Expert Picks: 2014 BMW Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 3, 2014, 5:05 pm

This week marks the 43rd event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as players head to Cherry Hills Country Club for the BMW Championship. Each week, a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players, based on Golf Channel's fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel includes: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and John Antonini; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams; staff writer Ryan Lavner and defending fantasy champion Charlie Rymer.

Jason Sobel

Group 1: Sergio Garcia: It remains to be seen how Cherry Hills will play this week, but ball-striking efficiency works anywhere.

Group 2: Keegan Bradley: With the Ryder Cup weight off his shoulders, expect Bradley to play a little more loose and free this week.

Group 3: Ryan Moore: Conversely from Keegan, Moore wants to prove that he should have been a more serious consideration.

Group 4: Geoff Ogilvy: Going with the hot hand here, as Ogilvy's late-season rally has sparked a career resurgence.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Rory McIlroy: It was an inexplicably pedestrian Monday for the world No. 1 at the Deutsche Bank Championship, but his tie for fifth is more than enough to figure he's only four rounds away from his next victory.

Group 2: Jim Furyk: Last week's T-23 at TPC Boston was the first time since May the American has finished outside the top 20 on the PGA Tour, and he has the kind of control game that observers say will be needed at Cherry Hills.

Group 3: Billy Horschel: An ill-timed miscue at the Deutsche Bank Championship cost him a shot at his second Tour title, but he has a history of going on extended runs when his confidence is high.

Group 4: Geoff Ogilvy: The feel-good story of hte playoffs made a big move on Monday at the Deutsche Bank Championship, and the Australian needs one more solid week to assure his first trip back to the Tour Championship since 2011.

John Antonini

Group 1: Sergio Garcia: Garcia has a pretty good history at the BMW Championship (nothing worse than T-24 in the playoff era), but tournament history is somewhat worthless at Cherry Hills, which the Tour hasn't played since Garcia was 5 years old. He has, however, won a tournament in Switzerland in his career, so playing in altitude shouldn't be a problem.

Group 2: Jim Furyk: With all the talk of Phil Mickelson having won the 1990 U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills, you should also know that Furyk played well that week. As a collegian at Arizona, Furyk reached the third round of match play before losing to David Eger.

Group 3: Kevin Stadler: He grew up in the Denver area, but didn't play Cherry Hills often as a youngster. Still, the little experience he does have will be a plus. One caveat: he doesn't have a top-10 finish on Tour since the Masters.

Group 4: Daniel Summerhays: Admittedly looking for players who might have experience in higher altitudes, I chose Summerhays strictly because he grew up in Utah. That might not be an advantage for him, but the fact that he's 28th on Tour in driving accuracy, 37th in GIR percentage and 11th in strokes gained putting shows that he has the game to play well any week.

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Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

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Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.

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In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.