Mickelson grouped with Horschel at Humana

By Will GrayJanuary 20, 2015, 10:33 pm

Phil Mickelson is making his first start of the year at the Humana Challenge, and he'll play the first three rounds alongside the reigning FedEx Cup champ. With three courses in rotation this week and each pro paired with an amateur, groups will remain the same for the first 54 holes before professionals are re-paired for the final round on the Palmer Private course at PGA West.

Here are a few notable first-round groups to keep an eye on this week in southern California (all times ET):

11:40 a.m. (La Quinta C.C.): Phil Mickelson, Billy Horschel

Mickelson will look to end a winless drought that stretches back to the 2013 Open Championship, and he'll do so at an event that he has won twice, most recently in 2004. Horschel is coming off a torrid postseason run that netted him the FedEx Cup trophy, and he tied for 22nd at Kapalua in his first start of 2015.

11:40 a.m. (Nicklaus Private): Zach Johnson, Luke Donald

Two of the best wedge players will comprise this group, as Johnson is coming off a seventh-place finish at Kapalua and a T-64 at the Sony Open. Donald is making his first appearance in this event after teeing it up last week in Honolulu for the first time since 2005.

12:40 p.m. (Palmer Private): Webb Simpson, Chris Kirk

Simpson was a surprise contender last week in Hawaii with his regulation-length putter, and now he heads to an event where he has three top-25 finishes in five appearances. He'll be joined by Kirk, who finished second in the FedEx Cup standings last season and tied a course record in the final round in Maui two weeks ago.

1:10 p.m. (Palmer Private): Bill Haas, Brandt Snedeker

Haas recorded his first career win in the desert in 2010, then followed up with a playoff loss in 2011 and also finished T-6 a year ago. He'll be paired with Snedeker, who will hope to rely on a hot putter to help bounce back from a 2013-14 season in which he faded down the stretch.

1:10 p.m. (La Quinta C.C.): Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley

Buddies Dufner and Bradley will have plenty of conversation during their time together - and perhaps a practical joke or two. Bradley is still getting used to his new counterbalanced putter, while Dufner - who lost 20 pounds in the offseason - will look to rebound from an injury-plagued 2014 season.

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Report: Tour close to finalizing Detroit tournament

By Will GrayApril 23, 2018, 7:07 pm

With the final pieces of the 2019 schedule falling into place, the PGA Tour appears on the verge of returning to Michigan for the first time in nearly a decade.

According to a Detroit News report, the Tour is "believed to be close" to an agreement to bring a tournament to the Motor City beginning in 2019, reportedly likely to take place at Detroit Golf Club near downtown.

While the specifics remain undisclosed, the prime candidate for such a move appears to be The National. The Washington, D.C.-area event was sponsored by Detroit-based Quicken Loans from 2014-2017, and this year will be conducted without a title sponsor. According to a Detroit News report in September, Quicken Loans CEO Dan Gilbert was open to continuing his company's sponsorship of the event if it shifted to Detroit.

In addition to The National, the only other current PGA Tour event without a title sponsor is the Houston Open. On Monday Charles Schwab was introduced as the new title sponsor of the Fort Worth Invitational beginning in 2019.

The PGA Tour has not held an event in the state of Michigan since 2009, the final year of the now-defunct Buick Open at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club. While the final details of a revamped schedule have yet to be announced, the Tour is expected to unveil its itinerary for the 2018-19 season at The Players next month.

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Inbee Park quietly reclaims world No. 1

By Randall MellApril 23, 2018, 6:44 pm

Inbee Park moved back to No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings in about as ho-hum fashion as you’ll ever see a player take the top spot.

It isn’t that she doesn’t care about the top ranking. It just wasn’t a priority in her return to golf this year, after missing big portions of the last two years with injuries.

With an Olympic gold medal and seven major championship titles, the LPGA Hall of Famer isn’t done trying to top the scoreboards that matter most to her.

“To be honest, I never really think about being No. 1 again,” Park said early last week, before tying for second at the Hugel-JTBC LA Open. “If it comes to me, great. If not, it doesn't matter.”

It came to her for the fourth time in her career.

Park, 29, reigned at No. 1 for 59 weeks in her longest run on top, back in the 2013 and ’14 seasons.

Oddly, this run to No. 1 almost comes as a surprise to Park, who didn’t need long to get back to the top spot after returning to the tour. She won the Bank of Hope Founders Cup last month in her second after missing seven months with a back injury.

Park last lost the No. 1 ranking in October of 2015, doing so to Lydia Ko.

In six starts this year, Park has finished T-3 or better four times. She leads the tour in scoring average (69.13) and is second in greens in regulation (77.5 percent).

Just wait until her putter heats up.

Yeah, Park’s not very satisfied with her putting. She’s one of the greatest putters who ever played the women’s game, but she has been frustrated with the inconsistency of her stroke much of this season. Of course, her standards are high. She ranks second in putts per greens in regulation so far this year.

On Sunday, this is how Park summed up her putting in 2018: “Some days, I’ve been really good. Some days, I’ve been really bad.”

Park has led the LPGA in putts per GIR in five of the last 10 years. She switched from her preferred mallet-style putter to a blade earlier this season and won with a Toulon Madison blade at the Founders Cup last month. She was back with an Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball mallet this past week. That’s the putter she used to win the gold medal in Rio de Janeiro two years ago. She used an Odyssey Sabertooth winged mallet in her 2013 run of three consecutive major championship victories.

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Goose takes down junior golfer - it's awesome

By Nick MentaApril 23, 2018, 6:33 pm

A goose evidently went into business for itself somewhere in Michigan and took down this high school golfer in dramatic, hilarious, photographed fashion. To the evidence we go ...

Per the Blissfield Athletics Twitter account, "The golfers just finished teeing off and were walking down the fairway. To the left there was a goose nest and the golfers did a good job of avoiding it but the guard goose hanging out on the far right thought differently."

Just so we can all continue laughing, the Blissfield account confirmed the kid was OK.

If you're looking for related content, check out Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" and this video:

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It's official: Charles Schwab to sponsor Colonial event

By Associated PressApril 23, 2018, 6:30 pm

FORT WORTH, Texas – The longest-running PGA Tour event still played at its original site has a new title sponsor, one already deeply involved in golf.

The PGA Tour and Colonial Country Club announced Monday that financial services provider Charles Schwab & Co. will take over as title sponsor starting in 2019. The four-year agreement goes through 2022.

Local companies are backing the event after upscale grocer Dean and Deluca withdrew as title sponsor after only two tournaments of a six-year deal. The companies include American Airlines, AT&T, XTO Energy and Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway.

Charles Schwab is already a major sponsor on the PGA Tour. On the PGA Tour Champions, the Charles Schwab Cup is awarded to the season's top player.

Next month's tournament at Colonial, which has hosted since 1946, will be played as the Fort Worth Invitational.