Power Rankings: Shell Houston Open

By Will GrayApril 1, 2014, 10:08 pm

This week marks the 21st event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as the Tour continues its Texas two-step with the Shell Houston Open. A field of 144 players will tackle Redstone Golf Club, where the winner could grab the final spot available in this year's Masters field.

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D.A. Points returns to defend the title he won last year by one shot over Henrik Stenson and Billy Horschel. Here are 10 players to watch this week in Houston:

1. Henrik Stenson: The Swede got off to a slow start this year, but appears to be rounding into form just in time. Stenson tied for fifth at Bay Hill and preceded that with a strong weekend at Doral. He was a runner-up here last year and also tied for third in 2009; he has yet to shoot over par at Redstone and six of his 12 competitive rounds have been in the 60s.

2. Rory McIlroy: The Ulsterman is still in search of his first win in 2014, but it may come this week. While McIlroy has played here only once since 2010, a T-45 last year, he's been on an upward trend for much of the past six months. McIlroy is the highest-ranked player in this week's field, and will look to fine-tune his game this week before heading to the Masters as a favorite in light of Tiger Woods' withdrawal.

3. Dustin Johnson: DJ has a pair of runner-up finishes to his credit in 2014, and generally has experienced a bit of a renaissance this season. He tied for fourth here a year ago, closing with a 65, and has the length to create extra birdie opportunities around Redstone. He currently leads the Tour in scoring average and GIR percentage, and he ranks behind only Bubba Watson in driving distance.

4. Keegan Bradley: Bradley is making his first start since a runner-up finish at Bay Hill and already has seven top-25 finishes to his credit this season. He's cracked the top 10 each of the past two years in Houston, including a T-4 finish in 2012, and is currently 11th on Tour in birdie average.

5. Sergio Garcia: Garcia has only made three PGA Tour starts in 2014, but the Spaniard did win in Qatar in January and remains a contender when his putter cooperates. He has made one prior Shell appearance, a tie for 77th in 2009, but his play in Florida indicated that he should better that this time around. Garcia tied for eighth at the Honda Classic, then followed that with a T-16 at Doral.

6. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar let a golden opportunity slip away last week at Valero, where he tied for fourth after a final-round 75. Despite the near-miss, Kuchar still has five top-10 finishes in eight starts this season, and remains one of the Tour's most consistent ball-strikers. He last played in this event in 2010 and 2011, but tied for eighth in each of those two appearances.

7. Lee Westwood: The Englishman has been a consistent staple on the leaderboards at Redstone, finishing T-30 or better each of the past five years. He has carded just three rounds over par during that stretch, a run that includes a tie for eighth in 2008 and a T-10 finish last year. Westwood is still in search of his first top-10 this season, but based on his comfort level in Houston, that drought may end this week.

8. Jordan Spieth: Were it not for a rocky start to his opening round in San Antonio, Spieth may have factored down the stretch at Valero. Still, the 20-year-old turned an apparent missed cut into a top-10 finish, displaying some serious grit along the way. As a former Longhorn, he'll again have some crowd support this week in Houston as he looks for a fifth top-10 finish in 2013-14.

9. Charley Hoffman: Hoffman quietly tied for 11th last week in San Antonio, his third consecutive top-25 finish on Tour. He's also had some success at Redstone, with four top-25 finishes since 2006. With a majority of the field in search of a Masters invite that would accompany a win this week, Hoffman may be one of the more likely contenders to emerge from the pack and earn a last-minute invite to Augusta.

10. Louis Oosthuizen: Oosthuizen seemingly came out of nowhere to contend again at the 2012 Masters, but that year he used a third-place finish at this tournament as a precursor. The South African has one of the smoothest swings around, but has missed time recently because of back pain (then again, who hasn't?). If Oosthuizen is healthy, he could be a name to watch as he also tied for 10th last year and was T-16 in 2011.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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.

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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 Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.