Power Rankings: 2016 CareerBuilder Challenge

By Will GrayJanuary 20, 2016, 12:07 am

The 2016 fantasy golf season is off and running, as the PGA Tour heads to California this week for the CareerBuilder Challenge. A field of 156 players will tackle a rotation of three courses: La Quinta Country Club and a pair of newcomers in PGA West's Stadium Course and Nicklaus Tournament Course.

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Bill Haas won this event by one shot a year ago over a group of five players. Here are 10 players to watch in Palm Springs:

1. Patrick Reed: Reed had no problem bringing his year-end momentum into a new campaign. After six straight top-10 finishes he added a runner-up result two weeks ago in Maui, and now Reed returns to an event where he cruised to victory in 2014.

2. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar nearly missed the cut at Sony, but he rallied for a T-13 finish after a third-round 62. His record in this event includes seven straight top-25 finishes, highlighted by runner-up results in both 2010 and last year, when he led at the halfway point.

3. Ryan Palmer: Palmer has had a love affair with Palm Springs in recent years, with three top-10 finishes in the last four years. He was a runner-up here in 2013, has no problem going low and enters off a T-13 finish at Waialae.

4. Bill Haas: Haas has won this event twice since 2010, including last year by a shot, and also added a runner-up in 2011 and T-6 finish in 2014. He remains a solid pick during a year when two new courses are introduced. 

5. Zach Johnson: Johnson got off to a slow start with new equipment in Maui, but he rebounded with a T-9 finish last week in Honolulu. Johnson missed the cut here a year ago but before that tallied four straight top-25 finishes, including a T-3 finish in 2014.

6. Webb Simpson: Simpson was among the large T-13 logjam at Sony, and he now tees it up at an event where he has cracked the top 25 in four of six prior trips. That includes a T-7 finish last year when he closed with a 64.

7. Charles Howell III: Howell had a quietly strong fall, and he picked up right where he left off last week at Sony (T-13), where he thrived at one of his favorite venues. That's now four straight top-25s, and his record here is highlighted by a playoff loss in 2013. 

8. Kevin Na: Na lacks the recent success at this event of some of the players on this list, but his is a deserving spot after he spent the fall doing everything but win a golf tournament. Multiple brushes with the lead across a variety of courses showed that his game can travel, and that Na is ready to end his victory drought soon.

9. Charley Hoffman: Hoffman can be hit-or-miss, but when he's on he can contend anywhere. That includes Palm Springs, where he actually has found a bit of consistency in recent years: T-10 in 2013, T-9 in 2014 and a runner-up a year ago.

10. David Lingmerth: It's hard to believe that three years have passed since Lingmerth surged into a playoff in Palm Springs. He is now a far more accomplished player, though, with a PGA Tour title to his credit and now four top-15 finishes in six worldwide starts since October. 

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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

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.