Bowditch leads Nelson by 2

By Associated PressMay 31, 2015, 2:10 am

IRVING, Texas - Steven Bowditch positioned himself Saturday for his second PGA Tour win in Texas. Hometown favorite Jordan Spieth might have to keep waiting for his first.

Bowditch shot a 4-under 65 on Saturday in the AT&T Byron Nelson to take a two-stroke lead and leave Spieth six shots back heading into the final round.

On a mostly sunny day that started with the second straight three-hour delay because of earlier rain, Bowditch got to 13-under 195. The Australian, who won the Texas Open last year in San Antonio for his lone PGA Tour title, was much steadier a day after a wild second round of seven birdies and six bogeys.

"I was able to grind it out and still create not a bad golf score yesterday when things were looking not so good," Bowditch said. "It was pretty important yesterday I felt just to put myself in position to go again."

Dustin Johnson was in the group tied for second after the day's low round of 62 on the rain-altered par 69 at TPC Four Seasons.


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Jonathan Randolph, playing with Spieth and sitting 266 spots behind him in the world ranking, briefly held the lead but went in the water on 18 for a double bogey that dropped him into a tie with Johnson, Texan Jimmy Walker, Scott Pinckney and Jon Curran. Pinckney shot 64, Randolph 65, and Walker and Curran 67.

Spieth had a 68. The Masters champion was tied for 18th.

"I just didn't have it," said Spieth, whose first PGA Tour start was in the Nelson as a 16-year-old amateur five years ago.

Curran, the rookie who shared the second-round lead with Bowditch and Walker, rallied with three straight birdies late in the round.

Clouds gradually disappeared during the afternoon and the forecast is clear for Sunday. But the course is still soggy enough that the normally par-4 14th will remain a pitch-and-putt par 3 barely longer than 100 yards for the third straight round.

PGA Tour officials believe it's the first par-69 course in records going back to 1983. Threesomes will play off both tees again Sunday to give the course more time to dry, and the final par total will be 277 after the first round played at the normal 70.

"All the players were talking about it at the start of this week, it's more than likely going to be a 54-hole tournament, even possibly a 36-hole tournament," Bowditch said. "To be sitting here Saturday night - I think it's a perfect day tomorrow - it's pretty amazing."

Bowditch, who held the lead alone after the first round, battled some marshy conditions to stay on top. The 31-year-old who lives in the Dallas area had his only bogey at No. 9, when his tee shot went way right into a water hazard and he had to take the drop in a mushy part of the rough.

The squish of his footsteps could be heard as he spent several minutes discussing his lie with rules official Peter Dachisen before finally hitting. Bowditch shook his head as he walked while the ball rolled onto a cart path behind a bunker left of the hole. He missed a par putt.

"We couldn't find anywhere to drop it," Bowditch said. "So, just took time. Probably happened all day with everyone."

Spieth, the world No. 2 and FedEx Cup points leader, missed short birdie putts on his first two holes and never could make a strong push despite another large gallery urging every shot to go in.

That almost happened on the best spectator hole, the par-3 17th, when Spieth's tee shot landed less than a foot from the pin before backing up and settling about 8 feet away.

Fittingly on a frustrating day, Spieth left the putt on the edge of the cup, bending down to stare at it for a few seconds in case it dropped before the Dallas native tapped it in.

"When I was walking up there I was a little upset it wasn't a tap-in," said Spieth, who finished second in the other three Texas events this year - including the water-logged Colonial last week - and got his other tour win at the Valspar Championship in Florida a month before the Masters. "It was a really cool shot. Fun to hit. Crowd went crazy."

Randolph played a six-hole stretch in 5 under, including an eagle at the par-5 seventh. He was a stroke up on Bowditch after making about a 25-footer at the par-4 12th, with Bowditch pulling even again after almost driving the green on the 323-yard, par-4 11th.

Johnson, who won the Cadillac Championship at Doral in March for his first win since a six-month hiatus for personal reasons, had four birdies in five holes on the front and finished his round by putting his approach at the par-4 18th inside 5 feet for a birdie.

"It's a fun course to play," said Johnson, who has finished seventh or better in three of his past four Nelson appearances going back to 2009. "Got to hit all kinds of shots. If you're hitting the ball well, you can make a lot of birdies."

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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.”