What's the best possible storyline come Sunday night?

By Jason SobelApril 4, 2012, 11:50 pm

AUGUSTA, Ga. – I’m often asked this question in advance of major championships and this week’s upcoming Masters is no different: “So, who are you rooting for?”

My answer is unfailingly consistent: “The best story.”

What are the best possible stories at the conclusion of this edition of the tournament? Here are five that I would love to write come Sunday evening:

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Golf has a few magic numbers. Eighteen is the all-too-familiar number of major victories for the all-time leader, Jack Nicklaus. Fifty-nine is the lowest score recorded in an official PGA Tour event. And then there’s 63, the lowest total posted in a major, a record shared by 25 players. Until Sunday, that is, when one man took advantage of soft greens, firing at flagsticks all day to shoot the first-ever 62 at a major and claim the Masters title.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – One year ago, the 10th hole served as Rory McIlroy’s personal Waterloo, his tee shot hitting a tree branch and caroming toward rarely seen cabins, from which he posted a triple-bogey en route to dropping from first on the leaderboard to T-15 when it was all over. So it was sweet revenge when McIlroy hit his approach shot on the very same hole Sunday to within tap-in range for a birdie that vaulted him into a lead he would never relinquish on his way to clinching the green jacket.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Fifteen years ago, Tiger Woods burst onto the major championship scene in a big way, winning his first as a professional by a whopping 12 strokes. This time, he was hardly a newcomer and not unaccustomed to winning majors, but the differential remained the same, as Woods cruised to yet another 12-shot victory for his fifth Masters title, putting him just one behind all-time leader Jack Nicklaus.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – If you think about it, it’s actually surprising that this doesn’t happen more often. After all, so many proficient professional golfers, so tightly packed on the leaderboard, playing the same holes for four straight days. And yet, more often than not, one player is deemed the winner after 72 holes; on occasion, two or three players will tie and head to a playoff. But this many competitors? Their names all dead even atop the leaderboard when regulation was complete? This was a groundbreaking day, indeed.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – It was officially Turn Back the Clock Day during the final round at Augusta National Golf Club. Sure, names like those of Vijay Singh and Padraig Harrington on the leaderboard certainly helped, but this was all about two other guys. Tom Watson and Fred Couples were both thought to have their best years behind them, but playing in the final pairing together on Sunday, they looked anything but old-timers, producing a two-man race for the ages – literally – that concluded with the oldest major champion ever slipping into the familiar green jacket at day’s end.

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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