Fact Pack: Shell Houston Open

By Will GrayMarch 27, 2012, 10:00 pm

This week the PGA Tour heads to Texas for a final tune-up before the year's first major. Many players will look to make adjustments on a course designed to imitate conditions they will encounter at Augusta National; some players will be focused on winning the event and earning an invite down Magnolia Lane if they don't already have one. Whatever their mindset, players will be met with a stern test in Redstone GC, a lengthy course that will require accuracy on and around the greens. 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:

When it comes to this event, no one can match the track record of Fred Couples. The University of Houston alum has made the cut 18 times in this event, missing only in his debut in 1981. He has six top-10 finishes here, including a win in 2003. Coming off a Champions Tour win last week, Couples will hope to rekindle the form he had here in 2009 when he led after 54 holes before finishing T-3.

• Much like at Augusta National, the focus this week in Houston will be on par-5 scoring. Last year, Phil Mickelson played the longest holes on the course in a collective -14 for the week en route to victory, and capitalizing on the par-5 holes at Redstone has always been a prerequisite for success. Players like Johnson Wagner, who leads the Tour in par-5 scoring and won here in 2008, should be more than ready for the test.

• Mastery around the greens has been of great importance here in recent years. Each of the last three seasons, this event has ranked as the hardest on Tour for scrambling from the rough. This bodes well for Steve Stricker, who is currently second on Tour in that sub-category and has four top-11 finishes in his last five Houston starts.

Ernie Els takes one more shot at landing an invite to the Masters this week, as his strong play has continued since upsetting Luke Donald in the WGC Match Play event last month. Els is certainly in good form with two straight top-5 finishes, but his 'win or else' mentality may make him a risky fantasy start this week.

Bud Cauley continues to impress during his first full year on Tour, backing up his T-16 finish at Transitions with a T-4 showing at Bay Hill. Unlike some players in the field, Cauley will not be playing in the Masters. Should he rank in the top 20 in the field in driving distance and strokes gained putting, though - as he did last week - Cauley could contend for the final Augusta invite that will go to this week's winner.

• For the first time since 2009, Paul Casey will make a stop in Houston as part of his preparation for Augusta. That year, Casey averaged only 28.5 putts per round en route to a playoff victory over J.B. Holmes, to date his only PGA Tour win. Casey is still looking to regain that winning form, having made only two starts since returning from an off-season injury.

Brian Harman has been one of the most impressive rookies on Tour in 2012 - and not simply due to the 61 that he put up at the Honda Classic. Closing with a final round 68 in difficult conditions at Bay Hill on Sunday, Harman secured his fourth top-30 finish in his last five starts. A large key for Harman has been the flat stick; in three of his last four events he has been in the top 10 for the week in putts per GIR.

• Quietly, Kevin Stadler has compiled a rather consistent start to the 2012 season. Dating back to Pebble Beach, Stadler has posted five consecutive top-25 finishes, including a pair of top-10 showings in his last two starts. He is currently one of only 16 players on Tour with a stroke average below 70, and ranks in the top 20 in both overall scrambling and scrambling from the rough.


You can watch complete coverage of the Shell Houston 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 halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

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

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


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