Expert Picks: The Honda Classic

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February 28, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
EXPERT PICKS
How it works: Our experts from PGATOUR.COM select the player they think will win this week's event. By using a draft process, no two picks can be the same. The player who wins the previous week picks last the following week.
MORE: Power Rankings | Inside the Field | Inside the Course | FANTASY GOLF: Play our game
SLEEPER PICKS: Who will surprise at PGA National?
Expert picks: The Honda Classic
Expert
 
Pick orderPlayer selected
 
Amanda
Balionis
RORY MCILROY. He is going to have to hit it straight off the tee this week, but no one has been hotter in the last year in professional golf. He needs to start winning more on the PGA TOUR, though, and this is the week to do it.
 
Mike
McAllister
LEE WESTWOOD. He was in solid form last week at the Accenture Match Play and he hasn't finished outside the top 20 in four starts this year. Plus, he's familiar with PGA National, having played it the last two years, even finishing T9 in 2010.
If McAllister had the top pick ... McIlroy
Anne
Szeker
MARK WILSON. He's a past champion and he's got tons of confidence heading into this week after finishing third at the Accenture Match Play. The way he's playing, no reason he can't pick up his second win of the year here.
If Szeker had the top pick ... McIlroy
Lauren
Deason
TIGER WOODS. Total wild card this week, but this is a ball-strikers course, and that hsa not been Tiger's problem this year. Obviously, he has got to get the putter going. Tough course, but his iron game can handle it.
If Deason had the top pick ... Westwood
John
Schwarb
KYLE STANLEY. He had a top-25 here as a rookie in 2011, which is tough to do. Obviously, he's a much better player this time around, and it's only a matter of time before he gets win No. 2 ... No. 3...etc. I expect his West Coast success to carry over.
If Schwarb had the top pick ... Stanley
Helen
Ross
KEEGAN BRADLEY. He nearly won at Riviera two weeks ago, losing in a playoff to Bill Haas. Bradley's had a few extra days rest after departing in the second round at Dove Mountain last week and this is a home game for him.
If Ross had the top pick ... Bradley
John
Swantek
Y.E. YANG. With a win and a second-place finish at PGA National's Champions Course in the last three years, I am really happy to have him this low in the weekly draft. Has his game turned around after a slow TOUR start to 2012.
If Swantek had the top pick ... McIlroy
Brian
Wacker
RYAN MOORE. After a slow start to his year, Moore has started to string together some good rounds -- a couple of rounds in the 60s in L.A., a 64 at Pebble Beach. PGA National also sets up fairly well for Moore, too, who's 20th on TOUR in driving accuracy.
If Wacker had the top pick ... McIlroy
Ryan
Smithson
CHARL SCHWARTZEL. I had a long battle with the picks this week. I feel Justin Rose, despite his early exit last week, has the perfect tee-to-green game for PGA National. I just can't pull the trigger. I also really hoped to have Keegan.
If Smithson had the top pick ... Bradley
Chris
Dunham
JUSTIN ROSE. Three top-15 finishes in his last four starts here. He got off to a later start than usual, but Rose has been solid and tied for 13th in his last stroke play start (Northern Trust). Look for the 2011 BMW Championship winner to notch his first top-10 of 2012.
If Dunham had the top pick ... Yang
Standings after Week 8
LAST WEEK: Rough week for the group. For the first time in awhile, we didn't get the winner (John Huh). Chris Dunham and Ryanb Smithson (Briny Baird, Charles Howell III) had the only top-25s:
Position Name Wins Top-5s Top-10s Top-25s MCs FedExCup points
1 Ryan Smithson
Site Producer
1 2 3 5 0 863.25
2 Lauren Deason
Editorial Coordinator
1 1 2 5 0 759.49
3 Chris Dunham
Editorial Coordinator
1 1 2 4 1 741.00
4 Mike McAllister
Managing Editor
1 1 1 4 1 698.10
5 Amanda Balionis
Host, PGA TOUR Today
0 3 3 3 3 660.25
6 Helen Ross
Chief of Correspondents
0 2 2 5 0 545.55
7 John Swantek
Host, On The Tee
0 1 1 3 2 464.50
8 Brian Wacker
Site Producer
0 1 2 2 2 317.08
9 John Schwarb
Site Producer
0 1 1 4 1 314.50
10 Anne Szeker
Site Producer
0 0 1 4 0 304.75

The PGA TOUR travels to Palm Beach Gardens for The Honda Classic this week. Here's how the PGATOUR.COM experts sized up the top contenders:

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