Power Rankings: 2014 HP Byron Nelson Championship

By Will GrayMay 13, 2014, 7:28 pm

This week marks the 27th event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as the Tour heads back to the Lone Star State for the HP Byron Nelson Championship. A field of 156 players will tee it up this week at TPC Four Seasons, where low scores are expected.

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Sang-Moon Bae returns to defend the title he won here a year ago by two shots over Keegan Bradley.. Here are 10 players to watch this week in Dallas:

1. Keegan Bradley: Bradley notched his first PGA Tour win here in 2011 and nearly went wire-to-wire a year ago. While he had an uncharacteristic missed cut at TPC Sawgrass, Bradley has eight top-25 finishes in 14 starts this season and should get things back on track this week at TPC Four Seasons, where he clearly feels comfortable.

2. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar "only" tied for 17th at the Players, which was his worst result in almost two months. Kuchar remains one of the most consistent players around this season and he has finished no worse than T-42 in six career appearances in Dallas. He's second on Tour in scoring average and tied for sixth here in 2011.

3. Jordan Spieth: Spieth comes in off another high finish at TPC Sawgrass and has been upfront about the fact that his hometown event is close to his heart. He now has six top-10 finishes this season and is sixth on Tour in scoring average. Spieth may face an emotional letdown post-Players but he bounced back in a similar spot last month at the RBC Heritage, where he tied for 12th after the Masters.

4. Jimmy Walker: Walker is another Texan and one of only four players to finish inside the top 10 at both the Masters and the Players Championship. He remains atop the FedEx Cup standings, leads the Tour in strokes gained putting and currently sits second in birdie average. Walker has missed only one cut in seven career appearances in this event.

5. Dustin Johnson: DJ hasn't played in Dallas since 2011, but his most recent three appearances here all netted top-20 finishes, including a tie for fourth in 2009. While he's cooled off since his torrid streak through February and March, Johnson still ranks second on Tour in driving distance and seventh in GIR percentage.

6. Marc Leishman: Leishman hasn't had a 2014 season to remember, but he did rally with a Sunday 67 at TPC Sawgrass and has a scintillating record at TPC Four Seasons. Leishman has four top-12 finishes here in the last five years and if there's one thing we've learned this season, it's not to bet against the Aussies.

7. Charl Schwartzel: Schwartzel was third here a year ago and while he's made limited starts this season, he does have five top-25 finishes in eight events. The South African hasn't won in the U.S. since his major triumph more than three years ago, but the same could be said of Martin Kaymer last week.

8. Ryan Palmer: Palmer is another Texan who has played well in the DFW area, with two top-10 finishes in the last three years including a playoff loss to Keegan Bradley in 2011. Palmer already has a pair of runner-up finishes to his credit this season and ranks third on Tour in the all-around.

9. Harris English: One of the breakout stars of 2013-14, English already has six top-10 finishes and nine top-25s to his credit this season. He tied for 17th in Dallas a year ago, when he contended for the title before a final-round 74. English is third on Tour in GIR percentage, fifth in scoring average and sixth in birdie average.

10. Graham DeLaet: DeLaet remains arguably the top player on Tour still without a win, though that drought could end this week. The Canadian tied for 10th a year ago, when he carded four straight rounds of par or better, and leads the Tour in GIR percentage this season.

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry