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Genesis Open Preview

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

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.


Roll It Back – Golf’s Mythical Distance Problem Isn’t Just the Golf Ball

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, February 6th, 2018
Categories: GolfGolf Rules and RegulationsMiscellaneousPGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryTiger WoodsUSGA

Distance has apparently become a real problem.  I know I have too much of it. Don’t you?  Golf courses are too short now, and many have to spend millions to make a their holes more challenging for .00000000000003% of the golfers on the planet. Why? Most think this “problem” is just the golf ball. This ball distance talk has heated up this year, especially after Dustin Johnson nearly made an ace on a 400 yard par-4 in Kapalua.  People got all amped up about the ball going too far with no mind what the conditions were (downwind, downhill, hard ground). I’ve hit a 430 yard drive, in the mountains, on hard ground, with a heavy tailwind. I hit about a 520 yard drive also. It hit the cart path about 20 times. Roll back cart paths!


The subject of bifurcation seems to be making a comeback this year. Bifurcation in golf is the splitting of the golf ball into two different models: a “tournament ball” which the PGA Tour players would use, and a regular ball that Joe golfer would use.  The tournament ball would be limited more in its distance than the regular ball.

I’m not a fan of bifurcation, and surely the golf manufacturers aren’t. The reason that 300 yard drives are impressive is because it takes some skill and athleticism to make it happen more than just a rare lucky swing.  When I get ahold of one and hit it as far as Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlory, or Tiger Woods, I get excited.

Hitting a big drive is fun. That’s one of the few things that can help me stay interested in golf.  How can I compare myself to those great golfers if I’m playing a different ball?  Aspiring to hit shots like those pros is part of the fun, and the challenge.

Roll Back The Ball

Instead of bifurcation, some think all golf balls should be “rolled back.” Haha nice pun. The golf ball should be put back to a maximum distance number that’s in some golf governing body members’ heads, a distance shorter than it goes now.  What distance? What’s fair?

This theory REALLY takes the fun out of it, and all it will do is make golf harder for those who don’t hit it far, most amateurs and Corey Pavin.

Rolling the ball back certainly wouldn’t help the golf equipment industry. It would pretty much kill every golf ball advertising and PR campaign theme since the beginning of golf balls, “this ball is longer!”  What would the companies advertise if the ball is rolled back?  This ball is the longest best rolled back ever!

What Else Should Golf Roll Back?

The problem with distance, if one actually thinks it is a problem, isn’t just the ball.  There are many, many other factors involved in how far the golf ball travels these days.  PGA Tour golfers are no longer out-of-shape pot-bellied smokers who drink booze all night, don’t work out, don’t have extensive teams of trainers and coaches, and don’t practice. Well, other than John Daly.  PGA Tour golfers work out like crazy, have incredible flexibility, and have some of the most amazing advances in technology behind their swings and their gear.  I’m not talking about just the golf ball. Here’s list of a few of the things professional golf would have to roll back other than the ball, though I’m sure there are some I’m missing.

Fitness – First, we will have to roll back fitness. Pro golfers today are super-fit (usually).  Roll them back from the gym.

Flexibility – We must find ways of making today’s golfers more stiff and less flexible. No more yoga. No more flexibility training.  Roll it back.

Personal Trainers – Speaking of training and fitness, part of that whole combo includes personal trainers. They’ll have to go.

Dietitians – Part of the fitness component is dietitians. Golfers who eat better can be more flexible and strong. Roll back the dietitians. Go back to the food pro golfers ate in the 50’s (except probably Gary Player). Make ‘em all eat fatty diets with lots of carbs! No more kale. Roll them back from precisely calculated sports diets to greasy burger

Golf Coaches – Golf coaches will certainly have to be rolled back.

Golf Shaft Technology – Shafts are as much to blame for distance as the golf ball. They’re waaaaay too good these days. Shafts must be rolled back.

Driver Head Technology – Driver head engineering is certainly a distance culprit. What is it this year? Jail face break twist technology I think. Roll back the drivers!

Swing Analysis & Launch Monitors – 99.9% of tour players utilize launch and swing analysis to optimize their swing, their shafts, their launch angles, spin rates and so on.  Launch monitors have a huge impact on today’s distance problem.  No more launch monitors. Roll ‘em back.

Golf Grip Technology – Golf grip technology certainly helps the pro golfer connect to the club. Let’s roll back that connection.  Make the grip weaker, less stable. Roll it back.

Golf Course Conditioning – Hard ground certainly is a contributor to the distance problem. Short, precisely cut grass is too.  Roll ‘em back.  Let’s make some soft, wet courses with longer fairways and be sure to cut those fairways with inconsistent, dull mower blades. Roll back the roll so to speak.

Final Thoughts

I find it mildly confusing and entertaining when I hear that golf courses are “too short.” Many courses are ruining their original designs and spending millions by adding more length because .0000000000000003% of the golfers in the world can hit the ball so far. Meanwhile the average golfer’s scores haven’t improved in decades. In fact, over the last few years average golfer’s scores have edged upward. All that extra distance the average golfer is getting these days is really helping!

To fix this mythical distance problem golf’s governing bodies are considering solutions that will hurt the golf equipment industry and simultaneously make golf less fun for the average player.  With all this talk of the golf industry’s struggles and the need to “grow golf,” making it less fun is a really dumb idea.

This Week on Tour

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, January 27th, 2016
Categories: European TourJordan SpiethLPGA TourPro Golf

 ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 26, 2016) – World No. 1 Jordan Spieth will tee it up at the Asian Tour’s SMBC Singapore Open, and his opening round will air in primetime on Golf Channel beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday night. The LPGA Tour kicks off its 2016 season with the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, as Nos. 2-4 in the world: Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson lead a field that includes 11 of the top-20 in the world. The PGA TOUR shifts to Torrey Pines outside of San Diego for the Farmers Insurance Open, with Jason Day (No. 2 in the world) and Rickie Fowler (No. 4) headlining the field. On the European Tour, South African Branden Grace defends his title at the Qatar Masters.


SMBC Singapore Open

Dates: Jan. 27-30

Venue: Sentosa Golf Club (Serapong Course), Sentosa Island, Singapore


Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Wednesday     8-11 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Replay)

Thursday         8-11 p.m. / 2-4:30 a.m. (Live)

Friday              11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 10 a.m.-Noon (Saturday replay)

Saturday          11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 10 a.m.-Noon (Sunday replay)


Broadcast Notes:

Spieth’s opening round airing in primetime at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday: World No. 1 Jordan Spieth is in the field competing in the 50th edition of Singapore’s national open. Spieth will tee off in his opening round at 6:50 p.m. ET, with the majority airing in primetime on Golf Channel beginning at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday night.

Event returns for first time since 2012: The event is being played for the first time since 2012, and is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour. Matteo Manassero won the event in 2012 when it was last contested.

Headlining the field: Jordan Spieth, Byeong Hun An, Darren Clarke, Jamie Donaldson, Y.E. Yang, Jeev Milkha Singh, K.T. Kim and Shingo Katayama.



Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic

Dates: Jan. 28-31

Venue: Ocean Club Golf Course, Paradise Island, Bahamas


Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (Live)

Friday              11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (Live)

Saturday          3-5 p.m. (Live) / 5-7 a.m. (Sunday replay)

Sunday            3-5 p.m. (Live)


Broadcast Notes:

Season-opening event: The 2016 LPGA Tour season kicks off this week with the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, airing live on Golf Channel Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 28-31. The event begins a series of eight LPGA tournaments airing live on Golf Channel over the next 10 weeks leading into golf’s first major championship of 2016, the ANA Inspiration.

Kim defends: Sei Young Kim defeated Ariya Jutanugarn and Sun Young Yoo with a birdie on the first playoff hole to earn her first career LPGA Tour win.

Headlining the field: Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson, Sei Young Kim, Hyo Joo Kim, Cristie Kerr, Michelle Wie, Anna Nordqvist, Brittany Lincicome, Brooke Henderson and Cheyenne Woods.



Farmers Insurance Open

Dates: Jan. 28-31

Venue: Torrey Pines Golf Course (North & South Courses), La Jolla, Calif.


Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         3-7 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)

Friday              3-7 p.m. (Live) / 7:30-11 p.m. (Replay)

Saturday          1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 7-11 p.m. (Replay)

Sunday            1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 7:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)


Broadcast Notes:

Golf Central special: Day, Fowler news conference, Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. ET: Jason Day and Rickie Fowler (ranked No. 2 and No. 4 in the world respectively) headline the field and will take part in a Golf Central special news conference from Torrey Pines, airing at 3:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Course rotation: The event utilizes both the North and South courses at Torrey Pines, with players competing once on each course over the first two rounds prior to the 36-hole cut. The final two rounds are then contested on the South Course on Saturday-Sunday.

Day defends: Jason Day defeated J.B. Holmes with a par on the second playoff hole to win his third PGA TOUR victory.

Headlining the field: Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Justin Rose, J.B. Holmes, Hideki Matsuyama, Brandt Snedeker, Anirban Lahiri and Bill Haas.



Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

Dates: Jan. 27-30

Venue: Doha Golf Club, Doha, Qatar


Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Wednesday     1:30-4:30 a.m. / 6-8:30 a.m. (Live)    

Thursday         1:30-4:30 a.m. / 6-8:30 a.m. (Live)

Friday              4:30-8:30 a.m. (Live)

Saturday          4-8:30 a.m. (Live)


Broadcast Notes:

Grace defends: Branden Grace won by one shot over Marc Warren for his sixth career European Tour victory.

Headlining the field: Bryson DeChambeau (a), Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els, Branden Grace, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Louis Oosthuizen, Thomas Pieters, Peter Uihlein and John Daly.

This Week On Tour

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, November 4th, 2015
Categories: Champions TourEuropean TourJordan SpiethPGA TourPro GolfRory McIlory

WGC-HSBC Champions
Dates: Nov. 5-8
Venue: Sheshan International Golf Club, Shanghai, China

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Wednesday 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 8 a.m.-1 p.m. (Thursday replay)
Thursday 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 8 a.m.-1 p.m. (Friday replay)
Friday 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 8 a.m.-1 p.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 8 a.m.-1 p.m. (Sunday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Elite field: The event features four of the top-5 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, including Jordan Spieth (No. 2), Rory McIlroy (No. 3), Bubba Watson (No. 4) and Rickie Fowler (No. 5). The no-cut event is the second of four tournaments being played as part of the European Tour’s Final Series in addition to being co-sanctioned by the PGA TOUR.
Watson defends: Bubba Watson defeated Tim Clark on the first playoff hole for his seventh career PGA TOUR victory.
Headlining the field: Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Henrik Stenson, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed and Adam Scott.

Charles Schwab Cup Championship
Dates: Nov. 5-8
Venue: Desert Mountain Club (Cochise Course), Scottsdale, Ariz.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 4:30-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Friday replay)
Friday 4:30-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday 4:30-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday 4:30-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.

Broadcast Notes:
Schwab Cup Championship at Stake for Montgomerie, Maggert and Langer: Three players will tee it up with an opportunity to claim the season-long Charles Schwab Cup with a victory this week in Colin Montgomerie, Jeff Maggert and Bernhard Langer. The scenarios in which each can mathematically win the Schwab Cup are:
Montgomerie – Can finish 30th and win if Maggert finishes 18th or worse, and Langer finishes 14th or worse.

Maggert – Can finish 2nd and win if Montgomerie finishes 3rd or worse, and Langer does not win the tournament. Can finish 17th, but would need Montgomerie to finish 27th or worse and Langer 13th or worse.

Langer – Wins with a 2nd place finish if Montgomerie and Maggert finish 3rd or worse. Can finish solo 13th and win if Maggert finishes 18th or worse and Montgomerie finishes 27th or worse.

Pernice Jr. defends: Tom Pernice Jr., outlasted Jay Haas on the fourth playoff hole for his fourth career Champions Tour win.
Headlining the field: Colin Montgomerie, Jeff Maggert, Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Marco Dawson, Tom Lehman, Mark O’Meara, Kenny Perry, Tom Pernice Jr., and Duffy Waldorf.

Sanderson Farms Championship
Dates: Nov. 5-8
Venue: Country Club of Jackson, Jackson, Miss.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Live) / 7-10 p.m. (Replay)
Friday 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Live) / 7-10 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Live) / 7-10 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Live) / 7:30-10:30 p.m. (Replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Taylor defends: Nick Taylor defeated Jason Bohn and Boo Weekley to earn his first career PGA TOUR win.
Headlining the field: Ollie Schniederjans, Smylie Kaufman, Graham DeLaet, Patrick Rodgers, Scott Stallings, Lucas Glover, Billy Hurley, David Toms, Jarrod Lyle and K.J. Choi.

This Week On Tour – Presidents Cup

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, October 7th, 2015
Categories: European TourJordan SpiethPGA TourPro Golf

Presidents CupPGA TOUR
The Presidents Cup

Dates: Oct. 7-11
Venue: Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, Incheon, South Korea

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Wednesday 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 2-7 p.m. (Thursday replay)
Thursday 8:30 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Friday replay)
Friday 6 p.m.-4 a.m. (Live) / 3:30-8:30 p.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday 9:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. (Live) / 7 p.m.-1 a.m. (Sunday replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday Day Three Re-Air (Noon-3:30 p.m.)
Sunday Final Day Re-Air (Noon-6 p.m.)

Broadcast Notes:
Format: The biennial match play event will feature five foursomes matches contested on Day 1; five four-ball matches on Day 2, four morning foursomes and four afternoon four-ball matches on Day 3, and 12 singles matches on the Final Day. The total number of matches this year has been reduced from 34 to 30, and a team must earn 15 ½ points to win the Presidents Cup. Each player must compete in at least two of the four sessions of play prior to the singles matches on the final day.

Event coverage: NBC Sports Group will dedicate nearly 60 hours of live news, analysis and tournament coverage surrounding the 2015 Presidents Cup, Oct. 5-11, including more than 25 hours of live tournament coverage on Golf Channel kicking off each night in primetime. Golf Central’s Live From the Presidents Cup will feature comprehensive news, highlights, and expert analysis; player/captain news conferences; exclusive “look-ins” that will show players preparing for their matches; the Opening Ceremony (Wednesday, Oct. 7, 5 a.m. ET) and Closing Ceremony (Sunday, Oct. 11, 3:30 a.m. ET) and compelling feature stories throughout the week.

Captains to Set Day 1 Foursome Matches Lineup Live on Tuesday, 7-11 p.m. ET: Captains Jay Haas (United States) and Nick Price (International) will announce their respective lineups for Day 1 foursome matches live within Golf Central’s Live From the Presidents Cup on Tuesday, Oct. 6 from 7-11 p.m. ET.

United States Team: Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Jimmy Walker, Zach Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar, Chris Kirk, J.B. Holmes, Bill Haas and Phil Mickelson.

International Team: Jason Day (Australia), Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa), Adam Scott (Australia), Hideki Matsuyama (Japan), Branden Grace (South Africa), Marc Leishman (Australia), Anirban Lahiri (India), Charl Schwartzel (South Africa), Thongchai Jaidee (Thailand), Danny Lee (New Zealand), Steven Bowditch (Australia) and Sangmoon Bae (South Korea).

championstour-fCHAMPIONS TOUR
SAS Championship
Dates: Oct. 9-11
Venue: Prestonwood Country Club, Cary, N.C.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday 3-5 p.m. (Live) / 6-8 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday 1-3:30 p.m. (Live) / 6-8 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday 3:30-6 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Triplett defends: Kirk Triplett defeated Tom Lehman by three strokes for his fourth career Champions Tour victory.
Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Kenny Perry, Tom Lehman, Jeff Maggert, Marco Dawson, Kirk Triplett, Corey Pavin, Lee Janzen and John Cook.

Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia
Dates: Oct. 8-11
Venue: Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (East Course), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday Noon-2 p.m. (Tape delay) / 11:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. Wednesday (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Friday 5-7:30 a.m. (Tape delay) / 11:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. Wednesday (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Saturday 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Tape delay) / 11:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. Wednesday (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Sunday Noon-3:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 11:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. Wednesday (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)

Broadcast Notes:
Elite field: The field features nine of the top-10 players in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, including Inbee Park (No. 1), Lydia Ko (No. 2) and Stacy Lewis (No. 3).
Feng defends: Shanshan Feng finished three shots ahead of Pornanong Phatlum for her fourth career LPGA Tour win.
Headlining the field: Inbee Park, Lydia Ko, Stacy Lewis, So Yeon Ryu, Lexi Thompson, Hyo-Joo Kim, Shanshan Feng, Suzann Pettersen, Paula Creamer, Charley Hull and Michelle Wie.

European Tour Logo - GolfEUROPEAN TOUR
British Masters
Dates: Oct. 8-11
Venue: Woburn Golf Club (Marquess’ Course), Milton Keynes, England

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 7 a.m.-Noon (Live)
Friday 7:30-10 a.m. (Live) / 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Saturday 8-11 a.m. (Live) / 11 a.m.-Noon (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Sunday 8 a.m.-Noon (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
British Masters returns for first time since 2008: This is the 63rd edition of the British Masters, but the first since 2008. The event was discontinued in 2009 after struggling to find a sponsor, but was revived this year with the support of Sky Sports and backing of Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, Justin Rose and Lee Westwood, who will rotate hosting duties and have input on the host course over the next four years. Poulter will act as tournament host this week at Woburn Golf Club.
Headlining the field: Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Shane Lowry, Lee Westwood, Danny Willett, Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington.

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