Horschel maintains Valero lead; McIlroy 4 back

By Will GrayApril 6, 2013, 9:49 pm

Players were greeted by blustery conditions Saturday in San Antonio, where gusty winds made breaking 70 a formidable challenge. Here’s the skinny heading into the final round of the Valero Texas Open, where Billy Horschel remains out in front by two shots:

The leaderboard: Billy Horschel (-10), Charley Hoffman (-8), Jim Furyk (-8), Rory McIlroy (-6), Ryan Palmer (-6), Bob Estes (-6)

What it means: With the field facing difficult scoring conditions, Horschel held at least a share of the lead for nearly the entire round. He spent most of the back nine at least two shots ahead as several challengers faded back to the pack, and will now take a 54-hole lead into Sunday for the first time in his career.

Round of the day: After opening with back-to-back rounds of 71, Palmer was well off the pace entering the weekend. Despite windy conditions Saturday, though, the Texan was able to survive the third round without dropping a shot. His 4-under 68 included three birdies in a five-hole stretch on the back nine, and the round moved Palmer up 25 spots on the leaderboard into a tie for fourth.

Best of the rest: A winner of this event 19 years ago, Estes tamed the difficult conditions while shooting his second straight 3-under 69 on the AT&T Oaks Course. Like Palmer, Estes calls Texas home, which likely helped Saturday as he carded four birdies against one bogey while becoming one of only five players to break 70 in the third round.

Biggest disappointment: Beginning the third round just three shots off the lead, Retief Goosen appeared in position to challenge for his first PGA Tour win since 2009. The South African began with a double bogey on the opening hole, though, and things got worse after a triple-bogey 8 on the par-5 eighth hole. Goosen added another double bogey on the 12th en route to a surprising 8-over 80, which dropped him into a tie for 60th after three rounds.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: Can Horschel hang on for his first career title? A week after his runner-up finish in Houston, the Florida grad has been near the top of the leaderboard the whole week. To take home his first trophy, though, he will have to survive the pressures of a final-round lead with the world No. 2 nipping at his heels.

Shot of the day: In the midst of a difficult round, Brian Gay received a bit of a boost at the par-4 11th. After his approach shot left him in the rough short and right of the green, the 2013 Humana Challenge champ hit a pitch shot that landed softly before rolling into the hole for an improbable birdie. It was one of only two birdies on the day for Gay, though, who struggled to a 4-over 76.

Quote of the day: 'I had a couple chances coming in that I just didn’t take advantage of…I’m still in a decent position going into the last day, and hopefully I can make a run at it.” – McIlroy

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: