Power Rankings: Honda Classic

By Will GrayFebruary 26, 2013, 4:53 pm

This week the PGA Tour heads to the Sunshine State, beginning a stretch of four consecutive events in Florida. First up is The Honda Classic, staged at PGA National and once again boasting a strong field that features four of the game's top six in the current rankings.

Be sure to join the Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge to test yourself against our panel of experts, including former champion Win McMurry.

Rory McIlroy returns to defend the title he won last year over a hard-charging Tiger Woods, a victory that propelled him to No. 1 in the world. Here are 10 players to watch this week as the game's best try to tame the 'Bear Trap' in South Florida:

1. Justin Rose: The Englishman has finished inside the top five each of his last two appearances here, including a third-place result in 2010. Rose led the Tour in GIR percentage in 2012, a metric that will be key this week, and showed an ability to win on Florida courses at Doral a year ago.

2. Graeme McDowell: Unlike many on this list, G-Mac had a solid showing at last week's Match Play, and now heads to Honda where he has been inside the top 10 each of the last two years. Now living in Orlando, the Ulsterman has plenty of experience on the Bermuda greens he'll see this week.

3. Charl Schwartzel: Stubbed his toe against Russell Henley at Dove Mountain, but his track record across the last few months is reason enough to keep him high on the list. Finished T-14 in his first Honda appearance in 2011, and improved upon that with a T-5 showing here last year. 

4. Tiger Woods: His closing 62 last year remains the lowest Sunday round of his career, but prior to that round he was just 18th entering the final round. Woods didn't make a bogey in his first-round loss at the Match Play, but is also making just his second appearance in this event at PGA National.

5. Louis Oosthuizen: Making his third Honda start, but surprisingly still seeking his first result after withdrawing due to illness midway through the event in both 2011 and 2012. Already has a win in South Africa this year to his credit, and is approaching the part of the season where he heated up a year ago.

6. Rory McIlroy: The defending champ returns with more questions than answers after a rough start to 2013. One of only two players last year with all four rounds in the 60s, the Ulsterman may still be getting used to his new equipment, having played only three competitive rounds thus far this year.

7. Fredrik Jacobson: One of the hottest players around, Jacobson parlayed top-10 finishes at both Pebble Beach and Riviera into a third-round showing at Dove Mountain. The Swede has been inside the top 30 here in four straight appearances, including back-to-back top-10 finishes in 2009 and 2010. 

8. Lee Westwood: The Englishman is playing in the States for the fourth week in a row, and has been inside the top 10 at Honda two of the last three years. While overshadowed by Woods' 62 a year ago, Westwood fired a 63 of his own in the final round to finish alone in fourth place.

9. Ernie Els: A winner here in 2008, Els had a solid outing in his last stroke-play event (T-13 at Riviera) before a first-round exit in Arizona. The reigning British Open champion has a pair of top-25 finishes here since 2009, including a T-21 showing last year.

10. Charles Howell III: Buoyed by his upset win over Woods at the Match Play, Howell heads to an event where he sandwiched a T-10 finish in 2011 around T-26s in both 2010 and 2012. Currently No. 64 in the world, Howell needs to crack the top 50 by month's end to make it into The Masters.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: