Expert Picks: McGladrey Classic

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 16, 2012, 6:42 pm

This week the Fall Series continues with The McGladrey Classic, where Ben Crane 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; RotoWorld.com's Rob Bolton; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams and staff writer Ryan Lavner.


Win McMurry

Group 1: Jeff Overton: He finished solo eighth last week at the Frys.com Open, is on a hot streak of seven consecutive rounds in the 60s and tied for sixth a year ago in Sea Island.

Group 2: Michael Thompson: He finished one shot out of the playoff here last year and tied for 13th in Vegas the last time he teed it up in competition. Putting is crucial this week, and he's certainly got the flat stick down, ranking 25th on Tour in strokes gained putting.

Group 3: Nick O'Hern: If you haven't noticed, I bank on recent play and past performance with all of my picks. O'Hern was T-22 last week and tied for sixth here last year. His only top-10 finish this year was at the Fedex St. Jude Classic (T-3) and he certainly could use another as the year winds down.

Group 4: Alexandre Rocha: He lost in a playoff in Reno earlier this season, but is still grinding it out to secure status for next year. He is in form to get it done, coming off his T-4 finish last week. He was T-26 here a year ago.


Jason Sobel

Group 1: Zach Johnson: Sea Island resident was T-12 two years ago and played well in the Ryder Cup recently.

Group 2: Chris Kirk: In his last four events, Kirk has a 65.8 opening-round scoring average, but 72.0 in the final round. If nothing else, expect a good start.

Group 3: Heath Slocum: He won the inaugural McGladrey two years ago. When he finds a place he likes, he often tends to play well.

Group 4: Joe Durant: At 7,055 yards, this is not a bomber's course. Durant is short, but keeps it straight.


Randall Mell

Group 1: Jim Furyk: This proud competitor is motivated to end the year with a good taste in his mouth.

Group 2: Sean O'Hair: Too much talent not to catch fire again before the year is over.

Group 3: Nick O'Hern: He will finish off what he started last week with his hot start at the Frys.com Open.

Group 4: Gavin Coles: Found some magic right about this time last year, winning a Web.com Tour event just down the road in Jacksonville.


Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Zach Johnson: Sea Island resident should be rested after a two-week hiatus and he's played well in his last two starts (T-15 at the Tour Championship and 3-1-0 at the Ryder Cup).

Group 2: Brian Harman: Rookie has played the Seaside Course as much as anyone; in fact, he beat tournament host Davis Love III in a three-hole shootout a few weeks ago at the Sea Island layout.

Group 3: Greg Owen: One of the Tour's best shot makers (25th in ball-striking) will have an advantage if the winds come up in the Golden Isles this week. He was solid (T-22) in his last start at the Frys.com Open.

Group 4: Alexandre Rocha: Missed a 10-footer for birdie at the last hole of the Frys.com Open that would have assured him his 2013 Tour card, but he's earned the majority of his money this year in his last four starts and has played well at Sea Island (T-26 in 2011).


Rob Bolton

Group 1: Jim Furyk: First start since the Ryder Cup. Seven top-10s this year - some more notable than others - but he's still chasing his first victory in 2012. Dissected Seaside a year ago en route to a share of 11th place.

Group 2: Chris Kirk: He's a local and he's cashed in nine straight starts. Can't afford to take any zeroes as we come down the stretch.

Group 3: Russell Knox: Wouldn't normally invest in a rookie ranked 157th on the money list, but the Scot is seriously trending. Since a T-7 on the Web.com Tour in late September, he's racked up a pair of top-15s on the PGA Tour, including a career-best T-9 at CordeValle on Sunday.

Group 4: Alexandre Rocha: Flashed some swagger en route to a tie for fourth at the Frys.com Open, his second top-five in four starts. Also ranked T-2 in greens in regulation and second in strokes gained putting at CordeValle.

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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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.