Tour Championship: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 19, 2017, 1:50 pm

The top 30 players in the FedExCup standings are back at East Lake for the Tour Championship. Here's the key info for the final event of the season.

Golf course: East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga., was opened in 1908 and designed by Tom Bendelow. East Lake was redesigned by Donald Ross in 1913, George Cobb in 1959, and Rees Jones in 1995 and 2008. The course will play as a par 70 at 7,385 yards.

Purse: $8.75 million

TV schedule (All times Eastern): Thursday, 1-6 p.m. on Golf Channel; Friday, 1-6 p.m. on Golf Channel; Saturday, 12:30-2:30 p.m. on Golf Channel, 2:30-6:30 p.m. on NBC; Sunday, Noon-1:30 p.m. on Golf Channel, 1:30-6:30 p.m. on NBC

Live streaming: Thursday, 1-6 p.m. at golfchannel.com; Friday, 1-6 p.m. at golfchannel.com; Saturday, 12:30-6:30 p.m. at golfchannel.com; Sunday, Noon-6:30 p.m. at golfchannel.com.

Notable tee times (pairings adjusted after each round): Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, 1:30 p.m.; Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, 1:40 p.m.; Dustin Johnson, Marc Leishman, 1:50 p.m.; Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, 2 p.m. Click here for full tee times.

Defending champion: Rory McIlroy defeated Ryan Moore with a birdie on the fourth playoff hole to win the Tour Championship and the FedExCup title. Both McIlroy and Moore failed to advance to the Tour Championship this year.

Notables in the field: The field has been cut to the top 30 in FedExCup points. The top five players in the FedExCup standings - Spieth, Thomas, Johnson, Leishman and Rahm - will win the season-long points race with a win at East Lake. Click here for the full points list.

Key stats:

• All 30 players in field have mathematical possibility of winning $10 million bonus

• Last five FedExCup champions were sixth or better entering Tour Championship

• Worst position entering Tour Championship by FedExCup champion: Bill Haas, 25th (2011)

• Spieth has made 64 birdies/eagles made at the Tour Championship since 2013 (most of any player)

• Spieth has the best cumulative score to par (40 under) and most birdies/eagles (60) in 2017 playoffs

• Thomas has 11 top-10 finishes this season (tied with Spieth for most on PGA Tour)

• Johnson has recorded a top-10 in each of the last four Tour Championship starts

• Leishman was one of two wire-to-wire winners this season (Thomas at Sony Open)

• Rahm has 11 top-5s on PGA Tour since turning pro (most of any player in that span)

• Matsuyama finished fifth at Tour Championship last year (best finish in event)

• Rose has finished sixth or better in each of his last four Tour Championship starts

(Stats and information provided by the Golf Channel editorial research unit)

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
Getty Images

Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.

PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

The statement reads:

The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.