Fantasy Island: Cadillac Champ.

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 8, 2011, 6:32 pm

GolfChannel.com experts offer up their picks for the the WGC-Cadillac Championship. 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 and Randall Mell; contributors John Hawkins and Charlie Rymer; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' hosts Gary Williams and Erik Kuselias; contributor Win McMurry; writer for NBCSports.com's ProGolf Talk, Ryan Ballengee; and RotoWorld.com's Rob Bolton.


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WGC-Cadillac Championship

*Ranking among the 14 GolfChannel.com experts (Ballengee and Bolton are new)

Rex Hoggard

Rex Hoggard
Score (Rank*):
3,149,477 (2)
Group A:
???

Group B:
???

Group C:
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Won this event in a former life and on another golf course (2002), but the current version is a machine with just one finish outside the top 10 in his last seven starts.

Tough playoff loss last week in Mexico and he’s never played well in Florida (T-25 last year in Tampa is his best finish) but he’s been steady since last fall and is due for a breakthrough.

Neither his consistency nor his record at PGA National are much to look at, but he’s a ballstriker and that matters on the Champion Course.

Randall Mell

Randall Mell
Score (Rank):
1,590,341 (11)
Group A:
???

Group B:
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Group C:
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Former No. 1 motivated to get his top spot back and create some momentum for Augusta National.

His game's coming back, and he's got some history working for him at this event.

Showed some signs of life last week, and he knows his way around those South Florida courses.

Charlie Rymer

Charlie Rymer
Score (Rank):
1,878,765 (8)
Group A:
???

Group B:
???

Group C:
???

Losing that No. 1 ranking may be the wake up call Westwood's game needs.

Fowler now spends time in south Florida, and hey, he's gonna notch his first PGA Tour victory sometime.

Schwartzel has the game and confidence to win on the PGA Tour on any given week. Plus he almost has a really cool first name.
John Hawkins

John Hawkins
Score (Rank):
1,608,309 (10)
 Group A:
???

Group B:
???

Group C:
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Playing well, has won here before.

Just a flier pick. This is a good place to keep the ball in front of you.

Good tough-course player, and they don't get much tougher than this one.

Jay Coffin

Jay Coffin
Score (Rank):
1,869,932 (9)
Group A:
???

Group B:
???

Group C:
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Banking that his strong play from the Match Play will carry over to PGA National, a place he didn’t play extremely well last year with a T-31. He should play well with all his Euro buddies watching.

The kid is going to win sooner or later, I just hope it’s a week when I pick him. Like McDowell, I’m hoping that his success last week will propel him to a strong finish here.

A risky pick, even for Group C. He had three consecutive missed cuts but rebounded with a fourth-place finish last week at Mayakoba. Just need him to collect a check this week.

Gary Williams

Gary Williams
Score (Rank):
1,558,119 (12)
Group A:
???

Group B:
???

Group C:
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Fellow Europeans Kaymer, Donald and Casey have all won in 2011, and while G-Mac has been close, it is time to join them in the winnner's circle.

After a couple of years of injuries, has two top-3s in his last three starts and finished T4 at PGA National in 2010.

Showed signs of life at Riviera, but faded on the weekend. However, he is due for a good week as his injuries are hopefully behind him.

Erik Kuselias

Erik Kuselias
Score (Rank):
3,115,534 (3)
Group A:
???

Group B:
???

Group C:
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Fourth in the world, three top-10s in three starts in 2011. He just seems to be knocking on the door for a win.

Recorded his first top-10 last week in Tucson and is having a solid 2011. He's ready for a win at PGA National

Has gotten off to a slow start in 2011, but finished runner-up at PGA National in 2009 with four sub-70 rounds.


Win McMurry

Win McMurry
Score (Rank):
3,422,053 (1)
Group A:
???

Group B:
???

Group C:
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He made it through three rounds in Tucson, a good showing, but had the weekend off. That gave him time to travel back to Florida to prep for his second event after a four-week hiatus. He tied for 31st last year at PGA National after a 76 on Sunday, however he opened strong with rounds of 68-67.

He’s coming off a runner-up finish at Riviera and with last week off Singh is ready to get back at it. The last two times he teed it up in the event he tied for fourth in 2010 and was T2 in 2005. Singh is also a past champ, winning in 1999.

He tied for sixth here last year in his first start at The Honda. So far this season he has two top-30 finishes.

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee
Score (Rank):
NA (NA)
Group A:
???

Group B:
???

Group C:
???

Donald just came off of a very impressive total game exhibition in the desert and the Honda was his last PGA Tour win before the match play. While it wasn't at The Bear Trap, Donald's precision should play well at Jack's place.

This guy can't seem to catch a break in 2011, but this event loves him. He won last year, should've won two years ago.

PGA National doesn't seem like a place where Marino might do well, but for some reason he does. He hovers around the top 25, which earns well.

Rob Bolton

Rob Bolton
Score (Rank):
NA (NA)
Group A:
???

Group B:
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Group C:
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One victory and two third-place finishes in his last three stroke-play starts.

Investment in short game paying immediate dividends.

Five consecutive top-10s in stroke-play events entering this week.


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Koepka: Second-place finishes becoming 'annoying'

By Al TaysMay 28, 2018, 12:02 am

Brooks Koepka didn't go down without a fight.

Trailing Justin Rose by four shots going into the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational, Koepka shot his second 7-under 63 of the week - and made up precisely one shot. He finished solo second at 17 under par, three shots behind Rose.

He could only marvel at the Englishman's performance in closing with a 6-under 64.

"It was pretty impressive," he said. "Justin played well. Hat's off to him. Any time you can come into a lead with four shots and play the way he did today, that's impressive."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Although Koepka was pleased with his own play - especially his putting - he said it felt "annoying" to come in second. Again.

"I feel like we've had so many second-place finishes," he said. "Always seem to run into a buzz saw, whatever it is."

Since May of 2016, Koepka has five solo second-place finishes and one T-2. But he also has a U.S. Open title, won last year at Erin Hills. He'll attempt to defend that title June 14-17 at Shinnecock Hills. "It's nice to finally be playing well and get going into the season," he said. "Kind of peaking right where I need to be."

Getty Images

Minjee Lee birdies 18 to win on her birthday

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:59 pm

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Minjee Lee's task was simple: A birdie on No. 18 would win her the tournament. It was a manageable par 5, the easiest hole on the course in the final round.

After a good drive, her second shot came closer to trouble than much of the gallery probably realized.

''I almost clipped the tree,'' Lee said. ''I overcut it a little bit, but it finished out in a good position.''

Lee's shot came to rest just to the right of the green, and from there it was a simple chip and putt for the birdie that gave her a one-stroke win over In-Kyung Kim at the LPGA Volvik Championship on Sunday. Lee, who turned 22 on Sunday, won for the first time since 2016. It was the Australian's fourth career victory.

Lee three-putted for a bogey on No. 17, dropping into a tie with Kim, who finished her round about the same time. So Lee needed a birdie to win on 18. The 18th hole was 470 yards Sunday. There were 44 birdies there in the final round.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


''The tee was up,'' she said. ''I was pretty confident that I could get there in two if I had a good drive.''

Lee made her winning putt from about 3 feet. She finished at 4-under 68 and 16 under for the tournament. Kim (67) shot a 32 on the back nine and birdied No. 18, but it wasn't enough to force a playoff at Travis Pointe Country Club.

''I kind of knew that 16 was the number and I mean, I give my best,'' Kim said. ''I make some good shots and birdies.''

Moriya Jutanugarn (65) finished third at 14 under.

Lee took a two-stroke lead into the final round, and that was her margin over playing partner Stacy Lewis before Lewis (71) bogeyed No. 7 and 8. Kim emerged as the biggest threat to Lee when she birdied four of the first five holes on the back nine. Lewis is playing four months' pregnant with her first child.

Kim and Lee were briefly tied at 15 under, but then Lee made a tap-in birdie on the par-5 14th, while Kim bogeyed 15. Lee saved par on 15 despite a wayward drive into a bunker.

''I wasn't sure where I was score-wise then. That par 5 is reachable in two, so I think a lot of people would have made birdie there,'' Lee said. ''The next tee shot I just pulled into the bunker. ... I think that was really important for me to hole that par putt just to keep the momentum going.''

Lee had gone 38 consecutive holes without a bogey before making one on the par-4 17th. That, combined with Kim's birdie on 18, left the two golfers tied, but Lee still had the 18th to come.

Su Oh (68) and Lindy Duncan (69) finished at 13 under, and Megan Khang (67) was another stroke back. Lewis finished at 11 under along with Ariya Jutanugarn (69) and Danielle Kang (70).

Lewis birdied three of the first six holes, but Lee did as well.

''It's hard to get close when somebody does that,'' Lewis said. ''She played great all day and played solid. When she needed to make a par putt, she did, and didn't make any mistakes.''

Lee lost this event by one stroke last year. Shanshan Feng, the 2017 winner , finished tied for 21st this time.

The LPGA has had a different winner in each of its 13 tournaments this year. The U.S. Women's Open starts Thursday at Shoal Creek.

Getty Images

Spieth: Improvement is 'right around the corner'

By Al TaysMay 27, 2018, 10:50 pm

Not that Dallas native Jordan Spieth didn't enjoy the two-week home game that is the AT&T Byron Nelson and the Fort Worth Invitational - he certainly did. But he's eager to get out of town, too.

"It was a great showing these last couple weeks by the fans," Spieth said after closing with a 2-under 68, a 5-under total and a T-32 finish. "Obviously extremely appreciative here in DFW. Wish I could do more. These couple weeks can be a bit taxing, and it's awesome to kind of have that support to carry you through.

"So, you know, I had a great time these couple weeks on and off the golf course as I always do, but I'm also really excited to kind of get out of town and kind of be able to just go back to the room and have nothing to do at night except for get ready to play the next day."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Spieth will have that experience this coming week in Dublin, Ohio, site of the Memorial. He's hopeful of improving on his T-21, T-32 finishes the past two weeks, and he thinks the main thing holding him back - his putting - is ready for a turnaround.

"I think good things are about to come," he said. "I feel a good run coming for the second half of the season. Today was - each day I've felt better and better with the wedges and the putter and the short game; today was no different. My only bogey being just kind of trying to do too much on a par-5; 3-wood into the hazard.

"So, you know, I'm getting into where I'm not making bogeys, and then soon - the not making bogeys is great, and soon I'll get back to the five, six birdies around and shoot some low rounds.

"So I know it's right around the corner."

Getty Images

Broadhurst fires 63 to easily win Senior PGA

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:45 pm

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – Paul Broadhurst wishes he had played this well in his 23 years on the European Tour.

''I know a lot more about my swing now and I guess you get that with age and experience,'' the 52-year-old Englishman said after shooting an 8-under 63 on Sunday to win the Senior PGA Championship by four strokes and match the best 72-hole score in tournament history.

Broadhurst finished at 19-under 265 at Harbor Shores for his second senior major victory. The 63 was the best fourth-round score by a winner. Rocco Mediate also shot 19 under at Harbor Shores in 2016.

Also the 2016 British Senior Open winner, Broadhurst led the field with 26 birdies and passed third-round co-leaders Tim Petrovic and Mark McCarron with a 4-under 31 on the back nine.

Petrovic was second after a 69. McCarron had a 70 to tie for third at 14 under with Jerry Kelly (65).


Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship


Broadhurst earned a career-high $585,000 for his fourth PGA Tour Champions victory and moved to the top of the money list. He won six times on the European Tour, was a 1991 Ryder Cup player for Europe and has three European Senior Tour victories.

''It was really a special week,'' he said. ''It got a little bit tense out there. I knew I was playing well but I didn't seem to making any progress against Tim Petrovic. He was side-by-side on the back nine it seemed.''

He learned his lead was three strokes standing on the 18th tee when his caddie asked a television announcer.

''So we put my driver away and reached for the rescue club,'' he said. ''If I made a 5 there that would be fine.''

Broadhurst started the round two strokes behind Petrovic and McCarron, birdied the first hole and was tied with Petrovic for the lead by the turn. He took his first lead with a birdie on the 12th hole, led by two after 16 and birdied the final two holes, including a dramatic 40-foot putt for birdie at the 18th hole.

''I guess it would have been a bit of anti-climax if I would have three-putted the last green, but that would have given Tim a chance of holing his second shot,'' he said. ''I actually spoke to my caddie about that going down the last - we don't want to three-putt and five him the opportunity because stranger things have happened in golf. To see it go in the middle of the hole was just a special feeling.''

Petrovic said missed birdie putts on Nos. 7 and 8 were costly, but it might not have mattered with the way Broadhurst was playing.

''In hindsight it was all for naught,'' he said. ''He was so far ahead of us. Hat's off the guy. It was a great week - we just got beat. When he made the putt on 18 ahead of us I almost started clapping in the fairway and waving a white towel. It was well-deserved. That was great playing. He won the championship for sure.''

Broadhurst shot 72 in the first round, started rolling in putts with a 66 in the second round and was 15 under on the weekend. In addition to the leading 26 birdies, he topped the putts per greens in regulations numbers for the tournament as well with a 1.574 average.

''I wasn't aware I made that many birdies,'' he said. ''That's pretty impressive around this course.''

He said his game has long been unpredictable.

''I'm not blessed with a consistent swing like Bernhard Langer, but when it's on, it works,'' he said. ''If I'm putting well, then anything can happen, really.''