Fantasy Island Transitions Championship

By Rex HoggardMarch 17, 2009, 4:00 pm
Weve gone with the favorite (Tiger Woods/WGC-Accenture Match Play), the defending champion (Ernie Els/Honda Classic) and the hot hand (Geoff Ogilvy/WGC-CA) and were so far back in the standings if this were a World Baseball Classic outing the game would have been called two innings ago.
 
New plan, were going with the George Costanza, do-the-opposite model this week. Whatever our initial impulse is, go with the opposite. Tiger Woods is looking good, pick Phil Mickelson. Ben Crane is on a run ' no pun intended ' sign up Rory Sabbatini. You get the picture.
 

 
Pick a Foursome: Kenny Perry marched off the Blue Monster Saturday afternoon, scorned by a third-round 71 and an untimely rules gaffe on the 13th hole. KP has never finished better than eighth in Tampa and was bounced in the first round of the Match Play. All of which makes him a layup under the Costanza philosophy.
 
Ditto for Alvaro Quiros. We were weary of a player ranked among the worlds top 30 who had never played a professional event in the United States, but the bomber backed up his lofty status with a tie for 13th at Doral and could surprise some at Innisbrook.
 
Picks: Kenny Perry; Jim Furyk; Alvaro Quiros, Tim Clark
 
Note: One player from four categories based on the World Golf Ranking (1-10, A; 11-20, B; 21-30, C; 31-40, D). Points awarded on money earned ($1 = 1 point).
 
Salary Cap: Sean OHair started his week at Doral eagle-eagle, played the rest of the way in 6 under and tied for 13th. Hardly a clarion call to take on his price tag ($2.08 million), but his swing coach Sean Foley was high on his mans action and his chances and the Tours favorite beanpole feels at home in central Florida.
 
As for Ryo Ishikawa, the teen fell short of the hype at his American debut last month in Los Angeles, but the Sadie Hawkins version of Fantasy Island is all about playing the ball into the wind.
 
Picks: Jim Furyk, Sean OHair, Webb Simpson, Colt Knost, Ryo Ishikawa (Total: $6.29 million)
 
Note: Five players with a $10 million cap based on 2008 earnings. Rookies without 2008 earnings will be priced at $250,000. Standings based on overall team earnings.
 
Pick One: Ryuji Imada. Home games are never the best weeks for players, what with ticket request and the added pressure to perform, but Imada is well versed in the spring winds that buffet Florida this time of year and the subtleties of the Copperheads putting surfaces. In three Tampa-area starts, hes finished runner-up (2008), tied for 13th (2006) and missed the cut (2007).
 
Note: Players must be picked before the start of the season and used only once. Standings based on total earnings.
 
In addition to my PGA Tour Pick One, the GolfChannel.com staff will be offering up their picks to win. A player can be picked a maximum of five times. We will be keeping a running tally of the monies earned each week. The participants include: Brian Hewitt, GolfChannel.com Insider; Jay Coffin, Editorial Director; Mercer Baggs, Editorial Manager; Brian Koressel, Senior Producer; Dena Davis, Assistant Editor; Erik Peterson, Travel Editor; Jerry Foltz, special contributor.
 
STAFF PICKS:

NamePlayer PickReasonMoney
Rex HoggardCharles Howell IIIOur original tilt was toward Steve Marino, who has been solid throughout the Florida Swing during his career and tied for 14th last year, but the tight, tree-lined Copperhead layout may be the salve that shakes CH III out of his title drought.$417,940
Jay CoffinTim ClarkWhen he took down Tiger Woods at the Match Play I couldnt imagine how he hasnt won a Tour event. So far this year he has four top-15 finishes in six events and hasnt finished worse than 27th.$3,304,185
Mercer BaggsRetief GoosenWon here before. Played well during first round at Doral. Maybe he can string together a few more decent rounds this week.$1,904,493
Erik PetersonKenny PerryPerry prevails in Tampa, while his 12-seeded Hilltoppers also take care of business this weekend.$1,251,817
Brian KoresselRod PamplingComing off a solid finish at Doral, the Aussie has two top-10s in his last two starts at Innisbrook.$1,927,566
Dena DavisJim FurykIt's March Madness time, so I'm picking chalk here. Yes, Furyk is the best player in the field but he's also coming off two top -10 finishes. He'll be dancing on Sunday ' and hopefully it'll be less awkward than that swing. $2,070,956
Jerry FoltzMichael BradleyThe media loves a good story, and he's a great one. Plus, he's playing near home. Needs to not suffer the emotional hangover from last week though.$1,357,319

 

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage of the Transitions Championship
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

    Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday.