Casey, two more co-lead Hero World Challenge

By Doug FergusonDecember 3, 2015, 9:55 pm

NASSAU, Bahamas – Paul Casey is off to a good start in his final chance to win a tournament this year.

Casey birdied the final hole at Albany Golf Club on Thursday for a 6-under 66 that gave him a share of the first-round lead with Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson in the Hero World Challenge.

The scenery and tropical sunshine made it feel like a working vacation, and a gentle breeze off the tip of New Providence island only added to the relaxation. Hideki Matsuyama (75) was the only player in the 18-man field who didn't break par.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth made a hole-in-one with a 6-iron on the second hole and finally added a birdie on a par 5 to join a large group at 67 that included Bubba Watson and Adam Scott, who lives at Albany and still holds - barely - the course record of 65.

Casey is among five players in this field of top-50 players who has yet to win this year.

''The only blemish I can think of is maybe I left a putt short on line, which is a little criminal,'' Casey said. ''Other than that, I played some really, really nice golf.''

He wasn't alone. Walker made quick strides with a new move in his swing and produced eight birdies, six of them in an eight-hole stretch on the back nine.

Hero World Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Johnson recovered from a slow start that could have been worse. He originally was penalized one shot for marking his ball off the green at the par-5 third, only for the penalty to be rescinded when officials determined it was too difficult on some holes to determine where the putting surface ended.

''When we started rolling the greens and mowing them down at tournament height, and then the sun came out, we had a situation in a lot of places where you couldn't differentiate between the collar and the green,'' said Mark Russell, the tour's vice president of competition. ''Rather than put the players in a situation where they were going to have a problem, we took care of it.''

The weather played a big role in the low scoring. Still, there was one noticeable difference from past years. This was the fewest number of rounds over par on the first day, and there had been no shortage of rounds in the upper 70s and 80s.

Part of that might be the first time the World Challenge has been played at Albany Golf Club. It was at Isleworth last year in Florida, and at Sherwood Country Club in California for 14 years.

Then again, players have been competing around the world - Spieth and Scott in Australia last week, Johnson at Sea Island two weeks ago.

There were a few exceptions. Walker hasn't played since Las Vegas in mid-October and he has just begun to work with Butch Harmon on a move in which his head moves down the target line, similar to how David Duval swung the club.

''It's something he's been trying to get me to do for a while, and it's tough,'' Walker said. ''I told him I was going to make a really tough commitment to try to do it. I've been swinging a certain way for a long time and it's a hard habit to break.''

It didn't go so well in the pro-am, mainly because there was a lot of standing around. In twosomes, Walker found his groove.

Scott started par-birdie-eagle until losing some momentum with a bogey, and then he added three birdies on the back nine. Spieth's start was sensational, a 6-iron that landed in front of the hole and dropped in the cup.

''Absolutely flushed it right at the hole and didn't think it went in,'' Spieth said. ''I started walking because balls have been sticking on the green, so I thought it stuck. But I guess it just crept forward that extra 2 feet.''

He didn't get much help from the crowd reaction, mainly because there wasn't much of a crowd. No more than two dozen fans were with any group.

Dustin Johnson might have had the largest gallery when he added his coach, a social media consultant, his wife, her brothers and their girlfriends. He was happy just to be playing after he cut his right heel coming out of the water from diving on Tuesday.

''I thought it was just a scratch,'' he said. ''Then I was just sitting in the boat, looked down and there was blood everywhere.''

He played the opening round in tennis shoes and managed just fine with a 68.

Anirban Lahiri of India, playing on a sponsor exemption had a 69 that included a bogey on the par-5 ninth when he hit a sand wedge out of the dunes that went over the green and over some 25 yards of water near the 18th fairway.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

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

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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

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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