Hahn, Barnes share Nelson lead; DJ 3 back

By Will GrayMay 19, 2017, 12:10 am

There was no post-Players lull for the world No. 1, who got off to a strong start at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Here's how things look after the opening round in Dallas, as James Hahn and Ricky Barnes share the lead:

Leaderboard: James Hahn (-6), Ricky Barnes (-6), Matt Kuchar (-4), Jhonattan Vegas (-4), Jason Kokrak (-4), Cameron Tringale (-4), Dustin Johnson (-3)

What it means: Most of the low scores were shot in the morning wave, including Barnes, who seeks his first career win, and Hahn, who hasn't cracked the top 40 since Riviera. They hold a two-shot buffer over a group that includes Kuchar, a regular Nelson contender, while Johnson sits one shot further back as he looks to improve upon last week's T-12 finish at TPC Sawgrass and boost his lead atop the world rankings.

Round of the day: Hahn has two career wins to his credit, but he's been largely quiet since his playoff win at Quail Hollow last spring. That changed with a bogey-free 64, as Hahn made three birdies in a four-hole stretch on Nos. 4-7 and then added three more circles on his inward half to shoot his first round in the 60s in his 24 attempts.

Best of the rest: Barnes is a former U.S. Amateur champ and perhaps the most decorated player still without a PGA Tour win, as this week marks his 255th career start. Barnes doesn't have a top-20 finish this season but that may change after he matched Hahn's 64. Barnes got off to a hot start, with birdies on five of his first eight holes, and had eight birdies total.

Biggest disappointment: J.B. Holmes was in position to win The Players Championship through 54 holes, but he ballooned to a final-round 84 in Ponte Vedra Beach and apparently hasn't recovered. Holmes shot a 6-over 76 in the opening round, including bogeys on seven of his first 12 holes, and now has significant work ahead of him if he's going to stick around for the weekend.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Barnes is overdue for a win and Hahn has defeated top players before, but the names to watch are in the pack at 3 under. That's a group that is headlined by Johnson, one of the few big names to contend last week on the Stadium Course, while he's joined by Brooks Koepka who was an early leader Thursday and lost in a playoff to Sergio Garcia at this event last year.

Quote of the day: "It's really not that big of a deal." - Jordan Spieth, who attempted to downplay his decision to switch to a mallet putter this week in Texas. He opened with a 2-under 68 and trails by four shots.

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.