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Expert Picks: Hyundai TOC

K.J. Choi
Getty Images experts offer up their fantasy choices for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Each week a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four 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 and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and Win McMurry; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' hosts Gary Williams and Erik Kuselias; and Golf Talk Central contributor Ryan Ballengee.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: K.J. Choi: Strong finish to 2011 and some good history at Kapalua (T-2 in 2003).

Group 2: Aaron Baddeley: The only constant at Kapalua, other than the Kona winds, is that Australians are a safe bet.

Group 3: Gary Woodland: Bombers rule the Plantation Course and Woodland is the ultimate power player.

Group 4: Michael Bradley: Taking the “other” Bradley, not Keegan, based on Michael’s island history – two wins in Puerto Rico. 

Jason Sobel

Group 1: Bubba Watson: Prepped for the season-opener by shooting 58 at his home course.  That’ll do.

Group 2: Bill Haas: Ended last season with the FedEx Cup, but traditionally a stronger starter than finisher.

Group 3: Rory Sabbatini: Two years ago, finished one shot out of a playoff at Kapalua.

Group 4: Brendan Steele: Many in the field may treat this week like an extended vacation; Steele won’t.

John Hawkins

Group 1: K.J. Choi: This guy is poised to have a big year in 2012.

Group 2: David Toms: A great putter with a good history at Kapalua.

Group 3: Jonathan Byrd: Always take the defending champion when he’s in Group 3.

Group 4: Bryce Molder: Going for an under-the-radar guy in Group 4.

Jay Coffin

Group 1: Nick Watney: Last year was a breakout year for the Californian, but this year will be better.

Group 2: Bill Haas: Hey, what can I say? I’m a sucker for a guy with a similar hairline.

Group 3: Ben Crane: Typically plays well early in the year and this year should be no different.

Group 4: Brendan Steele: First name to jump out at me from the group.

Gary Williams

Group 1: Nick Watney: After a strong 2010, Watney had a breakout 2011. May better his T5 finish at Kapalua from 2008.

Group 2: Keegan Bradley: Should have a great week as a strong start will help put “sophomore slump” questions to bed.

Group 3: Gary Woodland: Top 30 finishes in all four majors in 2011 showed he can contend with the world’s best.

Group 4: Jhonattan Vegas: Played his best golf early in 2011 with a T3 at Torrey Pines to go with his Humana Challenge win. 

Erik Kuselias

Group 1: Webb Simpson: Coming off an unbelievable 2011, there is no reason he can’t start 2012 with a win on Monday.

Group 2: Martin Laird: Finished T4 here in his only prior start and will be motivated to start strong in a Ryder Cup year.

Group 3: Gary Woodland: Talent off the tee combined with Kapalua’s length should allow him to contend.

Group 4: Brendan Steele: Riding some good momentum into this week after a strong close to 2011.

 Win McMurry

Group 1: Steve Stricker: Knows how to shake off the early season rust as seen with 3 top-10s in the past four years here.

Group 2: David Toms: With huge greens, proximity will be key at Kapalua; Toms ranked sixth in GIR in 2011.

Group 3: Rory Sabbatini: The “other” Rory may get the hype, but the South African has two runner-up finishes in Maui.

Group 4: Brendan Steele: Almost took Vegas here, but chose Steele based on his strong finish to 2011.

Ryan Ballengee

Group 1: Steve Stricker: Finished second in Strokes Gained Putting last year, a key stat for a course with enormous greens.

Group 2: David Toms: Hits a lot of greens and, last year, put it closer than all but four guys on Tour.

Group 3: Rory Sabbatini: Notorious for hot starts, Sabbatini also has two runner-up finishes here.

Group 4: Scott Stallings: The Greenbrier winner can blast it off the tee.