Power Rankings: 2014 PGA Championship

By Will GrayAugust 5, 2014, 5:30 pm

This week marks the 40th event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as the Tour heads to Kentucky for the PGA Championship. An elite field of 156 players will tee it up this week at Valhalla Golf Club for the season's final major.

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Jason Dufner returns to defend the title he won here a year ago by two shots over Jim Furyk. Here are 10 names to watch this week in Louisville:

1. Adam Scott: Scott is no longer equipped with the No. 1 ranking, but that's through no fault of his own as the Aussie hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since May. He had another close call last week in Akron, but he has clearly circled this week's event as one where he will be satisfied with nothing short of a win.

2. Rory McIlroy: The newest world No. 1 enters off two straight wins and is playing with unlimited confidence as he looks for three in a row. His PGA Championship record is a strong one, as McIlroy has three top-10s since 2009 in addition to his eight-shot romp at Kiawah in 2012.

3. Sergio Garcia: Garcia lamented last week that his game doesn't suit Valhalla, but then he went out and played some of his best golf of the year at Firestone. After back-to-back runner-up finishes to McIlroy, the Spaniard could be on the cusp of his first major title.

4. Justin Rose: After back-to-back wins earlier this summer, Rose quietly notched a T-4 finish at Firestone and remains in control of his game. Rose has a pair of top-10 finishes in the PGA since 2008, including a T-3 result in 2012, and has had success at Muirfield Village, a course that many feel mirrors Valhalla.

5. Rickie Fowler: Fowler is in the midst of a career year, and has a chance to become the first player since Tiger Woods in 2005 to notch top-five finishes in each of the four majors. He enters off another top-10 finish at Firestone and has clearly found a way to peak for the biggest events in 2014.

6. Keegan Bradley: A PGA champion in 2011, Bradley heads to the season's final major off a high finish in Akron for the fourth year in a row. He has not shied away from making the Ryder Cup a priority, and Bradley will need a big week at Valhalla to earn an automatic spot. The "big ballpark" presented this week should certainly suit his game.

7. Henrik Stenson: Stenson has tapered off a bit since a hot stretch earlier this summer, but he remains one of the strongest tee-to-green players in the field. The Swede was third in this event last year at Oak Hill and ranks second on Tour in total driving this season while netting six top-25 finishes in 11 starts.

8. Jim Furyk: Furyk came up just short at this event a year ago, but that result has only sparked him to a strong 2014 campaign that has included three runner-up finishes and seven top 10s. He enters off a streak of nine straight rounds in the 60s, one that dates back to the final round at Royal Liverpool, and he leads the Tour in scrambling.

9. Phil Mickelson: Mickelson doesn't have a top-10 this year on the PGA Tour, but he is the only player who cracked the top 10 at Valhalla in both prior PGA Championships, finishing T-8 in 1996 and T-9 in 2000. Mickelson finally created a bit of momentum with a final-round 62 at Firestone, a round that included 10 birdies.

10: Ryan Moore: Moore is another player on the Ryder Cup bubble, and enters the week 13th in the U.S. standings. He's playing some good golf at the right time, though, with four straight top-12 finishes since June. Moore has a penchant for low scores, and 12 of his last 16 rounds have gone for 68 or better.

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Pepperell among co-leaders early in Qatar

By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 5:06 pm

DOHA, Qatar – Eddie PepperellGregory Havret, and Aaron Rai made the most of calm early morning conditions at Doha Golf Club to set the pace in the opening round of the Qatar Masters at 7-under-par 65 on Thursday.

Havret went bogey free, Pepperell made one bogey and eight birdies, while fellow English golfer Rai eagled his last hole to add to five birdies.

One shot behind the leaders were four players, including former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari of Italy and former champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain.

Defending champion Jeunghun Wang of South Korea started with a 68, and Race to Dubai leader Shubhankar Sharma of India shot 69 despite a double bogey on the 15th hole.

Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

Pepperell, who is fast gaining a reputation on the European Tour for his irreverent tweets and meaningful blogs, showed his clubs can also do an equal amount of talking after missing cuts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Malaysia.

Pepperell birdied Nos. 10, 11, 14, 16 and 18 with a single blemish on 13 after starting on the back nine. He made three more birdies on his back nine.

He was joined on top of the leaderboard by Havret, who made five birdies in six holes from the sixth, and Rai, who eagled the last.

''I surprised myself, really,'' said Pepperell, who finished third in Portugal and Netherlands last year.

''I've made some changes this week with personnel, so I've been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it.

''I hit some quality tee shots, that's the area I feel that I've been struggling with a bit lately. We had a good time.

''It's definitely a bigger picture for me this week than tomorrow and indeed the weekend. I'm not overly-fussed about my early season form.”

Molinari, a three-time champion on the tour including last year in Morocco, started with eight straight pars, and then made seven birdies in his last 10 holes, including a chip-in for birdie on the last.

''I hit every green apart from the last one. I hit a lot of fairways, I had a lot of chances for birdie,'' said Edoardo, the older brother of Francesco.

''Last week in Oman, I had a decent week, I had a bad first round and then three very good rounds. It's been the case for the last few weeks so my focus this week was to try and get a good start.''

Oliver Fisher of England was the best among the afternoon groups with a 6-under 66, joining Molinari, Quiros and Germany's Marcel Schneider in a tie for fourth.

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 22, 2018, 4:45 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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Honda Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 22, 2018, 2:15 pm

The PGA Tour heads back east to kick off the Florida Swing at PGA National. Here are the key stats and information for the Honda Classic. Click here for full-field tee times.

How to watch:

Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET

Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET

Purse: $6.6 million ($1,188,000 to the winner)

Course: PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (par-70; 7,140 yards)

Defending champion: Rickie Fowler (-12) won by four, picking off his fourth PGA Tour victory.

Notables in the field:

Tiger Woods

• Making his fourth start at the Honda Classic and his first since withdrawing with back spasms in 2014.

• Shot a Sunday 62 in a T-2 finish in 2012, marking his lowest career final-round score on the PGA Tour.

• Coming off a missed cut at last week's Genesis Open, his 17th in his Tour career.

Rickie Fowler

• The defending champion owns the lowest score to par and has recorded the most birdies and eagles in this event since 2012.

• Fowler's last start was at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he failed to close a 54-hole lead. Fowler is 1-for-6 with 54-hole leads in his Tour career, with his only successful close coming at last year's Honda.

• On Tour this year, Fowler is first in scrambling from the fringe, second in total scrambling and third in strokes gained around the green. 

Rory McIlroy

• It's been feast or famine for McIlroy at the Honda. He won in 2012, withdrew with a toothache in 2013, finished T-2 in 2014 and missed the cut in 2015 and 2016.

• McIlroy ascended to world No. 1 with his victory at PGA National in 2012, becoming the second youngest player at 22 years old to top the OWGR, behind only Woods. McIlroy was later edged by a slightly younger 22-year-old Jordan Spieth.

• Since the beginning of 2010, only Dustin Johnson (15) has more PGA Tour victories than McIlroy (13). 

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Lexi, J. Korda part of four-way tie in Thailand

By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 1:01 pm

CHONBURI, Thailand – Three-time tour winner Minjee Lee of Australia finished with a superb eagle putt to be among the four leaders after Day 1 of the LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club on Thursday.

Lee sank a 45-foot putt on the 18th hole to card a 6-under-par 66 to tie for the lead with 2016 champion Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, and local hope Moriya Jutanugarn.

''I just hit the collar. I didn't know if I was going to have enough. Such a big break there. I'm glad it caught the hole,'' Lee said.

''It's a second-shot golf course. Your approaches are really important, and obviously being in the right spots with the undulation. And if you have a hot putter that's going to help.''

Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand

Lee won the Vic Open near Melbourne this month and opened her 2018 LPGA tour account last week at the Women's Australian Open, finishing fifth.

Thompson, who won this event in 2016 by six shots with a 20-under total and tied for fourth last year, started her latest round in style with an eagle followed by a birdie only to bogey the third hole. She carded four more birdies.

''It definitely helps to get that kind of start, but I was just trying to keep that momentum and not get ahead of myself,'' Thompson said.

Her compatriot Korda had a roller-coaster round which featured eagles on the first and 17th holes, five birdies, a double bogey on the sixth, and two bogeys.

Jutanugarn was the only player among the four to end the day without a bogey.

''I had a good start today, it was better than I expected,'' said Jutanugarn, who was seventh here last year.

She's trying to become the first Thai winner of the tournament.

Two-time champion Amy Yang and world No. 2 Sung Hyun Park were among six players at 5 under.