Power Rankings: 2015 Valspar Championship

By Will GrayMarch 9, 2015, 8:46 pm

The PGA Tour continues the Florida swing with the Valspar Championship, the 17th event of the wraparound season. A full field will tackle the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook this week, where the winner will need to successfully navigate the "Snake Pit."

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John Senden won this event a year ago by one shot over Kevin Na. Here are 10 players to watch in Tampa:

1. Adam Scott: The Aussie showed little to no rust last week in Miami, notching a T-4 finish in his first start of the year. Now equipped with a short putter, Scott returns to Innisbrook where he appeared in command two years ago before stumbling to a T-30 finish. On a course that rewards strong ball-striking, expect that result to improve this time around.

2. Jim Furyk: Furyk has cracked the top 15 in each of his three starts this season, including a T-12 showing last week at Trump National Doral. A winner here in 2010, Furyk lost in a playoff at Innisbrook in 2012 and has finished inside the top 20 each of the last five years at this event.

3. Jordan Spieth: Spieth has been quietly lurking on the fringe of leaderboards for more than a month now: T-7, MC, T-7, T-4 and a T-17 finish last week. He notched a top-10 finish at this event in his 2013 debut and chased it with a T-20 finish last year. Each of his eight rounds have gone for 72 or better on the tricky Copperhead Course.

4. Luke Donald: Donald is seemingly automatic at a few PGA Tour venues, and Innisbrook is certainly one of them. The Englishman won a playoff here in 2012, has tied for fourth each of the last two years and hasn't finished worse than T-6 in four career starts. While he finished in the middle of the pack at Doral, he did tie for seventh the week prior at PGA National.

5. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar has been his typically solid self this season: six top-25 finishes in seven starts, with back-to-back near-misses at Sony and Humana. He ranks fifth on Tour in the all-around ranking and now returns to Tampa, where three of his last four appearances have netted top-15 finishes.

6. Patrick Reed: Reed missed the cut in his lone Valspar appearance back in 2013, but much has changed in the two years since. Reed has won four times on the PGA Tour, including earlier this year in Hawaii, and he nearly won two weeks ago at PGA National. Reed only has one finish outside the top 30 this season and is 16th on Tour in total strokes gained.

7. Henrik Stenson: The Swede is making his first trip to the Copperhead Course, but he brings with him plenty of momentum after a T-4 finish at Doral. Stenson has thrived on prior ball-striking venues like Firestone Country Club, so if his tee-to-green game carries over from Miami the world No. 3 could contend again.

8. Jason Dufner: Dufner slimmed down in the offseason, but his game has yet to return to the form that won him the 2013 PGA Championship. That could change this week in Tampa, where Dufner has six straight top-30 finishes and was T-10 back in 2012. He was T-17 at Honda and bounced back after an opening-round 79 at Doral.

9. Sangmoon Bae: Bae lost in a playoff at Innisbrook in 2012 and he finished T-14 last year after a final-round 67. A winner in the season-opening event in California, Bae just missed a playoff at the Northern Trust Open and eight of his 12 rounds on the par-71 Copperhead Course have been at or below par. 

10. Joost Luiten: Like Dufner, the Dutchman opened with 79 at Doral but he played his next 54 holes in 1 under. Luiten plans to try to earn enough money in the next few weeks to have a PGA Tour card for next season, and he took a big step toward that goal with a T-11 finish earlier this month at PGA National after closing with rounds of 67 and 69 on the Champion Course.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

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Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


President at the Presidents Cup


Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm