Red-hot Z. Johnson shoots 66, wins in Hawaii

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 7, 2014, 1:18 am

Zach Johnson proved small ball can also work at big, sprawling Kapalua, chasing down the leaders – sound familiar? – with a flawless 7-under 66 and winning the Hyundai Tournament of Champions by one on Monday. Here is the skinny from the final round on Maui:

The leaderboard: Zach Johnson (-19); Jordan Spieth (-18); Kevin Streelman and Webb Simpson at -17; Jason Dufner (-15)

What it means: This victory reaffirms that Johnson, 37, is playing the best golf of his career. It’s his third title in his last six starts, including the unofficial victory over Tiger Woods at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge, and he is expected to move to a career-best No. 7 in the Official World Ranking. No longer can Johnson only win on courses that fit his eye; Kapalua is a bomber’s paradise, and the short-knocker dissected the place with his precise wedge game. Prior to this week, he had finished inside the top 18 only once in six tries on the Plantation Course. Looking big picture, since 2004, only Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh have more wins on the PGA Tour than Johnson.

Round of the day: Hey, maybe it was a good omen that Johnson shot a one-birdie 74 Sunday and dropped two shots behind the leaders. Entering this week, seven of his 10 wins came when he trailed after 54 holes. Victory No. 11 was another comeback win, this time after a sensational 66 that rocketed him atop a crowded leaderboard. “I’m just comfortable there,” he said of being a pursuer. Trailing by one at the turn, Johnson made four birdies on the back nine, including three in a row on Nos. 14-16, to grab the lead.

Best of the rest: Vying to become the third youngest player to win multiple Tour titles, Jordan Spieth squandered several good opportunities but still shot 69 to finish solo second, his fourth runner-up finish on Tour. Billy Horschel vaulted 13 spots on the leaderboard with a closing 66, earning him a T-6 finish. Kevin Streelman (T-3) and Matt Kuchar (T-6) turned in 67s that secured them high finishes. Jason Dufner, who said he would rather sacrifice his own success in Hawaii to see Auburn win the BCS National Championship, shot a final-round 69 and finished solo fifth.

Biggest disappointment: Tied for the 54-hole lead and trying to become the third player in the last decade to win back-to-back TOC titles, Dustin Johnson instead bogeyed his first two holes, dropped five shots in all, shot 73 and tied for sixth, five shots behind the winner.

Shot of the day: Johnson was downright clinical with a wedge in his hand.

Quote of the day: “I just picked it apart. I didn’t deviate from anything I typically do on the golf course,” – Zach Johnson, on how he was able to handle Kapalua’s Plantation Course.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm