Expert picks: AT&T Pebble Beach

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 7, 2012, 6:00 pm

This is another double week for fantasy players! experts offer up their fantasy choices below for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-AM, and their selections for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic can be seen here. 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: Phil Mickelson: It's going to be an interesting week with Tiger rounding back into form as well, but I give Lefty the upper hand to make the most of this week.

Group 2: Bryce Molder: He tied for sixth last year, a finish that should have been better without the disappointing 74 on Sunday. Closed in style with a 66 last week en route to a T-15 finish.

Group 3: Rod Pampling: He enters this week off two top-15s in a row this year. The Australian has only played Pebble once dating back to 2005, but in 2010 he finished T27.

Group 4: James Driscoll: For a player in this final group, he has had a good year with three made cuts, two of them top-30 finishes. He tied for 13th a year ago at Pebble and 14th in 2008.

Ryan Ballengee

Group 1: Tiger Woods: This just seems like the week. He's been in the top three in his last starts and, you know, he kind of likes Pebble.

Group 2: D.A. Points: Does anybody respect the defending champion? Points is in great form to start the season.

Group 3: Bob Estes: Estes has started out the year well and can get a big bump in priority with a modest finish this week.

Group 4: Jeff Maggert: Had a great chance at Sony to start his season and is quietly playing some of the most consistent golf on the PGA Tour.

Jay Coffin

Group 1: Tiger Woods: Don't feel great about any of the names here, so go with the one who played well two weeks ago.

Group 2: Rickie Fowler: At some point, he has to win. Right?

Group 3: Brendan Steele: Name jumped out at me in this group.

Group 4: William McGirt: Just looking for someone to make a cut in this group.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Tiger Woods: Forget that balky iron play in Abu Dhabi and a victory schneid that has extended past two years. There are only two numbers that count this week - 15 (Woods' margin of victory at the '00 U.S. Open at Pebble) and 24 (the number of putts he needed on Sunday in Abu Dhabi).

Group 2: Spencer Levin: Your scribe scored big last week going with the rebound pick of Kyle Stanley. It's worth seeing if karma has any more magic left for Levin.

Group 3: Harris English: The rookie has quietly climbed to 42nd in earnings this year and is starting to look like a less-animated version of Webb Simpson.

Group 4: Greg Owen: One of the Tour's best ballstrikers has had limited success at Pebble Beach and the poa annua greens should help mitigate his often-pedestrian putting.

Rob Bolton

Group 1: Tiger Woods: First opportunity to capitalize on a highly-anticipated return to success.

Group 2: Bryce Molder: Has finished inside the top-15 in six of his last seven starts. Top-10s in his last two starts at Pebble Beach.

Group 3: D.J. Trahan: Turned a corner last week with his putter. Top-10s at Pebble in 2009 and 2010.

Group 4: John Huh: Shared sixth at the Farmers and 12th at the WMPO. It's about time I hopped aboard.

You can watch complete coverage of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Thursday-Friday live on Golf Channel from 3PM-6PM ET.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.

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Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.

Lexi, Finau 3 back going into final QBE round

By Associated PressDecember 9, 2017, 11:58 pm

NAPLES, Fla. - Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry shot an 8-under 64 in modified alternate shot and shared the lead Saturday with Steve Stricker and Sean O'Hair going into the final round of the QBE Shootout.

McDowell (Northern Ireland) and Lowry (Ireland), the only international players among the 12 teams at Tiburon Golf Club, began to erase a five-shot deficit with an eagle and birdie on the opening two holes and they dropped only one shot all day in blustery conditions.

Stricker and O'Hair started the back nine with a pair of bogeys, rallied with three straight birdies and then dropped one last shot from the bunker on the 17th.

The teams were tied at 18-under 126.

Lexi Thompson, the lone LPGA player in the field, teamed with Tony Finau for a 66 that put them in the hunt going into the final round. Thompson and Finau were three shots behind.

McDowell and Lowry tied for ninth in the World Cup last year. They grew up playing Irish junior golf and appreciate the difficulty of alternate shot, even the modified version when both players hit tee shots.

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

''To go out and shoot 8 under in that format in these conditions today, I think it speaks volumes about the fact we're both playing pretty well,'' McDowell said. ''We both had an opportunity to hit some good shots out there today and make some good putts, and it gives you a little bit of momentum going in there tomorrow.''

The format for the final round is better ball.

Stricker and O'Hair have each won the QBE Shootout, but not as partners.

Stricker, captain of the winning American team at the Presidents Cup, said he couldn't get comfortable and put O'Hair in some tough spots.

''We should have probably been two or three shots better than what we were,'' Stricker said. ''Sean played another good round of golf and made some great putts in there to keep us going, but all in all, we're in good shape.''

Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele shot 70 and were two shots out of the lead.

Defending champions Matt Kuchar and Harris English had a 72 and were tied for last place with Zach Johnson and Charley Hoffman, who shot 70. They were nine shots out of the lead.