2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team capsules

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 22, 2014, 11:25 pm

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


Bubba WatsonBubba Watson

Age: 35

Record: 3-5-0 (3rd appearance)

World ranking: 7

PGA Tour victories: 6

The lowdown: Equipped with game-changing length, Watson should have a huge advantage on a course that likely will play long and soft – if he can stay mentally in the game. He’ll have to turn around his recent form, however, as he has no top 10s since June. 


Rickie FowlerRickie Fowler

Age: 25

Record: 0-1-2 (2nd appearance)

World ranking: 10

PGA Tour victories: 1

The lowdown: He’s arguably the team’s best player, with no finish outside the top 13 since June. Fowler will look to ride the momentum of his last Ryder Cup overseas, when he made four consecutive birdies in singles to steal a half point.


Jim FurykJim Furyk

Age: 44

Record: 9-17-4 (9th appearance)

World ranking: 4

PGA Tour victories: 16

The lowdown: The grizzled veteran is enjoying the most consistent year of his career, albeit without a victory. Though he has a troubling record in this event, he is quick to remind that he’s also been a part of numerous losing teams.


Jimmy WalkerJimmy Walker

Age: 35

Record: Rookie

World ranking: 19

PGA Tour victories: 3

The lowdown: The power player has cooled a bit since his torrid start to the season, but his solid all-around game should make him an ideal partner.


Phil MickelsonPhil Mickelson

Age: 44

Record: 14-18-6 (10th appearance)

World ranking: 11

PGA Tour victories: 42

The lowdown: This is his team with Tiger Woods at home. Mickelson will likely partner with Keegan Bradley and perhaps Rickie Fowler during team play, and this is an opportunity for Lefty to end his most frustrating season on a high note.


Matt KucharMatt Kuchar

Age: 36

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

World ranking: 9

PGA Tour victories: 7

The lowdown: Kooch has the perfect temperament for match play, and his record proves it – he’s undefeated in team play in two previous Ryder Cup appearances. His game clearly travels everywhere, which is good news for the U.S., because he comes in riding four consecutive top 15s.


Jordan SpiethJordan Spieth

Age: 21

Record: Rookie

World ranking: 13

PGA Tour victories: 1

The lowdown: Perhaps not as sharp as he was at this time last year, Spieth is a firecracker who knows how to win in match play, whether it’s at the U.S. Junior (two-time winner), NCAA Championship (helped Texas win title) or WGC-Match Play (T-5).


Patrick ReedPatrick Reed

Age: 24

Record: Rookie

World ranking: 27

PGA Tour victories: 3

The lowdown: A sleeper to lead the U.S. in points, Reed went 6-0 in match play while leading Augusta State to back-to-back national titles. He should thrive while playing in a hostile environment.


Zach JohnsonZach Johnson

Age: 38

Record: 6-4-1 (4th appearance)

World ranking: 16

PGA Tour victories: 11

The lowdown: It’s been a quiet summer, save for the runner-up at the Deere, but he’s a gritty competitor who should match up favorably with any potential partner.


Keegan BradleyKeegan Bradley

Age: 28

Record: 3-1-0 (2nd appearance)

World ranking: 26

PGA Tour victories: 3

The lowdown: Eats, sleeps and breathes the Ryder Cup, which made him a no-brainer choice as a captain’s pick. If he and Mickelson can pick up off where they left off at Medinah, look out. 


Hunter MahanHunter Mahan

Age: 32

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

World ranking: 21

PGA Tour victories: 6

The lowdown: His late-season surge cemented his place on the team, after a top 15 at Bridgestone, top 10 at Valhalla and then a victory at the playoff-opening Barclays. He also seeks redemption after what happened during the Americans’ last trip across the pond,


Webb SimpsonWebb Simpson

Age: 29

Record: 2-2-0 (2nd appearance)

World ranking: 33

PGA Tour victories: 4

The lowdown: Simpson has been hit-or-miss for the past few months, so his T-9 at Deutsche Bank was good timing. He’s also a good teammate, above-average putter and easy-matching partner.

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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