Fantasy Island: Transitions Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 15, 2011, 7:14 pm

GolfChannel.com experts offer up their picks for the the Transitions 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 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.

Transistions Championship

*Ranking among the 16 GolfChannel.com experts

Rex Hoggard

Rex Hoggard
Score (Rank*):
3,539,727 (2)
Group A:
Martin Kaymer

Group B:
Jonathan Byrd

Group C:
Kyle Stanley

Consider those back-to-back 74s on the weekend at Doral an aberration, or motivation, depending on your point of view. He’s the world No. 1 for a reason.

Solid at Innisbrook (three top-10s in eight starts) and he showed signs of progress at Doral after a post-Hyundai victory slide.

Rookie has been consistent this year, 7-for-7 in cuts made, and proved at the Honda he has the game to contend. The next step is learning how to close.

Randall Mell

Randall Mell
Score (Rank):
1,590,341 (14)
Group A:
Paul Casey

Group B:
Vijay Singh

Group C:
Michael Bradley


Not much history at Innisbrook, but he appears on the edge of something big in Florida.
 
A T-3 and second this year looks like it's leading to a hoisted trophy.

Riding confidence of victory in Puerto Rico to another strong performance in Florida.


Charlie Rymer

Charlie Rymer
Score (Rank):
2,196,327 (9)
Group A:
Bubba Watson

Group B:
David Toms

Group C:
Stephen Ames

This is the Copperhead course and everybody knows Bubba 'ain't afraid a no snakes.'.

Even thought he hasn't been at his best as of late(and that's being generous), this is a great layout for Toms.

Ames closed with a Sunday-best 66 to finish T-3 at the Puerto Rico open last week and really looked comfortable over the ball.

John Hawkins

John Hawkins
Score (Rank):
2,025,921 (11)
 Group A:
Jim Furyk

Group B:
Sean O'Hair

Group C:
Chad Campbell



I think he'll get his year going on turf that made last year so special.

Good Florida player, past champion.

Should be a good course for him, but then, it hardly matters if you don't make putts.



Jay Coffin

Jay Coffin
Score (Rank):
2,249,497 (8)
Group A:
Nick Watney

Group B:
Jason Day

Group C:
Johnson Wagner
He may be a little drained after his victory at Doral but I'm willing to bet he at least squeaks out another top-10 finish.

He's one of the young guns that people often overlook, but at 23 years old he has a huge upside. He'll win sometime this year.

If there's a chance to pick a 2011 PGA Tour winner in Group C, I'll take him every time.

Gary Williams

Gary Williams
Score (Rank):
1,889,908 (14)
Group A:
Martin Kaymer

Group B:
Vijay Singh

Group C:
Stephen Ames

The world No. 1 is looking to bounce back after a difficult Doral weekend and needs a strong week heading into Masters prep.

Two top-3 finishes in 2011 and also has a win and a runner-up at Innisbrook.

Finished T-3 last week in Puerto Rico and finished T-6 last year at Innisbrook. Has never missed the cut here

Erik Kuselias

Erik Kuselias
Score (Rank):
3,516,572 (3)
Group A:
Retief Goosen

Group B:
Bill Haas

Group C:
Bobby Gates



Finished T-3 in Abu Dhabi earlier this year but more importantly, has a win and a fifth-place finish at Innisbrook in the last two years.

Four top-12 finishes in seven starts in 2011, finished a solid T1-6 at Innisbrook in 2010, and is due for another strong week.

This 2011 PGA Tour rookie has two top-6 finishes in his last three starts and is making his first appearance at Innisbrook.



Win McMurry

Win McMurry
Score (Rank):
5,135,091 (1)
Group A:
Retief Goosen

Group B:
Jonathan Byrd

Group C:
Stephen Ames
He finished fifth last year and won in 2009. Goosen is looking for his first top-10 of the year this week and will come in relaxed after a friendly couple days of matches at the Tavistock Cup.
 
He has four top-12s in the event since 2006, is already a winner this season at Kapalua and is coming off a T10 at Doral.
 
Ames has confidence, entering the week off a T-3 in Puerto Rico and he plays well in the event with two top-10s in his last six starts. Was T-6 here last year.

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee
Score (Rank):
416,800 (16)
Group A:
Retief Goosen

Group B:
Padraig Harrington

Group C:
Hunter Haas

He loves the Copperheard Course. The last two years, has finished at 8 under in Tampa. Once was good enough to win, the other was fifth place.

Call me crazy, but the Mad Scientist seems to have been implementing those dozen swing changes nicely lately. He was tied for eighth last year.

It may have come in an opposite field event, but the tie for third in Puerto Rico is a continuing sign of Haas' trending upward. Seems like a sneaky pick.

Rob Bolton

Rob Bolton
Score (Rank):
2,068,888 (10)
Group A:
Nick Watney

Group B:
Padraig Harrington

Group C:
Stephen Ames

In his post-victory presser at Doral, spoke to getting right back at it on Thursday in Tampa. In the zone.
 
Solid tee to cup at Doral to finish T10. Cashed for a T8 here last year. A grinder in his kind of paradise.
 
Finished T3 in Puerto Rico, where he co-led the field in birdies. Top-20s at Copperhead the last two years.


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PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

PGA Tour:

The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

LPGA:

We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

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Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm

Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.