Power Rankings: 2014 Hyundai TOC

By Will GrayDecember 30, 2013, 7:42 pm

This week marks the seventh event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, but the first of the new year as winners from 2013 events head to Maui for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. The Plantation Course at Kapalua plays host to an exclusive field of 30 champions from last year, as players look to begin the new year with a strong result in Hawaii.

Be sure to join the Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge to test yourself against our panel of experts, including defending champion Charlie Rymer.

Dustin Johnson returns to defend the title he won last year by four shots over Steve Stricker during a weather-shortened event. Here are 10 players to this week along the Hawaiian coastline:

1. Matt Kuchar: One of the more consistent players on Tour, Kuchar won twice in 2013 and will be making his fourth start in this event in the last five years. Each of the previous three appearances yielded at least a tie for ninth for Kuchar, who tied for seventh at the McGladrey Classic in November to begin his 2013-14 season.

2. Adam Scott: The highest-ranked player in this week's field, Scott finished second in this event seven years ago but has made just two appearances since. The Aussie has had a shorter off-season than most players, heading back to his homeland in November where he capped off a successful 2013 with multiple wins. One of the most consistent ball-strikers in any field, Scott should thrive this week in Kapalua.

Stat attack: Hyundai Tournament of Champions statistical preview

3. Webb Simpson: The former U.S. Open champ opened the new wraparound season with a win in Las Vegas, and as a result returns to Hawaii for the third straight year. Simpson tied for third in 2012 and added a T-11 result last year, breaking par in each of his first seven competitive rounds on the Plantation Course.

4. Dustin Johnson: The defending champion at Kapalua, Johnson is also the only past champion among this week's field. Though he struggled somewhat to back up his early-season win in 2013, Johnson bounced back to claim the WGC-HSBC Champions title in impressive fashion in November. One of the longer hitters on Tour, DJ should thrive along the lengthy fairways in Maui.

5. Jordan Spieth: What can Spieth possibly do for an encore in 2014? After taking home Rookie of the Year honors in 2013, Spieth's sophomore season continues this week in Hawaii where he will look to rekindle the form that took him near the top of seemingly every leaderboard last summer and fall. Spieth is one of 13 players making their first appearance in this event this week, but a lack of experience certainly didn't hurt him in 2013.

6. Zach Johnson: A winner at the BMW Championship in September, Johnson will tee it up at Kapalua for the sixth time in the last seven years. Despite the experience, Johnson has struggled to go low on the Plantation Course, notching just one top-15 finish in six career starts. One of the hottest players during the second half of 2013, he remains a name to watch this week.

7. Brandt Snedeker: Among the hottest players to start the season a year ago, Snedeker hopes to bounce back from the disabled list this week as he makes his first start since injuring his knee in November. Snedeker's two prior starts in this event both resulted in top-10 finishes: third in 2013 and a tie for 10th in 2008.

8. Harris English: The winner of the Tour's most recent official event, the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, English heads to Hawaii with his 2013-14 season already off to a strong start. The former Georgia standout begins the new year second on the FedEx Cup points list, as well as second in scoring average and seventh in total birdies.

9. Martin Laird: The Scot won in San Antonio in April and, while he struggled to do much in the balance of 2013, he clearly has an affinity for Kapalua. Laird was runner-up to Steve Stricker in this event in 2012, and his first start on the Plantation Course yielded a tie for fourth in 2010.

10: Bill Haas: Haas is making his fourth consecutive start in this winners-only event - the longest such streak of anyone in this week's field. Though only one of his prior three appearances resulted in a top-10 finish (eighth in 2011), Haas led the Tour with nine such finishes in 25 starts during the 2013 season.

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''

Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen: