Woods held out hope he could play in the Masters in early April but eventually announced he was unable to play.
PGA TOUR: OHL Classic at Mayakoba at El Camaleon Golf Club in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, Thursday through Sunday.
TV: Thursday, November 9th through Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 1-4 p.m. EST on the Golf Channel.
LAST YEAR: Pat Perez, playing on a major medical extension, regained his PGA Tour card when he claimed his second career victory on the circuit by posting a 4-under-par 67 to beat Gary Woodland by two strokes. Perez, who was playing his third event since returning from left shoulder surgery at the age of 40 earlier in the year, took the lead when he shot 62 in the third round. He solidified his control with five birdies in the first eight holes in the final round en route to earning his first victory since the 2009 Bob Hope Classic. Perez, playing the best golf of his career, captured the CIMB Classic in Malaysia three weeks ago and also tied for fifth in the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges in South Korea in his last start.
PGA TOUR: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, Thursday through Sunday.
TV: 4:30-7:30 p.m. ET each day on the Golf Channel.
LAST YEAR: Rod Pampling of Australia claimed his third victory on the PGA Tour, but the first in 10 years, by two strokes over Brooks Koepka. The then-47-year-old Aussie, who also won the 2004 International and the 2006 Bay Hill Invitational, sank a 30-foot birdie putt on the final hole to clinch the victory and cap a 6-under-par 65. Koepka, who would go on win he U.S. Open in June at Erin Hills, closed with a 67. Lucas Glover, seeking his first victory in five years, was tied for the lead with Pampling before making birdies on the last two holes. Glover shot 69 to finish three shots back in third.
There are two PGA Tour events this week:
PGA TOUR: WGC-HSBC Champions at Sheshan Golf Club in Shanghai, Thurs. through Sun.
TV: Wednesday and Thursday (in the United States), 10 p.m.-2 a.m. EDT; Friday and Saturday, 11 p.m.-3 a.m. EDT; on the Golf Channel.
LAST YEAR: Hideki Matsuyama earned the first of his three victories in the 2016-17 season, coasting to a seven-stroke victory over Daniel Berger and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson to become the first player from Japan to win one of the World Golf Championships. The 25-year-old Matsuyama, who has won six times around the world in barely more than a year, ran away from the field by posting scores of 65-66-68-65–265, 23 under par, to earn his third PGA Tour victory. Later in the season, he captured the Waste Management Phoenix Open for the second straight year and also won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to lead the FedExCup standings heading into the playoffs.
PGA TOUR: Sanderson Farms Championship at the Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, Miss.
TV: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 2:30-5:30 p.m. EDT, on the Golf Channel.
LAST YEAR: Left-hander Cody Gribble claimed his first PGA Tour victory, shooting a bogey-free 65 to win by four strokes over 2011 Sanderson Farms champion Chris Kirk, Luke List and Greg Owen of England. Gribble, who bounced back from an opening 73, became the third straight first-time winner and fourth in the last six years at the Country Club of Jackson. Gribble got back into contention with a 63 in round two. After posting a 67 in the third round, he started the final round two shots behind co-leaders List and Kirk. He took control with birdies on the 11th, 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th holes to play the back nine in 5-under 31. Owen closed with 68, while Kirk and List both shot 70.
PGA TOUR: CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges at the Club at Nine Bridges in Jeju Island, South Korea, Thursday through Sunday.
TV: Wednesday through Saturday (in the United States), 10 p.m.-2 a.m. EDT, on the Golf Channel.
HISTORY: Inaugural event.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS: Dominion Energy Charity Classic, the first event of the Charles Schwab Cup playoffs, on the James River Course at the Country Club of Virginia in Richmond, Va., Friday through Sunday.
TV: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 2:30-5 p.m. EDT, on the Golf Channel.
LAST YEAR: Scott McCarron sank a 10-foot birdie putt to win on the first hole of a playoff after Tom Byrum’s 11-footer for birdie rolled over the edge of the hole but would not fall. McCarron, who won three times in his career on the PGA Tour, claimed his second victory on the PGA Tour Champions and has won four more times this season. McCarron, who missed a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole of regulation that would have given him the title, and Byrum both shot 3-under-par 69 in the final round. Byrum, who had one victory on the PGA Tour and is winless on the senior circuit, pulled even with birdies on the 15th and 16th holes.
PGA TOUR: CIMB Classic on the West Course at TPC Kuala Lumpur in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday through Sunday.
TV: Wednesday and Thursday (in the United States), 10:30 p.m. EDT-2:30 a.m. EDT; Friday and Saturday (in the U.S.), 11 p.m.-3 a.m. EDT; on the Golf Channel each day.
LAST YEAR: Justin Thomas kick-started his Player of the Year season by shooting 8-under-par 64 in the first and last rounds to successfully defend his title by three strokes over Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, who closed with a 66. Thomas, who captured the first of his five titles during the 2016-17 season en route to winning the FedExCup last month, began the final round four shots behind leader Anirban Lahiri of India, who tied for third after a 72. Thomas took the lead with birdies on four of his first five holes and six of the first 10, then pulled away with two more on the 17th and 18th holes. A year earlier, he shot a course-record 61 in round two on the way to a one-stroke victory over Adam Scott of Australia, sinking a 6-foot par putt on the last hole.
NAPA – (Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – Brendan Steele erased a two-shot deficit in the final round and completed a successful defense of his Safeway Open championship on Sunday in Napa, Calif. Closing with a 3-under-par 69, Steele finished at 15-under 273 on the North Course at Silverado Resort and Spa. He wound up with a two-shot victory over Tony Finau, who also shot 69 on Sunday.
Steele is the first two-time winner in the event, which has been held 11 times. The tournament was played in Scottsdale, Ariz., and San Martin, Calif., before moving to its current location in October 2014.
A year ago, Steele’s 270 total left him one stroke in front of runner-up Patton Kizzire. Steele’s only other career PGA Tour win came in the 2011 Valero Texas Open. He has never finished in the top 10 in a Grand Slam event.
Steele made his move Sunday with a bogey-free front nine. He recorded birdies at Nos. 4, 5 and 9 to make the turn at 3 under for the round. Steele gave back strokes at Nos. 12 and 14 but recovered with birdies at Nos. 16 and 18.
“(There) was a brutal wind today,” Steele said, according to AFP. “Lots of holes into the wind, lots of uncomfortable shots.”
Finau, who began the final round in seventh place, eagled the fifth hole. He added two birdies before his lone slip-up of the day: a double-bogey 6 at No. 14. A birdie on the final hole allowed him to emerge with sole possession of second place.
Phil Mickelson (final-round 70) and Chesson Hadley (final-round 73) tied for third place at 276. Mickelson remains winless since the 2013 Open Championship.
“I had a good time today,” Mickelson said. “It was fun to be in the mix, it was fun to have a chance.
“It was very difficult conditions. I enjoy that challenge. This course played totally different with the firm greens and the wind and some of the high pin placements were tough to get to.”
Rookie Tyler Duncan, the third-round leader, and Canadian Graham DeLaet shared fifth place at 277. Duncan stumbled to a 75 and DeLaet carded a 72.
Andrew Landry (69) and Bud Cawley (74) tied for seventh at 278. Four players tied for ninth at 279: Grayson Murray (69), South Africa’s Tyrone Van Aswegen (69), Brandon Harkins (68) and Canada’s Nick Taylor (72).
The event was the opener of the 2017-18 PGA Tour season
NAPA – (Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – Tyler Duncan finished an uneven second round with two birdies and an eagle on Friday to grab a one-shot lead in the Safeway Open in Napa, Calif. Duncan, who began the day tied for first, fired a 6-under-par 66 at the North Course at Silverado Resort and Spa for a two-day total of 13-under 131, a stroke ahead of defending champion Brendan Steele, who shot a 67 on Friday.
The tournament is the opener of the 2017-18 PGA Tour schedule.
PGA Tour: Tyler Duncan
Duncan, making his second career PGA Tour start, had an erratic round. Starting the day at the 10th tee, he had three birdies on his front nine, but then had three consecutive bogeys at the third, fourth and fifth holes on his back nine. He then righted himself and had a birdie-2 on the seventh hole, a birdie-3 on the eighth hole and an eagle-3 on his final hole, the par-5 ninth.
“It’s crazy, it’s nothing I could have ever dreamed of,” said Duncan, according to the Napa Valley Register. “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, to be honest. It’s something I’ve dreamed about for a long time. I’m just happy to be playing here and to be in the lead is something special.”
Steele also had a bogey in his round, but he countered that with six birdies.
“It was really a solid day, very similar to yesterday,” Steele said, according to the Register. “I hit a lot of good shots, rolled and a lot of good putts and was able to watch Chesson go crazy.”
Chesson is Chesson Hadley, who shot an 11-under 61 in the second round to break the course record, leaving him alone in third place at 133. He had a chance for a 59, but parred the final two holes.
Hadley lost his PGA Tour card at the end of the 2016 season and dropped back to the Web.com Tour. He captured his third career win on that tour in July, at the LECOM Health Challenge, and that ensured his return to the PGA Tour.
He carded 10 birdies, a bogey and an eagle on his round Friday to put himself in contention heading into the weekend.
“It’s just one of those days everything was going my way,” Hadley told the Register. “I was hitting great shots, good putts and got some good breaks. When you get that of momentum, things just go your way.”
Tied for fourth, two strokes behind Hadley, were Zac Blair, who shot a 66 on Friday, and Tony Finau, who shot 65. Graham DeLaet of Canada and Brian Davis of England are another stroke back in sixth after shooting rounds of 67 and 66, respectively.
Phil Mickelson shot a 69 in the second round and is tied for 15th at 138.
“I expected to score a little bit better today, but I had some good chances today,” said Mickelson, who had a double bogey on his round. “I drove it a lot better, I hit quite a few more fairways and gave myself some good birdie chances. But I let a few opportunities slide.”
John Daly, a two-time major winner who is playing this event on a sponsor exemption, birdied the 18th for a 69 to make the cut at 143.
K.J. Choi was among those who missed the cut. Jason Schmuhl didn’t make the cut either but hit a hole-in-one on No. 15
NAPA – (Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – Tom Hoge registered six birdies in an eight-hole span, and he is one of three players tied for first place after the opening round of the Safeway Open on Thursday in Napa, Calif.
Hoge, defending champion Brendan Steele and Tyler Duncan each shot 7-under-par 65 on the North Course at Silverado Resort and Spa.
The tournament is the opener of the 2017-18 PGA Tour schedule.
The hot round came three days after Hoge earned his PGA Tour playing privileges for the season by climbing into the top 25 of the Web.com Tour at that circuit’s season finale.
Beginning his Thursday round on the back nine, Hoge made birdies at Nos. 11 and 12, sandwiched two pars around a birdie at No. 14, then added birdies at Nos. 16, 17 and 18 to make the turn in 6-under 30. He carded one more birdie at No. 6 to cap his bogey-free round.
“I played really well the whole day,” Hoge said, according to the Napa Valley Register. “I was in a lot of the fairways, a lot of greens and then made a few putts. I just took advantage of some opportunities.
“I feel like I’ve been playing pretty well. So it was nice to get going right away here in Napa and keep the momentum going.”
Hoge, a 28-year-old TCU product, is still looking for his first PGA Tour win. His best result last season was a tie for fourth in the Barracuda Championship in Reno Nev.
Steele also tore up the back nine, recording five birdies in a six-hole stretch from No. 13 to No. 18. He added an eagle on No. 5 but followed with a bogey on the next hole.
“A little bit of everything worked for me today,” Steele said, according to Golf365.com. “I had a really good ball-striking day. I don’t think I missed a green, so that really helps. And then I had a good putting day as well, so you put that together and it’s going to be pretty good.”
Duncan’s round was highlighted by an eagle at No. 10. Duncan also reeled off consecutive birdies at Nos. 16, 17 and 18 to complete his day. His lone bogey came at No. 9.
Chez Reavie, Lucas Glover, Jamie Lovemark and Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo are tied for fourth at 67.
Zach Johnson, Kevin Tway, Ryan Moore and Maverick McNealy share eighth place at 68. McNealy is making his pro debut after a strong collegiate career at Stanford.
Phil Mickelson shot a 69 and is one of 12 players tied for 12th
NAPA – (Staff and wire service report with Sports Xchange) – Just when you think the Tour Championship is in the books and the season is over, it starts right back up again. The PGA Tour’s year ’round schedule begins this weekend when the tour pros tee it up at the Safeway in Napa, California. Are you ready? Well, we know, but no whining, just wine. Here’s 10 players to watch:
1. Phil Mickelson, United States — Mickelson played his best golf late in the season, including his 3-0-1 record in helping lead the United States to another Presidents Cup last week at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J. Not only did he excel on the course, but the 47-year-old was a leader for his younger teammates in the team room. Mickelson helped finish the victory by beating Adam Hadwin of Canada, 2 and 1, in his 100th career match for the United States in the Ryder and Presidents Cups. He is the highest-ranked player in the field for the 2017-18 PGA Tour Opener at No. 30 in the world and wants to get off to a good start after he made it through the first three events of the FedExCup playoffs last month before falling short of the Tour Championship. Mickelson has claimed 11 of his 42 career titles in California, but is winless since the 2013 Open Championship at Turnberry. He is making his third start in the tournament and missed the cut in 2007 before tying for eighth last year.
2. Brendan Steele, United States — Steele will defend his title in the Safeway Open after a two-week break since he finished 33rd in the FedExCup point standings and missed the Tour Championship by three spots. He had four finishes in the top 10 and 10 in the top 25 last season, including his second victory on the PGA Tour in the opener at Silverado, the other coming in the 2011 Valero Texas Open. Steele trailed Patton Kizzire by five strokes entering the final round of the Safeway last year before making birdies on the last three holes to finish off a 7-under-par 65 and beat Kizzire by one shot. The run started with a three-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole, followed by an 18-footer on the 17th and was capped by a seven-footer on the last hole to wrap up his ninth victory as a professional. Two years ago, Steele took the lead into the final round before closing with a 76 to slide all the way to a tie for 17th.
3. Webb Simpson, United States — After finishing the 2016-17 season with a strong run, Simpson is looking forward to getting the new campaign off on the right foot after taking a week off since his tie for 13th in the Tour Championship. He had three top-10 finishes in his last five starts and a total of six for the season, including a playoff loss to Hideki Matsuyama of Japan in the Waste Management Phoenix Open and wound up 17th in the final FedExCup point standings. Simpson struggled for a while after the ban of his anchored putter at the start of 2016, but was much better with a conventional putter last season. He could be close to his first victory since the 2013 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, his fourth PGA Tour title, which came a year after he won the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. Simpson is making his fifth start in what is now the Safeway Open, with his best result a tie for 13th in 2009, but he missed the cut the last two years at Silverado.
4. Tony Finau, United States — Following a season in which he reached the Tour Championship for the first time, Finau is looking to get out of the gate quickly this week when he makes his fourth start in the Safeway Open. He tied for 12th in his first appearance at Silverado in 2015, but hasn’t played as well the last two years with a tie for 32nd and a tie for 26th. However, Finau is looking to pick up where he left off in the playoffs two weeks ago, finishing the season with ties for seventh in both the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship. He recorded in the top 10 on eight occasions in 2016-17, with his best result a tie for third in the Valero Texas Open, and finished 19th in the FedExCup standings. There is sentiment on the PGA Tour that Finau is a blooming talent who is ready to break out in a big way and add to his only title on the circuit, which came in the 2016 Puerto Rico Open, when he turned back Steve Marino with a birdie on the third playoff hole.
5. Kevin Na, United States — Not only is Na coming off a tie for fourth in the Wyndham Championship and a tie for sixth in the Dell Technologies Championship in two of his last four events of last season, he has a terrific record in what is now the Safeway Open. Two years ago, he took the lead after the third round with an 8-under-par 64, but managed only a 70 on the final day and lost to a birdie by Emiliano Grillo on the second playoff hole. Last year, Na finished solo seventh in his title defense, and before the tournament moved to Silverado he tied for 15th in 2011 and tied for third in 2014 by shooting 64-64 on the weekend. His only PGA Tour victory came in the 2011 Justin Timberlake Shriners for Hospitals Children Open, and last season he posted five top-10 finishes and made it through three rounds of the FedExCup playoffs before bowing out, but shot 8-under-par 63 in his final round of the season.
6. Zach Johnson, United States — Having missed the Tour Championship and the Presidents Cup, Johnson comes off a two-week a break as he tries to regain the form that made him a two-time major champion. His last victory came in the 2015 Open Championship in a playoff over Marc Leishman of Australia and Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Last season, he recorded only four results in the top 10, the best second in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and he wound up 48th in the FedExCup standings to make it through three rounds of the playoffs before failing to qualify for the Tour Championship. Looking to make his quick turn-around become a fast start to the new season, Zach is playing in the Safeway Open for the first time. He usually waits until the RSM Classic at his home in Sea Island, Ga., to get started and figures to be in the field for that event next month since the title sponsor also is one of his backers.
7. Adam Hadwin, Canada — Coming off an 0-2-1 record in the Presidents Cup even though he played better than the record might indicate, Hadwin will try to put that in his rear-view mirror quickly when he makes his fifth start in what is now the Safeway Open. He tied for seventh in 2011 at CordeValle, but in the last three years he tied for 53rd, tied for 41st and missed the cut last season at Silverado. Hadwin bounced back from that opener last year to finish in the top 10 on five occasions and the top 25 a total of 10 times, including his first PGA Tour victory in the Valspar Championship. Hadwin, who also won the Chile Classic and the Chiquita Classic on the Web.com Tour in 2014 among his 12 victories as a pro, made it all the way through the FedExCup playoffs last month before tying for 23rd in the Tour Championship to wind up 26th in the final point standings.
8. Emiliano Grillo, Argentina — Another player from the International team who is looking to put last week’s Presidents Cup defeat to the United States behind quickly, Grillo is coming back to the Safeway Open, in which he claimed his only PGA Tour victory two years ago. After earning his card on the big circuit by winning the 2015 Web.com Tour Championship, he made won his debut as a PGA Tour member a few weeks later by shooting 69-65 on the weekend at Silverado before defeating Kevin Na with a birdie on the second playoff hole. That kick-started a season in which he was voted the PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year, but last year was not nearly as good, starting with a tie for sixth in his Safeway title defense. Grillo had only two top-10 finished last season, the best a tie for seventh in the Arnold Palmer, but he wasn’t that far off with seven results in the top 25, including solo 11th finishes in the Players Championship and the WGC-HSBC Champions.
9. Bill Haas, United States — Disappointed by barely missing the Tour Championship, which he won in 2011 to wrap up the FedExCup, Haas will be trying to get the new season off to a good start with his fourth appearance in the Safeway Open. He tied for 20th last year in his only appearance at Silverado, and also tied for 20th in 2008 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Arizona. Haas recorded only four finishes in the top 10 last season, but did post 12 results in the top 25 and was on the bubble to make the top 30 and qualify for the Tour Championship before he could manage only a tie for 53rd in the BMW Championship. He has six victories in his PGA Tour career, the last in the 2015 Humana Challenge, and the highlights of his 2016-17 season were third in the Dell Technologies Match Play, a tie for fourth in the WGC-HSBC Champions and a tie for fifth in the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
10. Ryan Moore, United States — A five-time winner on the PGA Tour, Moore finished off a sub-par 2016-17 season when he tied for 20th in the BMW Championship, third event of the FedExCup playoffs, and failed to qualify for the 30-player field in the Tour Championship. He is another player trying to turn things around and start the new season on the right foot in the Safeway Open at Silverado, where he tied for 10th in 2016. He also tied for eighth in 2009 and tied for sixth in 2007, when the tournament was played at Grayhawk Golf Club in Arizona. Moore, whose last victory came in the 2016 John Deere Classic, finished in the top 10 only twice last season with a tie for third in the SBS Championship and a tie for ninth in the Masters. He did post 10 results in the top 25, including a tie for 13th in the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow two months ago. Part of the reason for his down season was a shoulder injury that caused him to miss the U.S. Open