Lewis fires 64, trails Ji by one at Founders Cup

By Associated PressMarch 20, 2016, 1:26 am

PHOENIX - Sei Young Kim stumbled late Saturday afternoon in the JTBC Founders Cup, handing the lead to Eun-Hee Ji and putting Stacy Lewis, Lydia Ko and many others in far better position than they expected.

Three strokes ahead after an eagle on the par-4 13th, Kim failed to birdie the par-5 15th and bogeyed the par-4 16th and par-3 17th. Her 2-under 70 dropped her into a tie for second with Lewis, a stroke behind Ji.

''It's OK. I have one day, tomorrow,'' said Kim, the 23-year-old South Korean player who won three times last season and was the LPGA Tour's rookie of the year.

Ji made a 12-foot birdie putt on 17 and finished with a 65 to reach 18-under 198 on another perfect day at Desert Ridge's Wildfire Golf Club. She is winless since the 2009 U.S. Women's Open.

''My putting was really good,'' Ji said. ''My iron shot was really good, too. I was really struggling with my irons the last couple of weeks, but it's getting better this week.''

Lewis had a 64, closing with a 4-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th.

''These scores are just ridiculous,'' Lewis said. ''You just can't look at a leaderboard. You just go out there and make as many birdies as you can.''

The Texan won the event in 2013 and finished second the last two years. She has nine runner-up finishes in a 43-event victory drought that dates to June 2014.

''I'm just really happy to see some good scores going up,'' Lewis said.

Jacqui Concolino was two strokes back after a 68. The top-ranked Ko, Carlota Ciganda and Paula Creamer were another shot behind. Ko and Ciganda shot 64, and Paula Creamer had a 67.

''When I saw some of the highlights of the leaders, they seem like they were holing a lot of putts, and that's what I wasn't doing the first two days,'' Ko said. ''I was a lot better today.''

Kim opened with rounds of 63 and 66 to break the tournament 36-hole record at 15 under and take a two-stroke lead into the weekend. She threatened to make it a runaway when she eagled the 240-yard 13th, hitting a 3-wood to the fringe and holing a 30-foot putt, but soon found trouble.

Her iron approach sailed left into a bunker and she two-putted for par on the 15th, the par 5 she birdied Thursday and eagled Friday.

On the 16th, her wedge from 90 yards went over the green into thick rough, leaving a difficult shot over a ridge. She didn't get the chip all the way up the ridge and it rolled down and across the green. That left her a 40-foot par try that stopped on the left edge.

Her 9-iron went left on 17 and rolled down a hill into thin rough 50 feet from the pin. She hit her chip all the way to the opposite edge of the green and missed a 15-foot par putt.

''It's OK,'' Kim said. ''I like to play the chase on the lead. It's more comfortable to me.''

U.S. Women's Amateur champion Hannah O'Sullivan followed her second-round 64 with a 72 to drop into a tie for 47th at 8 under. The 17-year-old is a high school senior in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler.

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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.”