Fantasy Island: 2011 The Barclays

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 24, 2011, 11:00 pm experts offer up their picks for The Barclays. Each week a panel of experts will offer up their picks from three 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 Charlie Rymer; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' hosts Gary Williams and Erik Kuselias; contributor Win McMurry; writer for's ProGolf Talk, Ryan Ballengee; and's Rob Bolton.

You can battle the experts and play along as well. Just click here to get into the game.Compete against the experts and other fans in our Fantasy Challenge.

In parentheses, next to the names, are the participants' 2011 points earned and ranking among the 17 Fantasy Challenge 'experts.'

Rex Hoggard

Rex Hoggard (9,373,167; 4th)

Group A: Nick Watney: Plainfield will be a putting contest and few have putted better than Watney this season.

Group B: Ryan Palmer: Snubbed last year for a Ryder Cup captain's pick, he needs a solid playoff push to get Fred Couples' attention.

Group C: Brendon de Jonge: After Webb Simpson, de Jonge seems the next logical player destined to get off the victory schnied. 

Randall Mell

Randall Mell (7,211,379; 11th)

Group A: Steve Stricker: Whatever got off track at PGA, it's back on track for Playoffs.

Group B: Ben Crane: Despite bad back, there are signs he's ready to soar again.

Group C: Jerry Kelly: He made some nice runs at the PGA and Wyndham.  

Charlie Rymer

Charlie Rymer (8,721,935; 6th)

Group A: Luke Donald: No. 1 for a reason and this week we will see why.

Group B: Sergio Garcia: Has done everything but win this season and the Spaniard seems right at home in the New York area.

Group C: Heath Slocum: On occasion, been known to hole critical putts near the Big Apple and maybe the hole will be looking big to him this week.  

Jay Coffin

Jay Coffin (12,768,387; 2nd)

Group A: Steve Stricker: He may not win, but he'll contend, which is all I'm looking for.

Group B: Rickie Fowler: Different week, same story. Dude has to win sooner or later.

Group C: Ricky Barnes: Just a gut feeling. Another Ricky that needs a W soon. 

Gary Williams

Gary Williams (8,500,829; 8th)

Group A: Luke Donald: He has won three times worldwide and has been arguably the most consistent player in the world.

Group B: David Toms: A win at Colonial, runner-up in The Players, and a T-4 in the PGA Championship.

Group C: Kevin Streelman: Two best finishes in the PGA Tour Playoffs came in The Barclays, a T-3 in 2008 and T-4 in 2010.

Erik Kuselias

Erik Kuselias (7,234,433; 10th)

Group A: Steve Stricker: With his consistency this year and past playoff success, I have to pick him.

Group B: David Toms: He won at Colonial, runner-up at TPC Sawgrass, T-4 in the PGA, and T-9 at Firestone.

Group C: Jerry Kelly: Kelly enters the playoffs having finished T-4 in Greensboro last week.

Win McMurry

 Win McMurry (14,566,955; 1st)

Group A: Steve Stricker: Stricker is a constant in the playoffs and has gotten them off to a strong start with three top-3s in the last four years.

Group B: Gary Woodland: In addition to his length off the tee he ranks ninth in GIR and his form has continued with a T12 at the PGA Championship and T4 at The Greenbrier.

Group C: Ricky Barnes: His name frequently surfaces at “big” events. 

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee (6,310,704; 12th)

Group A: Nick Watney: He has a win this year at a Donald Ross course when he took the AT&T National at Aronimink.

Group B: Ryan Moore: You'll notice a theme to the picks. Moore's lone PGA Tour win came at a Ross design at Sedgefield.

Group C: Jerry Kelly: Kelly's been playing well of late - nice start at the PGA, nice finish at the Wyndham.  

Rob Bolton

Rob Bolton (8,038,128; 9th)

Group A: Steve Stricker: Eleven consecutive top-20s. Two wins. Money in the postseason.

Group B: Webb Simpson: Wyndham win was merely part of his natural progression.

Group C: Chez Reavie: Healthy and dealin’. Five top-20s in his last six starts.  

For more in-depth fantasy golf coverage, visit Rotoworld powered by NBC Sports.RotoWorld 

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Kim cruises to first win, final Open invite at Deere

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 9:38 pm

Following the best week of his professional career, Michael Kim is both a winner on the PGA Tour and the 156th and final player to earn a tee time next week at The Open.

Kim entered the final round of the John Deere Classic with a five-shot lead, and the former Cal standout removed any lingering doubt about the tournament's outcome with birdies on each of his first three holes. He cruised from there, shooting a bogey-free 66 to finish the week at 27 under and win by eight shots over Francesco Molinari, Joel Dahmen, Sam Ryder and Bronson Burgoon.

It equals the tournament scoring record and ties for the largest margin of victory on Tour this season, matching Dustin Johnson's eight-shot romp at Kapalua in January and Molinari's margin two weeks ago at the Quicken Loans National.

"Just super thankful," Kim said. "It's been a tough first half of the year. But to be able to finish it out in style like this means a lot."

Kim, 25, received the Haskins Award as the nation's top collegiate player back in 2013, but his ascent to the professional ranks has been slow. He had only one top-10 finish in 83 starts on Tour entering the week, tying for third at the Safeway Open in October 2016, and had missed the cut each of the last three weeks.

But the pieces all came together at TPC Deere Run, where Kim opened with 63 and held a three-shot lead after 36 holes. His advantage was trimmed to a single shot during a rain-delayed third round, but Kim returned to the course late Saturday and closed with four straight birdies on Nos. 15-18 to build a five-shot cushion and inch closer to his maiden victory.

As the top finisher among the top five not otherwise exempt, Kim earned the final spot at Carnoustie as part of the Open Qualifying Series. It will be his first major championship appearance since earning low amateur honors with a T-17 finish at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion, and he is also now exempt for the PGA Championship and next year's Masters.

The last player to earn the final Open spot at the Deere and make the cut the following week was Brian Harman, who captured his first career win at TPC Deere Run in 2014 and went on to tie for 26th at Royal Liverpool.

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Poulter offers explanation in dispute with marshal

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:47 pm

Ian Poulter took to Twitter to offer an explanation after the Englishman was accused of verbally abusing a volunteer during the third round of the Scottish Open.

Poulter hooked his drive on the opening hole at Gullane Golf Club into a bush, where Quintin Jardine was working as a marshal. Poulter went on to find the ball, wedge out and make bogey, but the details of the moments leading up to his second shot differ depending on who you ask.

Jardine wrote a letter to the tournament director that he also turned into a colorfully-titled blog post, accusing Poulter of berating him for not going into the bush "feet first" in search of the ball since Poulter would have received a free drop had his ball been stepped on by an official.

Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open

"I stood and waited for the player. It turned out to be Mr. Poulter, who arrived in a shower of expletives and asked me where his ball was," Jardine wrote. "I told him and said that I had not ventured into the bush for fear of standing on it. I wasn't expecting thanks, but I wasn't expecting aggression, either."

Jardine added that Poulter stayed to exchange heated words with the volunteer even after wedging his ball back into the fairway. After shooting a final-round 69 to finish in a tie for 30th, Poulter tweeted his side of the story to his more than 2.3 million followers:

Poulter, 42, won earlier this year on the PGA Tour at the Houston Open and is exempt into The Open at Carnoustie, where he will make his 17th Open appearance. His record includes a runner-up at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and a T-3 finish at Muirfield in 2013.

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Immelman misses Open bid via OWGR tiebreaker

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:25 pm

A resurgent performance at the Scottish Open gave Trevor Immelman his first top-10 finish in more than four years, but it left him short of a return to The Open by the slimmest of margins.

The former Masters champ turned back the clock this week at Gullane Golf Club, carding four straight rounds of 68 or better. That run included a 5-under 65 in the final round, which gave him a tie for third and left him five shots behind winner Brandon Stone. It was his first worldwide top-10 since a T-10 finish at the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open.

There were three spots available into The Open for players not otherwise exempt, and for a brief moment it appeared Immelman, 38, might sneak the third and final invite.

Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open

But with Stone and runner-up Eddie Pepperell both not qualified, that left the final spot to be decided between Immelman and Sweden's Jens Dantorp who, like Immelman, tied for third at 15 under.

As has been the case with other stops along the Open Qualifying Series, the tiebreaker to determine invites is the players' standing in the Official World Golf Rankings entering the week. Dantorp is currently No. 322 in the world, but with Immelman ranked No. 1380 the Swede got the nod.

This will mark Dantorp's first-ever major championship appearance. Immelman, who hasn't made the cut in a major since the 2013 Masters, was looking to return to The Open for 10th time and first since a missed cut at Royal Lytham six years ago. He will instead work the week at Carnoustie as part of Golf Channel and NBC's coverage of The Open.

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Stone (60) wins Scottish Open, invite to Carnoustie

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:06 pm

There's never a bad time to shoot a 60, but Brandon Stone certainly picked an opportune moment to do so.

Facing a jammed leaderboard in the final round of the Scottish Open, Stone fired a 10-under 60 to leave a stacked field in his wake and win the biggest tournament of his career. His 20-under 260 total left him four shots clear of Eddie Pepperell and five shots in front of a group that tied for third.

Stone had a mid-range birdie putt on No. 18 that would have given him the first 59 in European Tour history. But even after missing the putt on the left, Stone tapped in to close out a stellar round that included eight birdies, nine pars and an eagle. It's his third career European Tour title but first since the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December 2016.

Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open

Stone started the day three shots behind overnight leader Jens Dantorp, but he made an early move with three birdies over his first five holes and five over his first 10. Stone added a birdie on the par-3 12th, then took command with a three-hole run from Nos. 14-16 that included two birdies and an eagle.

The eye-popping score from the 25-year-old South African was even more surprising considering his lack of form entering the week. Stone is currently ranked No. 371 in the world and had missed four of his last seven worldwide cuts without finishing better than T-60.

Stone was not yet qualified for The Open, and as a result of his performance at Gullane Golf Club he will tee it up next week at Carnoustie. Stone headlined a group of three Open qualifiers, as Pepperell and Dantorp (T-3) also earned invites by virtue of their performance this week. The final spot in the Open will go to the top finisher not otherwise qualified from the John Deere Classic.