Lewis one behind Ryu at Kingsmill Championship

By Associated PressMay 20, 2016, 11:27 pm

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – So Yeon Ryu had six birdies in an eight-hole stretch and shot a 7-under 64 on Friday to take the second-round lead in the Kingsmill Championship.

Ranked 11th in the world but sixth in the race for the four spots on South Korea's Olympic team, Ryu opened with a bogey on the 10th hole, then used the birdie run to make the turn in 5-under 30.

''I've been putting really nice,'' Ryu said. ''My first hole I made a bogey, but it felt really great the next two holes. I made birdie-birdie right away. Even my shot and birdie putt, and putting - I think today just everything was really working well.''

The 2011 U.S. Women's Open champion added birdies on the par-4 fourth and par-5 seventh and closed with two pars to reach 7-under 135 on the soggy River Course.

''This one is definitely my favorite golf course that we play,'' Ryu said. ''I consistently play really well here, so I feel really comfortable to stay here. I think I just really like the atmosphere, so I really enjoy it. So enjoying it makes me play better.''

Fourth-ranked Stacy Lewis, No. 6 Amy Yang and first-round leader Mika Miyazato were a stroke back. Lewis had a bogey-free 66, Yang had a 67, and Miyazato followed her opening 65 with a 71.

Lewis tied for second two weeks ago in Alabama for her 10th runner-up finish in a 49-event drought. The 11-time tour winner has 23 career second-place finishes.



''The putts were going in,'' Lewis said. ''I hit the ball a lot better today and gave myself some better looks and made the putts. The golf course is just playing hard. It's playing long. You have a lot of long irons into the par 4s, so you're not going to make a ton of birdies, and when you do hit it close, you need to make the putt.''

Yang birdied the first three holes. She's No. 2 in the South Korean Olympic standings.

''I was hitting better than yesterday, more solid at impact, making more solid putts, and made some, too,'' Yang said. ''I left a couple of good chances out there, but looking forward to playing on the weekend. I've been working with my coach on my swing and feeling good about it.''

Rain is expected over the weekend on the already wet course.

''It's just going to be a long weekend,'' Lewis said. ''You get ready for that. You get ready for delays and playing in the wet, and this golf course is going to get even harder. You just kind of mentally prepare for it and know it's going to happen, and if it doesn't, that's a great thing.''

Defending champion Minjee Lee was in the group at 5 under after a 71. The 19-year-old Australian won last year at Kingsmill in a Monday finish and added her second tour title last month in Hawaii.

Top-ranked Lydia Ko was 1 under after 68. The 19-year-old New Zealander won the Kia Classic and major ANA Inspiration in consecutive weeks in Southern California.

Second-ranked Inbee Park, playing alongside Ko, withdrew after six holes because of a lingering left thumb injury. The tournament was her first after a month out because of the injury.

Third-ranked Lexi Thompson, also in the group with Ko, matched Ko at 1 under after a 69. Thompson is coming off a victory two weeks ago on the Japan LPGA.

Fifth-ranked Brooke Henderson, playing with Lewis, also was 1 under after a 71.

Michelle Wie missed the cut with rounds of 72 and 78. She's winless since the 2014 U.S. Women's Open and hasn't had a top-10 finish in 35 events.

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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.”

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Harrington: Fiery Carnoustie evokes Hoylake in '06

By Ryan LavnerJuly 16, 2018, 3:45 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – One course came to mind when Padraig Harrington arrived on property and saw a firm, fast and yellow Carnoustie.

Hoylake in 2006.

That's when Tiger Woods avoided every bunker, bludgeoned the links with mid-irons and captured the last of his three Open titles.

So Harrington was asked: Given the similarity in firmness between Carnoustie and Hoylake, can Tiger stir the ghosts this week?


Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I really don’t know,” Harrington said Monday. “He’s good enough to win this championship, no doubt about it. I don’t think he could play golf like the way he did in 2006. Nobody else could have tried to play the golf course the way he did, and nobody else could have played the way he did. I suspect he couldn’t play that way now, either. But I don’t know if that’s the strategy this week, to lay up that far back.”

With three days until the start of this championship, that’s the biggest question mark for Harrington, the 2007 winner here. He doesn’t know what his strategy will be – but his game plan will need to be “fluid.” Do you attack the course with driver and try to fly the fairway bunkers? Or do you attempt to lay back with an iron, even though it’s difficult to control the amount of run-out on the baked-out fairways and bring the bunkers into play?

“The fairways at Hoylake are quite flat, even though they were very fast,” Harrington said. “There’s a lot of undulations in the fairways here, so if you are trying to lay up, you can get hit the back of a slope and kick forward an extra 20 or 30 yards more than you think. So it’s not as easy to eliminate all the risk by laying up.”