Jutanugarn (63) 'having fun' at Yokohama Tire LPGA

By Associated PressMay 7, 2016, 11:38 pm

PRATTVILLE, Ala. - Ariya Jutanugarn knows the pain of losing a final-round lead, so she's sticking with the theme of ''having fun'' this time.

Jutanugarn certainly had some good times when she birdied eight of the final nine holes Saturday to match the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic record at 9-under 63 and take a three-stroke lead.

Seeking her first LPGA Tour victory, the 20-year-old Thai player had a 14-under 202 total. She showed little emotion at the end, giving a small wave toward the bleachers after picking up her ball and strolling toward her playing partners for a hug.

''(Sunday's) going to be so much fun,'' Jutanugarn said. ''I just want to enjoy and have fun.''

Ryann O'Toole and Australia's Minjee Lee were tied for second. They each shot 68 on a day when the winds calmed down after the first two rounds.

Jutanugarn parred No. 15, the only blemish in her back-nine birdie run on the links-style Senator Course at Capitol Hill. She pulled her approach left on No. 17 and still knocked it within a couple of feet of the hole, and closed with a 5-footer on the final hole for yet another birdie.

She has flirted with wins before but had two final-round collapses. Last month in the ANA Inspiration, she had a two-stroke lead with three holes left and closed with three bogeys to finish fourth - two strokes behind winner Lydia Ko in the major championship. In the 2013 LPGA Thailand at age 17, Jutanugarn blew a two-stroke lead with a closing triple bogey in a one-stroke loss to Inbee Park.

Asked about the close calls, Jutanugarn stuck to the ''fun'' theme.

''Final round, so (I) just want to have fun and enjoy and good shots tomorrow,'' she said.

She's the eighth player to shoot 63 in the tournament, which was moved up from its normal late summer slot because of the Olympics.

''As far as she hits it, on this golf course, she should shoot that number,'' Stacy Lewis said.

The 19-year-old Lee won last month in Hawaii for her second LPGA Tour title.

Second-round leader So Yeon Ryu was four strokes back after a 71, making two birdies and a bogey.

Lewis, the 2012 winner, didn't have a bogey until the final hole Saturday for her second straight 68. She and Morgan Pressel, who shot a 70, were 9 under.

''I just got on the wrong side of the holes,'' Lewis said. ''I had a lot of tough putts, a lot of downhill sliders and just played a lot better than the score, which I guess is a good thing going into the final round.

''I know a low score is still out there.''

Brittany Altomare was among six players at 8 under after a 66. She birdied seven of the first 11 holes, then had two straight bogeys before regrouping.

Altomare got her first victory as a professional two weeks ago in the Symetra Tour's Guardian Retirement Championship, beating Nicole Broch Larsen with a birdie on the fifth hole of a playoff.

Altomare expects to be eligible the rest of the year for LPGA Tour events after gaining status on the money-list reshuffle.

Possibly being in LPGA Tour contention going into the final day is another new experience for the 25-year-old, though Jutanugarn's scorching finish made that less likely. Asked about her approach for Sunday, Altomare laughed and gave a shrug.

''I don't really know, actually,'' she said. ''I've never really been in this position on the LPGA. It's just the same, I think. Just go out there and just be aggressive and hopefully it's your day.

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Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.

Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.

“We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.

Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.

“It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”

It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.


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McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

Said Harmon:

“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

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How The Open cut line is determined

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


• After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

• There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

• There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.