Power Rankings Island Fever

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 19, 2011, 4:20 pm
Here are GolfChannel.com’s Power Rankings, the top 10 favorites for the Heritage:

2011 Power Rankings: Week 16

Luke Donald1Luke Donald

Confidence is at an all-time high with his big win at the WGC-Match Play and three subsequent top-10s that followed, including T-4 at Augusta.

Jim Furyk
 Jim Furyk

A somewhat slow start to his 2011 season, Furyk will hope the good vibes of being defending champion at Hilton Head we get him back on track.

Matt Kuchar
Matt Kuchar
Six top-10s already in 2011- in just nine starts - Kuchar seems destine to at some point don the tartan jacket given to the winner at the Heritage.
Jason Day
 Jason Day
After a great showing at Augusta National (T-2), the Australian hopes to keep the momentum going in Hilton Head.
Aaron Baddeley
 Aaron Baddeley
Hard to ignore five straight top-25s in this event, including his win in 2006 and a runner-up finish in 2008. And already a winner on Tour this season.
Steve Marino
Steve Marino
Still looking for his first-ever PGA Tour victory, Marino had a solid showing in his only appearance in this event in '09 - T-13. Has two seconds and fourth this year on Tour.
Brandt Snedeker
 Brandt Snedeker
Feast or famine this year for Snedeker - four top-10s along with fours missed cuts in his 10 PGA Tour starts.o.
Rickie Fowler
 Rickie Fowler
Finished T-8 in the 2010 edition of the Heritage, but hasn't had much consistency thus far in '11. Currently 50th on the PGA Tour money list.
Bo Van Pelt
 Bo Van Pelt
Bo knows Hilton Head. Well, somewhat, coming on the heels of his T-3 last season. Solid showing at Augusta was followed up by a poor showing in Texas.
Ricky Barnes
 Ricky Barnes
Made some noise early at the Masters, before a third-round 75 derailed his attempts. Good vibes here in Hilton Head, however, with a T-5 last year.

Note: This list is compiled from rankings submitted by members of GolfChannel.com's editorial team, based on who is most expected to contend in each upcoming event.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.