Mickelson grouped with Dufner, Z. Johnson at WMPO

By Ryan Reiterman February 2, 2016, 8:45 pm

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Brooks Koepka captured his first PGA Tour victory last year at TPC Scottsdale, and he's back to defend his title against some big names in the desert, including Arizona State alum Phil Mickelson. Here are four featured groups at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. (All times ET).

9:57 a.m. Thursday on No. 10, 2:07 p.m. Friday on No. 1: Rickie Fowler, Kevin Kisner, Smylie Kaufman

Fowler's missed cut last week at Torrey Pines ended his streak of three-straight top-5 finishes (3rd at Hero, 5th at Kapalua, win in Abu Dhabi). He'll be looking to improve his record here, with only one top-10 (2010) in seven starts. Kaufman (Shriners) and Kisner (RSM) already have wins this season.

10:06 a.m. Thursday on No. 10, 2:16 p.m. Friday on No. 1: Phil Mickelson, Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson

Mickelson and Johnson are coming off missed cuts in their last starts, and Dufner is making his first start since winning his fourth PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder. Mickelson is a three-time champion here (1996, 2005, 2013) and this marks his 27th start in this event.

2:07 p.m. Thursday on No. 1, 9:57 a.m. Friday on No. 10: Bubba Watson, Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas

Koepka won here last year in his first start at TPC Scottsdale, joining Kyle Stanley (2012) and J.B. Holmes (2006) as the only players to do so. He's also coming off a tie for third at Kapalua. Watson is also back after finishing T-10 at the Hyundai, and the two-time Masters champion has finished second the last two years at the WMPO. Rounding out the group is Thomas, another bomber, who won his first PGA Tour title at the CIMB in November.

2:16 p.m. Thursday on No. 1, 10:06 a.m. Friday on No. 10: Brandt Snedeker, Billy Horschel, Steve Stricker

Snedeker has gone T-3 (Kapalua), 2 (Sony), 1 (Torrey Pines) in his first three starts of the year. Horschel rebounded from a missed cut at the CareerBuilder with a T-8 last week at the Farmers. And a semi-retired Stricker, now No. 266 in the world, is looking to get his year going after a T-64 at the Sony and a missed cut at the CareerBuilder.

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.

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Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.