Power Rankings: The 145th Open

By Will GrayJuly 12, 2016, 12:59 pm

The 2016 fantasy golf season rolls right along, as the PGA Tour heads to Scotland this week for The 145th Open. A field of 156 players will tackle Royal Troon Golf Club, which hosts the event for the first time since 2004.

Be sure to join the Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge to test yourself against our panel of experts, including defending champion Ryan Lavner. Click here for full fantasy assistance, including stats and picks.

Zach Johnson won this event last year in a playoff over Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman. Here are 10 players to watch in Ayrshire:

1. Dustin Johnson: No better place to start than with the hottest player in the game. Johnson has won each of his last two starts, both on difficult tracks against elite fields. His confidence is at an all-time high, and he showed both at Royal St. George's in 2011 and last year at St. Andrews that he has what it takes to contend in this event.

2. Jason Day: Were it not for a late stumble in Akron, he might have the top spot on this list. Day is still in the midst of a banner season, including a trio of wins, and he hasn't finished worse than T-27 in any of his last 11 worldwide starts. It should be no surprise if his name is again on the leaderboard this weekend.

3. Adam Scott: Scott has compiled a stellar record in this event in recent years, finishing T-10 or better each of the last four years. That includes a runner-up in 2012 when he probably should have won, and Scott's results at Oakmont and Firestone indicate that the form he had en route to two wins in the spring could be returning.

4. Jordan Spieth: It seems you simply can't slip Spieth's name too far down this list during a major. While his ball-striking has been erratic for much of the season, Spieth said he turned a corner two weeks ago in Akron and, if nothing else, his all-world short game will likely help him salvage any wobbly rounds.

5. Rory McIlroy: McIlroy didn't get a chance to defend his title last year because of injury, but he'll finally be introduced as an Open champion on the first tee at Troon. While he has been somewhat overshadowed in recent weeks by Day, Spieth and Johnson, he does still have as many majors as that trio, combined, and showed at Hoylake that he has what it takes to lift the jug.

6. Branden Grace: The South African has cracked the top five in three of his last five major starts, and he finished T-20 last year at St. Andrews. Grace earned his first PGA Tour win earlier this season and his tee-to-green game tends to be a strength, as evidenced by his T-10 finish two weeks ago in Akron.

7. Louis Oosthuizen: Oosthuizen won this event in 2010 and nearly won again last year, but his game extends beyond the Old Course. Oosthuizen has been quietly consistent in the majors of late, with T-30 finishes in each of the last seven majors including a T-23 finish at Oakmont, and he followed with a solid showing at Firestone two weeks later.

8. Sergio Garcia: Is it his time? At age 36, Garcia is still in search of his first major title. But he heads to Troon with plenty of momentum, having won earlier this year at the AT&T Byron Nelson followed by T-5 finishes at both the U.S. Open and BMW International Open in his two most recent starts.

9. Henrik Stenson: With a win in Sweden, Stenson showed that the injury that led to his withdrawal from the U.S. Open is no longer an issue. One of the game's best ball-strikers, Stenson has been a perennial contender this season on the PGA Tour and finished T-13 last week at Castle Stuart.

10. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar was a late addition to the Olympic team this week, and his torrid stretch since May includes T-6 finishes in five of his last six starts. His low ball flight should bode well if the wind blows this week, and he showed in 2012 (T-9) and 2013 (T-15) that he can contend at this event.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

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.