Expert Picks: McGladrey Classic

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 16, 2012, 6:42 pm

This week the Fall Series continues with The McGladrey Classic, where Ben Crane returns as defending champion. 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; RotoWorld.com's Rob Bolton; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams and staff writer Ryan Lavner.


Win McMurry

Group 1: Jeff Overton: He finished solo eighth last week at the Frys.com Open, is on a hot streak of seven consecutive rounds in the 60s and tied for sixth a year ago in Sea Island.

Group 2: Michael Thompson: He finished one shot out of the playoff here last year and tied for 13th in Vegas the last time he teed it up in competition. Putting is crucial this week, and he's certainly got the flat stick down, ranking 25th on Tour in strokes gained putting.

Group 3: Nick O'Hern: If you haven't noticed, I bank on recent play and past performance with all of my picks. O'Hern was T-22 last week and tied for sixth here last year. His only top-10 finish this year was at the Fedex St. Jude Classic (T-3) and he certainly could use another as the year winds down.

Group 4: Alexandre Rocha: He lost in a playoff in Reno earlier this season, but is still grinding it out to secure status for next year. He is in form to get it done, coming off his T-4 finish last week. He was T-26 here a year ago.


Jason Sobel

Group 1: Zach Johnson: Sea Island resident was T-12 two years ago and played well in the Ryder Cup recently.

Group 2: Chris Kirk: In his last four events, Kirk has a 65.8 opening-round scoring average, but 72.0 in the final round. If nothing else, expect a good start.

Group 3: Heath Slocum: He won the inaugural McGladrey two years ago. When he finds a place he likes, he often tends to play well.

Group 4: Joe Durant: At 7,055 yards, this is not a bomber's course. Durant is short, but keeps it straight.


Randall Mell

Group 1: Jim Furyk: This proud competitor is motivated to end the year with a good taste in his mouth.

Group 2: Sean O'Hair: Too much talent not to catch fire again before the year is over.

Group 3: Nick O'Hern: He will finish off what he started last week with his hot start at the Frys.com Open.

Group 4: Gavin Coles: Found some magic right about this time last year, winning a Web.com Tour event just down the road in Jacksonville.


Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Zach Johnson: Sea Island resident should be rested after a two-week hiatus and he's played well in his last two starts (T-15 at the Tour Championship and 3-1-0 at the Ryder Cup).

Group 2: Brian Harman: Rookie has played the Seaside Course as much as anyone; in fact, he beat tournament host Davis Love III in a three-hole shootout a few weeks ago at the Sea Island layout.

Group 3: Greg Owen: One of the Tour's best shot makers (25th in ball-striking) will have an advantage if the winds come up in the Golden Isles this week. He was solid (T-22) in his last start at the Frys.com Open.

Group 4: Alexandre Rocha: Missed a 10-footer for birdie at the last hole of the Frys.com Open that would have assured him his 2013 Tour card, but he's earned the majority of his money this year in his last four starts and has played well at Sea Island (T-26 in 2011).


Rob Bolton

Group 1: Jim Furyk: First start since the Ryder Cup. Seven top-10s this year - some more notable than others - but he's still chasing his first victory in 2012. Dissected Seaside a year ago en route to a share of 11th place.

Group 2: Chris Kirk: He's a local and he's cashed in nine straight starts. Can't afford to take any zeroes as we come down the stretch.

Group 3: Russell Knox: Wouldn't normally invest in a rookie ranked 157th on the money list, but the Scot is seriously trending. Since a T-7 on the Web.com Tour in late September, he's racked up a pair of top-15s on the PGA Tour, including a career-best T-9 at CordeValle on Sunday.

Group 4: Alexandre Rocha: Flashed some swagger en route to a tie for fourth at the Frys.com Open, his second top-five in four starts. Also ranked T-2 in greens in regulation and second in strokes gained putting at CordeValle.

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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 GolfChannel.com 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 27East.com 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.