Minjee Lee holds off Burnett, Chun in Lotte

By Associated PressApril 17, 2016, 3:20 am

KAPOLEI, Hawaii - Minjee Lee won the Lotte Championship on Saturday for her second LPGA title, closing with an 8-under 64 for a one-stroke victory.

The 19-year-old Australian played a seven-hole stretch in 6 under with a chip-in eagle on the par-5 13th and four birdies. She rebounded from a third-round 74 to finish at 16-under 272 at Ko Olina.

''Yesterday I spoke to my coach (Ritchie Smith) and he was like, 'You're only five back. Just shoot 8 under and you'll be fine,''' Lee said. ''And I shot 8 under, so that was good. ...

''Just because I had a not-so-great round yesterday didn't mean I couldn't shoot a low score today. I just came out with, I don't know, a fresh mindset.''

Third-round leader Katie Burnett and U.S. Women's Open champion In Gee Chun tied for second.

Lee made an 11-foot birdie putt on the par-4 17th and got up-and-down for par from short of the green on the par-4 18th, holing a 6-foot putt. She became the fifth LPGA player to win twice before her 20th birthday, joining Lydia Ko, Lexi Thompson, Marlene Hagge and Sandra Haynie.

''I think after I went eagle-birdie-birdie, I think the second birdie I was like, 'Oh, I'm going to be really close,'' said Lee, projected to jump from 17th to 12th in the world ranking. ''I just did all I could do, and here I am.''

She won the Kingsmill Championship last year in Virginia.

''Definitely a big confidence boost,'' said Lee, also the 2012 U.S. Girls Junior champion. ''Last couple of weeks I was there, but not quite there. Now my game seems to be coming together really well.''

Burnett shot a 70. She lost the lead with a three-putt bogey on the par-3 16th, then missed a 6-foot birdie try on 17 and a long birdie putt on 18. The 26-year-old Georgia player, winless on the tour, led most of the day, going bogey-free for 40 holes before dropping a shot at No. 7.

''I don't think I gave it away by any means,'' Burnett said. ''That's something, last year I struggled in the final rounds, especially when I had been playing well. So, to have played well today was really good for me. ... I don't necessarily feel like I lost the tournament. I feel like Minjee just won it. Eight under, I mean, that's pretty solid.''

Chun finished with a 67, missing a 16-foot birdie try on 18.

''Very tricky on the green,'' Chun said. ''I try enjoy my game, so I'm still happy.''

She tied for second for the second straight event after sitting out a month because of a back injury. She was hurt when she was struck by a hard suitcase that rival South Korean player Ha Na Jang's father dropped down an escalator at the Singapore airport.

Thailand's Moriya Jutanugarn was fourth at 14 under after a 68.

Su-Yeon Jang was another stroke back after a 71. Playing on a sponsor exemption, the 21-year-old South Korean player was coming off a victory last week in the Korean LPGA event sponsored by Lotte.

Brooke Henderson tied for 10th at 10 under to extend her top-10 streak to seven events. The 18-year-old Canadian closed with a 68.

The top-ranked Ko shot a 69 to tie for 23rd, her worst finish of the year, at 5 under. Ko won her last two starts in California and also has two seconds, a third and a tie for 15th this season. She will try to defend her title at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic next week in California.

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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 146th 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.

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Knox relishes round with 'mythical figure' Woods

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:48 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Russell Knox was expecting the worst and hoping for the best Thursday at The Open.

Playing with Tiger Woods tends to have that effect.

The native Scot received a treat earlier this week when he saw his name on the tee sheet alongside his boyhood idol, Woods.

“Felt good out there, but obviously my swing, it was just like I had too much tension,” Knox said after an opening 73. “I just wasn’t letting it go as normal. First round with Tiger, I expected to feel a little bit different. The way I felt was better than the way I swung.”

Knox said that he was nervous playing alongside Woods, a player he’d only encountered on the range. “He’s almost like a mythical figure,” he said.

But after a while, he settled into the rhythm of the round at Carnoustie.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I thought it would be worse,” he said, “I feel like I should know what I’m doing. It’s cool playing with Tiger, but I’ve got to get over that. I’m here to win, not just enjoy my walk around the course.”

Knox probably had more interaction with Woods than he anticipated, if only because the third member of the group, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, keeps to himself because of the language barrier.

“It’s kind of a blur,” Knox said. “It’s like, Oh, I’m chatting away with Tiger here like normal. I don’t even remember what I was saying.”

There have been countless stories from this year as the next generation of players – guys who grew up watching Woods dominate the sport – get paired with Woods for the first time.

It was no less special for Knox on Thursday.

“It’s nice for him to say things like that,” Woods said, “and we enjoyed playing with each other. Hopefully we’ll play a little bit better tomorrow.”

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Rain expected to shower Carnoustie Friday morning

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:43 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – By the end of the day Friday, we’ll be able to determine which side of The Open draw ended the first two rounds at Carnoustie with more favorable conditions. With rain expected for most of Friday morning, it seems those who played early/late may be more pleased.

According to Weather.com, there is a 75 percent chance of rain beginning at 2 a.m. local time Friday here in Scotland. That percentage vaults up to 95 percent by 7 a.m., with the first tee time scheduled for 6:35. At 11, the number drops to 55 percent. After 2 p.m., the percentage chances of rain are 25 percent and below for the remainder of the day.

Temperatures during the day are expected to be from the low 50s to the low 60s and winds will vary between 14-18 mph, again per Weather.com.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


This is The Open’s official weather report for the weekend:

Saturday: A dull start with some drizzle possible. Staying cloudy for much of the day but gradually becoming brighter with a chance of some sunny intervals during the afternoon and evening. Winds light and variable in direction but should predominantly settle in to a SSE 8-12mph during the afternoon. Max temp 20C (68F).

Sunday: Often cloudy but mainly dry. A better chance of some decent sunny spells compared to Saturday. Most likely the windiest day of the Championship; SW 12-18mph with gusts 20-25mph. Feeling warm, especially in any sunshine with a max temp of 23C (73F).

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Bandaged Woods 5 back after even-par 71

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:38 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods arrived Thursday with therapeutic tape on the back of his neck.

Carnoustie’s back nine inflicted even more pain.

Playing in the most difficult conditions of the day, Woods’ progress was stalled by two late bogeys as he settled for an even-par 71 that left him five shots off the lead at The Open.

“I played better than what the score indicates,” he said. “It certainly could have been a little bit better.”

Woods created a stir when he showed up with black kinesiology tape on his neck. Afterward, he said that his neck has been bugging him “for a while” and that Thursday was merely the first time that the tape was visible.

“Everyone acts like this is the first time I’ve been bandaged up,” he said, smiling. “I’ve been doing this for years.”

Woods said that the discomfort didn’t really affect his swing, other than a few shots “here and there.” It didn’t seem to affect his score, either, as he went out in 2 under before a few stumbles on the back nine.

On the fast, baked-out turf, he played conservatively off the tee, using driver only once and 3-wood just twice. Apparently he didn’t need the added distance, not with his 6-iron traveling 240 yards. He tried to play to his spots, even if it routinely left him more than 200 yards for his approach.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


That’s the strategy he employed at Hoylake in 2006, where he hit driver just once and captured the third of his Open titles. Despite some of the similarities in firmness, Woods said that Carnoustie presents a different challenge off the tee.

“These fairways are very small,” he said. “They’re hard to hit right now. They’re so fast, and they’re so moundy.”

Finding the fairway wasn’t the chief problem for Woods on Day 1, however. He missed just four fairways but found only 11 greens.

More damaging to his score was his play on the par 5s. Despite having only an 8-iron in, he failed to birdie each of the two par 5s and then bogeyed Nos. 10, 13 and 15 to squander his early momentum.

Though the draw here won’t be a significant factor – or at least not like in recent years, with a wide range in scores from morning to afternoon – it’s clear that Woods (in game 47 of 52) encountered the most difficult of the conditions Thursday, with the wind gusting to 20 mph and the fairways running even faster after another sun-splashed afternoon.

Still, his opening 71 was one of the better scores in the late wave.

“He hit it good,” said playing partner Russell Knox. “He plotted his way around, which I expected him to do, and he was very conservative off the tee. It’s kind of fun to watch him do that, to be honest.”

Even more fun would be a major with Woods in contention.

He hasn’t broken par in the opening round of his last eight majors. Indeed, for Woods, these slow starts have been the real pain in the neck.