Hossler to undergo surgery for torn labrum

By Ryan LavnerJune 7, 2016, 10:55 pm

The NCAA Player of the Year may have played his last competitive round of 2016.

Texas star Beau Hossler is expected to miss at least four months after he undergoes surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

“I’ve got a good outlook about it,” Hossler told GolfChannel.com on Tuesday afternoon. “I’m not down and out. It’s disappointing that I have to take time off, because I was getting some good momentum and a nice summer schedule lined up, but at the same time I have full confidence that my shoulder will be better than it’s ever been.”

Hossler suffered the injury while hitting a 4-iron off a downhill, sidehill lie on the 15th hole during the semifinals of last week’s NCAA Championship. Despite dislocating his shoulder four times on the last three holes, he was able to finish the match, and win, after putting out of a greenside bunker and saving par.

The next day, about an hour before the championship match against Oregon, Hossler ruled himself out for the finals and conceded his point. Short-handed, the top-ranked Longhorns lost, 3-2.

“Awful timing,” Hossler groaned.

The labrum tear was confirmed after an MRI exam earlier this week. He will undergo surgery Friday in Dallas.

“I absolutely made the right decision,” he said of not playing, “because I could have done some really serious damage.”

Still, it’s an unfortunate situation for Hossler, who was coming off the best stretch of his young career. The fourth-ranked amateur in the world, Hossler posted a winning record at the Walker Cup, won an NCAA-best five college events and captured the prestigious Jones Cup in February. On Tuesday, he was named the winner of the Haskins Award, given to the top player in men’s college golf.

Lavner: How the U.S. Open prodigy became the best college player

Though he has not made his plans public, Hossler, 21, was expected to turn pro after NCAAs and receive a handful of PGA Tour exemptions this summer as he attempted to earn his card for the 2016-17 season.

Hossler will begin rehabilitation five days after the arthroscopic surgery, but he won’t be able to hit balls until October. That likely rules him out for Web.com Tour Q-School, as well as any fall events.  

“I wanted to make sure I was making a smart decision for a 30-year career and not just getting back as soon as possible,” he said.

The next few weeks and months should help provide clarity to Hossler’s future plans. Though it’s possible that he could return to Texas for his senior season, the more likely scenario is that he would begin pursuing starts on the PGA Tour in early 2017. As a non-member, he’s allowed to receive a maximum of seven sponsor exemptions on Tour, so he won’t be able to ease his way back into competition.

“In the long-term, I’m not worried at all,” he said. “Short-term, I’m not going to close the chapter on a college or amateur career because I want to feel comfortable and be ready to play my best when the time comes for a pro career.”  

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.