Power Rankings: 2016 Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Will GrayMarch 14, 2016, 7:57 pm

The 2016 fantasy golf season rolls right along, as the PGA Tour remains in Florida this week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. A field of 132 players will tackle Bay Hill Club & Lodge, affectionately known as the home of "The King."

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.

Matt Every won this event last year by one shot over Henrik Stenson. Here are 10 players to watch in Orlando:

1. Adam Scott: After a week off, the Aussie returns in his quest to win a third straight start on the Florida Swing. Scott followed a one-shot win at Honda with a narrow escape at Doral, and now he returns to an event where he led by seven shots after 36 holes before finishing third.

2. Henrik Stenson: Stenson let this trophy slip away on the greens last year, but his runner-up finish was still his third straight result of T-8 or better at Bay Hill. The Swede hasn't been talked about much in recent weeks, but he followed a T-28 finish in Miami with a T-11 finish in Tampa.

3. Rory McIlroy: McIlroy finished T-11 last year in his Bay Hill debut, and his high ball flight seems ideally suited for this week's layout. He appeared in position to win two weeks ago at Doral, but a third-place showing still points to the fact that he seems to be trending in the right direction.

4. Justin Rose: Rose was a runner-up at this event in 2013, and he also finished T-3 in 2011. The Englishman has cracked the top 20 in each of his last three PGA Tour starts and has been remarkably consistent this season outside of a missed cut in San Diego.

5. Jason Day: The Aussie is still looking to get his year going, as he remains without a top-10 finish since the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Last year's T-17 finish was his best ever at this event, but Day will look to improve upon that this week as he hopes to keep pace with several players near him in the world rankings.

6. Ryan Moore: Fresh off a third-place showing in Tampa, Moore heads east to a course where he finished T-12 in 2011 and T-4 in 2012. Moore's recent form also includes a top-10 at Riviera and a T-11 finish at TPC Scottsdale.

7. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker won earlier this year but is making his first start since a rib injury forced him out of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. He should find solid footing at Bay Hill, where he has five top-25 finishes in the last eight years, including T-8 and T-13 finishes each of the last two years.

8. Matt Every: You have to include the two-time defending champ somewhere on this list...right? Every has no recent form whatsoever to speak of, and has essentially struggled ever since leaving Bay Hill with the trophy. But he clearly has a knack for Arnie's Place, and he didn't have much momentum before last year's surprising win, either.

9. Zach Johnson: Johnson has quietly compiled a strong record at this event, with five finishes of T-11 or better since 2004. That includes last year's T-9 result, which included an albatross on the par-5 16th hole, and his comfort zone in Orlando should make up for a lack of recent form.

10. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar is making his API debut, but the veteran enters off a strong run that includes a T-8 finish at Riviera and a T-11 finish at Innisbrook. A native of nearby Winter Park, Kuchar brings with him plenty of experience when it comes to Central Florida golf, even if it hasn't been inside the ropes at this event.

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.