Pettersson leads Knost by one at Heritage

By Associated PressApril 14, 2012, 10:13 pm

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Carl Pettersson couldn't have had a better time with Colt Knost at the RBC Heritage. He hopes to have as much fun when the two play again on Sunday.

Pettersson had a run of five straight birdies on the front nine and finished with a birdie on the 18th hole for a 66 and a one-stroke lead over Knost heading into the final round of the RBC Heritage on Saturday.

Pettersson and Knost chatted and laughed throughout the round, looking more like a pair of duffers at the local muni out for a weekend round rather than pro golfers chasing a PGA Tour title.

''Two fat guys played in three hours, 48 minutes,'' Pettersson said with a smile. ''That was pretty good. But we had a good time.''

Especially Pettersson, who used his birdie streak to overtake a nervous Knost and build a three-shot lead through 10 holes. Knost tamed the butterflies enough to find the game that had him in the lead here after Thursday and Friday, tying for the top after Pettersson's bogey on the par-5 15th hole.

Pettersson moved in front at the end with a stunning approach that slid by the cup on No. 18 for a closing birdie. The two will match up once again in the final pairing Sunday.

''I'm going to try tomorrow to have fun,'' said Knost, seeking his first win on the PGA Tour.

Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters winner, shot a 66 to move to third at 8 under, three behind the leaders. Two-time RBC Heritage champion Boo Weekley had a 70 and was in fourth another shot behind. Defending champ Brandt Snedeker (69), Kevin Na (70) and Robert Garrigus (70) were next at 6 under.

World No. 1 Luke Donald failed to make a move toward keeping the top spot, his even-par 71 leaving him at 2 over and tied for 52nd. Donald needs to finish eighth or better to fend off No. 2 Rory McIlroy, who like Masters champion Bubba Watson and most other top golfers, was taking the week off.

Knost's roller coaster of a round included a 190-yard drive off No. 1 to take bogey followed by an eagle on No. 2. And there were plenty of missed fairways on the tight holes of Harbour Town Golf Links. Still, he kept close enough with a 69.

''I could have got rattled pretty easy after that start,'' Knost said. ''But like I said, I'm really proud of the way I hung in.''

Pettersson threatened to turn the tournament into a runaway with his early birdie streak. Knost would not let that happen, overcoming some unsteady play to keep close to his playing partner.

It sure wasn't easy for Knost.

He came to the first tee with a two-stroke lead, then knocked his opening tee shot into some pine straw right of the fairway and took bogey. He followed that by rolling in a 48-foot eagle putt from the left fringe on No. 2 and flashed a wide smile that even had Pettersson grinning.

Knost's up-and-down ride continued through the front nine. There was the lipout on No. 3 for bogey, the layup and chip to 10 feet on the par-5 fifth for birdie, and solid par saves from the bunker on No. 7 and from some more pine straw on No. 8.

Then on the ninth after another wayward drive, Knost punched it to 10 feet and made the birdie to stay one behind Pettersson.

Things swung Pettersson's way once more on the 10th, his lead growing to three shots after he made birdie and Knost was short on his approach and missed an 8-foot attempt at par.

Still, Knost kept grinding. A birdie on the 13th hole drew Knost with a stroke and the pair was tied at the top at 11 under when Pettersson took bogey on the par-5 15th hole.

The two matched pars until the windswept 18th when Pettersson struck a stunning approach that slid by the cup and settled 8 feet past. He rolled in the putt with a smile on his face.

''I managed to birdie the 18th, which was nice,'' Pettersson said.

Johnson put together his second straight sub-70 round to move into third. He has largely struggled at Harbour Town, his best showing a tie for sixth the week after he slipped on the green jacket five years ago. Johnson's round took flight with an eagle on No. 5. He closed with birdies on the 16th and 18th as he looks for his first victory since the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in 2010.

''We've still got 18 holes,'' Johnson said. ''The last four or five holes, if I'm near the lead, we can get after it a little bit.''

Donald, starting almost five hours before the leaders, never got things going. Without an absolute miracle he will fall from No. 1 after he finishes Sunday, surrendering the top spot to McIlroy, who is off spending time with girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki as she competes in Denmark, according to the tennis star's tweets. Donald took the top spot from McIlroy last month.

Whose got the edge over Harbour Town?

Pettersson, 34, has won four times on tour while Knost, an amateur star who's struggled at this level, acknowledged his nervousness getting ready. ''I don't know,'' Pettersson said. ''I've only won four times out here, so it's not like ... I'm not Phil or Tiger or anybody.''

Knost planned to spend some time on the range after his round working on his tee shots. ''I got a chance going into tomorrow and I'm excited,'' he said.






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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”