What Olympic field would look like, 500 days away

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 24, 2015, 12:40 pm

Only 500 days remain until golf’s return to the Olympic Games.

The United States’ men’s roster would look like this: Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Jim Furyk and Dustin Johnson. And the women's team: Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson.

The men’s and women’s field will include a maximum of 60 players each. Every player inside the top 15 in the world rankings as of July 2016 will be eligible, with up to four players per country.

After that, the field will be filled by the next highest-ranked players, with a maximum of two players per nation. The world rankings are made up of a two-year window of players’ results, with recent results and biggest tournaments weighted more heavily.

Much can change between now and July 2016, of course, but this is how the 60-player men’s field looks right now for Rio:

Men's Women's
Rory McIlroy (Ireland) Lydia Ko (New Zealand)
Henrik Stenson (Sweden) Inbee Park (Korea) 
Bubba Watson (U.S.) Stacy Lewis (U.S.) 
Jason Day (Australia) Hyo-Joo Kim (Korea) 
Adam Scott (Australia) Shanshan Feng (China) 
Jordan Spieth (U.S.) So Yeon Ryo (Korea) 
Jim Furyk (U.S.) Suzann Pettersen (Norway) 
Sergio Garcia (Spain) Michelle Wie (U.S.) 
Dustin Johnson (U.S.) Karrie Webb (Australia) 
Justin Rose (Great Britain) Amy Yang (Korea) 
Martin Kaymer (Germany) Lexi Thompson (U.S.) 
Hideki Matsuyama (Japan) Anna Nordqvist (Sweden) 
Victor Dubuisson (France) Azahara Munoz (Spain) 
Graeme McDowell (Ireland) Pornanong Phatlum (Thailand) 
Jamie Donaldson (Great Britain) Teresa Lu (Chinese Taipei) 
Charl Schwartzel (South Africa) Julieta Granada (Paraguay) 
Anirban Lahiri (India) Lee-Anne Pace (South Africa) 
Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) Charley Hull (Great Britain) 
Joost Luiten (Netherlands) Catriona Matthew (Great Britain) 
Bernd Wiesberger (Austria) Aria Jutanugarn (Thailand) 
Thongchai Jaidee (Thailand) Carlota Ciganda (Spain) 
Alexander Levy (France) Sandra Gal (Germany) 
Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spain) Shiho Oyama (Japan) 
Thomas Bjorn (Denmark) Caroline Masson (Germany) 
Mikko Ilonen (Finland) Karine Icher (France) 
Francesco Molinari (Italy) Sakura Yokomine (Japan) 
Graham DeLaet (Canada) Minjee Lee (Australia) 
Marcel Siem (Germany) Gwladys Nocera (France) 
Koumei Oda (Japan) Caroline Hedwall (Sweden) 
Jonas Blixt (Sweden) Yani Tseng (Chinese Taipei) 
Sangmoon Bae (Korea) Xiyu Lin (China) 
Brendon de Jonge (Zimbabwe) Line Vedel Hansen (Denmark) 
Angel Cabrera (Argentina) Mariajo Uribe (Colombia) 
Emiliano Grillo (Argentina) Stephanie Meadow (Ireland) 
Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark) Marianne Skarpnord (Norway)
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Thailand) Dewi Claire Schreefel (Netherlands) 
Seung-yul Noh (Korea) Stacy Lee Bregman (South Africa) 
Carlos Ortiz (Mexico) Giulia Sergas (Italy) 
Fabrizio Zanotti (Paraguay) Klara Spilkova (Czech Republic) 
Camilo Villegas (Colombia) Brooke Henderson (Canada) 
Edoardo Molinari (Italy) Christel Boeljon (Netherlands) 
Nicolas Colsaerts (Belgium) Fabienne In-Albon (Switzerland) 
David Hearn (Canada) Kelly Tan (Malaysia) 
Thomas Pieters (Belgium) Diana Luna (Italy) 
SSP Chawrasia (India) Paz Echeverria (Chile) 
Danny Lee (New Zealand) Jennifer Rosales (Philippines) 
Antonio Lascuna (Philippines) Alejandra Llaneza (Mexico) 
Hao Tong Li (China) Alena Sharp (Canada) 
Felipe Aguilar (Chile) Lisa McCloskey (Colombia) 
Ryan Fox (New Zealand) Maria Balikoeva (Russia) 
Vijay Singh (Fiji) Noora Tamminen (Finland) 
WC Liang (China) Ursula Wikstrom (Finland) 
Jhonattan Vegas (Venezuela) Christine Wolf (Belgium) 
Robert-Jan Derksen (Netherlands) Veronica Felibert (Venezuela) 
Siddikur Rahman (Bangladesh) Briannd Do (Vietnam) 
Mark Tullo (Chile) Michelle Koh (Malaysia) 
Angelo Que (Philippines) Kishi Sinha (India) 
Chan Shin-chang (Chinese Taipei) Mariam Magl (Brazil) 
Adilson da Silva (Brazil)  
Arie Ahman Irawan (Malaysia)  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm
Getty Images

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.