By the numbers: Key stats from U.S. Ryder Cup win

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 2, 2016, 11:45 pm

The U.S. defeated Europe Sunday to win back the Ryder Cup. Here are the key stats provided by the Golf Channel research department.

• United States wins Ryder Cup for first time since 2008

• United States lost previous three Ryder Cups (have never lost four straight)

• United States wins 17-11; largest U.S. margin of victory since 1981

• United States won by nine points in 1981

• United States: Every player won at least one match in Ryder Cup

• Last U.S. team to do that: 1975 (Arnold Palmer was captain that year)

• United States won opening session 4-0 (first U.S. team to do that since 1975)

• United States: Each of last three Ryder Cup wins on home soil (1999, 2008)

• United States: Combined 119 under in all matches this week (Europe: 104 under)

Patrick Reed def. Rory McIlroy, 1 up

• Patrick Reed improves to 6-1-2 in Ryder Cup (2-0-0 in singles)

• Rory McIlroy: First singles match lost in four career Ryder Cups

• Reed/McIlroy: 9 under combined on holes 5 through 8 (eagle and seven birdies)

• Patrick Reed: U.S. are combined 38 under in nine career Ryder Cup matches

• Rory McIlroy had not trailed at any point in 2012 and 2014 singles matches

Henrik Stenson def. Jordan Spieth, 3 and 2

• Jordan Spieth: 0-4-0 in singles matches in Ryder/Presidents Cup career

• Henrik Stenson improves to 2-2-0 in Ryder Cup singles career

• Henrik Stenson won five of last nine holes to clinch match

Thomas Pieters def. J.B. Holmes, 3 and 2

• Thomas Pieters: Four points won; most of any rookie in Europe/GB&I history

• Thomas Pieters lost first two holes of match (lost two rest of match)

• J.B. Holmes: Fifth U.S. team appearance pro and amateur (U.S. is 5-0)

Rickie Fowler def. Justin Rose, 1 up

• Rickie Fowler: Second match won this week (0-3-5 in career entering week)

• Rickie Fowler did not lead in match until after 16th hole

• Justin Rose: First career singles match lost in Ryder Cup (2-1-1)

Phil Mickelson halved with Sergio Garcia

• Both players shot 63 in round (19 birdies, one bogey combined)

• Both players tied lowest worldwide round of 2016

• Phil Mickelson: 10 birdies; most in any Ryder Cup singles match

• Each player birdied 17th and 18th holes to halve match

Ryan Moore def. Lee Westwood, 1 up

• Ryan Moore clinched Ryder Cup with par on 18th hole

• Ryan Moore won last three holes to win match (played in 3 under)

• Lee Westwood: 0-3-0 match record in 2016 Ryder Cup

Dustin Johnson def. Chris Wood, 1 up

• Dustin Johnson improves to 3-0-0 in Ryder Cup singles matches

• Dustin Johnson: 6-5-0 career match record in Ryder Cup

• Dustin Johnson likely to win PGA Tour Player of the Year; last U.S. player to win Ryder Cup and Player of the Year was Tiger Woods in 1999

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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

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The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.