Fact Pack: Northern Trust Open

By Will GrayFebruary 14, 2012, 6:30 pm

This week the PGA Tour heads to Riviera Country Club for the Northern Trust Open. Defending champion Aaron Baddeley and many of the world's best golfers will look to conquer the course known as 'Hogan's Alley,' which ranked among the top 10 most difficult on Tour in 2011. With that in mind, here is a look inside the numbers to see which players may contend for the title this week and help your Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge team in the process:

• World No. 1 Luke Donald makes his 2012 PGA Tour debut this week at Riviera. This event has been feast or famine for him in recent memory; in 10 starts here since 2002, Donald has recorded five top-15 finishes along with four missed cuts.

Jason Kokrak will look to build upon a strong performance at Pebble Beach last week. Rebounding well after three consecutive missed cuts, Kokrak led the AT&T field in greens in regulation, finished T-2 in birdies and sixth in driving distance en route to a T-9 finish - best among Tour rookies.

Fred Couples will be making his 30th career start in this event. When Couples first teed it up at Riviera CC in the 1982 Los Angeles Open, Tom Watson came from behind to defeat Johnny Miller in a playoff for the title.

• Group 2 golfer Greg Chalmers will hope that recent form trumps past experience this week. In four NTO starts since 2002, Chalmers' best finish has been T-55. He is off to a solid start in 2012 though, particularly around the greens, ranking fifth on Tour in sand save percentage, seventh in total putting and ninth in strokes gained putting.

• Those looking for a 'safe' option for their Group 1 selection this week should consider K.J. Choi. The 2011 Players champion has never missed a cut at Riviera, including three top-10s in the last four years. Choi has a 69.93 career stroke average in this event; only Fred Couples and 2001 champion Robert Allenby have a lower stroke average across more rounds at Riviera CC.

In recent years, creating birdie opportunities has been a key metric for overall tournament success here, as each of the past six NTO champions finished the week in the top 10 in greens in regulation. This bodes well for Bubba Watson, currently second on Tour in GIR and coming off a strong T-5 showing in Phoenix two weeks ago.

• FedEx Cup points leader Kyle Stanley will look to continue a strong sophomore campaign in his first start since winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Stanley's well-rounded game is evident, as he ranks in the top 10 on Tour in driving distance, greens in regulation percentage and birdie average while carding 10/15 rounds this year in the 60s.

• South African Tim Clark will be making his first start in nine months after an elbow injury sidelined him for most of the 2011 season. Clark, who had surgery on the elbow in August, has had prior success in this event, posting three top-15 finishes in seven career starts.

Jeff Overton will also be returning from injury, albeit a more minor one, as a bad wrist forced him to withdraw in Phoenix two weeks ago. He will look to a hot putter to help tame the poa annua greens of Riviera; Overton currently ranks fourth on Tour in total putting and has made 76 percent of his putts this year from 5-10 feet, currently the best on Tour from that distance.

Bryce Molder has leaned on a strong short game in posting three top-15 finishes in five starts this year, and will need it again this week as he battles the kikuyu rough around the greens at Riviera. Molder has gotten up and down when it counts, though, ranking second on Tour in scrambling and compiling a 68.67 final round stroke average.

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

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

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

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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