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.


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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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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.