Mickelson takes lead over Woods Watney at HSBC

By Associated PressNovember 7, 2009, 8:07 pm

SHANGHAI (AP)—Phil Mickelson was unwinding from a day of high energy and quickturnarounds, one that took him from a two-shot deficit against Tiger Woods to atwo-shot lead over the final eight holes Saturday in the HSBC Champions.

In the quiet of the clubhouse dining room, he marveled at how much thecrowds have grown in the three years he has been coming to SheshanInternational. And he could only imagine what it would be like Sunday, when heplayed in the final group with Woods for the first time in more than four years.

Then he smiled and raised his glass in a mock toast.

“And he’s got to give me one shot a side,” Mickelson said.

Ryan Moore of the United State…
AP - Nov 7, 5:31 am EST

A rivalry that was renewed six weeks ago in Atlanta continued halfway aroundworld in China when Woods stalled with pars and Mickelson poured in threebirdies over his last five holes for a 5-under 67 and a two-shot lead over Woodsand Nick Watney in the final World Golf Championship of the year.

“I know we are both looking forward to it,” said Mickelson, who was at14-under 202. “I think it will be a fun day, and we are excited to be playingin the last group here in China.”

It will be the first time the world’s top two players have been in the finalgroup since their Duel at Doral in 2005, when Woods rallied from a two-shotdeficit in the final round to win by one.

Woods wasn’t terribly pleased to be in this position. He took his firstoutright lead of the tournament with a 15-foot birdie putt on the eighth hole.After another 15-foot birdie putt on the 10th, his lead was up to two.

That turned out to be his last birdie of the round. He missed oneopportunity on the par-5 14th, badly missed on a 6-foot birdie putt on the 16thand finished his round by driving into the rough and hitting his approach intothe bunker on the par-5 18th, having to save par for a 2-under 70.

“I didn’t putt as well as I did the first two days,” said Woods, whoopened with 67-67. “And the back nine, I didn’t take advantage of the par 5sand 16. I hit it in there stiff and missed that one as well. Consequently, I wasthree shots worse.”

Not to be forgotten is Watney, who completes this All-American—for thatmatter, all-Californian—final group. After a three-putt bogey on the 17th, the28-year-old sank a 50-foot eagle on the 18th for a 70 to join Woods at 12-under204.

“I suppose I’m kind of the odd man out there,” Watney said. “But the goalin golf is always to improve, and tomorrow will be a big step for me. Regardlessof the outcome, I’ll get a chance to watch these guys and see how they handlethemselves, and hopefully, I can handle myself well, too.”

Ryan Moore , who qualified for the HSBC Champions by winning for the firsttime on the PGA Tour in August, had a 70 and was another shot back. LeeWestwood , who is leading the Race to Dubai on the European tour, did himself ahuge favor with eight birdies in a round of 65, leaving him well in the mix at10-under 206.

“This is a golf course that you can make up a lot of shots over a round,”Westwood said.

Mickelson didn’t have that many to make up in the third round, starting onlyone shot behind and briefly sharing the lead on a couple of occasions with threebirdies in the opening five holes. His lone bogey came on the ninth, and eventhen he found a positive.

Trapped against the bushes, Lefty had to invert a wedge to play right-handedback to the fairway. It reminded him of the 12th hole at Doral in March, when healso played a right-handed shot on his way to winning his first World GolfChampionship.

“I thought that might have been a good omen, even though it led to abogey,” Mickelson said.

Mickelson came to life with a lob wedge into the strong wind to 6 feet onthe 14th, then smashing a tee shot so far on the 487-yard 15th that it wentthrough the fairway and left him only a 9-iron, which he hit to 15 feet. Hepumped his fist when the birdie putt fell, giving Mickelson his first outrightlead of the week.

He hustled across the street toward the 16th tee and said in a singsongvoice, “Somebody’s got his putter back.” He is still gleaming from going backto his old style of putting, which carried him to victory in the TourChampionship six weeks ago and helped him to an unbeaten record in thePresidents Cup.

It has taken him to another chapter in the best rivalry of this generation,one that Woods still owns.

They were paired this year at the Masters, where both lit up AugustaNational with birdies until they ran out of holes, having started too far offthe lead. Mickelson won a tournament the last time they played together in afinal round, at the 2007 Deutsche Bank Championship (although they weren’t inthe final group).

Woods has attracted the largest crowds, but not by much. And with themseparated by only one group, there was hardly an empty space along the ropesover two holes.

Woods was asked if he was excited about a potential battle between No. 1 andNo. 2.

“Yeah,” he said. “We are right there. Unfortunately, I’m two back. Butit’s just one of those things where Nick and I have got a chance tomorrow, andwe’re going to have to go out there and obviously play well.”

American Junior Golf Association

Junior golfer's amazing run: ace, albatross, birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 11:03 pm

While most of the golf world had its attention focused on Scotland and The Open Championship at Carnoustie on Thursday, the REALLY remarkable performance of the day was taking place in Halifax, Mass.

There, in an American Junior Golf Association tournament, a 16-year-old Thai player made a hole-in-one and an albatross on consecutive holes.

According to the AJGA, Conor Kelly holed a 5-iron shot on the 198-yard, par-3 eighth hole. It was his first hole-in-one. He then holed a 4-iron second shot from 220 yards on the 480-yard ninth holer for the albatross. (We're gonna go out on a limb and say it was his first albatross.)

Certainly a nice way to make the turn - but Kelly wasn't finished. He birdied the par-4 10th for a 1-2-3 sequence on his scorecard. For the day, he shot a 5-under 67 in the AJGA Junior Golf Hub Championship at the Country Club of Halifax.

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McIlroy, Rahm betting co-favorites after Open Round 1

By Will GrayJuly 19, 2018, 10:10 pm

They're both three shots off the lead, but after starting The Open with rounds in the 60s Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are now betting co-favorites to lift the claret jug at Carnoustie.

McIlroy is four years removed from his Open triumph at Royal Liverpool, while Rahm remains in search of his first major title. Both carded rounds of 2-under 69 in Scotland to sit three shots off the lead of Kevin Kisner. While McIlroy started the tournament at 16/1 and Rahm at 20/1, they're now dead even at 10/1 in updated odds at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

Kisner started the week at 200/1, but after an opening-round 66 he's quickly been trimmed to 25/1. Tony Finau sits one shot behind Kisner and is now listed behind only McIlroy and Rahm at 12/1 after starting the tournament at 60/1.

On the other side of the coin, consensus pre-tournament betting favorite Dustin Johnson fell from 12/1 to 100/1 following an opening 76 while Masters champ Patrick Reed shot a 4-over 75 to plummet from 30/1 to 200/1. Trailing by five shots following an opening-round 71, Tiger Woods' odds remained unchanged at 25/1 as he seeks a 15th career major title.

Here's a look at the revised betting odds heading into the second round at Carnoustie:

10/1: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm

12/1: Tony Finau

14/1: Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler

20/1: Francesco Molinari

25/1: Tiger Woods, Alex Noren, Henrik Stenson, Kevin Kisner

30/1: Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka

40/1: Ryan Moore, Jason Day

50/1: Erik Van Rooyen, Brandon Stone, Matt Kuchar

60/1: Danny Willett, Thomas Pieters, Marc Leishman, Thorbjorn Olesen, Russell Henley, Matthew Southgate

80/1: Webb Simpson, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Brendan Steele, Kevin Na

100/1: Dustin Johnson, Zander Lombard, Sung Kang, Paul Casey, Louis Oosthuizen, Xander Schauffele, Chris Wood, Pat Perez, Luke List, Charley Hoffman

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Despite 78, Lincicome savors PGA Tour experience

By Randall MellJuly 19, 2018, 9:41 pm

Two bad holes derailed Brittany Lincicome in her historic start Thursday at the Barbasol Championship, but they couldn’t wipe the smile off her face afterward.

It might have been the most fun she ever had shooting a 78.

Lincicome joined Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie as the only women to tee it up in a PGA Tour event when she striped her opening tee shot down the middle Thursday at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

A double bogey at her ninth hole and a triple at her 16th might have spoiled her chances at joining Zaharias as the only women to make a 36-hole cut in a PGA Tour event, but it didn’t spoil her experience.

“I did what I wanted to do, with having fun,” Lincicome said. “I think I nailed that part pretty well.

“I love playing with the guys. It's so much fun, being inside the ropes with them. Hopefully, I can get a good one tomorrow.”

Lincicome, 32, held her own for 16 holes, playing them in 1 over par, but those two big numbers left her tied for last place when she signed her scorecard, though other players remained on the course.

At 6 over, Lincicome is 13 shots behind the leader, probably seven or eight shots off the projected cut line, but she savored the experience. She arrived wanting to inspire young girls to dream big, and to bring some extra attention to a title sponsor who means so much to her. She represents Pure Silk, part of the Barbasol family.

Sam Ryder, who joined Conrad Shindler playing alongside Lincicome, was impressed with the way Lincicome carried herself.

“I would play with her every day if she wanted to,” said Ryder, who opened with a 68. “She's just a great person.



“Even though I know she's probably a little disappointed with her final score, she had a smile on her face all day.”

Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, made her first birdie at her 12th hole, dropping a 30-foot putt, but she wasn’t happy with her putter much of the day. She missed three other good birdie chances, a 4-footer at her eighth hole, an 8-footer at her 10th and a 12-footer at the last.

“Pretty happy with my game overall,” Lincicome said. “I had two bad holes, but I drove it well. I did all the things I said I needed to do, but my putter let me down today.”

After piping her first drive, Lincicome opened with three consecutive pars.

“I was actually calmer than I thought I was going to be,” she said. “I thought I was going to be a nervous wreck. After the first tee shot, I was pretty happy that I found the fairway.”

Lincicome said Ryder and Shindler made her feel welcome. So did the crowds.

“It was great,” she said. “I could feel the energy of the crowd support me. Every time I hit a good driver or good shot, they would cheer for me, which was great.

“Conrad and Sam were so nice. I couldn't have asked for a better pairing. They were very welcoming, and we were interacting, they were asking me questions, and it was great.”

On Tuesday, Lincicome said a key to her play would be hitting fairways. She did that, hitting 10 of 14, but she was taking in longer clubs than she does in LPGA events, with Keene Trace set up at 7,168 yards. That’s 600 yards longer than she played last week at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic, where she finished second. She hit just 8 greens in regulation in this PGA Tour start.

Lincicome is nicknamed “Bam Bam.” She is one of the LPGA’s longest drivers, but she was typically 30 to 40 yards behind Ryder and Shindler after hitting her driver. She averaged 259 yards per drive, Ryder 289 yards.

“She had a couple birdie putts that she could have made,” Ryder said. “If she made a couple of those, might've been a little bit different, just to get a little bit of momentum. Who knows?”

Lincicome’s biggest challenges were the par 3s.

At the 18th, playing 195 yards, she mis-hit her tee shot, knocking it in the water, short of the green. She took a penalty, moved up to a forward tee, dropped and hit into a right greenside bunker. She got up and down from there for a 5.

At the seventh, playing 198 yards, she missed wild right and deep. From a tough spot in the rough, she left her pitch short of the green. She chipped her third past the hole and to the fringe, where she took three putts from 20 feet.

Afterward, Lincicome wasn’t dwelling on the bad shots. She was focused on going to sign autographs for all the fans waiting for her, including all the little girls who came out to see her.

“I need to go back over there and sign,” she said. “Any time I can influence a child, especially a girl, obviously I want to get them involved with the LPGA, as much as possible.”

Her overall assessment of her day?

“It was a great experience,” she said.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.