Noh takes first PGA Tour title at Zurich Classic

By Associated PressApril 27, 2014, 10:32 pm

AVONDALE, La. – As Seung-Yul Noh exhaled and tilted his head back in a skyward gaze on the 18th green, his South Korean countryman and fellow PGA Tour player, Y.E. Yang, charged toward him, spraying him with bottled beer.

Noh smiled, removed his hat, held both arms out and soaked it all in.

The 22-year-old overcame windy conditions and the pressure that goes with attempting to secure a maiden PGA Tour triumph, shooting a 1-under 71 on Sunday to win the Zurich Classic by two shots.

He also knew he achieved another goal of providing some joy to a nation that has been reeling since a passenger ship capsized April 16, leaving 300 missing or dead.


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''Hopefully, they'll be happy,'' said Noh, who wore black and yellow ribbons on his white golf hat to honor victims of the ferry accident.

While Noh, the leader through three rounds, never fell out of first, he did make his first three bogeys of the tournament and briefly fell into a tie with Keegan Bradley, the 2011 PGA Championship winner who had the gallery behind him.

But Bradley did himself in with a bogey on the fifth hole and a triple bogey on the sixth.

''I actually played pretty well,'' Bradley said. ''Just made one bad swing on 6 and had a bunch of lip-outs.''

Noh remained steady enough- even with wind gusting up to 30 mph - to hold off the remaining challengers.

''Very challenging today out there, especially playing with Keegan, a major champion, and heavy wind,'' Noh said.

Noh needed a few clutch shots on the back nine, including a chip out of a grassy downhill lie on the edge of a bunker on 13, which hit the flag on a bounce, setting up a routine birdie putt. On 16, with wind in his face, Noh landed his approach 3 feet from the hole to set up his last birdie, then made a 14-foot par putt on 17 to assure a two-shot cushion on the final hole, uncharacteristically pumping his first afterward.

''Yeah, that was a clutch putt,'' Noh said, explaining that it left him ''very comfortable'' on 18.

Noh had made 77 previous PGA Tour starts, never finishing better than tied for fourth at the 2012 AT&T National.

He took the third-round lead in New Orleans while becoming the first to play 54 holes at TPC Louisiana without a bogey. The seventh first-time PGA Tour winner in the last 10 years in the New Orleans event, Noh finished at 19-under 269 and earned $1,224,000. He was playing for the first time with caddie Scott Sajtinac, who seemed awe struck by Noh's combination of talent, wisdom and sense of calm for a player so young.

''He's going to be good,'' Sajtinac said. ''He was unflappable. You need to be unflappable to win on the PGA Tour.''

Andrew Svoboda and Robert Streb tied for second. Svoboda had a 69. Streb shot 70, including an eagle on the second hole, and was one shot off the lead after a birdie on 8, but his tee shot was pushed into water by a crosswind on the par-3 ninth hole, and he made double-bogey.

Jeff Overton, who briefly pulled within a stroke of Noh on the back nine, had a 70 to finish fourth at 16 under.

Bradley wound up with a 75 to tie for eighth at 13 under.

On Saturday, Bradley worked his way into the final group, two strokes behind Noh, with a 65.

Bradley was within a stroke after the first hole Sunday, which saw Noh hit his drive into mulch right of the fairway en route to his first bogey. Bradley then birdied the par-5 second hole to tie Noh.

But just a few holes later, Bradley missed a par putt from less than 2 feet, and followed that up by hitting his drive into the water on No. 6. Then, he three-putted to complete a pivotal two-hole stretch in which he dropped four strokes.

While Bradley never recovered from his front-nine falter, Noh still had to ward off a challenge from Overton, who was one stroke back after his 20-foot birdie putt on 10.

Overton, however, bogeyed 11 when he hit his drive into a bunker left of the fairway and his second shot over the fairway and right of the cart path.

Noh, meanwhile, has the victory he needed to get into The Players Championship next month, and his first Masters next spring.

''Dreams come true,'' Noh said. ''When I started at 7 playing golf, I dreamed of always playing (on the) PGA Tour ... or playing any major, especially the Masters.''

Divots: Robert Garrigus, who narrowly made the cut Friday, had the best score Sunday with a 64. The round included a 374-yard drive with a tail wind on 18, which he birdied to tie for fifth at 14 under, along with two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton. Garrigus, who would have earned nothing had he been one stroke worse during the first two rounds, took home $248,200. ... Ben Martin, who shot a course-record 62 in the first round and was 14 under through 22 holes, was 3 over on the last 50 holes. He tied for 15th with David Toms.

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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 golfodds.com.

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