Photos of the Year Part I

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 20, 2010, 11:50 am


YOU CAN'T SEE ME:  Keith Horne plays a punch-out from the bushes Friday at the Joburg Open in January. (Getty Images)

Chris Swanepoel

DON'T GIVE ME ANY LIP: Chris Swanepoel catches a bunker lip on his approach shot during Friday's round at the Joburg Open in January. (Getty Images)

Sergio Garcia

WHO'S GONNA RIDE YOUR WILD HORSES?: Sergio Garcia of Spain hits his tee-shot on the seventh hole during the the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in January. (Getty Images)

Ben and Cassidy Crane

DADDY-DAUGHTER TIME: Ben Crane tosses daughter Cassidy into the air after winning the Farmers Insurance Open in January. (Getty Images)

Tom and Hilary Watson

REMAKING 'ISHTAR': Tom and Hilary Watson tour the desert the old fashion way at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in February. (Getty Images)

Henrik Stenson

NIGHT PUTTING: Henrik Stenson competes in a night-time par-3 challenge Tuesday at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in February. (Getty Images)

Pebble Beach holes 6, 7 and 8

HEAVENLY VIEW: 
An aerial shot of the sixth, seventh and eighth holes at Pebble Beach Golf Links in February. (Getty Images)

Ryo Ishikawa

OVER THE RAINBOW: Ryo Ishikawa prior to the start of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February. (Getty Images)

Alex Cejka

DEEP THOUGHTS: Alex Cejka off the eighth hole at Pebble Beach Saturday in February. (Getty Images)

Suzann Pettersen

ONE LADY'S PAIN...:
Suzann Pettersen of Norway during the final round of the Honda PTT LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club in Chon Buri, Thailand. (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images)

Steve Stricker

THE LOOK OF (NO.) ONE AND DONE: No. 1 seed Steve Stricker reacts after losing his Round 1 match at the Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Marana, Arizona. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods

WORLDWIDE WONDER: 
People watch television monitors at an ESPN restaurant in Times Square in New York City as Tiger Woods makes his first public statement from PGA Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

HSBC Women

CUE ZZ TOP SONG...: Cristie Kerr, Michelle Wie, Morgan Pressel and Natalie Gulbis pose for a photograph during the Welcome Reception prior to the start of the HSBC Women's Champions at the Tanah Merah Country Club in Singapore. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)ANZ Ladies Masters

TIME TO REFLECT: Florentyna Parker of England is seen reflected in a flooded bunker as she chips onto the second green during Round 3 of the 2010 ANZ Ladies Masters at Royal Pines Resort in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Joost Luiten

WHERE ARE THOSE DAMN CAR KEYS?: Joost Luiten of the Netherlands looks for a ball in his golf bag  during the first round of the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country on March 4, 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Giulia Sergas

GETTING INTO THE WHOLE 'DOWN UNDER' THING: Giulia Sergas of Italy stands on her hands to ease a back problem on the fourth hole during Round 2 of the Women's Australian Open at The Commonwealth Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)Manuel De Los SantosCAN YOU IMAGINE?: Manuel De Los Santos of the Dominican Republic hits a shot during the first round of the Trophee Hassan II. (Getty Images)

Morgan Pressel

THAT IS SUCH A STRETCH: Morgan Pressel poses prior to the Kia Classic. (Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson

THINK HE CAN SEE ME?: A volunteer watches Phil Mickelson during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. (Getty Images)

Phil and Amy Mickelson FAMILY AFFAIR: Phil Mickelson gives wife Amy a kiss after winning his third Masters Tournament. (Getty Images)Masters Tournament CROWDED HOUSE: Over 200 media members gather for Tiger Woods' Monday press conference. (Getty Images)

Zurich Classic 

YOU'VE BEEN WARNED...: An alligator lurks ominously behind the 17th green during the third round of the Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La. (Getty Images)Miguel Angel Jimenez LIFE IMITATING ART: Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain tees off in front of a picture of himself on the 15th tee during the first round of the Open de Espana at the Real Club de Golf de Seville in Seville, Spain. (Getty Images)Marcel Siem 

GOLF BALL POINT OF VIEW: Marcel Siem of Germany poses for a portrait prior to the BMW PGA Championship on the West Course at Wentworth on May 18, 2010 in Virginia Water, England. (Getty Images)Rory McElroy

EMERGENCY ROOM VISIT?: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland bends his sand wedge after failing to hit out of a greenside bunker on the 10th hole during the first round of the BMW PGA Championship on the West Course at Wentworth on May 20, 2010 in Virginia Water, England. (Getty Images)Natalie Gulbis

IS THAT A 3-WOOD?: Natalie Gulbis follows through on a tee shot during the first round of the LPGA State Farm Classic at Panther Creek Country Club on June 10, 2010 in Springfield, Illinois. (Getty Images)Graeme McDowell

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!: Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland celebrates with his caddie Ken Comboy after making par on the 18th hole to win the 110th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 20, 2010 in Pebble Beach, California. (Getty Images)

Thompson wins Race, loses tournament after short miss

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 8:52 pm

The drama went down to the very last hole in the LPGA's final event of 2017. Here's how things ended up at the CME Group Tour Championship, where a surprising miss from Lexi Thompson opened the door for Ariya Jutanugarn to win in dramatic fashion:

Leaderboard: Ariya Jutanugarn (-15), Lexi Thompson (-14), Jessica Korda (-14), Pernilla Lindberg (-13), Eun-Hee Ji (-13)

What it means: There were scenarios aplenty entering the final round, with nearly every season-long accolade still hanging in the balance. Thompson appeared set to take them all as she sized up a 2-foot par putt on the final hole - a stroke that looked like it would take her to world No. 1 for the first time. Instead, the putt barely touched the hole and allowed Jutanugarn to rally to victory with birdies on the closing two holes. Thompson still took home $1 million for winning the season-long Race to the CME Globe, as it was a reverse scenario from last year when Jutanugarn won the $1 million but not the final tournament.

Round of the day: Sei Young Kim made the day's biggest charge, turning in a 6-under 66 to close the week in a share of 11th at 10 under. Kim made eight birdies during the final round, including five over her first eight holes en route to her lowest round of the week while erasing a third-round 75.

Best of the rest: Jutanugarn seemed like an afterthought as the tournament was winding down, but she kept her hopes alive with an 18-foot birdie on No. 17 and then capitalized on Thompson's mistake with a clutch birdie on the difficult final hole. It capped off a final-round 67 for the Thai who now ends what has been a tumultuous season with a smile on her face.

Biggest disappointment: Thompson faced heartbreak after the penalty-shrouded ANA Inspiration, and she again must handle a setback after essentially missing a tap-in with everything on the line. Thompson can enjoy a $1 million consolation prize along with the Vare Trophy, but a tournament win would have clinched Player of the Year honors as well as her first-ever trip to world No. 1. Instead, she now has the entire off-season to think about how things went awry from close range.

Shot of the day: There were only three birdies on No. 18 during the final round before Jutanugarn laced one down the fairway and hit a deft approach to 15 feet. The subsequent putt found the target and gave her win No. 7 on her young LPGA career.

Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.