Golf Channel's inaugural draft

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 26, 2012, 1:00 pm

Note: Golf Channel did a mock player draft April 26, 2012. As the 2013 NFL Draft commences Thursday, take a look at how our picks fared.

Once per year, most of the other major sports host a cavalcade of three-button suit-wearing bonus babies, critical and criticized general managers, puffy-haired analysts and face-painted fans shrieking in delight or horror with the announcement of each name.

It's called a draft. And we in golf annually get cheated.

Until now.

For the first time ever, the crack staff here at Golf Channel – made up of editors, producers, writers, reporters and analysts – has put together our own Golf Draft, choosing future prospects based on earning potential, major championship promise and whom we'd most like to have on our 'teams' for years to come.

Some of the selections will have you applauding at home, some will be met with a chorus of boos and a few will leave you more than a bit puzzled and perplexed. (Two Charlies?! Well, at least one of 'em has time on his side...)

So grab the jersey of your favorite Golf Channel staffer, put on your Mel Kiper, Jr. wig and brace yourself for the biggest draft of the year. And remember: If you don't like some of these draft picks, there's always next year! – Jason Sobel




1. Rex Hoggard

Tiger Woods

Last two years aside, Red Shirt proved he still has that winning mojo with his five-stroke victory at Bay Hill and his “up side” is too good to pass.

2. Brandel Chamblee

Bubba Watson

Looks like a guy who should be chasing Snookie but instead has the world of golf in a headlock at the moment. Can’t wait to see what he does next.

3. Todd Lewis

Rory McIlroy

Top 20 finishes in seven of first 11 majors, including a dominating U.S. Open. He’s 22 and getting stronger with a great swing and a better head.

4. Bailey Mosier

Yani Tseng

Five majors by age 22 and three LPGA victories to start this season. She’ll win more majors than anyone else on this list. Bam.

5. Jason Crook

Rickie Fowler

People love him. He won a fan vote to be on Tiger Woods’ video game, comes from a self-taught mentality and has two decades to win majors.

6. George Malone

Phil Mickelson

Still the people’s golfer, he’ll contend in majors for a while and be the mentor to the next generation that Tiger will never be.

7. Jeremy Davis

Luke Donald

His brand is established having reached the world’s top spot and the hunger to discard Best Player Without a Major motivates him.

8. Kristi Setaro

Martin Kaymer

His game hasn’t been up to “Kaymer” standards lately but he’s 27 and his best golf is still in front of him. Tough to pass up the talent.

9. Scott Walker

Lexi Thompson

To use an NFL term, no one has more “upside” than Lexi. She has the wins to back up the hype and the competitive drive to match.

10. Gary Williams

Bud Cauley

Pocket Hercules is going to be a huge star and he loves competing. Some get suffocated by the attention but Bud will breath comfortably in rare air.

11. Mike Lowe

Hunter Mahan

Has cool California marketability and wins to back it up. The 29-year-old’s impressive resume includes five PGA Tour wins (with two WGCs).

12. The Golf Guy

Jason Day

Seasoned player yet only 24 years old. The young Australian has both major potential and major marketability, which is a great mix.

13. Will Gray

Keegan Bradley

With a major already, he’s proving that 2011 was no fluke. Still only 25, there’s reason to think he’ll contend at golf’s biggest events for a long time.

14. Whit Watson

Patrick Cantlay

Division I Player of the Year, low am at U.S. Open and Masters, holds course record at a PGA Tour event and just turned 20. He’ll be here awhile.

15. Geoff Russell

Matt Kuchar

Doesn’t win as often as he should, but he usually finishes in the top 10, makes a lot of money and is a consistency machine.

16. Tripp Isenhour

Harris English

Has all the tools to win a lot of tournaments, plus the calm demeanor to hold it together under the heat of major championships.

17. Jerry Foltz

Jordan Speith

At 18, only player not named Tiger to win multiple U.S. Juniors, and unlike Tiger, already making noise in limited PGA Tour starts.

18. Randall Mell

Charl Schwartzel

Scouts say he can’t block or tackle worth a lick, and his 40 time is no good, but this pick has proved he knows how to win the big one.

19. Erik Kuselias

Branden Grace

In “The Natural” they gave a speech that started “Losing is a disease.” Well the opposite is also true. Winning is a skill and Grace has it.

20. Brian Koressel

Charlie Woods

Granted Tiger’s son is just 3-years-old, but I’m banking on his earnings potential over the next, say, 50-plus years. I like his chances.

21. Byron Fisher

Steve Stricker

Yes, he’s getting on in age, but with his wedge game and putting, he’ll get a major before he’s done. He’s a Cheesehead, a quality I want on my team.

22. Jason Sobel

Matteo Manassero

Didn’t even need to trade up for this 19-year-old two-time Euro Tour winner who has already made the cut at each of the four majors.

23. Jay Coffin

Dustin Johnson

Damn you Sobel. I wanted Matteo. I’ll “settle” for a 27-year-old who is an absolute steal. He can win multiple majors and is the best athlete on Tour.

24. Al Tays

Gary Woodland

He’s a bomber, has awesome physical tools and a Tour victory already under his belt. It won’t be the last one.

25. Ryan Ballengee

Louis Oosthuizen

This is like the Packers committing robbery to get Aaron Rodgers. Louis has the sweetest swing, a major in his pocket and tasted blood for a second.

26. Win McMurry

Ryo Ishikawa

Considered taking Annika’s daughter, but proudly opt for the 20-year-old from Japan. He’s a rock star and his earning potential in Asia is through the roof.

27. Mercer Baggs

Michelle Wie

She’s like a projected top-5 pick who decided to return to school for a senior season and saw her stock plummet. If she finds desire, she’ll win majors.

28. John Hawkins

Kyle Stanley

Showed jumbo Pelotas winning in Phoenix the week after goal line fumble at Torrey Pines. Handsome, humble and hits it a mile.

29. Scott Rude

Ai Miyazato

Since trading pick 29 and a sleeve of balls for pick 25 wasn't viable I pick the LPGA's version of Luke Donald due to her age (26) and less depth on the tour.

30. Alan Robison

Adam Scott

Shocked the 31-year-old Aussie is still around. He has a Players, Tour Championship and WGC in his resume, so a major is the next step.

31. Charlie Rymer

Charlie Rymer

I’m 44, eyeing the Champions Tour, just joined the Y and signed up for NutriSystem. No future in TV because Chamblee uses big words I don’t understand, Feherty has the funny gig locked down.

32. Ben Daughan

Seung-yul Noh

At 21, he’s already a winner on the Euro Tour, won the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2010 and has made the cut in five of six majors played.

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Actor/Comedian Kevin Nealon Joins "Feherty," Monday, Aug. 20 at 9 p.m. ET

By Golf Channel Public RelationsAugust 16, 2018, 1:15 pm

Actor/comedian Kevin Nealon (Saturday Night Live) will join David Feherty on his self-titled, Emmy-nominated series Feherty presented by Farmers Insurance®, Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

Filmed at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles last month, the episode will focus on numerous topics, including:

  • Nealon discussing his start in comedy in Los Angeles, where he worked as a bartender and filled in for comics who failed to show up for their act.
  • Reminiscing about his appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1984.
  • Reflecting on his nine-year run as a cast member on Saturday Night Live.
  • Recounting the time when his golf ball struck Adam Sandler during a round they were playing with filming Happy Gilmore.
  • Recalling time spent with Arnold Palmer during the filming of a commercial a few years ago.

The following Monday (Aug. 27), Feherty will be joined by 20-time LPGA Tour winner Cristie Kerr at 9 p.m. ET, and then on Monday, Sept. 3 (9 p.m. ET), major champion Jimmy Walker will join as a guest for the series’ season finale.

A two-time Emmy-nominated host (Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host) Feherty has been described as “golf’s iconoclast,” by Rolling Stone, and “the last unscripted man on TV,” by Men’s Journal. His all-star lineup of golf-enthused and culturally relevant guests feature celebrities from across entertainment, sports and politics. To date, Feherty has sat down with four U.S. Presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump); sports legends Charles Barkley, Nick Saban, Stephen Curry and Bobby Knight; Hollywood icons Matthew McConaughey, Larry David and Samuel L. Jackson; World Golf of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson; and a host of current golf superstars including Paula Creamer, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Michelle Wie. Feherty is produced by Golf Channel’s original productions group, which also oversees production for Driver vs. Driver, Golf Films as well as the network’s instruction platforms.

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Thomas talks Tiger, plays 'Facebreakers' on 'Tonight Show'

By Grill Room TeamAugust 16, 2018, 1:14 pm

Justin Thomas didn't successfully defend his title at last week's PGA Championship, but he did get a guest spot on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon."

Thomas appeared on the talk show Wednesday night and, of course, a primary topic was Tiger Woods' run at the Wanamaker Trophy.

Thomas also played a game of "Facebreakers" with host Fallon, in which both men tried to break panes of glass emblazoned with the other's face with golf shots. Thomas nearly took out the real Fallon on his first shot, and after several uncessful attempts by both men, massive cheating ensued.

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Bhatia loses U.S. Am match after caddie-cart incident

By Ryan LavnerAugust 16, 2018, 2:21 am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – One of the hottest players in amateur golf had his U.S. Amateur run end Wednesday under unusual circumstances.

Akshay Bhatia, the 16-year-old left-hander who has been dominating the junior golf circuit over the past year, squandered a late lead in his eventual 19-hole loss to Bradford Tilley in the Round of 64.

Bhatia was all square against Tilley as they played Pebble Beach’s par-5 14th hole. After knocking his second shot onto the green, Bhatia and his caddie, Chris Darnell, stopped to use the restroom. Bhatia walked up to the green afterward, but Darnell asked what he thought was a USGA official for a ride up to the green.

“The gentleman was wearing a USGA pullover,” Darnell explained afterward. “I asked if I could get a ride to the green to keep up pace, and he said yes. So I hopped on the back, got up to the green, hopped off and thought nothing of it.”

Conditions of the competition prohibit players and caddies from riding on any form of transportation during a stipulated round unless authorized.

It turns out that the cart that Darnell rode on was not driven by a USGA official. Rather, it was just a volunteer wearing USGA apparel. A rules official who was in the area spotted the infraction and assessed Bhatia an adjustment penalty, so instead of winning the hole with a birdie-4 to move 1 up, the match remained all square.

U.S. Amateur: Articles, photos and videos

Even more interesting was what Darnell said happened earlier in the match.

“I had already seen the other caddie in our group do it on the ninth hole,” Darnell said. “Same thing – USGA pullover, drove him from the bathroom up to the fairway – so I assumed it was fine. I didn’t point it out at the time because everything seemed kosher. He had the USGA stuff on, and I didn’t think anything of it.”

Bhatia won the 15th hole to go 1 up, but lost the 17th and 19th holes with bogeys to lose the match. He didn’t blame the outcome on the cart incident.  

“What can you do? I’ll have plenty of opportunities to play in this tournament, so I’m not too upset about it,” he said. “It’s just frustrating because I deserved to win that match. That wasn’t the outcome I wanted, but I can’t do anything about it.”

Bhatia, of Wake Forest, N.C., has been a dominant force in the junior ranks, going back-to-back at the Junior PGA (including this dramatic hole-out), capturing the AJGA Polo, taking the Sage Valley Invitational and reaching the finals of the U.S. Junior.

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1, 2, 3 out: Thornberry, Suh, Morikawa lose at U.S. Am

By Ryan LavnerAugust 16, 2018, 1:14 am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The top three players in the world had a tough afternoon Wednesday at Pebble Beach.

Braden Thornberry, Justin Suh and Collin Morikawa – Nos. 1-3, respectively, in the World Amateur Golf Ranking – all lost their Round of 64 matches at the U.S. Amateur.

Thornberry lost, 2 and 1, to Jesus Montenegro of Argentina. As the No. 1 amateur in the world, the Ole Miss senior was in line to receive the McCormack Medal, which would exempt him into both summer Opens in 2019, provided he remains amateur. But now he’ll need to wait and see how the rankings shake out.

Suh and Morikawa could have played each other in the Round of 32, but instead they were both heading home early.

U.S. Amateur: Articles, photos and videos

Suh, a junior at USC, never led in his 1-up loss to Harrison Ott, while Cal's Morikawa lost to another Vanderbilt player, John Augenstein, in 19 holes.

Englishman Matthew Jordan is the fourth-ranked player in the world, but he didn’t make the 36-hole stroke-play cut.

The highest-ranked player remaining is Oklahoma State junior Viktor Hovland, who is ranked fifth. With his college coach, Alan Bratton, on the bag, Hovland beat his Cowboys teammate, Hayden Wood, 3 and 2, to reach the Round of 32.