Ogilvie 36-Hole Leader at US Bank

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2007, 4:00 pm
US Bank Championship in MilwaukeeMILWAUKEE -- Joe Ogilvie is a devout follower of the stock market.
 
But the Duke graduate with an economics degree isn't so sure about his own worth heading into the weekend at the U.S. Bank Championship.
 
'I've been beaten down pretty much this whole year, so I couldn't get much cheaper, I guess, from a stock standpoint,' said Ogilvie, who shot a 63 on Friday and was at 10-under 130 after two rounds at Brown Deer Park Golf Course. 'It's been sort of an off year.'
 
Ogilvie has made seven straight cuts, but hasn't had anything close to a top 10 finish.
 
'I haven't played great since I've made the cut,' said Ogilvie, who birdied three of the final four holes.
 
First-round co-leader Jeff Maggert shot a 69 was at 8-under along with Garrett Willis (68). Steve Flesch (64), Tim Clark (65), Tim Herron (67), Billy Mayfair (64), Bob Heintz (64) and Craig Bowden (67) were three strokes behind.
 
'One-under par is actually fortunate,' Maggert said. 'It could have been a little worse. It's just one of those days. Sometimes you get out of your rhythm a little bit and start struggling.'
 
Ogilvie, 33, is in the field in Milwaukee for the first time since 2002 after playing in two British Opens and having three children in the meantime. He's never won on tour, but has three seconds.
 
'If Tiger Woods wins the British Open and I win the U.S. Bank Championship, I certainly think it would be a bigger win for me than for Tiger,' Ogilvie said. 'I think anybody who wins for the first time no matter what tournament it is is their biggest tournament. It may not say major championship and people may not label it a major championship, but your first win is your first major, especially on the PGA Tour.'
 
Flesch said he's been tinkering with his putting stance in the middle of the round trying to gain an advantage. He is looking win for the first time in three years on tour.
 
'I think we place so much attention on fundamentals,' Flesch said. 'The worse you putt, you begin to get so analytical. I'll probably do two or three (different) things again tomorrow.'
 
Willis is also trying out a new strategy. Frustrated with missing three straight Nationwide Tour cuts, he's now just focused on not being aggressive, no matter if he has an opportunity to win on Sunday.
 
'It's actually been a blessing and an eye-opener playing the way I've been playing, trying to force the issue,' said Willis, who got his only PGA Tour win in 2001. 'It's almost forced me to take a step back, relax a little bit and play high percentage shots.'
 
Tony Finau has not been using that strategy.
 
Ultra aggressive, the 17-year-old Monday qualifier from Utah hits some of the longest drives and has large gallery followings.
 
He needed a big rally on Friday to stay through the weekend and finished with a 65 to finish on the cut line at even-par 140.
 
Finau, the high school graduate who turned down a scholarship from BYU, said he got tips in the parking lot from Billy Andrade on Thursday evening after he shot a 5-over 75 to put him in a tie for 122nd.
 
'He was like, 'Just take what you have,'' Finau said of Andrade's advice. 'He told me to come out here today and play golf like you normally do.'
 
On Friday, he drove the ball 369 yards over water and onto the green at the par-4 16th.
 
'Everybody on the tee, when I pulled out the driver, they're like, 'Ooooooh!'' Finau said. 'I pulled it out and aimed right in the center of the green, I hit the perfect shot like I wanted. It worked out.'
 
The 6-foot-4 Finau missed his 18-foot eagle putt, settling for a tap-in birdie, but other pros have taken notice.
 
'I saw him hit some balls on the range, he's phenomenal,' Flesch said. 'It's a cannon. It's cool. Good for him.'
 
Defending champion Corey Pavin missed the cut by two strokes after a 3-over 73 on Friday.
 
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    Four players vying for DJ's No. 1 ranking at Open

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 8:41 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Four players have an opportunity to overtake Dustin Johnson for world No. 1 this week.

    According to Golf Channel world-rankings guru Alan Robinson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can grab the top spot in the world ranking.

    Thomas’ path is the easiest. He will return to No. 1 with either a win and Johnson finished worse than solo third, or even a solo runner-up finish as long as Johnson finishes worse than 49th.

    Twenty years after his auspicious performance in The Open, Rose can get to No. 1 for the first time with a victory and Johnson finishing worse than a two-way tie for third.

    Kopeka can rise to No. 1 if he wins consecutive majors, assuming that his good friend posts worse than a three-way tie for third.

    And Rahm can claim the top spot with a win this week, a Johnson missed cut and a Thomas finish worse than solo second.   

    Johnson’s 15-month reign as world No. 1 ended after The Players. He wasn’t behind Thomas for long, however: After a tie for eighth at the Memorial, Johnson blew away the field in Memphis and then finished third at the U.S. Open to solidify his position at the top.

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    Punch shot: Predictions for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 4:00 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – In advance of the 147th Open Championship, GolfChannel.com writers sound off on burning questions as players ready for a fast and firm test at Carnoustie. Here’s what our writers think about myriad topics:

    The Monday morning headline will be …

    REX HOGGARD: “Survival.” This one is easy. It always is at Carnoustie, which is widely considered The Open’s most demanding major championship test. Monday’s headline will be that the champion - pick a champion, any one will do - “survived” another dramatic Open. You don’t dominate Carnoustie; you endure.

    RYAN LAVNER: “DJ Bashes Way to Victory at Carnoustie.” If somehow a two-win season could be disappointing, it has been for DJ. He’s first in scoring average, birdie average, par-4 scoring, par-5 scoring, strokes gained: tee to green and proximity from the rough. Those last two stats are the most important, especially here at Carnoustie, with these dry conditions. The game’s preeminent long-and-straight driver, there’s a better-than-decent chance he rolls.

    MERCER BAGGS: “Rahm Tough: Spaniard charges to Open victory.” Jon Rahm will claim him maiden major title this week by powering his way through the winds and fescue at Carnoustie.

    JAY COFFIN: “Thomas wins second major, ascends to world No. 1 again.” Shortly after The Open last year, Thomas rolled through the end of the PGA Tour season. This is the time of year he likes best. Despite a poor Open record the last two years, he’s not remotely concerned. He’s a tad miffed he didn’t win in France two weeks ago and comes to Carnoustie refreshed, with a gameplan, and ready to pounce.



    Who or what will be the biggest surprise?

    HOGGARD: Style of play. Given Carnoustie’s reputation as a brute, the surprise will be how the champion arrives at his lofty perch. Unlike previous editions at Carnoustie, this week’s dry conditions will promote more aggressive play off the tee and the winner will defy the norm and power his way to victory.

    LAVNER: Tiger Woods. This is Woods’ best chance to win a major this year, and here’s believing he contends. His greatest strengths are his iron game and scrambling, and both aspects will be tested to the extreme at Carnoustie, helping separate him from some of the pretenders. With even a little cooperation from his putter, he should be in the mix.

    BAGGS: Padraig Harrington. He had a good opening round last week at the Scottish Open and has some good vibes being the 2007 Open champion at Carnoustie. He won’t contend for four rounds, but a few days in the mix would be a nice surprise.

    COFFIN: Alex Noren. Perhaps someone ranked 11th in the world shouldn’t be a surprise, but with so much focus on some of the bigger, household names, don’t be surprised when Noren is in contention on Sunday. He hasn’t finished worse than 25th since early May and won two weeks ago in France. He also tied for sixth place last year at Royal Birkdale.



    Who or what will be the biggest disappointment?

    HOGGARD: Jordan Spieth. Although he was brilliant on his way to victory last year at Royal Birkdale, Spieth is not the same player for this week’s championship, the byproduct of a balky putter that has eroded his confidence. Spieth said giving back the claret jug this week was hard, but his finish will be even tougher.

    LAVNER: Weather. This might sound a little sadistic, but one of the unique joys of covering this tournament is to watch the best in the world battle conditions they face only once a year – the bone-chilling cold, the sideways rain, the howling wind. It doesn’t appear as though that’ll happen this year. With only a few hours of light rain expected, and no crazy winds in the forecast, the biggest challenge for these stars will be judging the bounces on the hard, baked-out turf.

    BAGGS: Jordan Spieth. The defending champion is still trying to find his winning form and Carnoustie doesn’t seem the place to do that. As much as he says he loves playing in strong winds, there should be enough danger around here to frustrate Spieth into a missed cut.

    COFFIN: Rory McIlroy. I hope I’m wrong on this, because the game is better when Rory is in contention at majors. Putting always has been his issue and seemingly always will be. While there isn’t as much of a premium placed on putting this week because of slower greens, he may still have to hit it close. Super close.



    What will be the winning score?

    HOGGARD: 10 under. The last two Opens played at Carnoustie were won with 7-under and 6-over totals, but this week’s conditions will favor more aggressive play and lower scores. Expect to see plenty of birdies, but the great equalizer will come on Sunday when wind gusts are forecast to reach 25 mph.

    LAVNER: 15 under. An Open at Carnoustie has never produced a winner lower than 9 under (Tom Watson in 1975), but never have the conditions been this susceptible to low scores. Sure, the fairway bunkers are still a one-shot penalty, but today’s big hitters can fly them. The thin, wispy rough isn’t much of a deterrent. And the wind isn’t expected to really whip until the final day.

    BAGGS: 12 under. We aren’t going to see the same kind of weather we have previously witnessed at Carnoustie, and that’s a shame. Any players who catch relatively benign conditions should be able to go low, as long as they can properly navigate the fairway rollout.

    COFFIN: 14 under. Walked into a local golf shop in the town of Carnoustie wearing a Golf Channel logo and the man behind the counter said, “It’ll take 14 under to win this week.” Well, he’s been here for years and seen Carnoustie host The Open twice before. He knows more about it than I do, so I’ll stick with his number.

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    Watch: Na plays backwards flop and practices lefty

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 18, 2018, 3:16 pm

    Fresh off his victory at The Greenbrier, Kevin Na is taking a quite-literally-backwards approach to his Open prep.

    Caddie Kenny Harms has been sharing videos of Na's early work at Carnoustie.

    This one shows Na standing in a bunker and playing a flop shot over his own head (as opposed to someone else's):

    While it's unlikely he'll have a need for that exact shot this week, it's far more likely a player may have to think about turning his club over and playing from the wrong side of the ball, like so:

    Na has made 4 of 6 cuts at The Open and will look to improve on his best career finish, currently a T-22 in 2016 at Royal Troon.

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    McIlroy growing 'comfortable' on Open courses

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 1:45 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For a player who once complained about the vagaries of links golf, Rory McIlroy enters this Open with a dazzling record in the sport’s oldest championship.

    Though he missed the 2015 event because of an ankle injury, McIlroy has now posted three consecutive top-5 finishes in the year’s third major.

    “It’s surprising a little bit that my best form in major championships has been this tournament,” he said Wednesday, “but at the same time I’ve grown up these courses, and I’m comfortable on them. I think going to courses on The Open rota that I’ve played quite a lot. I think that helps. You have a comfort level with the golf course, and you’ve built up enough experience to know where to hit and where not to hit it.”


    Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    McIlroy still regrets what happened in 2015, when he “did something slightly silly” and injured his ankle while playing soccer a few weeks before the event. That came a year after he triumphed at Royal Liverpool.

    “Since 2010, I couldn’t wait to play The Open at St. Andrews,” he said. “I thought that was one of my best chances to win a major.”

    He tied for 42nd at Carnoustie in 2007, earning low-amateur honors.