Devil Ball Golf

  • Rory McIlroy brought the roars to the Ryder Cup. (Getty Images)
    Rory McIlroy brought the roars to the Ryder Cup. (Getty Images)

    The WGC-HSBC Champions is the final World Golf Championships event of the year, played in China as the only of the WGCs contested outside of North America.

    Russell Knox is defending champion at Sheshan International in a field that features nine of the top 11 players in the Official World Golf Ranking (Jason Day and Jordan Spieth aren’t playing).

    Here are our top five players this week:

    1. Rory McIlroy — McIlroy has a consistent record in this event (and in China in general), and he’s been playing brilliant golf. New driver and fairway wood in the bag this week, so it’ll be interesting to see the adjustment.

    2. Paul Casey — Casey has been a top-10 machine of late, and there’s no reason to believe that strong play won’t continue this week.

    3. Dustin Johnson — Johnson is making his “season” debut in his first start since the Ryder Cup. He’s a past champion here and Sheshan International fits his game.

    4. Justin Thomas — The

    Read More »from Power rankings: WGC-HSBC Champions
  • Donald Trump hosts two golf majors in 2017. (Getty Images)
    Donald Trump hosts two golf majors in 2017. (Getty Images)

    Three U.S. senators have formally asked the USGA to move the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open from the Donald Trump-owned Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.

    Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote a letter to the USGA — namely executive director and CEO Mike Davis — imploring the organization to move the event, set to be played July 13-16.

    “The decision that the USGA makes is more consequential than simply the geographic location of a golf tournament,” the letter read. “In declining future association with a brand that degrades women, the USGA and LPGA have an opportunity to make clear to the world, and most especially young Americans, that our nation will not tolerate nor do business with any company that condones or excuses action that constitutes sexual assault.”

    Trump National was awarded the U.S. Women’s Open in May 2012.

    This is not the first time that Trump-owned courses have come

    Read More »from Trio of senators ask USGA to move Women's Open from Trump course
  • John Daly is the subject of a new ESPN 30 for 30, called “Hit It Hard,” which premieres Nov. 1. In anticipation of the film, ESPN has released a trailer and now a little peek into the movie, which chronicles the two-time major winner’s rise and fall and resurgence.

    John Daly is still hittin' it hard. (Getty Images)
    John Daly is still hittin’ it hard. (Getty Images)

    In the latest clip, Daly talks about the one time he says he drank during a PGA Tour event — and had surprisingly good results — during an edition of the old Los Angeles Open, now known as the Genesis Open.

    “It was so slow and I played the back nine first,” Daly says. “I think I’m 2 or 3 over. I went in the locker room and downed like five beers, and I think I shot 4 under on the front nine. That is the only time I know that I ever drank during a round, and I played great. I played great that week. I finished strong.”

    Daly maintains this was the only time he drank during a round, though he did say he’s played drunk from a late night prior and hungover. You live, you learn,

    Read More »from John Daly admits to drinking mid-round once on the PGA Tour
  • Wake Forest basketball jerseys will honor Arnold Palmer. (Twitter)
    Wake Forest basketball jerseys will honor Arnold Palmer. (@UniWatch on Twitter)

    Wake Forest University will continue to honor one of its most famous alumni, Arnold Palmer, during the basketball season.

    The Atlantic Coast Conference school will add an circular patch with Palmer’s initials, AP, in black stitching in front of a gold background.

    This is the latest way the school is honoring Palmer, who died in Sept. 25 at the age of 87 after complications ahead of a planned procedure at a Pittsburgh hospital. The school’s football team is wearing Palmer’s umbrella logo on their jerseys and with helmet stickers. They also painted the umbrella logo on its athletic fields.

    Read More »from Wake Forest basketball to honor Arnold Palmer with uniform patch
  • Lexi Thompson is breaking barriers. (Getty Images)
    Lexi Thompson is breaking barriers. (Getty Images)

    Lexi Thompson will make Shark Shootout history in December, becoming just the second woman to compete in the two-player team event.

    Thompson will team with fellow Cobra Golf staffer Bryson DeChambeau in the 24-player event, which will be played for the 16th consecutive year at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla. She’ll become the first woman to compete in the event since Annika Sorenstam played in 2006.

    The event, hosted by Greg Norman (hence the Shark name), is a 54-hole event with a different format for each round. In the first round, the players compete in a scramble, followed by modified alternate shot and better ball.

    Thompson has a major title among her seven LPGA wins, and she won the Honda LPGA Thailand this season.

    The 21-year-old Thompson and DeChambeau aren’t the only players making their debut. Six others — Justin Thomas, Luke Donald, Russell Knox, Kevin Kisner, Kevin Chappell and Smylie Kaufman — will play for the first time

    Read More »from Lexi Thompson to play in Shark Shootout, first woman to play since 2006
  • Padraig Harrington is a winner again on the European Tour for the first time in eight years.

    He pulled off the victory at the Portugal Masters on Sunday, closing with a 6-under 65 at Victoria Clube de Golfe to beat Andy Sullivan by a shot at 23-under 261.

    The three-time major winner went bogey-free in the final round, taking to heart the style of play needed to come from behind for a win on a golf course yielding a lot of birdies and eagles — one that many players in the field thought might be susceptible to giving up the first recognized 59 (or better) in European Tour history.

    “I tried to be really aggressive,” Harrington said. “The golf course suited me and I just tried to go after every pin I could and make birdies. I have a pretty good short game that was on form this week. No matter where I hit it, I felt like I could get it up and down.”

    For the Irishman, this is his first European Tour win since the 2008 PGA Championship, his second major

    Read More »from Padraig Harrington wins Portugal Masters for 1st Euro Tour win in 8 years
  • Your winner and still champion of the CIMB Classic, Justin Thomas.

    Thomas picked up his second-career PGA Tour win on Sunday in the rare successful title defense, capturing his second consecutive title at TPC Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia with a three-stroke win over Hideki Matsuyama of Japan.

    The American entered the final round four shots behind 54-hole leader Anirban Lahiri of India. However, Thomas quickly surged to the lead early in the round with four birdies in the first five holes, benefiting from Lahiri’s misfortune on the par-5 third, when his tee shot got stuck in a tree leading to a quadruple-bogey 9.

    “That was just unfortunate, it really was,” Thomas said, having played alongside Lahiri and Russell Knox in the final round. “You never want something like that to happen. That’s one of the things that happens when you win, you get a little luckier breaks. You get fortunate.”

    Lahiri recovered to go out in just 1 over par, but he could only

    Read More »from Justin Thomas successfully defends CIMB Classic title
  • Tiger Woods minced no words with Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Thursday, sounding definitive when he said he would play again.

    When Colbert asked when to expect Woods to make his comeback after a false start at the Safeway Open and pulling out of the Turkish Airlines Open, Woods said he is in for his tournament, the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December.

    “I’ll be there,” Woods said. “I’m playing.”

    “You’re going to play?” Colbert asked to clarify.

    “I’ll be there playing,” Woods responded.

    In announcing his decision to pull out of the Safeway Open, Woods reiterated his intention to play in the World Challenge, a year after a sullen news conference at the same tournament in which he said anything he accomplished in golf beyond his 79 PGA Tour wins and 14 majors would be “gravy.”

    Woods explained to Colbert why he withdrew from the Safeway Open, expounding on his website post in which he said his game is

    Read More »from Tiger Woods says he'll play World Challenge
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    Tiger Woods is a guy who is always looking forward, it seems.

    After all, he still firmly believes, 14-plus months removed from any kind of significant competitive golf, that he will beat Jack Nicklaus’ tally of 18 majors. He’s revealed plans for the post-golf phase of his life, bringing all of his off-course enterprises under a brand dubbed TGR, even as he toils to get his back and conditioning right to make one last return inside the ropes.

    So, you’d imagine, then, that Woods is a guy with few regrets. In fact, Woods told Charlie Rose in an interview that he only has one.

    Tiger Woods wishes he finished out at Stanford. (Getty Images)
    Tiger Woods wishes he finished out at Stanford. (Getty Images)

    “If you look back, the only regret I have in life is not spending another year at Stanford (to finish out), and I wish I would’ve had one more year,” Woods said.

    Rose, somewhat stunned, pressed. Woods affirmed his answer.

    “All the things I’ve been through are tough, yes,” he said. “They’ve been tough, but they’ve been great for me, but I wish I would’ve

    Read More »from Tiger Woods' only regret? Dropping out of Stanford
  • Tiger Woods still believes he can beat Jack Nicklaus’ 18-major tally. In an interview on “The Charlie Rose Show,” the interviewer asked the 14-time major winner if he thinks he can pass Nicklaus.

    ROSE: Do you believe you’ll get 18 majors?

    WOODS: To be honest with you, no.

    ROSE: You don’t?

    WOODS: No.

    ROSE: You’ve accepted that?

    WOODS: I’ve accepted I’m going to get more.

    On first blush, it might be tempting to read this as an admission that Woods feels he won’t pass Nicklaus. However, it should be read as Woods setting up Rose for the second answer, saying that he still believes he will win at least 19 professional majors.

    Woods hasn’t played competitive golf since August 2015, finishing T-10 at the Wyndham Championship before a pair of back surgeries in the next two months that have kept him out of action. Woods withdrew from the Safeway Open, his intended comeback start, on the Monday of tournament week while simultaneously announcing that he

    Read More »from Tiger Woods still believes he can win more majors than Jack Nicklaus
  • Tiger Woods and Jason Day practice together and text regularly. (Getty Images)
    Tiger Woods and Jason Day practice together and text regularly. (Getty Images)

    Tiger Woods’ comeback has stalled, with the 14-time major winner bowing out of the PGA Tour’s season-opening Safeway Open on the Monday of tournament week. He’s backed out of a planned start at the European Tour’s Turkish Airlines Open in November. The next time we could expect to see Woods compete is the Hero World Challenge, run by his foundation, in December in the Bahamas.

    However, world No. 1 Jason Day doesn’t expect Woods to make that start, and he was skeptical of Woods’ ability to return when he announced his intention to come back to competitive golf in September.

    “I never really had any faith in him coming back this year,” Day said, according to Golf Australia. “The state of his game, I’m not sure. His back is so sore. I think we’ll see him sometime next year, but I’m not sure when.”

    In announcing his withdrawal from the Safeway Open, Woods said his game is “vulnerable” and needed more time to get

    Read More »from Jason Day doesn't expect Tiger Woods to play this year
  • Davis Love III will enter the World Golf Hall of Fame. (Getty Images)
    Davis Love III will enter the World Golf Hall of Fame. (Getty Images)

    The World Golf Hall of Fame has announced its 2017 class, which includes 1997 PGA champion Davis Love III, 1991 Masters winner Ian Woosnam, multi-time LPGA major winners Lorena Ochoa and Meg Mallon, as well Henry Longhurst.

    Love, the winning 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup captain, has won 21 times on the PGA Tour, including the 2015 Wyndham Championship at the age of 51. His lone major came in the 1997 PGA Championship at Winged Foot in New York. He also twice won The Players, including with a closing 64 in 2003.

    The Englishman Woosnam, now 58, won the 1991 Masters amid 29 European Tour titles. Woosnam was a two-time European Tour Player of the Year, in 1987 and ’90, and he was the winning Ryder Cup captain in 2006.

    The Mexican-born Ochoa dominated the LPGA in the mid-2000s before shocking the golf world with her retirement from the tour in 2010 at the age of 28, with plans to start a family. In her career, she won 27 times on

    Read More »from Love, Woosnam, Ochoa, Mallon head 2017 World Golf Hall of Fame class
  • Brendan Steele won for the second time on the PGA Tour. (Getty Images)
    Brendan Steele won for the second time on the PGA Tour. (Getty Images)

    On Sunday, Brendan Steele avenged a disappointing Sunday in California wine country from a year ago.

    Steele won the Safeway Open at Silverado Resort in Napa, Calif., picking up his second PGA Tour win and first since his breakthrough victory at the 2011 Valero Texas Open. The California native finished with three consecutive birdies to pull off a one-stroke win over Patton Kizzire at 18-under 270.

    A year ago, Steele led through 54 holes in the PGA Tour’s season opener but closed with a 76 that dropped him into a tie for 17th place while Emiliano Grillo beat Kevin Na in a playoff for his first PGA Tour title. This time around, Steele opened the final round — which came on Sunday after the third round was completed in the morning, and with a multi-hour weather delay around lunch time — five back of the lead. Steele’s finish capped off a closing 7-under 65 that set the mark for the final few threesomes to chase.

    Paul

    Read More »from Brendan Steele picks up second PGA Tour win at Safeway Open
  • Victor Dubuisson of France won the Turkish Airlines Open in November 2015. (Getty Images)
    Victor Dubuisson of France won the Turkish Airlines Open in November 2015. (Getty Images)

    European Tour officials have spent the weekend investigating reports of a rocket attack in the Turkish southern city of Antalya, host to the forthcoming Turkish Airlines Open.

    On Friday, Turkish media reported two rockets were fired into the town from a mountainous area near a highway linking Antalya to another resort town, Kemer. No one was killed or injured in the explosion, which evidently targeted a fuel tanker but hit a storage house for a nearby fishing company.

    “As a matter of priority, we are currently investigating [Friday’s] incident in the Antalya region with our security consultants and local authorities,” said a European Tour spokesman on Friday, according to PA Sport. “We will update further as soon as possible.”

    Turkey has been target of multiple terror attacks dating back to 2015, blamed on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or the Islamic State group. A failed military coup was

    Read More »from European Tour looking into rocket attack near Turkish tournament host
  • Paul McGinley was the winning captain in 2014. (Getty Images)
    Paul McGinley was the winning captain in 2014. (Getty Images)

    The Europeans are already deliberating about who will take the reins from Darren Clarke for the 2018 Ryder Cup matches in Paris.

    According to winning 2014 captain Paul McGinley, the Europeans will identify the new captain around Christmas.

    “We’ll be appointing a new skipper probably this side of Christmas,” McGinley said at the British Masters on Sunday, according to Reuters. “We are very disappointed to have lost the Ryder Cup. It hurts to lose … the event goes from strength to strength, this time it didn’t go our way but we’ll re-galvanize and come at the Americans again.”

    So, who will be the new European captain? Three names come immediately to mind. Miguel Angel Jimenez was considered for the 2016 captaincy before Clarke ultimately earned the confidence of the voting committee. Thomas Bjorn, a long-time European Tour player leader and a man who was loyal to the Tour when it would have been easy to jump to the PGA Tour in

    Read More »from Former Euro Ryder Cup captain McGinley: Expect '18 captain by Christmas
  • Stephen Curry follows his shot from the Silverado Resort North Course during the Safeway Open PGA golf tournament . (AP Photo)

    Stephen Curry was supposed to play in the Wednesday pro-am at the Safeway Open with Tiger Woods, pitting the NBA star and MVP against the greatest golfer of this generation. Well, that didn’t happen. But, Curry was still on hand at Silverado Resort to flex his single-digit handicap game … and show off his basketball skills, too.

    Turns out, Curry got bested in both by a PGA Tour pro.

    Curry played with Harold Varner III, entering his second season on the PGA Tour, in the pro-am. Throughout the course, basketball nets were set up, perhaps by fans, to encourage Curry to flex his shooting muscles. On one hole, Curry and Varner were trying to nail down what amounts to a half-court heave from inside the ropes. Both guys had been missing, when Varner steps up and slapped Curry with the B in B-O-G-E-Y.

    Read More »from Stephen Curry loses basketball contest to PGA Tour player Harold Varner III
  • Phil Mickelson plans to play in 2018 Ryder Cup in France

    Phil Mickelson plans on being in France as a player in the 2018 Ryder Cup. (Getty Images)
    Phil Mickelson plans on being in France as a player in the 2018 Ryder Cup. (Getty Images)

    Phil Mickelson plans on being in France for the 2018 Ryder Cup — as a player, not as an assistant captain.

    The 46-year-old went 2-1-1 at Hazeltine in the role of de facto playing vice-captain, including making 10 birdies to halve his Sunday singles match against Sergio Garcia. He was credited, along with Tiger Woods and captain Davis Love III, with coming up with the game plan that helped the U.S. end a three-match losing skid against the European side, headed by Darren Clarke.

    Mickelson has been a mainstay on American teams — Ryder and Presidents Cups — since 1995, not missing one and not needing a wild-card pick to make any of them. The five-time major winner figures there’s nothing that should stop him from making the next two U.S. teams, both at the Presidents Cup in New Jersey next September and in Paris for the 2018 Ryder Cup.

    “It’s been 22 years since there have been 10 Americans that have

    Read More »from Phil Mickelson plans to play in 2018 Ryder Cup in France
  • PODCAST: Tiger Woods' comeback on hold, and guest Pat Perez

    Tiger Woods isn't coming back quite yet. (Getty Images)
    Tiger Woods isn’t coming back quite yet. (Getty Images)

    Tiger Woods shocked the golf world again on Monday, announcing he was pulling out of his intended comeback at the Safeway Open because of a “vulnerable” game. Will he play again? What’s holding him back? Our guest is PGA Tour winner Pat Perez, who will make his own comeback to golf after 7 months out following surgery to repair a torn labrum. We’ll talk his return, his relationship with William Murray Golf, Bill Murray’s new golf clothing line, and his work on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio.

    LISTEN to this week’s podcast on audioBoom!

    Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play MusicTuneIn, PlayerFM or Stitcher.


    Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

    Read More »from PODCAST: Tiger Woods' comeback on hold, and guest Pat Perez
  • Power rankings: Safeway Open

    Phil Mickelson is in the field this week. (PGA of America)
    Phil Mickelson is in the field this week. (PGA of America)

    It’s like we never stopped playing golf! The PGA Tour season starts anew this week in Wine Country with the Safeway Open in Napa, Calif. Silverado Resort hosts for the third consecutive year, as Emiliano Grillo defends his first PGA Tour title, won here in a playoff last year over Kevin Na.

    A number of top 50 players are in the field, looking to get their seasons off to a hot start.

    Here are our top five players for this week:

    1. Phil Mickelson — Alright, this might sound a little nutty, but Mickelson was brilliant at the Ryder Cup, and he’s now got nothing to worry about in terms of playing with Tiger Woods. Take the young’uns to the woodshed.

    2. Paul Casey — Casey had a brilliant finish to his season, and he’s a guy who can keep the ball in play just long enough to make Silverado play short for him.

    3. Emiliano Grillo — The defending champion took a win in this event last year all the way to the Tour Championship. Clearly

    Read More »from Power rankings: Safeway Open
  • Tiger Woods withdrew from the Safeway Open for what was dubbed
    Tiger Woods withdrew from the Safeway Open for what was dubbed “performance reasons” by Golf Channel’s Tim Rosaforte. (Getty Images)

    Tiger Woods may not have been ready to put his game on public display for cameras and hordes of people at a PGA Tour event, but he was willing to put on a show for fans at a clinic on Tuesday.

    Just a few hours coastward from Silverado Resort, site of the Safeway Open in Napa, Calif., Woods demonstrated his game at Monterey Peninsula Country Club as part of a charity tournament and outing benefiting his foundation. Woods’ swing appears to be in good shape based on video shared by Steve Lutton on Twitter.

    Woods notes he is trying to add more speed to his swing. He’s been hitting driver in earnest for approximately 6 weeks, which runs somewhat contrary to reports that he had been using the big stick for longer as part of his rehabilitation from a pair of back surgeries in Fall 2015.

    Read More »from Tiger Woods puts on display in Tuesday clinic after Safeway withdrawal