Fantasy Island: 2011 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 4, 2011, 12:43 pm experts offer up their picks for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. 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 (8,977,453; 4th)

Group A: Rory McIlroy: Loves Firestone and has gone three weeks without a top-10. He's due.

Group B: Gary Woodland: Fresh off a T-4 and playing a bomber's golf course.

Group C: Sergio Garcia: Great track record and no better place to complete his comeback.        

Randall Mell

Randall Mell (7,009,129; 11th)

Group A: Steve Stricker: Confidence is high, game is sharp. Firestone suits him.

Group B: Hunter MahanLast year's win among three top-10s for him here.

Group C: Sean O'Hair: Follows up his Canadian Open win on a course where he's played well.   

Charlie Rymer

Charlie Rymer (8,038,142; 7th)

Group A: Nick Watney: Long course with parallel fairways must look very appetizing to him.

Group B: Gary WoodlandContinuing the long theme. He should enjoy blasting away.

Group C: Sergio GarciaPlayed some decent golf in 2011 and is long overdue for a win.

John Hawkins

John Hawkins (8,016,098; 9th)

Group A: Lee Westwood: It's been a while, about time he wins against a premium field.

Group B: Tiger Woods: He's a 'B' ... Reason enough to pick him.

Group C: Sergio GarciaGood driver on a good driving course and has a good record in this event.

Jay Coffin

Jay Coffin (9,982,235; 3rd)

Group A: Dustin Johnson: Too much talent. Needs a big win this year.

Group B: Adam Scott: Would be justice to win Tiger's return with Williams on the bag.

Group C: Jeff Overton: A T-6 last year in his only appearance. Could use another one.

Gary Williams

Gary Williams (8,016,343; 8th)

Group A: Charl Schwartzel: Has played well in big events this year, as noted by his Masters win.

Group B: Gary Woodland: Perfect fit for Firestone in his first appearance.

Group C: Anders Hansen: Put up a solid season, including a T-3 at Doral.

Erik Kuselias

Erik Kuselias (6,740,587; 12th)

Group A: Steve Stricker: Has not finished outside the top 20 since February.

Group B: Hunter Mahan: Defending champion needs momentum heading into the PGA.

Group C: Sean O'Hair: Back on form and should stay there for a while.

Win McMurry

 Win McMurry (10,830,711; 2nd)

 Group A: Matt KucharTied for ninth last year at Firestone and has top -5s in two WGC events this year.

 Group B: Adam ScottHas played great in big tournaments this season and has the game for this course.

 Group C: Rickie Fowler: Love the idea of a young gun stealing the spotlight from Tiger on his 'home turf.'

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee (5,879,899; 15th)

Group A: Dustin Johnson: Seems to shake off major disappointment well. Gets another chance.

Group B: Hunter Mahan: Returning to the site of his 2010 win should get his game on track.

Group C: Sergio Garcia: Always plays well here. No reason that won't continue.

Rob Bolton

Rob Bolton (7,548,775; 10th)

Group A: Dustin Johnson: Currently on form and solid results in both starts here.

Group B: Bo Van Pelt: Among the best in the world tee-to-green.

Group C: Jeff Overton: Tied for sixth last year in first Firestone appearance.

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

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Bjorn adds four Ryder Cup veterans as vice captains

By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 1:05 pm

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn has added a quartet of vice captains for the biennial matches this fall in Paris.

Bjorn had already named Robert Karlsson as his first assistant, and he announced Tuesday at the BMW PGA Championship that his group of advisors will also include major champions Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell, and former world No. 1s Lee Westwood and Luke Donald.

Westwood is among Europe's most decorated Ryder Cup players, and his addition in this role signals he likely won't participate as a player in the matches for the first time since 1995. The Englishman has spoken openly about his desire to captain the European squad at Whistling Straits in 2020, but he's been quiet on the course in recent months, with a missed secondary cut at the Houston Open his only start since mid-February.

Harrington is seen as another possible captain for the 2020 matches, and he'll don an earpiece for the third straight Ryder Cup, having represented Europe as a player on six straight teams from 1999-2010.

Donald played on four Ryder Cup teams from 2004-12, with the Europeans winning each time he was on the roster. This will mark his first stint as a vice captain, as Donald announced last month that he would be sidelined indefinitely while recovering from a back injury.

At age 38, McDowell will be the youngest vice captain in the room, having holed the winning putt eight years ago at Celtic Manor. He won the French Open in both 2013 and 2014 at Le Golf National, site of this year's matches, and will also be making his debut as a vice captain.

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Bidder pays $50,000 to caddie for Woods

By Grill Room TeamMay 22, 2018, 12:28 pm

Someone has paid $50,000 to caddie for Tiger Woods at this year’s Hero World Challenge.

An unnamed bidder paid for the opportunity at an auction Saturday night at Tiger Jam, where monies are raised to support the Tiger Woods Foundation.

The Hero World Challenge will be contested Nov. 29-Dec. in Albany, Bahamas. The pro-am is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28.

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

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 11:28 am

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.


TV Times (all times ET):

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

4-8PM: Match-play finals

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Arizona grabs last spot with eagle putt, playoff win

By Ryan LavnerMay 22, 2018, 3:18 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – With her team freefalling in the standings, Arizona coach Laura Ianello was down to her last stroke.

The Wildcats began the final round of the NCAA Championship in third place, but they were 19 over par for the day, and outside the top-8 cut line, with only one player left on the course.

Bianca Pagdaganan had transferred from Gonzaga to compete for NCAA titles, and on the 17th hole Ianello told her that she needed to play “the best two holes of your life” to keep the dream alive.

She made par on 17, then hit a 185-yard 6-iron out of a divot to 30 feet. Not knowing where she stood on the final green, Pagdaganan felt an eerie calm over the ball. Sure enough, she buried the eagle putt, setting off a raucous celebration and sending the Wildcats into a play-five, count-four team playoff with Baylor at 33 over par.

Their match-play spot wasn’t yet secure, but Ianello still broke down in tears.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring

“Bianca is such an inspiration for all of us,” she said. “She’s the kind of kid that you want to root for, to have good things happen to.”

Arizona prevailed on the second playoff hole. As the 8 seed, the Wildcats will play top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals Tuesday at Karsten Creek.

Though the finish had plenty of drama, no teams played their way into the coveted top 8 on the final day of stroke-play qualifying.

Baylor came closest. The Bears barely advanced past regionals after a mysterious stomach virus affected several players and coaches. They competed in the final round with just four healthy players.

On Monday, Gurleen Kaur put Baylor in position to advance, shooting 68, but the Bears lost by three strokes on the second extra hole.

Arkansas finished one shot shy of the team playoff. The second-ranked Razorbacks, who entered NCAAs as one of the pre-tournament favorites, having won seven times, including their first SEC title, couldn’t overcome a 308-300 start and finished 10th. Player of the Year favorite Maria Fassi finished her week at 19 over par and counted only two rounds toward the team total.