Expert picks: Scottish Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 10, 2012, 8:05 pm

This week, the European Tour heads to Scotland for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. Luke Donald, who won last year's storm-shortened event, will defend his title at Castle Stuart in Inverness. 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 Golf Talk Central contributor Ryan Ballengee.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Luke Donald: Forget that missed cut at the U.S. Open. The Englishman was solid on his way to victory last year at Castle Stuart and he is, at least according to the World Ranking math, the game’s best player.

Group 2: Andres Romero: The Argentine continues to emerge from a prolonged slump, and he has played well on true links courses in the past. In four British Open starts, he’s never finished worse than 32nd, and he was third in 2007.

Group 3: Peter Lawrie: Although not the Lawrie Scottish fans will be rooting for, the Irishman has been consistent in the U.K. In his last two U.K. starts, he finished T-8 (Wales Open) and fourth (BMW PGA Championship).

Group 4: Robert Coles: He hasn’t had his best stuff this year, but he finished tied for 10th last year in Scotland.

Rob Bolton

Group 1: Luke Donald: No reason to over think the world's top-ranked golfer and defending champion even if he emerged in the rain-abbreviated debut of Castle Stuart Golf Links. Buried 21 birdies against two bogeys en route to his four-stroke romp.

Group 2: Padraig Harrington: While he placed T-14 in the weather-shortened edition last year, that doesn't clinch my investment quite like five top 15s in his last six starts worldwide, including in his last four.

Group 3: Henrik Stenson: Since a T-13 at the St. Jude Classic, he's posted back-to-back top 10s in Europe. The Swede has climbed 100 spots in the Official World Golf Ranking in the last five months to his current position of 130th.

Group 4: Thorbjorn Olesen: Since his win in Sicily just over three months ago, he has four top 25s in eight events, including a T-5. Seriously above-average value compared to the other options in this group.

Ryan Ballengee

Group 1: Ernie Els: Was T-14 here last year and is playing some reinvigorated golf.

Group 2: Padraig Harrington: In the U.S. Open until the end, Harrington is playing well everywhere these days.

Group 3: Shane Lowry: Another Irishman that's starting to turn things around. He was T-17 in France on a tough track.

Group 4: Thorbjorn Olesen: It's only a matter of time before Olesen wins again. Before the French Open, the Dane was in the top 22 in his last three starts.

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.