Molinari brothers back to defend World Cup crown

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2011, 2:47 pm

HAIKOU, China – The World Cup has switched from an annual to a biennial event, it has changed venues from Shenzhen to Hainan island, yet there is a sense of deja vu when it comes to the main contenders.

Italy’s Molinari brothers, Edoardo and Francesco, will return to defend their title from 2009, and it is the team they narrowly beat two years ago – Irishmen Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell – which again shapes as their chief rival.

The Molinaris beat the pair from Northern Ireland and Sweden by a stroke in a surprise result two years ago that provided a boost to the profile of golf in Italy.

“It was a huge moment for Italian golf,” Francesco Molinari said. “Nobody expected it, but it was a huge victory and becoming world champions in any sport is big, not only for golfers, but for other non-golfers as well.

“We were really trying to get some huge results to make the sport grow in Italy. It was a bit of turning the corner and we got a lot of publicity and golf started to be more and more popular.”

McIlroy and McDowell may have narrowly missed out on the prize in 2009, but they have since acquired something the Italians don’t have: major titles.

Yet team success brings a different type of glory, and both McIlroy and McDowell are eager for victory at the Mission Hills Blackstone course.

“Two years ago, Rory and I gave it a pretty good run and came up one short,” said McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champion. “We’re excited to come back and I guess, get our revenge.”

Reigning U.S. Open champion McIlroy finished in a share of fourth in the World Golf Championships in Shanghai earlier this month to move up to a career-best world ranking of No. 2, splitting the English pair of Luke Donald and Lee Westwood.

“It would be great to get ourselves into the position again with a chance to win,” McIlroy said. “Graeme and I won a few times as individuals on the golf course, but to win as part of the team is very, very special and it’s not something that we really get to experience that much. Hopefully we’ll be able to get that chance on Sunday afternoon.”

Like the pair from Northern Ireland, South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel are recent additions to the list of major winners, and they will have two things going for them this weekend: a strong familiarity with each other’s games, and mustaches.

The duo have grown the facial hair as a team-bonding exercise, but their understanding of each other’s games may be of more tangible value, particularly in the alternate-shot format.

“We play almost every single week and we often play a practice round together,” Schwartzel said. “So I know how far he hits the ball and I know what he likes, what he doesn’t like. That’s a big advantage.”

The English pair of Ian Poulter and Justin Rose are also among the key contenders. The United States, represented this year by Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland, is by far the most successful nation in the event’s 58-year history, but has not won since 2000 when Tiger Woods and David Duval combined for victory in Argentina.

The Molinari brothers will be aiming to become the first team since that U.S. victory in 2000 to defend the World Cup title. They are among three sets of brothers in the 28-nation event, along with Colombia’s Camilo and Manuel Villegas and the Portugese pairing Hugo and Richard Santos.

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.