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FedExCup standings: Bryson ups lead; Tiger hanging on

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 3, 2018, 10:18 pm

With his second win in as many playoff events, Bryson DeChambeau upped his lead in the FedExCup standings. Meanwhile, in the race to reach Atlanta, Tiger Woods maintained his spot. Here's a look at the standings midway through the playoffs, as the BMW Championship (top 70) begins this week:

FedExCup Rank PLAYER NAME FedExCup Points
1 1 Bryson DeChambeau 5617
2 2 Dustin Johnson 3289
3 6 Justin Rose 3191
4 4 Tony Finau 3169
5 3 Justin Thomas 3084
6 5 Brooks Koepka 2551
7 7 Bubba Watson 2277
8 16 Cameron Smith 2231
9 10 Phil Mickelson 1969
10 8 Jason Day 1935
11 9 Webb Simpson 1848
12 11 Patrick Cantlay 1838
13 12 Patrick Reed 1761
14 13 Francesco Molinari 1682
15 14 Billy Horschel 1610
16 21 Kyle Stanley 1525
17 20 Paul Casey 1499
18 15 Aaron Wise 1498
19 17 Jon Rahm 1474
20 23 Tommy Fleetwood 1424
21 18 Patton Kizzire 1413
22 24 Marc Leishman 1390
23 19 Kevin Na 1387
24 28 Rory McIlroy 1373
25 25 Tiger Woods 1342
26 22 Rickie Fowler 1302
27 33 Jordan Spieth 1299
28 58 Hideki Matsuyama 1271
29 48 Emiliano Grillo 1252
30 37 Gary Woodland 1205
FedExCup Rank PLAYER NAME FedExCup Points
31 26 Chez Reavie 1184
32 35 Brandt Snedeker 1174
33 72 C.T. Pan 1170
34 27 Pat Perez 1167
35 30 Andrew Landry 1145
36 29 Chesson Hadley 1144
37 59 Rafa Cabrera Bello 1121
38 32 Brian Harman 1116
39 44 Kevin Kisner 1111
40 31 Luke List 1111
41 34 Xander Schauffele 1109
42 36 Austin Cook 1094
43 41 Ryan Armour 1084
44 39 Andrew Putnam 1063
45 38 Ian Poulter 1061
46 46 Byeong Hun An 1061
47 52 Adam Hadwin 1054
48 40 Adam Scott 1052
49 45 Beau Hossler 1043
50 43 Alex Noren 1033
51 42 Brendan Steele 998
52 47 Keegan Bradley 979
53 49 Si Woo Kim 972
54 71 Tyrrell Hatton 932
55 51 Brian Gay 910
56 92 Abraham Ancer 909
57 54 Charles Howell III 905
58 50 Ryan Palmer 900
59 53 Zach Johnson 890
60 55 Henrik Stenson 881
61 66 Jason Kokrak 881
62 56 J.J. Spaun 880
63 81 Brice Garnett 853
64 83 Peter Uihlein 843
65 63 Daniel Berger 839
66 78 Keith Mitchell 839
67 64 Chris Kirk 834
68 57 Scott Piercy 833
69 69 Louis Oosthuizen 826
70 62 Ted Potter, Jr. 809
FedExCup Rank PLAYER NAME FedExCup Points
71 60 Ryan Moore 806
72 61 Whee Kim 805
73 65 Stewart Cink 775
74 67 Nick Watney 760
75 68 Jimmy Walker 741
76 74 Matt Kuchar 740
77 70 Kevin Streelman 724
78 73 Bronson Burgoon 718
79 75 Charley Hoffman 689
80 76 Joel Dahmen 676
81 77 Michael Kim 675
82 80 J.B. Holmes 668
83 88 Kevin Chappell 667
84 89 James Hahn 666
85 79 Jamie Lovemark 664
86 99 Brian Stuard 654
87 86 Kevin Tway 643
88 91 Branden Grace 634
89 93 Russell Knox 629
90 82 Kelly Kraft 627
91 84 Troy Merritt 616
92 90 Tom Hoge 608
93 94 Scott Stallings 608
94 85 Satoshi Kodaira 600
95 87 Jhonattan Vegas 598
96 96 Russell Henley 589
97 98 Danny Lee 587
98 95 Ollie Schniederjans 573
99 97 Anirban Lahiri 566
100 100 Jason Dufner 557
FedExCup Rank PLAYER NAME FedExCup Points
101 101 Sam Ryder 551
102 102 Trey Mullinax 550
103 103 Brandon Harkins 545
104 104 Patrick Rodgers 541
105 105 Charl Schwartzel 528
106 106 Sean O'Hair 526
107 107 Harold Varner III 524
108 108 Alex Cejka 524
109 109 Rory Sabbatini 521
110 110 Richy Werenski 498
111 111 Sung Kang 490
112 112 John Huh 480
113 113 Tyler Duncan 457
114 114 Seamus Power 455
115 115 Martin Laird 453
116 116 William McGirt 449
117 117 J.T. Poston 448
118 118 Vaughn Taylor 445
119 119 Grayson Murray 438
120 120 Sam Saunders 437
121 121 Ryan Blaum 433
122 122 Scott Brown 422
123 123 Nick Taylor 420
124 124 Bud Cauley 405
125 125 Harris English 383
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HOFer Stephenson: Robbie wants to play me in movie

By Will GrayOctober 22, 2018, 4:20 pm

Margot Robbie has already starred in one sports-related biopic, and if she gets her way a second opportunity might not be far behind.

Robbie earned an Academy Award nomination for her work last year as former Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding in the movie, I Tonya. She also has a desire to assume the role of her fellow Aussie, Jan Stephenson, in a movie where she would trade in her skates for a set of golf clubs.

That's at least according to Stephenson, who floated out the idea during an interview with Golf Australia's Inside the Ropes podcast shortly after being announced as part of the next class of World Golf Hall of Fame inductees.

"We've talked about doing a movie. Margot Robbie wants to play me," Stephenson said.

There certainly would be a resemblance between the two Australian blondes, as Robbie has become one of Hollywood's leading ladies while Stephenson was on the cutting edge of sex appeal during her playing career. In addition to several magazine covers, Stephenson also racked up 16 LPGA wins between 1976-87 including three majors.

Robbie, 28, has also had starring roles in Suicide Squad and The Wolf of Wall Street.

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Monday Scramble: Who's No. 1 ... in the long run?

By Ryan LavnerOctober 22, 2018, 4:00 pm

Brooks Koepka becomes golf’s new king, Sergio Garcia enjoys the Ryder Cup bump, Danielle Kang overcomes the demons, Michelle Wie goes under the knife and more in this week’s edition of Monday Scramble:

Brooks Koepka added an exclamation point to his breakout year.

His red-hot finish at the CJ Cup not only earned him a third title in 2018, but with the victory he leapfrogged Dustin Johnson to become the top-ranked player in the world for the first time.

That top spot could become a revolving door over the next few months, with Johnson, Justin Thomas and Justin Rose all vying for No. 1, but it’s a fitting coda to Koepka’s stellar year that included two more majors and Player of the Year honors.

For a player whose team searches long and hard for slights, there’s no questioning now his place in the game.

1. DJ won three events this season, but he wasn’t able to create much separation between him and the rest of the world’s best players.

Koepka’s rise to No. 1 made him the fourth player to reach the top spot this year, and the third in the past month.

Who has the greatest potential to get to No. 1 and stay there? Johnson is the best bet in the short term, but he’s also 34. Koepka will be a threat in the majors as long as he stays healthy. So the belief here is that it’ll be Justin Thomas, who is 25, without weakness and, best of all, hungry for more success.  

2. Koepka had an eventful final round at the CJ Cup. Staked to a four-shot lead in the final round, his advantage was trimmed to one after a sloppy start, then he poured it on late with an inward 29. He punctuated his historic victory with an eagle on the 72nd hole, smirking as it tumbled into the cup.

It was his fifth career Tour title – but only his second non-major. Weird.

3. How appropriate that golf’s most underappreciated talent – at least in his estimation – became world No. 1 in a limited-field event that finished at 2 a.m. on the East Coast. Somehow he’ll spin this into being overlooked, again.

4. Sergio Garcia carried all of that Ryder Cup momentum into the Andalucia Valderrama Masters, where he earned the hat trick by capturing his third consecutive title there.

While the rest of the world’s best gathered in Korea or rested for global golf’s finishing kick, Garcia won the weather-delayed event by four shots over Shane Lowry. Garcia’s foundation hosts the tournament, and he extended his crazy-good record there: In 14 career appearances at Valderrama, he has three wins, seven top-3s, nine top-5s and 13 top-10s.

Garcia, who went 3-1 at the recent Ryder Cup, became the first player since Ernie Els (2004) to win the same European Tour event three years in a row.

5. Gary Woodland probably doesn’t want 2018 to end.

He was the runner-up at the CJ Cup, his second consecutive top-5 to start the season. He made 11(!) birdies in the final round and now is a combined 37 under par for the first two starts of the new season.

6. This definitely wasn’t the Ryder Cup.

Four shots back, and the closest pursuer to Koepka, Ian Poulter had a chance to put pressure on the leader in the final round. Instead, he was left in the dust, mustering only three birdies and getting waxed by seven shots (64-71) on the last day. Poulter tumbled all the way into a tie for 10th.

7. It hasn’t been the easiest road for Danielle Kang since she won the 2017 Women’s PGA.

The 26-year-old said she’s dealt with anxiety for months and has battled both putting and full-swing yips. Her problems were so deep that a week ago, she stood over the ball for four minutes and couldn’t pull the trigger.

No wonder she said that she was “pretty stunned” to hold off a bevy of challengers to win her second career title at the Buick LPGA Shanghai.

“I’m finally at a place where I’m peaceful and happy with my game, with my life,” she said.

8. In the middle of the seven-way tie for second in China was Ariya Jutanugarn, who will return to No. 1 in the world for the second time this season.

9. Also in that logjam was another former top-ranked player, Lydia Ko, who had tumbled all the way to 17th. Ko hasn’t been able to build off of her slump-busting victory earlier this summer, but she now has six consecutive top-16 finishes and at least seems more comfortable in her new position.

“Sometimes you get too carried away about the awards and rankings,” she said. “It just becomes so much. I think it’s more important to keep putting myself there and … shooting in the 60s, and that way I think it builds the confidence and the rankings kind of sort itself out.”

Here's how Tiger Woods explained his pitiful performance at the Ryder Cup: “I was tired because I hadn’t trained for it. I hadn’t trained this entire comeback to play this much golf.”

Of course, he looked just fine a week earlier at East Lake, where he snapped a five-year winless drought with one of the most memorable weeks of his legendary career. His training wasn’t a topic of conversation there.

It's reasonable to expect that the emotional victory took a lot of out of him, but if he was so gassed, why did he sit only one team session and go 36 on Saturday? By Sunday night, Woods looked like he was running on empty, so either he wasn't upfront with captain Jim Furyk about his energy levels, or Furyk ran him out there anyway.

This week's award winners ...  

Can’t Catch a Break: Michelle Wie. The star-crossed talent announced that she’ll miss the rest of the season to undergo surgery to repair a troublesome hand injury. Maybe one of these years she’ll be able to play a full schedule, without physical setbacks.  

Grab the Mic: Paul Azinger. Taking Johnny Miller’s seat in the booth, Azinger will call all four days of action at every Golf Channel/NBC event, beginning at the WGC-Mexico Championship. He was the most logical (and best) choice to follow the inimitable Miller.

Take That, Dawdler: Corey Pavin. It was Pavin – and not the notoriously slow Bernhard Langer – who earned the first slow-play penalty on the PGA Tour Champions in what seemed like ages. The one-shot penalty dropped him to 15th in the event.

Long Time Coming: Jason Day. His tie for fifth at the CJ Cup was his best finish worldwide since … The Players? Really. Wow.

The Tumble Continues: Jordan Spieth. In the latest world rankings, Spieth is officially out of the top 10 for the first time since November 2014. A reminder that he finished last year at No. 2.

Clutch Performances: Andalucia Masters. Both Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Richie Ramsay both moved inside the top 116 in the Race to Dubai standings, securing their European Tour cards for next season. Gonzo tied for fifth in the regular-season finale, while Ramsay was joint 11th.

That’s Messed Up: CJ Cup purse. As colleague Will Gray noted, the purse for the 78-man event was $9.5 million – or $400K more than the first 15 events of the Tour schedule combined. The difference between the haves and have-nots has never been larger.

Blown Fantasy Pick of the Week: Justin Thomas. The defending champion never could get started in Korea, closing with his low round of the week, a 4-under 68, just to salvage a tie for 36th. Sigh.  

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Azinger: 'Can't see anybody beating Tiger' at his best

By Will GrayOctober 22, 2018, 2:44 pm

There's a new world No. 1, and a fresh crop of young guns eager to make their mark on the PGA Tour in 2019. But according to Paul Azinger, the player with the highest ceiling is still the same as it was when he was walking inside the ropes.

Azinger was named Monday as lead golf analyst for NBC Sports, and on "Morning Drive" he was asked which player is the best when all are playing their best. The former PGA champion pondered new world No. 1 Brooks Koepka and former No. 1 Dustin Johnson, but he came back around to a familiar answer: Tiger Woods.

"I just can't see anybody beating Tiger when Tiger's at his best. I just can't see it," Azinger said. "He's not his best yet, but he's almost his best. And when Tiger's his best, there's more that comes with Tiger than just the score he shoots. That crowd comes with Tiger, and it's a whole 'nother dynamic when Tiger's at his best. And I'm just going to have to say that when Tiger's at his best, he's still the best."

Woods, 42, started this year ranked No. 656 in the world but had a resurgent season that included a pair of near-misses at The Open and PGA Championship and culminated with his win at the Tour Championship that ended a five-year victory drought. For Azinger, the question now becomes how he can follow up a breakthrough campaign as he looks to contend consistently against players from a younger generation.

"That's why we watch, to see if he can maintain that. To see what he's capable of," Azinger said. "Now longevity becomes the issue for Tiger Woods. In seven or eight years, he's going to be 50 years old. That goes fast. I'm telling you, that goes really fast."

When Woods returns to action, he'll do so with a focus on the upcoming Masters as he looks to capture the 15th major title that has eluded him for more than a decade. With bombers like Koepka and Johnson currently reigning on the PGA Tour, Azinger believes the key for Woods will be remaining accurate while relying on the world-class iron play that has been a strength throughout his career.

"I think he's going to have to recognize that he's not the beast out there when it comes to smacking that ball off the tee. But I'd like to see him try to hit a couple more fairways periodically. That'd be nice," he said. "If he can drive that ball in the fairway, with that putter, we've seen what his putter is capable of. The sky's the limit, boys."

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Spieth drops out of top 10 for first time since 2014

By Will GrayOctober 22, 2018, 2:08 pm

As Brooks Koepka ascended to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking, a former No. 1 continued a notable decline.

Jordan Spieth didn't play last week's CJ Cup, where Koepka won by four shots. But Jason Day did, and his T-5 finish in South Korea moved him up two spots from No. 12 to No. 10 in the latest rankings. Spieth dropped from 10th to 11th, marking the first time that he has been outside the top 10 in the world rankings since November 2014.

Since that time, he has won 12 times around the world, including three majors, while spending 26 weeks as world No. 1. But he hasn't won a tournament since The Open last July, and this year he missed the Tour Championship for the first time in his career. Spieth is expected to make his season debut next week in Las Vegas at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Updated Official World Golf Ranking

Koepka and Day were the only movers among the top 10 on a week that saw many top players remain in place. Sergio Garcia's rain-delayed win at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters moved him up four spots to No. 27, while Gary Woodland went from 38th to 30th after finishing second behind Koepka on Jeju Island.

Koepka will tee off as world No. 1 for the first time this week at the WGC-HSBC Champions, where new No. 2 Dustin Johnson will look to regain the top spot. Justin Rose is now third in the world, with Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler and Day rounding out the top 10.

With his next competitive start unknown, Tiger Woods remained 13th in the world for the fifth straight week.