Power Rankings: 2017 Valero Texas Open

By Will GrayApril 17, 2017, 1:50 pm

The 2017 fantasy golf season heads west this week, as the focus of the golf world shifts to the Lone Star State for the Valero Texas Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio, where the winner will receive a pair of cowboy boots.

Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week's event.

Charley Hoffman won this event last year by one shot over Patrick Reed. Here are 10 players to watch in San Antonio:

1. Charley Hoffman: Hoffman's victory here last year capped a stellar run where he finished T-13 or better every year but once dating back to 2006. Hoffman was also a runner-up in 2011 and T-3 in 2013, and more recently he contended through the first three rounds of the Masters and was a runner-up last month at Bay Hill.

2. Matt Kuchar: If Kuchar treated every round like Sunday, he'd be lapping the field. After a strong close helped him to a T-4 finish at the Masters, Kuchar shot a final-round 64 at Heritage to snag a share of 11th place. His San Antonio record features four straight top-25 finishes from 2012-15, highlighted by a T-4 finish three years ago.

3. Jimmy Walker: Walker lives in nearby Boerne and will have plenty of fan support this week in a de facto hometown event. While he missed the cut last year, he held off Jordan Spieth to win this event two years ago and now makes his return for the first time since becoming a major champion. He has four top-25 finishes in his last six starts, including a T-18 finish at the Masters.

4. Branden Grace: Grace has steadily improved at this event, from a missed cut in 2014 to a T-30 finish in 2015 and a T-9 result last year. After finally figuring out how to hang at Augusta National, the South African finished a solid T-11 in his title defense at Harbour Town and now heads to a course where his burly ball-striking will be an asset.

5. Billy Horschel: Horschel has been somewhat inconsistent this season, but steady results haven't been an issue for him recently in San Antonio. The former FedEx Cup champ has finished T-4 or better three times in the last four years (2013, 2015, 2016). While he missed the cut last week after returning home for the birth of his daughter, his results at Honda (T-4) and Bay Hill (T-13) showed what he can do on familiar layouts.

6. Patrick Reed: Reed was a hard-luck runner-up at this event last year, but he returns in search of form. Reed hasn't cracked the top 20 since a T-12 finish at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January and missed the cut in both Houston and Augusta. A return to the site of positive memories last year may spark a turnaround, but he's a volatile fantasy selection at this point.

7. Brendan Steele: Steele earned his first career win at this event back in 2011, and he returns in the midst of his best season since. After winning the season opener in Napa, Steele has racked up five more top-20 finishes and tied for 27th at the Masters. In addition to his win in San Antonio, he also finished T-4 in 2012, T-8 in 2015 and T-13 last year.

8. Brooks Koepka: After a rocky start to the year, Koepka appears to be turning things around following a T-9 finish at the WGC-Dell Match Play and a T-11 finish at the Masters. The former Ryder Cupper missed the cut here last year, but he finished T-36 in his 2014 debut and will be able to lean on his length this week on a layout that can stretch to nearly 7,500 yards.

9. Kevin Chappell: Chappell is one of the best players still in search of his first win, and the first of his six career runner-up finishes came at TPC San Antonio in 2011. Since then he added a pair of top-15 finishes, highlighted by a T-4 result last year, and he finished T-7 at the Masters two weeks ago.

10. Daniel Summerhays: Summerhays hasn't experienced much success since contending last summer at Baltusrol, but he's always a player to watch at this event. Last year's T-13 finish broke a streak of three straight top-7 results at TPC San Antonio for Summerhays, a run that included a runner-up finish in 2014.

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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 halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

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

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

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


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


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