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Hey, Rook: Inside new PGA Tour crop for 2018

By Will GrayOctober 5, 2017, 12:30 pm

A new PGA Tour season begins this week at the Safeway Open, and with it a new crop of fresh faces are ushered into the spotlight.

There's plenty of reason to expect that at least a few of the newest Tour members will thrive in the coming months. Last season five rookies made it into the winner's circle, including Cody Gribble, Mackenzie Hughes, Wesley Bryan and Grayson Murray.

A total of 23 players have the official rookie designation this season (more on that below), and it's a group that includes several familiar faces to fans who follow both amateur and professional golf. Here's a look at some of the players from the Class of 2018 hoping to follow in the footsteps of newly-minted Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele:

Peter Uihlein, 28

How he qualified: Made the Web.com Tour Finals via non-member FedExCup points, then promptly won the first Finals event to lock up his card.

Skinny: Uihlein is easily the most experienced player in this year's crop, having made 30 career PGA Tour starts and having played the last several years in Europe. But because he never made more than seven PGA Tour starts in any single season, the 2010 U.S. Amateur champ is still classified as a rookie and could be viewed as a favorite to top the class by season's end.


Beau Hossler, 22

How he qualified: Finished 23rd on Web.com regular-season money list

Skinny: Hossler grabbed headlines as a high-schooler at the 2012 U.S. Open, then had a standout career at Texas. A torn labrum delayed his pro debut, but he made up for lost time with two runner-ups in a four-start span this summer. While he has less experience than Uihlein, he won't be classified as a rookie because he made eight PGA Tour starts last season - one more than the rookie threshold allows. It's the same stipulation that kept Jon Rahm from consideration for top rookie honors last season.


Aaron Wise, 21

How he qualified: Finished 18th on Web.com regular-season money list

Skinny: While Hossler sat out the 2016 NCAA championship final with a shoulder injury, Wise powered his Oregon squad to a team title days after earning top individual honors. In his first full season on the Web.com Tour, he won the Air Capital Classic and notched two top-20 finishes during Web.com Tour Finals.


Tom Lovelady, 24

How he qualified: Fell short during the regular season, finishing 29th on the money list, but locked up his card with a T-3 finish in the first Web.com Tour Finals event.

Skinny: Lovelady won a pair of NCAA titles at Alabama while playing on a team that also included Justin Thomas and Bobby Wyatt. After turning pro last year, he started in Canada before earning status at Web.com Tour Q-School in the fall. Now he's poised to join Thomas as the latest Crimson Tide alum on the PGA Tour.


Stephan Jaeger, 28

How he qualified: Finished fifth on Web.com regular-season money list

Skinny: Jaeger was the first professional to shoot 58 in a Tour-sanctioned competition, one week before Jim Furyk pulled off the feat last summer. He went on to win that tournament but he still didn't crack the top 25 on the full-season money list, requiring another year on the Web.com. He gained consistency and won twice in between qualifying for the U.S. Open for the second time in three years.


Austin Cook, 26

How he qualified: Finished 15th on Web.com regular-season money list

Skinny: Cook was a Monday-qualifying sensation on the PGA Tour in 2015, nearly earning his card after starting the year with no status. After a year on the Web.com, he flourished this past summer and closed out the four-event Finals series with three straight finishes of T-11 or better to move up in the reshuffle.


Corey Conners, 25

How he qualified: Finished 20th on Web.com Tour Finals money list

Skinny: Conners was a runner-up to Gunn Yang at the 2014 U.S. Amateur, and he nearly made the cut at the Masters the following spring. The Canadian opened the year with two straight top-10 finishes on the Web but faded in the summer before snagging one of the last cards available with a pair of top-15 finishes at Finals.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

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

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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

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.