Expert Picks: Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2013, 8:22 pm

This week the focus of the fantasy world is split. Our experts share their picks for the Farmers Insurance Open here, while their picks for the European Tour's Commercial Bank Qatar Masters are below. 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 includes: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and Win McMurry; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams and staff writer Ryan Lavner.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Justin Rose: Although he faded on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, the Englishman was solid in his 2013 debut and suggested last week he's ready to take the next step in his career and win a major championship.

Group 2: George Coetzee: The South African has been as consistent as anyone the last 12 months, and hasn't missed a cut since last August's PGA Championship.

Group 3: Gregory Bourdy: Has a decent record in the Middle East (he tied for 16th last year in Dubai) and he could be this week's surprise champion (see Donaldson, Jamie in Abu Dhabi).

Group 4: Peter Whiteford: The Scot was steady in his 2013 debut last week in Abu Dhabi (T-48) and will benefit if the Middle East wind continues to blow like it did last week.

Jason Sobel

Group 1: Jason Dufner: Look, the dude didn't go all the way to Qatar because he heard great things about the night life. He's there to pull a W.

Group 2: Thorbjorn Olesen: I was on him last week and he came up one stroke shy of a playoff. No reason to get off now.

Group 3: David Howell: Another carryover from last week's lineup. I'm expecting big things from Howeller.

Group 4: David Horsey: Hey, you know what they, Horseys for courseys. OK, OK. That was awful.

Randall Mell

Group 1: Justin Rose: He makes up for last week and closes the deal.

Group 2: Henrik Stenson: Form is returning to a guy who has a win and three 2nds in Qatar.

Group 3: Marc Warren: A couple of top 20s at Qatar hint at more in the future.

Group 4: Jose Maria Olazabal: Ollie made a nice run last year in Qatar.

Will Gray

Group 1: Sergio Garcia: Consistency, thy name is Garcia - in Qatar, at least. The Spaniard has logged four top-10 finishes in the last five years in Doha, a streak that will hopefully continue.

Group 2: Henrik Stenson: The Swede is experiencing a resurgence, and few can rival his track record here following a win and three runner-up finishes from 2005-2009.

Group 3: Ricardo Gonzalez: His fifth-place finish last year was his eighth top-20 result in his last 10 starts in Doha. I'll take those credentials any day in Group 3.

Group 4: Andrew Dodt: The Aussie finished T-20 here a year ago, and got his 2013 campaign started on the right foot with a T-17 finish in Abu Dhabi that included a third-round 65.

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

Tiger Woods teed off at 12:15PM ET alongside Justin Rose for Round 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.

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Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

In fact, she named her “Mona.”

For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

And that has her excited about this year.

Well, that and having a healthy back again.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.