Punch Shot: Ranking the top 5 under 25

By Jason Sobel, Randall Mell, Rex HoggardApril 29, 2014, 12:30 pm

The kids are taking over both the PGA and LPGA tours, so it got our writers thinking about who are the top players (male or female) under 25 with the brightest futures. GolfChannel.com's writers ranked their top 5 below.

By JASON SOBEL

5. Harris English: It was a toss-up between English and Hideki Matsuyama, but I’m going with the guy who’s more of a sure thing. The UGA product will enjoy a Jay Haas - or David Toms-like career – consistent and productive.

4. Lydia Ko: Two days after watching her win a third LPGA title, it’s tough to rate her this low, but there have been plenty of cautionary tales from teenagers seemingly just as talented.

3. Jordan Spieth: What else can we say about him? He nearly won the Masters not only before the legal drinking age, but while still living in the same bedroom of his parents’ house in which he grew up.

2. Lexi Thompson: Even though they’re only separated by two years, Lexi seems a bit more mature than Lydia. I feel like what we’re seeing right now is more of the finished product than what we’ll eventually see from Ko.

1. Rory McIlroy: Oh, I love a good technicality. The two-time major champion won’t turn 25 until Sunday, so I’ll take him here while he’s eligible. Ask me this question again next week, though, and he’ll have to settle for the biggest upside of any player 25-and-over.


By REX HOGGARD

On the cosmic leaderboard, the intersection of life and competition is not always an easily foreseen outcome. Marriage, children, injury, interest all dictate how far one will take natural talent and dedication, but given current track records here are the top 5 players under 25:

5. Michelle Wie: Given the hype that surrounded her career, perhaps Wie has underachieved, but as her victory earlier this month demonstrated, the 24-year-old still has plenty of potential. 

4. Jordan Spieth: Although he came up just short at the Masters, Spieth, 20, has continued to crush the learning curve since he earned his way onto the Tour last year.

3. Lexi Thompson: At 19, Thompson already has four LPGA victories including her first major earlier this month. We are no longer talking about how good she could be.

2. Lydia Ko: It’s not that Ko won her third LPGA event on Sunday so much as it is who she beat. Ko went toe-to-toe with Stacy Lewis, a former world No. 1, on Sunday in California. It was an impressive win for anyone, particularly a 17-year-old.

1. Rory McIlroy: At 24, McIlroy must top the list based on his current résumé alone. Two major championships by a combined 16 strokes is an indication of what the Ulsterman is capable of and despite his current winless streak on the PGA Tour - the 2012 BMW Championship was his last PGA Tour victory - his potential is undeniable.


By RANDALL MELL

5. Ariya Jutanugarn: If not for the shoulder injury last year, the big-hitting 18-year-old might already be ranked among the top five in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

4. Jordan Spieth: All-around game sets the 20-year-old Spieth apart. So do internal dynamics. There’s manageable fury driving him to the top.

3. Lexi Thompson: When she’s firing on all cylinders, nobody in the women’s game will touch her, but the 19-year-old might not be as consistently excellent as Ko.

2. Rory McIlroy: His two runaway routs in majors never stray far from the memory. The 24-year-old will dominate big stages again.

1. Lydia Ko: While Lexi Thompson may be more explosive, capable of more spectacular performances, the 17-year-old Ko has the game to consistently give herself chances in the biggest events.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: