DJ leads by 1 after 65 at Colonial

By Associated PressMay 22, 2014, 11:43 pm

FORT WORTH, Texas – Dustin Johnson had played Colonial only once before, six years ago when he didn't even make it to the final round.

In his return to Hogan's Alley, Johnson took a one-stroke lead after the first round.

Johnson shot a bogey-free 5-under 65 on Thursday, driving a lot of 3-irons off the tees into the fairways and hitting 16 of 18 greens in regulation.

''I've got to keep doing what I'm doing,'' Johnson said. ''I've got a pretty good game plan for the golf course off the tee. So I'm going to stick to that, just trying to keep getting birdie looks on every hole.''

His only birdie on the back nine was a 2-footer at the 177-yard 16th hole. That was enough to lead after his front-side 31 that included a 45-foot birdie putt on the difficult par-4 fifth hole.


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Hunter Mahan, playing in the group ahead of Johnson, led before a double-bogey 6 at the 433-yard 18th hole for a 66. He was tied for second with Harris English, Tim Wilkinson and Robert Streb.

Jimmy Walker, a three-time winner this season, and 20-year-old Dallas native Jordan Spieth were in the group of 10 players at 67.

Mahan started eagle-birdie and was already 6 under after a 3-foot birdie on the 178-yard eighth hole. He had two bogeys and two more birdies before his drive at the 18th hole into the right rough, with trees blocking a clear shot to the green. After punching the ball back into the fairway, his approach came settled on the edge of the fringe and he eventually two-putted from 7 feet.

''You have to get over it,'' Mahan said about the disappointing 18th. ''It's all about the drive there.''

Adam Scott, playing as the No. 1 player in the world for the first time, shot 71 after playing his first nine holes at 4-over 39.

Scott had bogey-6 on the straight 631-yard 11th hole, his second of the day, when he hit twice from fairway bunkers. After a two-putt from 11 feet at the 433-yard 18th hole, Scott was bogey-free the rest of the way, with consecutive short birdies after making the turn.

''I thought I actually hit plenty of good shots,'' Scott said. ''All of a sudden, I had the momentum going the way I wanted and managed to hang on for the next few holes.''

The Australian said he felt the same as he did before this week when he overtook injured Tiger Woods for the top spot in the world ranking.

''There's not a big difference,'' Scott said. ''It's always the first tee nerves of starting a tournament out, but I certainly didn't feel that much different.''

Johnson's 65 was the highest score to lead after the first round at Hogan's Alley since another 65 in 2002. There were opening 62s in two of the previous three Colonials.

When he first played at Colonial in 2008, Johnson made the initial cut. But after a 72 in the third round, he was among six more players trimmed to reduce the field to 73 for the final day.

Walker, the FedEx Cup points leader, also played a bogey-free round with a tremendous par-saver at the 470-yard fifth hole after hitting his drive left into the rough under trees. With the ball on a hill several inches below his feet, he hit an off-balance shot to the left of the green. He then chipped up over the bunker, and the ball rolled to inside 4 feet of the cup.

''I kind of had a shot, and I went for it,' he said. ''I had a big high cut over the trees, and didn't hit a very good shot, but it came up just short of the green, and made a great up and down there.''

Matt Kuchar, ranked No. 4 in the world and with a chance to move to the top with a victory, had birdies at Nos. 11 and 12 early in his round. He then had five bogeys before finally getting his only other birdie on his 16th hole, an 11-foot putt on the 437-yard seventh hole, in a 72. That matched his highest score in his 29 career rounds at Colonial, where he finished second last year.

Rickie Fowler, who stars in a series of funny commercials for tournament sponsor Crowne Plaza, played with flu-like symptoms and had two triple bogeys in an 80, the worst score in the 123-player invitational field.

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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.”