Newsmakers of the Year: Honorable mentions

By Will GrayDecember 8, 2015, 8:00 pm

A busy year in golf means that some compelling stories don’t make the cut.

There was history made in Scotland and drama at TPC Sawgrass. Trophies were won, sure – but some big names also let hardware slip through their fingers. Oh, and the clock on one of the game’s biggest rule changes continued to tick.

All gained headlines, but none of them were among the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. The list will be revealed, one by one, day by day, beginning Tuesday with No. 10 Donald Trump. For now, let’s take a look back at the honorable mentions from this past year:

Dustin Johnson: Johnson began the year on the sidelines, with his six-month leave of absence stretching into February. There were highlights both on and off the course, as the birth of his son, Tatum, was followed by a win at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March. But there were also lowlights, as Johnson three-putted the final green at Chambers Bay to lose the U.S. Open and then forfeited a 36-hole lead at St. Andrews the following month.

Grand Slam: One of the most elusive feats in golf entered the conversation not once, but twice this year. First it was Spieth, who gave the single-season slam its best run since 1953 when he captured both the Masters and the U.S. Open before coming up one shot short at the Open Championship.

Then there was the Grand Slam that wasn’t, as Inbee Park won her fourth different major at the Women’s British Open. The LPGA deemed it a career Grand Slam, but other outlets, including Golf Channel and the Associated Press, said no because the Evian Championship wasn’t deemed a major until 2013 – one year after Park won the event.

Eras: Has the Tiger Era closed? Has the Spieth Era begun? Is this the newest incarnation of the Big Three? Incredible performances from several of the top golfers in the world led many to paint in broad strokes this past year. Those narratives were aided by the fact that the rise of a new crop of stars coincided with Tiger Woods’ worst season ever. But the summer was dominated by Spieth and Jason Day, who along with Rory McIlroy separated from the pack atop the world rankings and drew comparisons to the halcyon days of Nicklaus, Palmer and Player.

R&A women members: After 260 years, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews became a co-ed institution. Its 2,400 members voted “overwhelmingly” in September to admit female members effective immediately, and the first wave of new additions included the likes of Annika Sorenstam and Laura Davies. Now the focus shifts to the three remaining all-male clubs in the Open rota – Muirfield, Royal Troon and Royal St. George’s.

The Players: It was arguably the most exciting tournament of the year, as storylines abounded on the Stadium Course. Woods, battling injury, made the cut on the number but never contended. Sergio Garcia nearly won the event where he and Woods had been embroiled in controversy two years prior, and Kevin Kisner continued his affinity for overtime.

But in the end, the event belonged to Rickie Fowler, who closed the tournament in historic fashion. Fowler birdied the famed par-3 17th hole three times on Sunday, including twice during a four-hole playoff, and outlasted both Garcia and Kisner to seal the biggest win of his career.

Bryson DeChambeau: When you join a list that includes the likes of Woods, Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson, you’re doing something right. DeChambeau completed an impressive double this summer, first winning the NCAA individual title then following with a U.S. Amateur victory in August. With his SMU team banned from the postseason next year, DeChambeau won’t return to defend his NCAA title, but it won’t be long before he and his evenly-measured clubs are on the PGA Tour.

Phil Mickelson: While Woods’ slide garnered more headlines, Mickelson’s season wasn’t much better. Sure, there was the runner-up at the Masters, but Lefty was largely absent from leaderboards, and at age 45, he hasn’t won since the 2013 Open Championship. He failed to reach the Tour Championship for the second straight season and ended the year by closing a significant chapter in his career, replacing longtime swing coach Butch Harmon with a relative unknown in Andrew Getson.

Anchoring ends: After being debated into the ground for more than a year, the anchoring era finally came to a close. Some anchorers opted to ride it out until the bitter end, as David Hearn and Tim Clark were seen using long putters well into the fall. Others, like Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley, used the year to transition to a shorter model, while Adam Scott couldn’t quite make up his mind.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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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

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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