McGirt eyes an Ohio double

By Doug FergusonJuly 1, 2016, 3:28 am

AKRON, Ohio - Golf in Ohio must bring out the best in William McGirt.

One month after his first PGA Tour victory at the Memorial, McGirt looked just as good two hours up the road at the Bridgestone Invitational. In his World Golf Championship debut, he opened with six birdies and finished with a 45-foot par for a 6-under 64 and a three-shot lead.

An Ohio sweep?

That's only happened four times, and McGirt made a strong guess at the answer.

''Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods and Tiger Woods?'' he said. ''That would be pretty special company.''

He left out Greg Norman in 1995 (Memorial and World Series of Golf), no less a select group.

McGirt had some decent company behind him after an opening round of warm sunshine and fast conditions at Firestone. Jason Day, the world's No. 1 player, was among three players at 67, while Jordan Spieth somehow managed to post a 68 despite having only one birdie attempt (he missed) in his first 10 holes.

''I wasn't supposed to shoot 2 under today,'' Spieth said.


WGC-Bridgestone Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson had a U.S. Open kind of round - 15 pars, two birdies and a bogey - for a 69. His big celebration was walking off the 11th green to learn that his alma mater, Coastal Carolina, had just won the College World Series for its first national title. His golf wasn't bad considering that he didn't practice much last week while celebrating his first major (and his 32nd birthday) in The Bahamas.

''I didn't expect a whole lot today,'' Johnson said. ''I always expect to play well, but this golf course is playing tough.''

Only 17 players of the 61-man field broke par. The first round ended with only 58 players.

Daniel Berger withdrew after his opening tee shot with a shoulder injury. Brooks Koepka withdrew after 13 holes with an ankle injury. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, playing at Firestone for the first time since 2009, withdrew after a 78 because of what was described as a torn labrum.

The field also was missing Rory McIlroy and Masters champion Danny Willett, among several European Tour players who opted to play the French Open this week.

McGirt had never played in a WGC until he became eligible with his playoff victory at Muirfield Village a month ago. He showed up at Firestone on Sunday, played nine holes and rode in a cart on the back nine.

''I fell in love with the place because length is not everything out here,'' McGirt said. ''You have to drive it in the fairway. You have to drive it in the correct spots in the fairways to be able to attack pins. I love it because you can't stand up there and just hit it as hard as you want, go find it and hack it on the green. It's an old, traditional style golf course, which I absolutely love.

''I don't know, maybe it's something with Ohio I like,'' he added.

The most peculiar round belonged to Spieth, who said he has been in a lull the last month as he searches for something in his swing, particularly his wedges. It had the look of a score closer to 74 or 75, except that the former Masters and U.S. Open champion kept hanging in there with pars. One shot hit a tree and bounced forward over the water into a bunker. He whiffed on a 7-iron that left him a tough pitch, but he managed to save par from 8 feet.

He ended the front nine with par-saving putts from 20 feet and 25 feet.

It took him until the 15th hole before he had back-to-back birdie putts, and he started converting them. He holed the last four of them.

''I'm really just searching for something that isn't far off, that's real simple,'' Spieth said. ''It really is only taking place on my scoring clubs, but that's where you need them. It's close. It's almost there. And when it clicks, we're definitely in business the way the short game is.''

Emiliano Grillo and Jimmy Walker also were at 67 with Day, while Spieth was joined by Rickie Fowler, Anirban Lahiri and Charley Hoffman.

Day said he felt a burden lifted by making his announcement not to play in the Olympics because of Zika concerns, but he didn't think that equated to his golf. It was a tidy round with only one bogey and four birdies, and a pair of tough par saves from a bunker on No. 9 and behind the green on the par-5 16th.

''It was just kind of a weird feeling of a day where I kind of made some good pars, kept the momentum going, and all of a sudden I shot 67,'' Day said. ''I've just got to keep grinding until Sunday is over.''

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.