Open Championship tracker: Day 4 at St. Andrews

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2015, 9:50 am

The 144th Open Championship takes place this week at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. GolfChannel.com is tracking the men's third major of the season through on-site reporting and social media. For additional Open coverage, click here for full-field scores and click here for our Tiger Tracker. If you want to view the action we tracked from the first three days, you can find Thursday's action here, Friday's action here and Saturday content here. All-times for the Open Championship tracker are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).


2:15PM: That'll close the book on Day 4 at St. Andrews. One final look at the leaderboard heading into the Monday finish:


2:10PM: Dustin Johnson, post-round:

• "The course played easy. I had plenty of chances. I just couldn't get it in the hole."

• "I'm going to have to shoot pretty low tomorrow - 8, 9, 10 under - to have any shot."


2:04PM: DJ's 3-over 75 was the worst score of the day by any player in the top 70. It was the second-worst score of anyone still in the field. Ryan Fox shot shot a 4-over 76.


2:02PM: An illuminating note - Dustin Johnson's score to par in Rounds 1 and 2 of his last five major championships: 31 under. Dustin Johnson's score to par in Rounds 3 and 4 of his last five major championships: 3 over.


2:00PM: Dustin Johnson's Round 3 finish: bogey-bogey-bogey. That's a 3-over 75 for DJ, who started the day one shot ahead and ended it five shots back.


1:57PM: Who let him out of his box?


1:48PM: Make that back-to-back bogeys for Dustin Johnson, who found the Road Hole bunker and burned the edge with his par putt. Now 2 over today and 8 under for the championship. Four shots back of the lead. With his power and talent, on this golf course - just stunning.


1:44PM: Lost in the shuffle around Dunne and Day is Dunne's playing partner:


1:41PM: Dunne, on what he'll be thinking on the first tee tomorrow: "Make contact with the ball."


1:40PM: Paul Dunne on his walk up 18 Sunday: "This is as about as much fun as any golfer can have."


1:36PM: Dustin Johnson follows up his first birdie with his second bogey. Back to 1 over today and 9 under total. Major weekend struggles continue.


1:33PM: Jason Day walks off the 18th green and we now have a three-way 12 under: Day, Dunne, Oosthuizen.


1:25PM: A little relevant history here related to amateur Paul Dunne and what he could do Monday. The last amateur to win a ...

• European Tour event: Shane Lowry, 2009 Irish Open

• PGA Tour event: Phil Mickelson, 1991 Northern Telecom Open

• A major: Johnny Goodman, 1933 U.S. Open

• An Open Championship: Bobby Jones, 1930

Couple more notes:


1:22PM: It took him 15 holes, but Dustin Johnson finally made his first birdie of the day, jarring an uphill putt from off the green. At 10 under, shockingly, after being the last player in the field to make a birdie today, he's just two back.


1:20PM: Paul Dunne enters the clubhouse tied for the lead at 12 under thanks to a Sunday 66. His 54-hole total of 204 is the lowest ever by an amateur in an Open at St. Andrews.


1:12PM: Per Mike Tirico on the telecast, Paul Dunne's lowest round for UAB this year in competition was a 67. In the fairway at 18, he needs a par for a 66 in the third round of the Open Championship at St. Andrews.


1:07PM: And that, odd as it is to say on this kind of day at St. Andrews, is a great bogey save at the par-5 14th for Danny Willett, who went O.B. off the tee. That said, he's back to 10 under after back-to-back bogeys. Willett and Dustin Johnson, the final twosome, are a combined even par today.


1:05PM: How nice to be unafraid:


12:55PM: Run and hide, folks. Run and hide.


12:53PM: Fighter of the Nightman. Jason Day now tied for the lead at 12 under thanks to a birdie at 16. Walking to the Road Hole. Spieth the lowest in the clubhouse right now at minus-11.


12:52PM: The wheels may be coming off for Danny Willett, who made bogey at 13 and just blew one out of bounds off the tee at 14.


12:50PM: Per the telecast, Paul Dunne nearly missed his tee time for his qualifying round to get into the Open. Probably off being awesome somewhere beforehand.


12:46PM: Dr. Tom Morris is neither young nor old. More of a middle-aged medical professional.


12:41PM: Paul Dunne once again tied for the lead, this time with Willett and this time at 12 under, thanks to an uphill birdie make at the 15th.


12:35PM: Jordan "N.B.D." Spieth - "You know right now I feel even more calm than the [U.S.] Open. ... I'm going to sleep fine tonight."


12:33PM: Of the men on this list, only Hogan went on to win. Palmer and Nicklaus finished runner-up.


12:30PM: Dunne ended up finding that ball and actually had a good look at birdie after two hacks from the messy stuff on the left. Putt misses left. Momentum slowing a bit with four straight pars, which today at St. Andrews means you're losing ground. Still just one back, though.


12:24PM: And next to Spieth, Sergio Garcia misses an attempt for birdie at 18 by the slimmest of margins and taps in for a 4-under 68. Now 9 under through 54.


12:22PM: That's a Sunday 66 for Jordan Spieth, who couldn't keep his ball on the green with his second from roughly 50 yards but two-putted for par. He's in at 11 under.


12:20PM: Your new leader at 12 under, Danny Willett just flagged one at the par-3 11th and is now looking at an opportunity to get to minus-13.


12:18PM: Reload? Paul Dunne marking another golf ball and preparing to put it in play off 14 tee after his first ball sailed left.


12:16PM: Would have preferred some Montel Jordan:


12:10PM: Jordan Spieth, Road Warrior. Misses fairway left at 17, plays to the front of the green, and two-putts from the other side of the British Empire. Holding at 11 heading into 18.


12:08PM: Folks at Chambers Bay considering plan to build one on every hole, just to have 'em:


12:05PM: Padraig Harrington, three-time major champion and author of the "Little Book of Irish Wit and Wisdom."


12:03PM: Dunne's putt comes up short in a bid to move to 12 under. Part of him has to be thinking: "I can turn pro overnight, right? Yeah, $1.8 million? Overnight, right?"


12:00PM: Dunne getting all the attention - rightly so since he's, you know, co-leading the Open - but fellow amateur Jordan Niebrugge just got into the house at 9 under thanks to a third-round 67. Two shots back of Dunne and Spieth.


11:57AM: FYI ...


11:54AM: If you're not familiar with Dunne (a), here's his bio courtesy opengolf.com.


11:52AM: Jason Day is one back. He birdies the 11th and gets to 10 under.


11:50AM: Dunne (a) leaves an 8-foot birdie putt on the right lip. He taps in for par at 12 and remains at 11 under.


11:48AM: Dustin Johnson ends his par streak, but it's with a bogey at No. 7. He's back to 9 under, now two off the lead.


11:44AM: Harrington misses a birdie putt at 18 and taps in for par and a 65. He's in the house at 10 under.


11:42AM: Spieth makes his seventh birdie of the round at 15 and he's tied with Dunne (a) for the lead.


11:30AM: Paul Dunne leads the Open. The amateur birdies the 10th, his fifth birdie of the day, to reach 11 under par.


11:26AM: Dustin Johnson and Paul Lawrie are the only players currently inside the top 20 who are not under par today.


11:16AM: Six-way tie for the lead. Dunne (a), Willett and Harrington all make birdie within minutes of each other to reach 10 under.


11:16AM: Six-way tie for the lead. Dunne (a), Willett and Harrington all make birdie within minutes of each other to reach 10 under.


11:13AM: Regarding the pair of amateurs currently one off the lead:


11:10AM: Four consecutive birdies for Charl Schwartzel. He's tied for the lead at 10 under. Everyone is making birdies ... except the final group of Johnson and Willett.


11:05AM: Make it 10 players at 9 under as Jordan Niebrugge (a) joins the group.


11:02AM: Fast and furious scoring as Louis Oosthuizen birdies No. 7 to get to 10 under, tied for the lead with Spieth and Johnson.


11:01AM: In non-Spieth news, Paul Dunne (a) rolls in one from off the green at No. 7. He's one of nine players at 9 under.


10:58AM: Make it three straight for Spieth. He rolls in another at the 12th to get to 10 under par and tie for the lead.


10:51AM: Following bogey - and the official talking-to - Spieth birdies 10 and 11. He's just one back at 9 under. Johnson, meanwhile, has parred his first four holes.


10:48AM: Garcia and Spieth have been asked twice to speed it up. Next occasion they will receive an official "warning." If that doesn't scare you ...


10:43AM: Sergio Garcia gets to 8 under. Amateur Jordan Niebrugge gets to 8 under. Fifteen players are 8 under or lower.


10:38AM: Retief Goosen eagles the fifth and birdies the sixth. He's among those one back, at 9 under.


10:33AM: Spieth makes a terrible bogey at the par-4 ninth and drops to 7 under. Spieth missed the green from 85 yards with his approach shot and then missed a 3-footer for par.


10:26AM: Two-time Open champion Padraig Harrington makes his sixth birdie in 12 holes to get to 9 under, one off the lead. Paul Lawrie, the 1999 champion, is also one back after a birdie at No. 3.


10:24AM: Another missed birdie putt inside of 15 feet for Dustin Johnson. He remains at 10 under.


10:22AM: Meanwhile, Eddie Pepperell parred his final hole, following the dreadful double bogey at 17, to finish at 8 under. Here's a snapshot of the leaderboard:


10:16AM: Amateur Paul Dunne birdies the fourth hole and gets to 8 under. Fellow amateur Ashley Chesters is in the house at 6 under after a 67.


10:13AM: DJ leaves a 10-footer for birdie on the first hole short. He remains at 10 under. There are currently 21 players within three shots of his lead.


10:08AM: Here comes Jordan! Spieth has three birdies in seven holes and is at 8 under, two off the lead.


10:01AM: Dustin Johnson and Danny Willett are off and running on the Old Course. Fifty-eight of the 80 players who made the cut are currently under par in the third round.


9:49AM: Blast from the past. In case you missed it, '01 Open champ David Duval got in the mix on Moving Day.


9:40AM: Spieth and Garcia with another couple of birdies at 5. Leaders teeing off shortly. Will the trend continue all the way up the leaderboard?


9:35AM: First time for everything?


9:19AM: Eddie Pepperell grabs a share of the lead and promptly blasts one OB into the hotel.


9:09AM: The problem for everyone is that Dustin Johnson has yet to tee off on this beautiful Moving Day. And DJ has history on his side.


9:06AM: Fowler coming in hot!


9:00AM: Spieth and Garcia all square through two.


8:44AM: Leishman in the clubhouse with a 64. Not history, but still the round of the tournament.


8:41AM: And ... mark down a couple of circles on No. 1 for Jordan Spieth and playing partner Sergio Garcia


8:38AM: Speaking of eagles, this happened just a short time ago:


8:31AM: As one man chasing history (Jordan Spieth) tees off, another (Marc Leishman) makes par on 17, still has a slim chance at the lowest score in a major championship.


8:25AM: Another birdie for Rickie Fowler. Now T-6 at 7 under, 6 under on the day.


8:18AM: History still in play for Leishman.


8:08AM: Marc-y Marc and The Funky Bunch ... of birdies.


7:55AM: Nothing overrated about this storyline:


7:53AM: If you need some light, Sunday morning reading, here's the latest on Tiger Woods from Ryan Lavner.


7:48AM: That's seven birdies through 13 holes for Marc Leishman. He's 8 under, two off the lead.


7:40AM: These guys are good. Much different story on Sunday.


7:37AM: Pin positions are the only defense on Sunday at St. Andrews. Benign conditions (even the rain at the moment). Here's a look at Sunday's pin positions:


7:35AM: Waterproofs on and umbrellas up! It's beginning to rain at the Open.


7:29AM: Rickie Fowler is trying to do his best Phil Mickelson impression. He's 4 under through 11 holes in Round 3 and is moving into contention, trying to win the Scottish Open and the Open in back-to-back weeks like Mickelson did in 2013.


7:24AM: Good on you, St. Andrews. You owed us this.


7:21AM: Better late than never we suppose.


7:13AM: Call it whatever you want, David. We'll call that some darn good golf.


7:04AM: We're thinking Doug is speaking metaphorically. Marc Leishman currently in a tie for 10th place.


7:00AM: The race for the Silver Medal is on!


6:53AM: That's a 5-under 67 for David Duval in the third round of the 144th Open Championship. That's his lowest round at the Open since winning the claret jug in 2001.


6:50AM: With the good ... comes the bad. G-Mac records his second double bogey of the day.


6:45AM: It's a beautiful day in Scotland.


6:30AM: Phil Mickelson just teed off ... and hit his ball into the burn short of the first green. Has anyone ever done that before?


6:29AM: We knew it was too good to be true. Duval drops a shot after bogey at 16 and is now 5 under, in a tie for 14th.


6:5AM: Another player making big moves Sunday morning is Graeme McDowell. Through 13 holes, he's made eight birdies. EIGHT BIRDIES.


6:22AM: It's been awhile:


6:16AM: Here's a look at Duval's scorecard so far on Sunday:


6:06AM: And oh by the way ... David Duval has 7 birdies across his first 14 holes on Sunday and is now in the top 10.


6:04AM: For those of you at home wondering ... here are the duds Sergio Garcia will be wearing for the Monday finish to the Open.


6:01AM: Oh what a difference a day makes.


5:50AM: Happy Sunday! Round 3 (yes, you read that correctly) of the 144th Open Championship is underway from St. Andrews.

Getty Images

Watch: Daly makes birdie from 18-foot-deep bunker

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 11:14 pm

John Daly on Friday somehow got up and down for birdie from the deepest bunker on the PGA Tour.

The sand to the left of the green on the 16th hole at the Stadium Course at PGA West sits 18 feet below the surface of the green.

That proved no problem for Daly, who cleared the lip three times taller than he is and then rolled in a 26-footer.

He fared just slightly better than former Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill.

Getty Images

Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

“I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

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Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.


Made Cut

Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

“If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

“The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

September can’t get here quick enough.

Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

“I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”

The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

“My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.


Missed Cut

Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

Tweet of the week:

It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.