Power Rankings: Watney the Philly favorite

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 28, 2011, 12:00 pm

Here are GolfChannel.com’s Power Rankings, the top 10 favorites for the AT&T National:

1. Nick Watney: Watney's made over $3 million in 2011 via a win and six other top-10s, and he played well here last year, finishing tied for seventh. Our experts liked what they saw in his T-13 last week at the Travelers and a stern, par-70 test like Aronimink is right up his alley.

2. K.J. Choi: The 2007 AT&T champ has become a major player this year– or fifth major, as it may be, with his Players Championship win – and a favorite in events that require a well-rounded game.

3. Ryan Moore: A missed 4-footer on the 72nd hole at the Travelers was all that could have separated Moore from his second Tour tilt a mere shot secured the same fate last year in his solo second finish. Moore's playing well and history shows he plays well at this tournament.

4. Justin Rose: Rose comes into this week as the defending champ but he's also coming off of two straight missed cuts and lukewarm play before that since his T-11 at The Masters. Still, good memories count for a lot in golf and Rose has the skill to turn it around at any given moment.

5. Hunter Mahan: This 'Golf Boy' finished second here to the tournament host in 2009 and a second-round 63 last week in Hartford says the game is there. But he's been inconsistent of late – his MC at the U.S. Open and over par rounds to open and close the Travelers also say Mahan's a bit of a wildcard at the moment.

6. Lucas Glover: The man with a Facebook page devoted to his facial hair has lulled since his Wells Fargo win in May which says the early-season struggles of the '09 U.S. Open champ are more the norm than the exception this year. But, as evidenced by his major championship title, Glover plays difficult courses well so perhaps he'll get things back on track this week.

7. Webb Simpson: Simpson knocked on victory's door twice this year – at the Transitions Championship and Zurich Classic – but no one has yet to answer. A great all-around player (currently No. 1 on the PGA Tour's 'All-Around' ranking), a victory is sure to come soon.

8. Mark Wilson: Already a two-time winner this year on Tour, Wilson also had a pair of top-10s at both Arnie and Jack's events. And now this is Tiger's event.

9. Anthony Kim: By all accounts AK feels good about his game, but his results have yet to yield the kind of season the '08 AT&T champ is capable of. Could this be the week Kim becomes the kid of old?

10. Adam Scott: With the tournament host, Woods, sidelined still for an unknown period of time, Scott has the former world No. 1's caddie on loan. He's struggled since his T-2 at the Masters, but maybe the combo of Tiger's caddie at Tiger's tournament is enough to bring the player who copied Tiger's swing of old back into the limelight.

Note: This list is compiled from rankings submitted by members ofGolfChannel.com's editorial team, based on who is most expected tocontend in each upcoming event.

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Rahm focusing on play, not shot at No. 1

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 9:06 pm

SAN DIEGO – Jon Rahm’s meteoric rise in the world rankings could end with him reaching No. 1 with a win this week at Torrey Pines.

After winning last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, his fourth title in 51 weeks, Rahm has closed the gap on Dustin Johnson – less than 1.5 average points separates them.

With Johnson not playing this week, the 23-year-old Spaniard has a chance to reach the top spot for the first time, but only if he defends his title at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

“Beating Dustin Johnson is a really, really hard task. It’s no easy task,” he said Tuesday. “We still have four days of golf ahead and we’ll see what happens. But I’ll try to focus more on what’s going on this week rather than what comes with it if I win.

“I’ll try my best, that’s for sure. Hopefully it happens, but we all know how hard it is to win on Tour.”

Rahm has already become the fourth-youngest player to reach No. 2 in the world, behind Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. 

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Rahm: Playoff wasn't friendly, just 'nervous'

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 8:53 pm

SAN DIEGO – Too chummy? Jon Rahm says he and Andrew Landry were just expending some nervous energy on the walk up to the fairway during the first playoff hole of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

“I wouldn’t have been that nervous if it was friendly,” Rahm said with a smile Tuesday. “I think it was something he said because we were talking going out of the first tee.

“I didn’t know Andrew – I think it was a pretty good time to get to know him. We had at least 10 minutes to ourselves. It’s not like we were supporting each other, right? We were both in it together, we were both nervous together, and I felt like talking about it might have eased the tension out of both of us.”

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

On Sunday, two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange saw the exchange on TV and tweeted: “Walking off the tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me? Talking at all?”

Strange followed up by saying that, in a head-to-head situation, the last thing he’d want to do was make his opponent comfortable. When his comments went viral, Strange tweeted at Rahm, who won after four holes: “Hopefully no offense taken on my comment yesterday. You guys are terrific. I’m a huge fan of all players today. Made an adverse comment on U guys talking during playoff. Not for me. A fan.”

Not surprisingly, the gregarious Rahm saw things differently.

“We only talked going out of the first tee up until the fairway,” he said. “Besides that, all we said was, ‘Good shot, good putt, see you on the next tee.’ That’s what it was reduced to. We didn’t say much.” 

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Tiger grouped with Reed, Hoffman at Torrey Pines

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 8:35 pm

SAN DIEGO – Tiger Woods will make his 2018 debut alongside Patrick Reed and Charley Hoffman.

The threesome will go off Torrey Pines’ South Course at 1:40 p.m. ET Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open. They begin at 12:30 p.m. Friday on the North Course.

Woods is an eight-time winner at Torrey Pines, including the 2008 U.S. Open, but he hasn’t broken 70 in his last seven rounds on either course. Last year, he shot rounds of 76-72 to miss the cut.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

Reed, who has grown close to Woods after being in his pod during the past two international team competitions, is coming off a missed cut last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Hoffman, a San Diego native, has only two top-10s in 20 career starts at Torrey.

Other featured groups for the first two rounds include:

• Jon Rahm, Jason Day and Brandt Snedeker: 1:30 p.m. Thursday off South 1, 12:20 p.m. Friday off North 10

• Rickie Fowler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele: 12:30 p.m. Thursday off North 10, 1:30 p.m. Friday off South 1

• Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama: 12:40 p.m. Thursday off North 10, 1:40 p.m. Friday off South 1

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Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion

By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 7:54 pm

Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.

Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.

“While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.

It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.

“What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”

The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.

“I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”