Fact Pack: CMN Hospitals Classic

By Will GrayNovember 6, 2012, 10:32 pm

The conclusion of the 2012 fantasy golf season is upon us. The final event of the Fall Series takes the stage this week with the CMN Hospitals Classic from Orlando, Fla., where players will play one round on the Palm Course and three on the Magnolia Course. Although Magnolia presents a sterner test at over 7,500 yards, both will emphasize birdies early and often at an event where the winning score may reach 20 under. With that in mind, here is a look inside the numbers to see which players may contend for the title and help your Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge team in the process:

• With No. 126 Trevor Immelman still exempt for next year based on his 2008 green jacket, the first person currently on the outside looking in is Gary Christian, at No. 127 on the money list. The Englishman has missed only one cut since The Greenbrier Classic, but also has only one top-10 finish in 27 starts this year. Already one of the straightest drivers on Tour (currently eighth in driving accuracy), Christian will have to improve the flat stick this week, as he currently sits 97th in total putting and 113th in strokes gained putting.

• In need of a high finish this week, Aussie Nick O'Hern comes to a venue where he has had two such finishes previously. O'Hern finished T-4 at Disney in his 2009 debut, then followed that up with a T-6 finish last year in his return to the Palm and Magnolia courses. His stroke average in this event is 68.25, a pace which may need to be maintained if O'Hern - who led at the Frys.com Open last month after an opening 62 - is to move up from his current position of 147th on the money list.

• While Luke Donald did not return to Orlando to defend his title from last year, he did leave behind a blueprint to success for the 128 players in this week's field: par-3 performance. Last year's winner with a 17-under 271 total, Donald played the shortest holes at the Magnolia and Palm courses in 9 under for the week, including three par-3 birdies en route to a closing 64. For perspective, the next best total for the week on those holes came from Henrik Stenson, who played them in 5 under.

• In this week's field on a sponsor's exemption, Duffy Waldorf is concluding a hectic year that has seen him play 26 events across three different tours. A winner at Disney in 2000, Waldorf has yet to crack the top 20 in 10 PGA Tour starts this year but did notch a pair of top-10 finishes on the Web.com Tour, including a runner-up finish at the TPC Stonebrae Championship. After turning 50 in August, he also made five appearances on the Champions Tour, finishing second at the Greater Hickory Classic last month.

• In an event where players will be looking for birdies early and often, no one enters with a better birdie average this year than Ryan Palmer. A winner here in 2004, Palmer is currently eighth on Tour in the category, averaging 3.92 birdies per round. In eight starts ad Disney, he has never missed a cut, averaging 69.0 strokes while breaking par in 24 of 32 competitive rounds.

Bobby Gates is hoping to avoid a disappointing finish for the third time in a year. At last year's CMN Hospitals Classic, Gates finished T-46 after three-putting his final hole - the difference in prize money knocking him from 125th to 126th on the year-end money list. Returning this year, Gates was within reach of the FedEx Cup playoffs at the Wyndham Championship before a double bogey on the 72nd hole left him 129th on the points list when the top 125 advanced to The Barclays. This week, Gates finds himself at 140th on the money list, needing a strong result to secure fully-exempt status for 2013 - but looking to avoid another dose of final-round drama.

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Lexi involved in a(nother) rules controversy at LPGA Thailand

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 26, 2018, 2:50 am

Jessica Korda stole the show this week at the Honda LPGA Thailand, winning the star-studded event by four strokes in her first start since undergoing serious jaw surgery to address a significant overbite that led to ailments ranging from facial cramping to headaches to sleep apnea.

But just four strokes behind Korda finished Lexi Thompson, who may have challenged for the win on Sunday if not for another rules controversy during the second round of the event.

Thompson, who was famously assessed two two-stroke penalties last year at the ANA Inspiration that ultimately cost her the title, was hit with another two-stroke penalty on Friday in Thailand after she moved a sign out of her swing path at Siam Country Club.

The 23-year-old mistakenly thought a billboard on the 15th hole was a moveable object, when in fact, the local rule deemed this particular advertisement a "temporary immovable obstruction."

The two-stroke penalty was assesed after the round, where the par she made on the hole became a double bogey and what would have been a 66 ballooned into a 68.

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After Further Review: JT may face serious Ryder Cup heckling

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 26, 2018, 2:09 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On Thomas getting heckler thrown out ...

Justin Thomas polished off a playoff win at the Honda Classic despite the efforts of a fan who screamed for his ball to head for a fairway bunker on the 16th hole.

Thomas signaled for the fan to be ejected after striping his tee shot on No. 16, telling him, “Enjoy your day, buddy. You’re done.” It’s the second straight week that Thomas has had issues with fans, having bristled at some of the behavior he encountered while grouped with Tiger Woods at the Genesis Open.

Thomas’ stance is that golf has earned a reputation as a “classy sport” that should place it above jeering and catcalls from the gallery. It’s a view that is as noble as it is unachievable.

As long as tournaments continue to serve alcohol well into the afternoon hours, there will be outlier fans who will look to get a rise out of players with comments before, during or after swings. Thomas was within his right to ask for the fan’s removal, though I’d imagine the European fans planning to attend this year’s Ryder Cup in Paris might take note of the apparent impact the gallery can have on Thomas while in the heat of battle. – Will Gray

On the debate over rolling back the ball ...

The opening salvos in what promises to be one of the most polarizing eras in golf were exchanged this week. First, USGA CEO Mike Davis, via Jack Nicklaus, announced his arrival: “Mike said, ‘We’re getting there [on the distance issue]. We’re going to get there. I need your help when we get there,’” the Golden Bear explained when asked about the growing drumbeat to curtail how far modern players hit the golf ball.

A few days later, former Acushnet CEO Wally Uihlein fired back: “Mike Davis has not told us (Acushnet/Titleist) that he is close and he has not asked us for help if and when he gets there.”

Perhaps this will turn out to be a misunderstanding and the game’s rules makers and manufacturers will all end up on the same sideline, but it doesn’t feel that way right now. Rex Hoggard

On Tiger turning up the notch on his comeback ...

It’s safe to say the Tiger Woods comeback is ahead of schedule. After looking lost with his long game in his first two starts of the year, he led the field in proximity to the hole and third in driving distance. He flighted and shaped shots both directions, seemingly at ease, looking nothing like the player we saw at Torrey and Riviera.

If that form continues at Bay Hill and beyond, this has the potential to be one of the greatest comebacks in golf history.  Ryan Lavner

On Korda's journey from pain to promise ...

Jessica Korda is the leader in the clubhouse for best story of the year in women’s golf. She won her first start of the season Sunday at the Honda LPGA Thailand just a little more than two months after undergoing a complex and painful double-jaw surgery to alleviate headaches caused by her jaw’s alignment.

She did so in record-breaking fashion, shattering tournament scoring records against a star-studded field that included the top six players in the world. If Korda can so quickly overcome the challenges of that daunting offseason, there is no telling what else this determined young American star might achieve this year.  Randall Mell

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List loses playoff, may have gained performance coach

By Randall MellFebruary 26, 2018, 1:52 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Luke List didn’t win in his playoff with Justin Thomas Sunday at the Honda Classic, but he thinks he may have found a pretty good new performance coach.

The guy’s name is “Moose.”

He’s a former Australian rules football player.

Actually, his full name is Brent Stevens, a friend of List’s caddie, who put them on the phone together for the first time last week at the Genesis Open.

List liked a lot of the performance keys Stevens gave him and posted some of the advice in his yardage book, so he could reference them.

Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

“Effort over result” was one of the ideas List scribbled down.

“I feel like I've got the ability to play at this level,” said List, who was seeking his first victory Sunday at PGA National. “It just hasn't quite happened yet, but the more I think about it, I feel like the worse I do. So I focus on what's in front of me, the effort into the shot. I did a really good job of that this week.”

List said he’s interested in maybe visiting Australia to take Moose’s training to another level.

“He's a very fit dude,” List said. “He's got some clients that he brings down to south of Melbourne, to run the sand dunes,” List said, “and if we keep in contact, which I'm sure we will, I'm going to have to go down there and get my butt kicked.”

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Both in contention, Thomas hears 'crickets' from Woods

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 26, 2018, 1:36 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods has become a friend, confidant and something of an adviser for Justin Thomas.

Whenever Thomas has been in contention in his young career, Woods has often texted him advice or good luck on the eve of the final round.

That wasn’t the case Saturday night after the third round of the Honda Classic.

“Got crickets last night,” Thomas said, laughing.

Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

That’s because Woods was in contention, too, beginning the final round seven shots off the lead.

“I knew he had one thing in mind, and we both had the same thing in mind,” Thomas said. “I thought that was pretty funny.”

Thomas added that he was “very impressed” with Woods’ 12th-place finish at PGA National.