Kerr helps LPGA win Three-Tour Challenge
Cristie Kerr shot 4-under 32 on the back nine to lead the LPGA team to a win Tuesday in the Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge. It is the LPGA’s fifth win in the made-for-TV event that pits three-person teams from the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and LPGA. The PGA Tour leads with seven wins and the Champions Tour has six.
The LPGA team of Kerr, Suzann Pettersen and Natalie Gulbis had a combined score of 6 under on the final nine holes to beat the PGA Tour team of Stewart Cink, Fred Couples and Bubba Watson by two strokes and win $300,000. Combined with their $100,000 purse from the opening nine, the women won the overall title by $70,000 over the PGA Tour.
The Champions Tour team of Nick Price, Fred Funk and Jay Haas finished third with $270,000 after earning $200,000 by winning the front nine with a team score of 9 under. The women struggled to a third-place finish at 4 over on the front nine, while the PGA came in second at 3 under.
Playing with Couples and Nick Price, Kerr came to the 18th tee with the LPGA leading by two strokes. She left her approach shot nearly 30 feet away with a large ridge between her and the hole, but hit a strong lag to 4 feet and sank the par putt.
“I knew I had to two-putt that,” Kerr said. “I didn’t want to give them any room.”
Kerr hit long birdie putts of 45 feet at the par-4 10th and 20 feet at the par-4 13th, helping her to the low individual score of the back nine. Pettersen also performed very well on the final nine, sticking her 75-yard approach within 4 feet and making birdie at the par-4 15th before hitting a tricky 12-footer for birdie at the par-3 16th and another short birdie putt at the 17th.
“I had struggled with the speed on the greens all day,” Pettersen said. “Sometimes you’ve just got to make sure you get the job done.”
Pettersen had a 3-under 33 on the back nine after firing 1-over 37 on the front. Gulbis shot 1-over 37 on both the front and back nines. The victory was the third in 3-Tour play for Kerr, the second for Gulbis and the first for Pettersen.
Watson led the PGA Tour team with a 3-under 33 on the front nine, then shot 1-under 35 on the back. Couples paced the team on the back at 3-under 33 after shooting even-par 36 on the front. Cink shot par on both sides.
The low player on the front nine was Haas, who played steady golf throughout the day, with a 4-under 32. He shot 2-under 34 on the back and didn’t record a bogey in his round. Price shot 3-under 33 on the front nine before struggling to a 2-over 38 on the back. Funk went out in 1-under 35 and came in with a 1-over 37.
Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba
Conor Moore is known for his impressions of golfers, and he is back with a new video just in time for The Open.
Moore even got the thumbs up from Ian Poulter.
This is hilarious..— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) July 16, 2018
Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite
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
Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC
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.
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.
Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense
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.
“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.”