Expert picks: AT&T National

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 27, 2012, 12:30 pm

This week the PGA Tour heads to Washington, D.C. as Congressional CC plays host to the AT&T National for the first time since 2009. Nick Watney defends his title against a field that includes Jim Furyk, Hunter Mahan and Tiger Woods. 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; RotoWorld.com's Rob Bolton; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams; and Golf Talk Central contributor Ryan Ballengee.


Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Tiger Woods: The last time he played Congressional in 2009 he ranked 93rd in driving accuracy, 71st in greens in regulation and 35th in total putting. He won by a stroke. Coming into this week's event he's 32nd in driving accuracy, ninth in greens in regulation and 15th in total putting. You do the math.

Group 2: Brendon de Jonge: It's been another workmanlike year for de Jonge, who has made 16 of 19 cuts and has five top-25 finishes, but closing rounds of 65-66-66 at the Travelers Championship suggests he may be ready to take the next step.

Group 3: Davis Love III: The U.S. Ryder Cup captain continues a strong summer season this week on a course where he finished T-11 in last year's U.S. Open. If his recent form holds, announcing his assistant captains on Wednesday may not be the only news DLIII makes this week.

Group 4: Patrick Cantlay: The newly-minted professional got off to a rough start last week at TPC River Highlands, but he has good vibes at Congressional - where he took low amateur honors during last year's U.S. Open - and too much talent to be in Group 4.


Ryan Ballengee

Group 1: Tiger Woods: He is twice a winner this year and the champion when the AT&T National was last played at Congressional.

Group 2: Rory Sabbatini: The South African is starting to find confidence in his work with Rick Smith, including a T-2 at Memorial to Tiger Woods.

Group 3: Bryce Molder: Molder is playing pretty well of late and has two top-eight finishes in his last three AT&T National starts.

Group 4: David Mathis: More of a pick based on current form, as Mathis has five top-25 finishes since April.


Gary Williams

Group 1: Hunter Mahan: Mahan has won twice this year and he ended his Travelers Championship with a bang by shooting a final-round 61 on Sunday. In three AT&T National starts from 2007-2009 at Congressional, he has not finished out of the top 12 and was runner-up in 2009.

Group 2: Rory Sabbatini: After a rough start to his 2012 season, Sabbatini is showing signs of life as seen by his runner-up finish in the Memorial and a T-18 showing last week. This is his first appearance in the AT&T National but he has had success in the D.C. area before, winning the Booz Allen Classic in Bethesda in 2003.

Group 3: Kevin Chappell: Chappell made a splash at Congressional in 2011, finishing T-3 in the U.S. Open as a sectional qualifier. That finish got him into this year's U.S. Open at Olympic, where he finished T-10 for his first top-10 showing of 2012. Chappell has good memories of the Blue Course and I can see him earning his second top-10 finish of the season this week.

Group 4: Brian Harman: Harman is a rookie this year on Tour and has five top-25 finishes in 19 starts. He had been struggling recently with four straight missed cuts, but ended that slump with a T-24 finish last week in Connecticut. He has proven he can play well on tough courses and since Congressional is definitely tough, Harman may be in for a great week.


Rob Bolton

Group 1: Jim Furyk: In vintage form over the last three months with seven top-15 finishes in nine starts. Contended at the U.S. Open en route to a T-4 finish. He's recorded a pair of T-3 finishes and a T-7 in his three appearances at Congressional in the AT&T National.

Group 2: Ryan Palmer: Rory Sabbatini and Cameron Tringale also tugged on me here, but Palmer has four top-10s in his last five starts. Also placed T-21 at Congressional in last year's U.S. Open.

Group 3: Seung-yul Noh: Surging rookie that is finding a groove. Other than accuracy off the tee, he's consistently solid across the board and playing like it. Riding a consecutive cuts made streak of eight with four top-20s including in each of his last two starts.

Group 4: Graham DeLaet: Tough choices this week, especially as I didn't want to lean on more than one rookie. The Canadian has cashed in six of his last seven starts although he's struggled on the weekends. A made cut in Group 4 is just fine, however.

**Join Fantasy Expert Rob Bolton for a live golf chat Wednesday at 12:00p ET at www.rotoworld.com**

Tune in to Golf Channel Thursday-Friday from 3P-6P ET for live coverage of the AT&T National.

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.