Fantasy Island: WGC-Accenture Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 22, 2011, 9:31 pm

GolfChannel.com experts offer up their picks for the WGC-Accenture Match Play 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.


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

2005 WGC Accenture Match Play

*Ranking among the 16 GolfChannel.com experts (Ballengee and Bolton are debuting this week)

Rex Hoggard

Rex Hoggard
Score (Rank*):
2,869,477 (1)
Group A:
Paul Casey

Group B:
Geoff Ogilvy

Group C:
Henrik Stenson

The last time the Englishman failed to make it to the weekend at golf’s only one-and-done event was 2006 and he’s advanced to the finals the last two years. Funny that European skipper Colin Montgomerie still didn’t think he was worthy of a captain’s pick.
 
Australian is on-form, familiar with the sprawling Dove Mountain layout and a former two-time Match Play winner.

Toru Taniguchi’s injured neck may end up hurting world No. 1 Lee Westwood the most. The Swede, No. 65 in the world ranking when the field was set, replaced Taniguchi in the field and will face Westwood in the most likely first-round upset.

Randall Mell

Randall Mell
Score (Rank):
1,265,341 (12)
Group A:
Graeme McDowell

Group B:
Geoff Ogilvy

Group C:
Bill Haas
With an impressive record over his last eight starts, wouldn't want to draw him.

Former champ's due for another win, match play and desert golf suit him.

Strong start to the season pointing to something big again.

Charlie Rymer

Charlie Rymer
Score (Rank):
1,598,765 (8)
Group A:
Graeme McDowell

Group B:
Alvaro Quiros

Group C:
Thomas Bjorn

My impartial Twitter poll indicates a strong confidence in McDowell and I concur.

I really dig Quiros’ sideburns, and I really dig how far he hits the pelota, and I really dig his chances if he survives the second round which will either be against Stewart Cink or Ian Poulter.

Bjorn took down Tiger Woods when Tiger was on top of his game in 2001 in Dubai. If he can do it again in the first round that may give Bjorn the confidence boost he needs to go all the way.
John Hawkins

John Hawkins
Score (Rank):
928,309 (14)
 Group A:
Lee Westwood

Group B:
Bubba Watson

Group C:
Stewart Cink

Westwood's gotta start winning tournaments sooner or later

Watson's length should be a real advantage at this venue

Cink has an excellent history in this event and is a steal among the Cs
Jay Coffin

Jay Coffin
Score (Rank):
1,539,932 (9)
 Group A:
Paul Casey

Group B:
Rickie Fowler

Group C:
Stewart Cink
Couldn’t get past the first round the first four years, but the last four years he’s been as steady as anyone and been in the final twice. He’s a match-play stud.

It’s a bit of a stretch, but if he gets past his first two rounds he could be hard to beat. A potential match-up with Phil Mickelson in Round 2 is key.

I really like Cink for Group C value. He’s played here 11 times and he’s won more than two matches six times. Winning two matches here collects a lot of dough.

Gary Williams

Gary Williams
Score (Rank):
1,278,119 (11)
Group A:
Paul Casey

Group B:
Hunter Mahan

Group C:
Bill Haas

Runner-up the last two years, third round or better in the last four years, and won in Bahrain in 2011. Need I say more?

Has played on last four U.S. Cup teams and has top-6 finishes at Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach in 2011

Two wins in 2010, playing great in 2011, and could win in his first appearance like Geoff Ogilvy in 2006

Erik Kuselias

Erik Kuselias
Score (Rank):
2,835,534 (3)
Group A:
Rory McIlroy

Group B:
Nick Watney

Group C:
Bill Haas
He has seven top-12 finishes in his last seven worldwide starts and he made it to the quarterfinals in his first appearance in 2009

Reached the third round in his first appearance in 2010 and has three top-6 finishes in three starts in 2011

Has four top-12 finishes in his first five starts in 2011 and is making first appearance in an event where experience matters the least

Win McMurry

Win McMurry
Score (Rank):
2,837,053 (2)
Group A:
Ian Poulter

Group B:
Miguel Angel Jimenez

Group C:
Ryan Moore
The defending champion has no intention of giving back this title. Poults consistantly excels in the match play format. He's raring to go too after some time off.

This Ryder Cup stalwart knows match play and regularly impresses. While we don't see him much in the States, this is a very comfortable week for the Spainard with all the international flavor at Dove Mountain.

Although we haven't seen him compete in match play much as a professional, as an amateur he was tough to beat. Moore has some West Coast swing momentum coming into the WGC event as well.

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee
Score (Rank):
NA (NA)
Group A:
Paul Casey

Group B:
Geoff Ogilvy

Group C:
Bill Haas
The Englishman is playing well, has a win in Bahrain in 2011 and has consecutive runner-up finishes in this event. Seems like the perfect storm of conditions for him to go deep again this year.

Until proven otherwise, Geoff Ogilvy is the gold standard in this tournament. He's twice a winner and nearly invincible in the format.

Not sure what my life would be like if I didn't say to myself, 'Bill Haas is in contention again this week.' Taking a bit of a flier, though, since Haas has never played in this event.

Rob Bolton

Rob Bolton
Score (Rank):
NA (NA)
 Group A:
Paul Casey

Group B:
Justin Rose

Group C:
Martin Laird
Twice a bridesmaid at the Ritz-Carlton. Comes out of the bottom half of the Snead bracket, where three of the eight are returning from various maladies (Ernie Els, neck; Tim Clark, elbow; Camilo Villegas, back).

Epitome of consistency at a high level for months now, with seven consecutive top 25s, including a T9 at Riviera, where he was under par in every round.

Toyed with Bill Haas here, but he’s in the same bracket as Casey. Laird has all the tools, not to mention three top-25s in four starts this season. He’s in the Jones bracket, which is arguably the most difficult.


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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”