Fantasy Island: Northern Trust Open

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 15, 2011, 9:13 pm

GolfChannel.com experts offer up their picks for the Northern Trust Open. Each week, senior writers Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell, contributors John Hawkins and Charlie Rymer, and editorial director Jay Coffin will give 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.


You can battle the experts and play along as well. Just click here to get into the game.

Northern Trust Open

*Ranking among the 14 GolfChannel.com experts

Rex Hoggard

Rex Hoggard
Score (Rank*):
1,572,250 (6)
Group A:
Hunter Mahan

Group B:
J.B. Holmes

Group C:
Aaron Baddeley

Although “’H” doesn’t have a great track record in Los Angeles (T-17 is his best finish) he is too good of a ballstriker to be ignored at a ballpark like Riviera and he finished the Clambake on a roll (final-round 66).

We are aware the Northern Trust Open is not played at TPC Scottsdale, but Holmes has history at Hogan’s Alley (top 10s the last three years) and is playing well (T-5 in Phoenix and T-13 at Pebble Beach).

Riviera is a putter’s paradise (see Stricker, Steve 2010 champion who ranked first in putts per round last year) and Badds was steady even on Pebble’s greens last week.

Randall Mell

Randall Mell
Score (Rank):
1,110,521 (11)
Group A:
Matt Kuchar

Group B:
J.B. Holmes

Group C:
Charles Howell III

Master tactician will dissect Riviera with surgical skill.

Riviera likes this guy, with his record looking like it's leading to a win there.

The perfect place to remember just how good he can be.

Charlie Rymer

Charlie Rymer
Score (Rank):
1,585,310 (5)
 Group A:
Luke Donald

Group B:
Bryce Molder

Group C:
Charles Howell III
My sources tell me Donald is playing outstanding golf right now and he has finished second, sixth, and third the last three years at Northern Trust.

Good finish last week and it doesn't take a big hitter to win at Riviera. Heck, Brandel Chamblee nearly won there one time.

Chucky 3 Sticks digs Tinsel Town: A win and a second here. Two top-15s so far this season let me know he's close to playing well.
John Hawkins

John Hawkins
Score (Rank):
830,094 (14)
 Group A:
Hunter Mahan

Group B:
Geoff Ogilvy

Group C:
Charles Howell III
Coulda, maybe shoulda won last week. Good driver on a course where position definitely matters.

It's his time of year, basically.

Past champ, needs to get something going.
Jay Coffin

Jay Coffin
Score (Rank):
1,384,007 (9)
 Group A:
Phil Mickelson

Group B:
J.B. Holmes

Group C:
Andres Romero
As much as I want to steer away from Phil, his record is too good to avoid here at Riviera with two wins and a second-place finish in the past four years.

Another guy who has figured out The Riv, although it hasn’t yet led to a victory there. He hasn’t finished worse than seventh place in the past three years.

Hasn’t played particularly well this year but I’m hoping that he has good vibes at this event. With the options in this group I’ll go with the guy who has tied for fifth and tied for third the last two years.

Gary Williams

Gary Williams
Score (Rank):
1,108,056 (12)
Group A:
Matt Kuchar

Group B:
Rickie Fowler

Group C:
Spencer Levin
Three top-7 finishes in three starts in 2011 and has never missed the cut at Riviera
 
Although he missed the cut in his first appearance at Riviera last year, he has two top-20 finishes in two starts in 2011
 
Making his first start at Riviera and finished T-4 last week at Pebble Beach

Erik Kuselias

Erik Kuselias
Score (Rank):
2,709,932 (1)
Group A:
Luke Donald

Group B:
J.B. Holmes

Group C:
Jason Bohn
Six top-10 finishes in his last seven worldwide starts and three top-6 finishes in his last three starts at Riviera.
 
Three top-7 finishes in his last three starts at Riviera and two top-13 finishes in last two PGA Tour starts.
 
Two top-25 finishes in the last two years at Riviera and has not shot higher than 73 in 12 rounds in 2011.

Win McMurry

Win McMurry
Score (Rank):
1,513,057 (7)
Group A:
Steve Stricker

Group B:
J.B. Holmes

Group C:
Aaron Baddeley
The defending champion also finished runner up at Riviera in 2009. His 2011 season is just warming up, but in his first two starts on American soil this year he already has two top-10s.

He’s coming off solid finishes (T5, T13) in his last two starts this season. Add that to his three top-10s in a row in L.A. and he’s unquestionably the man to pick for the B group.

He’s never missed the cut in eight starts at Riviera, has two top-15s, and enters the week off a T6 at Pebble.


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Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

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.