Golf Guy's British Open preview

By Golf GuyJuly 18, 2012, 4:30 pm

As the players get set to tackle Royal Lytham & St. Annes, the Golf Guy gives you a little primer on the 141st Open Championship:

Notable betting odds (The Golf Guy does not condone betting. Unless you like to have some fun in your life):

Tiger Woods 8-1: Pretty good odds – I'll throw a few 'biscuits' on Tiger

Lee Westwood 14-1: Never won a major. Will win a major. Will it be now?

Luke Donald 14-1: One of my favorite players – zero chance to win

Rory McIlroy 16-1: Just hoping he shows up and is in the hunt – but no expectations for some reason

Padraig Harrington 20-1: Slowly getting back into the fold

Graeme McDowell 28-1: Short in stature, tall in growing expectations

Phil Mickelson 33-1: Sadly, I see no hope this year. Happily, I hope I'm dead wrong

Sergio Garcia - 33-1: Would kill (OK, too strong) for Sergio to finally break through

Bubba Watson 40-1: No chance. Granted, I would have said the same thing at Augusta

Darren Clarke 125-1: Repeat? No, will be lucky to break 80 in first two rounds

John Daly 150-1: Stranger things have happened

Tom Watson 200-1: Stranger things almost happened three years ago (damn you, Stewart Cink!)

David Duval 500-1: OK, this is just too strange

And the winner is ...

Pick to win: Westwood

Longshot winner: Thorbjorn Olesen (125-1)

Winning score: 9 under

What would Golf Guy shoot for four days? 141 over


Oldest winner: Old Tom Morris at age 46 in 1867. The youngest? Young Tom Morris, 17, the very next year

Jack Nicklaus named his course in Ohio after the place where he won his first British: Muirfield

Most Open appearances: Gary Player (46). That sounds insane ... 46

Most Open Championship wins: Harry Vardon (6). Tom Watson (5.99)

The word claret refers to a red wine that is produced in the French region of Bordeaux. The word jug comes from what was used to serve the wine at parties. Thus ... the claret jug.

List of winners since the Open was last played at Royal Lytham:

Darren Clarke: 2011 Royal St. George’s

Louis Oosthuizen: 2010 St. Andrews

Stweart Cink: 2009 Turnberry

Padraig Harrington: 2008 Royal Birkdale

Padraig Harrington: 2007 Carnoustie

Tiger Woods: 2006 Royal Liverpool

Tiger Woods: 2005 St. Andrews

Todd Hamilton: 2004 Royal Troon

Ben Curtis: 2003 Royal St. George’s

Ernie Els: 2002 Muirfield

David Duval: 2001 Royal Lytham

History and course:

This will be the 11th Open Championship to be played at Royal Lytham. The first, played in 1926, was won by Bobby Jones – an amateur. The club was founded in 1886 and is located in Lancashire, England. The course features 205 bunkers and plays as a par 70, with the first hole being a par 3. And I love how the bunkers at many Open courses are referred to as 'pot' bunkers.

Untrue fact about Royal Lytham:

Two golfers were lost in the gorse back in the 1926 Open Championship – and never seen or heard from again.

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Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

In fact, she named her “Mona.”

For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

And that has her excited about this year.

Well, that and having a healthy back again.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.

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Clanton rides hole-out eagle to lead at Founders

By Associated PressMarch 17, 2018, 1:47 am

PHOENIX - Cydney Clanton holed out from the fairway for eagle on the par-4 13th and closed with a birdie Friday to take the second-round lead in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Clanton shot a 5-under 67, playing the back nine at Desert Ridge in 5-under 31 to reach 9-under 135.

Clanton's wedge on the 13th flew into the cup on the first bounce. She also birdied the par-5 11th and 15th and the par-4 18th. The 28-year-old former Auburn player is winless on the LPGA.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Ariya Jutanugarn, Marina Alex, Karine Icher and Mariajo Uribe were a stroke back on a calmer day after wind made scoring more difficult Thursday.

Jessica Korda and Mo Martin were 7 under, and Michelle Wie topped the group at 6 under.

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Ko's struggles continue with Founders MC

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:26 am

PHOENIX – Lydia Ko loves the Bank of Hope Founders Cup and its celebration of the game’s pioneers, and that made missing the cut Friday sting a little more.

With a 1-over-par 73 following Thursday’s 74, Ko missed the cut by four shots.

After tying for 10th at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in her last start, Ko looked to be turning a corner in her quest to find her best form again, but she heads to next week’s Kia Classic with more work to do.

“I just have to stay patient,” Ko said. “I just have to keep my head high.”

It was just the fifth missed cut in Ko’s 120 career LPGA starts, but her fourth in her last 26 starts.

Ko’s ball striking has been erratic this year, but her putting has been carrying her. She said her putting let her down Friday.

“It seemed like I couldn’t hole a single putt,” she said. “When I missed greens, I just wasn’t getting up and down. When I got a birdie opportunity, I wasn’t able to hole it.”

Ko came to Phoenix ranked 112th in driving distance, 121st in driving accuracy and 83rd in greens in regulation. She was sixth in putting average.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Cristie Kerr saw the struggle playing two rounds with Ko.

“Her game’s not in good shape,” Kerr said. “She seemed a little lost.”

Ko, 20, made those sweeping changes last year, starting 2017 with a new coach (Gary Gilchrist), a new caddie (Peter Godfrey) and new equipment (PXG). She made more changes at this year’s start, with another new coach (Ted Oh) and new caddie (Jonnie Scott).

Ko doesn’t have to look further than Michelle Wie to see how a player’s game can totally turn around.

“It always takes time to get used to things,” Ko said. “By the end of last year, I was playing solid. I’m hoping it won’t take as much time this year.”

Ko had Oh fly to Asia to work with her in her two starts before the Founders Cup, with their work showing up in her play at the HSBC in Singapore. She said she would be talking to Oh again before heading to the Kia Classic next week and then the ANA Inspiration. She has won both of those events and will be looking to pull some good vibes from that.

“This is my favorite stretch of events,” she said. “And I love the Founders Cup, how it celebrates all the generations that have walked through women’s golf. And I love the West Coast swing. Hopefully, I’ll make more putts next week.”

Ko, whose run of 85 consecutive weeks at Rolex world No. 1 ended last summer, slipped to No. 12 this week.