Thomas hangs on to win TOC over Matsuyama

By Will GrayJanuary 9, 2017, 12:18 am

What seemed like an easy stroll to victory quickly became anything but for Justin Thomas at the SBS Tournament of Champions. But here's how things ended up at Kapalua, where Thomas held on for his third career victory:

Leaderboard: Justin Thomas (-22), Hideki Matsuyama (-19), Jordan Spieth (-16), Pat Perez (-16), Ryan Moore (-16)

What it means: Thomas started the day in the lead, and his advantage ballooned to five shots through 13 holes. But after a sloppy double bogey on No. 15, he led Matsuyama by only a shot before a pivotal, two-shot swing on No. 17. As a result, it's another win for the promising young talent - and his first PGA Tour victory outside of Malaysia. Thomas also remains the only player to have beaten Matsuyama in a Tour event since November.

Round of the day: Spieth didn't have a realistic chance to defend his title after an opening-round 72, but he still made up plenty of ground with an 8-under 65 in Sunday's finale. Spieth's bogey-free performance included four straight birdies on Nos. 12-15 and after a T-3 finish, he now has three top-3 finishes at Kapalua in as many appearances.

Best of the rest: Perez was one of the last qualifiers in this week's field, winning the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in November, but he made the most of his appearance with a 6-under 67 in the final round. Perez made four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 5-9 and closed with a birdie on No. 15 to draw even with Spieth at 16 under.

Biggest disappointment: This honor nearly went to Thomas after he imploded in the middle of the 15th fairway, but Matsuyama let a pair of chances slip away down the stretch. First he left a birdie putt on No. 16 that would have tied the lead hanging on the edge, then a short miss on the next hole allowed Thomas to stretch the lead from one shot to three. Still, it's hard to be too disappointed when second-place remains your worst result in six worldwide starts.

Shot of the day: Thomas was still reeling a bit when he struck his approach to No. 17, but the shot was on target the whole way and nestled within 4 feet of the hole. The subsequent birdie essentially put the trophy on ice.

Quote of the day: "It's a great feeling. Obviously I stumbled a little more than I would like to over a few of those holes, but I think it really shows where my game is at right now." - Thomas

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: