Fantasy Island: HP Byron Nelson Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 24, 2011, 7:46 pm

GolfChannel.com experts offer up their picks for the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Each week a panel of experts will offer up their picks from three groups of players based on Golf Channel's new fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel consists of: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and Charlie Rymer; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' hosts Gary Williams and Erik Kuselias; contributor Win McMurry; writer for NBCSports.com's ProGolf Talk, Ryan Ballengee; and RotoWorld.com's Rob Bolton.

You can battle the experts and play along as well. Just click here to get into the game.Compete against the GolfChannel.com experts and other fans in our Fantasy Challenge.

In parentheses, next to the names, are the participants' 2011 points earned and ranking among the 17 Fantasy Challenge 'experts.'


Rex Hoggard

Rex Hoggard (6,161,230; 3rd)

Group A: Jason Day: The defending champion hits it plenty long enough and since this is likely his last event as a Dallas-area resident he’s looking to go out in style.

Group B: Brian Davis: Cruised to medalist honors at Monday’s British Open qualifier (6-under 64) and finished runner-up at the 2009 Byron Nelson.

Group C: Chris Stroud: Texas native plays his best golf in the heat and his T-12 at The Players Championship is a sign that summer may have come early this year.


Randall Mell

Randall Mell (3,758,889; 15th)

Group A: Jason Day: Five top-10s so far this season. Good form makes the defending champion dangerous again this week.

Group B: Brian Gay: Nearly won at TPC Four Seasons last year. Nobody's hitting more fairways this year, not many are scoring better.

Group C: Roland Thatcher: Looking for that T-7 finish at TPC Four Seasons in '08 to spark a run.

 

Jason Sobel

Jason Sobel (N/A, N/A)

Group A: Jason Day: Hate picking defending champs. It’s like cheating on a pop quiz. But I really, really need to pass this class. 

Group B: Bo Van Pelt: Stellar final round at Colonial gave him solo third. He’ll keep the momentum building this week.

Group C: Brett Wetterich: Five years removed from playing in The Ryder Cup, he already has a Nationwide Tour win this season.



Charlie RymerCharlie Rymer (5,515,388; 7th)

Group A: Dustin Johnson: I'm sure Matt Kuchar is gonna win this week because I'm leaving him and picking Johnson.

Group B: Sergio Garcia: Garcia has been showing signs that he's ready and this may just be his week.

Group C: Steven Bowditch: Bowditch keeps popping up on the radar and maybe he brings it in for a safe landing near DFW.


 John HawkinsJohn Hawkins (5,967,481; 5th)

Group A: Ben Crane – Good golf all year, time for a win. 

Group B: Justin Leonard – Should have won here by now, good ballpark for him. 

Group C: Brett Wetterich – Past champ, why not? Not a strong group of Cs. 

 


Jay CoffinJay Coffin (5,068,203; 12th)

Group A: Nick Watney: He hasn't had great results in the four times he has played here. Still, Watney is playing too well now not to contend.

Group B: Jason Dufner: I'm going with a trend here of picking people who have played poorly at this event. Dufner has two MCs in two starts.

Group C: Keegan Bradley: This guy has never played this event but he's five spots ahead of Tiger Woods on the money list so he can't be that bad of a pick can he?


Gary Williams

Gary Williams (5,526,357; 6th)

Group A: Dustin Johnson: He has the most wins of any American under 30 with four, and armed with a new caddie, he is in position to win for a fifth time.

Group B: Brian Gay: He has had some recent success in this event – T-7 in 2008 and T-2 in 2010 – and in 2011, he has missed the cut just once in 13 starts.

Group C: Chez Reavie: Playing on Major Medical Exemption in 2011 and recorded a season-best tie for fifth last week at Colonial to earn $235,600.

 

Erik Kuselias

Erik Kuselias (5,222,109; 11th)

Group A: Dustin Johnson: This is DJ’s first event with Joe LaCava as his permanent caddie and although he has struggled lately, he has a good history at this event.

Group B: Bo Van Pelt: He finished third last week at Colonial, which is his best finish in 2011 and goes nicely with his tie for eighth in the 2011 Masters.

Group C: Steven Bowditch: He was tied for second after 36 holes last week at Colonial before finishing T-16 and is making his first appearance in this event.


Win McMurry

Win McMurry (7,899,573; 1st)

Group A: Jason Day: Staying on the Day train this week. The defending champ has had a strong season and I don’t see him giving up his first Tour title easily.

Group B: D.A. Points: He is coming off two MCs, but I think that works to his advantage. After winning his season at Pebble, Points is ready to get back in contention.

Group C: Cameron Beckman: After a consistent start to 2011 he’s missed five cuts in a row. He will not make it six, especially at a course where he was T-5 last year.


Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee (2,531,005; 16th)

Group A: Dustin Johnson: He has shown flashes of coming back to 2010 form. He has consecutive top-7 finishes in this event, so he must like this course.

Group B: John Senden: He just posted his first top-10 of the year at Colonial and has been consistent all season. The Aussie's best finish here is seventh two years ago.

Group C: Steven Bowditch: The guy is getting married here not too long from now, so maybe he can play some inspired golf and get a discount on the ceremony.


Rob Bolton

Rob Bolton (4,167,223; 14th)

Group A: Dustin Johnson: In a bit of a rut in the U.S. since Doral, but owns a pair of top-10s in his last two starts here and matches up with the course profile brilliantly.

Group B: Brian Gay: Co-runner-up here last year and currently leads the PGA Tour in Fairways Hit and scrambling. Has cashed in nine straight starts, too.

Group C: Blake Adams: Returns to the site of his only top-5 on the PGA Tour (T2, 2010). Also coming off a T-16 at Colonial, his best finish of 2011.


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Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

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.