"Fan Favorite" Vote Calling on Viewers to Determine Golf Channel Year-End Programming

By Golf Channel Public RelationsOctober 25, 2016, 1:20 pm

Fans Can Vote for some of their Favorite Televised Rounds from2016 to Air as Encore Presentations on Golf Channel in December

“Fan Favorite” Vote Now Open

Golf Channel is giving viewers an opportunity to determine part of its December programming schedule, through an open “crowd-sourcing” invitation to vote on some of golf’s most outstanding tournament moments throughout 2016. The “Fan Favorite” voting period began yesterday, and will continue through Sunday, Nov. 6, where viewers can vote on their 10 favorite televised rounds in 2016 from a list of 20 potential selections by visiting http://golfchannel.com/fanfavorites or the Golf Channel Mobile App.

“2016 has been a banner year when it comes to compelling tournament drama for golf fans, from Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson’s unforgettable final round pairing in The Open, to golf’s return to the Olympics for the first time in more than 100 years, to Rory McIlroy claiming the FedExCup to name a few,” said Phil Piazza, senior vice president, programming for Golf Channel. “With such an abundance of tournament drama playing out over the course of the season, we wanted to leave it up to the viewers to choose some of their favorite rounds of 2016 that they’d like to relive in December.”

The 10 fan-generated favorite rounds will air across 10 consecutive nights – Monday, Dec. 19 through Friday, Dec. 30 – in primetime and in descending order (No. 10, No. 9, No. 8, etc.) based on rounds receiving the most votes. Viewers can join the conversation as the Fan Favorite-voted rounds are airing on Golf Channel by using the hashtag, #GolfFanFaves. The “Fan Favorite” airings will contribute to more than 300 total hours of encore 2016 tournament programming airing on Golf Channel between Tuesday, Dec. 13 and Friday, Dec. 30.

The list of 20 “Fan Favorite” rounds from 2016 that viewers can select from include:


Abu Dhabi Championship – Final Round

  • Rickie Fowler wins with Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy in contention

Deutsche Bank Championship – Final Round

  • McIlroy rallies to win thanks to putter switch

Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals

  • 40 girls and 40 boys (age 7-15) compete at Augusta National Golf Club in April

Irish Open – Final Round

  • McIlroy claims title set up by heroic second shot fairway wood on par-5 16th

KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – Final Round

  • Canada’s Brooke Henderson outlasts fellow teen & World No. 1 Lydia Ko for 1st major

NCAA Men’s Golf Team National Championship - Final Day

  • Oregon’s men’s team outlasted Texas to claim their 1st team National Championship

NCAA Women’s Golf Team National Championship – Final Day

  • Washington’s women’s team defeat reigning champs Stanford for 1st team National title

Olympics, Men’s Golf – Final Round

  • Great Britain’s Justin Rose earns gold medal over Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar

Olympics, Women’s Golf – Final Round

  • Korea’s Inbee Park earns gold medal despite home country pressure amidst thumb injury

The Open – Round 1

  • Phil Mickelson lips out on chance at golf history, setting for opening round 63

The Open – Final Round

  • Stenson, Mickelson trade blows in final pairing with Stenson earning 1st major

Open de Espana – Final Round

  • Andrew “Beef” Johnston claims first European Tour victory in style

PGA Championship – Final Round

  • Jimmy Walker holds off Jason Day, Stenson at rain-stricken Baltusrol for 1st major

Quicken Loans National – Final Round

  • Billy Hurley III earns 1st PGA TOUR win near hometown, Naval Academy (class of ‘04)

Ryder Cup – Final Day

  • Patrick Reed, Mickelson lead U.S. to defeat Europe for the first time since 2008

TOUR Championship – Final Day

  • McIlroy claims FedExCup following four-hole playoff with Ryan Moore

UL International Crown – Final Day

  • United States earn unlikely victory despite opening round sweep in four-ball matches

Waste Management Phoenix Open – Final Round

  • Hideki Matsuyama wins in a playoff over emotional Fowler with family in the crowd

WGC-Cadillac Championship – Final Round

  • Adam Scott holds off late charging contenders to win in back-to-back weeks

WGC-Dell Match Play – Semifinal Matches

  • Day and McIlroy go head-to-head with Day ultimately winning the match and the event

Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

“I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.

CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

“I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

“We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

How does she feel?

“I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

“I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a 6-under-par 66, she is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.

CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

“Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

“I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”

You Oughta Know: LPGA's Sunday scenarios

By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:17 am

NAPLES, Fla. – The CME Group Tour Championship is loaded with pressure-packed subplots Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club.

Here’s what You Oughta Know about the prizes at stake:

Race to the CME Globe

Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park are 1-2 in CME Globe points. They are best positioned Sunday to take home the $1 million jackpot in the season-long competition.

Thompson and Park are tied for fifth in the tournament, one shot off the lead. If either of them wins, she will take home the jackpot.

The way it’s unfolding Thompson is a good bet to take home the jackpot by merely finishing ahead of Park, unless they both stumble badly on Sunday.

Ariya Jutanugarn is tied for the lead. She must win to take home the jackpot, but she would also need Thompson to finish ninth or worse and Park to finish eighth or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points to make a bold Sunday charge.

Stacy Lewis is one shot off the lead with a longshot chance at the jackpot. She must win the tournament while Thompson finishes 26th or worse, Park finishes 12th or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points makes a bold Sunday charge.

So Yeon Ryu, Shanshan Feng and Brooke Henderson are among others who still have a shot at the $1 million prize, but they have fallen back in the pack and need bold Sunday charges to take home the jackpot.

Rolex Player of the Year

The Rolex Player of the Year Award remains a four-player race.

Ryu (162), Feng (159), Park (157) and Thompson (147) all have a chance to win the award.

Park and Thompson are best positioned to make Sunday moves to overtake Ryu.

Park needs to finish sixth or better to win the award outright; Thompson needs to win the tournament to win the award.

It’s simple math.

The top 10 in the tournament will be awarded points.

1st - 30 points

2nd – 12 points

3rd – 9 points

4th – 7 points

5th – 6 points

6th – 5 points

7rd – 4 points

8th – 3 points

9th – 2 points

10th – 1 point

Vare Trophy

Thompson took a 69.147 scoring average to Naples. Park needs to finish nine shots ahead of Thompson to have a shot at the trophy.

Money-winning title

Park leads the tour in money winnings with $2,262,472. Ryu is the only player who can pass her Sunday, and Ryu must win the tournament to do so. Ryu is tied for 32nd, five shots off the lead. If Ryu wins the tournament, she also needs Park to finish worse than solo second.

Rolex world No. 1 ranking

World No. 1 Feng, No. 2 Park and No. 3 Ryu are separated by just three hundredths of a point.

Because they are so close, the scenarios for overtaking Feng are head spinning.

At No. 4, Thompson is a full average ranking point behind Feng, but she could become the sixth different player this season to move to No. 1. Thompson, however, has to win Sunday to have a chance to do so, and then it will depend on what Feng, Park and Ryu do. Again, the scenarios are complex.

Cook leads RSM Classic by three at Sea Island

By Associated PressNovember 19, 2017, 12:28 am

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to increase his lead to three strokes in the RSM Classic.

Cook, a shot ahead after a second-round 62, had five birdies and a bogey - his first of the week - to reach 18-under 194 with a round left at Sea Island Golf Club's Seaside Course.

''Putting is key right now,'' Cook said. ''Been able to make a lot of clutch putts for the pars to save no bogeys. Hitting the ball pretty much where we're looking and giving ourselves good opportunities on every hole.''

Former University of Georgia player Chris Kirk was second after a 64.

''I'm really comfortable here,'' Kirk said. ''I love Sea Island. I lived here for 6 1/2 years, so I played the golf course a lot, SEC Championships and come down here for the RSM Classic. My family and I, we come down here a few other times a year as well.''

Brian Gay was another stroke back at 14 under after a 69.

''I love the course,'' Gay said. ''We keep getting different wind directions so it's keeping us on our toes. Supposed to be another completely different wind direction tomorrow, so we're getting a new course every day.''

RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

J.J. Spaun had a 62 to get to 13 under.

''I just kind of played stress-free golf out there and kept the golf ball in front of me,'' Spaun said. ''I had a lot of looks and scrambled pretty well, even though it was only a handful of times, but pretty overall pleased with how I played today.''

Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour.

''I think with an extra year on the Web this past year, I really grew mentally and with my game, just kind of more confidence,'' Cook said. ''I was able to put myself in contention on the Web.com more this year than I have in the past. I think I've just, you know, learned from experiences on the Web to help me grow out here.''

He planned to keep it simple Saturday night.

''I've got my parents here and my in-laws are both here as well as my wife,'' Cook said. ''Go home and just have a good home-cooked meal and just kind of enjoy the time and embrace the moment.''

Kirk won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2015 at Colonial.

''It's nice to be back in contention again,'' Kirk said. ''It's been a little while for me. But I felt great out there today, I felt really comfortable, and so hopefully it will be the same way tomorrow and I'll keep my foot on the pedal and stay aggressive, try to make some birdies.''