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Stock Watch: Tiger comebacks are depreciating assets

By Ryan LavnerOctober 17, 2017, 1:00 pm

Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

RISING

Pat Perez (+8%): On a Tour rife with size-30 waists, PR-conscious handlers and TrackMan-perfected swings, Perez is unapologetically himself. Now with two wins in the past 11 months – or double his previous win total over 15 years – his is a lesson for all future pros: Do you.

Fred Ridley (+5%): Officially taking over at Augusta National, it’ll be interesting to see how Ridley, the only chairman to have played in the Masters, looks to leave his mark on the club, tournament and golf world. Given his competitive background, his perspective should be different than his predecessors.

Keegan (+4%): The former anchorer might never be a great putter again, but Bradley’s ball-striking is returning to an elite level. That could put him back in contention at events like the CIMB, but perhaps even more important to him is that he’s once again on the radar for U.S. cup teams.

Leona Maguire (+3%): Her college peers must be counting down the days until the Duke senior graduates after she topped another elite field to capture her ninth career title.

Matt Parziale (+2%): Well, that’s one way to earn invitations to the first two majors of 2018: The 30-year-old firefighter hung 10(!) birdies on his opponent in the finals of the U.S. Mid-Amateur.


FALLING

European Tour players not named Hatton or Fisher (-1%): For the second consecutive week, Tyrrell Hatton outlasted Ross Fisher to win on the European circuit. The good news for everybody else? Neither player is in the field this week in Spain.

Senior playoffs (-2%): This week starts the Charles Schwab Cup playoffs, or three events that will confirm what we already know – that Bernhard Langer is the best senior golfer on the planet. The hope here is to someday see the senior postseason turn into a match-play event with a big-money payout. Who wouldn’t want to watch 55-year-olds with frayed nerves and yippy strokes play for a few mil? Instant entertainment.

Tiger Countdown (-3%): Have we learned nothing? It’s OK to be excited, but just because Woods is hitting driver again doesn’t mean he’s on the verge of returning to competition. And even if he does, it’d take a Herculean effort to be a regular contender. Let him savor this final comeback.

Reinstated amateurs (-7%): It appears the Mid-Am now has a Omar Uresti-PGA Club Pro problem: Former pros comprised 43 percent of last week’s field. Guys like Parziale – who spent years honing his craft full-time on the mini-tours – should not be eligible to compete for the biggest titles against amateur lifers.

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Watch: Pieters snaps club ... around his neck

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 1:19 pm

After opening in 3-over 75, Thomas Pieters was in no mood for more poor play on Friday.

Unfortunately for Pieters, he bogeyed two of his first three holes in the second round of the BMW PGA Championship and then didn't like his second shot at the par-5 fourth.

Someone - or some thing - had to pay, and an innocent iron bore the brunt of Pieters' anger.



Pieters made par on the hole, but at 5 over for the tournament, he was five shots off the cut line.

It's not the first time a club has faced Pieters' wrath. 

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Woods would 'love' to see Tour allow shorts

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:59 pm

Players on the European Tour are allowed to wear shorts during practices and pro-ams.

The PGA of America permitted players to show some leg while prepping for last year’s PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods would like to see the PGA Tour follow suit.

"I would love it," he said Thursday in a Facebook Live with Bridgestone Golf. "We play in some of the hottest climates on the planet. We usually travel with the sun, and a lot of our events are played in the summer, and then on top of that when we have the winter months here a lot of the guys go down to South Africa and Australia where it's summer down there.

"It would be nice to wear shorts. Even with my little chicken legs, I still would like to wear shorts."

Caddies are currently allowed to wear shorts on Tour, during events.

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Feasting again: McIlroy shoots 65 to lead BMW PGA

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:04 pm

Updated at 9:42 a.m. ET

Rory McIlroy made seven birdies and no bogeys on Friday for a 7-under 65 and the second-round lead at the BMW PGA Championship.

After opening in 67, McIlroy was among the early groups out on Day 2 at Wentworth Club. He made three birdies and no bogeys on the par-35 front nine on Friday, and then went on a run after the turn.

McIlroy made four consecutive birdies, beginning at the par-5 12th. That got him to 12 under, overall, and gave him a clear advantage over the field. With two closing par-5s, a very low number was in sight. But, as he did on Day 1, McIlroy finished par-par.

"I've made four pars there [on 17 and 18] when I really should be making at least two birdies, but I played the other par-5s well," McIlroy said. "It all balances itself out."


Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship


McIlroy has made 14 birdies and two bogeys through two rounds. At 12 under, he has a three-stroke lead over Sam Horsfield.

"The work has paid off, to some degree," McIlroy said of his practice with swing coach Michael Bannon. "I still feel like I'm hitting some loose shots out there. But, for the most part, it's been really good. If I can keep these swing thoughts and keep going in the right direction, hopefully this is the type of golf I'll be able to produce."

This event has been feast or famine for McIlroy. He won here in 2014, but has three missed cuts in his other three starts. This week, however, he’ll be around for the weekend and is in position for his first European Tour victory since the 2016 Irish Open and his second worldwide victory of the year (Arnold Palmer Invitational).

"I have the confidence that I'm playing well and I can go out and try to just replicate what I did the day before," McIlroy said about his weekend approach with the lead. "On the first tee box tomorrow I'll be thinking about what I did today. Trying to just keep the same thoughts, make the same swings. I went a couple better today than I did yesterday. I'm not sure I'll keep that progression going but something similiar tomorrow would be nice."

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Goat visor propels Na to Colonial lead

By Will GrayMay 25, 2018, 1:29 am

Jason Dufner officially has some company in the headwear free agency wing of the PGA Tour.

Like Dufner, Kevin Na is now open to wear whatever he wants on his head at tournaments, as his visor sponsorship with Titleist ended earlier this month. He finished T-6 at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his second tournament as a free agent, and this week at the Fort Worth Invitational he's once again wearing a simple white visor with a picture of a goat.

"I bought it at The Players Championship for $22 with the 30 percent discount that they give the Tour players," Na told reporters. "It's very nice."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Perhaps a change in headwear was just what Na needed to jumpstart his game. Last week's result in Dallas was his first top-35 finish in his last six events dating back to February, and he built upon that momentum with an 8-under 62 to take a one-shot lead over Charley Hoffman after the first round at Colonial Country Club.

While many sports fans know the "GOAT" acronym to stand for "Greatest Of All Time," it's a definition that the veteran Na only learned about earlier this year.

"I do social media, but they kept calling Tiger the GOAT. I go, 'Man, why do they keep calling Tiger the GOAT? That's just mean,'" Na said. "Then I realized it meant greatest of all time. Thinking of getting it signed by Jack (Nicklaus) next week (at the Memorial)."