Defending Champ Curtis Misses Cut

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2004, 4:00 pm
TROON, Scotland -- Hardly anyone knew Ben Curtis when he won the British Open a year ago.
 
And few noticed his early exit Friday from Royal Troon.
 
Curtis shot 74 in the second round to miss the cut by four shots, joining a long line of former champions who won't be around this weekend.
 
'It just didn't seem like I got any good breaks this week,' said Curtis, who became the first defending champion to miss the cut since Paul Lawrie - another long shot - four years ago at St. Andrews.
 
'That's just the way it goes. There's always next year, next time around and next week.'
 
Curtis played with three-time British Open champion Nick Faldo, who will celebrate his 47th birthday on Sunday somewhere other than Royal Troon. Faldo shot 77, done in by two double bogeys on the back nine.
 
Asked if he was disappointed, Faldo snapped back: 'Are you kidding? It's eating me up.'
 
Two-time champion Greg Norman bowed out with 73-76, the first time in 24 years he missed the British Open cut.
 
'From my perspective, my putting was just very, very pathetic - and everything else,' said the 49-year-old Australian. 'I just couldn't get anything going. End of story.'
 
Former U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk, who tied for fourth at Royal Troon in 1997, missed the cut for the fourth straight year at the British Open.
 
And then there's Chad Campbell.
 
Considered one of rising stars on the PGA Tour, Campbell dropped three shots on the back nine to miss the cut by one. The 30-year-old Texan has missed the cut in every major this year, the last two by one stroke.
 
Other former British Open winners on the way home included Tom Lehman ('96), John Daly ('95), and 61-year-old Tom Weiskopf, who won his only major 31 years ago at Troon but shot back-to-back 80s.
 
Padraig Harrington, the strongest hope for Europe, bogeyed the last two holes to miss the cut by one shot. Sergio Garcia needed a birdie on the last hole, but instead took double bogey and will not play on the weekend. That ends a streak of three straight top 10s in the British Open.
 
With double points available at a major, the cut became crucial for some Ryder Cup hopefuls.
 
Steve Flesch, No. 8 in the U.S. standings, eagled the 16th hole and made the cut on the number with a 70. Jerry Kelly (No. 11) also made the cut at 145, while the next four players - Jay Haas, Tim Herron, Chris Riley and Jonathan Kaye - won't be around to collect precious points.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - 133rd Open Championship
  • TV Airtimes

  • British Open Photo Gallery

  • Full Coverage - 133rd Open Championship
     
    Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Getty Images

    Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
    Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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.


    Updated Official World Golf Ranking


    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.

    Getty Images

    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.


    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “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.”