Punch Shot: Stenson or Mickelson for the win?

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 16, 2016, 8:05 pm

TROON, Scotland – Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson have been the two top dogs all week at the 145th Open. Mickelson, 46, is looking for his second claret jug and sixth major championship. Stenson, 40, has nine top 10s in majors but has never won. Who will be the Champion Golfer of the Year? Our team at Royal Troon debates.

REX HOGGARD: Mickelson. He’s no stranger to late-in-life majors. Consider that it took him 19 tries to win his first Open, at 43, and that he will tell you how much better his game is now than it was 10 years ago. But it’s neither Lefty’s swing nor his improved stability that will deliver him his second date with the claret jug, it will be his poise - of all things. On Saturday, the man who has made a career out of being bold for better or worse, endured a tough early start and found a way to post an under-par round (70). It’s that presence of mind that will make Mickelson the Champion Golfer of the Year.

RYAN LAVNER: Stenson. He will win for two reasons: (1) No one has played better on the more difficult back nine, and that’ll be key when the wind is blowing, the pressure is at its most intense and a player will need to stripe a few long irons; and (2) Mickelson’s game has slipped a bit each day, to the point that in the third round he hit his fewest number of fairways (eight) and greens (10) of the week. It might catch up with him Sunday. Regardless, he’ll need to be much sharper to overtake a ball-striking machine like Stenson.

BAILEY MOSIER: Mickelson. I’m going with a proven major champion (even though the trend tells us it’s the year of the first-time major winner). Mickelson hasn’t made anything worse than a bogey all week (and he’s only made four of those) – a week that has seen more triple bogeys or worse (23) already than any major through four rounds since 1995. A record-tying 63 in Round 1. An almost-ace at the Postage Stamp in Round 2. Saving par on No. 12 from somewhere only Phil could in Round 3. It’s been magical and Mickelson-like all week, and I think that trend continues.

MERCER BAGGS: Stenson. Mickelson has played incredibly steady over the first three rounds and with Phil you feel like something eventually has to give. He has made but four bogeys so far and nothing worse. A big number could be around the corner. Mickelson is, by far, the better story line; though, no one who has ever interviewed Stenson can root against him. In a match-play scenario on Sunday of a major, the man who makes the fewest mistakes will win. I think that man will be Stenson.

JAY COFFIN: Stenson. Sure, this technically is a stroke-play event, but now it’s a match-play situation. I’ll take the guy who is essentially 1 up on the first tee. Saturday was a great display from both Stenson and Mickelson. Mickelson didn’t have his best but managed to scrape it around for an under-par round. Stenson’s ball striking was so pure that his ball pierces through the wind better than anyone else’s. It’ll be close, and come down to the end, but Stenson finally gets the job done for himself, and for Sweden.

Getty Images

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

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

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

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

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

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.