Fantasy Island: Sony Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 12, 2011, 7:44 pm

GolfChannel.com experts offer up their picks for the PGA Tour's first full-field event, the Sony Open in Hawaii. 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. Also, check out Alex Miceli's fantasy picks on the 'Morning Drive.'

2007 Sony Open

 

Rex Hoggard

Rex Hoggard
Score:
469,000
Group A:
Robert Allenby

Group B:
Jason Day

Group C:
Spencer Levin

A runner-up last year at Waialae who has not missed a cut anywhere in the world since last June's Memorial Tournament.

Tied for ninth in his 2011 debut last week at Kapalua and when he is healthy has the talent to be a perennial contender.

Finished 2010 strong with a T-4 (Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open) and T-3 (Children's Miracle Network Classic) and he has played solidly at the Sony Open before.

Randall Mell

Randall Mell
Score:
345,500
Group A:
Steve Stricker

Group B:
Ryan Palmer

Group C:
Chris DiMarco

The man from Wisconsin worked some rust off quickly at Hyundai in Maui last week. His record's strong at Waialae. He's been T-4 or better three of last four years.

It's all about riding waves in Hawaii. Palmer should ride a wave of confidence into this week as defending champion.

The veteran's getting back his game and confidence. He once shot four rounds in the 60s at Waialae. He's ready for one last run and it starts this week.

Charlie Rymer

Charlie Rymer
Score:
290,000
 Group A:
Jim Furyk

Group B:
Charles Howell III

Group C:
Billy Mayfair

Past winner at Sony, T-9 at Kapalua, and is highly motivated as he eyes huge tax bill that will come due soon on monster 2010 earnings.

Solid record at Sony and is due for a big year.

Riding high on confidence after winning Q-School and Waialai is a course that should suit his eye.

John Hawkins

John Hawkins
Score:
345,500
 Group A:
Steve Stricker

Group B:
Jeff Overton

Group C:
Pat Perez

 

Played well last week, good course for him.

Plays hard, smells first victory, increased confidence from Ryder Cup.

West Coast guy, streaky ... looking for a sleeper in this group.

 

Jay Coffin

Jay Coffin
Score:
670,500
 Group A:
Steve Stricker

Group B:
Jason Day

Group C:
Aaron Baddeley

 

He’s the best player in the field and has three top-4 finishes at Sony in the past four years.

A bit of a gamble because he’s played here twice and had no success. But I’m banking that a ninth-place finish in Kapalua is a sign that a great week is near.

Finished second in 2003, 15th in 2004 but hasn’t done much since. Still, in this category it’s difficult to find anyone who’s had any sort of success here.

 


Compete against the GolfChannel.com experts and other fans in our Fantasy Challenge.

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Rose (64) peaking just ahead of the U.S. Open

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 8:40 pm

A former U.S. Open champion appears to be finding his form just three weeks ahead of the year's second major.

Justin Rose ascended to the top of the leaderboard Friday at the Fort Worth Invitational, with rounds of 66-64 pushing him to 10 under par for the week.

Through 36 at Colonial, Rose has marked 12 birdies against just two bogeys.

"Yeah, I did a lot of good things today," Rose said. "I think, you know, the end of my round got a little scrappy, but until the last three holes it was pretty flawless. I think I hit every fairway pretty much and obviously every green to that point. ...

"Yeah, the way I played through, I guess through my first 15 holes today, was about as good as I've played in a long time."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Rose won in back-to-back weeks last fall, stunning Dustin Johnson at the WGC-HSBC Championship and riding that victory right into another at the Turkish Airlines Open.

Now the 2013 U.S. Open winner at Merion feels himself once again rounding into form ahead of this year's Open at Shinnecock. A final-round 66 at The Players gave Rose something to focus on in his recent practice sessions with swing coach Sean Foley, as the two work to shore up the timing of Rose's transition into the downswing.

As for his decision to tee it up at Colonial for the first time since 2010, "It was more the run of form really," Rose explained. "I feel like if I didn't play here it was going to be a little spotty going into the U.S. Open. I felt like I wanted to play enough golf where I would have a good read on my game going into Shinnecock.

"So rather than the venue it was more the timing, but it's obviously it's just such a bonus to be on a great layout like this."

For whatever reason, Rose does tend to play his best golf at iconic venues, having won PGA Tour events at Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional.

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Koepka (63): Two wrist dislocations in two months

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 8:19 pm

Brook Koepka's journey back from a wrist injury that kept him out four months hasn't been totally smooth sailing, even if his play has suggested otherwise.

Koepka on Friday fired a 7-under 63 to move up the leaderboard into a tie for third, three shots behind leader Justin Rose through the end of the morning wave at the Fort Worth Invitational.

After a slow start Thursday saw him play his first 13 holes 3 over, Koepka is 10 under with 11 birdies in his last 23 holes at Colonial.

"It doesn't matter to me. I could care less. I'm still going to try as hard as I can," Koepka said. "I don't care how many over or how many under I am. Still going to fight through it."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Just like he's been fighting his wrist the last two months or so. Koepka reinjured his wrist the Wednesday of The Players when he was practicing on the range and had to halt mid-swing after a golf cart drove in front of him. He nonetheless managed to finish T-11.

And that's not the only issue he's had with that wrist during his return.

"We had a bone pop out of place. I didn't tell anybody, but, yeah, they popped it back in," Koepka admitted Friday. "Luckily enough we kind of popped it back into place right away so it wasn't stiff and I didn't have too, too many problems.

"Yeah. I mean, I've dislocated my wrist twice in the last two months. You know, different spots, but, I mean, it's fun. I'll be all right."

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Twitter spat turns into fundraising opportunity

By Rex HoggardMay 25, 2018, 6:30 pm

Country music star Jake Owen, along with Brandt Snedeker, has turned a spat on Twitter into a fundraising campaign that will support Snedeker’s foundation.

On Thursday, Owen was criticized during the opening round of the Web.com Tour’s Nashville Golf Open, which benefits the Snedeker Foundation, for his poor play after opening with an 86.

In response, Snedeker and country singer Chris Young pledged $5,000 for every birdie that Owen makes on Friday in a campaign called NGO Birdies for Kids

Although Owen, who is playing the event on a sponsor exemption, doesn’t tee off for Round 2 in Nashville until 2 p.m. (CT), the campaign has already generated interest, with NBC Sports/Golf Channel analyst Peter Jacobsen along with Web.com Tour player Zac Blair both pledging $100 for every birdie Owen makes.

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Noren so impressed by Rory: 'I'm about to quit golf'

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 5:33 pm

Alex Noren won the BMW PGA Championship last year, one of his nine career European Tour victories.

He opened his title defense at Wentworth Club in 68-69 and is tied for fourth through two rounds. Unfortunately, he's five back of leader Rory McIlroy. And after playing the first two days alongside McIlroy, Noren, currently ranked 19th in the world, doesn't seem to like his chances of back-to-back wins.

McIlroy opened in 67 and then shot a bogey-free 65 in second round, which included pars on the pair of par-5 finishing holes. Noren walked away left in awe.

"That's the best round I've ever seen," Noren said. "I'm about to quit golf, I think."

Check out the full interview below: