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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.

 


2016 Masters Commentary

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, April 12th, 2016
Categories: Jordan SpiethPro GolfRory McIloryThe MastersTiger Woods
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I’ve never done crack or any severely addicting drug… or even mildly addictive drugs.  But I feel like I’m in a serious withdrawal state right now after the Masters concluded a day and a half ago.  The Masters is as close to a drug as tournament golf can get.

Most “journalists” have a large portion of their articles written before the tournament ends.  I’m starting mine over a day later, and honestly, I’m coming up pretty blank.  Perhaps I’m partially brain dead from traveling all last week to the other side of the planet, and then suffering a sudden passing of an uncle on Masters Saturday.  That’s my excuse.  Then again, I’m not a journalist.  I’m a blogger.  Thankfully I don’t have a deadline a minimum number of words to turn in.

Willett Winning or Spieth Collapsing – Which Will Be Remembered?

Quick quiz: Who won the Masters the year Greg Norman blew a 6-shot lead?  Golf aficionados probably know, but the average joe doesn’t.  It was Nick Faldo, the first englishman to win the Masters.

Will the 2016 Masters be the same? Will it be known as the year Spieth blew the 5-shot lead with nine holes to play?  I hope not and here’s why.  Danny Willett played his ass off.  His final round was as close to flawless as it could have been.  Willett had five birdies and NO bogeys.  None.  Willett shot a 67 in the final round of only his 2nd Masters to win it.  That’s spectacular golf people.  Spectacular.  Hats off to Danny Willett.

Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth was fighting his swing in the final round of the 2016 Masters.  He was getting away with it until #12 where he dunked two shots in the water and one in the back bunker on the world’s most famous par-3.  He was able to recover from his off-shots previously and make up for it with great putting, but you can’t hit a recovery shot from water.

I think this Masters will be a very good learning experience for Spieth.  It might take a little while for the sting and mental effects to subside, but in the long run it will be a character builder and something he can look back on and build from.  Greg Norman used his Masters meltdown as a building block to great golf and business success.

Rory McIlory

One major championship left for Rory to claim the grand slam.  I think this one is going to be more and more difficult for Rory to obtain.  He has the perfect game for the Masters physically, but mentally this one is going to be tougher and tougher for him.

Rory played some very questionable shots from a game management standpoint. One in particular is the punch shot he hit out of the left trees on the par-4 11th.  Too aggressive and it went in the water.

Jason Day

Jason Day should win a Masters one of these years.  He too has a perfect game for Augusta.  He just didn’t seem to have it this past week, especially with the putter.

Ernie Els and the Yips

On the first day we watched Ernie Els 7-putt (later it was recounted and was determined to be a 6-putt).  Bad case of the yips and impossible to watch.

Aces on 16

The Sunday pin placement on the par-3 16th lends itself to aces and that’s just part of the great setup that produces excitement at the Masters.  The 3rd and final ace was by Louis Oosthuizen and was amazing.  His ball hit another player’s ball and still went in the hole.  Never seen anything like that before.

No Tiger. No Phil. No Problem.

This is the first time since possibly the mid-90s that neither Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson have at least been part of the Masters conversation.  Times aren’t changing.  They have changed.  Welcome to the new world.  We may have a flash of Phil and Tiger in the future still, but the new guard has taken over.

The Masters Never Disappoints

I say this every year and it’s true every time I say it.  The Masters Tournament never disappoints.  Thanks to Bobby Jones and Allister Mackenzie for setting up a golf course and event that is truly the best and most exciting and entertaining, year in and year out.  Even though I was not able to watch Thursday or most of Saturday this year due to more important things conflicting, it was still a thrill.

Good news! Only 359 days until the 2017 Masters Tournament!


Everyone is Excited About the Saturday Spieth vs McIlory Showdown But…

Written by: Tony Korologos | Saturday, April 9th, 2016
Categories: Jordan SpiethPGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryThe Masters
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Rory McIloryCan’t wait for Masters Saturday to start. The big showdown between Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlory is about to commence. They’re paired together and every fan and media member seems to be salivating like mad. But…

Often times when there’s a big matchup like this it ends up being a dud and some player from the pack overtakes them. If that happens who would it be? Windy conditions and fast greens would separate a player who has the experience and guts to weather tough and high intensity golf. My quick look at the leader board didn’t produce any obvious players within a couple of shots. However there are two players at +1 who could definitely shake it up, Angel Cabrera and Jason Day.

The forecast is for winds from 18-26 mph, and the wind will worsen as the day goes on.  The advantage is for the early players, not the final groups.

I loved Jordan Spieth’s comments when asked about playing with Rory. He said he’d rather play against someone less threatening. That’s fantastic.

Let’s go.


This Week on Tour

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

ASIAN TOUR

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.

 

LPGA TOUR

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.

 

PGA TOUR

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.

 

EUROPEAN TOUR

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, December 2nd, 2015
Categories: Champions TourEuropean TourJordan SpiethLPGA TourPGA TourPro Golf
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PGA TOUR
Hero World Challenge
Dates: Dec. 3-6
Venue: Albany Resort, Albany, Bahamas

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday Noon-4 p.m. (Live) / 4:30-7:30 p.m. (Replay)
Friday Noon-4 p.m. (Live) / 4:30-7:30 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday Noon-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 5:30-8 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday Noon-2 p.m. (Live) / 6-11 p.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday 2:30-5 p.m. (Live)
Sunday 2-5 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Leonard to take part in Golf Channel / NBC coverage of Hero World Challenge: 12-time PGA TOUR winner, major champion and 1999 Ryder Cup hero Justin Leonard will work as a tower analyst for Golf Channel and NBC’s live coverage of the event.
Elite field: The field includes six of the top-10 players in the world, and each of the 18 players are currently ranked in the top-43 in the world. 11 of the 12 members of the victorious United States Presidents Cup team also are in the field.
New venue: This week marks the 17th playing of the event, but the first time being held at the Albany Resort on the island of New Providence in the Bahamas. The event is not an official PGA TOUR stop, though players will receive Official World Golf Rankings points.
Spieth defends: World No. 1 Jordan Spieth separated himself from the field with a 10 shot victory at Isleworth Golf & Country Club in Florida last December.
Headlining the field: Paul Casey, Rickie Fowler, Bill Haas, J.B. Holmes, Billy Horschel, Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson, Chris Kirk, Brooks Koepka, Matt Kuchar, Anirban Lahiri, Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth, Jimmy Walker and Bubba Watson.

PGA TOUR OF AUSTRALASIA / EUROPEAN TOUR
Australian PGA Championship
Dates: Dec. 3-6
Venue: RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Australia

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

Broadcast Notes:
Chalmers defends: Greg Chalmers defeated Adam Scott and Wade Ormsby on the seventh playoff hole for his second Australian PGA Championship title.
Final event of “Australian Triple Crown”: This week marks the third and final event of the “Australian Triple Crown,” which also features the Australian Masters and Australian Open. Australian Masters winner Peter Senior is in the field but Australian Open champion Matt Jones is not. And for the first time, the event is being co-sanctioned by the European Tour and will count as an official event.
Headlining the field: Brandt Snedeker, John Senden, David Lingmerth, Peter Senior, Cameron Smith, Peter Uihlein, Jarrod Lyle, Robert Allenby, Greg Chalmers and Paul Dunne.

EUROPEAN TOUR
Nedbank Golf Challenge
Dates: Dec. 3-6
Venue: Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, South Africa

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 3-10 a.m. (Live)
Friday 3-10 a.m. (Live)
Saturday 4-10 a.m. (Live)
Sunday 4-10 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Event changes: This is the 35th edition of the Nedbank Golf Challenge and the first of two times that it will be contested during the 2016 Race to Dubai season. The event will move to November in 2016 and become the second leg of the European Tour’s Final Series. The field of 30 this week will increase to 72 next November. Following the conclusion of play on Sunday, the European Tour will take a four-week hiatus and resume in 2016 with the South African Open in Johannesburg on January 7.
Willett defends: Danny Willett defeated Ross Fisher by four shots to earn his second career European Tour win.
Headlining the field: Henrik Stenson, Martin Kaymer, Robert Streb, Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen, Danny Willett, Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley.

ASIAN TOUR
Ho Tram Open
Dates: Dec. 3-6
Venue: The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip, Vietnam

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 1-3 a.m. (Live)
Friday 1-3 a.m. (Live)
Saturday 1-4 a.m. (Live)
Sunday 1-4 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Inaugural event: This week marks the first playing of the Ho Tram Open, being contested in Vietnam, two hours southeast of Ho Chi Minh City.
Headlining the field: Sergio Garcia, Geoff Ogilvy, Darren Clarke, Thomas Bjorn, Robert Rock, Oliver Wilson, David Lipsky, Jeev Milkha Singh and Arjun Atwal.

LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR
The Queens
Dates: Dec. 4-6
Venue: Miyoshi Country Club, Aichi, Japan

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Saturday 2:30-5 p.m. (Tape delay)
Sunday 2-5 p.m. (Tape delay)

Broadcast Notes:
Format: The inaugural match play event features four nine-person teams comprised of members of the Ladies European Tour (captained by Laura Davies), LPGA of Japan, Korean LPGA Tour and Australian Ladies Professional Golf Inc. The format features 34 matches being contested over three days: eight fourball matches on day one, eight foursomes matches on day two, and 18 singles matches on day three, with 102 total points available. Each match is worth three points to the winning team, and one point will be given for matches ending all square.
Ladies European Tour Team: Laura Davies (captain), Hannah Burke, Karine Icher, Nanna Madsen, Catriona Matthew, Gwladys Nocera, Emily Kristine Pedersen, Melissa Reid and Marianne Skarpnord.
LPGA of Japan Team: Momoko Ueda (captain), Erika Kikuchi, Ayaka Watanabe, Misuzo Narita, Akane Iijima, Shiho Oyama, Erina Hara, Miki Sakai and Ritsuko Ryu.
Korean LPGA Team: In Gee Chun, Sei Young Kim, Sung Hyun Park, Jung Min Lee, Yoon Ji Cho, Jin Young Ko, Seon Woo Bae, Min Sun Kim, Bo-Mee Lee.
Australian Ladies Professional Golf Team: Rachel Hetherington (captain), Nikki Campbell, Nikki Garrett, Whitney Hillier, Sarah Kemp, Katherine Kirk, Stephanie Na, Sarah Jane Smith and Lindsey Wright.


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