Power Rankings: AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

By Will GrayFebruary 4, 2014, 6:28 pm

This week marks the 12th event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as players head back to the California coastline for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. A field of 156 players (and several notable amateurs) will tackle a rotation of three courses, with Sunday's final round contested at Pebble Beach Golf Links..

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Brandt Snedeker returns to defend the title he won last year by two shots over Chris Kirk. Here are 10 players to watch this week along the coast:

1. Jason Day: Not exactly a clear-cut favorite this week, but Day enters off a T-2 at Farmers in his first start of 2014. The Aussie won in his homeland late last year and his track record at Pebble includes a pair of sixth-place finishes (2008, 2013). Day only has one PGA Tour win to his credit, but that stat is likely to change in 2014.

2. Hunter Mahan: Mahan notched a T-4 finish last week in his first start of the new year, shooting 65-68 over the weekend in Phoenix. Though he hasn't won in nearly two years, the veteran produced another solid 2013 season and has cracked the top 20 each of the last three starts at Pebble, including a runner-up showing in 2011.

3. Dustin Johnson: It's arguable that no one in the field enjoys Pebble more than Johnson, who has won twice and recorded two other top-10 finishes in six career starts - not to mention his T-8 here during the 2010 U.S. Open. Johnson should be well-rested this week, with his most recent start coming at Kapalua where he tied for sixth.

4. Jimmy Walker: Walker is coming off a rare missed cut at Torrey Pines but a return to Pebble will likely help him regain the form that netted a pair of wins already this season. Walker has recorded a top-10 finish in each of his last three trips to the Monterey Peninsula, including a tie for third last year, and this season is playing some of the best golf of his career.

5. Jordan Spieth: While the health of his right ankle remains to be seen, Spieth is now almost always a name to watch regardless of venue. The Texan tied for 22nd here a year ago and, despite a disappointing finish two weeks ago in San Diego, has already shown that his Rookie of the Year season in 2013 was no fluke.

6. Graeme McDowell: The Ulsterman is making his first start of 2014 this week, and also returning to Pebble Beach for the first time since hoisting the U.S. Open trophy four years ago. McDowell ended his 2013 campaign with a string of high finishes and has previously navigated this week's rotation of courses with some success, as evidenced by his eighth-place showing in 2005.

7. Phil Mickelson: Mickelson has won this event four times since 1998, but fatigue and injury remain a concern. The left-hander is playing in his fourth straight event this week and still has questions surrounding the health of his back. Before entering a four-week break, though, he may find a way to contend once more along the coast.

8. Patrick Reed: After skipping San Diego with a rib injury, Reed appeared no worse for wear last week in Phoenix, where he tied for 19th. Just three weeks removed from his victory at the Humana Challenge, the 23-year-old now returns to an event where he tied for seventh last year in his first start at Pebble.

9. Spencer Levin: After an injury-plagued 2013, Levin appears to be on the comeback trail, with eight starts this season resulting in seven made cuts and three top-30 finishes, including a T-29 in Phoenix. He's another player in this week's field with a strong record at Pebble Beach, having finished T-4 in 2010 and T-9 in 2011, his most recent appearance.

10. Matt Jones: The Aussie stumbled down the stretch in Phoenix after holding a share of the 36-hole lead, but he remains a player to watch this season. Jones now has a pair of top-15 finishes in his last three starts and has had some success in this event, finishing T-10 in 2010 and T-15 in 2011.

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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


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


5. Thorbjorn Olesen

6. Ross Fisher

World Points

1. Jon Rahm

2. Rory McIlroy

3. Alex Noren

4. Matthew Fitzpatrick


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.