Fact Pack: Phoenix Open and Qatar Masters

By Will GrayFebruary 1, 2012, 6:20 pm

This is another week where the attention of the fantasy golf world will be split between two deserts a world apart. The PGA Tour heads to TPC Scottsdale for the Waste Management Phoenix Open, while the European Tour continues their Desert Swing at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters. Participants in the Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge will need to do their homework before they submit lineups for each event this week. With that in mind, here is a look inside the numbers to see which players may contend for the title(s) this week and help your fantasy team in the process:

Mark Wilson is back on the course to defend his 2011 Phoenix Open title, having won the 2012 Humana Challenge in his last start. Wilson led the field in greens in regulation en route to victory here last year, and no one has more than his three wins on the PGA Tour since the start of the 2011 season.

• Mr. ‘Stache, Johnson Wagner, will also be in the Phoenix field. The only player with three top-10s already in 2012, Wagner will once again look to make his mark in the tournament’s second half. The 2012 Sony Open winner has a 66.5 stroke average this year across Rounds 3 and 4.

• If Scott Piercy finds a way to handle the shortest holes on the course, he could find himself in contention this weekend. The 2011 Reno-Tahoe Open champion is a combined 32 under par on par 4s and par 5s in 2012, but 9 over par on par 3s so far this season.

• Piercy, along with Chris Kirk, are the only players in the field who have played in every PGA Tour event thus far in 2012. Kirk has made 4/4 cuts, while Piercy has three top-25 finishes in his four starts this season.

• TPC Scottsdale typically ranks among the easiest courses on Tour for scrambling. At 7,216 yards and par 71, a player like Gary Woodland may find success this week as his length off the tee will aid him more than his scrambling issues (currently ranked No. 174) will hurt him.

• The greenside bunkers around TPC Scottsdale will likely not phase Tour rookie and Group 4 player Jonas Blixt. The Swede, who vaulted into contention last week with a Saturday 65 at Torrey Pines, has hit into more than three bunkers per round on average so far in 2012. He has gotten up and down 82.4% of the time, though, good for fourth on Tour in the category.

Brendon de Jonge will be a player to keep an eye on in Group 3. De Jonge has finished in the top 30 in each of his three 2012 starts, and has two top-25s in Phoenix in the last three years. He has demonstrated the ability to go low when required, already carding three rounds of 65 or better this season.

• If looking for a player with some experience at the TPC Scottsdale, look no further than Vijay Singh, who may be rounding back into form after a difficult 2011 season. Coming off a T-13 finish at Torrey Pines last week, Singh now heads to a course where he has had great success – two victories and four other top-10 finishes, including T-3 last year. This week will mark Singh’s 16th career start at the Phoenix Open.

• At the Qatar Masters, Thomas Bjorn returns to the tournament that sparked his improbable resurgence in 2011. Bjorn won in Doha last year, then won twice more on the European Tour and finished fourth at the Open Championship. He shows no signs of slowing down early in 2012, finishing T-3 in Abu Dhabi last week alongside Tiger Woods and Graeme McDowell.

• Six Americans will be in the field in Qatar, headlined by Hunter Mahan who made a strong showing in his 2012 PGA Tour debut, finishing T-6 last week at Torrey Pines. Mahan’s frequent flyer account will get a boost this month, as he will return to California next week to play at Pebble Beach, part of a stretch of five events in five weeks for the former Ryder Cup participant.

• Former U.S. Amateur champion Peter Uihlein will be playing in his second event as a professional this week in Qatar. Originally slated to play in Abu Dhabi last week, Uihlein opted for a more low-key pro debut, finishing 12th in a European Challenge Tour event in India. This will be the first of seven European Tour starts for Uihlein, who will need to amass approximately 260,000 Euros to earn his tour card, similar to the path Bud Cauley took to earn his PGA Tour card last fall.

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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

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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