Power Rankings: Players Championship

By May 8, 2012, 1:00 pm

The PGA Tour presents its crown jewel this week, as the spotlight shines on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass and The Players Championship. K.J. Choi defends this week, looking to become the first champion to ever successfully retain his title in this tournament.

Take a look at our fantasy rankings for this week, then tweet out your picks using the hashtag #GCFantasy and send them to 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. Lee Westwood: Westwood went low on the weekend at Quail Hollow and enters the week leading the Tour in greens in regulation percentage. Making his first appearance since a T-4 in 2010, Westwood has only broken par in the final round once in nine appearances.

2. Luke Donald: Donald took a week off after a blistering final three rounds in NOLA, playing the Pete Dye-designed TPC Louisiana in 18 under par. Was T-4 here last year and has cashed the last five years.

3. Sergio Garcia: The 2008 Players champion hasn't played since a T-12 at the Masters. Was runner-up in 2007, T-12 last year and hasn't missed a cut here since 2003.

4. Hunter Mahan: Mahan is the only multiple-time winner this year and is eighth on Tour in driving accuracy and fifth in greens in regulation. In 2011, he finished T-6 at The Players.

5. Rory McIlroy: McIlroy has never broken 70 in four rounds and two appearances at TPC Sawgrass. Coming off of a near miss at Quail Hollow, McIlroy can use 3-wood to get around Sawgrass all week.

6. Steve Stricker: Stricker's game travels well anywhere, including a sixth-place finish in the Crescent City in his last start on a Pete Dye track. Was T-12 here a year ago and is seventh on Tour in greens in regulation.

7. Jason Dufner: The New Orleans winner is now also a newlywed, getting married last weekend in Alabama. Dufner can compartmentalize the wedding glow as well as anyone. He was T-6 here a year ago.

8. Louis Oosthuizen: Oosthuizen missed the cut here in his only appearance last year, but is on form and well-rested. He is 23rd in driving accuracy and 11th in greens in regulation this season.

9. Francesco Molinari: The Spanish Open champion shot 65 to wrap up his first European Tour win since 2010. He was ninth here in 2010, but missed the cut last year.

10. Graeme McDowell: Winners at Sawgrass hit a lot of fairways and greens. McDowell is hitting more fairways than everyone this season, as he leads the Tour in driving accuracy. Watch out for a big Sunday number, however - he averages 77.33 in three final rounds here.

**Remember to join GC Fantasy expert Rob Bolton for a live chat 12:00p ET Wednesday at www.rotoworld.com**

Tune in for live coverage of the The Players Championship from 1-7PM ET Thursday-Friday on Golf Channel.

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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.