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Thomas wins playoff, Woods 12th at Honda

By Will GrayFebruary 25, 2018, 11:18 pm

It was an eventful Sunday in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where Justin Thomas added another trophy to his quickly-growing collection at the Honda Classic. Here's a look at how things ended up following a brief playoff that saw Thomas deny Luke List his maiden win:

Leaderboard: Justin Thomas (-8, won on first extra hole), Luke List (-8), Alex Noren (-7), Tommy Fleetwood (-6)

What it means: Both players offered some heroics while tied on the 72nd hole, with List reaching the par-5 18th green in two while Thomas opted to lay up and promptly stuffed a wedge with the pressure on. Once in overtime, List hit a poor layup from the trees to open the door for Thomas, who responded by reaching the green in two with a fairway wood. The subsequent two-putt gave him his second victory of the season and seventh in his last 31 starts, as Thomas was greeted by defending champ Rickie Fowler behind the final green one year after he returned to PGA National to celebrate Fowler's win. It's also a career-best result for List, who has now made 104 starts without a win.

Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Round of the day: Byeong-Hun An is still in search of his first career PGA Tour win, but a final-round 65 helped pad his Honda paycheck. An carded six birdies on the day, including four in a six-hole stretch from Nos. 3-8, and closed with a birdie on the final hole. It helped An move from 16th into a tie for fifth, finishing the week at 4 under.

Best of the rest: Derek Fathauer grew up just a few miles north of PGA National, and he put that local knowledge to use en route to matching An's round of 5-under 65. Fathauer was just 1 under through 13 holes before closing out with a flurry of four birdies over his final five holes, including each of the last three holes. Fathauer finished the week in a tie for 13th at 1 over.

Biggest disappointment: Webb Simpson was in the mix heading down the stretch, but a birdie-free back nine derailed his title hopes. Simpson's birdie on the par-3 seventh proved to be his only one of the day, as three bogeys in a four-hole stretch from Nos. 11-14 dropped him into a tie for fifth, ultimately four shots out of the playoff.

Shot of the day: Thomas will long remember his approach in the playoff from 258 yards over water that found the green, but he may need to install a plaque on the rock wall that guards the par-3 fifth hole. That's where his shot in regulation came up short, only to bounce off the rocks and nearly into the hole for an ace, turning a possible double bogey into an easy par.

Quote of the day: "It was another level of difficulty. Not only the amount of people I was trying to beat, but this golf course in and of itself." - Thomas

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Fowler (oblique) withdraws from playoff opener

By Will GrayAugust 15, 2018, 8:44 pm

The injury that slowed Rickie Fowler at last week's PGA Championship will keep him out of the first event of the PGA Tour's postseason.

Fowler was reportedly hampered by an oblique injury at Bellerive Country Club, where he started the third round two shots off the lead but faded to a tie for 12th. He confirmed the injury Tuesday in an Instagram post, adding that an MRI revealed a partial tear to his right oblique muscle.

According to Fowler, the injury also affected him at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he tied for 17th. After receiving the test results, he opted to withdraw from The Northern Trust next week at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey.

"My team and I feel like it's best not to play next week in the Northern Trust," Fowler wrote. "I will be back healthy and competitive ASAP for the FedEx Cup and more than ready for the Ryder Cup!!!"

Fowler is one of eight players who earned automatic spots on the U.S. Ryder Cup team when the qualifying window closed last week. His next opportunity to tee it up would be at the 100-man Dell Technologies Championship, where Fowler won in 2015.

Fowler has 12 top-25 finishes in 18 starts, highlighted by runner-up finishes at both the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in the fall and at the Masters. He is currently 17th in the season-long points race, meaning that he's assured of starts in each of the first three playoff events regardless of performance and in good position to qualify for the 30-man Tour Championship for the fourth time in the last five years.

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Playoff streaks in jeopardy for Garcia, Haas

By Will GrayAugust 15, 2018, 8:12 pm

Since the advent of the FedExCup in 2007, only 13 players have managed to make the playoffs each and every year. But two of the PGA Tour's stalwarts head into the regular-season finale with work to do in order to remain a part of that select fraternity.

Sergio Garcia has rarely had to sweat the top-125 bubble, but the Spaniard enters this week's Wyndham Championship 131st in the current standings. Left with even more work to do is former FedExCup winner Bill Haas, who starts the week in Greensboro 150th.

Garcia got off to a strong start in the spring, sandwiching a pair of top-10 finishes in WGC events around a fourth-place showing at the Valspar Championship. But quality results largely dried up after Garcia missed the cut at the Masters; he has made only two cuts in 10 Tour starts since April, including early exits in all four majors.

Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Garcia has some history at Sedgefield Country Club, having won this event in 2012 to break a lengthy U.S. victory drought. He also finished fourth in 2009 but hasn't played the Donald Ross layout since a T-29 finish as the defending champ in 2013.

It's been a difficult year for Haas both on and off the course, as the veteran was involved as a passenger in a car accident on the eve of the Genesis Open that killed the driver. He returned to action three weeks later in Tampa, and he tied for seventh at the RBC Heritage in April. But that remains his lone top-10 finish of the season. Haas has missed 11 cuts including three in a row.

While the bubble will be a fluid target this week at Sedgefield, Garcia likely needs at least a top-20 finish to move into the top 125 while Haas will likely need to finish inside the top 5.

One of the 13 playoff streaks is assured of ending next week, as Luke Donald has missed most of the year with a back injury. Other players to qualify for every Tour postseason include Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, Charles Howell III, Charley Hoffman and Ryan Moore.

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Airlines lose two sets of Olesen's clubs in 10 days

By Grill Room TeamAugust 15, 2018, 7:50 pm

Commercial airlines losing the golf clubs of a professional golfer is not exactly a groundbreaking story. It happens.

But European Tour pro Thorbjorn Olesen is on quite the roll, losing two sets of clubs and five suitcases in the span of 10 days.

Olesen, the reigning Italian Open champ, claimed his primary set of golf clubs were lost last week. Having little faith they'd be found before this week's Nordea Masters, he decided to bring his backup set for the event in Sweden.

A veteran move by the 28-year-old, unless, of course, those clubs were lost too. And wouldn't you know it:

After pestering the airlines with some A+ GIFs, Olesen was reunited with at least one of his sets and was back in action on Wednesday.

He also still plans on giving his golf bag away to some lucky follower, provided it's not lost again in transit. Something he's no longer taking for granted.

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Podcast: Brandel compares Tiger and Hogan's comebacks

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 15, 2018, 6:48 pm

Tiger Woods on Sunday at Bellerive recorded his seventh runner-up finish in a major and his first in nine years.

A favorite guest of the Golf Channel Podcast, Brandel Chamblee joins host Will Gray to compare and contrast Tiger's return to competitive golf with that of Ben Hogan and Babe Didrikson Zaharias in the 1950s.

Chamblee also discusses Brooks Koepka's major dominance, Bellerive as a major venue, Tiger and Phil as Ryder Cup locks, and who else might be in line to receive Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjorn's remaining captain's picks.

Finally, Brandel shares what it was it was like to qualify for the Senior Open Championship and compete for a major title on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Listen here: