Experts' selections for the Tour Championship

11/1/2006 - Golf

ATLANTA -- No Tiger? No Phil? No problem.

Actually, that's not quite right. With Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson skipping this week's Tour Championship, our experts can't rely on the regulars to pick up another trophy. So who's going to come out on top in this week's 27-player field? Here are our experts' selections for best sleeper pick, top first-timer at the event (there are 11 in all) and, of course, the overall champion.

Ernie Els. The Big Easy is desperate for his first victory of the year -- and needs to beat just 26 other players.

Why Ernie Els? Because he cares. The Big Easy holed two big par putts just to get to East Lake. Now he'll salvage a dubious season with his first win.

The Big Easy squeaks into the field and will appreciate the fact that he got there, rewarding himself with a victory.

Adam Scott finished seventh at last year's Tour Championship, opened last month with a T-2 at the WGC-AmEx and will tease us the way Chad Campbell did in '03, by winning this year at East Lake.


South African Trevor Immelman is the likely Rookie of the Year on the PGA Tour.

Known as the "Swedish redneck," Carl Pettersson has done most of his damage in the deep South, so don't be surprised if he contends in Atlanta.

K.J. Choi, the former power lifter from Korea, comes into East Lake off a victory. He just might ride that momentum.

Big-hitting Swede Carl Pettersson has missed his last three cuts here in the States, but closed last year on a high note with a win in Tampa and a runner-up in Mississippi. He's got the game to do so again.


Brett Wetterich has been streaky this year and is coming off a tie for second at the Chrysler Championship.

At 7,154 yards, East Lake shouldn't be too tough to handle for Brett Quigley. Like Chad Campbell in '03, Quigley gets his initial PGA Tour win at this season-ender.

This would be the biggest payday of J.J. Henry's career, and that's not a bad motivator.

With a T-2 and a T-6 in two of his last three starts, a win by Brett Wetterich could go a long way toward guaranteeing another European victory in the '08 Ryder Cup at Valhalla.