Power Rankings: AT&T Pebble Beach

By February 7, 2012, 5:30 pm

The PGA Tour enjoys a trip to America's West Coast golf cathedral this week, as the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am takes the stage on the Monterey. Tiger Woods headlines the field of professionals, teaming up with a host of amateur partners as they play a three-course lineup before ending the tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

An ocean away is the second event in our Fantasy Challenge this week. Rory McIlroy leads the field as Robert Rock tries to make it consecutive wins in the United Arab Emirates. Click here to view our power rankings for the third event of the Middle East swing.

After taking a look at our picks for the week, tweet yours using the hashtag #GCFantasy and follow me @RyanBallengeeGC. Also be sure to join the Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge to test yourself against our panel of experts, including defending champion Win McMurry.

1. Tiger Woods: Woods began his season with a T-3 finish at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. A final round slouch left him without a trophy, but his record at Pebble - including a T-4 in his 2010 U.S. Open bid - should give him an edge.

2. D.A. Points: The defending champion here is off to a hot start in 2012, beginning the year with a pair of top-10 finishes. Points teams again with Bill Murray, who clearly has a good influence on him.

3. Bryce Molder: Finally equipped with a PGA Tour win, Molder has been in the top ten in each of the last two years at Pebble Beach.

4. Spencer Levin: If Kyle Stanley can do it, so can Spencer Levin. Phoenix was a brutal lesson, but Levin can learn quickly at Pebble. He was fourth here last year and won the 2004 California State Amateur at Pebble Beach.

5. Dustin Johnson: A two-time champion in this event, Johnson clearly enjoys golf on the edge of the Pacific. An inconsistent start to the year, hampered in part by a nagging injury, is a cause for concern.

6. Hunter Mahan: Starting the year with a T-6 at Torrey Pines, discount what happened in the sand-swept Qatar Masters. Runner-up here last year, Mahan should be a good pick if he's over jet lag.

7. Martin Laird: The Scot has two top-15 finishes in three events this year, including a second-place finish in the opener at Kapalua. He ranks seventh on the money list.

8. Phil Mickelson: It's not saying much, but Phil had his best finish of the year (T-26) at Phoenix last week. He's won at Pebble three times and has been in the top ten in each of the last two years.

9. Jeff Maggert: Maggert is a sleeper this week, having the sixth-best record against the field average in 2012. He was runner-up here in 2004, so he has shown the capacity to perform at Pebble.

10. Bob Estes: Estes is sneaky good here, notching top-10 finishes in 2009 and '10. He's under pressure to earn money to score better status through a major medical exemption, which could be a motivator.

You can watch complete coverage of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Thursday-Friday live on Golf Channel from 3PM-6PM ET.
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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.