Expert picks: AT&T Pebble Beach

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 7, 2012, 6:00 pm

This is another double week for fantasy players! experts offer up their fantasy choices below for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-AM, and their selections for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic can be seen here. Each week a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players based on Golf Channel's new fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel consists of: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and Win McMurry; editorial director Jay Coffin;'s Rob Bolton; 'Morning Drive' hosts Gary Williams and Erik Kuselias; and Golf Talk Central contributor Ryan Ballengee.

Win McMurry

Group 1: Phil Mickelson: It's going to be an interesting week with Tiger rounding back into form as well, but I give Lefty the upper hand to make the most of this week.

Group 2: Bryce Molder: He tied for sixth last year, a finish that should have been better without the disappointing 74 on Sunday. Closed in style with a 66 last week en route to a T-15 finish.

Group 3: Rod Pampling: He enters this week off two top-15s in a row this year. The Australian has only played Pebble once dating back to 2005, but in 2010 he finished T27.

Group 4: James Driscoll: For a player in this final group, he has had a good year with three made cuts, two of them top-30 finishes. He tied for 13th a year ago at Pebble and 14th in 2008.

Ryan Ballengee

Group 1: Tiger Woods: This just seems like the week. He's been in the top three in his last starts and, you know, he kind of likes Pebble.

Group 2: D.A. Points: Does anybody respect the defending champion? Points is in great form to start the season.

Group 3: Bob Estes: Estes has started out the year well and can get a big bump in priority with a modest finish this week.

Group 4: Jeff Maggert: Had a great chance at Sony to start his season and is quietly playing some of the most consistent golf on the PGA Tour.

Jay Coffin

Group 1: Tiger Woods: Don't feel great about any of the names here, so go with the one who played well two weeks ago.

Group 2: Rickie Fowler: At some point, he has to win. Right?

Group 3: Brendan Steele: Name jumped out at me in this group.

Group 4: William McGirt: Just looking for someone to make a cut in this group.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Tiger Woods: Forget that balky iron play in Abu Dhabi and a victory schneid that has extended past two years. There are only two numbers that count this week - 15 (Woods' margin of victory at the '00 U.S. Open at Pebble) and 24 (the number of putts he needed on Sunday in Abu Dhabi).

Group 2: Spencer Levin: Your scribe scored big last week going with the rebound pick of Kyle Stanley. It's worth seeing if karma has any more magic left for Levin.

Group 3: Harris English: The rookie has quietly climbed to 42nd in earnings this year and is starting to look like a less-animated version of Webb Simpson.

Group 4: Greg Owen: One of the Tour's best ballstrikers has had limited success at Pebble Beach and the poa annua greens should help mitigate his often-pedestrian putting.

Rob Bolton

Group 1: Tiger Woods: First opportunity to capitalize on a highly-anticipated return to success.

Group 2: Bryce Molder: Has finished inside the top-15 in six of his last seven starts. Top-10s in his last two starts at Pebble Beach.

Group 3: D.J. Trahan: Turned a corner last week with his putter. Top-10s at Pebble in 2009 and 2010.

Group 4: John Huh: Shared sixth at the Farmers and 12th at the WMPO. It's about time I hopped aboard.

You can watch complete coverage of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Thursday-Friday live on Golf Channel from 3PM-6PM ET.

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Lauren Thompson and a giant 'gator eating a turtle

By Grill Room TeamApril 19, 2018, 4:53 pm

Really, the headline says it all.

"Morning Drive" co-host Lauren Thompson was playing the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes on Thursday in Orlando, Fla., when her threesome turned into a foursome, with the appearance of a giant alligator. Techincally, it was a fivesome, as the 'gator had a turtle in its mouth.

Hey, it's a slow news week for Grill Room.

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Sources confirm Charles Schwab to sponsor Colonial event

By Rex HoggardApril 19, 2018, 2:42 pm

Multiple sources have confirmed to that officials at Colonial are poised to announce a new sponsorship agreement with Charles Schwab Corporation.

Tournament officials scrambled this year after Dean & DeLuca ended its sponsorship of the event just two years into a six-year agreement, pulling together an assortment of local sponsors and renaming the event the Fort Worth Invitational.

Colonial’s status on the PGA Tour schedule became even more uncertain when the PGA Championship announced it would move from August to May, beginning in 2019 as part of a major overhaul of the circuit’s schedule.

According to the Dallas News, and confirmed by multiple sources at the club, officials plan to announce the new long-term agreement with Charles Schwab on Monday that will begin in 2019.

News of a long-term sponsorship deal would also suggest the event will remain in May in 2019 and beyond. The Tour has indicated it plans to announce the ’19 schedule at next month’s Players Championship.

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PNC Extends Title Sponsorship of PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 19, 2018, 1:00 pm

ORLANDO, Fla., April 19, 2018 – IMG and NBC Sports today announced that The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. has extended its contract as title sponsor of the PNC Father/Son Challenge, the tournament that pairs the games’ legends alongside their sons, daughters and grandchildren.

PNC’s multi-year extension as title sponsor keeps the PGA Tour Challenge Event in Orlando reflecting the bank’s commitment to Central Florida. PNC has served as title sponsor of the tournament since 2012. The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando, Grande Lakes will continue to play host to the PNC Father/Son Challenge. The 2018 PNC Father/Son Challenge will take place Friday-Sunday, Dec. 14-16, with television coverage on Golf Channel and NBC.

“The PNC Father/Son Challenge long ago became one of my family’s favorite golf tournaments,” said 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus. “I have had the pleasure of playing with my sons, and last year, partnering with my 15-year-old grandson GT was a thrill. I am delighted the event—a uniquely special one to us fathers and grandfathers, and perhaps to the many fans out there watching from home or outside the ropes—will continue for many years to come.”

“After our victory in 2016, I said that this win was as good as anything I have done in my career,” said former World No. 1 and major champion David Duval, who alongside his stepson Nick Karavites captured the 2016 title. “I felt blessed to have Nick inside the ropes with me and to have our family surrounding us all week. That’s what makes the PNC Father/Son Challenge so special, and I’m pleased to hear that PNC has extended its support of the event. This golf tournament means so much to all of us who are lucky enough to have the opportunity to play in this event.”

The tournament also holds three events in qualifier markets per year. This year they will be in Dallas, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

“The PNC Father/Son Challenge allows fans to see golf’s legends playing the game they love alongside those they love most,” said Alastair Johnston, vice chairman, IMG. “We are grateful for PNC’s ongoing support of this unique tournament and we look forward to returning to Orlando to celebrate golf and family for many years to come.”

Community support is a key aspect of the tournament and PNC’s sponsorship. PNC is committed to donating $150,000 annually to local non-profits over the life of its sponsorship. Across six previous years of title sponsorship, PNC has already donated $900,000 to Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation and the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children to support the “Healthy Families Orange” program. Over the years, PNC has also had the opportunity through this tournament to co-host events for local women in business, to put on clinics and provide free access to the tournament for active military, and even provide a service dog for a local veteran.

"PNC's long-standing sponsorship of the Father/Son Challenge reflects the philanthropic values we share with the PGA Tour and the golf community, as well as our focus on strong relationships,” said Bill Demchak, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The PNC Financial Services Group. “As PNC Bank continues to expand its footprint, the PNC Father/Son tournament helps us gain visibility with new audiences and to strengthen the relationships we enjoy today with more than 8 million retail, wealth, and corporate and institutional banking customers across the country.”

“NBC Sports is extremely proud of our heritage as co-founder for the Father/Son Challenge, one of golf’s most special events that closes out the calendar year on the golf schedule,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports. “Our relationship with PNC Bank elevates this event each year as a must-attend and must-see event for players and fans alike, and we look forward to our continued relationship with PNC Bank for years to come.”

Past winners of the PNC Father/Son Challenge include some of the biggest names in golf including Raymond Floyd (1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001), Jack Nicklaus (1999), Bernhard Langer (2005-06, 2014), Davis Love III (2012) and David Duval (2016).  Masters champion Angel Cabrera and his son, Angel Cabrera Jr. captured the 2017 title.

To qualify for the PNC Father/Son Challenge, participants must have won either a major championship or THE PLAYERS Championship in their career. The professional’s partner must not currently hold a Tour card, and while the majority of partners in the history of the event have been the sons of the golf legends, the family-themed tournament has seen daughters, grandsons and one father – Justin Leonard’s dad, Larry – participate over the years.

The PNC Father/Son Challenge is operated in partnership by IMG and NBC Sports.

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Fire damages National Golf Links of America clubhouse

By Will GrayApril 19, 2018, 12:55 pm

A fire broke out Wednesday at National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y., causing "extensive damage" to a portion of the historic course's clubhouse.

According to a report, an initial call was made to the Southampton police department about a fire on the roof of the clubhouse at 11:34 a.m. With the club's gates too narrow to fit a fire truck through, more than 100 firefighters from various departments helped douse the flames by transporting water up a hill to the east side of the clubhouse.

The fire was reportedly extinguished by 2:30 p.m., with no injuries requiring medical attention. According to a Golf Digest report, the club was undergoing construction on its outdoor eating area known as "the Birdcage" and that most of the club's historical documents reside on the opposite end of the clubhouse from where the fire broke out and was contained.

Opened in 1911, National Golf Links of America was designed by C.B. MacDonald and hosted the inaugural Walker Cup in 1922. The biennial matches returned in 2013 to NGLA, which is often rated among the top courses in the U.S. and sits adjacent to Shinnecock Hills, site of this summer's U.S. Open.