Fact Pack: PGA Championship

By Will GrayAugust 7, 2012, 9:00 pm

This week the best golfers in the world head to Kiawah Island, SC for the season's final major. The PGA Championship routinely boasts the strongest field in golf, and this edition is no exception as each of the top 108 golfers in the current OWGR will take on the Ocean Course. They will be greeted by unpredictable winds, undulating greens and one of the longest courses in major championship history. The Wanamaker Trophy is up for grabs this week, as well as an automatic spot on the Ryder Cup team for a handful of U.S. players. 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:

Once leading the pack in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings entering The Masters, Hunter Mahan now finds himself on the wrong side of the bubble - currently ninth on a list with eight automatic qualifying spots. Mahan has cooled significantly since the spring, posting only one top-10 finish since winning his second title of the year at the Shell Houston Open in early April. His ball-striking stats remain impressive, though, as he currently ranks second on Tour in total driving and third in greens in regulation percentage.

• The man one spot ahead of Mahan in the Ryder Cup standings is surprisingly Phil Mickelson, whose last five starts have gone as follows: WD, T-65, MC, MC, T-43. Mickelson is currently outside the top 100 on Tour in driving accuracy (168th), total driving (143rd) and GIR percentage (111th) and will be looking to turn things around quickly. As an added incentive, he is paired for the first two rounds with U.S. Ryder Cup team captain Davis Love III - who hopes not to have to spend a captain's pick on Lefty in filling out his team.

David Toms placed T-8 last week in Akron, his first tournament start since tweaking his back following the U.S. Open. A winner of this event in 2001, Toms has an impressive resume in the season's fourth major, carding five top-20 finishes and missing the cut only once since leaving Atlanta Athletic Club with the Wanamaker Trophy 11 years ago. 

• Just as 'reverse camber' became a trademark phrase of this year's U.S. Open, 'paspalum' will be heard early and often this week at the the PGA Championship. This grass strain, put in at the Ocean Course by architect Pete Dye in 2003, is more tolerant of a salty, seaside environment than traditional grass. Although the greens are now largely without grain, speeds are expected around 11.5 on the stimpmeter - somewhat slower than what players typically encounter in major championships.

• U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson will be making his first start this week in a month, having taken time off for the birth of his and wife Dowd's second child. Simpson leads the Tour in birdie average and par breakers, trends that should help him combat the bogeys he will inevitable encounter along the Ocean Course. The Wake Forest grad has also embraced the term 'moving day' this season; his 68.62 Round 3 stroke average is third-best on Tour.

• While the U.S. Ryder Cup race ends this week, the European points race continues for another two weeks. One of those looking to play their way onto the team is Nicolas Colsaerts, who turned heads with bookend 65s at Lytham last month. The long-hitting Belgian is within striking distance of Sergio Garcia for the tenth and final automatic qualifier spot. He currently leads the European Tour in driving distance and stands 11th in GIR percentage - a combination that indicates a great chance for success this week.

• The last time the PGA of America hosted their prized event on a Pete Dye course, Martin Kaymer left Whistling Straits with the Wanamaker Trophy two years ago. The German is now having a quietly solid season, playing sparingly in the U.S. but posting T-15 finishes at both The Players and the U.S. Open. His consistent play on and around the greens will be key if he is to have similar success this week on the Ocean Course.

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:

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.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''

Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.