Par 5 Major Questions for Men and Women - COPIED

By Randall MellMarch 30, 2011, 11:57 pm
Setting the agenda for the week ahead with five questions for the majors and one major precursor ...

Just how wide open are the first majors for the men and women in 2011?

Yani Tseng
Yani Tseng is seeking her second consecutive major and second consecutive Kraft victory. (Getty Images)
Yani Tseng arrives at the Kraft Nabisco Championship holding the No. 1 ranking for a seventh consecutive week, but she’s the fourth player to hold the top spot over the last year.

It feels as if anyone in the top 10 right now has a legitimate chance to become No. 1.

That’s a sea change for the women’s game when you consider that just two players (Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa) held the top spot the first four years of the Rolex World Rankings.

The men’s game is even more wide open.

Sandra Gal’s breakthrough victory at the Kia Classic last week was notable because you don’t get a lot of unexpected winners in the women’s game. But among the men? Unexpected is this year’s theme.

You could pick 20 players before an LPGA event and feel fairly certain the winner’s going to come within that group. You could pick 50 men before a PGA Tour event and not be certain you’ve got the winner.

Nine players outside the top 100 have won PGA Tour events in the first three months of this season alone, including four players ranked 200 or higher.

Just one woman outside the top 100 in the world rankings won an LPGA event all of last year. Beatriz Recari was No. 172 when she captured the CVS/pharmacy in 2010.
Will Yani Tseng win back-to-back Kraft Nabisco Championships?

Tseng’s not the overwhelming favorite you would think with the No. 1 ranking, four worldwide victories already this season and the confidence that comes as the defending champion.

That’s because No. 2 Jiyai Shin showed she’s rounding into form with her runner-up finish at the Kia Classic on Sunday, Karrie Webb’s got some confidence going with a pair of LPGA titles this season, and Suzann Pettersen and Cristie Kerr look like such good fits at Mission Hills’ Dinah Shore Course.

Here’s how Par 5 makes the odds this week for the top five favorites:

  • Tseng 3/1 – Though she’s just 22, Tseng’s already shown the ability to summon her best in the largest events. She’s won three of the last 11 major championships. Tseng looks ready to join her idol as the only players to win back-to-back titles since the Kraft Nabisco became a major 28 years ago. Annika Sorenstam won in 2001-02.
  • Pettersen 5/1 – In three of her last four starts at Kraft, Pettersen’s finished second or tied for second.
  • Webb 6/1 – A two-time winner at Kraft (2000, ’06), Webb’s finished fifth or better seven times in the event.
  • Kerr 6/1 – In her last nine starts on the Dinah Shore Course, Kerr’s finished fifth or better five times, including a tie for second when Brittany Lincicome won two years ago.
  • Shin 10/1 – In her fourth start at Kraft last year, Shin turned a corner. She tied for fifth while finishing the championship under par for the first time.

Anyone have a dart to pick this week’s winner at the Shell Houston Open?

Choosing a PGA Tour winner is maddening work these days, with the average ranking  this year being 167th.

So watch out for Jamie Lovemark and J.J. Henry, the closest to the average winner’s ranking in this week’s field at No. 170 and 173, respectively.

Here are the rankings of this year’s winners:

  • Jonathan Byrd (Hyundai Tournament of Champions), No. 121
  • Mark Wilson (Sony Open), No. 237
  • Jhonattan Vegas (Bob Hope Classic), No. 187
  • Bubba Watson (Farmer’s Insurance Open), No. 33
  • Mark Wilson (Waste Management Phoenix Open), No. 91.
  • D.A. Points (AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am), No. 167
  • Aaron Baddeley (Northern Trust Open), No. 224
  • Johnson Wagner (Mayakoba Golf Classic), No. 377
  • Luke Donald (WGC-Accenture Match Play), No. 9
  • Rory Sabbatini (Honda Classic), No. 102
  • Michael Bradley (Puerto Rico Open), No. 562
  • Nick Watney (WGC-Cadillac Championship), No. 31
  • Gary Woodland (Transitions Championship), No. 153
  • Martin Laird (Arnold Palmer Invitational), No. 40

Can you peak too early for the Masters?

In 74 Masters tournaments, only four players have won the PGA Tour event the week before and gone on to win at Augusta National.

Phil Mickelson’s the last to do so.

Mickelson won the BellSouth Classic in Atlanta in 2006 and a week later claimed the second of his three green jackets.

The only other players to do so were Sandy Lyle in 1988, Art Wall in ’59 and Ralph Guldahl in ’39.
Any room left for a late Masters’ invite?

The beauty of the Masters bringing back the practice of inviting PGA Tour winners looms as a potential bonus at the Shell Houston Open this week.

The field list grows by one if the winner in Houston hasn’t already earned a Masters’ invite.

Since Masters chairman Billy Payne announced four years ago that Augusta National was re-instituting invitations for PGA Tour winners, Johnson Wagner’s the only player to win the week before the Masters to gain a late invite. Wagner won the Shell Houston Open in 2008.

Follow Randall Mell on Twitter @RandallMell
Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

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

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.