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Expert picks: True South Classic

Tommy Gainey
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With the British Open in England, the PGA Tour tees it up in the opposite-field True South Classic in Madison, Miss. 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, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and Win McMurry; editorial director Jay Coffin;'s Rob Bolton; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams; and Golf Talk Central contributor Ryan Ballengee.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Brendon de Jonge: Finished tied for 13th last year in Mississippi and would be a leading candidate for “best player without a Tour title” following top-20 finishes in three of his last four starts.

Group 2: Heath Slocum: Something of a home game for an original son of the South and he’s won at Annandale Golf Club before (2005).

Group 3: Brendon Todd: After a fast start, the second-year PGA Tour player has cooled, missing 13 cuts in 21 starts, but he finished strong at The Greenbrier Classic and, as a former University of Georgia player, could follow Chris Kirk to the winner’s circle in LA (Lower Alabama).

Group 4: Jason Gore: This would count as a heart, not a head, pick, but after a dismal season on the PGA Tour (he’s 0-for-6 in cuts made), the big guy would be a true Cinderella story ... again.

Jason Sobel

Group 1: Tommy Gainey: Not having the greatest season, but it’s about time Gainey started contending.

Group 2: Roberto Castro: Rookie has been coming on strong lately, should benefit from weaker field.

Group 3: Lee Janzen: Two-time U.S. Open champ is attempting to regain his PGA Tour card.

Group 4: Luke Guthrie: Recent Illinois grad is showing he can hang with the big boys.

Jay Coffin

Group 1: Bud Cauley: Believe it or not, one of the highest-ranked players in the field. It's one he can win.

Group 2: J.J. Henry: Seems like a J.J. Henry-type week doesn't it? Former Tour winner could find form.

Group 3: Duffy Waldorf: Just because I like to type Duffy Waldorf. Makes me happy.

Group 4: Shaun Micheel: Just hoping to collect some cash with a trip to the weekend.

Win McMurry

Group 1: Ken Duke: Believe it or not, Duke has six top-10s this year, five of them T-7s, the most recent at The Greenbrier Classic. Last year he finished tied for eighth at this event.

Group 2: Colt Knost: He hasn't made a cut in nine starts and won't extend that streak to double digits. His game can't be too far from reach; he had two third-place finishes earlier this year and has not suffered injury.

Group 3: Billy Horschel: He tied for 18th last year and has chased four consecutive PGA Tour paychecks. 

Group 4: Will MacKenzie: If the 2008 winner can channel his game this week he wins what's most important or him these days, a return trip to play full-time on the PGA Tour. It's time this motivation works to his advantage.

Rob Bolton

Group 1: Ken Duke: Aggressive veteran has recorded a top-10 in six consecutive months. Strong record at Annadale includes a pair of top-11 finishes.

Group 2: Dicky Pride: Continues to maximize on his limited playing time. Last week’s T-25 at the John Deere was his fifth top-25 in 11 starts this season. He’s also logged four of his 18 career top-10s at this week’s host track.

Group 3: Lee Janzen: In addition to last week’s T-8 at the John Deere, he’s posted a trio of top-20s in his last five trips to Annandale.

Group 4: Luke Guthrie: He’s off to the races as a touring pro, with two top-20s in as many starts. Low non-winner at the John Deere Classic, tying for fifth place.

Ryan Ballengee

Group 1: Blake Adams: Remarkably consistent this year, Adams is due for a breakthrough.

Group 2: Dicky Pride: His best finishes this year have come when scoring goes double digits under par. That'll be important this week.

Group 3: Billy Horschel: With limited opportunities, Horschel has cashed an awful lot this season.

Group 4: Luke Guthrie: Taking a chance on the new guy. He finished T-5 at the Deere in just his second pro start.