You Oughta Know: DP World Tour Championship

By Will GrayNovember 16, 2013, 3:39 pm

After a 5-under 67 in the third round, Henrik Stenson remains atop the leaderboard at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship. Here's what You Oughta Know heading into the final round in Dubai, where the Swede clings to a one-shot lead as he closes in on another season-long title:

• Two months after claiming the FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour, Stenson is 18 holes away from claiming the season-long Race to Dubai championship. Should he pull off the double, it would be an unprecedented feat, though Luke Donald won the Race to Dubai title in 2011 after topping the money list on the PGA Tour for the 2011 season.

• Remarkably, a win Sunday at Jumeirah Golf Estates would be Stenson's first of the season on the European Tour. His two FedEx Cup Playoff wins were not recognized by the circuit as are majors and WGC events, but the Swede was still able to ascend the standings thanks to a flurry of top-five finishes across the second half of the season.

• One week after claiming his first career European Tour win in Turkey, Victor Dubuisson again finds himself in contention, one shot behind Stenson after a third-round 64 that included 11 birdies. Dubuisson entered the week with slim prospects of winning the season-long title, but he's using the home stretch of the European Tour season to rocket up the world rankings. His victory last week over an elite field that included world No. 1 Tiger Woods moved the Frenchman from No. 108 to 39th in the world, and he can expect another boost this week.

• Beginning the week fourth in the Race to Dubai standings, Ian Poulter is Stenson's closest pursuer in the season-long race and will begin the final round tied for third, four shots off the pace. Poulter briefly caught Stenson during the third round and will look to do so again Sunday to have any chance of ending the year atop the standings. Should Poulter win in Dubai, though, Stenson will still take home the overall title if he finishes second.

• At No. 54 among the 60-man field gathered this week, Alejandro Canizares barely snuck into the field for the season finale but has made the most of the opportunity. The Spaniard's lone European Tour win came in 2006, but Canizares is in contention for a second trophy this week, having led after an opening-round 66. The 30-year-old will begin the final round tied for third alongside Poulter, four shots off the pace set by Stenson.

• A pair of former world No. 1 players have an opportunity to end otherwise disappointing seasons on a high note with a low round Sunday in Dubai. Both Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald have yet to win in 2013, and each will begin the final round tied for eighth, seven shots behind Stenson. It's a tall task for each to try to catch the Swede, but both McIlroy and Donald have positive memories upon which to build, having left Jumeirah Golf Estates with the Race to Dubai trophy in 2012 and 2011, respectively.

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Lexi involved in a(nother) rules controversy at LPGA Thailand

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 26, 2018, 2:50 am

Jessica Korda stole the show this week at the Honda LPGA Thailand, winning the star-studded event by four strokes in her first start since undergoing serious jaw surgery to address a significant overbite that led to ailments ranging from facial cramping to headaches to sleep apnea.

But just four strokes behind Korda finished Lexi Thompson, who may have challenged for the win on Sunday if not for another rules controversy during the second round of the event.

Thompson, who was famously assessed two two-stroke penalties last year at the ANA Inspiration that ultimately cost her the title, was hit with another two-stroke penalty on Friday in Thailand after she moved a sign out of her swing path at Siam Country Club.

The 23-year-old mistakenly thought a billboard on the 15th hole was a moveable object, when in fact, the local rule deemed this particular advertisement a "temporary immovable obstruction."

The two-stroke penalty was assesed after the round, where the par she made on the hole became a double bogey and what would have been a 66 ballooned into a 68.

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After Further Review: JT may face serious Ryder Cup heckling

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 26, 2018, 2:09 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On Thomas getting heckler thrown out ...

Justin Thomas polished off a playoff win at the Honda Classic despite the efforts of a fan who screamed for his ball to head for a fairway bunker on the 16th hole.

Thomas signaled for the fan to be ejected after striping his tee shot on No. 16, telling him, “Enjoy your day, buddy. You’re done.” It’s the second straight week that Thomas has had issues with fans, having bristled at some of the behavior he encountered while grouped with Tiger Woods at the Genesis Open.

Thomas’ stance is that golf has earned a reputation as a “classy sport” that should place it above jeering and catcalls from the gallery. It’s a view that is as noble as it is unachievable.

As long as tournaments continue to serve alcohol well into the afternoon hours, there will be outlier fans who will look to get a rise out of players with comments before, during or after swings. Thomas was within his right to ask for the fan’s removal, though I’d imagine the European fans planning to attend this year’s Ryder Cup in Paris might take note of the apparent impact the gallery can have on Thomas while in the heat of battle. – Will Gray

On the debate over rolling back the ball ...

The opening salvos in what promises to be one of the most polarizing eras in golf were exchanged this week. First, USGA CEO Mike Davis, via Jack Nicklaus, announced his arrival: “Mike said, ‘We’re getting there [on the distance issue]. We’re going to get there. I need your help when we get there,’” the Golden Bear explained when asked about the growing drumbeat to curtail how far modern players hit the golf ball.

A few days later, former Acushnet CEO Wally Uihlein fired back: “Mike Davis has not told us (Acushnet/Titleist) that he is close and he has not asked us for help if and when he gets there.”

Perhaps this will turn out to be a misunderstanding and the game’s rules makers and manufacturers will all end up on the same sideline, but it doesn’t feel that way right now. Rex Hoggard

On Tiger turning up the notch on his comeback ...

It’s safe to say the Tiger Woods comeback is ahead of schedule. After looking lost with his long game in his first two starts of the year, he led the field in proximity to the hole and third in driving distance. He flighted and shaped shots both directions, seemingly at ease, looking nothing like the player we saw at Torrey and Riviera.

If that form continues at Bay Hill and beyond, this has the potential to be one of the greatest comebacks in golf history.  Ryan Lavner

On Korda's journey from pain to promise ...

Jessica Korda is the leader in the clubhouse for best story of the year in women’s golf. She won her first start of the season Sunday at the Honda LPGA Thailand just a little more than two months after undergoing a complex and painful double-jaw surgery to alleviate headaches caused by her jaw’s alignment.

She did so in record-breaking fashion, shattering tournament scoring records against a star-studded field that included the top six players in the world. If Korda can so quickly overcome the challenges of that daunting offseason, there is no telling what else this determined young American star might achieve this year.  Randall Mell

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List loses playoff, may have gained performance coach

By Randall MellFebruary 26, 2018, 1:52 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Luke List didn’t win in his playoff with Justin Thomas Sunday at the Honda Classic, but he thinks he may have found a pretty good new performance coach.

The guy’s name is “Moose.”

He’s a former Australian rules football player.

Actually, his full name is Brent Stevens, a friend of List’s caddie, who put them on the phone together for the first time last week at the Genesis Open.

List liked a lot of the performance keys Stevens gave him and posted some of the advice in his yardage book, so he could reference them.

Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

“Effort over result” was one of the ideas List scribbled down.

“I feel like I've got the ability to play at this level,” said List, who was seeking his first victory Sunday at PGA National. “It just hasn't quite happened yet, but the more I think about it, I feel like the worse I do. So I focus on what's in front of me, the effort into the shot. I did a really good job of that this week.”

List said he’s interested in maybe visiting Australia to take Moose’s training to another level.

“He's a very fit dude,” List said. “He's got some clients that he brings down to south of Melbourne, to run the sand dunes,” List said, “and if we keep in contact, which I'm sure we will, I'm going to have to go down there and get my butt kicked.”

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Both in contention, Thomas hears 'crickets' from Woods

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 26, 2018, 1:36 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods has become a friend, confidant and something of an adviser for Justin Thomas.

Whenever Thomas has been in contention in his young career, Woods has often texted him advice or good luck on the eve of the final round.

That wasn’t the case Saturday night after the third round of the Honda Classic.

“Got crickets last night,” Thomas said, laughing.

Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

That’s because Woods was in contention, too, beginning the final round seven shots off the lead.

“I knew he had one thing in mind, and we both had the same thing in mind,” Thomas said. “I thought that was pretty funny.”

Thomas added that he was “very impressed” with Woods’ 12th-place finish at PGA National.