Power Rankings: BMW PGA Championship

By Will GrayMay 21, 2013, 9:47 pm

While the PGA Tour remains in the Lone Star State for the Crowne Plaza Invitational, the European Tour hosts many of the game's best at Wentworth for its flagship event of the season. With four players in the top 10 of the world rankings, the BMW PGA Championship boasts the strongest field in worldwide golf this week.

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Luke Donald returns to defend the title that he won for the second year in a row last year, claiming the trophy over Justin Rose. Here are 10 players to watch in England:

1. Luke Donald: A clear-cut favorite this week as the Englishman goes for his third straight title at Wentworth to go along with a runner-up finish in 2010. Donald also finished inside the top 10 in both 2007 and 2008.

2. Graeme McDowell: Coming off a match-play win in Bulgaria last week in addition to his win at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head last month. McDowell is very clearly rounding into form as the U.S. Open approaches and will look to bounce back from a pair of missed cuts the last two years at Wentworth.

3. Justin Rose: A runner-up to Donald last year, Rose also tied for 10th here in 2010. His missed cut at The Players Championship broke a lenghty streak of worldwide top-25 finishes, one that he hopes to restart this week in his native land.

4. Sergio Garcia: The Spaniard makes his first start since his much-publicized weekend at TPC Sawgrass. A meltdown across the final two holes aside, Garcia played remarkably well at the Players, a trend that has emerged across most of his worldwide starts in 2013.

6. Ian Poulter: After a surprising exit from the Volvo World Match Play in Bulgaria, Poulter vowed to 'fly to England and win at Wentworth.' While that might be setting the bar high, a strong finish is certainly within reach for the Englishman, who tied for 18th at Wentworth in 2011 and tied for 10th a year ago.

7. Rory McIlroy: The highest-ranked player in this week's field, McIlroy enters off a strong showing at TPC Sawgrass, where he tied for eighth. The Ulsterman now has four straight top-25 finishes, dating back to his runner-up showing in San Antonio, and appears to be shaking off the rust he showed in switching to new equipment and playing sparingly to start the year.

8. David Lynn: The Englishman doesn't have a strong record at Wentworth; in fact, he's missed the cut six of the last seven years. What Lynn does have, though, is momentum, coming off a playoff loss at the Wells Fargo Championship that he backed up with a tie for 26th at the Stadium Course.

9. Martin Kaymer: The German had a successful week of ball-striking at TPC Sawgrass that he turned into a successful week overall in Dallas, tying for fifth at TPC Four Seasons. Kaymer has made the cut in five of six appearances at Wentworth, finishing no worse than T-31 each time that he's played the weekend.

10. Kiradech Aphibarnrat: Don't let the name fool you. Aphibarnrat has been inside the top 12 in each of four stroke-play starts on the European Tour this year, including a win at the rain-shortened Maybank Malaysia Open. The Thai is currently third in Europe in stroke average, 12th in driving distance and 13th in putts per GIR.

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Watch that time Tiger throttled Ames, 9 and 8

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2018, 4:54 pm

Nine and eight. Three words that live in golf lore. Just say them and any golf fan can tell you what they mean.

In the 2006 WGC-Match Play, Tiger Woods faced Stephen Ames in the opening round. Ames, when asked prior to the event about his chance of winning, infamously said, "Anything can happen, especially where he's hitting it."

What happened on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at La Coasta Resort & Spa, was the most lopsided result in tournament history: 9 and 8 Check out the highlights below:

After his win, Woods was asked if Ames' comment had motivated him. Woods replied, "9 and 8."

Woods eventually lost, 1 up, to Chad Campbell in the third round. He then won his next start at Doral and went on to finish the season with six consecutive Tour wins, including The Open and PGA. He also won his first start in 2007 to make it seven consecutive Tour titles.

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Schedule change, caddie change for Casey at Match Play

By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 4:12 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Paul Casey originally planned to skip the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, opting for two weeks off before the Masters.

Those plans changed when he removed the Arnold Palmer Invitational from his schedule and returned home to England last week to attend the funeral of a family friend. That adjustment also prompted a caddie change this week, with Scott Vail stepping in for the Englishman’s normal caddie, John McLaren.

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“We looked at tickets and it just didn't make sense for Johnny to fly back. We try and base our schedule around playing the best golf possible, but also having quality family time,” Casey said on Tuesday at Austin Country Club. “For Johnny to break up a nice three-week break with his family, there was no point to ruining that.”

This isn’t the first time Casey, who won the Valspar Championship two weeks ago, has needed a replacement caddie. At last year’s Travelers Championship, McLaren took a similar break and was replaced on the bag by Shannon Wallace. Although it’s not uncommon for caddies to take a week off, McLaren does have one stipulation.

“The only rule we have is that if Johnny is not going to work, he picks my caddie. So he picked the caddie,” said Casey, who is 20-12-1 in 12 starts at the Match Play and has advanced to the championship match twice.

Westchester Country Club hosted the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship. (Getty) Getty Images

Westchester selected to host 2021 U.S. Women's Am

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2018, 3:20 pm

The USGA announced Tuesday that Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., has been selected to host the 2021 U.S. Women's Amateur. The tournament will be held Aug. 2-8, 2021.

The club's West Course first hosted the event in 1923, and it boasts a storied history of professional tournaments as well. The PGA Tour hosted the Westchester Classic, later known as the Buick Classic and eventually The Barclays, at Westchester from 1967-2007, including the first-ever FedExCup playoff event, won by Steve Stricker in 2007.

The course was also the site of the 2011 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, won by Fred Couples, and the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship, won by Inbee Park.

"The USGA is thrilled to bring the U.S. Women's Amateur to Westchester Country Club for the second time," Stuart Francis, USGA championship committee chairman, said in a release. "One of the USGA's three oldest championships, the Women's Amateur consistently identifies the world's top female players, and we are confident Westchester will provide the ultimate test for the championship's 121st playing."

First held in 1895, the Women's Amateur is open to players with a USGA handicap index not exceeding 5.4. Sophia Schubert won last year's event at San Diego Country Club, while this year's tournament will be held at The Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs.

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Stock Watch: Park rises again, under the radar

By Ryan LavnerMarch 20, 2018, 12:48 pm

Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.


Rory (+10%): The massive drives, the fist pumps, the unmistakable strut – McIlroy finally found the spark that he needed to play confident, aggressive golf. Bring on Augusta and his shot at history.

Tiger (+7%): It was another forgettable end to a final round, but let’s not lose sight of the big picture: Five events into his comeback, Woods has now carded 10 consecutive rounds of par or better – all on tough tracks – and can be viewed as a legitimate threat at the Masters. Remarkable, really.

Inbee Park (+5%): Fighting injuries and questioning whether she should retire, the Queen ‘Bee routed a top field in just her second start back. Stud.

Bryson (+3%): When The Machine operates properly, he’s one of the best ball-strikers in the world. Yes, he’s still painfully slow, but there’s no denying his talent – his runner-up against a star-studded field should help him tremendously.

Laura Davies (+2%): Fifty-four years old and nursing an Achilles injury, she turned back the clock with one of the coolest performances of the young season, on any tour. She’s still got tons of game.


Henrik Stenson (-1%): Maybe he’s just destined to go winless at Bay Hill. In the past four years, he’s had three excellent chances to win there and came away empty-handed each time.

Rickie (-2%): Hanging near the lead, Fowler closed his third round bogey-double, then shot 74 in the final round to drop out of the top 10. Sigh.  

P-Reed (-3%): His whiny protest to a rules official about a free drop – “I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth” – got even juicier when the Ryder Cup partners were drawn in the same group at the Match Play. Get your popcorn ready.

Ted Potter Jr. (-5%): His impressive victory at Pebble Beach over DJ, Phil and J-Day is looking more and more like a fluke each week. He’s now missed four consecutive cuts.

Fan behavior (-7%): Another week, another player complaining about increasingly hostile spectators. The Tour has (frustratingly) remained quiet on the issue, but the tipping point will come when one of these dopes affects the outcome on the 72nd hole.