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Furyk's first three picks: Tiger, Phil and Bryson

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 4, 2018, 9:05 pm

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. – U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk announced three of his four captain’s picks Tuesday night, with no surprises.

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau were added to an American team that will look to win an away Ryder Cup for the first time since 1993.

Woods, who was previously named a vice captain, will instead transition into a playing role at the Ryder Cup for the first time since 2012. After dealing with various injuries over the past several years, Woods has contended deep into two majors and posted five top-10s in 16 starts. He has a 13-17-3 career record in the biennial event but was twice part of a winning U.S. team as an assistant in both 2016 (Ryder Cup) and ’17 (Presidents Cup).

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Mickelson has been a member of every Ryder Cup team since 1995, though this was the first time that he didn’t qualify automatically. (He finished 10th in points.) Earlier this year, the 48-year-old snapped a five-year winless drought with his World Golf Championships victory in Mexico, and he shot a closing 63 Monday at the Dell Technologies Championship to tie for 12th – his second consecutive top-15 finish on the PGA Tour.

DeChambeau joins Justin Thomas as the only rookies, so far, on the U.S. side. The 24-year-old is the hottest player in golf, after winning back-to-back FedExCup playoff events. A three-time winner this season, he’s guaranteed to be the No. 1 seed heading into the Tour Championship. DeChambeau might have little match-play experience as a pro, but he won the 2015 U.S. Amateur. 

DeChambeau, Mickelson and Woods were Nos. 9-11, respectively, in the U.S. points standings.

Furyk will round out his 12-man roster with one final selection at 9 a.m. ET Monday, following the conclusion of the BMW Championship here outside Philadelphia. Tony Finau, Kevin Kisner, Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay and Matt Kuchar are among those who seemingly are in the mix for the last spot on the team. Furyk also said that Woods will no longer serve as a vice captain, and he named three more to the role (to join Davis Love III and Steve Stricker): David Duval, Matt Kuchar and Zach Johnson.

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn will announce his four wild-card picks at 9 a.m. ET Wednesday.

The Ryder Cup will be held Sept. 28-30 at Le Golf National outside Paris.

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Koepka primed for CJ Cup win and world No. 1

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 6:00 am

Brooks Koepka wants a 2-for-1 at the CJ Cup. If he can collect his second non-major PGA Tour victory he can become world No. 1 for the first time in his career.

He’s in great position to accomplish his goal.

Koepka eagled the par-5 18th en route to a 7-under 65 in the second round at Nine Bridges in Juju Island, South Korea. At 8 under par, he is one back of 36-hole leader Scott Piercy (65).

Koepka, currently ranked third in the world, began the day three shots off the lead, but rapidly ascended the leaderboard. He birdied four of his first eight holes before finding trouble at the ninth. Koepka hooked his tee shot out of bounds, but the ninth is a par 5 and he was able to salvage bogey.

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That was his only dropped shot of the day.

The reigning Tour Player of the Year birdied the 12th and 14th holes in his bid to keep pace with Piercy. Koepka was two back as he played his final hole, where he knocked his second shot to 10 feet. He deftly converted the eagle effort to tie Piercy and earn a spot in Saturday’s final twosome. Piercy later pulled a shot ahead with a birdie at the ninth, his final hole of the day.

Koepka has officially won four PGA Tour events, but three of those are majors (2017, ’18 U.S. Open; 2018 PGA). His lone non-major win was the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

He can still reach world No. 1 with a solo second place, assuming Justin Thomas, currently world No. 4, doesn’t win this week.

That will take a mighty weekend effort by the defending champ.

Thomas also eagled the 18th hole to go from 1 over to 1 under. He shot 2-under 70 in the second round and is seven shots off the lead.

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'Go in'? Yes, JT wants an ace at the par-4 14th

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 5:11 am

Justin Thomas didn’t hesitate after hitting his tee shot on the 353-yard, par-4 14th in Round 2 of the CJ Cup.

“Go in,” he immediately said.

“Please go in,” he added.

Thomas’ tee shot was on a great line, but it landed just short of the green. Surprisingly, it took three more shots for his ball to "go in." After birdies on Nos. 12 and 13, Thomas parred the 14th.

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Watch: Dufner makes six (!) fist pumps after birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 4:53 am

Jason Dufner makes Ben Stein seem like Jonathan Winters. Dufner often looks mighty miserable for someone who plays golf for a living.

But not on Friday at the CJ Cup!

Dufner made a 20-footer for birdie at the 16th hole and “celebrated” with one-two-three-(pause)-four-five-six fist pumps. There could have been more, but the camera cut away.

That was Dufner’s third birdie on the back nine, which offset a triple bogey at the par-3 seventh, en route to an even-par 72. Good times.

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Watch: Paul C-ace-y makes hole-in-one at CJ Cup

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 2:35 am

Par-par-par-par-par-par. It was a boring second round over the first six holes for Paul Casey at the CJ Cup.

And then he aced the par-3 seventh.

Casey's tee shot from 176 tracked straight towards the hole and rolled in near the final revolution. That got him to 2 under par for the tournament. He was five off the lead, held by Chez Reavie, but bogeyed the ninth and 10th holes to give back those two strokes.

Hey, it's a no-cut event and a guaranteed paycheck. Drinks on Casey!