Weekend Wrap

HPBNC_2011_068Interesting weekend in the world of golf.  First on the list was the debut of Fox Sports’ golf coverage.  This past weekend’s Franklin Templeton Shootout marked the first time Fox broadcasted golf, with Joe Buck and Greg Norman on the call.

Reviews are mixed for Buck and Norman, and surely the network has a lot of issues to work out.  Hopefully they’ll be up to full speed by the U.S. Open.

Franklin Templeton Shootout
Dates: Dec. 11-12
Venue: Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples (Tiburon Golf Club), Naples, Fla.

Jason Day and Cameron Triangle won the Franklin Templeton Shootout by one shot over Matt Kuchar and Harris English.  It took a final nine string of six birdies in eight holes to edge out the one stroke margin of victory.  In this “off season” event each player wins $335,000.

I wish I could make that kind of scratch in the “off season.”

EUROPEAN TOUR
Alfred Dunhill Championship
Dates: Dec. 11-14
Venue: Leopard Creek CC, Malelane, South Africa

How is this for intense?  In the Australian Championship two aussies duked it out in a massive playoff which lasted seven holes.  The two aussies, Adam Scott and Greg Chalmers, recorded the longest playoff in for a high-tier tournament in Australia.

Adam Scott’s 3-putt on the seventh playoff hole handed the trophy to Chalmers.

PNC Father/Son Challenge
Dates: Dec. 13-14
Venue: Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando, Fla.

One day you are sitting at home playing video games, and a short-notice later you’re winning a big golf tournament in front of millions of people on TV.  That’s the story of Bernhard Langer’s son Jason, the 15-year-old who took the place of his sister who withdrew due to back issues.

The Langers recorded a final round 13-under 59 to claim a two-stroke victory in the better-ball format.

Weekend Preview

seve-bDespite the fact that the LPGA Tour, PGA Tour, and Web.com Tour are done for the year, there’s a ton of golf to watch this week on TV. Golf die hards rejoice!

PGA TOUR Australasia
Australian PGA Championship
Dates: Dec. 10-13
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)

Headlining the field: Adam Scott, Scott Stallings, John Senden, Brendan De Jonge, Mark Leishman, Jarrod Lyle, Steven Bowditch, Boo Weekley, Greg Chalmers and Robert Allenby.

PNC Father/Son Challenge
Dates: Dec. 13-14
Venue: Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando, Fla.

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Saturday 2-3 p.m. (Tape delay) / 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Sunday 2-3 p.m. (Tape delay) / 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)

Tournament Airtimes On NBC (Eastern):
Saturday 3-6 p.m. (Tape delay)
Sunday 3-6 p.m. (Tape delay)

Teams: Stewart & Connor Cink, Steve & Sam Elkington, Nick & Matthew Faldo, Raymond & Robert Floyd, Hale & Steve Irwin, Lee & Connor Janzen, Bernhard & Christina Langer, Tom & Thomas Lehman, Davis Love III & Dru Love, Sandy & James Lyle, Johnny & Andy Miller, Larry & Josh Nelson, Jack Nicklaus & Jack Nicklaus II, Mark & Shaun O’Meara, Nick & Greg Price, Dave & Ron Stockton, Curtis & Tom Strange, Vijay & Qass Singh, Lee & Daniel Trevino, Lanny & Tucker Wadkins.

EUROPEAN TOUR
Alfred Dunhill Championship
Dates: Dec. 11-14
Venue: Leopard Creek CC, Malelane, South Africa

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 5:30-7:30 a.m. (Tape delay); 7:30-10:30 a.m. (Live)
Friday 5:30-7:30 a.m. (Tape delay); 7:30-10:30 a.m. (Live)
Saturday 5:30-9:30 a.m. (Live)
Sunday 5:30-9:30 a.m. (Live)

Headlining the field: Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Peter Uihlein, Danny Willett, Oliver Wilson, Richard Sterne, Branden Grace, Thomas Aiken, Robert Rock and George Coetzee.

Franklin Templeton Shootout
Dates: Dec. 11-12
Venue: Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples (Tiburon Golf Club), Naples, Fla.

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 1-4 p.m. (Live) / 5-8 p.m. (Replay)
Friday 1-4 p.m. (Live) / 5-8 p.m. (Replay)
**Saturday’s final round will air on Fox**

Teams: Harris English/Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell/Gary Woodland, Keegan Bradley/Camilo Villegas, Billy Horschel/Ian Poulter, Jason Day/Cameron Tringale, Patrick Reed/Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Palmer/Jimmy Walker, Jerry Kelly/Steve Stricker, Sean O’Hair/Kenny Perry, Retief Goosen/Mike Weir, Charles Howell III/Scott Verplank, Justin Leonard/Rory Sabbatini.

ASIAN TOUR
Thailand Golf Championship
Dates: Dec. 10-13
Venue: Amata Spring Country Club, Chon Buri, Thailand

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 1-4:30 a.m. (Live)
Friday 1-4:30 a.m. (Live)
Saturday 1-4 a.m. (Live)
Sunday 1-4 a.m. (Live)

Headlining the field: Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer, Victor Dubuisson, Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Chesson Hadley, Thongchai Jaidee and Guan Tianlang.

LET TOUR
Omega Dubai Ladies Masters
Dates: Dec. 10-13
Venue: Emirates Golf Club (Majlis Course), Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Wednesday 2-6 p.m. (Tape delay)
Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Tape delay)
Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Tape delay)
Saturday 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Tape delay)

Weekend Wrap

Jordan_SpiethFor the off season, this past weekend had a lot of action and interesting news in the golf world.

Tiger’s Return
Hero World Challenge
Isleworth Golf & Country Club
Windermere, Florida

Tiger Woods made his second return to golf for 2014 in the tournament he hosts, the Hero World Challenge. The Hero World Challenge is a no-cut, invitation-only championship featuring 18 of the world’s best golfers, but not Rory McIlory or Phil Mickelson.

The biggest news of the week was Tiger’s return, which was quite sketchy. Tiger’s short game looked very rusty as can be seen in the Vine clips below:

Tiger shot his worst round in the event on the first day, a 77. From that point on he was in last place, fighting his game and illness to come back to even par by the end of the tournament.

Even par was good enough for a last place tie.

The winner, who had flown some 9,000 miles to get to the event, was youn Jordan Spieth. Spieth trounced the field by shooting a blistering 26-under-par, 10 shots ahead of the nearest competitor, Henrik Stenson. Spieth finished 26 shots ahead of Woods.

Spieth is the hottest golfer in the world at this time, following this victory and his win last week at the Australian Open.

LPGA Tour Qualifying
LPGA National
Daytona Beach, Florida

Another Woods in the news was Tiger’s niece Cheyenne. Cheyenne finished LPGA Tour qualifying school with a shiny new LPGA Tour card in hand at LPGA National in Daytona Beach, Florida.

All 2015 LPGA Tour qualifiers can be found on this link at the LPGA website.

Weekend Preview

TigerWoodsHero World Challenge
Isleworth Golf & Country Club
Orlando, Fla

Big doings in the world of golf this week. Tiger Woods returns to action for the first time since August of 2014. The event is the Hero World Challenge, which features 18 of the PGA Tour’s top players competing for a first place prize of $1,000,000.

Woods has been rehabbing and recovering from his back surgery and has also started working with a new swing coach, Chris Como.

Headlining this weeks field: Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Graeme McDowell (2010, 2012 champion), Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Zach Johnson (2013 champion) and Jordan Spieth, who just came off a big victory at the Emirates Australian Open.

HERO WORLD CHALLENGE AIR TIMES (all times Eastern):

Thursday, Dec. 4

2-5 p.m.

Golf Channel

Friday, Dec. 5

2-5 p.m.

Golf Channel

Saturday, Dec. 6

Noon-2:30 p.m.

Golf Channel

Saturday, Dec. 6

2:30-5 p.m.

NBC

Sunday, Dec. 7

Noon-1:30 p.m.

Golf Channel

Sunday, Dec. 7

1:30-5 p.m.

NBC

The Hero World Challenge will continue to raise funds and awareness for the college-access programs of the Tiger Woods Foundation and will also benefit the Tavistock Foundation. The Tiger Woods Foundation provides educational opportunities for underserved youth nationwide, with the mission to break the cycle of poverty. The Tavistock Foundation is dedicated to supporting communities in which the Tavistock Group has significant business interests, with a focus on funding education and medical research programs.

Weekend Wrap

Jordan_SpiethAustralian Open
Australian Golf Club
Sydney, Australia

The golf media is buzzing right now and for good reason. They are on a Jordan Spieth high. The no-longer-a-rookie Spieth is perhaps golf’s biggest up-and-comer with the highest ceiling and most potential for greatness since, well, a golfer named Eldrick Tont Woods. Some may know him as “Tiger.”

The last time an American won the Australian Open was Brad Faxon in 1993. At that time the now 21-year-old Spieth was a mere four months old.

Conditions at Australian Golf Club were tough, for most. Winds were high and so were the scores. Only eight players in the field managed to break par for the week.

Jordan Spieth blistered the course on sunday, playing what he called the best round he had ever played. Spieth carded an 8-under 63 to easily take home the Australian Open championship by a whopping six strokes over 2nd place finisher Rod Pampling.

The field included Adam Scott who finished in fifth place, nice strokes back. World #1 Rory McIlory finished a whopping 15 strokes behind Spieth.

Spieth admitted that his round was remarkable, a course record on the recently revamped Jack Nicklaus designed course:

“It’s the best round I have ever played, especially considering the conditions. It was just kind of one of those rounds when you’re in the zone and you’re not sure what you’re at. It’s nice that it came on a Sunday. You don’t want any kind of crack in the door to be open and I felt like we kept it shut from the front nine on.”

Rory McIlory was impressed with Spieth’s final round and made this gracious post on Twitter:

Weekend Wrap

lydiako

LPGA TOUR
CME Group Tour Championship
Venue: Tiburon Golf Club (Gold Course), Naples, Fla.

What were you doing when you were 17 years old, around a junior in highschool?  If you were like most, you might have been looking forward to to prom night and perhaps working at a fast food restaurant making minimum wage, scraping up money to go to the movies on the weekend or saving up for your first used car.

LPGA Tour rookie Lydia Ko has a slightly different story.  The 17-year-old polished off a record breaking year in women’s golf, taking home the biggest one day cash prize in LPGA Tour history.  In one swoop, Ko captured the $1,000,000 bonus for winning the inaugural “Race to CME Globe,” similar to the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup or the European Tour’s Race to Dubai.  She also snagged another $500,000 for winning the CME Group Tour Championship.

For you math majors, that is $1.5 million in one event.  Probably safe to say she isn’t scraping for movie money and she probably doesn’t need to buy a cheap used car.

EUROPEAN TOUR
DP World Tour Championship
Venue: Jumeirah Golf Estates (Earth Course), Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Rory McIlory did not have to swing a club this week to claim the Race To Dubai championship and the $10,000,000 prize. He’d already closed that out.  McIlory, despite taking several weeks off, shined during the week and tied for 2nd place with Victor Dubuisson and Justin Rose.

The human ATM machine Henrik Stenson made birdie on the final two holes to successfully defend his 2013 DP World Tour Championship.

The DP World Tour Championship is the European Tour’s season-ending event.

Weekend Preview

TPC Four Seasons 18th Green

LPGA TOUR
CME Group Tour Championship
Dates: Nov. 20-23
Venue: Tiburon Golf Club (Gold Course), Naples, Fla.

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

In the field: – Race to the CME Globe top-nine (those eligible to win the $1 million prize): 1. Stacy Lewis; 2. Inbee Park; 3. Lydia Ko; 4. Michelle Wie; 5. So Yeon Ryu; 6. Shanshan Feng; 7. Anna Nordqvist; 8. Chella Choi; 9. Karrie Webb.

EUROPEAN TOUR
DP World Tour Championship
Dates: Nov. 20-23
Venue: Jumeirah Golf Estates (Earth Course), Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 3-8 a.m. (Live) / 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (Replay)
Friday 3-8 a.m. (Live) / 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday 3-8 a.m. (Live) / 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday 2:30-7:30 a.m. (Live) / 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (Replay)

In the field: Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson, Graeme McDowell and Marcel Siem.

PGA TOUR Australasia
Australian Masters
Dates: Nov. 19-22
Venue: Metropolitan Golf Club, South Oakleigh, Australia

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Wednesday 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Live)
Thursday 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Live)
Friday 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Live)
Saturday 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Live)

In the field: Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy, Stuart Appleby, Greg Chalmers, Robert Allenby, Daniel Popovic, Michael Sim, Craig Perry, Peter Lonard and Nick O’Hern.

Weekend Wrap

HPBNC_2011_SU_067PGA TOUR
OHL Classic at Mayakoba
El Camaleon, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Sporting a clean and short haircut, the normally long-haired Charley Hoffman recorded his third win on the PGA Tour in Mexico at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. Hoffman led Shawn Stefani by one shot on the final hole but made things interesting when he had to hit a left-handed shot from the base of a tree. Stefani couldn’t take advantage though, finding a fairway bunker and eventually making bogey to match Hoffman’s, staying a shot behind

Web.com Tour graduates Andres Gonzales and Danny Lee finished two off the pace at -15.

EUROPEAN TOUR
Turkish Airlines Open
Montgomerie Maxx Royal, Antalya, Turkey

Believe it or not, 48 year-old John Daly was in the mix this past weekend at the Turkish Airlines Open, until a final round 73 sent him down the leader board.

Coming into the week, Rory McIlory could win the Race To Dubai and it’s huge cash prize, provided that a couple of contenders were knocked out of the running. While on his couch at home in Florida, McIlory won the Race To Dubai, thanks to Turkish Airlines Open winner Brooks Koepka.

Brooks Koepka held off Ian Poulter to win the Turkish Airlines Open, finishing ahead by one shot. Poulter had a chance to tie the lead on the final hole with a 6-foot birdie putt, but failed to convert it.

Koepka’s win following a great final round 65, was his first on the European Tour.

LPGA TOUR
Lorena Ochoa Invitational presented by Banamex Info
Venue: Club de Golf Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico

Christina Kim has gone through quite a difficult time.  From financial troubles to injuries and battling depression.  But she stuck with it and persevered through 222 winless starts on the LPGA Tour.

Patience and perseverance paid off finally for Kim, who defeated Shanshan Feng on the par-4 second hold of a sudden-death playoff.

Weekend Preview

HPBNC_2011_SU_067PGA TOUR
OHL Classic at Mayakoba
Dates: Nov. 13-16
Venue: El Camaleon, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Wednesday 2-5 p.m. (Live) / 7:30-10:30 p.m. (Replay)
Thursday 2-5 p.m. (Live) / 7:30-10:30 p.m. (Replay)
Friday 2-5 p.m. (Live) / 7:30-10:30 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday 2-5 p.m. (Live) / 7:30-10:30 p.m. (Replay)

In the field: Big Break Mexico winner Jay Woodson, returning champion Harris English, Angel Cabrera, Erik Compton, Padraig Harrington, Davis Love III, Billy Hurley, Nick Taylor, Robert Streb, Will MacKenzie, Ben Martin and long hitting Tony Finau.

EUROPEAN TOUR
Turkish Airlines Open
Dates: Nov. 13-16
Venue: Montgomerie Maxx Royal, Antalya, Turkey

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 4-9 a.m. (Live) / 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Replay)
Friday 4-9 a.m. (Live) / 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday 4-9 a.m. (Live) / 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday 3:30-8:30 a.m. (Live) / 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Replay)

In the field: Returning champion Victor Dubuisson, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Victor Dubuisson, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Darren Clarke, Luke Donald, Jamie Donaldson and Marcel Siem.

LPGA TOUR
Lorena Ochoa Invitational presented by Banamex Info
Dates: Nov. 13-16
Venue: Club de Golf Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 5-7 p.m. (Tape Delay) / 4-6 p.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Friday 5-7 p.m. (Tape Delay) / 4-6 p.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Saturday 5-7 p.m. (Tape Delay) / 4-6 p.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Sunday 5-7 p.m. (Tape Delay) / 3-5 p.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)

In the field: returning champion Lexi Thompson, Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie, Lexi Thompson, Suzann Pettersen, So Yeon Ryu, Shanshan Feng, Lydia Ko, Anna Nordqvist and Cristie Kerr.

Weekend Wrap

PGA TOUR / European Tour
WGC-HSBC Champions
Dates: Nov. 5-8
Sheshan International Golf Club
Shanghai, China

The World Golf Championships (WGC) HSBC Champions is an international competition drawing players from the two biggest professional golf tours on the planet, the PGA Tour and European Tour.

The HSBC featured some big names in golf this past weekend including Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler, Martin Kaymer, Billy Horschel, Bubba Watson, and Jordan Spieth.

The tournament finish was quite exciting.  Bubba Watson found himself two shots behind Tim Clark on the final hole of regulation.  From the left greenside, Watson holed an improbable shot for eagle to force a playoff with Clark.

On the first playoff hole Watson drained a 25-foot birdie putt to claim the win, the 7th win of his golf career.

PGA TOUR
Sanderson Farms Championship
Dates: Nov. 6-9
Country Club of Jackson
Jackson, Mississippi

What’s the prize for winning the Sanderson Farms Championship?  A large bronze rooster.  More importantly, a check for $720,000 and exemptions to major championships like the Masters.  A huge benefit as well includes exempt status on the PGA Tour until the 2016-2017 season.

In just his 16th start on the PGA Tour, Canadian golfer Nick Taylor claimed the win and vaulted his career to the next level, guaranteeing his presence on tour until at least 2017.  Taylor had been struggling with his putting previously, but this week’s putting, especially in the final round, made the difference.

Said Taylor following his victory at the Sanderson Farms Championship, “I like roosters now.  It’s my favorite animal.”