Opposite-field winners shine on Day 1 at PGA

By Will GrayAugust 11, 2017, 12:22 am

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Winning an opposite-field event on the PGA Tour carries most of the normal perks of lifting a trophy: a two-year exemption, a spot in Maui and plenty of congratulations from your peers.

The one notable caveat, of course, is that it doesn’t include an invite to the Masters. But it does afford a spot in the PGA Championship, and the three opposite-field winners this year took full advantage during the opening round at Quail Hollow.

Chris Stroud, Grayson Murray, and D.A. Points all qualified via their respective wins at the Barracuda Championship, Barbasol Championship and Puerto Rico Open. They also each opened with rounds of 3-under 68 to sit just one shot off the lead.

It’s a return to a friendly venue for Points, who was a member of the playoff at the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship that also included Rory McIlroy and was won by Rickie Fowler. The veteran has missed each of his last three cuts but he birdied three of his first six holes Thursday and never looked back.

“I managed it well today,” Points said. “Maybe didn’t have my greatest stuff off the tee, but my iron play was solid and my short game, my touch was good.”

PGA Championship: Scores | Live blog: Day 1 | Full coverage

Murray salvaged a mediocre rookie campaign with his one-shot win last month in Alabama, and he hit the tournament’s opening tee shot at 7:20 a.m. ET. A native of nearby Raleigh, Murray hadn’t seen Quail Hollow before this week but birdied three of the four par-3s during his opening round.

“This course is very tough. I played about as good as I could,” Murray said. “I had some putts that could have dropped, but that’s how golf is. I’m very pleased with the round today.”

Stroud was the last man to qualify for this week’s field, earning his first career win in a playoff Sunday in Reno after 289 starts. The win led to a logistical nightmare, as he and his caddie had to drive two hours to Sacramento to catch a red-eye flight to Atlanta before arriving on-site Monday, running on fumes.

Stroud estimated he has received more than 1,400 texts since his breakthrough triumph, and after answering each and every one he still had enough time to prep for his fifth start in as many weeks. What’s more, he turned in the only bogey-free score of the day.

“Today was one of the easiest rounds,” Stroud said. “Obviously I’m playing well. I’m swinging it nicely and putting it well. That has a lot to do with it. It’s a deep confidence that I have.”

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

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Rory faces criticism

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President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

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Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

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Cart on the green

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Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

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Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

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Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

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Reportedly fake TIME covers

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Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

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Pros comment on the president

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm