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Davis Love III survived a 36-hole qualifier to get into the Open Championship (Martin/Getty Images)

Sleeper Picks: Open Championship

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In a field full of unfamiliar names, our panel of experts have come up with many different sleeper picks, including a sentimental choice.

T.J. Auclair Interactive Producer
Pick: Davis Love III
The last time the British Open was played at Royal Birkdale, Love finished in eighth. It stands as one of Love's five top-10 finishes in 21 starts on the other side of the pond. It's no secret, or at least it shouldn't be, that Love has struggled mightily this season. However, after missing the Masters in April for the first time since 1991, he successfully qualified for both the U.S. Open and the British Open. With strong play at past Opens, Love could sneak up on the field.

Lauren Deason Editorial Coordinator
Pick: Graeme McDowell
The 28-year-old captured his second European Tour title of the season at last week's Scottish Open, beating the likes of Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els. With that victory he likely sealed up a spot on the Ryder Cup team. Though he considers making the Ryder Cup on par with winning a major, no doubt he'd also like to actually win a major. He's coming off a win, he's got the Ryder Cup monkey off his back and he has British Open experience after a tie for 11th at the event in 2005. McDowell has a good chance at Royal Birkdale.

Melanie Hauser Correspondent
Pick: Sean O'Hair
With rules knocking out just about everyone you can imagine and a steadfast refusal to go with Greg Norman, the dart this week lands on O'Hair. He had a pair of top-16s at Hoylake and St. Andrews and he's working his way back.

Dave Lagarde Correspondent
Pick: Martin Kaymer
One of the best young players in Europe gets his first shot at the British. Stranger things have happened and victory would touch off celebrations in Germany.

Win McMurry
Host, PGA TOUR Today
Pick: Hunter Mahan
He's made the cut in all three of his previous starts at the Open, and a year ago finished tied for sixth. His game is looking good, finishing tied for second at the Travelers Championship in defense of his only PGA TOUR title.

John Maginnes Contributor
Pick: David Howell
For my dark horse, I am sticking with the Europeans. David Howell has been plagued by injury for the last several years and the once top-10 player in the world is on the mend. What better place to solidify a comeback than on the game's grandest stage? David has the talent to make things happen. The questions are whether or not his body will hold up to the grind of a major and whether his mind can withstand the pressure. He has come close in majors before and proven his worth on Ryder Cup teams. Aside from that, he is a heck of a nice guy.

Scott Pianowski
The Fantasy Insider
Pick: Nick O'Hern
It's as much a hunch play as anything, because he doesn't have much of a form in this tournament. But there's a lot to like about the player, straight driver, rock-solid iron player, excellent on and around the greens. He's also got the patient temperament that one needs to compete on this type of stage.

Helen Ross Chief of Correspondents
Pick: Davis Love III
OK. I admit this is a sentimental pick. But I know Love is extremely enthused about playing in the 137th Open Championship after surviving the 36-hole qualifier. In his last start at the AT&T National, Love barely survived the cut but shot 69-65 at Congressional,
a major-caliber course, on the weekend to move up the leaderboard. Stranger things have happened.

Dave Shedloski Senior Correspondent
Pick: Stuart Appleby
Giving this Aussie one more shot to prove that his early season run was a harbinger of a return to the podium. Game has come in spurts of late, but he has played well in the Open before, and he has all the tools, including a good putter.

John Swantek Productions Fantasy Insider
Pick: Paul Casey
The perfect combination is at play; an Englishman competing on native soil, but armed with an Americanized game suited to a course where
five players from the U.S. have won in 8 previous Open Championships. Royal Birkdale should set up nicely for Casey, laying low since a T3 at the BMW International
three weeks ago. He just needs to eliminate that one, poor round that has plagued his majors this year; 79s in the final round of the Masters and the opening 18 at the U.S. Open.

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