Newlywed Mullinax leads Puerto Rico Open with 63

By Associated PressMarch 23, 2017, 9:33 pm

RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico - Five days after getting married, Trey Mullinax ran off nine birdies and saved par with a 15-foot putt on his last hole for a 9-under 63 to take the lead at the Puerto Rico Open.

The first round Thursday was suspended when showers turned into heavy rain at Coco Beach Golf & Country Club and the course was too wet to continue.

Mullinax was coming off consecutive missed cuts in Florida when he got married Saturday to Abi Essman, whom he has dated since high school. Several of his Alabama teammates were at the wedding in Birmingham, Alabama, including Justin Thomas.

And then it was off to Puerto Rico, and Mullinax posted his best round of the year. He had a one-shot lead over D.A. Points.

''Obviously, to shoot the score I shot today you have to putt well,'' Mullinax said. ''But it was nice to hit the ball like I feel I've been playing. I feel like I've been hitting the ball well, just haven't been scoring. But today I hit the ball nice and it was a good result.''

Points finished his round of 64 with a 9-iron that he holed from the ninth fairway for an eagle.

''Today was the calmest day I've ever seen here, so it was pretty much a perfect 9-iron,'' he said. ''I knew I had a little backstop and I could hit it as hard as I want, and I threw it 149 yards and it spun back and went right in.''

It was an important start for Points, who has a low priority this year on the PGA Tour and has had trouble getting into tournaments.



He last played seven weeks ago at Pebble Beach, where he won in 2011 with Bill Murray as his amateur partner. Points has tried Monday qualifying for some PGA Tour events.

''I'm proud of myself for not just sitting on my butt and not doing anything,'' he said. ''I've been playing and practicing and trying to stay sharp and I think that paid off today.''

Former Las Vegas winner Bill Lunde, playing for the first time in five months, and Xander Schauffele were at 65. The group at 66 included Harold Varner III, David Hearn of Canada and Jonathan Randolph, who still had three holes remaining.

The first round was to resume Friday morning.

Former Puerto Rico Open winner Scott Brown was at 67. San Juan native Rafa Campos was at 5 under with four holes remaining when the rain arrived. A year ago, Campos opened with a 64 and eventually tied for eighth.

The Puerto Rico Open is opposite the World Golf Championships event in Texas this week, meaning a winner does not earn an automatic spot in the Masters. Wesley Bryan would need to win to have any chance of moving into the top 50 in the world ranking and qualifying for Augusta National.

Bryan opened with a 63.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 12:55 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:

Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch.


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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Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.

Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.

“We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.

Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.

“It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”

It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.


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McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

Said Harmon:

“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.