Expert picks: The Memorial Tournament

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 29, 2012, 5:00 pm

This week the PGA Tour heads to Dublin, Ohio where Jack Nicklaus hosts an elite field at Muirfield Village GC. Steve Stricker defends his title against a field that includes Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and new world No. 1 Luke Donald. 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 Golf Talk Central contributor Ryan Ballengee.


Win McMurry

Group 1: Luke Donald: I can't not pick Donald these days. I took Westwood last week and regretted it after Luke crushed the field at Wentworth en route to defending his title. He also has a history at Jack's Place, with finishes inside the top 15 in his last three starts, including a T-7 showing last year.

Group 2: Jim Furyk: He has one of hte best resumes on this course of all the players in the field. Add to that his solo fourth place finish last week and you can't go wrong with him on your team this week.

Group 3: Harris English: The rookie has been making heads turn since he came onto the scene. Last week he was solid all week, yielding a T-5 at Colonial. He'll ride that momentum into Ohio, the state where last year as an amateur he won the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational on the Scarlet Course at Ohio State.

Group 4: Kyle Reifers: Of all the players in Group Four, he is coming off of one of the best finishes - a T-13 showing last week in Ft. Worth, his biggest payday of the year. He has Ohio roots as well growing up in Columbus and won the Ohio State Amateur in 2004, following in BOTH of his parents' footsteps.


Ryan Ballengee

Group 1: Luke Donald: The world No. 1 won last week, is playing great golf of late and has a good track record at the Memorial.

Group 2: Jim Furyk: The 2002 champion at Muirfield Village has top-10 finishes in two of his last three starts here.

Group 3: Brandt Jobe: A runner-up here last year, Jobe has been in the top four in his last two Memorial starts ('06, '11).

Group 4: Ricky Barnes: Two starts at Jack's place has netted Ricky two top-18 finishes. Not bad.


Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Luke Donald: He only has two top-10 finishes at Muirfield Village, but the world No. 1 has the look of a man who plans to keep that title for a couple of weeks.

Group 2: Jason Day: The Muirfield Village member caught some unwarranted heat for skipping the Memorial last year, but he's comfortable on the course and finished tied for ninth in his last Tour start.

Group 3: Harris English: We'll stop picking the rookie when he stops making money (15 starts, three missed cuts and six top-25 finishes, including a T-5 last week at Colonial).

Group 4: Stewart Cink: Veteran is starting to show signs of life and after last week's decision to honor his commitment to play the Colonial pro-am, one would expect a cosmic make-good.


Gary Williams

Group 1: Steve Stricker: The defending champion at Muirfield Village is making just his ninth start of hte 2012 season. He has four top-10 finishes in eight starts, including a win in Hawaii. Considering his past success at this course, his quietly strong play in 2012 and his desire to bounce back from a missed cut at The Players, I think Stricker is a smart pick.

Group 2: Jim Furyk: The 2002 Memorial champ has six top-10 finishes in 16 starts here and is playing well after a disappointing 2011 season. He has three top-10s, including a fourth-place finish last week, and has not finished out of the top 30 on Tour in the last three months. I like Furyk a lot this week.

Group 3: Harris English: The rookie has had an eventful month: he played well, then faded at The Players, qualified for the Open Championship and finished T-5 last week at Colonial. I think this young man can ride his momentum to a good finish in the city where he won a Nationwide Tour event last year.

Group 4: James Driscoll: Driscoll has played well this month, finishing T-9 in Charlotte and T-19 at the Byron Nelson - although he missed the cut in his other two starts this month. He has never made the cut in three starts here but I think he's a good pick in this group based on recent performance.


Randall Mell

Group 1: Rickie Fowler: The hottest hand in golf outside of Luke Donald and Jason Dufner. Fowler tied for second at Memorial two years ago.

Group 2: Jim Furyk: Former Memorial champ ('02) is coming off a fourth-place finish and four rounds in the 60s at Colonial.

Group 3: Gary Woodland: Taking a flier here with Woodland not far removed from a wrist injury, but he finished sixth at Memorial last year.

Group 4: Ricky Barnes: Since his tie for third at Pebble Beach, Barnes hasn't made any runs, but Muirfield Village will bring out his best. He was T-18 and T-3 here in his last two starts.


Rob Bolton

Group 1: Luke Donald: Steadiest value of the bunch. Breezed to victory at Wentworth last Sunday to successfully defend his BMW title; no worse than T-14 in his last three Memorial appearances.

Group 2: Jim Furyk: Continues to motor. Finished fourth at Colonial where he led the field in greens hit and was the only golfer to card four rounds in the 60s. Won here in 2002, but also finished second in 2009 and T-10 in 2010.

Group 3: Harris English: A calculated flier here as a first-timer at Muirfield Village. Comes off a career-best T-5 at Colonial, which trailed his cakewalk medalist performance at the IFQ-America. his game fits Muirfield Village marvelously.

Group 4: David Hearn: Making his debut at Muirfield Village. I was tempted by both Ricky Barnes and Stewart Cink in this group given their success at the Memorial, but Hearn has cashed in his last five events, posting three top-25s including last week's T-13 at Colonial.

**Join Fantasy Expert Rob Bolton for a live golf chat Wednesday at 12:00p ET at www.rotoworld.com**

Tune in to Golf Channel this Thursday-Friday from 3-6PM ET for live coverage of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance.

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 5:00 pm

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams have advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Scoring:

TV Times (all times ET):

Tuesday
11AM-conclusion: Match-play quarterfinals (Click here to watch live)
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals

Wednesday
4-8PM: Match-play finals

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Davis: USGA learned from setup errors at Shinnecock

By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 4:51 pm

With the U.S. Open set to return to Shinnecock Hills for the first time in 14 years, USGA executive director Mike Davis insists that his organization has learned from the setup mistakes that marred the event the last time it was played on the Southampton, N.Y., layout.

Retief Goosen held off Phil Mickelson to win his second U.S. Open back in 2004, but the lasting image from the tournament may have been tournament officials spraying down the seventh green by hand during the final round after the putting surface had become nearly unplayable. With the course pushed to the brink over the first three days, stiff winds sucked out any remaining moisture and players struggled to stay on the greens with 30-foot putts, let alone approach shots.

Speaking to repoters at U.S. Open media day, Davis offered candid reflections about the missteps that led to the course overshadowing the play during that infamous final round.

"I would just say that it was 14 years ago. It was a different time, it was different people, and we as an organzation, we learned from it," Davis said. "When you set up a U.S. Open, it is golf's ultimate test. It's probably set up closer to the edge than any other event in golf, and I think that the difference then versus now is we have a lot more technology, a lot more data in our hands.

"And frankly, ladies and gentlemen, what really happened then was just a lack of water."

Davis pointed to enhancements like firmness and moisture readings for the greens that weren't available in 2004, and he noted that meterological data has evolved in the years since. With another chance to get his hands on one of the USGA's favorite venues, he remains confident that tournament officials will be able to better navigate the thin line between demanding and impossible this time around.

"There are parts that I think we learned from, and so I think we're happy that we have a mulligan this time," Davis said. "It was certainly a bogey last time. In fact maybe even a double bogey, and equitable stroke control perhaps kicked in."

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UCLA junior Vu named WGCA Player of the Year

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 3:23 pm

UCLA junior Lilia Vu was named Player of the Year on Tuesday by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).

Vu recorded the lowest full-season scoring average (70.37) in UCLA history. Her four tournament wins tied the school record for most victories in a single season.

Vu was also named to the WGCA All-America first team. Here's a look at the other players who joined her on the prestigious list:

WGCA First Team All-Americans

  • Maria Fassi, Junior, University of Arkansas
  • Kristen Gillman, Sophomore, University of Alabama
  • Jillian Hollis, Junior, University of Georgia
  • Cheyenne Knight, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Jennifer Kupcho, Junior, Wake Forest University
  • Andrea Lee, Sophomore, Stanford University
  • Leona Maguire, Senior, Duke University
  • Sophia Schubert, Senior, University of Texas
  • Lauren Stephenson, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Maddie Szeryk, Senior, Texas A&M University
  • Patty Tavatanakit, Freshman, UCLA
  • Lilia Vu, Junior, UCLA
Chris Stroud and caddie Casey Clendenon Getty Images

Stroud's caddie wins annual PGA Tour caddie tournament

By Rex HoggardMay 22, 2018, 3:15 pm

Casey Clendenon, who caddies for Chris Stroud, won the gross division of the annual PGA Tour caddie tournament on Monday, shooting a 5-under 66 at Trinity Forest Golf Club, site of last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.

Scott Tway (65), who caddies for Brian Harman, won the net division by two strokes over Wayne Birch, Troy Merritt’s caddie.

Kyle Bradley, Jonathan Byrd’s caddie, took second place with a 71 in the gross division.

The tournament was organized by the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, and proceeds from the event went to two charities. The APTC donated $20,000 to Greg Chalmers’ charity, MAXimumChances.org, which aids families living with autism. The association also donated $10,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.