Expert picks: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2012, 9:59 pm

The PGA Tour heads to Bay Hill in Orlando this week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational as the Florida Swing concludes. Each week a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players based on Golf Channel's new fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel consists of: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and Win McMurry; editorial director Jay Coffin;'s Rob Bolton; 'Morning Drive' hosts Gary Williams and Erik Kuselias; and Golf Talk Central contributor Ryan Ballengee.

Win McMurry

Group 1: Justin Rose: Home advantage this week for the Lake Nona resident still flying high after his win at Doral. Co-lead the field in GIR last week at Transitions and finished T-3 here a year ago.

Group 2: Jim Furyk: Starting to play better and tends to heat up when the weather does as well.

Group 3: Stewart Cink: He tied for 12th last year and is looking to this week to jump start his season, where his only top-15 finish was a T-13 at Torrey Pines back in January.

Group 4: Tom Gillis: He finished T-30 here last year and shared runner-up honors just two weeks ago at the Honda Classic. I think he could back it up this week with another solid finish.

Ryan Ballengee

Group 1: Tiger Woods: Six wins in 11 appearances and appears to have gotten over that Achilles speed bump from Doral.

Group 2: Spencer Levin: Finished T-6 here last year and remains in good form this season. Hasn't missed a cut in 2012 and finished T-21 last time out at Honda.

Group 3: D.A. Points: Was not spectacular last week, but made money. He's made the cut in all five appearances here.

Group 4: Ken Duke: Has two top-10 finishes this year and was T-6 here in his first Bay Hill start in 2008.

Gary Williams

Group 1: Tiger Woods: After watching him at Tavistock, the health of his Achilles' is not a concern for me. I have said it before and I'll say it again: this is the week where the winless drought ends.

Group 2: Mark Wilson: He recorded his fifth-career Tour win earlier this year and finished third in the Match Play. As we have seen before, Wilson is a player who can sneak up and finish high on the leaderboard, including a T-9 finish here last year.

Group 3: Jeff Overton: After a rocky start to 2012, Overton has been playing well lately, finishing T-5 last week in Tampa. I think his good play will continue this week as he still seeks his first career PGA Tour win.

Group 4: Bud Cauley: As I have said before, Cauley has the potential to be THE rookie on the PGA Tour in 2012. After a T-16 finish at Transitions, I think he could make his first appearance at Mr. Palmer's tournament a memorable one.

Erik Kuselias

Group 1: Tiger Woods: He's a six-time champ here who is gearing up for the Masters in two weeks. He has shown some great play recently and I think his health is fine.

Group 2: Mark Wilson: Take him early in the year; this is when he plays his best.

Group 3: Brendan Steele: This is a loyalty pick. A great talent and a greater guy, Steele is getting ready to make his first Masters appearance. While he has not played well lately, I think he is ready to succeed this week after a couple weeks off.

Group 4: Brian Gay: He's an Orlando guy, and I think he'll enjoy himself this week. Still looking to get closer to the form he had in Hawaii, Gay has made the cut in 7 of his last 8 starts at Bay Hill.

Jay Coffin

Group 1: Tiger Woods: Didn't want to take him, but most others in this group haven't historically played well at Bay Hill.

Group 2: Spencer Levin: Had some good moments in 2012 and wouldn't be surprised to see his name pop up on the leaderboard once again.

Group 3: Sean O'Hair: A gut feeling mixed with good history at Arnie's Place. O'Hair has two top-three finishes here the last three years.

Group 4: Ken Duke: Picked him last week and he was a shot out of the playoff at Transitions. He's confident.

Randall Mell

Group 1: Webb Simpson: This Wake Forest alum went to school on an Arnold Palmer scholarship. There are good vibes this week.

Group 2: Jim Furyk: There's momentum off that T-2 finish in a playoff lost at the Transitions.

Group 3: Sean O'Hair: Sluggish of late, but O'Hair has some nice history at Bay Hill with a 2nd and 3rd place finish there previously.

Group 4: George McNeill: Gotta be some leftover confidence from that Puerto Rico Open victory.

Rob Bolton

Group 1: Tiger Woods: The six-time winner at Bay Hill was sidelined by recurring pain in his left Achilles' tendon at Doral two weeks ago, but didn't suffer a setback at the Tavistock Cup. A no-brainer this week.

Group 2: Jim Furyk: Converging trends in play. Coming off a playoff loss at the Transitions and has posted consecutive top-11s at Bay Hill since the renovation.

Group 3: Jeff Overton: Riding the hot hand here. Remember the kind of torrid stretch he enjoyed during the summer of 2010? Three straight top-20s entering this week, including a T-5 at Copperhead.

Group 4: Chris Stroud: Great value in this group. Four top-15s already this year, including top-10s in his last two starts. Par or better in all of his last eight rounds.

**For more fantasy insight, don't forget to join GC Fantasy Expert Rob Bolton for a live chat 12p ET Wednesday at**

You can watch complete coverage of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Thursday-Friday live on Golf Channel from 3PM-6PM ET.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

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.

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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.