Expert Picks: CIMB Classic

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 23, 2012, 8:22 pm

This week the fantasy golf world focuses on the CIMB Classic from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where Bo Van Pelt returns as defending champion. 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' host Gary Williams and staff writer Ryan Lavner.

Win McMurry

Group 1: Bo Van Pelt: Not only is he the defending champion, he won last week in Australia and had a good close to the FedEx Cup season, earning more than $500,000 across the final four events.

Group 2: John Senden: He's had a sneaky good season, with five top-10 finishes, 11 top 25s, and navigating his way through all four playoff events. He tied for seventh here a year ago.

Group 3: Jimmy Walker: Enters the tournament off a T-4 at the Open before flying overseas. He tied for 13th here last year and boasts six top-10 finishes this season. I think he's due for a breakthrough on the world stage soon.

Group 4: Tom Gillis: He's had a pretty strong season, producing five top 25s, two of which came during the playoffs, so I'm banking on this Group 4 pick to ride his momentum to another top finish in Malaysia.

Randall Mell

Group 1: Jason Dufner: Got to like his form coming off that runner-up finish at Perth International, which ought to leave him a little bit hungrier than last week's winner there, Bo Van Pelt.

Group 2: John Senden: Senden seemed comfortable last year playing the CIMB, where he tied for seventh. Comfort in foreign surroundings is always a big deal.

Group 3: Seung-yul Noh: Speaking of comfort, Noh's not that far from home this week. He has been so solid and consistent all year, with 17 consecutive cuts made on the PGA Tour. A breakthrough might be imminent.

Group 4: Trevor Immelman: Immelman came on solidly at the end of last year with his two best PGA Tour finishes of '11. Looking for more of the same this year.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Jason Dufner: He was solid last week in Australia, where he finished second to Bo Van Pelt, and he tied for 10th last year in Kuala Lumpur. Besides, unlike many players in the field, jet lag will not be an issue.

Group 2: Brendon de Jonge: We dubbed the big Zimbabwean the 'Best Tour player without a title' last week following his runner-up showing in Las Vegas, and he answered with a tie for fourth at Sea Island. At this rate, he's due to shed that title soon.

Group 3: Chris Kirk: Seems a University of Georgia product wins something every week (see Henley, Russell) and the former Bulldog played well in Asia last year, finishing T-13.

Group 4: Bob Estes: Although this is his first trip to the CIMB, the veteran has been as consistent as anyone the last few weeks, having not missed a cut since August. Wrapping up his status inside the top 125 in earnings should help free him up.

Rob Bolton

Group 1: Tiger Woods: As I've written before, I'm not going to get beat with him on the sidelines. This decision is further supported by the fact that the CIMB Classic features only 48 players and no cut.

Group 2: Scott Piercy: Gotta love aggressive sorts that make tons of birdies in small fields with a guaranteed payday, not to mention that he's enjoyed a career year. First start since a T-6 at the JT Shriners.

Group 3: Seung-yul Noh: Coming off a two-week stint in South Korea where he posted top 10s in both starts. One of the most consistent golfers in the game right now.

Group 4: Tom Gillis: Unless he wins a PGA Tour event, I might forever remember him as the guy that led the circuit in birdie average at 4.06 in 2010 when he'd also finished T-11 at this event. He's 25th in birdie average this year and played strong throughout the FedEx Cup playoffs.

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Watch that time Tiger throttled Ames, 9 and 8

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2018, 4:54 pm

Nine and eight. Three words that live in golf lore. Just say them and any golf fan can tell you what they mean.

In the 2006 WGC-Match Play, Tiger Woods faced Stephen Ames in the opening round. Ames, when asked prior to the event about his chance of winning, infamously said, "Anything can happen, especially where he's hitting it."

What happened on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at La Coasta Resort & Spa, was the most lopsided result in tournament history: 9 and 8 Check out the highlights below:

After his win, Woods was asked if Ames' comment had motivated him. Woods replied, "9 and 8."

Woods eventually lost, 1 up, to Chad Campbell in the third round. He then won his next start at Doral and went on to finish the season with six consecutive Tour wins, including The Open and PGA. He also won his first start in 2007 to make it seven consecutive Tour titles.

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Schedule change, caddie change for Casey at Match Play

By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 4:12 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Paul Casey originally planned to skip the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, opting for two weeks off before the Masters.

Those plans changed when he removed the Arnold Palmer Invitational from his schedule and returned home to England last week to attend the funeral of a family friend. That adjustment also prompted a caddie change this week, with Scott Vail stepping in for the Englishman’s normal caddie, John McLaren.

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Tee times

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“We looked at tickets and it just didn't make sense for Johnny to fly back. We try and base our schedule around playing the best golf possible, but also having quality family time,” Casey said on Tuesday at Austin Country Club. “For Johnny to break up a nice three-week break with his family, there was no point to ruining that.”

This isn’t the first time Casey, who won the Valspar Championship two weeks ago, has needed a replacement caddie. At last year’s Travelers Championship, McLaren took a similar break and was replaced on the bag by Shannon Wallace. Although it’s not uncommon for caddies to take a week off, McLaren does have one stipulation.

“The only rule we have is that if Johnny is not going to work, he picks my caddie. So he picked the caddie,” said Casey, who is 20-12-1 in 12 starts at the Match Play and has advanced to the championship match twice.

Westchester Country Club hosted the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship. (Getty) Getty Images

Westchester selected to host 2021 U.S. Women's Am

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2018, 3:20 pm

The USGA announced Tuesday that Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., has been selected to host the 2021 U.S. Women's Amateur. The tournament will be held Aug. 2-8, 2021.

The club's West Course first hosted the event in 1923, and it boasts a storied history of professional tournaments as well. The PGA Tour hosted the Westchester Classic, later known as the Buick Classic and eventually The Barclays, at Westchester from 1967-2007, including the first-ever FedExCup playoff event, won by Steve Stricker in 2007.

The course was also the site of the 2011 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, won by Fred Couples, and the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship, won by Inbee Park.

"The USGA is thrilled to bring the U.S. Women's Amateur to Westchester Country Club for the second time," Stuart Francis, USGA championship committee chairman, said in a release. "One of the USGA's three oldest championships, the Women's Amateur consistently identifies the world's top female players, and we are confident Westchester will provide the ultimate test for the championship's 121st playing."

First held in 1895, the Women's Amateur is open to players with a USGA handicap index not exceeding 5.4. Sophia Schubert won last year's event at San Diego Country Club, while this year's tournament will be held at The Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs.

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Stock Watch: Park rises again, under the radar

By Ryan LavnerMarch 20, 2018, 12:48 pm

Each week on, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.


Rory (+10%): The massive drives, the fist pumps, the unmistakable strut – McIlroy finally found the spark that he needed to play confident, aggressive golf. Bring on Augusta and his shot at history.

Tiger (+7%): It was another forgettable end to a final round, but let’s not lose sight of the big picture: Five events into his comeback, Woods has now carded 10 consecutive rounds of par or better – all on tough tracks – and can be viewed as a legitimate threat at the Masters. Remarkable, really.

Inbee Park (+5%): Fighting injuries and questioning whether she should retire, the Queen ‘Bee routed a top field in just her second start back. Stud.

Bryson (+3%): When The Machine operates properly, he’s one of the best ball-strikers in the world. Yes, he’s still painfully slow, but there’s no denying his talent – his runner-up against a star-studded field should help him tremendously.

Laura Davies (+2%): Fifty-four years old and nursing an Achilles injury, she turned back the clock with one of the coolest performances of the young season, on any tour. She’s still got tons of game.


Henrik Stenson (-1%): Maybe he’s just destined to go winless at Bay Hill. In the past four years, he’s had three excellent chances to win there and came away empty-handed each time.

Rickie (-2%): Hanging near the lead, Fowler closed his third round bogey-double, then shot 74 in the final round to drop out of the top 10. Sigh.  

P-Reed (-3%): His whiny protest to a rules official about a free drop – “I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth” – got even juicier when the Ryder Cup partners were drawn in the same group at the Match Play. Get your popcorn ready.

Ted Potter Jr. (-5%): His impressive victory at Pebble Beach over DJ, Phil and J-Day is looking more and more like a fluke each week. He’s now missed four consecutive cuts.

Fan behavior (-7%): Another week, another player complaining about increasingly hostile spectators. The Tour has (frustratingly) remained quiet on the issue, but the tipping point will come when one of these dopes affects the outcome on the 72nd hole.