Player News

Date:

Austin Cook's caddie, Kip Henley, provided some clarity on his pre-tournament withdraw from this week's Honda Classic.

Cook was committed to this week's Honda Classic but back out on Monday. This is not unusual as plenty of golfers have a change in plans or change of heart. However, Kip Henley responded to a fan via Twitter saying, "Resting a sore wrist. It’s been bugging him a little and thought best to chill and come out ready to go in Tampa." Cook is coming off a T49 at the Genesis Open which was bolstered by a 5-under 66. Other than that stellar round he posted rounds of 74, 73, and 72. Cook should enjoy the TOUR's travel back East and should continue to be on gamers' radars in weekly formats. He has kicked off his rookie season with 9-for-10 record that includes a maiden win. With two weeks to rest, he should be good to go at the Valspar Championship.
Feb 20 - 8:17 PM

Rickie Fowler closed out his 54-hole lead at last year's Honda Classic and he returns this week for a chance to defend his title at PGA National's Champion Course.

Fowler was 0-for-4 in converting 54-hole leads before last year's big win. He has since added another none-conversion to that table, finishing T11 at this year's WM Phoenix Open after leading thru 54 holes. Gamers shouldn't be too worried about that fade as he arrives in great form. If we include the unofficial Hero World Challenge, he has positioned himself T11 or better after 16-of-18 rounds since the start of the 2017-18 season. With a win and two other top 10s on his Honda Classic resume, gamers should expect more of the same this week as Fowler plays in a home game. He should be considered an elite option in all fantasy formats this week.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Feb 20 - 3:01 PM

Tyrrell Hatton has a close call in his 2017 Honda Classic debut and returns this week for a second crack at PGA National's Champion Course.

Making his first start at the event last year, the Englishman posted rounds of 68-67-66 to find himself in sole possession of second place. A final-round 72 dropped him into a share of fourth place. That kicked off a run of T4-10-T4 on the PGA TOUR before a missed cut at the Masters derailed his stroke-play form. This time around he arrives with fantastic form, posting top 20s in 10 straight worldwide starts, including a pair of wins at the Alfred Dunhill Links and Italian Open. With elite form and good course memories to bank on from last year, Hatton is one to consider closely this week in all fantasy formats.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Feb 20 - 2:53 PM

Prior to the start of the event, John Peterson has withdrawn from this week's Honda Classic, paving the way for Roberto Diaz to make his tournament debut.

Peterson is playing on a Major Medical with five starts remaining to earn 239.860 FedExCup Points. With the pressure on, he is 3-for-3 this season but hasn't finished any better than T47 (Sony Open). Always entertaining or controversial on Twitter, he tweeted at Tiger Woods yesterday, asking him if he wanted to play the Zurich Classic. The LSU product would love to earn a seat into that local event. There is no injury cited for this pre-tournament WD, so gamers should assume it's just a change of heart until we hear otherwise.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Feb 20 - 1:35 PM

Vijay Singh has taken a pre-tournament pass on this week's Honda Classic, giving a spot to Keith Mitchell instead.

Singh played back-to-back weeks in California, missing the cut at Pebble Beach and then grabbing a T73 last week at the Genesis Open. Perhaps he's ready for a break before hopping back on the train. There was no injury cited, given the pre-tournament nature of this WD. In his place, Sea Island resident Keith Mitchell will make his debut at The Honda Classic.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Feb 20 - 1:27 PM

Can Edoardo Molinari maintain his impetus when he tees it up at this week's Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at Doha GC in Qatar?

If victory in last year's Trohee Hassan II was thought to lead to better days for the Italian, the reality has been somewhat different. He's made 22 strokeplay starts since then and only last week, when T16 in the NBO Oman Open, did he return to the top 30. That said, there were signs of good things to come when he made the cut in the Dubai Desert Classic ranking second for Greens in Regulation (80.6%). His form in this event does not hold out too much hope however. He's 2-for-5 with a best of T24 on debut in 2010 and in fact T24 is the highest he has ever been on the leaderboard at the end of any round in those five visits. The only glimmer of hope? He shot 69 in round two last year. Not enough to make the cut after a Thursday 78, but the first time he had gone sub-70 in 14 attempts here.
Feb 20 - 10:07 AM

Alvaro Quiros arrives at Doha GC, a one-time favorite venue, for the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters badly in need of encouragement.

Since the Spaniard's victory on this course in 2009 his returns have been diminishing, almost on a perfect descent. The win was followed by a pair of runner-up finishes, a blip of T59 followed in 2012, then T28 and T23 confirmed he was making the weekend without contending, T68 in 2016 really emphasised the point and 2017's missed cut rubber-stamped his falling out with the design. Unfortunately it is all rather reminiscent of what has happened since his win in last May's Rocco Forte Open. He's 2-for-17 with the exceptions only T61 and T62.
Feb 20 - 10:05 AM

Darren Fichardt will look to re-jig a loss of form in this week's Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at Doha GC in Qatar.

The South African enjoyed the 2017 season, winning the Joburg Open and closing it with T6 in the Nedbank Challenge. He rode that wave with T16 in Mauritius, T7 in his home Open, T40 in Abu Dhabi and an opening 66 to lie T10 after 18 holes in Dubai. Whereupon he lost his mojo. A 75 saw him crash out of the Desert Classic, he failed to make the cut on the Sunshine Tour's Eye of Africa Championship and then lurched to an early exit in the Oman Open with 79-77. As the 2003 champion on this course (and T3 in 2006) this might be a good place to try and return to better things. He was also T2 at halfway in 2011 and T9 heading into the final round three years ago.
Feb 20 - 10:04 AM

Max Kieffer will play the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at Doha GC for a sixth time this week.

It's about time the German started making the most of his consistency. There has been plenty of quantity (of top 20s for instance) but he needs more quality because it is now nearing two whole years since he last made a strokeplay top ten, a period in which he has made ten top 25s. Two of them have come in his last two starts: T11 at the Maybank Championship and T23 last week in the NBO Oman Open. It requires some leap of faith to see it happening this week however. He's 2-for-5 on the Peter Harradine design, the nearest he has been to the lead at the end of a round is T11 at halfway in 2016, and he has a best finish of T35 that same year.
Feb 20 - 10:03 AM

Eddie Pepperell will look to continue his seasonal marginal gains in this week's Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at Doha GC in Qatar.

The Englishman professed himself a fan of last week's Al Mouj Golf design and it helped him to a season's best, but that says much about his season. He opened with three straight missed cuts so T44 represented only a minimal improvement. Getting four laps under his belt will have helped however and he now returns to a course with positive vibes given that he finished T4 in 2015, thanks to a fine weekend when he ticked off a 65 and a 67. He tends to be very good or very bad on the course. His 12 laps have six sub-70 scores among them and five that are 74 or worse. In recent years the odd top ten finisher in the previous year's Dunhill Links Championship has thrived in this event (e.g. Olesen, Lagergren) and Pepperell was T7 at St Andrews last Fall.
Feb 20 - 10:02 AM

T.J. Vogel cruised to a 7-under-par 31-33=64 during the open qualifier into this week's Honda Classic, earning him a spot in the field at PGA National.

The 27-year-old Floridian swallowed one bogey on Monday but camouflaged the square with six birdies and an eagle. Vogel took top honors at the Monday Q with Andrew Novak and Nathan Lashley finishing close behind (6-under 65). The final spot came down to three golfers who finished at 5-under 66. Jhared Hack returned on Tuesday morning to win a 3-for-1 playoff with Ben Polland and Adam Svensson getting eliminated. Svensson would have been an appealing sleeper at PGA National as he lapped the field during the 2015 Web.com Tour Q-School held on the property. Gamers should keep their expectations low for this crop of qualifiers as Vogel, Hack, and Novak, are a combined 0-for-8 in their PGA TOUR careers while Lashley is just 3-for-9 during his rookie campaign. The field of 144 golfers is now complete for this week's Honda Classic.
Feb 20 - 8:28 AM

Jeunghun Wang returns to the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at Doha GC in Qatar this week, 12 months on from his impressive victory in extra holes.

Last year Wang arrived in Qatar with a growing reputation after two ET wins in 2016, but his form in desert conditions was especially noteworthy. He had finished T2 in the Asian Tour's 2014 Dubai Open, T17 in the DP World Tour Championship and T11 in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. He opened 69-67 to tie the lead, added a Saturday 65 to grab a three-shot 54-hole edge and then won a three-man play-off when caught. Since then he's added four more Middle Eastern top 30s, the best of them when T6 in last month's Dubai Desert Classic, making up for the missed cut there last year, his only outright failure in the region. Finished T26 last week in Oman when his first round didn't fire and he was pushing thereafter. Given good fortune with his tee time there looks every reason for him to thrive again.
Feb 20 - 3:52 AM

Matteo Manassero will make a sixth appearance in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at Doha GC in Qatar this week.

Four times out of five the Italian has failed to make the weekend in Doha and in the last three years the reasons have been clearcut: he's only found 39.3% of fairways every single time, quite a contrast to his figure of 80.4% in 2013 which was the best of the week and enabled him to finish T22 (last year Jordan Smith attested to the difficulty of playing this course from the rough). The better news is that he played well last week, lying T9 at 36 holes and T14 after 54. Even so, he couldn't push on and recorded just T31. He's managed a mere five top ten finishes in his last 100 starts, but has at least made five of his last six cuts. Slim pickings for one who was once full of so much promise however.
Feb 20 - 3:50 AM

Lucas Bjerregaard needs to kick start his 2018 in this week's Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at Doha GC in Qatar.

The Dane's returns since the hot spell which saw him notch three top tens, including a maiden European Tour win, in September and October have been less than eye-catching. In fact he has made ten starts since then, missed half the cuts, and his best result is T37. All hope, therefore, comes from an improving record at the course. He posted 75-73 to miss the cut on debut in 2015, broke par three laps in four to notch T41 in 2016, and stepped it up 12 months ago. He opened with 69-68 and closed with a 66 for T11. Only Saturday's 73 prevented a genuine tilt at the title. That more recent form looms large however.
Feb 20 - 3:49 AM

Romain Wattel makes an eighth visit to Doha GC this week for the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

The Frenchman's record in this event has had three distinct stages. On his first three visits he made the cut, but was never in contention (T59-T35-T49). In 2014, but for a round three 74, he hung around the top ten all week for T11. Since then he's collected a hat-trick of missed weekends. His victory in last September's KLM Open has not triggered a return to his consistent ways. Instead he continues to drift, with the odd sighting. T11 in the Maybank Championship is his seasonal best and, indeed, his best effort since that win.
Feb 20 - 3:48 AM



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