Expert Picks: Waste Management Phoenix Open

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 2, 2016, 9:19 pm

This week the 2016 fantasy golf season heads to Arizona, as 132 players tee it up at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Each week, a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players, based on Golf Channel's fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel includes: senior writers Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell; editorial director Jay Coffin; associate editor Will Gray; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams; host Charlie Rymer and defending fantasy champion Ryan Lavner.

Ryan Lavner

Group 1: Bubba Watson: Has only played twice since his win at Tiger's event in December, but he's easy money in Phoenix: three top-five finishes in the last four years, including back-to-back runner-up showings. 

Group 2: Ryan Palmer: Has top-fived twice in the past three years (including a tie for second last year) and comes into Phoenix with three consecutive top-20s. 

Group 3: Webb Simpson: Steady start to the year with back-to-back top-20s. Top-10s in each of the past three years here make him an easy pick. 

Group 4: Martin Laird: Scottsdale resident posted top-five finishes here in 2011 and '15. Fresh off a T-8 finish in brutal conditions at Torrey Pines.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Brooks Koepka: The defending champion hasn't been slowed by his move to a new equipment company this year, as evidenced by hsi tie for third to start the calendar at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

Group 2: J.B. Holmes: He's won twice on the ultimate bomber's course (2006 and '08) and was solid last week at Torrey Pines with a tie for sixth.

Group 3: Charles Howell III: The veteran has a decent, not great, record at TPC Scottsdale, but more importantly he's been a fantasy ATM this year with three finishes inside the top 16.

Group 4: Scott Brown: He tumbled from a tie for first thorugh three rounds to T-49 in brutal conditions at Torrey Pines, but after the birth of his second child last month Brown won't be discouraged by a wind-whipped final round.

Will Gray

Group 1: Bubba Watson: Hard to bench the hottest golfer on Tour in Snedeker, but I'll take my chances with the long-hitting southpaw who has finished second here each of the last two years and also tied for fifth in 2012.

Group 2: Kevin Na: A T-3 result in Palm Springs continued his strong start to the season, as he now has four top-3 finishes in his first six starts. He's remarkably solid, and his record at TPC Scottsdale is also strong.

Group 3: Charles Howell III: The guy just keeps cashing checks. Seven finishes of T-17 or better in his first eight starts to begin the season.

Group 4: Martin Laird: The Scottsdale resident is a fixture on the back of the range at this week's venue and last year he shared the lead with Koepka until a 71st-hole bogey.

Randall Mell

Group 1: Hideki Matsuyama: Been knocking on the door in Phoenix the last two years, with T-2 and T-4 in his last two starts. He’s  making first start of 2015-16 season, could set up a breakout year.

Group 2: Kevin Na: Coming off a T-3 at CareerBuilders, Na is coming to a course where he has a history of contending, just not recent history. He has four finishes of fifth or better in Phoenix.

Group 3: Brendan Steele: Seems to really like Phoenix, finished T-6, T-6 and T-5 before faltering to T-26 last year. A horses for courses pick.

Group 4: Steve Stricker: Winter rust ought to be off by now with Stricker making his third start of the year. He’ll turn 49 later this month, but this 12-time PGA Tour winner is working hard on his game again.

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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

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

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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