Power Rankings: Wyndham Championship

By Will GrayAugust 13, 2012, 9:00 pm

With the season's final major in the rear view mirror, players now focus their attention on the Playoffs. This week's Wyndham Championship represents the final event of the FedEx Cup regular season, and for many the final chance to jump into the top 125 in the standings and extend their season.

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

Webb Simpson returns to Greensboro as defending champion, but a strong field of contenders will look to take the title from him this week. Here are 10 players to watch:

1. Carl Pettersson: A former champion at Sedgefield (2008) who finished T-4 here last year and has already won this year on another 'target' golf course (Harbour Town). The Swede lives in nearby Raleigh, went to NC State and has unending amounts of positive goodwill stockpiled from how he dealt with the unfortunate penalty situation on Sunday at Kiawah. What's not to love?

2. Webb Simpson: The U.S. Open champion returns to the site of his first Tour victory last summer. Another player with roots in the Tar Heel state, Simpson will hope that some friendly confines will help him shake off the rust post-paternity better than wind-blown Kiawah Island did last week.

3. Jason Dufner: Quietly shot -5 over the final two rounds at Kiawah, finishing T-27 although never really factoring. Dufner continues to be one of the more consistent players in 2012, currently ranking third in the all-around, fifth in scoring average and leading the Tour with 17 consecutive cuts made.

4. Josh Teater: Returning to action after a week off, Teater has posted three consecutive top-10 finishes and may be the hottest player you haven't heard of. He's finished in the top 25 at Sedgefield each of the last two years, and he currently ranks 15th on Tour in total driving and 22nd in GIR percentage.

5. Sergio Garcia: With Ian Poulter's Sunday charge, Garcia now finds himself on the wrong side of the European Ryder Cup bubble with only two weeks to go and in need of a good result. He finished fourth here in 2009, his only prior visit to Sedgefield CC.

6. Brandt Snedeker: Though captain Davis Love III has four picks at his disposal, odds are right now that he won't be spending one on Snedeker. Thus Sneds begins his four-week, mini-Ryder Cup audition on a course where he has posted two top-10 finishes in the last three years.

7. Brendon de Jonge: Trailing only Jason Dufner for consecutive cuts made (15), de Jonge continues to be one of the most stable players of the year. Should have no problem finding the greens around Sedgefield, as he currently ranks 11th on Tour in GIR percentage.

8. David Toms: A runner-up here in 2010, Toms has had a solid summer season with four top-15 finishes in his last seven starts. Currently stands seventh on Tour in driving accuracy and has been under par in nine of 10 final rounds in 2012.

9. John Daly: Hardly a model in consistency, Daly did manage to back up his season-best T-5 finish in Reno with a very respectable T-18 at the PGA. Currently 137th in the FedEx Cup points race and having never made it to golf's version of the playoffs, Daly will need one more high finish to crack the top 125 and earn a spot in the field for The Barclays.

10. Nicolas Colsaerts: Like Sergio Garcia, Colsaerts is currently just outside the cutoff for the last automatic European Ryder Cup spot. Unlike Garcia, he doesn't have a sterling Ryder Cup history to fall back on in hopes of landing one of the two captain's picks. If the Belgian is going to make the team, it will likely have to be on merit between this week and next.

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Rose: 'Never' has Rory putted as well as Bay Hill

By Ryan LavnerMarch 19, 2018, 1:20 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Justin Rose didn’t need to ponder the question for very long.

The last time Rory McIlroy putted that well was, well …?

“Never,” Rose said with a chuckle. “Ryder Cup? He always makes it look easy when he’s playing well.”

And the Englishman did well just to try and keep pace.

After playing his first six holes in 4 over par, Rose battled not just to make the cut but to contend. He closed with consecutive rounds of 67, finishing in solo third, four shots back of McIlroy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Rose said this weekend was the best he’s struck the ball all year. He just didn’t do enough to overtake McIlroy, who finished the week ranked first in strokes gained-putting and closed with a bogey-free 64.

“Rory just played incredible golf, and it’s great to see world-class players do that,” Rose said. “It’s not great to see him make putts because he was making them against me, but when he is, he’s incredibly hard to beat. So it was fun to watch him play.”

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Rory almost channels Tiger with 72nd-hole celebration

By Ryan LavnerMarch 19, 2018, 1:11 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy’s final putt at the Arnold Palmer Invitational felt awfully familiar.

He rolled in the 25-footer for birdie and wildly pumped his fist, immediately calling to mind Woods’ heroics on Bay Hill’s 18th green.

Three times Woods holed a putt on the final green to win this event by a stroke.

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

McIlroy was just happy to provide a little extra cushion as the final group played the finishing hole.

“I’ve seen Tiger do that enough times to know what it does,” McIlroy said. “So I just wanted to try and emulate that. I didn’t quite give it the hat toss – I was thinking about doing that. But to be able to create my own little bit of history on the 18th green here is pretty special.”

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McIlroy remembers Arnie dinner: He liked A-1 sauce on fish

By Will GrayMarch 19, 2018, 1:06 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Fresh off a stirring victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rory McIlroy offered a pair of culinary factoids about two of the game’s biggest names.

McIlroy regretted not being able to shake Palmer’s hand behind the 18th green after capping a three-shot win with a Sunday 64, but with the trophy in hand he reflected back on a meal he shared with Palmer at Bay Hill back in 2015, the year before Palmer passed away.

“I knew that he liked A-1 sauce on his fish, which was quite strange,” McIlroy said. “I remember him asking the server, ‘Can I get some A-1 sauce?’ And the server said, ‘For your fish, Mr. Palmer?’ He said, ‘No, for me.’”

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

A few minutes later, McIlroy revealed that he is also a frequent diner at The Woods Jupiter, the South Florida restaurant launched by Tiger Woods. In fact, McIlroy explained that he goes to the restaurant every Wednesday with his parents – that is, when he’s not spanning the globe winning golf tournaments.

Having surveyed the menu a few times, he considers himself a fan.

“It’s good. He seems pretty hands-on with it,” McIlroy said. “Tuna wontons are good, the lamb lollipops are good. I recommend it.”

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DeChambeau comes up short: 'Hat’s off to Rory'

By Will GrayMarch 19, 2018, 12:48 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Amid a leaderboard chock full of big names and major winners, the person that came closest to catching Rory McIlroy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational turned out to by Bryson DeChambeau.

While Henrik Stenson faltered and Justin Rose stalled out, it was DeChambeau that gave chase to McIlroy coming down the stretch at Bay Hill. Birdies on Nos. 12 and 13 were followed by an eagle out of the rough on No. 16, which brought him to within one shot of the lead.

But as DeChambeau surveyed his birdie putt from the fringe on the penultimate hole, McIlroy put an effective end to the proceedings with a closing birdie of his own to polish off a round of 64. DeChambeau needed a hole-out eagle on No. 18 to force a playoff, and instead made bogey.

That bogey ultimately didn’t have an effect on the final standings, as DeChambeau finished alone in second place at 15 under, three shots behind McIlroy after shooting a 4-under 68.

“I thought 15 under for sure would win today,” DeChambeau said. “Rory obviously played some incredible golf. I don’t know what he did on the last nine, but it was deep. I know that.”

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

DeChambeau will collect $961,000 for his performance this week in Orlando, just $47,000 less than he got for winning the John Deere Classic in July. While he would have preferred to take McIlroy’s spot in the winner’s circle, DeChambeau was pleased with his effort in Sunday’s final pairing as he sets his sights on a return to the Masters.

“For him to shoot 64 in the final round, that’s just, hat’s off to him, literally. I can’t do anything about that,” DeChambeau said. “I played some great golf, had some great up-and-downs, made a couple key putts coming down the stretch, and there’s not really much more I can do about it. My hat’s off to Rory, and he played fantastic.”