Ultimate Match Play Championship bios

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2013, 11:00 am

Statistical bios for the players competing in Golf Channel's Ultimate Match Play Championship, in order of seed. Click here to vote in the finals! 

Jack NicklausNo. 1 seed: Jack Nicklaus

PGA Tour wins: 73

Major victories: 18

Ultimate fact: Holds the all-time record for most majors won, capturing his first in 1962 and his last, at age 46, in 1986.

Tiger WoodsNo. 2 seed: Tiger Woods

PGA Tour wins: 74

Major victories: 14

Ultimate fact: The only player to win all four professional majors consecutively, and one of only two to win the career Grand Slam three times over.

Ben HoganNo. 3 seed: Ben Hogan

PGA Tour wins: 64

Major victories: 9

Ultimate fact: Won five majors after a life-threatening car accident in 1949, including all three in which he entered during the 'Hogan Slam' of 1953.

Bobby JonesNo. 4 seed: Bobby Jones

Amateur wins: 30

Major victories: 7

Ultimate fact: Won the 'Grand Slam' in 1930 (U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open, British Amateur and British Open) and retired shortly thereafter at age 28.

Sam SneadNo. 5 seed: Sam Snead

PGA Tour wins: 82

Major victories: 7

Ultimate fact: Holds the record for most official PGA Tour wins, and is credited with at least 135 worldwide victories.

Arnold PalmerNo. 6 seed: Arnold Palmer

PGA Tour wins: 62

Major victories: 7

Ultimate fact: Won at least one PGA Tour event each year from 1955-71, and in 1963 became the first player to eclipse $100,000 in single-season earnings.

Byron NelsonNo. 7 seed: Byron Nelson

PGA Tour wins: 52

Major victories: 5

Ultimate fact: Won 18 times on the PGA Tour in 1945, including 11 tournaments in a row - both records that stand today.

Walter HagenNo. 8 seed: Walter Hagen

PGA Tour wins: 45

Major victories: 11

Ultimate fact: Won 22 straight 36-hole matches at the PGA Championship, capturing the event four consecutive times (1924-27).

Gary PlayerNo. 9 seed: Gary Player

PGA Tour wins: 24

Major victories: 9

Ultimate fact: Recorded 163 worldwide wins during his career and is one of only five players to win the modern-day career Grand Slam.

Tom WatsonNo. 10 seed: Tom Watson

PGA Tour wins: 39

Major victories: 8

Ultimate fact: Won the Open Championship five times, including four in Scotland, where he will return in 2014 as captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Gene SarazenNo. 11 seed: Gene Sarazen

PGA Tour wins: 38

Major victories: 7

Ultimate fact: Struck the 'Shot heard round the world,' a 4-wood holed for a double-eagle 2 on the 15th hole at Augusta National en route to winning the 1935 Masters.

Billy CasperNo. 12 seed: Billy Casper

PGA Tour wins: 51

Major victories: 3

Ultimate fact: Won the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic Club in a playoff despite trailing leader Palmer by seven shots with nine holes to play.

Lee TrevinoNo. 13 seed: Lee Trevino

PGA Tour wins: 29

Major victories: 6

Ultimate fact: Completed an unprecedented international sweep in 1971, winning the U.S., British and Canadian Opens in the same season.

Nick FaldoNo. 14 seed: Nick Faldo

PGA Tour wins: 9 (30 European Tour wins)

Major victories: 6

Ultimate fact: Competed in more Ryder Cups (11) and accrued more individual points (25) than any other player in the event's history.

Seve BallesterosNo. 15 seed: Seve Ballesteros

PGA Tour wins: 9 (50 European Tour wins)

Major victories: 5

Ultimate fact: Holds the record for most career European Tour wins on the circuit from 1976-95. Won 91 times around the world.

Phil MickelsonNo. 16 seed: Phil Mickelson

PGA Tour wins: 40

Major victories: 4

Ultimate fact: Won the 1991 Northern Telecom Open at age 20 while still enrolled at Arizona State, becoming just the second amateur to win on the PGA Tour since 1954.

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Wise: 'No hard feelings' over Nelson missed kiss

By Will GrayMay 23, 2018, 10:18 pm

Aaron Wise left the AT&T Byron Nelson with his first PGA Tour trophy and a seven-figure paycheck. But lost in the shuffle of closing out his breakthrough victory in near-darkness was his failed attempt for a celebratory kiss with his girlfriend on the 18th green.

Wise appeared to go in for a peck after his family joined him on the putting surface, but instead he and his girlfriend simply laughed and hugged. After the moment gained a bit of online notoriety, Wise told reporters at the Fort Worth Invitational that the young couple simply laughed it off.

"Yeah, I have been giving her some s--- about that," Wise said. "A lot has been made about it. It's really nothing. Like I was saying, she was just so excited to surprise me. I was kind of ruining the surprise a little bit that she was shocked, and she didn't even see me going in for the kiss."

At age 21, Wise is now one of the youngest winners on Tour. He explained that while both his girlfriend and mother flew in to watch the final round at Trinity Forest Golf Club, where he shared the 54-hole lead and eventually won by three shots, he took some of the surprise out of their arrival in true millennial fashion - by looking up his girlfriend's location earlier in the day.

Still getting used to his newfound status on Tour, Wise downplayed any controversy surrounding the kiss that wasn't.

"No hard feelings at all," Wise said. "We love each other a ton and we're great. It was a funny moment that I think we'll always be able to look back at, but that's all it really was."

Mmm Visuals / Lancaster Country Club

Giving back: Chun creates education fund at site of Open win

By Randall MellMay 23, 2018, 8:04 pm

South Korea’s In Gee Chun is investing in American youth.

Chun broke through on the largest stage in women’s golf, winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago, and she’s making sure Lancaster, Pa., continues to share in what that brought her.

Chun is preparing for next week’s U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek outside Birmingham, Ala., but she made a special stop this week. She returned to the site of her breakthrough in Pennsylvania on Tuesday and Wednesday, launching the In Gee Chun Lancaster Country Club Education Fund. She announced Tuesday that she’s donating $10,000 to seed the fund. She’s expected to raise more than $20,000 for the cause in a fundraising dinner at the club Wednesday evening. The fund will annually award scholarships to Lancaster youth applicants, including Lancaster Country Club caddies and children of club employees.

“I’m excited to be back here,” said Chun, who put on a junior clinic during her stay and also played an outing with club members. “Winning the U.S. Women’s Open here in Lancaster gave me the opportunity to play on the LPGA and make one of my dreams come true.”

Chun also supports a fund in her name at Korea University, where she graduated, a fund for various “social responsibility” projects and for the educational needs of the youth who create them.

“Education is very important to me,” Chun said. “I would like to help others reach their goals.”

Chun made donations to the Lancaster General Health Foundation in 2015 and ’16 and to Pennsylvania’s J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust last year. Lancaster Country Club officials estimate she has now made donations in excess of $40,000 to the community.

“We are grateful In Gee’s made such a wonderful connection to our community and club,” said Rory Connaughton, a member of Lancaster Country Club’s board of governors. “She’s a special person.”

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Spieth admits '16 Masters 'kind of haunted me'

By Will GrayMay 23, 2018, 6:38 pm

Two years ago, Jordan Spieth arrived at Colonial Country Club and promptly exorcised some demons.

He was only a month removed from blowing the 2016 Masters, turning a five-shot lead with nine holes to play into a shocking runner-up finish behind Danny Willett. Still with lingering questions buzzing about his ability to close, he finished with a back-nine 30 on Sunday, including birdies on Nos. 16-18, to seal his first win since his Augusta National debacle.

Returning this week to the Fort Worth Invitational, Spieth was asked about the highs and lows he's already experienced in his five-year pro career and candidly pointed to the 2016 Masters as a "low point" that had a lingering effect.

"Even though it was still a tremendous week and still was a really good year in 2016, that kind of haunted me and all the questioning and everything," Spieth told reporters. "I let it tear me down a little bit. I kind of lost a little bit of my own freedom, thoughts on who I am as a person and as a golfer."

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Spieth went on to win the Australian Open in the fall of 2016, and last year he added three more victories including a third major title at Royal Birkdale. Given more than two years to reflect - and after nearly nabbing a second green jacket last month - he admitted that the trials and tribulations of 2016 had a lasting impact on how he perceives the daily grind on Tour.

"I guess to sum it up, I've just tried to really be selfish in the way that I think and focus on being as happy as I possibly can playing the game I love. Not getting caught up in the noise, good or bad," Spieth said. "Because what I hear from the outside, the highs are too high from the outside and the lows are too low from the outside from my real experience of them. So trying to stay pretty neutral and just look at the big picture things, and try and wake up every single day loving what I do."

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Spieth offers Owen advice ahead of Web.com debut

By Will GrayMay 23, 2018, 6:22 pm

As country music sensation Jake Owen gets set to make his Web.com Tour debut, Jordan Spieth had a few pieces of advice for his former pro-am partner.

Owen played as a 1-handicap alongside Spieth at this year's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and this week he is playing his own ball on a sponsor invite at the Nashville Open. Owen joked with a Web.com Tour reporter that Spieth "shined" him by not answering his text earlier in the week, but Spieth explained to reporters at the Fort Worth Invitational that the two have since connected.

"We texted a bit yesterday. I was just asking how things were going," Spieth said. "I kind of asked him the state of his game. He said he's been practicing a lot. He said the course is really hard. I mean, going into it with that mindset, maybe he'll kind of play more conservative."

Owen is in the field this week on the same type of unrestricted sponsor exemption that NBA superstar Steph Curry used at the Web.com's Ellie Mae Classic in August. As Owen gets set to make his debut against a field full of professionals, Spieth noted that it might be for the best that he's focused on a tournament a few hundred miles away instead of walking alongside the singer as he does each year on the Monterey Peninsula.

"Fortunately I'm not there with him, because whenever I'm his partner I'm telling him to hit driver everywhere, even though he's talented enough to play the golf course the way it needs to be played," Spieth said. "So I think he'll get some knowledge on the golf course and play it a little better than he plays Pebble Beach. He's certainly got the talent to be able to shoot a good round."