You Oughta Know: Day returns, Spieth defends at TOC

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 2, 2017, 3:00 pm

The PGA Tour season resumes this week at Kapalua. Here's what You Oughta Know heading into the SBS Tournament of Champions. Stats courtesy Golf Channel research department:

Jason Day is back

• The world No. 1 has been out since withdrawing from the Tour Championship in September with a back injury.

• Day will have a new look as he signed an apparel deal with Nike. He will continue to play TaylorMade equipment.

• In the last three seasons, Day has the most wins of any player:

Jason Day: 8
Jordan Spieth: 7
Rory McIlroy: 4
Dustin Johnson: 4

• One reason why Day is No. 1? He's improved his strokes gained-putting stat over recent years:

2016: +1.13 (1st)
2015: +0.59 (6th)
2014: +0.32 (29th)
2013: +0.37 (30th)

• Last season, Day won wire-to-wire (no ties) twice. He became only the fourth player to do that since 1970, joining Tiger Woods (twice), Tom Watson and Johnny Miller:

2016: Jason Day (Arnold Palmer Inv., The Players)
2002: Tiger Woods (U.S. Open, WGC-Cadillac Champ.)
2000: Tiger Woods (U.S. Open, WGC-Bridgestone Inv.)
1980: Tom Watson (Hyundai TOC, AT&T Byron Nelson)
1974: Johnny Miller (Tucson Open, RBC Heritage)

Jordan Spieth is the defending champion

• He won last year by eight strokes. At 30 under par, Spieth's total was the second-lowest winning score to par in PGA Tour history in a 72-hole event. Ernie Els in 2003 posted 31 under at Kapalua.

• Spieth's 67.0 scoring average is the best all-time at Kapalua (minimum of eight rounds).

Dustin Johnson has never posted a score worse than par at TOC

• The U.S. Open champ has played 23 rounds at Kapalua with a scoring average of 69.3. He won the tournament in 2013.

• DJ has won in nine straight seasons, which is more than twice as long as the second-longest active streak:

Dustin Johnson: 9
Patrick Reed: 4
Jason Day: 3
Rory McIlroy: 3
Ryan Moore: 3
Jimmy Walker: 3
Bubba Watson: 3

Hideki Matsuyama has plenty of momentum

• Matsuyama finished 2016 out in style:

Hero World Challenge: Won
Taiheiyo Masters: Won
WGC-HSBC Champions: Won
CIMB Classic: 2nd
Japan Open Golf Champ.: Won
Tour Championship: 5th

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Bend it like Garcia? Sergio scores in player-caddie soccer match

By Grill Room TeamOctober 20, 2018, 2:44 am

Sergio Garcia has always been able to work his golf ball from left to right, but he's also - apparently - proficient at playing a draw with a soccer ball.

This year's Adalucia Valderrama Masters is suffering through some weather issues. But the highlight of the week - and, according to the Felipe Aguilar, "the year" - was always going to be the event's player-caddie soccer match, which you can see here:

The standout highlight? This bending, left-footed(!) strike from defending champion Sergio Garcia:

"Just a little bit of fun with the caddies and some of the players," Garcia nonchalantly says in the video. "Yeah, just a little bit of running and it was good fun."

Garcia, a diehard Real Madrid fan who kicked off El Clasico in his green jacket back in 2016, has previously appeared in professional matches for CF Borriol, a Tercera Division club in Spain. 

"It's good fun and whenever I'm around I get to practice with them a little bit and play a little bit here and there. This season, I've played probably five games, so not a lot, but I enjoy it," Garcia told CNN back in 2013.

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Dunlap, in 'excruciating pain,' shares early Dominion lead

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2018, 10:29 pm

RICHMOND, Va. – Scott Dunlap and Fran Quinn shot 5-under 67 on Friday to share the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' playoff-opening Dominion Energy Charity Classic.

Fighting a left wrist injury that will require surgery, Dunlap matched Quinn with a closing birdie on the par-5 18th on The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course.

''Maybe excruciating pain is the key to playing good golf because I'm not getting nervous on a shot, you're just trying to get through it,'' Dunlap said. ''The worst parts are gripping it and getting the club started ... that's when that bone hits that bone.''

The top 72 players qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener. The top 54 on Sunday will get spots next week in the Invesco QQQ Championship in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and the top 36 after that will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.

Full-field scores from the Dominion Energy Charity Classic

The 55-year-old Dunlap entered the week 29th in the standings. Playing through the wrist injury, he's coming off ties for ninth and seventh in his last two starts.

''I think I finally taped it the right way,'' Dunlap said. ''Or maybe it's the pain meds kicking in. I don't know, one of the two.''

Quinn is 64th in the standings.

''I finished up strong last year, too, kind of secured my privileges for the following year making eagle on 18,'' Quinn said. ''I played solid all day. I had a lot of opportunities. A couple hiccups.''

Jay Haas was a stroke back with Kent Jones, Stephen Ames, Woody Austin and Tim Petrovic. The 64-year-old Haas won the last of his 18 senior titles in 2016.

Vijay Singh and Miguel Angel Jimenez, second in the standings, were at 69 with Joey Sindelar, Tom Gillis, Billy MayfairLee Janzen, Glen Day and Gene Sauers.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer opened with a 70. The 61-year-old German star won the SAS Championship last week in North Carolina to take the points lead. He has two victories this year and 38 overall on the 50-and-over tour.

Defending Charles Schwab Cup champion Kevin Sutherland had a 71. He's 14th in the standings. No. 3 Jerry Kelly shot 72. No. 4 Scott McCarron, the 2016 tournament winner, had a 74.

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Weather continues to plague Valderrama Masters

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2018, 7:55 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Marc Warren helped his chances of retaining his European Tour card by moving into a tie for second place behind Englishman Ashley Chesters at the rain-hit Andalucia Valderrama Masters on Friday.

Bad weather interrupted play for a second straight day at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain before darkness caused the second round to be suspended until Saturday, with overnight Chesters still ahead at 5-under.

Weather delays on Thursday, including a threat of lightning, had kept 60 golfers from finishing their opening round. They included Scottish player Warren, who went out on Friday and finished his first round with a 2-under 69.

He then made three birdies to go with one bogey on the first nine holes of the second round before play was halted. He joined Frenchman Gregory Bourdy one shot behind Chesters.

Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters

''I'm hitting the ball as well as I have in a long time,'' Warren said. ''Hitting fairways and greens is the most important thing around here, so hopefully I wake up tomorrow with the same swing.''

Chesters and Bourdy were among several golfers unable to play a single hole in the second round on Friday.

Warren, a three-time European Tour winner, has struggled this season and needs a strong performance to keep his playing privileges for next year.

Currently ranked 144th, Warren needs to break into the top 116 to keep his card.

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Watch: Is this the up-and-down of the year?

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 3:30 pm

Play away from the pin? Just because there's a tree in your way? Not Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano. Watch him channel some Arnie (or, more appropriately, some Seve) with this shot in the Valderrama Masters: