Expert Picks: Open

October 09, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

The PGA TOUR travels to CordeValle Golf Club for the Open. Here's how the PGATOUR.COM experts sized up the top contenders:

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 CordeValle?
Expert Picks: Open
Pick orderPlayer selected
NICOLAS COLSAERTS. Obviously, he has good vibes coming off the Ryder Cup. And obviously, he can get ridiculously hot at any given moment. His last stroke-play event in the U.S. was at Wyndham, where he finished T7.
ERNIE ELS. Hasn't torn up the world since his British Open win, but hasn't played that badly. Played at CordeValle last year and tied for fourth with four rounds in the 60s. Made only four bogeys here last year and led the field in greens hit.
If Smithson had the top pick ... Els
BUD CAULEY. Just like last season, Cauley has heated up in the late summer and fall months. He's had four top 10s since late July -- including a trio of top fives -- and finished third at the Open last season. Cauley can take it low when he gets rolling.
If Cooney had the top pick ... Colsaerts
JOHN ROLLINS. He hasn't played in over a month but he finished sixth at last year's Open with the same formula. He also ranks third in total driving and has five top 10s this season, two of which came out west.
If Wacker had the top pick ... Cauley
JONAS BLIXT. He's in fine form after a third in Vegas, where he was the co-leader after 36 and 54 holes. The rookie from Sweden is making a late Fall Series push for a top 30 finish on the money list and a berth in the Masters next year.
If Swantek had the top pick ... Cauley
JEFF OVERTON. My hopes of greatness during the Playoffs in Expert Picks were dashed with Overton at the BMW, but he got back in the flow with a T13 last week in Las Vegas. I'll take another chance on the birdie machine at CordeValle.
If Schwarb had the top pick ... Overton
RICHARD H. LEE. Lee is coming off a career-best tie for sixth last week after a 65 in the final round. The rookie is highly motivated to keep his card for next year. I wouldn't be surprised to see him become the third rookie winner of 2012.
If Balionis had the top pick ... Cauley
BRENDAN STEELE. The California native finished T7 at this stop last year. He just missed the FedExCup Playoffs this year at 130th in the standings, but he bounced back with a solid off tie for 13th at TPC Summerlin.
If Szeker had the top pick ... Els
BEN CURTIS. My original pick, 2010 PLAYERS champ Tim Clark, withdrew so I'll go with the 2012 PLAYERS runner-up. Usually stronger on tougher courses, it's a bit of a gamble, but Curtis's driving accuracy and putting fit well at CordeValle.
If Dunham had the top pick ... Cauley
TREVOR IMMELMAN. The 2008 Masters champion has finished in the top 30 in two of his last four starts on TOUR. He tied for 21st last year at CordeValle, and it would not be surprising if he finally scores that comeback win this week.
If Deason had the top pick ... Els
JIMMY WALKER. He's coming off a tie for 10th last week at Las Vegas, his fifth top-10 of the season. Walker more than enough length to contend at Cordevalle, too, and ranks 22nd in strokes gained putting.
If Ross had the top pick ... Rollins
Standings after one event of the Fall Series
UPDATE: Helen Ross had the first pick last week, which she used on eventual winner Ryan Moore:
Position Name Wins Top-5s Top-10s Top-25s Missed cuts Money
1 Helen Ross
Chief of Correspondents, PGATOUR.COM
1 1 1 1 0 $ 810,000.00
2 Lauren Deason
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
0 0 1 1 0 $156,375.00
3 Chris Dunham
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
0 0 1 1 0 $112,500.00
4 Anne Szeker
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
0 0 0 1 0 $39,487.50
5 Amanda Balionis
Host, PGA TOUR Today
0 0 0 0 0 $29,250.00
7 John Schwarb
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
0 0 0 0 0 $18,922.50
7 John Swantek
Host, On The Tee
0 0 0 0 0 $18,922.50
8 Brian Wacker
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
0 0 0 0 0 $11,857.50
9 Bill Cooney
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
0 0 0 0 0 $8,910.00
11 Mike McAllister
Managing Editor, PGATOUR.COM
0 0 0 0 1 $0
11 Ryan Smithson
Site Producer, PGATOUR.COM
0 0 0 0 1 $0

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