Golf Channel's second (not-so-annual) draft

By Jason SobelMay 5, 2014, 12:30 pm

When we held our first Golf Draft back in 2012, Tiger Woods was the No. 1 overall pick and Yani Tseng was the first LPGA player off the board.

Our latest edition proves a lot can change in two years - and a lot of us needed a mulligan.

Choosing golfers based on – as the initial guidelines stated – “earning potential, major championship promise and whom we’d most like to have on our ‘teams’ for years to come,” this year’s Golf Draft has a decidedly different look from the original.

Our art is mirroring life, as Woods relinquishes the top spot to Rory McIlroy, just as he once did on the world ranking.

Photos: Golf Channel's 2014 draft in images

Four players (Tseng, Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer and Bud Cauley) selected in the top 10 of the first draft were bypassed this time. A total of 16 players – half of the entire list – is a turnover from two years ago, with 17-year-old Lydia Ko rightfully becoming the highest-ranked player who was previously left off, moving up to sixth after three LPGA wins.

Of course, it remains an inexact science.

Among those still available for a hypothetical second round are PGA Tour champions Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson, Seung-yul Noh and Brandt Snedeker, and young up-and-comers Matthew Fitzpatrick and Patrick Rodgers. But for now, let’s focus on those who were selected rather than those who weren’t.

Thirty-two Golf Channel staffers. Thirty-two draft picks. Let the debate begin … 




1. Ryan Reiterman

Rory McIlroy

At 25, he’s halfway to the career Grand Slam. When he’s on, no one can touch him.

2. Tripp Isenhour

Jordan Spieth

Spieth and Tiger are only two players to start year with no status and end at the Tour Championship. Enough for me.

3. Ryan Lavner

Lexi Thompson

Awesome power, improved putter, closer’s mentality and fiercely competitive. Nice combo.

4. Jay Coffin

Tiger Woods

I get him here? My guy makes money just by showing up. I win.

5. Ben Daughan

Jason Day

At 26, he has at least a 10-year window to win multiple majors.

6. Jason Crook

Lydia Ko

Just turned 17 and is a rare teen phenom who will actually exceed the hype.

7. Randall Mell

Bubba Watson

We’re going to have fun with the biggest-hitting, most eccentric star in the game.

8. Todd Lewis

Adam Scott

His game suits every major venue even if one is ever played on the moon.

9. Ryan Burr

Patrick Reed

Has never blown a 54-hole lead, a trend that will serve him well the next few years.

10. Mercer Baggs

Michelle Wie

Picked her two years ago. Not passing her now that everything seems to be back on track.

11. Joe Posnanski

Dustin Johnson

May never harness all the talent but has a lot of it. He’s a good high-risk, high-reward choice.

12. Rex Hoggard

Inbee Park

Remember her? At 25 already has nine LPGA victories and won three-fifths of a single season slam.

13. Jerry Foltz

Stacy Lewis

Not motivated by money, but has earned a ton. A fierce competitor with all the tools needed to stay on top.

14. Whit Watson

Matt Kuchar

Young enough to contend for a long time and knocking on the door at majors. Top-10 machine.

15. Gary Williams

Justin Rose

With a major on his resume and consistent production every year, he’s a clean-up hitter in my lineup.

16. John Feinstein

Erik Compton

When he wins it’ll be the best story in the history of golf.

17. Charlie Rymer

Rickie Fowler

So much talent and his best years are all ahead of him.

18. @GCTigerTracker

Cheyenne Woods

Understandably, my meal ticket was gone early, so I have to keep it in the family.

19. Brandel Chamblee

Hideki Matsuyama

Will be the first Japanese player to win a major and, at 22, he will have that powerful, beautiful move for decades.

20. Al Tays

Kiradech Aphibarnrat

The Round Mound of Keeping it in Bounds is my favorite type of player – a heavy dude who can play.

21. Geoff Russell

Zach Johnson

Creeping up on 40 but he has another major in him and a legit shot to get into the Hall of Fame.

22. Kristi Setaro

Harris English

At 24, the Bulldog is just beginning to make his mark. He’s smart with the right demeanor and talent to add wins.

23. Bailey Mosier

Gary Woodland

He’s healthy, working with Butch Harmon, recently engaged and proved last year he’s just getting warmed up.

24. Matt Ginella

Brooks Koepka

Known for being Peter Uihlein’s roommate on Euro Challenge Tour. Within the next year roles will reverse.

25. Alan Robison

Phil Mickelson

Who’s more likely to win a major: Phil or most of the names in the previous eight spots on this list?

26. Scott Rude

Sergio Garcia

Has earned over $100 million off course with nine top-5s in majors. More maturity now after a humbling 2013.

27. George Savaricas

Victor Dubuisson

Just turned 24 and finished sixth last year in Race to Dubai. Could become the first Frenchman to win a major.

28. Damon Hack

Chesson Hadley

Already a PGA Tour winner with a terrific attitude and tons of upside.

29. Jason Sobel

Matteo Manassero

Took him in this draft two years ago and I’ve had no regrets since. Sticking with him.

30. Steve Burkowski

Peter Uihlein

Former No. 1-ranked junior and amateur, Rookie of the Year on Euro Tour, inside top 100 in the world.

31. John Hawkins

Scott Stallings

Any three-time Tour winner under age 30 available this late, you take him. Unless it’s Anthony Kim.

32. Will Gray

Keegan Bradley

Took him at 13 when we did this two years ago, so there’s certainly value at the 32nd pick. He’s only 27.

Getty Images

Stricker, Jobe share lead in Sioux Falls

By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2018, 11:57 pm

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Steve Stricker and Brandt Jobe topped the Sanford International leaderboard again Saturday after another cool and breezy day in the inaugural PGA Tour Champions event.

After matching Jerry Smith and David McKenzie with first-round 7-under 63s, Striker and Jobe each shot 67 to get to 10-under 130 at Minnehaha Country Club.

''It was a challenge out there today,'' Stricker said. ''It was gusty, the wind came out of the south, where we played yesterday it was out of the north, so it was a totally different golf course.''

Jobe made an 18-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th, and Stricker missed a 6-footer to leave them tied.

Full-field scores from the Sanford International

''It's pretty straightforward off the tee and the greens are what make it difficult at times and you've just got to be in the right spot to have good birdie putts at it,'' Stricker said. ''If not, then you've got to play pretty defensive at times. ... It's a simple game plan, but try to stay out of trouble and keep trying to put pressure on everybody.''

Stricker won in Arizona and Mississippi in consecutive starts in May for his first senior victories. Next week in France, he will be one of U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk's assistants.

Jobe birdied four of the last five holes. He won last year in Iowa for his lone senior title

''I think we kind of got used to what the wind was,'' Jobe said. ''Of course, there's some scoring holes on the back. The front played very difficult. It was just kind of try not to screw up for a while there.''

Smith was a stroke back after a 68.

Scott McCarron also had a 68 to get to 8 under. Woody Austin was 7 under after a 64.

McKenzie had a 77 to drop into a tie for 43rd at even par.

Getty Images

Final-round tee times: Tiger, Rory in last pairing

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 22, 2018, 11:40 pm

It's Tiger Woods. It's Rory McIlroy. It's the final pairing in the final round of the Tour Championship.

Here's a look at tee times for Sunday at East Lake Golf Club.

(All times ET)

11:45AM: Patrick Reed (+8), Phil Mickelson (+11)

11:55AM: Keegan Bradley (+5), Bubba Watson (+5)

12:05PM: Brooks Koepka (+4), Francesco Molinari (+4)

12:15PM: Kevin Na (+2), Patrick Cantlay (+2)

12:25PM: Bryson DeChambeau (+2), Cameron Smith (+2)

12:35PM: Jason Day (E), Rickie Fowler (E)

12:45PM: Marc Leishman (E), Patton Kizzire (E)

12:55PM: Tommy Fleetwood (-2), Hideki Matsuyama (-1)

1:05PM: Justin Thomas (-4), Webb Simpson (-3)

1:15PM: Gary Woodland (-4), Xander Schauffele (-4)

1:25PM: Aaron Wise (-4), Dustin Johnson (-4)

1:35PM: Tony Finau (-5), Billy Horschel (-5)

1:45PM: Jon Rahm (-6), Paul Casey (-5)

1:55PM: Justin Rose (-9), Kyle Stanley (-6)

2:05PM: Tiger Woods (-12), Rory McIlroy (-9)

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FedExCup projections through Rd. 3 of the Tour Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 22, 2018, 11:26 pm

Justin Rose remains the man to beat for the FedExCup title. Though he trails Tiger Woods by three shots through three rounds of the Tour Championship, he's still the projected winner of the $10 million bonus.

Woods can still win the cup if he wins the Tour Championship and Rose finishes in a three-way tie for fifth or worse. He also needs Bryson DeChambeau [currently T-21] to finish in a two-way tie for 15th or worse and Tony Finau [T-6] to finish in a two-way tie for third or worse.

Here are the FedExCup projections with 18 holes to play at East Lake Golf Club.

FedExCup Rank PLAYER NAME FedExCup Points
1 2 Justin Rose 2780
2 20 Tiger Woods 2219
3 1 Bryson DeChambeau 2160
4 3 Tony Finau 1887
5 4 Dustin Johnson 1576
6 5 Justin Thomas 1560
7 17 Rory McIlroy 1252
8 6 Keegan Bradley 1247
9 7 Brooks Koepka 1099
10 9 Billy Horschel 1007
11 8 Bubba Watson 927
12 24 Jon Rahm 660
13 25 Kyle Stanley 651
14 10 Cameron Smith 640
15 11 Webb Simpson 612
16 12 Jason Day 560
17 18 Xander Schauffele 531
18 26 Paul Casey 518
19 13 Francesco Molinari 491
20 21 Aaron Wise 486
21 16 Patrick Cantlay 453
22 19 Tommy Fleetwood 451
23 14 Phil Mickelson 448
24 15 Patrick Reed 432
25 28 Gary Woodland 413
26 23 Rickie Fowler 374
27 27 Hideki Matsuyama 354
27 22 Kevin Na 354
29 29 Marc Leishman 316
30 30 Patton Kizzire 307
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TT postscript: 'Good Lord' what a start to Rd. 3

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 22, 2018, 11:08 pm

ATLANTA – Sweet fancy Moses! That might be southern slang or just something heard on “Seinfeld,” but, holy moly does it apply to what we witnessed from Tiger Woods early Saturday afternoon. Here are some things I think I think after Round 3 of the Tour Championship.

• I don’t just think that Tiger has a three-shot lead with one round to play. That’s a cold, hard fact. His 5-under 65 at East Lake could have been much lower, but it’s hard to complain when you go from co-leader to 3 up by day’s end. Take a look at this start:

Six birdies in his first seven holes. That’s prettier than a peach in June [definitely southern slang, and just terrible]. He couldn’t keep the pace, and played his final 11 holes in 1 over. But that start was a work of art. Take it to France next week and hang it in the Louvre.

"Yeah, I got off to a nice start there. I made some nice putts," Woods said in near disbelief. "Good Lord."

• It felt like old times out there today. The crowd was roaring. Our man couldn’t miss. And it didn’t look like anyone could step up to his challenge. Ultimately, his tepid finish allowed Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy to stay within shouting distance. Thanks to a McIlroy birdie and a Rose par at the last, it’s Rory who gets to play alongside Tiger on Sunday.

• Can Tiger skip the ninth and 16th holes tomorrow? He’s played those two in a combined 5 over par this week, making bogey on both in the third round. He was fortunate to only drop one shot on 16, thanks to an incredible fourth shot.

Said Tiger: "The fourth shot was money, because I was practicing that in the practice round, hitting a 56 or a 60 [degree wedge], and I couldn't quite get it right. So I went with a 60 today, and I made sure I hooked it in there with a little bit of hook spin so that first hop kicked through the grain, and it came out nicely."

• Many of you noticed Tiger’s feet kept slipping on tee shots. I’d love to give you an explanation, but even Tiger doesn’t know why.

"My foot slipped a lot today. I don't know why," he said. "I'll analyze some of the video and some of the stuff, and we'll figure it out for tomorrow."

• Can Tiger win the FedExCup? He sure can. He needs to win tomorrow and then have Rose finish in a three-way tie for fifth or worse. He also needs Bryson DeChambeau [currently T-21] to finish in a two-way tie for 15th or worse and Tony Finau [T-6] to finish in a two-way tie for third or worse. But while the $10 million bonus would be nice, it’s just that: a bonus. Let’s end this five-year winless drought and get No. 80!