Defending champ Henderson leads by 2 in Portland

By Associated PressJuly 1, 2016, 2:28 am

PORTLAND, Ore. - Defending champion Brooke Henderson shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the opening round of the LPGA Cambia Portland Classic on Thursday.

Picking up where she left off from a year ago, when Henderson shot a 21-under 267 to win her first LPGA tournament, the 18-year-old Canadian hit 16 greens and made nine birdies on a warm, cloudless day at the 6,476-yard Columbia Edgewater course.

Henderson said a combination of factors allows her to feel at home at Columbia Edgewater.

''I love tree-lined courses, and that's very much what this course is. With the bent grass, which is kind of what I grew up on, I really like it. It suits my eye,'' Henderson said. ''Then winning here, that gives me those extra vibes and adrenaline, which I think will help as the week goes on. This golf course, being out here in the Northwest, in the beautiful temperature, I like wearing long sleeves and pants.''

Angela Stanford, Demi Runas and Mariajo Uribe each shot 67 to trail Henderson.

Runas, whose best career finish is a tie for 25th, and Uribe are looking for their first LPGA victories. Stanford lost in a playoff in the 2003 U.S. Women's Open at Pumpkin Ridge, which has previously played host to the Portland Classic. Uribe and Stanford shot bogey-free rounds.

Stanford, who tied for fourth last week in Arkansas, is somewhat of a surprise among the leaders. She hasn't had much success at the Portland Classic, her best finish a tie for eighth in 12 tries.

''Poa annua greens are usually not very friendly to me. It's nice to watch the ball go in the hole here. I haven't always played well here, so I tried to just put that on the back burner and see if I could carry it over from last week, and it did,'' Stanford said.



Carlota Ciganda, Jaye Marie Green, Ayako Uehara and Daniela Iacobelli shot 68. Four strokes back at 69 are No. 18 Suzann Pettersen, Sarah Jane Smith, Lee-Anne Pace, Briana Mao and Jiayi Zhou.

Pettersen is a two-time Portland winner, claiming the 2011 and 2013 tournaments.

No. 15 Anna Nordqvist is among 12 players at 70. No. 9 Stacy Lewis shot even-par 72, as did Austin Ernst, the 2014 Portland champion.

Henderson, starting early in the morning on the back nine, was only 1 under through seven holes. But she birdied three of the next four holes, then finished on fire while playing the front nine, making consecutive birdies on holes 5 through 8. Henderson just missed a fifth consecutive birdie, sliding a 15-foot putt past the left side of the hole at the par-4 ninth.

It was a bogey at the par-4, 391-yard fourth that helped ignite Henderson's string of four consecutive birdies.

''That was a dumb hole ... a hole with my length I could have taken advantage of. The bogey bothered me a little. I knew I had two par-5s coming up, so I tried to focus on them,'' Henderson said.

In her last six rounds at Columbia-Edgewater, counting last year's Monday qualifier, Henderson is 32 under par, all six rounds in the 60s.

Last year, Henderson won the Portland Classic by eight strokes, and became the third-youngest champion in LPGA history. Since winning her maiden event, Henderson has soared to become No. 2-ranked, and two weeks ago won the Women's PGA Championship.

Henderson is attempting to become Portland's first back-to-back champion since Annika Sorenstam won the 2002 and 2003 tournaments.

The Portland Classic is normally played in late August, but moved up because the LPGA is taking three weeks off for the Olympics. The Portland stop is typically popular among the tour's best players, but with the U.S. Open scheduled for next week in California, only 13 of the world's top 50 entered this year.

The Portland Classic is the LPGA's longest-running non-major, now in its 45th year. The purse is $1.3 million, with $195,000 going to the winner.

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.”