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Genesis Open Preview

Written by: HOG Staff | Tuesday, February 13th, 2018
Categories: FedEx CupJordan SpiethPGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryTiger Woods
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Dustin Johnson

World number one Dustin Johnson heads to Pacific Pallisades this week to defend the Genesis Open title that he won by five strokes last year. Riviera is perfectly suited to Johnson’s game, thanks to his phenomenal power off the tee, and he has achieved T4 finishes in each of the last four years. Recent winners include Bubba Watson (twice) and James Hahn, both hit ferocious distances, so it is a course geared up for bombers. But the field is strong and deep, the presence of Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy means four of the world’s top eight will be in the mix.

Watson, meanwhile, will be hoping for a strong comeback after having the worst year of his career in 2017. He missed the cut in three of the four majors and has not won a tournament since 2016, sending him plummeting down to 117 in the world rankings. Riviera is the perfect setting to launch his return to greatness as the two-time Masters winner claimed victory here in 2014 and again in 2016, when he was ranked second in the world. If he can rediscover his magic touch around the greens he will be a force to be reckoned with, but that is a big if.

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson

Another man hoping for a return to glory is crowd favorite Phil Mickelson, who is now 47 years old and has not won since 2013. He has come mighty close on several occasions, and remains a magnificently talented player, but if he is to force his way into Ryder Cup contention he needs to secure a victory somewhere along the line. He won here in 2008 and 2009 and finished runner-up in 2012, so it is as good a place as any to return to the summit once again.

And then there is Mickelson’s old nemesis Tiger Woods, who will dominate headlines in the build-up to the tournament. He finished T23 on his return to action in the Farmers Insurance Open last month, and said he is looking forward to hosting and playing at the Genesis Open this week. After a long injury layoff, fans will be eager to see if he can recapture the sort of form that led him to eclipse Mickelson and hold down number one spot in the world rankings for many years.

But right now, it is the elite men that head the betting, and deservedly so. Make sure to look at Betonline for odds on the event, and you will see that Johnson is the clear favorite heading into the tournament. His record at Riviera is amazing: he won last year, finished runner-up in 2014 and lost a playoff in 2015. Last year, his five-stroke win catapulted him to the top of the world rankings and he consolidated his place by winning his next two tournaments, the WGC Mexico Championship and the WGC Dell Technologies Matchplay. He was the clear favorite heading into the Masters, only to fall down the stairs and find himself ruled out due to injury. But he has maintained his number one ranking, despite the ascent of Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm and the return to greatness of Jordan Spieth.

Riviera is a second shot test, where precision on approach is paramount to success. Spieth will be a danger here as he is turning a corner on greens and has three T25 finishes in five appearances at Riviera. He needs a win ahead of The Masters and will be going all out for victory. Thomas never knows when he is beaten, while McIlroy can win anywhere and has made a strong start to 2018, but right now Johnson is the man to beat.

 


Hopping on the Rickie Fowler Bandwagon

Written by: Tony Korologos | Saturday, April 15th, 2017
Categories: FedEx CupPGA TourPro GolfThe Masters
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Okay this has taken some time but I’ve had a change of heart about Rickie Fowler. When Fowler first hit the PGA Tour it seemed like the only notable thing about him was his orange jumpsuit, or what I like to call the “traffic cone” apparel script. Here it is below.

After this year’s Masters though I’ve changed my tune about Fowler. First I watched some of the pre-Masters interviews and was impressed. Then I saw Rickie on Thursday morning at the ceremonial tee shot, which was just Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. This was the first time Arnold Palmer was missing following his passing.  In my opinion, a historic moment in golf. There may have been, but I didn’t see any other tour players who made the effort to attend that ceremony.

At that point in time I realized something. Rickie gets it.

During the Masters he played very well and ended up in the 2nd to last group, paired with Jordan Spieth. Rickie was at the top of the leaderboard even during the final round, before Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia separated from the field.

So this is an official HOG-style hats off to Rickie Fowler. Looking forward to his first major win. Hopefully it comes before 73 attempts unlike Sergio’s did.


Top 10 Better Than Most Reasons You Know It’s THE PLAYERS Championship Week

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, May 10th, 2016
Categories: FedEx CupGolfPGA TourPro GolfTiger Woods
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the-players#10: Bloggers and social media accounts change their avatar to a photo of the par-3 17th “island green” at TPC Sawgrass

#9: Endless video/audio replays will show Hal Sutton hitting a 6-iron to the finishing hole and uttering the famous TPC statement “be the right club today.” It was the right club. Sutton beat Tiger Woods that day in 2000.

#8: Whenever the term “THE PLAYERS Championship” is written, “The Players” is written in ALL CAPS. That’s what they do.

#7: Video loops of the Fred Couples “par” on the par-3 17th, when he holed out from the tee after dunking his first shot in the water.

#6: Endless video replays of the long putt Tiger Woods drained on the par-3 17th en route to his victory. The putt was “better than most.”

#5: Endless video and commentary about how 482 million golf balls find a watery grave on the par-3 17th every year.

#4: Endless video of PGA Tour pros gagging on the par-3 17th with balls splashing long, short, off the railroad ties, off the path… aaaand into the water on the par-3 17th.

#3: Golf companies and their PR/ad firms show their TPC apparel scripts.

#2: “Dye-abolical” is a common buzzword by announcers who are describing the course design of architect Pete Dye.

#1: Endless “5th Major Championship” discussion, along with nauseatingly repetitive polls, forum discussions, and social media posts as to whether or not THE PLAYERS (remember the ALL CAPS) should be the a 5th major. No it shouldn’t. Let’s not go all “LPGA Tour” on this.


I’d Rather Play Golf Than Watch It

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, September 28th, 2015
Categories: (British) Open ChampionshipFedEx CupGolfHackersJordan SpiethMiscellaneousPro GolfRory McIloryThe MastersTiger Woods
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Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth

Anything interesting happen in professional golf over the last few weeks?  Actually, I wouldn’t know much other than Jordan Spieth set the record for most prize money ever, at somewhere around $22 million.  He won the FedEx Cup Reset Cup.  When I saw him play as an amateur at the age of 16 (picture) I was sure he was amazing, but had no idea anyone could rake in that kind of dough in prize money in one year.

Yes, a great year.  Player of the year for sure.  I have/had no interest in the Reset Cup.

Recently Comcast, or as I like to call them “Crapcast,” doubled my TV bill.  That was the deciding factor in my cutting the cable and going to NO TV.  None.  No golf. Nothing.  It has been quite nice.

Though I’ve attended and covered many professional “tour” events, I find it quite uninteresting to watch other people play golf, as good as they may be.  I’ve watched many greats up close and personal including Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Jordan Spieth, Fred Couples, Rory McIlroy, Chi Chi Rodriguez, John Duval (I know what I’m typing), Lee Trevino…. dozens of others.

The pros are great but after I watch them hit a few shots in person I realize one thing:

I’d rather play golf than watch other people play it.

There are some occasions where that’s not the case.  The Masters?  I’d rather watch it.  British Open?  Watch it.  U.S. Open?  Maybe.  PGA Championship?  Meh.  Presidents Cup?  Not interested.  Ryder Cup?  Okay, I watch that…

Where am I going with this drivel?  This is a blog.  I don’t have to go anywhere.  As much as I’ve struggled this year with my game and my attitude, I’ve not watched much golf nor played as much.  My last round, one of those nuggets the golf gods throw struggling golfers, might keep me in the game for a bit.  Even par.  Kind of like making a blackjack on the last hand in Vegas, that round will get me coming back, but golf hasn’t fooled me this time.


This Week on Tour – Tour Championship and the $10 Million Prize

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015
Categories: Champions TourEuropean TourFedEx CupJordan SpiethPGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryWeb.com Tour
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FedEx Cup LogoTOUR Championship by Coca-Cola
Dates: Sept. 24-27
Venue: East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Ga.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 1-6 p.m. (Live) / 8:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Replay)
Friday 1-6 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-4 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday 10 a.m.-Noon (Live) / 10 p.m.-3:30 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday Noon-1:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday Noon-3:30 p.m. (Live)
Sunday 1:30-6 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
$10 million prize up for grabs: The 2014-15 PGA TOUR season culminates this week with the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. The 30-man field will compete for a chance to win the 2015 FedExCup, and the accompanying $10 million prize. Players sitting in the top-5 in the current standings are in position to automatically claim the FedExCup with a win this week, while those outside of the top-5 will have to rely on how others finish to have any chance at winning the title. The 30 players having qualified for the TOUR Championship have earned invitations/exemptions into the 2016 Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship. Players in the field also are guaranteed at least $300,000 (30th place) and could earn as much as $11,485,000 (winning both the tournament and overall FedExCup).

Payne Stewart Award Ceremony, Airing Tonight on Golf Channel at 7 p.m. ET: Four-time major champion Ernie Els will receive the 2015 Payne Stewart Award – presented annually to a professional golfer who best exemplifies Payne Stewart’s steadfast values of character, charity and sportsmanship – during a special ceremony airing live on Golf Channel as a Golf Central special, tonight at 7 p.m. ET. Hosted by Dan Hicks and Todd Lewis, coverage of the award ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. ET within Golf Central, featuring interviews with Stewart’s wife and daughter, Tracey and Chelsea Stewart; Els’ wife and co-founder of the Els for Autism Foundation, Liezl Els; PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem; PGA TOUR professionals Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker; and Southern Company Chairman and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. During the award ceremony (beginning at 7 p.m. ET), Els will sit down with Lewis to discuss the award and his accomplishments off the course. Rich Lerner will conclude the special in delivering a tribute essay to Els and his family. Following the ceremony at 8 p.m. ET, Golf Channel will air a special encore presentation of Payne, the critically-acclaimed one-hour documentary chronicling Stewart’s life and career and remembering the dedicated family man, entertainer, jokester and golf fashion-icon.

Golf Central Special on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. ET featuring news conferences with Commissioner Finchem, Spieth: Tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. ET Golf Channel will air a Golf Central Special from East Lake Golf Club, featuring news conferences with PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem (11:30 a.m.) and Jordan Spieth (Noon).
Headlining the field (current FedExCup rankings): Jason Day (1); Jordan Spieth (2); Rickie Fowler (3); Henrik Stenson (4); Bubba Watson (5); Zach Johnson (6); Dustin Johnson (7); Charley Hoffman (8); Daniel Berger (9); Patrick Reed (10); Rory McIlroy (11); Justin Rose (12); Jimmy Walker (13); Robert Streb (14); Hideki Matsuyama (15); Jim Furyk (16); J.B. Holmes (17); Kevin Kisner (18); Danny Lee (19); Scott Piercy (20); Matt Kuchar (21); Paul Casey (22); Brandt Snedeker (23); Steven Bowditch (24); Brooks Koepka (25); Bill Haas (26); Kevin Na (27); Sangmoon Bae (28); Louis Oosthuizen (29); Harris English (30).

championstour-fCHAMPIONS TOUR
Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach
Dates: Sept. 25-27
Venues: Pebble Beach Golf Links; Poppy Hills Golf Course, Pebble Beach, Calif.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday 6-8:30 p.m. (Live) / 4-6 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday 6-9 p.m. (Live) / 3:30-6 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday 6:30-9 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Format: 81 professionals will compete alongside one junior golfer and two other amateurs on Friday and Saturday, playing once at each of the course venues, Pebble Beach and Poppy Hills. 23 pro-junior teams, as well as 10 two-player amateur teams will make the cut to compete in the final round at Pebble Beach. The 81 juniors in the field were selected from 55 First Tee chapters throughout the United States. At the conclusion of this week, only three events remain on the Champions Tour schedule prior to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Scottsdale, Ariz., Nov. 5-8.
Cook defends: John Cook defeated Tom Byrum by one stroke for his 10th career Champions Tour win.
Headlining the field: Fred Couples, Tom Watson, Davis Love III, Colin Montgomerie, Jay Haas, Vijay Singh, Jeff Maggert, Marco Dawson, Billy Andrade and Kevin Sutherland.

Web.com Tour LogoWEB.COM TOUR
Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship
Dates: Sept. 24-27
Venue: The Ohio State University Golf Club (Scarlet Course), Columbus, Ohio

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 6-8 p.m. (Tape delay) / 4-6 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Friday 8:30-10:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 4-6 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Saturday 4-6 p.m. (Live)
Sunday 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Web.com Tour Finals continue: This week the Web.com Tour stages the penultimate tournament of the four-event Web.com Tour Finals, as eligible players finishing 126-200 in the PGA TOUR FedExCup standings and players finishing 26-100 on the Web.com Tour season money list will compete for a chance at securing one of 25 additional 2015-16 PGA TOUR cards up for grabs at the conclusion of the Web.com Tour Championship. Players having finished in the top-25 on the Web.com Tour money list already having secured their 2015-16 PGA TOUR card also are eligible to complete in the Web.com Tour Finals to try and improve their playing status for next season.
Headlining the field: Jason Allred, Tommy Gainey, Oliver Goss, Cody Gribble, Trey Mullinax, Rob Oppenheim, Kevin Tway, Lucas Glover, Sam Saunders, Billy Hurley and Scott Langley.

European Tour Logo - GolfEUROPEAN TOUR
Porsche European Open
Dates: Sept. 24-27
Venue: Hartl Resort at Bad Griesbach (Beckenbauer Course), Bad Griesbach, Germany

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 5-7 a.m. / 9 a.m.-Noon (Live)
Friday 5-7 a.m. / 9 a.m.-Noon (Live)
Saturday Noon-3:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 7-11 a.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Sunday 9-11 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Cevaer defends: Christian Cevaer finished one stroke ahead of the field for his second European Tour victory.
Headlining the field: Hunter Mahan, Graeme McDowell, Bernhard Langer, Charl Schwartzel, Ben An, Jamie Donaldson, Morgan Hoffmann, Thongchai Jaidee and Miguel Angel Jimenez.


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