Nicklaus wants to lengthen, strengthen 18th hole

By Associated PressJune 1, 2013, 12:44 am

DUBLIN, Ohio – Jack Nicklaus didn't do anything significant to the golf course at Muirfield Village because all the time (and money) went into the new clubhouse.

His next project inside the ropes appears to be the 18th hole.

Nicklaus thinks it needs to be stronger, and thus slightly longer.

''Every time I look on television, I look down and see all those bunkers along 18 and I don't think it's a pretty look,'' Nicklaus said, referring to right side of the landing area beyond a walnut tree. ''It looks like something I had to do to protect the hole. All the other holes on the golf course are basically played the way they were designed. Eighteen is the only hole where they are able to circumvent the design. They take it over the corner and get it out there.

''To me, the finishing hole needs to be stronger.''

Nicklaus, the founder and host of The Memorial Tournament and Muirfield's architect, is thinking about adding 30 yards or more to the tee, which would require moving some dirt to fill in part of a creek behind it. But it can be done.

Just maybe not for a few years.

''I think we will eventually, he said.

WHO'LL STOP THE RAIN: There were three suspensions of play because of dangerous weather and thunderstorms in Friday's second round of the Memorial Tournament. The first lasted 22 minutes, the second 1 hour, 27 minutes and the third ended play at 7:07 p.m. with 42 players still on the course.

It marked the first time since 2001 that a round had been interrupted as many as three times at the Memorial.

Play will resume at 7:30 a.m. with players completing the second round before pairings are drawn up and the third round begins.

DUKE'S DEUCE: In an otherwise normal day, Ken Duke summoned some magic.

The 18th is one of the most difficult holes on the tour. Duke arrived there after teeing off first at the 10th hole. He was 2 over on the day and headed nowhere.

He banged a 320-yard drive through the fairway and into the left rough. From there he had to muscle an iron shot out of heavy rough. He did fine.

Duke's shot landed pin high and rolled to the back of the canted green before reversing direction, picking up speed, hitting the pin and falling into the cup.

The eagle allowed him to stay right on the cut line. He was even through 12 holes on the day when play was suspended and stood at 3 over.

CALLING SECURITY: Fred Couples was just about to hit his drive on the second tee during Friday's second round when a cell phone went off in the gallery.

The phone rang again. Security officials scrambled around, looking for the offending party.

Then a woman's automated voice could be heard saying, ''Please leave a message.''

Finally, a marshal turned to one of the volunteers in sky-blue shirts who are charged with preventing spectators from taking pictures or calls with their cell phones.

''Is that one of yours?'' the marshal said.

The cell-phone volunteer sheepishly unzipped a fanny pack and pulled out the phone, which had been confiscated from a fan.

A nearby spectator laughed and said, ''Throw him out!''

BLEAK BEGINNINGS: Brandt Snedeker has gotten off to a rapid start on the PGA Tour this year, winning at Pebble Beach and finishing in a tie for second at Torrey Pines. He's second on the money list behind Tiger Woods, with more than $3.3 million in earnings.

But the way he started his round on Friday won't go into his book of memories.

Teeing off on hole No. 10, Snedeker was 1 over for his first four holes and then went triple bogey, bogey, double bogey to get to 7 over on his round through seven holes.

Fortunately for him, he was able to regroup by playing the next eight holes in 1 under, but that still wasn't enough to overcome the miserable start.

DIVOTS: Nick Faldo sat down in the grill room and asked for a lemonade. The waiter came back and regretfully informed the CBS analyst and six-time major champion that they were out of the lemonade. ''Call Jack,'' Faldo said sarcastically. The waiter stared at him. ''Call Jack,'' Faldo repeated, his grin slightly more evident. Didn't work. The kid didn't understand the English accent. ''I don't think we have coljack,'' the waiter said. After all that, he found the lemonade. ... The slump for Geoff Ogilvy continues. He missed the cut for the fourth time in his last five tournaments, adding to a stretch earlier this year when Ogilvy missed four straight cuts. The '06 U.S. Open champion has missed eight cuts this year, the most since he missed 10 cuts in 2003. ... 14-year-old Chinese amateur Guan Tianlang had bogeys on six of his first nine holes in a 79 that caused him to miss the cut. ... Players on the main scoreboard in the media center had their national flag next to their name. Branden Grace, from South Africa, had an American flag next to his.

AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson contributed to this report.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”

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After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.

While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at

Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2

Zach Johnson: 13/2

Rory McIlroy: 7/1

Jordan Spieth: 8/1

Rickie Fowler: 9/1

Kevin Kisner: 12/1

Xander Schauffele: 16/1

Tony Finau: 16/1

Matt Kuchar: 18/1

Pat Perez: 25/1

Brooks Koepka: 25/1

Erik van Rooyen: 50/1

Alex Noren: 50/1

Tiger Woods: 50/1

Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1

Danny Willett: 60/1

Francesco Molinari: 60/1