Fantasy Island: Masters Tournament

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 5, 2011, 5:30 pm

GolfChannel.com experts offer up their picks for the the Masters Tournament. 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 and Randall Mell; 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.

*Ranking among the 16 GolfChannel.com experts

Rex Hoggard

Rex Hoggard
Score (Rank*):
3,885,896 (3)
Group A:
Phil Mickelson

Group B:
Padraig Harrington

Group C:
Lucas Glover

On this the bookmakers got it right. Lefty’s win in Houston vaults him atop the conversation at the Masters. Besides, there’s a reason why members of Mickelson’s inner circle refer to Augusta National as “Phil’s Playground.”

Although he’s been far from stellar this season he seems to be trending in the right direction in recent weeks (T-8 in Houston, T-10 at Doral) and the Irishman has plenty of experience, both good and bad, at the year’s first major.

Found something in his swing last weekend back home at Sea Island (Ga.) Resort and has a secret weapon in caddie Don Cooper, who grew up caddying at Augusta National.

Randall Mell

Randall Mell
Score (Rank):
2,031,006 (15)
Group A:
Matt Kuchar

Group B:
Geoff Olgilvy

Group C:
Aaron Baddeley

The big smile tops his memories as an amateur slipping on a green jacket.

It's time he makes his presence felt at Augusta National and makes a run for a second major.

The world better appreciates his gifted putting stroke amid the dogwoods and azaleas this week.

Charlie Rymer

Charlie Rymer
Score (Rank):
2,774,088 (10)
Group A:
Phil Mickelson


Group B:
Bubba Watson


Group C:
Angel Cabrera


After lighting up Houston with 16 under on the weekend, I gotta go with with Mickelson.

Soft fairways will favor the bombers, at least early in the week, and Watson certainly qualifies as a bomber. Bubba may just prevail at Augusta.

Cabrera hasn't shown much form this year but the man does have a U.S. Open trophy tucked in his locker. It's right behind the green jacket.

John Hawkins

John Hawkins
Score (Rank):
3,587,629 (7)
 Group A:
Phil Mickelson

Group B:
Bubba Watson

Group C:
Aaron Baddeley






He's not giving me much choice.

He may not win but I certainly like his chances of contending.

Comes off a nice week, quietly building a big year.





Jay Coffin

Jay Coffin
Score (Rank):
2,734,618 (11)
Group A:
Nick Watney

Group B:
Hunter Mahan

Group C:
Brandt Snedeker

It's difficult not to pick Phil but I like Watney's record at Augusta National in his three previous appearances, I like his current form and I like his right-to-left ball flight.

He's finished in the top-10 the last two years and is good enough to win a major championship now. It'd surprise me if he's not in contention Sunday.

This pick could either pan out or completely backfire. He had that great run in 2008 at the Masters, but this year has missed four cuts, but also has three top-10 finishes.

Gary Williams

Gary Williams
Score (Rank):
3,229,610 (8)
Group A:
Phil Mickelson


Group B:
Bubba Watson


Group C:
Brandt Snedeker

With his win in Houston, Phil passed Tiger in the world ranking for the first time since the week before the 1997 Masters. He will take that  momentum to a fourth green jacket this week.
 
Staying on the left-handed theme, Bubba Watson can shape shots better than almost anyone and Augusta National is a course that demands such shots. If his short game is on, watch out.
 
Finished T-3 in the Masters in 2008 and is having a bit of a volatile season where he is either finishing in the top 10 or missing the cut. Brandt loves Augusta National, so I think he will go top 10.

Erik Kuselias

Erik Kuselias
Score (Rank):
3,991,043 (2)
Group A:
Phil Mickelson


Group B:
Bubba Watson


Group C:
Steve Marino


Let’s see: three-time champion, including last year; he dominated last weekend in Houston; and in 2006, he won in Atlanta the week before he won in Augusta. I like his chances.
 
He has played very well in 2011. Lost in a playoff in the last major of 2010, and although his Masters record is not great, it is easier to shape a fade than a draw so this southpaw is at an advantage.
 
While he has yet to win on the PGA Tour, Marino has a pair of runner-up finishes in 2011 and finished T-14 in his Masters debut in 2010. He knows how to make birdies and every champion in the last nine years has ranked in the top 10 in birdies for the week.

Win McMurry

Win McMurry
Score (Rank):
6,210,233 (1)
Group A:
Phil Mickelson

Group B:
Hunter Mahan

Group C:
Steve Marino
He went back-to-back in 2006. With momentum, history, and the opportunity to defend this week, I have no bones about jumping on the “favorite” bandwagon.
 
He’s finished inside the top 10 in his last two starts at Augusta National. Add his five top-10s this season in only nine starts and he looks incredibly strong for the year’s first major.
 
Last year in his first Masters appearance Marino tied for 14th. That coupled with his runner-up finish at Bay Hill have me convinced he can make another run up the leaderboard.

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee
Score (Rank):
669,529 (16)
Group A:
Phil Mickelson

Group B:
Hunter Mahan

Group C:
Aaron Baddeley

Defending champion. Shoots 128 over the weekend in Houston when he wasn't trying to win going into it. Three-time winner. This is his season, and he could match Tiger and Palmer with a win.

Two top-10s in each of the last two years is encouraging, as was his form in Houston. Actually, his whole year has been pretty solid.

He has already won once in 2011 and played well in Houston. Though an Aussie has never won the Masters, he seems like the best bet at this spin around Augusta National.

Rob Bolton

Rob Bolton
Score (Rank):
2,696,981 (12)
 
 
 
Group A:
Phil Mickelson

Group B:
Hunter Mahan
Group C:
Steve Marino

No sense overthinking this. Three-time champ and defending this week. Led the field in birdies in Houston. Dialed in.

Five top 10s in 2011, including a T8 in Houston. Top 10s in his last two starts here.

Two runner-up paydays in 2011. Finished T14 here last year, but needs to improve scoring on second nine at Augusta National. Played front 8-under, back 6-over.


Compete against the GolfChannel.com experts and other fans in our Fantasy Challenge.

For more in-depth fantasy golf coverage, visit Rotoworld powered by NBC Sports.RotoWorld 

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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.

Getty Images

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

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