Featured groups: Humana Challenge

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 14, 2014, 8:25 pm

The PGA Tour returns to the mainland this week for the Humana Challenge, which begins Thursday at PGA West. Each group will consist of two pros and two rotating amateurs. Here are a few groups to watch:

Zach Johnson and Keegan Bradley: 11:40 a.m. ET Thursday at La Quinta

Johnson stayed hot at the Sony, shooting four rounds in the 60s to post a T-8 finish. He heads now to the Humana, where he has never finished worse than 23rd in three appearances. Bradley, meanwhile, begins his year in the California desert, looking to erase a disappointing 2013 campaign. This is his first official PGA Tour start since a T-11 at the WGC-HSBC Champions; he also was 10th in Malaysia. In his only other appearance at PGA West, in 2011, he tied for seventh.

Brandt Snedeker and Rickie Fowler: 12:10 p.m. ET Thursday at La Quinta 

Snedeker returned from a knee injury to post a T-11 at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, his first start in two months. One of the Tour’s best putters, he has fared well at the Humana in the past, finishing in the top 25 in three of the past four years, including a T-8 in 2012. Fowler is making his first start of 2014, and it’ll be the first chance for fans to see his new action since he began working with swing coach Butch Harmon. He has just one top-10 since July, and he missed the cut in his only other appearance at the Humana (2010).

Webb Simpson and Davis Love III: 12:40 p.m. ET Thursday at PGA West’s Palmer Course 

Simpson, a winner last fall in Vegas, is one of the hottest players on Tour, posting five consecutive top-seven finishes. What’s more, he is ranked in the top five in scoring average, strokes gained-putting, greens hit and scrambling. He was fifth here in 2009, though that remains his only top-10 in four tries. Love has made three cuts in four appearances in 2013-14, but he hasn’t finished better than 36th. In 2013, he battled injuries and had only one top 10 in 15 starts.

Harris English and Bill Haas: 1:10 p.m. ET Thursday at La Quinta 

English’s putter went cold on the back nine at the Sony Open, costing him a shot at his third Tour title. Nonetheless, he has finished 11th or better in four of his last five starts, including a victory at Mayakoba. As for Haas, a former winner here (2010), he has four top-25s in the new wraparound season.

Gary Woodland and Billy Horschel: 1:10 p.m.. ET Thursday at PGA West’s Palmer Course

Woodland lost in a playoff at the 2011 Humana, and he’s been strong in limited action in 2013-14, losing a playoff in Malaysia and finishing T-13 at the Hyundai. Horschel tied for sixth in his only start in 2014, at the Hyundai. The Zurich Classic winner tied for 10th at last year’s Humana. 

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.

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Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.