Fantasy Island: Hyundai Tournament of Champions

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 4, 2011, 9:50 pm

GolfChannel.com experts offer up their picks for the PGA Tour season opener, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Each week, senior writers Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell, contributors John Hawkins and Charlie Rymer, and editorial director Jay Coffin will give 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.

You can battle the experts and play along as well. Just click here to get into the game.

Hyundai Tournament of Champions

 

Rex Hoggard

Rex Hoggard
Score (Standing):
0 (T1)
Group A:
Graeme McDowell

Group B:
Geoff Ogilvy

Group C:
Stuart Appleby

New year, new equipment deal, but it's the same Northern Irishman who finished last season with a tie for second place (Shark Shootout) and a playoff victory over Tiger Woods (Chevron World Challenge).

He didn't do much after his second consecutive victory at Kapalua last year, but then he didn't have to. He's also fresh off a 1-2 finish at the Australian Open and Aussie PGA, respectively.

Co-Mr. 59 capped his comeback year with a victory at November's Australian Masters and there was a time, not that long ago, when he owned Kapalua with three consecutive 'W's' (2004-2006).

Randall Mell

Randall Mell
Score (Standing):
0 (T1)
Group A:
Ian Poulter

Group B:
Ernie Els

Group C:
Stuart Appleby

With the Euros pushing each other to impressive heights, this Englishman is motivated to scale past them all.

After a nice warm-up victory in South Africa, the Big Easy is ready for a hot start.

With three victories in a row at Kapalua, from 2004-06, Appleby could contend here blindfolded.

Charlie Rymer

Charlie Rymer
Score (Standing):
0 (T1)
 Group A:
Jim Furyk

Group B:
Adam Scott

Group C:
Stuart Appleby

Staying in his home behind the third green has to be an advantage on a course he loves and has won on.

The Aussie turned it around last year and could get off to a great start this year.

Another Aussie that turned it around in 2010 and has won this event three times.

John Hawkins

John Hawkins
Score (Standing):
0 (T1)
 Group A:
Ian Poulter

Group B:
Ernie Els

Group C:
Stuart Appleby

 

At a laid-back opener, his intensity is worth a few strokes at the least. Very good putter on tough-to-read greens.

He has been playing, so no rust, which will derail many Americans. Has won here before.

Another past champ, terrific wind player in his prime. Could become an extension of his so-called comeback – the dude fell off the face of the earth before winning last summer.

 

Jay Coffin

Jay Coffin
Score (Standing):
0 (T1)
 Group A:
Graeme McDowell

Group B:
Matt Kuchar

Group C:
Stuart Appleby

 

I’m never doubting this dude again. Anyone who can stare Tiger Woods in the face and beat him has the chance to win any week.

Played well here last year, which propelled him to his best season on Tour. I’m guess he’d like another solid beginning.

It’s crazy to classify a three-time winner at Kapalua as just happy-to-be-there, but Appleby is. But good vibes, are good vibes.

 


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Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

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Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.