Power Rankings: 2016 Dean & DeLuca Invitational

By Will GrayMay 24, 2016, 1:24 pm

The 2016 fantasy golf season rolls right along, as the PGA Tour remains in Texas this week for the Dean & DeLuca Invitational. A field of 122 players will tackle Colonial Country Club, home of the "Horrible Horseshoe."

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Chris Kirk won this event last year by one shot over a trio of players. Here are 10 players to watch in Fort Worth:

1. Jordan Spieth: Spieth isn't firing on all cylinders, but he showed last week that even less than his best is (nearly) good enough to beat a strong field. This week's venue suits him much better than last week's, and the partisan crowds should once again spur him on at an event where he missed a playoff by a shot a year ago.

2. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar followed a third-place finish at TPC Sawgrass by mirroring that result the very next week in Dallas. His ball-striking should shine once again this week on a tight venue where he has contended before, including a runner-up finish in 2013.

3. Adam Scott: Scott came to this event as world No. 1 in 2014, and he validated that status with a playoff victory to complete the "Texas Slam." Already with a pair of wins to his credit this season, Scott showed with his T-12 finish at The Players Championship that his game is not that far off.

4. Zach Johnson: Johnson has won this event twice (2010, 2012) and is the tournament's all-time money leader. While he hasn't contended since a fifth-place finish at Bay Hill in March, this course plays to the accurate nature of his game like few others and he's likely to get things back on track this week.

5. Charley Hoffman: Hoffman won earlier this year in San Antonio and he hasn't let up since, with top-12 finishes in two of his last three starts. Hoffman is still in the Ryder Cup mix, and he could rack up some valuable points this week on a course where he has finished T-18 or better three of the past four years.

6. Chris Kirk: The defending champ has a strong track record at Colonial, with four top-20 finishes in five appearances. While he was slow to rebound from a broken hand last fall, Kirk has begun to return to form, with five top-25 finishes in six starts prior to an early exit at TPC Sawgrass.

7. Kevin Chappell: After a runner-up finish at The Players Championship, Chappell is now one of the highest-ranked players in the world without a PGA Tour win. That drought could end this week, where Chappell - who also finished second at Sea Island and Bay Hill this season - finished T-10 two years ago.

8. Kevin Na: Na was in the mix for much of this tournament last year before finishing T-10, his fourth top-15 finish at Colonial since 2007. While he has cooled since his torrid stretch in the fall, Na did finish T-4 at another ball-striker's paradise, Harbour Town, just last month.

9. Jason Dufner: Dufner is an old-school player and big fan of this week's de-facto honoree, Ben Hogan. He has played some inspired golf at Colonial as well, with runner-up finishes in both 2012 and 2014, and having won earlier this year in California, Dufner showed with last week's T-24 result that another big week could be in the works.

10. Colt Knost: Ride the hot hand. Knost tied the TPC Sawgrass course record en route to a T-3 finish two weeks ago, then followed with a T-4 finish last week at the AT&T Byron Nelson. A former Dallas resident who starred at nearby SMU, Knost will have plenty of support this week on a course where he finished T-10 last year.

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DJ triples last hole, opens with 76 at Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 6:18 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Dustin Johnson’s chances of winning The Open are likely already over.

The world No. 1 hit his tee shot out of bounds on 18 on his way to a triple bogey, capping a miserable day that left him with a 5-over 76, 10 shots off the lead and in danger of missing the cut.

Johnson didn’t talk to reporters afterward, but there wasn’t much to discuss.

He didn’t make a birdie until the par-5 14th, bogeyed 16 and then made 7 on Carnoustie's home hole when his tee shot caromed out of bounds left.

Johnson has missed the cut only once in nine previous appearances at The Open – in his first try in 2009.

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'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

“The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

"Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told GolfChannel.com in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

“It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

"The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Web.com Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

“I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

“Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

The problem was an expired visa.

Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

“Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

“It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

“The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

“That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”