Thursday, January 19

Golf on TV: CareerBuilder Challenge, Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Mitsubishi Electric Championship

From a Golf Channel press release.

UPDATE: Phil Mickelson is going to play.

ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 17, 2017) – The PGA TOUR kicks off its West Coast swing this week with the CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, Calif., where tournament ambassador Phil Mickelson hopes to make his 2017 debut, despite undergoing two sports hernia surgeries in recent months. On the European Tour, two of the top-5 players in the world – Dustin Johnson (No. 3) and Henrik Stenson (No. 4) – will tee it up at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, where Rickie Fowler will defend. The 2017 PGA TOUR Champions season begins at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai in Hawaii, where David Toms will make his debut on the over-50 circuit.


CareerBuilder Challenge
Dates: Jan. 19-22
Venues: PGA West (Stadium Course); PGA West (Nicklaus Tournament Course); La Quinta Country Club, La Quinta, Calif.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         3-7 p.m. (Live) / Midnight-3 a.m. (Friday replay)
Friday              3-7 p.m. (Live) / 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          3-7 p.m. (Live) / 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            3-7 p.m. (Live) / 8 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Course rotation: The tournament will feature the same course rotation that was first introduced in last year’s event, with players competing in one round across each of the three courses and the PGA West stadium course hosting the final round of competition. The format will be a 72-hole event for the sixth consecutive year (formerly 90 holes over five days), with 156 professionals playing the pro-am rounds with different individual amateurs.
Dufner defends: Jason Dufner made par on the second playoff hole to outlast David Lingmerth and earn his fourth career PGA TOUR win.
Headlining the Field: Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas, Kevin Kisner, Emiliano Grillo, Jon Rahm, Andrew Johnston, Jason Dufner and Bryson DeChambeau.

* * *


Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
Dates: Jan. 19-22
Venue: Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Wednesday     10:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. (Live) / 3:30-6 a.m. (Thursday replay)
Thursday         6-8 a.m. (Live) / 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Replay)       
Friday              3-8 a.m. (Live) / Noon-2 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday          3:30-8 a.m. (Live) / Noon-2 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday            3:30-8 a.m. (Live) / Midnight-2 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Fowler defends: Rickie Fowler finished one shot ahead of Thomas Pieters for his second European Tour win.
Headlining the Field: Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler, Branden Grace, Thomas Pieters, Martin Kaymer, Danny Willett, Alex Noren, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Graeme Storm.

* * *


Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai
Dates: Jan. 19-21
Venue: Hualalai Golf Course, Ka’upulehu-Kona, Hawaii

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         7-10 p.m. (Live) / 10 a.m.-Noon (Friday replay)
Friday              7-10 p.m. (Live) / 10 a.m.-Noon (Saturday replay)
Saturday          7-10 p.m. (Live) / 10 a.m.-Noon (Sunday replay)
Broadcast Notes:
Toms making PGA TOUR Champions debut: David Toms will make his PGA TOUR Champions debut this week, after turning 50 on January 4.
Waldorf defends: Duffy Waldorf finished one stroke ahead of Tom Lehman to claim his second career PGA TOUR Champions win.
Headlining the Field: Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Colin Montgomerie, Miguel Angel Jimenez, John Daly, Tom Watson, David Toms, Vijay Singh, Mark O’Meara and Woody Austin.

Wednesday, January 18

Golf Voices From the Past: Ben Hogan

BEN HOGAN WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST golfers to ever play the game. One could argue that no one worked harder to earn his spot on the professional circuit and among other golf legends.

Hogan was not as talented as Byron Nelson and Sam Snead. "The Hawk" (Hogan's nickname) simply didn't give up. The game of golf was his obsession. It consumed him.

Hogan wrote groundbreaking golf instructions books. The first was POWER GOLF published in 1948. Here are the opening lines from the introduction:
CONTRARY to anything you may read on the subject, there is no such individual as a born golfer. Some have more natural ability than others, but they've all been made.
A page later, Hogan talks about golf scores:
In my opinion the greatest rounds of golf are not shot by the tournament professionals and hot-shot amateurs, but by the 85-90 shooters. That may seem like an exaggerated statement, but I honestly believe it to be true and I'll tell you why.
The lowest score ever made by a professional in competition is 62. Several of us are co-holders of that record. I have two rounds of 62, one at Oakland, California, and another at Chicago, Illinois. Walter Hagen, Lawson Little, Byron Nelson, Jimmy Demaret, Jim Ferrier and Herman Keiser are the other professionals who had 62's in competition. 
Any time you can shoot a 62, no matter how easy the course may be, that's great golf. But to my mind any time an 85-90 shooter shoots a 75, that's even greater golf. That is the equivalent of a professional shooting 59.
Ben Hogan won 64 tournaments, including nine majors. Six of his major victories came after an automobile accident that nearly killed him. Hogan made four appearances in the Ryder Cup, including twice as captain.

More Voices:
Dave Hill
Frank Beard

Tuesday, January 17

Is Jim Furyk a Good Pick for U.S. Ryder Cup Captain?

THE NEWS WAS ANNOUNCED LAST WEEK, so you've probably heard that Jim Furyk was named captain of the 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup team.

"It's been my favorite event of my entire career," Furyk said during the announcement at PGA of America headquarters. "The Ryder Cup embodies everything special about golf."

Furyk has played in nine Ryder Cups and has a losing record (10-20-4). He was an assistant to Captain Davis Love III in the 2016 U.S. romp at Hazeltine. In addition, he has won 17 times on the PGA Tour, including one major, the 2003 U.S. Open.

Apparently, judging from the above Golf Channel clip, not all are happy with this pick.

I'm OK with Furyk. I know he'll do a good job.

As for his playing record, no one of Furyk's generation (Tiger, Phil, etc.) has a good record because Europe has been dominating the Ryder Cup for three decades. I hope that's changed, but we'll see what happens in Paris.

Monday, January 16

Justin Thomas Cruises to 72-Hole Scoring Record

JUSTIN THOMAS OWNED THE HAWAII SWING on the PGA Tour. (I guess they call it the Aloha Slam.) Granted, it's just two events, but Thomas's back-to-back victories at the SBS Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open in Hawaii could not have been more impressive. He shot 49-under par in eight rounds.

Thomas's encore performance at the Sony Open included setting a new PGA Tour scoring record for 72 holes, a total of 253 (27-under par). The red-hot 23-year-old from Kentucky opened with a 59 and followed it up with 64, 65 and 65. He won by seven shots over runner-up Justin Rose. Jordan Spieth finished third.

The way Thomas was playing, the tournament appeared to be over before it was over, as he built a huge lead and set and tied 36- and 54-hole tour scoring records.

But you still have to finish it.

"I was more nervous teeing off today then I was in the other [wins]," Thomas admitted, "I had to turn off Twitter; I couldn't look anymore. It was just like, no one has ever lost a 7-shot lead, no one has ever lost a 7-shot lead. I'm like, I go out and play OK, a bad break here and there, if someone shoots 9 under, I lose."

Thomas now has four PGA Tour wins and jumped another four spots in the world rankings, from No. 12 to No. 8. As Spieth said about his pal last week, the floodgates are open.

Friday, January 13

A First From The Olympic Club

Following (and above) is golf course news from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). The golf industry has often been criticized about environmental impact, and justifiably so. The Olympic Club is helping to set a new standard.


THE OLYMPIC CLUB IS SHARING its progress toward environmental, social and economic sustainability. The report, developed in collaboration with IMPACT360 Sports, a women-owned independent third party, marks the first comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report in North America within the golf industry, redefining what it means to be a top 100 course and athletic club.

Thursday, January 12

Golf on TV: Sony Open in Hawaii and BMW South African Open

From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 10, 2017) – The PGA TOUR shifts to Honolulu this week for the Sony Open in Hawaii. Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose headline the TOUR’s first full-field event of 2017. World No. 2 Rory McIlroy will make his 2017 debut – and first start since the DP World Tour Championship in November – at this week’s BMW South African Open. Ernie Els, Nick Faldo and Darren Clarke also are in the field.


Sony Open in Hawaii
Dates: Jan. 12-15
Venue: Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, Hawaii

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         7-10:30 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              7-10:30 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          7-10:30 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            6-10 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)

Golf Central Pre and Post Round Coverage on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         6-7 p.m. (Live) / 10:30-11 p.m. (Live)
Friday             6:30-7 p.m. (Live) / 10:30-11 p.m. (Live)
Saturday          6:30-7 p.m. (Live) / 10:30-11:30 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            5:30-6 p.m. (Live) / 10-11 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Golf Central on-site from Waialae: Golf Channel’s daily evening news program – Golf Central­ – will originate from an on-site location at Waialae Country Club, Thursday-Sunday for pre-and post-round wraparound coverage surrounding each day of competition. Ryan Burr will serve as host, while Notah Begay and Brandel Chamblee will offer analysis, and Todd Lewis will provide updates and conduct player interviews.
Gomez defends: Fabian Gomez outlasted Brandt Snedeker with a birdie on the second playoff hole to earn his second PGA TOUR victory.
Headlining the Field: Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Justin Thomas, Paul Casey, Jimmy Walker, Zach Johnson, Branden Grace, William McGirt and Bill Haas.



BMW South African Open
Dates: Jan. 12-15
Venue: Glendower Golf Club, City of Ekurhuleni, South Africa

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Thursday         3-5 a.m. / 7-10 a.m. (Live) / 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Replay)
Friday              3-5 a.m. / 7-10 a.m. (Live)
Saturday          5-9:30 a.m. (Live)
Sunday            5-9:30 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
McIlroy to make 2017 debut: World No. 2 Rory McIlroy is set to make his 2017 debut this week in South Africa, marking his return to competition for the first time since the DP World Tour Championship in November.  
Stone defends: Brandon Stone finished two shots ahead of Christiaan Bezuidenhout to earn his first career European Tour win.
Headlining the Field: Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els, Nick Faldo, Retief Goosen, Andy Sullivan, Darren Clarke, Brandon Stone and Curtis Luck (a).

Wednesday, January 11

Blowing in the Bahamas on the Tour

IS THERE ANYTHING HARDER to play in than wind? Not in my experience.

While many of us might like to be in the Bahamas right now, playing golf there this week on the Tour is pretty brutal. The wind is blowing about 40. The ocean looks angry, as if it might crash onto the golf course and Sandals Emerald Bay at any moment.

The players are braving the harsh conditions as best they can -- and shooting some ridiculously high scores. The cut was 11-over par. That's a Tour record.

Greg Eason shot 91 and 95. He lost a lot of golf balls. I mean a lot.

"I started with 36 golf balls," Eason said. "I ended with four."

Kyle Thompson currently leads the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic. Hopefully, everyone will survive to play another day. A less windy one.

Tuesday, January 10

USGA VIDEO: One Last Shot at Life


From the USGA: "The Glenn Mills Schools is giving at-risk youth a chance at redemption through the virtues of golf."