Mickelson headlines depleted Scottish Open field

By Associated PressJuly 7, 2010, 4:19 pm

European Tour

LUSS, Scotland – The Scottish Open has lost some of its chief attractions this year as the warmup event before the British Open.

Only one player from the top 10 in the world has entered the $4 million event which starts at the exclusive Loch Lomond resort Thursday.

However, the fact that it is Phil Mickelson, the winner of this year's Masters, is significant.

For also in the field is Graeme McDowell, the new U.S. Open champion, providing the tournament with the presence of 2010?s two Major winners.

And Mickelson intends to use his first week in Scotland as a launching pad to adding the British Open to his career total of four Major titles.

Mickelson looked slightly out of sorts at his press conference Wednesday with a small cut by his temple.

Initially he joked when explaining it, saying: “One of the other players and I just got in a little tiff”. But then he added: “I don’t know what happened. I just scratched myself accidentally.”

He then got down to more serious matters.

“I always look forward to these two weeks. I really enjoy this tournament and obviously really enjoy next week’s event, too.

“I think the best way to get in playing condition for The Open is to play well, get into contention and compete on Sunday for the title here. Having lost a couple of times in close matches here, I would like to win this tournament. It would mean a lot for me to win here.”

A win on Sunday night could also see Mickelson climb above Tiger Woods to No.1 in the world going into the third major of 2010 at St. Andrews.

However he insisted that reaching the pinnacle of world golf is not his priority this week.

“It would be cool to go to the home of golf as No. 1 but it’s not something I’m thinking about yet.

“I’m just trying to get my game sharp. I always felt like if I play well enough, the results would happen. It would mean a lot to me to break through and finally win.”

The absence of a full-strength field in Loch Lomond can be explained on two counts.

At the start of the week Woods and many top European players assembled at Limerick in Ireland for the two-day JP McManus pro-am.

Many felt that raising around $40 million for charity should be their focus rather than playing six rounds of golf before going to St. Andrews.

McDowell of Northern Ireland, who had not played since his win at Pebble Beach, felt rested enough to take on both.

Meanwhile world No. 3 Lee Westwood is resting while attempting to recover from the calf and ankle injury which severely impeded him at last weekend's French Open.

But among other absentees, Paul Casey of England said the condition of the greens for the Scottish Open would not suit his preparations for St. Andrews.

During the past unusually cold winter in Scotland, the putting surfaces at Loch Lomond were under a sheet of snow and ice without a break for two months, causing widespread damage.

Recently the three worst affected greens were hastily re-laid, but for several weeks the tournament organizers have been e-mailing European Tour members with updates of their progress amid fears that the greens may fall short of the standard required.

After being kept abreast of the situation Casey withdrew from the tournament.

“The last thing you want to do in the week before The Open is to lose any confidence with your putting stroke,” Casey said.

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Tiger putts way into contention at The Open

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 5:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – When Tiger Woods benched his trusty Scotty Cameron blade putter last month at the Quicken Loans National for a new TaylorMade mallet-headed version some saw it as a sign of desperation, but if his performance on Carnoustie’s greens on Saturday were any indication it could end up being a calculated success.

Woods stormed into contention on Day 3 with a 5-under 66 to move to within shouting distance of the lead at The Open, thanks in large part to his vastly improved putting.

“I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I've had really good feels,” said Woods, whose 29 putts on Saturday belies his performance on Carnoustie’s greens. “Even as this golf course was changing and evolving, I've maintained my feels with the putter. I've made a couple of putts from about 40 to 60 feet, which is nice. I just feel like I've been able to roll the ball.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


The highlight of Woods’ round came at the par-4 ninth hole when he charged in a 40-footer for birdie from the front edge of the green to begin a run of three consecutive birdies. Perhaps more impressive, he didn’t have a three-putt, and has only had two all week, which is always a bonus on links courses.

Woods temporarily took a share of the lead with a lengthy birdie putt at the 14th hole and scrambled for a par save at the last after his drive nearly found the Barry Burn.

“I hit a few putts that I think should have gone in from 20, 30 feet today," he said. "So that's always a good sign.”

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TT postscript: A 66, he's in contention - awesome

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 4:58 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods went berserk Saturday and shot 5-under 66 to vault up the leaderboard at The Open at Carnoustie:

• THAT WAS AWESOME!

At 4:13PM here in Scotland, when Tiger two-putted for birdie on the par-5 14th hole, he held a share of the lead in a major championship. It was once unthinkable, but it happened. I saw it with my own eyes.

• Tiger’s last two weekend rounds in the 60s in The Open both happened at Carnoustie and both happened on July 21. In 2007, Woods shot 69 here. On Saturday, that score was clipped by three shots. Tiger shot 65 in the second round of The Open at Royal Liverpool in 2006. He won his third claret jug that week. Tiger last shoot 66 in a major during the second round of the 2011 Masters.

• This is the sixth time that Tiger has recorded three consecutive rounds of par of better to start The Open. He went on to win three of the previous five times.

• One bad swing, the only bad swing of the day according to Tiger, produced the luckiest of breaks. Standing on the 18th tee with an iron in hand, Tiger pulled his tee shot that hit on the top of the Barry Burn and very easily could’ve ended in a watery grave. Instead it ended in thick rough, some 250 yards from the pin. Tiger punted it up the fairway, but got up and down from 83 yards to save par and shoot 66. “I hit my number,” he quipped about hitting wedge to 2 feet.

• On the other hand, the lone bogey came from one poor putt. On the par-3 16th hole, with half of Scotland screaming his name, Tiger missed a 7-footer for par. It was deflating at the time because the last three holes are so difficult. Pars on the last two holes were stellar.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


• Final stats: 12 of 15 fairways, 14 of 18 greens and 29 total putts. Tiger hit six drivers and one 3-wood, proving that he was way more aggressive. He hit four drivers on Friday and only one on Thursday.

• One of the aforementioned drivers that he hit on the ninth hole was well left and in some thick round, 170 yards from the hole. A safe approach to 40 feet set him up for and easy two-putt par. But he slammed the putt home and made an improbable birdie. “I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I’ve had really good feels,” he said.

• In his own words about his chances of winning: “It certainly is possible. I’ve shown that I’ve been there close enough with a chance to win this year. Given what happened the last few years, I didn’t know if that would ever happen again, but here I am with a chance coming Sunday in a major championship. It’s going to fun.”

Yes, yes it is.

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Watch: Guy sleeps next to many beers at Open

By Grill Room TeamJuly 21, 2018, 4:55 pm

It's Moving Day at The Open Championship for all but one sedentary fan.

Cameras caught this potentially browned-out man having himself a Saturday snooze on the browned-out grasses of Carnoustie:

Browned out. That's a great term. Glad it's in the public domain. We've been using it all weekend. I imagine we'll continue to use it. A lot.

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Watch: Tiger makes 6 birdies, 1 amazing par in Rd. 3

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 4:10 pm

Tiger Woods started the third round of The Open at even par, having made seven birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 holes at Carnoustie.

Following three pars to start on Saturday, Woods went on a birdie binge.

No. 1 came with this putt at the par-4 fourth.


No. 2 with this two-putt at the par-5 sixth.


No. 3 thanks to this 30-footer at the par-4 ninth.


No. 4 after nearly jarring his approach shot on the par-4 10th.


No. 5 when he almost drove the green at the par-4 11th and two-putted, from just off the green, from 95 feet.


And No. 6, which gave him a share of the lead, came courtesy another two-putt at the par-5 14th.


Woods bogeyed the par-3 16th to drop out of the lead and almost dropped - at least - one more shot at the par-4 18th. But his tee shot got a lucky bounce and he turned his good fortune into a par.


Woods shot 5-under 66 and finished the day at 5 under par.