Expert Picks: The McGladrey Classic

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October 16, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

The PGA TOUR travels to the Seaside Course in Sea Island, Ga. for The McGladrey Classic this week. Here's how the PGATOUR.COM experts sized up the top contenders:

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
SLEEPER PICKS: Who might surprise at Sea Island
Expert Picks: The McGladrey Classic
Expert
 
Pick orderPlayer selected
 
Lauren
Deason
ZACH JOHNSON. The St. Simons Island resident has missed just one cut in 24 starts this season. Johnson has taken two weeks off since the Ryder Cup and will be fresh. Important because both of his 2012 wins came after weeks off.
 
Anne
Szeker
RUSSELL KNOX. I'm leaving some big names on the board in the hopes that Knox will follow in fellow rookie Jonas Blixt's footsteps and pick up a Fall Series win. He brings in plenty of momentum after two straight weeks of career-best finishes (T13 and T9).
If Szeker had the top pick ... Knox
Bill
Cooney
JIM FURYK. Furyk's had a tremendous season with seven top 10s -- including two runner-ups. About the only thing missing is a victory -- and the Seaside Course suits his game. Furyk is as straight as an arrow off the tee and is the ultimate course manager.
If Cooney had the top pick ... Furyk
Amanda
Balionis
BUD CAULEY. If Cauley wasn't already a lock to secure his TOUR card, he became one with a T15 here last year. Expect strong showing and a pro-Cauley crowd for the rookie who grew up about 90 minutes south of the Seaside Course.
If Balionis had the top pick ... Cauley
Mike
McAllister
JASON DAY. He can putt (ranks 10th on TOUR in strokes gained-putting) and he can bomb (ranks 7th in driving distance). Look for the Aussie to carry momentum from his first top-5 finish of 2012 at the Shriners.
If McAllister had the top pick ... Johnson
Brian
Wacker
CHARLES HOWELL III. He's coming off a tie for 11th and two years ago finished sixth at Sea Island on the strength of a final-round 62. Something about this time of year seems to spark Howell and I don't see that changing this week.
If Wacker had the top pick ... Johnson
Chris
Dunham
CAMERON TRINGALE. The Georgia Tech grad getting his first win in The Peach State would be another great Fall Series storyline. I'm encouraged by Tringale's three rounds in the 60s last year and take the flyer despite his current run of three missed cuts.
If Dunham had the top pick ... Furyk
Ryan
Smithson
JEFF OVERTON. I really dislike picking guys who have never won on TOUR -- much less one who hasn't won in 188 starts -- but Overton is seriously trending. Broke 70 all four rounds at CordeValle and was sixth at Seaside last year.
If Smithson had the top pick ... Day
John
Schwarb
VIJAY SINGH. He had a season-best T4 last week at Frys.com, with the fact he led the field in putting getting my attention. His ballstriking is never an issue but if his new putting grip is a keeper, a win at age 49 is not out of the question.
If Schwarb had the top pick ... Singh
Helen
Ross
JONAS BLIXT. The win at the Frys.com Open was hardly a surprise. After all, it marked his fifth top-10 finish in his last nine starts.If his putter remains hot -- Blixt has taken over No. 1 in strokes gained putting -- the rookie can contend.
If Ross had the top pick ... Blixt
John
Swantek
GARY WOODLAND. A slow-to-develop swing change and a nagging wrist injury have made this season pretty forgettable, but he may have turned a late corner with a T9 last week, and his undeniable raw talent always gives him a chance.
If Swantek had the top pick ... Johnson
Post-Playoffs standings
UPDATE: John Swantek tabbed winner Jonas Blixt at CordeValle, making our panel 2-for-2 in the Fall Series. With Jimmy Walker (T4) as her pick, Helen Ross maintains a comfortable advantage:
Position Name Wins Top-5s Top-10s Top-25s Missed cuts Money
1 Helen Ross
Chief of Correspondents, PGATOUR.COM
1 2 2 2 0 $1,006,875.00
2 John Swantek
Host, On The Tee
1 1 1 1 0 $918,922.50
3 John Schwarb
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
0 0 1 1 0 $713,922.50
4 Chris Dunham
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
0 0 1 2 0 $157,571.00
5 Lauren Deason
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
0 0 1 1 1 $156,375.00
6 Ryan Smithson
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
0 0 0 1 1 $72,500.00
7 Amanda Balionis
Host, PGA TOUR Today
0 0 0 0 0 $46,250.00
8 Anne Szeker
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
0 0 0 1 1 $39,487.50
9 Brian Wacker
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
0 0 0 0 0 $35,982.50
10 Mike McAllister
Managing Editor, PGATOUR.COM
0 0 0 0 1 $24,125.00
11 Bill Cooney
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
0 0 0 0 0 $20,160.00

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