Punch Shot: Top Open contenders by age group

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 16, 2014, 5:30 pm

The Open Championship gets underway Thursday at Royal Liverpool, where Tiger Woods won in 2006 by only hitting one driver off the tee all week. That’s not likely to happen this time around, as the course is no longer crispy and wind and rain are heavily expected. Who will be the top contender in his 20s, 30s and 40s? Our team in Hoylake weighs in.


My picks were easy, all though each of the three have an element that makes them risky.

20s: Rory McIlroy. Sure, he doesn’t particularly like this type of golf - he said Tuesday that he hasn’t evolved as a links player since his junior golf days and he hates wind and rain, which both are forecast here for the week. But he’s still Rory McIlroy, and he’s good enough to win any major no matter his form or focus. He’ll likely win the career Grand Slam and come to terms with this style of golf. If he can eliminate a nine-hole score of over 40 this week, he’s got a shot.

30s: Sergio Garcia. I know, I know, majors hate him. But this is the major that hates him the least. In 17 career Opens, Garcia has seven top-10 finishes, including a T-5 here at Royal Liverpool in 2006. He’s in good form now after a second-place tie at the Travelers Championship and a 12th-place tie at the BMW International, his last start. El Nino could be dangerous.

40s: Angel Cabrera. My 40-something that will contend can either, well, contend, or miss the cut. Cabrera has a terrible Open record, but he did just win The Greenbrier two weeks ago and he did finish 11th last year at Muirfield. If his heart’s in it, he can play well and make as many birdies as anyone in the field. If it gets going sideways at any point – potential poor weather makes it a distinct possibility – then he can pack it in quickly and not qualify for the weekend. Cabrera is a true risk-reward pick.


20s: Jordan Spieth. Among the 20-something set, Spieth – who turns 21 next week – is the perennial favorite. His tie for second earlier this year at Augusta National has all the markings of a precursor to something special.

30s: Adam Scott. The newly turned 34-year-old is the easy pick for players in this age group and has proven he can contend at an Open – for 68 holes in 2012 at Lytham he was on cruise control – and win a major (see Masters, 2013).

40s: Ernie Els. The 44-year-old may be easy to overlook, but the South African is just two years removed from his last Open triumph and proved earlier this year with his fourth-place finish at the WGC-Match Play Championship that he still has the game to compete against the world’s best.


20s: Martin Kaymer. Somehow, after two more big-time victories, this guy is still underrated and underappreciated. Following his blowout win at the U.S. Open, which came a month after his impressive display at The Players, the Germanator came through with a T-12 in Paris in his final tuneup. His Open record isn’t too shabby, with a pair of top-12s since 2010, but more important than his past history is his current form. The guy’s swing is in a serious groove at the moment.

30s: Henrik Stenson. It finally feels like his time to break through in the Big Ones. He’s in top form, having finished in the top 7 in five of his last six starts, and he’s been knocking on the door in this championship in two of the past three years. As solid of a bet as it gets.

40s: Phil Mickelson. It’s been a pretty miserable season for Lefty, but he’s never been more confident playing links golf. His T-11 last week at Royal Aberdeen should give him confidence that things are finally turning in the right direction, and if his putter cooperates, it wouldn’t surprise at all to see him in the hunt for another claret jug.  

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.