Four players tied for lead at Hong Kong Open

By Associated PressNovember 13, 2009, 12:15 pm

HONG KONG (AP)—Liang Wenchong shot a bogey-free 5-under 65 Friday to move intoa four-way tie for the lead after the second round of the Hong Kong Open.

Liang, the first Chinese player to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit, madefive birdies at the Hong Kong Golf Club to move to 9-under 131. Charl Schwartzel (66) also had five birdies after a bogey on the first hole, while Gregory Bourdy shot a 67 and Robert-Jan Derksen had a 68 to claim a share of the lead.

“I’m in a good position and I know that the next two days will becrucial,” the 31-year-old Liang said. “If I continue to play as well as I’vebeen doing the past two days, this will be a very good week for me.”

Liang Wen-chong of China hits …
AP - Nov 13, 6:02 am EST

Derksen, who was 7 under on Thursday, turned in a mixed performance Fridaywith six birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey.

“You can’t shoot 63 every day, so I’m pleased with the score,” theDutchman said, noting the colder weather.

Rory Sabbatini (67) and Chinnarat Phadungsil (66) were one stroke behind theleaders, and Udorn Duangdecha squandered his overnight lead by shooting 4 overin the second round, dropping into a tie for 34th at 4 under.

PGA Championship winner Y.E. Yang briefly held the clubhouse lead aftershooting a 67 to bring him to 7 under. Asia’s first major winner finished theday tied for seventh with defending champion Lin Wen-tang of Taiwan (69), DannyChia (66), David Dixon (69) and Scott Strange (65).

Rory McIlroy outpaced his chief rival for the European Tour money title, LeeWestwood . McIlroy had three birdies and a bogey, while Westwood only managed a70 to fall farther back to 34th, where he’s tied with 2003 British Open championBen Curtis (72) and seven others.

Westwood said he was having trouble adjusting to the course in his Hong Kongdebut.

“These greens are a complete mystery to me,” the Englishman said. “Can’tpick a line, can’t get the speed. Just at a massive disadvantage here being myfirst time here.”

Westwood currently holds a slender lead over McIlroy in the Race to Dubaicompetition, with Hong Kong the final stop before the season-ending championshipthat carries a bonus pool of $7.5 million. Liang and Derksen are looking tosecure berths in Dubai, which is limited to the top 60 players on the money listafter the $2.5 million Hong Kong tournament. The Chinese is currently No. 60 andthe Dutchman is No. 78.

Eight-time European Tour Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie just madethe cut after shooting a 69 to move to 2 under overall. But 1998 Masters andBritish Open champion Mark O’Meara fell out of contention after shooting a5-over 75, as did defending European Tour Order of Merit winner Robert Karlsson (69) and Oliver Wilson (72).

The Hong Kong Open is co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.”