Fact Pack: Honda Classic

By Will GrayFebruary 28, 2012, 7:30 pm

The PGA Tour begins its Florida Swing this week at famed PGA National, one of the more difficult courses Tour players will encounter outside of the four majors. Gusty winds, numerous water hazards and one of the toughest three-hole stretches around will test the mettle of some of the world's best throughout the week. A strong field will tee it up in Palm Beach Gardens, so deciding your fantasy picks for the week will be no easy task. 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:

• Unlike many Tour events that have been played across the same course for decades, the Honda Classic has been a bit of a nomad - played on five different South Florida courses in the last 20 years. The Champion Course at PGA National has hosted the event since 2007.

• 2009 champion and 2011 runner-up Y.E. Yang has shown an ability to conquer the Bear Trap consistently, completing 12 of 14 career rounds at PGA National in 71 strokes or fewer. The two outliers, though, proved costly - a third-round 80 in 2008 and an opening 79 in 2010 that led to T-72 and MC finishes, respectively.

Robert Allenby will head to friendly confines as he looks to rebound from his playoff loss at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. Allenby posted three straight top-5 finishes here from '07-'09 and finished T-21 last year.

• Despite an early exit last week, Ben Crane seems poised for a strong finish on a course that is especially demanding around the greens. Crane currently ranks first on Tour in strokes gained putting, par breakers and average distance of putts made. He is currently second in birdie average, third in scoring average and has posted three top-10 finishes in five starts this year.

• For the second consecutive week, all four 2011 major champions will be in the field. While Rory McIlroy is receiving much of the attention as he approaches the World No. 1 ranking, Keegan Bradley has quietly put together a strong start to 2012. Through six starts, his worst finish is T-22 at Torrey Pines, and Bradley currently leads the Tour in the all-around ranking.

• Recently, this even has served as a springboard from obscurity to major champion for a pair of golfers. In 2004, Todd Hamilton captured the Honda and followed it up by claiming the Claret Jug four months later - to date his only two Tour victories. Five years later, Y.E. Yang pulled off a similar feat, making the Honda his first win on Tour and winning the PGA Championship later that summer for his second - and to date most recent - victory on Tour.

Fresh off his third-place WGC finish, Mark Wilson returns to the site of his first Tour victory. The 2007 Honda champion currently ranks 4th on Tour in greens hit in regulation - an important stat, as last year players hit the green at PGA National less than 60% of the time. Wilson also leads the Tour in par 4 birdie percentage.

• While the 15th, 16th and 17th holes will receive much attention this week as the infamous the 'Bear Trap,' the par-4 6th contains just as much bite. At better than a 4.5 stroke average, it ranked as the hardest par-4 outside of the four major venues in 2011.

• Swede Fredrik Jacobson looks to continue his strong play at the Champion Course this week. In three career starts on the course, he boasts a stroke average below par at 69.7. Making his third straight start after missing nearly four months due to a thumb injury, Jacobson will be looking for his third top-10 finish at the Honda in four years.

Jeff Overton will look to get his 2012 season on track as he returns to a course that he knows well. In addition to top-10 finishes here at the Honda Classic in 2009 and 2011, Overton also has fond memories of PGA National from his junior golf days. In 2001 as an 18-year-old, he shot a second-round 65 on the Champion Course en route to winning the Boys' 16-18 age group at the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship.

You can watch complete coverage of the Honda Classic Thursday-Friday live on Golf Channel from 3PM-6PM ET.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.