Expert Picks: Reno-Tahoe Open

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August 02, 2011
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.
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Expert Picks: Reno-Tahoe Open
Expert
 
Pick orderPlayer selected
 
Ryan
Smithson
JOHN MERRICK. My original pick, Kyle Stanley, withdrew. That's a shame, because he was about to become the latest rookie to win. Let's go with Merrick, who tied for third here last year and has missed only three cuts all season.
 
Lauren
Deason
VAUGHN TAYLOR. His two PGA TOUR victories came at the Reno-Tahoe Open in 2004 and 2005 -- and had top-35 finishes in 2009 and 2010. The bad news? Taylor kicked off 2011 with a string of solid finishes, but he hasn't made a cut in three weeks.
If Deason had the top pick ... Taylor
John
Swantek
ROBERT GARRIGUS. The TOUR's third longest bomber will again launch it through Nevada's high altitude at Montreux, where he's finished in the top 10 the last two years. Third place finish at U.S. Open was a confidence booster.
If Swantek had the top pick ... Garrigus
Chris
Dunham
BRIAN DAVIS. This five-time runner-up is an easy guy to root for, especially after he called his own foul in a playoff at The Heritage last year. In three starts at Montreux, Davis has two top 10s including a runner-up finish in 2008 when he closed with a 75.
If Dunham had the top pick ... Davis
Mike
McAllister
STEVEN BOWDITCH. Has a couple of top-20 finishes in his last three starts, and as one of the TOUR's biggest hitters, he should be able to dominate the 7,472-yard, par-72 Montreux layout.
If McAllister had the top pick ... Taylor
Helen
Ross
CHEZ REAVIE. The Arizona State product makes his second appearance in Reno with momentum after finishing 20th or better in his last four starts. He's 32 under during that stretch and tied for 18th Sunday at The Greenbrier.
If Ross had the top pick ... Reavie
Anne
Szeker
CHRIS DIMARCO. I wanted to pick a rookie since they've been so hot lately, but alas Kyle Stanley withdrew. I feel confident with this established guy, though, who's quietly been putting up some good numbers in the last month.
If Szeker had the top pick ... DiMarco
John
Schwarb
D.J. TRAHAN. This isn't a play based on Reno form (his last start was in 2007, a T30) but on more recent form. Trahan has three top-20s in his last six starts, including T9 at the Viking Classic.
If Schwarb had the top pick ... Taylor
Amanda
Balionis
MATT BETTENCOURT. I'll take the defending champion here, though he hasn't had a big summer. He's 92nd in FedExCup points with no top-10s since March, though a T27 at The Greenbrier Classic is a little momentum.
If Balionis had the top pick ... Taylor
Brian
Wacker
KEVIN NA. He has four top-10s this year, most recently a fifth in May at the Wells Fargo Championship, and has a history of playing well out west, which includes a tie for fifth two years ago at the Reno-Tahoe Open.
If Wacker had the top pick ... Na
Standings after 32 events
LAST WEEK: Behind Bill Haas' T2 at The Greenbrier Classic, Brian Wacker extended his points lead:
Position Name Wins Top-5s Top-10s Top-25s FedExCup points
1 Brian Wacker
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
1 8 12 22 2878.32
2 Mike McAllister
Managing Editor, PGATOUR.COM
1 6 7 16 2471.21
3 Lauren Deason
Editorial Coordinator, PGATOUR.COM
2 7 9 13 2376.88
4 Ryan Smithson
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
2 6 8 15 2168.82
5 John Swantek
Host, On The Tee
1 5 10 16 1880.86
6 Anne Szeker
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
1 4 7 21 1722.32
7 Helen Ross
Chief of Correspondents, PGATOUR.COM
1 2 7 14 1665.60
8 John Schwarb
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
1 3 8 14 1616.12
9 Chris Dunham
Editorial Coordinator, PGATOUR.COM
1 3 9 13 1515.49
10* Amanda Balionis
Host, PGA TOUR Today
0 3 3 6 771.25
*-Joining the panel after 20 events

The Reno-Tahoe Open is this week at Montreux Golf and Country Club. Here's how the PGATOUR.COM experts sized up the top contenders. Make your picks here.

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