Bjorn leads after course-record 62 at BMW PGA

By Associated PressMay 22, 2014, 9:18 pm

VIRGINIA WATER, England – Thomas Bjorn set a course record at Wentworth with a 10-under-par 62 on the opening day of the BMW PGA Championship on Thursday.

Bjorn grabbed an eagle and seven birdies to end his round two shots clear of Shane Lowry of Ireland, who shot 64 on the West Course.

However, poor weather forced two separate delays totaling nearly two hours in the European Tour's flagship event, and darkness halted play with 33 in the 150-man field yet to complete their first round.

It is the third occasion in Bjorn's 21-year European Tour career he's shot a round of 62, and the Dane rated it the best in his 434 tournaments.

''Absolutely,'' he said. ''You can't ask for much more.''


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Bjorn is contesting his 17th BMW PGA, with his best finish being a share of fifth in 1988, and comes after he missed the cut in the Spanish Open last week with 75-78.

''Last week was awful, and I was starting to feel a bit frustrated with things, and to be honest in practice, it hasn't been great, either,'' he said. ''So ... today is a little bit surprising.

''I haven't had the best record here. I haven't had the best round here. It's been a long time since I've actually had any sort of result on this golf course. It's not a place when I come in here, I think, 'Oh, this is going to be a great week.' I guess I've got to start sticking my head down for the rest of the week.''

Lowry produced his best round since a Carnoustie course-record 64 last October in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. He made only 25 putts with an old putter he found in his Dublin apartment.

''I have been messing about here and there with putters, and pulled this one out, got the cobwebs off it,'' he said.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello of Spain was alone in third place with a 65, and Gary Stal of France made the most of his last minute call-up by shooting a 66.

Stal was first reserve for the event, and took the place of countryman Victor Dubuisson, who pulled out injured.

Rory McIlroy's 4-under 68 included holing his second shot for eagle at the par-four seventh hole, and landing his second shot to within six inches for eagle at the par-five 12th.

''The two eagles helped, and it's a good round for me around this place,'' he said. ''It's a place I've notoriously struggled on, but it was good to shoot something in the sixties.''

Henrik Stenson, who can become the new world No. 1 with a good result, also carded 68.

However, defending champion Matteo Manassero of Italy slumped to an 8-over 80 that included a quadruple-bogey nine at the 17th.

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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


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There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


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“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”