Karsten Creek, Blessings GC to host upcoming NCAAs

By Ryan LavnerApril 18, 2017, 5:00 pm

Karsten Creek Golf Club and The Blessings Golf Club have been selected to host the upcoming NCAA Men’s and Women’s Championships.

Oklahoma State’s home course will stage the event in May 2018, while Arkansas will be the host school in 2019.

It’s the second time in the past seven years that Karsten Creek has hosted an NCAA. Led by Patrick Reed, Augusta State knocked off the host Cowboys in the 2011 semifinals – a match that was attended by roughly 5,000 fans – and then beat Georgia in the championship. LSU’s John Peterson won the individual title.

Karsten Creek and Blessings both have a reputation for being among the most difficult college courses. In 2011, Duke shot 25 over par in a three-round stroke-play qualifier at Karsten Creek and still advanced to match play. In last year’s men’s regional, a three-round score of 46 over par was good enough to finish fifth.

With a rating of 79.1 and a slope of 153 from the back tees, Blessings has proven to be a brutal test. When the women’s SEC Championship was held there in 2012, the winning score was 52 over par. It last hosted an NCAA men’s regional in 2013, when Illinois won at 1 under par but the fifth team qualifier shot 28 over.

The 2018 NCAA women’s finals will be played May 18-23, followed by the men at the same venue, May 25-30.

The dates for the 2019 championship are May 17-22 (women) and May 24-29 (men).

This year’s event will be held at Rich Harvest Farms outside Chicago. Both the men’s and women’s championships have been staged at the same venue each year since 2015.

The NCAA also released its regional host sites through 2022:

2018 NCAA women’s regionals

May 7-9

Stanford (Calif.) Golf Course

University of Texas Golf Club, Austin, Tex.

University Ridge Golf Course, Madison, Wis.

Southwood Golf Course, Tallahassee, Fla.

2018 NCAA men’s regionals

May 14-16

Lonnie Poole Golf Course, Raleigh, N.C.

Traditions Club, Bryan, Texas

OSU Golf Course (Scarlet Course), Columbus, Ohio

Reunion Resort, Kissimmee, Fla.

Jimmie Austin Golf Club, Norman, Okla.

The Reserve at Spanos Park, Stockton, Calif.

2019 NCAA women’s regionals

May 6-8

Auburn (Ala.) University Club

Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club, Norman, Okla.

Forest Akers Golf Course, East Lansing, Mich.

Tumble Creek Golf Club, Cle Elum, Wash.

2019 NCAA men’s regionals

May 13-15

TPC Myrtle Beach (S.C.)

University of Georgia Golf Course, Athens, Ga.

University of Louisville (Ky.) Golf Club

Harvester Course, Rhodes, Iowa

Stanford (Calif.) Golf Course

Palouse Ridge Golf Club, Pullman, Wash.

2020 NCAA women’s regionals

May 11-13

Lonnie Poole Golf Course, Raleigh, N.C.

University of Georgia Golf Course, Athens, Ga.

Warren Golf Course, Notre Dame, Ind.

Palouse Ridge Golf Club, Pullman, Wash.

2020 NCAA men’s regionals

May 18-20

The Cliffs at Keowee Falls, Clemson, S.C.

Auburn (Ala.) University Club

Eagle Eye, East Lansing, Mich.

Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club, Norman, Okla.

University Club, Baton Rouge, La.

The Farms Golf Club, San Diego

2021 NCAA women’s regionals

May 10-12

University Club, Baton Rouge, La.

University of Louisville (Ky.) Golf Club

OSU Golf Course (Scarlet Course), Columbus, Ohio

Stanford (Calif.) Golf Course

2021 NCAA men’s regionals

May 17-19

Golden Eagle Golf and Country Club, Tallahassee, Fla.

Golf Club of Tennessee, Nashville, Tenn.

The Sagamore Club, Noblesville, Ind.

Karsten Creek Golf Club, Stillwater, Okla.

Championship Course at UNM, Albuquerque, N.M.

Tumble Creek Golf Club, Cle Elum, Wash.

2022 NCAA women’s regionals

May 9-11

Don Veller Seminole Golf Course, Tallahassee, Fla.

Karsten Creek Golf Club, Stillwater, Okla.

University of Michigan Golf Course, Ann Arbor, Mich.

The Championship Golf Course at UNM, Albuquerque, N.M.

2022 NCAA men’s regionals

May 16-18

Ol’ Colony Golf Complex, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

PGA National Resort, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

OSU Golf Club, Columbus, Ohio

Traditions Club, College Station, Texas

The Course at Yale, New Haven, Conn.

The Reserve at Spanos Park, Stockton, Calif.

Getty Images

Chamblee: Like Tiger in '13, Mickelson should've DQ'd self

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 19, 2018, 2:46 pm

Two days after Brooks Koepka left Long Island with the U.S. Open trophy, the third-round antics of Phil Mickelson are still garnering plenty of discussion.

Mickelson became a lightning rod of opinion after he intentionally hit a moving ball on the 13th green Saturday at Shinnecock Hills, incurring a two-shot penalty but not a disqualification. In the aftermath, he explained that he made a conscious choice to take the penalty to avoid playing back and forth across the crispy putting surface, and he tied for 48th after a final-round 66.

Speaking Tuesday on "Morning Drive," Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee shared his view that Mickelson would have been well-served to disqualify himself ahead of the final round. He also compared it to Tiger Woods' incident at the 2013 Masters, when he took an incorrect drop and, like Mickelson, received a two-shot penalty but not a disqualification.

"I think Tiger, at least it's my opinion that his year would have been less distracting if he had done so," Chamblee said. "And I think the same of Phil Mickelson. If he had withdrawn from the championship and said, 'Look. This is a little sketchy. It didn't play out the way I thought. I've given it some thought and it's in the best interest of the championship that I withdraw.'"

Chamblee added that Mickelson's antics were "really distracting" on a day filled with drama as the USGA lost control of course conditions, noting that Mickelson and playing partner Andrew "Beef" Johnston were the only tee time where both players failed to break 80 despite the difficult conditions.

But having had time to review the situation and having surveyed a number of peers, Chamblee is as convinced as ever that Mickelson made a mistake by showing up for his final-round tee time.

"What Phil did, I haven't run into a single person that hasn't said he deserved to be disqualified," Chamblee said. "Under any interpretation, a serious breach - if gaining an advantage is not a serious breach, I don't know what is. And he clearly said he was gaining an advantage and doing it for strategic reasons."

Getty Images

Norman to pose in ESPN's 'Body Issue'

By Grill Room TeamJune 19, 2018, 2:05 pm

Professional golfers have, from time to time, appeared in ESPN's "Body Issue," which features athletes strategically posed in the nude. The list includes: Belen Mozo, Carly Booth, Gary Player, Camilo Villegas, Sandra Gal, Christina Kim, Anna Grzebien, Suzann Pettersen and Sadena Parks.

And now, Greg Norman.

Modesty has never been an issue for Norman, who has an affinity for posing without a shirt (and sometimes without pants) on his Instagram account.

He joins a list of athletes, in this year's edition, ranging from professional wrestlers (Charlotte Flair) to Olympians (Adam Rippon) to WNBA stars (Sue Bird). Click here for a full list of the athletes to appear.


Getty Images

DJ listed as betting favorite for The Open

By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 2:00 pm

With the U.S. Open officially in the books, oddsmakers quickly turned their attention to the season's third major.

Minutes after Brooks Koepka holed the winning putt to successfully defend his title at Shinnecock Hills, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook published its first set of odds for The Open. Jordan Spieth, who opened at 14/1, will defend his title as the tournament shifts to Carnoustie in Scotland for the first time since 2007, when Padraig Harrington defeated Sergio Garcia in a playoff.

Joining Spieth at 14/1 is 2014 Open champion Rory McIlroy, but they're both listed behind world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Johnson, who was a runner-up at the 2011 Open at Royal St. George's and just finished third at the U.S. Open, opened as a 12/1 betting favorite. Koepka, now a two-time major winner, is listed at 20/1 alongside U.S. Open runner-up Tommy Fleetwood.

Here's a look at the first edition of odds, with The Open just five weeks away:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

14/1: Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy

16/1: Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas

20/1: Brooks Koepka, Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama

40/1: Phil Mickelson, Branden Grace, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Marc Leishman

50/1: Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Tyrrell Hatton

60/1: Matt Kuchar, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Ian Poulter, Francesco Molinari, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Matthew Fitzpatrick

80/1: Tony Finau, Zach Johnson, Thomas Pieters, Daniel Berger, Xander Schauffele, Bubba Watson, Shane Lowry

100/1: Charl Schwartzel, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker

Getty Images

Golf Channel, Loch Lomond Partner on Claret Jug Tour Ahead of 147TH Open

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJune 18, 2018, 9:35 pm

Award-Winning Independent Scotcb Whisky Sponsoring Tour to Select U.S. Cities; Will Include Special Tastings and Opportunities for Fans to Engage with Golf’s Most Storied Trophy

Golf Channel and Loch Lomond Group are partnering on a promotional tour with the Claret Jug – golf’s most iconic trophy, first awarded in 1873 to the winner of The Open – to select U.S. cities in advance of the 147TH Open at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. Loch Lomond Whisky’s sponsorship of the tour further enhances the brand’s existing five-year partnership with the R&A as the official spirit of The Open, initially announced in February.

“We are proud to partner with Golf Channel to support this tour of golf’s most iconic trophy,” said Colin Matthews, CEO of Loch Lomond Group. “Whisky and golf are two of Scotland’s greatest gifts to the world, and following the news of our recent partnership with the R&A for The Open, being a part of the Claret Jug tour was a perfect fit for Loch Lomond Group to further showcase our commitment to the game.”

“The Loch Lomond Group could not be a more natural fit to sponsor the Claret Jug tour,” said Tom Knapp, senior vice president of golf sponsorship, NBC Sports Group. “Much like the storied history that accompanies the Claret Jug, Loch Lomond’s Scottish roots trace back centuries ago, and their aspirations to align with golf’s most celebrated traditions will resonate with a broad range of consumers in addition to golf fans and whisky enthusiasts.”

The tour kicks off today in Austin, Texas, and will culminate on Wednesday, July 11 at the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe one week prior to The Open. Those wishing to engage with the Claret Jug will have an opportunity at one of several tour stops being staged at Topgolf locations in select cities. The tour will feature a custom, authentic Scottish pub where consumers (of age) can sample Loch Lomond’s portfolio of whiskies in the spirit of golf’s original championship and the Claret Jug. The Claret Jug also will make special pop-up visits to select GolfNow course partners located within some of the designated tour markets.

(All Times Local)

Monday, June 18                    Austin, Texas              (Topgolf, 5:30-8:30 p.m.)

Tuesday, June 19                    Houston                      (Topgolf, 5-8 p.m.)

Wednesday, June 20               Jacksonville, Fla.        (Topgolf, 6-9 p.m.)

Monday, June 25                    Orlando, Fla.               (Topgolf, 6-9 p.m.)

Wednesday, July 4                 Washington D.C.        (Topgolf, 5:30-8:30 p.m. – Ashburn, Va.)

Monday, July 9                       Edison, N.J.                (Topgolf, Time TBA)

Wednesday, July 11               Lake Tahoe, Nev.       American Century Championship (On Course)

Fans interacting with the Claret Jug and Loch Lomond during the course of the tour are encouraged to share their experience using the hashtag, #ClaretJug on social media, and tag @TheOpen and @LochLomondMalts on Twitter and Instagram.

NBC Sports Group is the exclusive U.S. television home of the 147TH Open from Carnoustie, with nearly 50 live hours of tournament coverage, Thursday-Sunday, July 19-22. The Claret Jug is presented each July to the winner of The Open, with the winner also being given the title of “Champion Golfer of the Year” until the following year’s event is staged. The Claret Jug is one of the most storied trophies in all of sports; first presented to the 1873 winner of The Open, Tom Kidd. Each year, the winner’s name is engraved on to the trophy, forever etched into the history of golf’s original championship. It is customary for the Champion Golfer of the Year to drink a favorite alcoholic beverage from the Claret Jug in celebration of the victory.