Expert picks: Zurich Classic

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 24, 2012, 5:00 pm

This week the PGA Tour heads to the bayou as Bubba Watson returns to action to defend his title at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. 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: Luke Donald: Simple reasoning here. After he last lost the number one ranking at the Honda Classic, he came back and won in his next start at Transitions to reclaim the top spot. He surrendered the top ranking again last Monday to McIlroy, and in this, his next start, I see him taking it back.

Group 2: Cameron Tringale: I'm sticking with my pick this week after his T-8 in San Antonio, his second T-8 finish in a row. He has solid performance stats this year and tied for 18th at this event in 2011.

Group 3: Matt Every: I'm staying with Every this week as well. His runner-up finish was his best of the season and his fourth top-8 this year. He missed the cut here last year, but enters the week this year in a much better place.

Group 4: Kyle Reifers: Last time he played TPC Louisiana, in 2007, he set the course record with a 64. That record still stands as he returns with his Tour card in hand, hoping to secure it again for next season with a good week here.

Ryan Ballengee

Group 1: Jason Dufner: He's been in the top 10 the last three years in New Orleans, including a top-3 finish last year.

Group 2: Greg Chalmers: Cashed in five of his last six stroke-play starts. He has two consecutive top-8 finishes in this event.

Group 3: Bud Cauley: Still feels like a steal. Cauley was T-18 last week and in the top 20 in four of his last five starts.

Group 4: Jason Bohn: A past winner here, Bohn has cashed in his last three PGA Tour starts.

Erik Kuselias

Group 1: Luke Donald: I know he didn't play well at The Masters or the RBC Heritage but we all saw what happened when Rory McIlroy took the world No. 1 ranking in March - Luke won the Transitions Championship two weeks later. It's been two weeks and Donald comes to a place where he finished T-8 in 2011.

Group 2: Peter Hanson: Quietly putting up a very impressive season with a runner-up finish in Qatar, T-3 in The Masters, T-4 in the WGC-Cadillac Championship and T-5 at the WGC-Accenture Match Play. He missed the cut here in 2011 but especially after he hosted Morning Drive with me, I am feeling good about this Swede.

Group 3: Bud Cauley: I know it seems like I say this every week, but I am very excited about this young man. He's made his last five cuts and makes his first appearance in New Orleans coming off of a T-18 finish in San Antonio, where he closed with a 68 on a very tough course.

Group 4: Cameron Beckman: Beckman is making his first New Orleans start in four years but this 3-time PGA Tour winner has been showing signs of strong play lately. Seems to have one great round every week, and if he can build on that round he is in line for a great finish.

Gary Williams

Group 1: Jason Dufner: Dufner is one of those guys who quietly turns in some great golf, and that is especially true in New Orleans. He has three straight top-10s at TPC Louisiana, including a third place finish in 2011.

Group 2: Charles Howell III: Although he's never won here, Howell tends to play well in this city. He was runner-up in this event in 2005 and in 2009 and finished T-13 in 2011. He has only missed one cut in 11 starts in 2012 and has not finished outside the top 30 in the last two months.

Group 3: Bud Cauley: Cauley has been my guy among the rookies on Tour this year and he has shown everyone that he has the potential to win on Tour. As an Alabama kid, he would take extra pleasure winning in the state of rival LSU.

Group 4: Cameron Beckman: This guy has quietly won three times on the PGA Tour and in 2012 has shown signs of playing well. If he can maintain the momentum of a solid round (like his opening 68 in San Antonio), he will play well.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Luke Donald: Englishman finished tied for eighth last year and is motivated to retake the top spot in the World Golf Ranking with a solid finish this week.

Group 2: Charles Howell III: He's off to the best start of his career and always plays well in New Orleans, with two runner-up finishes and not a single missed cut in nine starts.

Group 3: Andres Romero: Wishful thinking pick here. Although the Argentine has struggled mightily this season, he's won at TPC Louisiana before (2008) and finished tied for eighth here last year.

Group 4: Greg Owen: On his way to victory last year, Bubba Watson led the field in GIR and driving distance, which is Owen's forte. If the Englishman has a halfway decent week with the putter, he could win by five.

Rob Bolton

Group 1: Graeme McDowell: So many choice options this week, but I keep going back to his return to consistency and statistical splits. Renewed focus is evident.

Group 2: Charles Howell III: About as close to a sure thing as it gets in fantasy golf. No wins at this event, but he's 9-for-9 and sits second in all-time event earnings. Five top-25s this year and only one missed cut in 11 starts.

Group 3: Bud Cauley: Changed his mind late to compete. The PGA Tour rookie has posted top-20s in his last eight starts this season, too. 

Group 4: Greg Owen: Plugging in the Brit for my last pick. Owen has finished in the top 20 here in his last two trips, and he's posted top-20 finishes in two of his last three starts this season, too.

 **Join Fantasy Expert Rob Bolton for a live golf chat Wednesday at 12:00p ET at**

Tune in to Golf Channel this Thursday-Friday from 3-6PM ET for live coverage of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

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Rose leads with play stopped in Indonesia; Snedeker withdraws

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.