Power Rankings: 2016 Dean & DeLuca Invitational

By Will GrayMay 24, 2016, 1:24 pm

The 2016 fantasy golf season rolls right along, as the PGA Tour remains in Texas this week for the Dean & DeLuca Invitational. A field of 122 players will tackle Colonial Country Club, home of the "Horrible Horseshoe."

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Chris Kirk won this event last year by one shot over a trio of players. Here are 10 players to watch in Fort Worth:

1. Jordan Spieth: Spieth isn't firing on all cylinders, but he showed last week that even less than his best is (nearly) good enough to beat a strong field. This week's venue suits him much better than last week's, and the partisan crowds should once again spur him on at an event where he missed a playoff by a shot a year ago.

2. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar followed a third-place finish at TPC Sawgrass by mirroring that result the very next week in Dallas. His ball-striking should shine once again this week on a tight venue where he has contended before, including a runner-up finish in 2013.

3. Adam Scott: Scott came to this event as world No. 1 in 2014, and he validated that status with a playoff victory to complete the "Texas Slam." Already with a pair of wins to his credit this season, Scott showed with his T-12 finish at The Players Championship that his game is not that far off.

4. Zach Johnson: Johnson has won this event twice (2010, 2012) and is the tournament's all-time money leader. While he hasn't contended since a fifth-place finish at Bay Hill in March, this course plays to the accurate nature of his game like few others and he's likely to get things back on track this week.

5. Charley Hoffman: Hoffman won earlier this year in San Antonio and he hasn't let up since, with top-12 finishes in two of his last three starts. Hoffman is still in the Ryder Cup mix, and he could rack up some valuable points this week on a course where he has finished T-18 or better three of the past four years.

6. Chris Kirk: The defending champ has a strong track record at Colonial, with four top-20 finishes in five appearances. While he was slow to rebound from a broken hand last fall, Kirk has begun to return to form, with five top-25 finishes in six starts prior to an early exit at TPC Sawgrass.

7. Kevin Chappell: After a runner-up finish at The Players Championship, Chappell is now one of the highest-ranked players in the world without a PGA Tour win. That drought could end this week, where Chappell - who also finished second at Sea Island and Bay Hill this season - finished T-10 two years ago.

8. Kevin Na: Na was in the mix for much of this tournament last year before finishing T-10, his fourth top-15 finish at Colonial since 2007. While he has cooled since his torrid stretch in the fall, Na did finish T-4 at another ball-striker's paradise, Harbour Town, just last month.

9. Jason Dufner: Dufner is an old-school player and big fan of this week's de-facto honoree, Ben Hogan. He has played some inspired golf at Colonial as well, with runner-up finishes in both 2012 and 2014, and having won earlier this year in California, Dufner showed with last week's T-24 result that another big week could be in the works.

10. Colt Knost: Ride the hot hand. Knost tied the TPC Sawgrass course record en route to a T-3 finish two weeks ago, then followed with a T-4 finish last week at the AT&T Byron Nelson. A former Dallas resident who starred at nearby SMU, Knost will have plenty of support this week on a course where he finished T-10 last year.

Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.

Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.

Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

"I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.

Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.

Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.

Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Getty Images

LaCava: Woods wouldn't talk after H.O.R.S.E. match

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 2:27 pm

The competitive streak within Tiger Woods knows no bounds - even on the basketball court, according to caddie Joe LaCava.

LaCava has been on Woods' bag since 2011, and he recently shared a story on "Inside the Ropes" on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio about a clash between the two men over a seemingly friendly game of H.O.R.S.E. Actually, it turned into nine straight games (and nine straight wins) for LaCava, who exploited a weakness in Woods' on-court strategy while leaning on a mid-length jumper of his own:

"The thing with him was if I missed a shot, which I missed plenty of shots, but if I missed the shot he'd go back down to the 3 (point line) because he liked to make the 3," LaCava said. "But it's harder obviously to make a 3, and I'd go right back to the baseline 12-footer, and he couldn't make it."

It's a short list of people who have beaten Woods nine times in any athletic pursuit, let alone in a row. But for LaCava, the fallout from his afternoon of on-court dominance was less than subtle.

"He did not talk to me the rest of the day," LaCava explained. "I didn't even get the old text, 'Dinner is ready,' because I stay across at the beach house. I didn't even get that text that night. I had to get take-out. He didn't announce he wasn't (talking), he just did it. I'm telling you, nine games in a row. Like I said, he's so competitive, even at something like that."