Els Ready for Whistling Straits

By Associated PressAugust 8, 2004, 4:00 pm
The International 2004CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- Watching putt after putt slide by the edge of the hole, Ernie Els walked off frustrated after the third round of The International on Saturday.
 
But it wasn't all bad. The world's No. 2 ranked player hit the ball great and was good around the greens, a good sign headed into next week's PGA Championship in Wisconsin.
 
'I've been striking it very nice. I just have not been good on the greens. I haven't made anything,' said Els, who is 13 points off the lead with 16. 'I think I've made four bogeys, a lot of pars and not enough birdies. I feel like my game is there.'
 
Part of Els' problems has been with the weather.
 
Thursday's first round was halted because of rain and lightning and there were two more delays Friday before the second round was stopped. All the starting and stopping has taken its toll.
 
'I never got into a rhythm yesterday on the greens,' Els said. 'It's been really difficult this week. We always have rain delays, but when you get pulled off three times in one day it kind of gets to you a little bit.'
 
CAPTAIN HAL
Hal Sutton's upfront style has led some to wonder if he'll make a good Ryder Cup captain.
 
Former Ryder Cup member John Cooke has no doubt headed into next month's matches against Europe.
 
'Hal's going to be great because it's Hal's way and if you don't like it, 'Here's the door and don't let it hit you on the rear end on the way out,' Cook said. 'That's the way Hal is and that's the way you've got to be. I think he'll be a great captain.'
 
NO WHISTLING STRAITS
Players headed to the PGA Championship next week in Wisconsin aren't looking forward to it.
 
No one in the field has played a competitive round at Whistling Straits, and the narrow, links-style course is expected to be even harder than Shinnecock Hills was at the U.S. Open.
 
'I've seen Pete Dye describe it on my laptop, hole by hole. It looks very hard,' Arron Oberholser said. 'If they intend to play it all the way back at 7,500 yards, it will be very difficult.'
 
DIVOTS
The second-round cut line of six points was the highest since it was seven in 2001. The record is nine, set in 1999. ... Notah Begay had the best stretch of the day, with birdies on five straight holes -- starting at 17 -- and eight of 10. He finished with 13 points. ... Mark Hensby had a streak of 31 holes without a bogey until taking a five on No. 2. Billy Mayfair had the longest streak of the week, going 33 holes without dropping a point. ... Players who have held or shared the lead after 54 holes have won The International six of the past seven years. ... Brenden Pappas had the longest drive of the week on the 485-yard 10th hole, hitting it 380 yards on Saturday.
 
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - The International

  • Full Coverage - The International

  •  
    Copyright 2004 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.”