero: His lack of power should not be a concern this week.
Group C: Davis Love III: Is playing well. Just needs to get his putter going.
Randall Mell (6,791,399; 11th)
Group A: Jason Day: Year of the young'uns could continue this week.
Group B: Sergio Garcia: Ball striking is great; it's all up to his putter.
Group C: Stewart Cink: Having won this event before makes him a good bet.
Jason Sobel (N/A, N/A)
Group A: Lee Westwood: Could have six consecutive first-time major champions for first time since 2004.
Group B: Ross Fisher: Under the radar, good-but-not-great player. He fits the current major mold.
Group C: Justin Leonard: Hitting the ball well and has perfect trajectory for this event.
Charlie Rymer (7,799,623; 9th)
Group A: Matt Kuchar: Played well in Scotland last week and should be up to the challenge if the wind blows.
Group B: Matteo Manassero: Consistent play should give him a chance over the weekend.
Group C: Davis Love III: This event produces fairy tales. Maybe he's the main character this year.
John Hawkins (6,972,198; 8th)
Group A: Lee Westwood: His large pile of trophy-less success forces me to pick him.
Group B: Ernie Els: Great track record, pretty attractive in the Bs.
Group C: Angel Cabrera: If he's in the Cs in a major, I have to take him.
Jay Coffin (8,328,653; 5th)
Group A: Luke Donald: Don't usually like a guy who won the week before, but he is too good to pass up.
Group B: Sergio Garcia: Keeping the theme of people I don't feel good about, we'll pick Garcia.
Group C: Darren Clarke: Here's hoping we get a feel-good story this week.
Erik Kuselias (6,292,204; 13th)
Group A: Lee Westwood: Five top-3s in his last seven major championship starts.
Group B: Sergio Garcia: Playing better and was T-10 here in 2003.
Group C: Charles Howell III: Going with my gut on this one. Will try to make the most of his late invite.
Win McMurry (10,341,306; 2nd)
Group A: Luke Donald: Between he and Westwood, going with No. 1 and the guy who won last week.
Group B: Hunter Mahan: Would like to see Mahan get redemption for his Ryder Cup singles loss and get the U.S. back on the major map.
Group C: Davis Love III: Tied for fourth at the Open in 2003 and returns in great form.
Ryan Ballengee (4,641,376; 16th)
Group A: Jason Day: Eight of the 13 Open winners at Royal St. George's have been first-time major champions.
Group B: Sergio Garcia: He's back, I promise you. He'll be there in the end.
Group C: Thorbjorn Olesen: Gotta have a guy come from nowhere.
Rob Bolton (6,861,456; 10th)
Group A: Luke Donald: Not enough space to share all the reasons I like him this week.
Group B: Sergio Garcia: Top-10s in last two starts.
Group C: Angel Cabrera: Two-time major winner coming off a T-3 on a links course. Great pick for the Cs.
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