Power Rankings: 2016 Valspar Championship

By Will GrayMarch 7, 2016, 10:02 pm

The 2016 fantasy golf season rolls right along, as the PGA Tour remains in Florida this week for the Valspar Championship. A field of 144 players will tackle the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook, home to a daunting three-hole stretch known as the "Snake Pit."

Be sure to join the Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge to test yourself against our panel of experts, including defending champion Ryan Lavner. Click here for full fantasy assistance, including stats and picks.

Jordan Spieth won this event last year in a playoff over Patrick Reed and Sean O'Hair. Here are 10 players to watch in Tampa:

1. Jordan Spieth: Even without much recent form to speak of, Spieth remains the favorite as he defends his title against a field that lacks some starpower. Before last year's dramatic playoff win, Spieth finished T-7 and T-20 on the Copperhead Course and he enters off a T-17 finish on a difficult layout at Doral.

2. Henrik Stenson: The burly Swede didn't make much noise last week in Miami, but that should change a few miles north. Stenson finished T-4 last year at Innisbrook in his tournament debut, and his crisp ball-striking should make him a strong contender. Prior to a T-28 finish at Doral, Stenson finished T-3 and T-6 during the European Tour's Desert Swing.

3. Danny Willett: Willett continues to thrive in limited U.S. starts, this time coming off a T-3 finish in Miami. His performance may have come as a surprise at last year's WGC Match Play or the Open Championship, but he is now a bona fide contender on nearly any track - including the cozy confines of Innisbrook, where this week he makes his tournament debut.

4. Jason Dufner: Dufner stands in stark contrast to Willett, with a bevy of course experience and success. He has four straight top-25 finishes at this event, highlighted by a T-10 finish in 2013, and after winning earlier this season in Palm Springs he ended a mini-lull with a T-11 finish last week in Miami.

5. Patrick Reed: Reed would have won this event last year were it not for Spieth, as the two engaged in a thrilling duel that went to overtime after Reed's closing 66. While he has struggled over the past two weeks, Reed finished T-6 last month at Pebble Beach and was a runner-up to Spieth earlier this year in Hawaii.

6. Harris English: The American is quietly racking up some strong results, with a 10th-place showing at Doral coming just a few weeks after he finished third in Phoenix. English tends to play well at Innisbrook, with two top-10 finishes over the last three years, and he needs a strong result to ensure a spot in the match play bracket later this month.

7. Graeme McDowell: McDowell's T-28 finish at Doral would have been even more impressive were it not for a quadruple bogey on the 72nd hole. Coming on the heels of a fifth-place showing at PGA National, McDowell is clearly playing well and heading to a course whose reliance on tee-to-green accuracy should accentuate the strengths of his game.

8. Kevin Na: After a runner-up in 2014, Na followed with a T-10 finish at this event last year. While he has cooled since his torrid stretch in the fall, Na did finish T-3 in Palm Springs in January and is another example of the accurate ball-striker who typically gets rewarded at Innisbrook.

9. Webb Simpson: Simpson hasn't played since Phoenix, but he has finished T-17 or better in each of his last three starts dating back to January. A runner-up here in 2011, Simpson reeled off four straight top-20 finishes on the Copperhead Course from 2010-13.

10. Ryan Moore: Last year's 54-hole leader ended up alone in fifth after Moore posted a final-round 72. He is making his first start of the Florida Swing, but Moore has finished T-11 or better in four of his six starts this season including a 10th-place showing at the Northern Trust Open in his most recent start.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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

Getty Images

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.”

Getty Images

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.”