2014 European Ryder Cup team capsules

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 22, 2014, 11:32 am

Here is a breakdown of European captain Paul McGinley's 12-man roster for the 40th Ryder Cup, which will be Sept. 26-28 in Gleneagles, Scotland. Click here for the United States team capsules. The Europeans are the reigning champion, having won, 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 at Medinah Country Club in 2012.

Rory McIlroyRory McIlroy

Age: 25

Record: 4-3-2 (3rd appearance)

World ranking: 1

PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 9/9 (4 exclusive to European Tour)

The lowdown: The world’s best player, McIlroy likely will be sent out in all five sessions. Traditionally, he’s partnered with Graeme McDowell in team play, but Sergio Garcia could form a new dynamic duo.

Henrik StensonHenrik Stenson

Age: 38

Record: 2-3-2 (3rd appearance)

World ranking: 5

PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 4/8 (7)

The lowdown: After a remarkable 2013 season, the Swede has done everything but win this year, posting six top-5 finishes, including at last month’s PGA.

Victor DubuissonVictor Dubuisson

Age: 24

Record: Rookie

World ranking: 23

PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 0/1

The lowdown: The mysterious Frenchman did most of his damage in the early part of the European Tour’s wraparound schedule, winning the Turkish Airlines Open and finishing third in the DP World Tour Championship. U.S. fans recall his all-world scrambling ability in the WGC-Match Play final.

Jamie DonaldsonJamie Donaldson

Age: 38

Record: Rookie

World ranking: 25

PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 0/3

The lowdown: In a last-ditch effort to make the team, the Welshman added the Czech Masters to his schedule, then rallied on the final day to win. He also finished T-2 at Doral and posted back-to-back top-10s in July.

Sergio GarciaSergio Garcia

Age: 34

Record: 16-8-4 (7th appearance)

World ranking: 3

PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 8/11

The lowdown: Since April, the Spaniard has five top-3 finishes worldwide, including a run of three consecutive runners-up on the PGA Tour (Travelers, British Open, Bridgestone).

Justin RoseJustin Rose

Age: 34

Record: 6-3-0 (3rd appearance)

World ranking: 6

PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 6/7 (5)

The lowdown: A top-25 machine, the Englishman won back-to-back events in July (Quicken Loans, Scottish Open), though he failed to record a top-10 in a major this season.

Martin KaymerMartin Kaymer

Age: 29

Record: 3-2-0 (3rd appearance)

World ranking: 12

PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 3/11 (8)

The lowdown: It's been a tale of two seasons for the German. He scored huge victories at The Players and U.S. Open, but those represent his only top-10s since last November.

Thomas BjornThomas Bjorn

Age: 43

Record: 3-2-1 (3rd appearance)

World ranking: 30

PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 0/15

The lowdown: One of the most consistent performers on the Euro Tour this season, Bjorn had top-10s at two of the biggest tournaments he played, the Masters (T-8) and BMW PGA (T-3).

Graeme McDowellGraeme McDowell

Age: 35

Record: 5-5-2 (4th appearance)

World ranking: 18

PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 2/10 (9)

The lowdown: Five consecutive top-10s this summer, including a come-from-behind victory at the French Open, sealed his spot on the team. He earned the last spot via qualifying, despite sitting out the final week to be with his wife and newborn daughter.

Lee WestwoodLee Westwood

Age: 41

Record: 18-13-6 (9th appearance)

World ranking: 44

PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 2/23

The lowdown: With a few newcomers on the squad, it’ll be calming to have Westwood in the team room, as this is the Englishman’s ninth career appearance. He hasn’t displayed the best form lately, but he had top-7s at the Masters and The Players, with a Malaysian Open victory mixed in. Top-20s at Bridgestone and PGA helped, too.

Ian PoulterIan Poulter

Age: 38

Record: 12-3-0 (5th appearance)

World ranking: 38

PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 2/12 (10)

The lowdown: It’s been a forgettable, injury-plagued season for the Englishman, but his fearsome match-play record – and his heroics from 2012 – essentially reserved him a spot on the team.

Stephen GallacherStephen Gallacher

Age: 39

Record: Rookie

World ranking: 34

PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 0/3

The lowdown: Nearly qualified on his own, finishing third in Italy when a T-2 finish was required. Still, his eight top-10s this season were the most of any player on the European Tour, and his history with Gleneagles (lives 40 kilometers away, lost in a playoff there last year) made Paul McGinley’s decision an easy one.

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry