Expert picks: Wyndham Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 14, 2012, 9:00 pm

This week the FedEx Cup regular season concludes in Greensboro, NC with the Wyndham Championship. Webb Simpson returns as defending champion to the site of his first Tour victory. 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' host Gary Williams and staff writer Ryan Lavner.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Brandt Snedeker: As the pressure builds to impress U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, Snedeker will struggle to control his emotions - but the Wyndham may be his best chance to emerge from the pack. He won the event in 2007 and has three top-10 finishes in Greensboro.

Group 2: Chez Reavie: Didn't have the best week at Kiawah (four rounds of 73 or worse), but he has top-10 finishes in both of his starts at Sedgefield (T-10 in 2009, T-9 in 2011) and at 132nd on the FedEx Cup points list, he needs a big week.

Group 3: Tim Clark: He's been slow to find his way after an extended stay on the disabled list, but last week's T-11 at the PGA - and a T-15 at the Canadian Open - suggest he is finally shaking off the rust.

Group 4: Heath Slocum: Your FedEx Cup bubble boy at 128th in points has been here before. In 2009 he began the playoffs 124th on the points list, won The Barclays and finished the season eighth.

Win McMurry

Group 1: Carl Pettersson: This NC transplant from Sweden is a popular pick this week as the 2008 champ coming off a T-3 finish at the PGA Championship a few hours south last week.

Group 2: Jamie Donaldson: He finished T-7 last week, so he's coming in hot as a player in Group 2. No regular PGA Tour history, although he's competed enough on the big stage to feel comfortable this week.

Group 3: Tim Clark: Three top-20 finishes this summer for 'Two Gloves' shows promise that he can contend down south this week. Oh yeah - he was solo third here last year too.

Group 4: Heath Slocum: Slocum's T-17 here last year is solid history for the four-time Tour winner. He's right outside the bubble at 128th in the FedEx Cup points list, so he needs a good week to continue his season.

Randall Mell

Group 1: Carl Pettersson: 'A man with no country,' Pettersson certainly feels at home in North Carolina.

Group 2: Bud Cauley: With three fourth-place finishes this year, he's ready to close out his first victory.

Group 3: Tim Clark: Strong PGA Championship finish last week (T-11) is another key part of his re-emergence.

Group 4: Heath Slocum: Ready to cycle his game back up again as the FedEx Cup Playoffs approach.

Ryan Lavner

Group 1: Carl Pettersson: His close call at the PGA was his fourth top-3 finish of the season, and with a sterling record in Greensboro in his past five starts there - he has a win, T-4 and fifth-place finish - expect more of the same. 

Group 2: Ryan Moore: Though he's been hit-or-miss at Sedgefield (he won in 2009, but also missed the cut here twice), Moore was T-8 last month at the John Deere and has three other top-10 finishes this season.

Group 3: Tim Clark: Clark has played a limited schedule this season due to injury, but he's clearly rounding into form: T-15 and T-11, respectively, in his past two starts. The T-11 at Kiawah, in fact, represented his best finish in a major since 2006.

Group 4: Heath Slocum: Hey, at least one of the bubble boys has to play well at Sedgefield. So why not Slocum, who has shot in the 60s in four of his six rounds there?

Rob Bolton

Group 1: Carl Pettersson: Despite the sting of a rules-debating two-stroke penalty in the final round of last week's PGA Championship, his share of third place is a career-best in a major. Chased a solo second in Houston with a win at Harbour Town earlier this year, so I'm not expecting his disappointment at Kiawah Island to influence his focus at Sedgefield, where he won in 2008 and established the course record (61). Also placed T-4 here last year.

Group 2: Ken Duke: While scoring may rise due to Champion Bermuda greens this year, sign me up for this guy in a shootout as many times as possible. He's recorded one top 10 finish in every month from February through July, which means he's due.

Group 3: Tim Clark: This is a surprisingly deep sample size with more potential than Group 2, but I can't ignore how well the South African is striping it lately. Top-15s in his last two starts, including a T-11 at the PGA Championship. Built for classic tracks like Sedgefield, where he shared sixth place in 2008.

Group 4: Heath Slocum: Still one of the best in getting his ball tee to green, and he recorded a season-best T-13 at the True South Classic just four weeks ago. Tied for 17th at Sedgefield a year ago and ranked T-3 in birdies.

Getty Images

Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

Getty Images

Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

Getty Images

Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

Getty Images

Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”