Bunker Shots Repeats and Returns

By Randall MellNovember 9, 2010, 9:08 pm

Blasting into the week ahead, from Tiger's title defense to Lorena Ochoa's return to the LPGA . . .

PGA Tour

PGA TOUR

Children’s Miracle Network Classic

Disney presents golf’s version of a steel-cage match this week.

It’s a free-for-all for job security with the final Fall Series event focusing on players trying to lock up fully exempt status with a finish among the top 125 on the money list or trying to gain conditional status with a finish among the top 150.

Every player ranked from 117th to 137th on the money list is in this week’s field except for Henrik Stenson, who’s exempt next year by virtue of having won The Players Championship last year.

Bunker shot: Troy Matteson is 125th on the money list, but he doesn’t qualify as a true bubble boy. Matteson is fully exempt next year, a benefit from having won a two-year exemption with his victory at the Frys.com Open last year. Nicholas Thompson is a bubble boy at No. 150, the lowest spot a player can finish to secure conditional status for next year.

Mell’s picks: Winner – Justin Leonard. Contender – Jeff Overton. Dark horse – George McNeill.

Course: Disney’s Magnolia (Par 72, 7,516 yards) and Palms (Par 72, 6,957 yards) courses, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Purse: $4.7 million (winner’s share, $846,000).

TV times: Golf Channel – Thursday-Sunday, 1-4 p.m. (ET).

Last year: Stephen Ames defeated George McNeill and Justin Leonard in a playoff.


PGA OF AUSTRALASIA

JBWere Masters

PGA TOUR of AustralasiaTiger Woods is teeing it up in defense of his title, his last victory anywhere.

Who has he got to beat?

Woods is one of four players in the field among the top 50 in the world rankings. No. 21 Robert Allenby, No. 30 Camilo Villegas and No. 38 Geoff Ogilvy join No. 2 Woods. Sergio Garcia is also in the field. So is Stuart Appleby, the man who shot 59 winning the Greenbrier Classic this summer.

Bunker shot: So much of this season has been about endings for Woods, from his divorce to his streak of winning PGA Tour events and his latest run at No. 1. While Woods says he believes he’s making progress with his new swing, a victory could mark another ending, the end of the mounting bad stuff and the start of a new run as he prepares for the 2011 season. On a short, tight course, Woods stiffest competition may be Victoria Golf Club. It’s the case with every player in this field. It’s a significantly different test from what Woods faced when he won at Kingston Heath last year.

Mell’s picks: Winner – Robert Allenby. Contender – Tiger Woods. Dark horse – Greg Chalmers.

Course: Victoria Golf Club, Cheltenham, Victoria, Australia. Par 72, 6,865 yards.

Purse: $1.52 million (winner’s share, $273,000).

TV times: Golf Channel – Wednesday, 8:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (ET); Thursday-Saturday, 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (ET).

Last year: Tiger Woods won, finishing two shots ahead of Greg Chalmers at the Kingston Heath Course.


LPGA 

LPGA Tour _new

Lorena Ochoa Invitational by Banamex and Corona Light

Can Michelle Wie defend her title?

Will Lorena Ochoa be more than a polite host and show she’s still got serious game?

Wie’s return to the home of her first LPGA title and Ochoa’s return to her home in Guadalajara make for good storylines this week. There are multiple subplots with so much up for grabs with two events left in the season. The weekly battle for No. 1, Rolex Player of the Year, the Vare Trophy and the LPGA money title are all tightly contested.

Bunker shot: Ochoa says she’s been practicing three to four hours a day in “retirement.” She just won the Mission Hills Star Trophy celebrity pro-am in China. She’s relaxed and refreshed with nothing to lose. Sounds like a formula that could put her in the mix more than six months since she announced she was stepping away as a full-time player. Ochoa’s the story of the year in women’s golf no matter what happens this week, but her story grows more like a Hollywood script with a victory in her hometown this week.

Mell’s picks: Winner – Paula Creamer. Contender – Michelle Wie. Dark horse – Lorena Ochoa.

Course: Guadalajara Country Club, Guadalajara, Mexico.

Purse: $1.1 million (winner’s share, $165,000).

TV times: Golf Channel, Thursday-Sunday, 4-6:30 p.m. (ET).

Last year: Michelle Wie broke through to win her first LPGA title, finishing two shots ahead of Paula Creamer.


EUROPEAN TOUR

Barclay’s Singapore Open

European TourWith all four reigning major championship winners in the field, maybe this is the week we should crown the real winner of the PGA Grand Slam.

Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen and Martin Kaymer join defending champion Ian Poulter in the strongest field in golf this week.

Count Francesco Molinari, red hot off his WGC-HSBC Champions victory last weekend, as the player to beat. Matteo Manassero, Italy’s other hot commodity, is making a start three weeks after his breakthrough victory at the Castello Masters. Padraig Harrington, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel and Y.E. Yang also are in the field.

Bunker shot: Mickelson gets a good look at the future of golf this week as he’s paired in the first two rounds with Manassero, who at 17 is the youngest winner in the history of a European Tour event. If turning 40 in June didn’t make Mickelson feel the advance of age, two days with Manassero might.

Mell’s picks: Winner – Francesco Molinari. Contender – Ian Poulter. Dark horse – Arjun Atwal.

Course: Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong (par 71, 7,300 yards) and Tanjong (par 71, 6,625 yards) courses, Sentosa, Singapore.

Purse: $6 million (winner’s share, $994,000).

TV times: Golf Channel – Wednesday-Saturday, 1:30-4:30 a.m. (ET) with replays 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (ET).

Last year: Ian Poulter won wire-to-wire.

Getty Images

2018 NCAA Golf Championships TV Schedule

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 21, 2018, 12:29 pm

Golf Channel will shine a spotlight on college golf across the next two weeks at the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf National Championships. With more than 60 hours of live tournament and news coverage on-site from Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater Oklahoma (Monday-Wednesday May 21-23 and May 28-30), Golf Channel’s coverage connects 18 straight days of live tournament golf.

Watch live coverage of the NCAA Golf Championships beginning Monday, May 21 at 4pm ET on Golf Channel and streaming.

Keep up with the social media conversation by following Golf Channel on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Join in by using #NCAAGolf 

Golf Channel NCAA Women’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May 21: Individual National Championship  4-8 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 22:Quarterfinals, Team Match Play 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 22: Semifinals, Team Match Play 4-8 p.m. (Live)

Wednesday, May 23:Team Match Play National Championship 4-8 p.m. (Live)

 

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May 28: Individual National Championship 4-8 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 29: Quarterfinals, Team Match Play 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 29: Semifinals, Team Match Play 4-8 p.m. (Live)

Wednesday, May 30: Team Match Play National Championship 4-8 p.m. (Live)

Getty Images

AT&T Byron Nelson purse payout: Wise a millionaire

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 21, 2018, 12:05 pm

PGA Tour rookie Aaron Wise earned his first Tour title on Sunday at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Trinity Forest:

1 Aaron Wise -23 $1,386,000
2 Marc Leishman -20 $831,600
T3 Branden Grace -19 $400,400
T3 J.J. Spaun -19 $400,400
T3 Keith Mitchell -19 $400,400
T6 Ryan Blaum -16 $257,950
T6 Kevin Na -16 $257,950
T6 Jimmy Walker -16 $257,950
T9 Adam Scott -15 $207,900
T9 Charles Howell III -15 $207,900
T9 Kevin Tway -15 $207,900
12 Brian Gay -14 $177,100
T13 Rory Sabbatini -13 $148,867
T13 Ethan Tracy -13 $148,867
T13 Matt Jones -13 $148,867
T16 Russell Knox -12 $115,500
T16 Hideki Matsuyama -12 $115,500
T16 Bronson Burgoon -12 $115,500
T16 Derek Fathauer -12 $115,500
T16 Joel Dahmen -12 $115,500
T21 Jordan Spieth -11 $80,080
T21 Billy Horschel -11 $80,080
T21 Robert Garrigus -11 $80,080
T21 Peter Uihlein -11 $80,080
T21 Martin Piller -11 $80,080
T26 Tyler Duncan -10 $55,825
T26 Anirban Lahiri -10 $55,825
T26 Parker McLachlin -10 $55,825
T26 Martin Flores -10 $55,825
T26 J.T. Poston -10 $55,825
T26 Shawn Stefani -10 $55,825
T32 Cody Gribble -9 $39,116
T32 Johnson Wagner -9 $39,116
T32 Geoff Ogilvy -9 $39,116
T32 Nick Taylor -9 $39,116
T32 C.T. Pan -9 $39,116
T32 Scott Piercy -9 $39,116
T32 Nicholas Lindheim -9 $39,116
T32 Fabian Gomez -9 $39,116
T32 Beau Hossler -9 $39,116
T32 Nate Lashley -9 $39,116
T42 Zac Blair -8 $23,184
T42 Abraham Ancer -8 $23,184
T42 Maverick McNealy -8 $23,184
T42 Denny McCarthy -8 $23,184
T42 Jonathan Byrd -8 $23,184
T42 Eric Axley -8 $23,184
T42 Sam Ryder -8 $23,184
T42 Brian Stuard -8 $23,184
T42 J.B. Holmes -8 $23,184
T42 Sung-hoon Kang -8 $23,184
T42 Andrew Putnam -8 $23,184
T53 Ben Crane -7 $17,659
T53 Steve Wheatcroft -7 $17,659
T53 Troy Merritt -7 $17,659
T53 Patrick Rodgers -7 $17,659
T53 Corey Conners -7 $17,659
T53 Robert Streb -7 $17,659
T59 Ryan Armour -6 $16,632
T59 Peter Malnati -6 $16,632
T59 Vaughn Taylor -6 $16,632
T59 Dominic Bozzelli -6 $16,632
T59 Adam Schenk -6 $16,632
T59 Hudson Swafford -6 $16,632
T59 Michael Thompson -6 $16,632
T66 Matt Atkins -5 $15,862
T66 Roberto Diaz -5 $15,862
T66 T.J. Vogel -5 $15,862
69 Sang-Moon Bae -4 $15,554
T70 Tom Lovelady -3 $15,246
T70 Cameron Percy -3 $15,246
T70 Rod Pampling -3 $15,246
73 Brian Davis -1 $14,938
74 Mark Wilson 1 $14,784
75 Robert Allenby 2 $14,630
Getty Images

Howell, Uihlein qualify for U.S. Open via OWGR

By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 11:02 am

Charles Howell III and Peter Uihlein both used strong play at the AT&T Byron Nelson to maintain their positions inside the top 60 in the latest Official World Golf Ranking, thereby ensuring exemptions to next month's U.S. Open.

Howell moved up three spots to No. 56 in the world thanks to a T-9 finish at Trinity Forest. He'll make his 10th career U.S. Open appearance, but just his second since 2009. Howell missed the cut at Olympic in 2012.

Uihlein finished T-21 in Dallas, which was barely enough to hold onto a top-60 spot as he actually fell two positions to No. 59. The former U.S. Amateur champ will make his third U.S. Open appearance and second in as many years.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


The drama for the final spot came down to the wire on Sunday, where Adam Scott's bid to unseat Chesson Hadley at No. 60 came up just short. Needing a solo ninth-place finish, Scott ended up in a three-way tie for ninth to begin the new week at No. 61. Hadley, who didn't play the Nelson, remained No. 60 and will make his U.S. Open debut.

Others to punch tickets to Shinnecock Hills include No. 52 Luke List, No. 53 Chez Reavie and No. 57 Dylan Frittelli. A second and final top-60 cutoff will be done based off the June 11 world rankings following the FedEx St. Jude Classic, with U.S. Open sectional qualifying conducted in England and the U.S. on June 4.

The only change among the top 10 in the rankings this week came at No. 10, where Paul Casey moved past Tommy Fleetwood despite an off week for both players. Justin Thomas remains world No. 1 for a second week, followed by Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose. Rickie Fowler remains No. 6, with Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama and Casey rounding out the top 10.

Taking the week off following a T-11 finish at The Players Championship, Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 82.

Getty Images

After Further Review: Nelson lost in the shuffle?

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 21, 2018, 3:40 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the Nelson's future ...

If the goal was “different” by bringing the AT&T Byron Nelson to Trinity Forest, consider it achieved. But bringing a world-class field south of Dallas could still be tricky.

Yes, the tournament can always rely on local resident and AT&T spokesman Jordan Spieth to throw his hat in the ring. But even with Spieth strolling the fairways this week, the field strength was among the worst all season for a full-point event.

The debut of the sprawling, links-like layout likely did little to sway the undecideds, with only the third round offering the challenging conditions that course co-designer Ben Crenshaw had envisioned. And the schedule won’t do them any favors next year, as a revamped itinerary likely puts the Nelson right before the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.

The course will inevitably get better with age, and Spieth expects positive word of mouth to spread. But it might be a while before the stars truly align for an event that, for the moment, feels lost in the shuffle of a hectic schedule. – Will Gray


On Jordan Spieth's putting ...

Jordan Spieth’s putting is plainly bad right now, but it isn’t going to stay this bad forever.

He is the second ranked player on Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green, just like he was last year. This putting slump has lingered, but it’s unfathomable to think this guy just forgot how to putt.

Sooner rather than later he’s going to remember he’s Jordan Spieth and the 40-footers are going to start pouring in. He’ll be telling Greller to go get the ball because he’s too far away and the tee is in the other direction.

Bottom line, the ball striking is for real and the putting slump will pass. He’ll win soon – maybe even as soon as this week. – Nick Menta


On golf and gambling ...

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court over tuned a federal ban on sports betting in most states, a move the PGA Tour and many professional sports leagues embraced as a tool to both build fan interest and grow revenue.

Experts estimate sports betting could become a $150-$200 billion annual industry, and even a small piece of that could be significant for golf, but there will be risks.

Unlike any other sport, golf is played on multiple fields simultaneously, which inherently creates risks when gambling is introduced to the equation. Although the Tour has gone to great pains to head off any potential problems, like all bets gambling comes with great rewards, and great risks. – Rex Hoggard