Power Rankings: 2015 Greenbrier Classic

By Will GrayJuly 1, 2015, 1:38 am

The 34th event of the wraparound season is upon us, as the PGA Tour heads to West Virginia for The Greenbrier Classic. A field of 156 will tackle Old White TPC, which has hosted this event since 2010.

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Angel Cabrera won this event a year ago by two shots over George McNeill. Here are 10 players to watch in White Sulphur Springs:

1. Webb Simpson: Hasn't done much since a runner-up at Quail Hollow, but he usually finds a spot on the leaderboard at The Greenbrier. Simpson finished third here a year ago, his third top-10 finish in the last four years. If the putter remotely cooperates, he'll contend again.

2. Bill Haas: Haas has been his usual reliable self this season, with a win in the California desert the highlight of eight top-25 finishes. He finished T-18 at the Memorial earlier this month and has three top-25 finishes at The Greenbrier, including a 2011 playoff loss.

3. Kevin Kisner: It's not if, but when Kisner will earn his breakthrough victory. He finished T-12 at the U.S. Open in his last start, his fifth top-15 finish over a stretch of seven starts that includes a pair of playoff losses. Kisner has never broken par in six rounds at Old White TPC, but that streak should end quickly.

4. Paul Casey: The Englishman narrowly missed out on a win last week in Connecticut, but he has displayed a knack for maintaining momentum over several weeks. Casey ranks sixth on Tour in GIR percentage, 12th in strokes gained tee-to-green and should have plenty of birdie opportunities this week.

5. Bubba Watson: Watson enters off a victory at TPC River Highlands, and now tees it up on a course where he and his family spend plenty of time during the year. The familiarity has helped him to a pair of top-30 finishes over the past two years, including a T-16 finish last year.

6. Keegan Bradley: While he slowed over the weekend in Connecticut, Bradley's game is starting to show signs of progress. He now has four straight top-40 finishes since missing the cut at TPC Sawgrass, and Bradley tied for fourth here a year ago.

7. Tony Finau: The rookie continues to impress, and Finau has now racked up six straight top-25 finishes dating back to the Wells Fargo Championship. He ranks 15th on Tour in birdie average and is making a bid for inclusion in the Rookie of the Year discussion.

8. Graham DeLaet: The Canadian missed out on a win last week, but he continues to round into form. DeLaet now has three straight top-30 finishes, and in each of his three trips to The Greenbrier he has recorded at least one round of 66 or better.

9. Brendon de Jonge: De Jonge went to school at nearby Virginia Tech, and he tends to play well here. The Zimbabwean has three top-20 finishes in five starts, highlighted by a third-place finish in 2010, and he was also T-4 in 2011.

10. Patrick Reed: Reed missed the cut in his Greenbrier debut in 2013, but he bounced back with a T-26 finish last year and should improve on that result this week. Reed has 11 top-25 finishes this season and ranks 12th in birdie average, 14th in total strokes gained and 25th in strokes gained putting. 

 

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Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it

By Nick MentaJune 18, 2018, 3:09 pm

There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.

The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."

Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:

If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

“The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”

The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.

Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).

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Ryder Cup race: Mickelson out, Simpson in

By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:34 pm

There's a new man at the top of the U.S. Ryder Cup race following the U.S. Open, and there's also a familiar name now on the outside looking in.

Brooks Koepka's successful title defense vaulted him to the top of the American points race, up four spots and ensuring he'll be on the team Jim Furyk takes to Paris in September. Dustin Johnson's third-place finish moved him past Patrick Reed at No. 2, while Webb Simpson entered the top eight after a a tie for 10th.

While Bryson DeChambeau remained at No. 9, Phil Mickelson dropped two spots to No. 10. Tony Finau, who finished alone in fifth, went from 16th to 13th, while Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 37.

Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

1. Brooks Koepka

2. Dustin Johnson

3. Patrick Reed

4. Justin Thomas

5. Jordan Spieth

6. Rickie Fowler

7. Bubba Watson

8. Webb Simpson

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9. Bryson DeChambeau

10. Phil Mickelson

11. Matt Kuchar

12. Brian Harman

On the European side, England's Tommy Fleetwood took a big stride toward securing his first Ryder Cup appearance with a runner-up finish that included a Sunday 63 while countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick snuck into a qualifying spot after tying for 12th.

Here's a look at the updated Euro standings, with the top four from both points lists joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National:

European Points

1. Tyrrell Hatton

2. Justin Rose

3. Tommy Fleetwood

4. Francesco Molinari

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5. Thorbjorn Olesen

6. Ross Fisher

World Points

1. Jon Rahm

2. Rory McIlroy

3. Alex Noren

4. Matthew Fitzpatrick

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5. Ian Poulter

6. Rafael Cabrera-Bello

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Koepka autographs local kids' 'Go Brooks' sign after win

By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 2:30 pm

Brooks Koepka is a two-time U.S. Open winner, but that doesn't mean he's now too big to go sign a couple pieces of cardboard in somebody's front yard in the middle of the night.

Koepka's girlfriend, Jena Sims, posted two pictures to her Instagram story on Sunday of "Go Brooks" signs she says were put up by some local kids in the area where Koepka was staying for the week.

The first is dated prior to Koepka's final-round tee time.



The second is from Sunday night.



And here, separately, for no reason in particular (other than the fact that she posted it) is a video of Sims running over a parking cone at last year's U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

Speaking of kids, just feels those two are gonna make it.

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Koepka moves to No. 4 in world with U.S. Open win

By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:05 pm

After successfully defending his U.S. Open title, Brooks Koepka reached a new career high in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Koepka held off Tommy Fleetwood to win by a shot Sunday at Shinnecock Hills, becoming the first player to go back-to-back in nearly 30 years. As a result, he jumped five spots in the latest rankings to No. 4, six spots higher than he reached with last year's U.S. Open victory at Erin Hills.

Fleetwood finished alone in second place and moved up two spots to No. 10, tying his career-best placement. Patrick Reed moved up two spots to No. 11 by finishing fourth, while fifth-place Tony Finau went from No. 37 to No. 31.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


It was a largely quiet week in the rankings despite the fact that a major championship was contested. Outside of Koepka and Finau, the only other player inside the top 50 to move up or down more than three spots was Jason Dufner, who went from 53rd to 48th with a T-25 finish.

Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1 for the second consecutive week, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Koepka and Jordan Spieth. Jon Rahm dropped one spot to No. 6, with Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day and Fleetwood rounding out the top 10. Hideki Matsuyama fell two spots to No. 12, dropping out of the top 10 for the first time since October 2016.

Despite a missed cut at Shinnecock, Tiger Woods actually moved up one spot to No. 79 in the latest rankings. He plans to play the Quicken Loans National and The Open in the coming weeks, which will be his final two chances to move into the top 50 in time to qualify for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. The event is being held for the final time this summer at Firestone Country Club, where Woods has won eight times.