Expert picks: Omega Dubai Desert Classic

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 7, 2012, 6:30 pm

This is another double week for fantasy players! experts offer up their fantasy choices below for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, and their selections for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am 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: Alvaro Quiros: This is already starting to be an unusual year so sign me up for Quiros for the hat trick.

Group 2: Ross Fisher: He shared tenth place last year, and knows how to win. The Englishman has four titles in Europe dating back to 2007.

Group 3: James Kingston: Finished tied for runner-up in Dubai last year and enters the week off back-to-back top-20s.

Group 4: Anders Hansen: 12th and 14th in his two starts this year and with Kingston, he tied for runner-up a year ago.

Ryan Ballengee

Group 1: Rory McIlroy: The obvious pick this week has not played poorly in six months. He had his first pro win in Dubai, too.

Group 2: Robert Rock: Going for the Emirate Double, Rock has been in the top 20 in Dubai in the last two seasons.

Group 3: Chris Wood: Like Robert Rock, Wood has been in the top 20 in the last two DDCs. In the top 20 last week in Qatar, Wood is ready to play.

Group 4: Jose Maria Olazabal: The Ryder Cup captain has been playing some hot golf to start this season. He was T-15 last year in Dubai.

Jay Coffin

Group 1: Rory McIlroy: More impressed with Rory than I am with Westwood or Kaymer. Easy pick.

Group 2: Nicolas Colsaerts: This man is due for big things in 2012; let's hope it begins now.

Group 3: Tom Lewis: Disappointment last week, too talented to play poorly again.

Group 4: Simon Khan: Picked him last week and he played well. Will ride it once more.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Rory McIlroy: The Ulsterman improved with each round in Abu Dhabi and he spent last week in Dubai preparing for this week's stop, a potent combination for the world's second-ranked player.

Group 2: Paul Lawrie: One of the game's greatest comeback stories continues to climb. At this point last year the former Open champion was 253rd in teh world. Last week's victory in Qatar vaulted him inside the top 50.

Group 3: James Kingston: The South African is 2-for-2 in top-20s in the desert this season and he finished runner-up in Dubai last year.

Group 4: Peter Uihlein: Although Dubai is the young American's third professional start, he can make a statement with a solid week against a deep field.

Rob Bolton

Group 1: Rory McIlroy: Contending every time he tees it up. Two-stroke penalty in Abu Dhabi might have cost him the victory. Instead, solo second.

Group 2: Robert Rock: Could have made a case for Nicolas Colsaerts but Rock is coming off a gutty victory in Abu Dhabi. No worse than T-12 in his last four starts, and T-20 in his last two visits here.

Group 3: James Kingston: While tempted by 2011 Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Juvic Pagunsan, I'll stick with the South African who has top-20s the last two weeks and a T-2 here a year ago.

Group 4: Anders Hansen: No-brainer yet again in this group. Top-25s in six of his last seven starts. Co-runner-up here last year.

You can watch complete coverage of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic live on Golf Channel Thursday-Friday  from 4:30AM-8:30AM ET and Saturday-Sunday from 4AM-8AM ET.

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.