Expert Picks: 2016 Wells Fargo Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 4, 2016, 4:32 pm

This week the 2016 fantasy golf season heads to North Carolina, as 144 players tee it up at the Wells Fargo Championship. 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.

Randall Mell

Group 1: Rory McIlroy: It's a good time to claim that first victory of the year, and a good place to do it with good mojo as a defending champ. McIlroy has four top-10s in seven worldwide starts in stroke-play events this year but is still looking for that big Sunday finish. He has two big Sunday finishes at Quail Hollow as memories to draw upon.

Group 2: Hideki Matsuyama: Making his first start since a T-7 finish at the Masters, Matsuyama is making his third career start at Quail Hollow. He was T-20 there last year, but his game's never looked better as he looks to win his second PGA Tour title this season.

Group 3: Patrick Rodgers: Looking for Rodgers to ride the good feelings he should have returning to Quail Hollow, where he tied for second last year playing on a sponsor exemption.

Group 4: Bryson DeChambeau: Expecting a nice bounce back from the MC at the Texas Open. DeChambeau should be rested and ready to build on that T-21 Masters showing and T-4 Hilton Head finish.

Will Gray

Group 1: Rory McIlroy: Too good on this course to pass up, especially if it's wet. McIlroy shot a 62 en route to victory here in 2010, shot 61 en route to victory last year and has only been outside the top 10 once in six starts.

Group 2: Phil Mickelson: Mickelson has done everything but win this event, but his consistency here is noteworthy. He has six top-5 finishes at Quail Hollow and has finished outside the top-11 only once since 2009.

Group 3: Gary Woodland: Woodland finished T-20 last week in Zurich, has the length to handle a tough track like Quail and has cracked the top 20 each of the last two years there, including a T-4 finish a year ago.

Group 4: Geoff Ogilvy: The vet has a strong record at this event, having made the cut in each of his 11 appearances including a trio of top-10 finishes, highlighted by last year's T-7 result.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Rory McIlroy: This week marks the last time the Northern Irishman won on the PGA Tour, and it will prove to be a highly-motivating factor at Quail Hollow.

Group 2: Paul Casey: His missed cut at the RBC Heritage aside, the Englishman has been a model of consistency lately with three top-10 finishes in his last five starts.

Group 3: Charles Howell III: The veteran has always played well at Quail Hollow (three missed cuts in 13 starts) and is trending in the right direction with top-25 finishes in four of his last five starts.

Group 4: Bryson DeChambeau: After a steady start to his professional career at Hilton Head (T-4), he still has work to do to secure his status on the PGA Tour.

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.