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After winning twice during 2017, Xander Schauffele will have lofty expectations to reach during his sophomore campaign.

The San Diego State standout posted seven top 25s during his 2016 rookie campaign on the Web.com Tour (finishing 26th on the money list). Despite the step up in competition, Schauffele managed to find four more top 25s (11) during his PGA TOUR rookie season. That included a pair of wins, the most notable coming at the TOUR Championship to secure his Rookie of the Year award. Gamers hoping for an encore may be in trouble because two-win seasons are tough to replicate. However, the 24-year-old should continue to rack up birdies in bunches and provide loads of top 25s once we return from the holiday break.
Dec 14 - 3:24 PM

Trey Mullinax posted a 1-for-4 record during the fall wraparound schedule, currently placing him in 109th on the FedExCup leaderboard.

Playing with conditional status for the 2017-18 season, the big hitter out of the University of Alabama will need to pick up the pace soon. Starts will be tough to come by, outside of the weakest of the fields. During his rookie campaign, he earned 16 paychecks in 28 starts but only six of them landed inside the top 40. That was a far cry from the stellar season he compiled on the Web.com Tour season, finishing 8th on the 2016 money list. Playing out of the 125-to-150 category, gamers should expect a big drop off in the number of starts compared to last season's 28. However, a few top 10s could change that in an instant, making him a great name to watch in weekly leagues whenever he earns a tee time.
Dec 14 - 3:16 PM

Ryan Palmer will have six starts on a medical extension as he looks to rebound in 2018.

Palmer missed the fall portion of the 2016-17 season to be with his wife, Jennifer, during her battle with breast cancer. He returned to action at the start of 2017 but never found his form, going 10-for-20 to finish 134th in the FedExCup race. Since then, he's had minor shoulder surgery to remove some bone spurs and looks to be ready to return at the Sony Open. He'll need just 29.686 FedExCup Points to fulfill the terms of his medical exemption. One top 25 would likely do the trick, or he could string together a few top 50s and get the job done. Gamers should be cautiously optimistic that Palmer can return to form in 2018.
Dec 14 - 3:07 PM

Justin Rose thrashed a magnificent 10-under-par 31-31=62 to take the first round lead in the Indonesian Masters at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, two strokes clear of Thailand's Gunn Charoenkul.

The Englishman wasted no time taking command of the course (and the field) on Thursday, opening up on the back nine and ticking his very first hole. He then added pairs of par-breakers before the turn at 14 and 15, then 17 and 18. On the front nine he went one better, circling a hat-trick at 2, 3 and 4 before completing the lap with birdies at 6 and 9. "A dream start," admitted Rose. "I felt comfortable from the outset. I did all the right things today, I put the ball in play from the tee so with ball in hand and placing the ball on the fairway, you had a perfect lie for every shot providing you put the ball in the fairway. It was there for the taking. No wind, it was perfect golf conditions." It was a poorer day for two men chasing a rise into the world top 50. Brandt Snedeker shot level-par 72 and Dylan Frittelli could only manage 4-over 76.
Dec 14 - 4:26 AM

Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson has begun the 2017-18 with two top-15 finishes, a T3 at the Safeway and T15 at the WGC-HSBC seven weeks ago.

The 47-year-old checks in at 35th in OWGR, dropping from 19th at the end of calendar-year 2016. He finished 34th in the FedExCup standings last season with five top 10s among 20 cashes in 22 starts, failing to qualify for the TOUR Championship for the third time in the last four years. Notably, the Californian did not log a podium finish for the first time since, well never, he's logged at least one every year since joining in the TOUR in 1992. He's stuck on 42 TOUR wins in 572 career events, last claiming victory at the 2013 Open, 92 starts ago. The Arizona State alum switched caddies in June -- to brother Tim -- who's remained on the bag since. In 80 rounds played last season, he only led/co-led one time, after R1 of the WGC-Mexico, eventually finishing T7.
Dec 13 - 4:01 PM

World No. 377 Rory Sabbatini has begun the 2017-18 season with one made cut in four starts, a T77 (tied last) at the OHL Classic.

A T4 at the regular-season-ending Wyndham Championship back in August vaulted the South African from 148th in the FedExCup standings to 122nd, securing a return to full-exempt status. He chased that with a MC at THE NORTHERN TRUST, exiting the Playoffs at 124th in FEC points. The above-mentioned T4 for the University of Arizona product was his only top 10 last season in 23 starts but logged six top 25s, enough to prevent back-to-back trips to the Web.com Tour Finals. It was also his first top 10 since T10 at the 2015 Crowne Plaza Invitational 51 starts prior. The 41-year-old is a six-time TOUR winner in 477 career events, most recently at the 2011 Honda Classic where he was the 54-hole leader by five and won by one.
Dec 13 - 3:10 PM

World No. 1904 Tim Clark has opted to use his top-50 career earnings exemption for the 2017-18 season instead of a Major Medical Extension.

The 41-year-old, who celebrates his birthday on Dec. 17th, has not teed it up since a MC at the 2016 CareerBuilder 99 weeks ago. That was one of only seven starts in the 2015-16 season, having also missed 22 weeks during the 2014-15 season due to a left elbow injury. The NC State product is a two-time TOUR winner in 309 career events, claiming the 2010 PLAYERS and the 2014 RBC Canadian Open. Since the RBC, 176 weeks ago, he's made only 25 starts, logging one top-10 finish. It's unclear as of press time when the South African will actually return to action.
Dec 13 - 2:44 PM

Ricky Barnes is playing the 2017-18 season, his 10th on TOUR, on conditional status.

The 36-year-old ended calendar-year 2016 at 216th in OWGR and has dropped to 349th. He ended last season at 139th in the FedExCup standings with seven top 25s among 19 cashes in 31 starts and failed to record a top-10 finish for the first time since 2013. The California native, who lives in Phoenix, made five starts in the fall portion of this season's wraparound schedule, making two cuts, including a T10 at the opposite-field Sanderson Farms four starts ago. His career best is T2 at the 2009 U.S. Open during his rookie season, one of only four top-3 finishes in 271 career TOUR events.
Dec 12 - 7:08 PM

World No. 10 Rory McIlroy has been idle on the PGA TOUR since exiting the FedExCup Playoffs with a T58 at the BMW Championship 13 weeks ago. Four days ago (Dec. 8th), he released his anticipated early-season playing schedule via Twitter (link below), which he described as "busy".

The 28-year-old's up-and-down season ended with a wimper, exiting the postseason with two results outside the top 30 and a MC defending at the Dell. He finished a career-worst 58th in the FEC standings with six top 10s among 12 cashes in 14 events, four of those top 5s, including a T4 at The Open. After winning the season-ending TOUR Championship in 2016 (and the FEC), the Ulsterman got off to a quick start with four top 10s in his first five TOUR starts, adding a P2 at the BMW SA Open (Euro Tour), which he played with an apparent back injury. A day after, an MRI revealed a stress fracture in a rib, causing him to miss seven weeks. The 13-time TOUR winner (131 career events), didn't win anywhere in calendar-year 2017, his first winless year since 2008, perhaps understandably. In addition to the rib, he also got married in April, signed a new, full-bag deal with TaylorMade in May, and changed caddies in August (at WGC-BI) to best friend Harry Diamond, who's staying on the bag for 2018.
Dec 12 - 6:38 PM

World No. 488 John Senden has been away from the PGA TOUR since an April 29, 2017 announcement that his son had been diagnosed with a brain tumor.

It's unclear when the 46-year-old will return to action, but when he does, he will have 13 starts on a Major Medical Extension (family) to earn 309.763 FedExCup points and retain status. He was limited to 14 starts during the 2016-17 campaign, cashing five times with a best of T31 at the Shriners in November, 2016. The Aussie is a two-time winner on TOUR in 428 career events, most recently at the 2014 Valspar 83 starts ago, where he came from two back with 1-under 70 to win by one, ending a victory drought of six years, eight months (2006 John Deere). Senden has 43 career top 10s but just one in his last 42 starts, a T10 at the 2016 Honda.
Dec 12 - 5:23 PM

Brooks Koepka fought through some wrist issues in his latest start at the Hero World Challenge but is hopeful a little rest over the holidays will clear that right up.

Doug Ferguson of the AP reported that Koepka was dealing with wrist issues during the Hero World Challenge, where he went on to finish dead last with a four-day tally of 3-over 291. Given it was an exhibition, Koepka was able to take it easy for the week and collect a nice paycheck. The fact that he didn't back out of the event bodes well for the severity of this injury. The 27-year-old is coming off a career year that saw him collect his first major championship and produce a career high in earnings ($5,612,397). Gamers should keep their eye out for any more news concerning the wrist, but otherwise, Koepka should be in line for another stellar year come 2018.
Dec 11 - 1:21 PM

Dominic Bozzelli had his rookie season cut short due to injury and he didn't peg it during the fall schedule. He is hopeful for a strong return in 2018.

Bozzelli finished 115th in the FedExCup standings, despite shutting it down after the RBC Canadian Open in late July. He reappeared in late August to provide the following message to his fans via Twitter, "Disappointed to end my PGA TOUR season with an injury & have to miss the playoffs... I'm looking forward to coming back stronger in 2017-18." There is no timeline for his return but gamers should certainly circle the inaugural Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in mid-March since Bozzelli won this event back in 2016 when it was still on the Web.com Tour schedule.
Dec 11 - 12:00 PM

Kevin Stadler will enter 2018 with 26 starts on a Major Medical Extension, needing 454.42 FedExCup Points or $717,890 to retain his status.

Stadler's latest start on the big stage came at the 2015 John Deere Classic. He shut it down after that, and he's been dealing with bone fractures in his hand. After a lot of mystery regarding his status, Stadler finally popped back up at this year's Digital Ally Open (Web.com Tour event). That tournament took place at the end of July and Stadler opened with a 1-over 72 before withdrawing mid-tournament. Despite the WD, it is still a promising sign that we may see a return to the PGA TOUR in 2018.
Dec 11 - 11:51 AM

Marcus Armitage earned a first European Tour top five finish with a final lap of 2-under-par 36-34=70 at Randpark Golf Club, good for a total of 15-under 272 in the Joburg Open.

The Englishman was never in the hunt for the title after Shubhankar Sharma's sublime skills set him free of the field, but after a rookie season which saw him lose his card at 152nd on the Race to Dubai he needed a solid start to the new campaign and he's got it. He was T15 in the Australian PGA Championship and this result improves on his T10 in the 2017 Open de Portugal as his ET best. On Sunday his only move away from par was a birdie-bogey exchange at 4 and 5. Returning Monday morning he ticked 13 and 16 to earn a result which should give him hope for 2018. That said his category will allow him very limited opportunities, but he's started as well as he could have hoped.
Dec 11 - 4:49 AM

Tapio Pulkkanen ended a successful 2017 with T3 in the Joburg Open at Randpark Golf Club, completing a 4-under-par 35-33=68 for a 72-hole total of 17-under 270, six swings back of winner Shubhankar Sharma.

The Finnish winner of the 2017 Challenge Tour has got his main tour rookie campaign off to a bright starts after the blip of a missed cut in Hong Kong. On Sunday he made birdies at 3 and 5 with a bogey in the middle. Returning Monday morning he needed something special on the back nine to disrupt the exceptional Sharma and although he ticked a hat-trick at 14, 15 and 16 it was not enough. Most cruelly he was tied third and the unlucky man to miss out on the three Open Championship spots.
Dec 11 - 4:42 AM



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