Five Q-School graduates to watch in 2014

By Ryan LavnerDecember 18, 2013, 2:40 pm

Q-School no longer awards PGA Tour cards, but lives were still changed Tuesday in California.

Though only medalist Zack Fischer will be fully exempt for the 2014 season, every player who teed it up for six rounds at PGA West is guaranteed some status on the Web.com Tour next year. Nos. 2-10 are exempt until the third reshuffle (which occurs after the 12th event), while Nos. 11-45 (ties) are exempt until the second reshuffle (after eighth event).

Here are five graduates you’ll want to keep an eye on in 2014:

• Scott Pinckney (2nd): Shot all six rounds at 68 or better, sending the 24-year-old to the Web.com Tour for the first time. In limited action in 2013, the former Arizona State All-American missed five cuts in seven starts. After turning pro in 2011, he apprenticed on the European and Challenge tours. 

• Max Homa (T-6): A closing 66 put the 2013 NCAA Player of the Year (Cal) in the top 10 and secured better status for next year. After representing the U.S. at the Walker Cup, he turned pro and tied for ninth in his first pro start at the Frys.com Open, then posted a T-30 at the Vegas Tour stop.

• Nick Taylor (T-11): The former No. 1-ranked amateur in the world finally has his Web.com Tour card, more than three years after turning pro after a decorated career at the University of Washington that saw him earn the Ben Hogan Award as the best player in college golf. Taylor spent 2013 on PGA Tour Canada, where he placed seventh on the Order of Merit and finished in the top 10 in five of his last nine starts. 

• Blayne Barber (T-22): The former Auburn All-American redeemed himself at Web.com Tour Q-School, a year after he disqualified himself for signing an incorrect scorecard. As a result of that DQ, he was able to make only seven starts on the developmental circuit in 2013, but the T-2 at the News Sentinel Open put him in good position to earn status. 

• Justin Thomas (T-32): Appeared like he would bomb out at Q-School after a third-round 78, but he rebounded to play the final three rounds in 16 under par, including 66-65 on the final two days. The 2012 NCAA Player of the Year (beat out Jordan Spieth for the award) turned pro after the Walker Cup after only two years at NCAA champion Alabama.


Notables who didn’t finish inside the all-important top 45 and ties: 

• Jeff Klauk (T-50): A year after undergoing brain surgery, the 36-year-old made 19 starts on the Web.com Tour, finishing in the top 25 only twice. 

• Michael Kim (T-56): The junior at Cal was in prime position to earn good status on the Web.com circuit, but he closed 74-75 and soon will have to decide whether to turn pro or head back to school. None of the three amateurs (BYU’s Zac Blair, USC’s Anthony Paolucci) finished inside the top 50.

• Steven Fox (T-88): The 2012 U.S. Amateur champion faded after an opening 69 and failed to shoot a sub-70 score the final five days. Fox missed his first nine cuts on the PGA Tour (including the first three majors) before a T-11 at the Puerto Rico Classic.

• Todd Hamilton (T-95): The former British Open winner has fallen on hard times recently, and his opening 73-75 at Q-School didn’t help. In 14 Web.com Tour starts in 2013, he made only five cuts with one top 25. 

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:

Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday.