Expert Picks: Omega Dubai Desert Classic

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 30, 2013, 2:52 am

Note: This week the Experts are proud to announce they have been joined by Norm MacDonald. The former 'Saturday Night Live' star has already gotten his fantasy golf season off to a hot start in 2013, and will continue to provide his picks for Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge participants throughout the year.

This week the focus of the fantasy world is split. Our experts share their picks for the Waste Management Phoenix Open here, while their picks for the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic are below. 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 includes: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and Win McMurry; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams, staff writer Ryan Lavner and former 'Saturday Night Live' star Norm MacDonald.


Win McMurry

Group 1: Lee Westwood: Finished third last year, he's the top-ranked player in the field and I think he will shine this week as he kicks off his 2013 season.

Group 2: Henrik Stenson: While he didn't finish all that high on last year's leaderboard, he was still tied for 20th and when you look at past top starts, he was eighth in 2010 and third in 2009. He has good form entering this week as well, with a T-16 finish in Qatar and a win just a couple months ago in South Africa.

Group 3: Soren Kjeldsen: He shared fifth place here last year, and the Dane has been pretty consistent over the last few months.

Group 4: Gareth Maybin: He's made his last three consecutive cuts and returns here with solid game after tying for 28th last year.


Jason Sobel

Group 1: Sergio Garcia: Ultra-streaky performer is in a good place, after losing by just one shot in Qatar last week.

Group 2: Rafael Cabrera-Bello: Last year's champion in Dubai returns with plenty of momentum and good vibes this time around.

Group 3: Tommy Fleetwood: Young and mostly unknown, Fleetwood is an up-and-comer who will shine on some pretty bright stages in upcoming years.

Group 4: Mikko Ilonen: Coming off a strong week in Qatar, Ilonen could be primed for another strong effort this week, too.


Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Lee Westwood: New caddie, new coach, same solid swing for the world No. 8. That the Englishman has three runner-up finishes in Dubai just makes him an easier pick. 

Group 2: Shane Lowry: Solid start to the season (T-9 at the Volvo Golf Champions) and he finished tied for eighth in 2011 at the season-ending Dubai World Championship.

Group 3: Jaco Van Zyl: He was stellar to start the European Tour season in Africa (T-2 at the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open and T-8 at the Nelson Mandela Championship) and he needs to keep that momentum going through the Middle East swing.

Group 4: Johan Edfors: Although fresh off his worst season on the European Tour, he has finished inside the top 25 three times at the Dubai Desert Classic and has just two missed cuts in eight starts.


Norm MacDonald

Group 1: Lee Westwood

Group 2: Henrik Stenson

Group 3: Michael Campbell

Group 4: Simon Khan

Getty Images

Watch: Pieters snaps club ... around his neck

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 1:19 pm

After opening in 3-over 75, Thomas Pieters was in no mood for more poor play on Friday.

Unfortunately for Pieters, he bogeyed two of his first three holes in the second round of the BMW PGA Championship and then didn't like his second shot at the par-5 fourth.

Someone - or some thing - had to pay, and an innocent iron bore the brunt of Pieters' anger.



Pieters made par on the hole, but at 5 over for the tournament, he was five shots off the cut line.

It's not the first time a club has faced Pieters' wrath. 

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Woods would 'love' to see Tour allow shorts

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:59 pm

Players on the European Tour are allowed to wear shorts during practices and pro-ams.

The PGA of America permitted players to show some leg while prepping for last year’s PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods would like to see the PGA Tour follow suit.

"I would love it," he said Thursday in a Facebook Live with Bridgestone Golf. "We play in some of the hottest climates on the planet. We usually travel with the sun, and a lot of our events are played in the summer, and then on top of that when we have the winter months here a lot of the guys go down to South Africa and Australia where it's summer down there.

"It would be nice to wear shorts. Even with my little chicken legs, I still would like to wear shorts."

Caddies are currently allowed to wear shorts on Tour, during events.

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Feasting again: McIlroy shoots 65 to lead BMW PGA

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:04 pm

Updated at 9:42 a.m. ET

Rory McIlroy made seven birdies and no bogeys on Friday for a 7-under 65 and the second-round lead at the BMW PGA Championship.

After opening in 67, McIlroy was among the early groups out on Day 2 at Wentworth Club. He made three birdies and no bogeys on the par-35 front nine on Friday, and then went on a run after the turn.

McIlroy made four consecutive birdies, beginning at the par-5 12th. That got him to 12 under, overall, and gave him a clear advantage over the field. With two closing par-5s, a very low number was in sight. But, as he did on Day 1, McIlroy finished par-par.

"I've made four pars there [on 17 and 18] when I really should be making at least two birdies, but I played the other par-5s well," McIlroy said. "It all balances itself out."


Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship


McIlroy has made 14 birdies and two bogeys through two rounds. At 12 under, he has a three-stroke lead over Sam Horsfield.

"The work has paid off, to some degree," McIlroy said of his practice with swing coach Michael Bannon. "I still feel like I'm hitting some loose shots out there. But, for the most part, it's been really good. If I can keep these swing thoughts and keep going in the right direction, hopefully this is the type of golf I'll be able to produce."

This event has been feast or famine for McIlroy. He won here in 2014, but has three missed cuts in his other three starts. This week, however, he’ll be around for the weekend and is in position for his first European Tour victory since the 2016 Irish Open and his second worldwide victory of the year (Arnold Palmer Invitational).

"I have the confidence that I'm playing well and I can go out and try to just replicate what I did the day before," McIlroy said about his weekend approach with the lead. "On the first tee box tomorrow I'll be thinking about what I did today. Trying to just keep the same thoughts, make the same swings. I went a couple better today than I did yesterday. I'm not sure I'll keep that progression going but something similiar tomorrow would be nice."

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Goat visor propels Na to Colonial lead

By Will GrayMay 25, 2018, 1:29 am

Jason Dufner officially has some company in the headwear free agency wing of the PGA Tour.

Like Dufner, Kevin Na is now open to wear whatever he wants on his head at tournaments, as his visor sponsorship with Titleist ended earlier this month. He finished T-6 at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his second tournament as a free agent, and this week at the Fort Worth Invitational he's once again wearing a simple white visor with a picture of a goat.

"I bought it at The Players Championship for $22 with the 30 percent discount that they give the Tour players," Na told reporters. "It's very nice."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Perhaps a change in headwear was just what Na needed to jumpstart his game. Last week's result in Dallas was his first top-35 finish in his last six events dating back to February, and he built upon that momentum with an 8-under 62 to take a one-shot lead over Charley Hoffman after the first round at Colonial Country Club.

While many sports fans know the "GOAT" acronym to stand for "Greatest Of All Time," it's a definition that the veteran Na only learned about earlier this year.

"I do social media, but they kept calling Tiger the GOAT. I go, 'Man, why do they keep calling Tiger the GOAT? That's just mean,'" Na said. "Then I realized it meant greatest of all time. Thinking of getting it signed by Jack (Nicklaus) next week (at the Memorial)."