Hot Seat: It's getting hot in here

By Randall MellJanuary 24, 2012, 3:08 pm

The mercury is rising on the Hot Seat thermometer.

With most of the game’s best players in action somewhere this week, it’s time again to gauge who is facing the most heat.

Here is our special heat index with the PGA Tour moving to the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and the European Tour to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at the United Arab Emirates.

Smoldering britches – Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods vs. Jack Nicklaus.

Is golf’s most compelling competition merely on hold? Or is it really over?

If Woods follows up his Chevron World Challenge victory in his last start with a victory at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, it will feel like his pursuit of Nicklaus is about to resume in earnest again.

That would re-ignite the game with possibilities.

A Woods win this week would mean something significant with the top four players in the world rankings at Abu Dhabi.

Woods and Nicklaus are still the only real rivals in the game today. Whether Woods can catch Nicklaus still holds the most potential for captivating folks whether they’re golf fans or not. A Woods’ victory in an event this week re-ignites the possibility he is ready to make Nicklaus feel like he is on the hot seat. It’s ultimately what any Woods resurgence is about.

Luke Donald

Middle Eastern shatta sauce – Luke Donald

The No. 1 player in the world can make a bold statement with a triumphant start to the new season.

Donald begins his 35th week atop the world rankings with No. 2 Lee Westwood, No. 3 Rory McIlroy and No. 4 Martin Kaymer all teeing it up with him at Abu Dhabi.

Notably, Ladbrokes doesn't rank Donald among its top three favorites this week. Kaymer, a three-time winner at Abu Dhabi, is favored at 13/2. McIlroy is at 7/1. Woods is next at 9/1. Westwood and Donald are each at 14/1.

Power has been richly rewarded at Abu Dhabi the last five years, with long-hitting Kaymer and Paul Casey having won the last five events there. Kaymer won in 2008, ’10 and ’11 and Casey in ’07 and ’09.

Donald’s best finish at Abu Dhabi was a tie for 11th in 2008, which is also his only appearance in the event.

McIlroy finished second there last year, third there in 2010 and tied for fifth there in 2009.

Westwood tied for second there in 2008.

Martin Kaymer

In the dragon’s lair – Martin Kaymer

With back-to-back victories at Abu Dhabi, with three titles in the last four years, Kaymer is expected to play well.

Over his last two victories there, Kaymer’s scoring average is 66.3. His high score is a 67 in his last eight tournament rounds there. He beat runner-up McIlroy by eight shots last year. It’s going to be awfully difficult for Kaymer to top what he has already done at Abu Dhabi.

Bubba Watson 

General Lee tailpipe hot – Bubba Watson

Now that he owns the famed car from the TV show the Dukes of Hazzard, what is left to want?

What prize tops the General Lee?

It might feel like it is all downhill for Watson at Torrey Pines as he defends his title at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Ernie Els 

Safari sunburn – Ernie Els

What is left in the tank for the Big Easy?

At 42, Els can’t be finished winning big events yet, can he? He can’t actually be done playing in the Masters, can he? Els isn’t yet qualified to play at Augusta National this spring.

With a final-round 67 at the Volvo Golf Champions in his South African homeland on Sunday, Els came from four shots back to get in a playoff with Branden Grace and Retief Goosen. Grace ended up winning, but Els took a nice step forward, making putts to give himself a chance after a winless 2011. He’ll try to build on that at Torrey Pines.

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Pairings, tee times set for championship match

By Jay CoffinMay 23, 2018, 1:02 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – Alabama coach Mic Potter has three first-team All-Americans on this team. It’s little surprise that all three are going out first in the Crimson Tide’s championship match against Arizona Wednesday at Karsten Creek.

Potter tinkered with his lineup in both the quarterfinal victory over Kent State and the semifinal win over USC. But with the NCAA title on the line, this one was a no brainer.

“We don’t want to sacrifice anything,” Potter said. “We just want to give ourselves a chance to win every match.”

Arizona kept its lineup the same all day Tuesday in defeating Pac-12 foes UCLA and Stanford in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. That meant junior Bianca Pagdanganan, the Wildcats grittiest player this week, was in the last match of the day. She won twice.

Now, with all the marbles riding on the championship match, Arizona coach Laura Ianello moved Pagdanganan up to the third spot to assure that her match is key to the final outcome.

Junior Haley Moore, Arizona’s best player all year, is in the fifth spot and will face Alabama senior Lakareber Abe.

“Win or lose tomorrow, this has been a helluva ride,” Ianello said.

Alabama (2) vs. Arizona (8)

3:25PM ET: Lauren Stephenson (AL) vs. Yu-Sang Hou (AZ)

3:35PM ET: Kristen Gillman (AL) vs. Gigi Stoll (AZ)

3:45PM ET: Cheyenne Knight (AL) vs. Bianca Pagdanganan (AZ)

3:55PM ET: Angelica Moresco (AL) vs. Sandra Nordaas (AZ)

4:05PM ET: Lakareber Abe (AL) vs. Haley Moore (AZ)

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Women's NCAA finals: Arizona vs. Alabama

By Jay CoffinMay 22, 2018, 11:49 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – It’s the SEC vs. the Pac 12 for the women’s NCAA Championship; Alabama vs. Arizona, to be more specific.

Both the Crimson Tide and Wildcats cruised in their respective semifinal matches Tuesday at Karsten Creek. Alabama easily beat USC, 3-1-1; Arizona defeated match-play juggernaut Stanford, 4-1.

Alabama’s top three players, Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight were unstoppable forces in both matches on the marathon day. Stacked in the top three positions in the semifinals all three won their matches on the 17th hole, making the last two matches inconsequential.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage

Arizona, the eighth seed, won as decisively as second-seeded Alabama, but needed a miracle to be in this position in the first place.

Junior Bianca Pagdanganan drained a 30-footer for eagle on the last hole of stroke play on Monday to get the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor, which they won on the second hole. Then on Tuesday, presumably running on fumes, they downed top-seeded UCLA in the morning, then crushed Pac-12 foe Stanford in the afternoon.

Pagdanganan, Gigi Stoll and Hayley Moore each won both matches for Arizona on the hot, draining day.

“I don’t want to let them down so I do my best to rise to the occasion,” Pagdanganan said.

Said Arizona coach Laura Ianello: “How many players, when you tell them under pressure that you need them, can really handle it,” Ianello said about Pagdanganan. “This kid can.”

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 11:30 pm

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals were contested Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live finals action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.


TV Times (all times ET):

4-8PM: Match-play finals (Click here to watch live)

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Fort Worth Invitational: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 10:30 pm

The PGA Tour makes the short drive from Dallas to Fort Worth and Colonial Country Club. Here are the key stats and information for this week. Click here for full-field tee times.

How to watch:

Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 4-7PM ET; live stream:

Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 4-7PM ET; live stream:

Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream:; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream:; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

Purse: $7.1 million

Course: Colonial Country Club (par 70, 7,209 yards)

Defending champion: Kevin Kisner. Last year he defeated Jordan Spieth, Sean O’Hair and Jon Rahm by one stroke

Notables in the field

Jordan Spieth

• Finished T-2, 1st and T-2 in last three starts in this tournament

• 52 under par at Colonial last five years (best of anyone by 27 strokes in that span)

• 100 birdies/eagles made here last five years (most of anyone in that span)

Rickie Fowler

• First start since missed cut at The Players

• More missed cuts (3) than top-10 finishes (2) in 2018

Jon Rahm at the 2018 WGC-Mexico Championship.

Jon Rahm

• Finished T-2 in this tournament last year (66 in final round)

• 17 top-5 finishes in 46 official worldwide individual starts as professional

Webb Simpson

• First start since Players victory (fifth PGA Tour win)

• Fifth on Tour in strokes gained: putting this season (177th two seasons ago)