PGA Tour Extends Boston Contract
'I'm really psyched. This is huge for me,' Faxon, who lives 31 minutes away in Barrington, R.I., said Sunday after the tournament's sponsors committed to the course for two more years. 'I don't know what it would be like not to have a tournament' in the area.
Golf has its American roots in New England, from the first U.S. Open, in Newport, R.I., in 1895, to the first Ryder Cup, at the Worcester Country Club in 1927. Francis Ouimet's victory in the 1913 Open at The Country Club in Brookline and the American victory in the '99 Ryder Cup there are among the sport's most heralded moments.
The PGA made a regular stop in Massachusetts from 1965-98 at the Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton. But when the tour pulled out in '98 for financial reasons, that left the Greater Hartford Open, now known as the Buick Championship, as New England's only tour stop.
'I think we all knew that it was a golf-starved area, and we didn't realize how starved until last year,' said Seth Waugh, the chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank Americas. 'I remember last year, handing out the check - and I'm a suit that nobody cares about - it's raining, the tournament is over, and there are guys on the top of the grandstands yelling 'four more years.'
'People care. Here, you're welcomed, as opposed to other markets where you're an afterthought, or even an inconvenience.'
The decision has been expected for weeks, but Waugh said he wanted to make sure the players were satisfied with the changes made to the course since last year. After the first edition, golfers complained that the greens were severely sloped and the fairways too wide in some spots, too narrow in others.
Over the winter, greens were shaved and renovated and the landing areas redistributed to reward good shots instead of punish them. Reaction from the players has been positive.
'We asked for input last year and reacted to it; we delivered what we said we were going to deliver,' Waugh said. 'We wanted a chance to respond to what we heard. So this year we really did not consider any (other site). We wanted the TPC of Boston, and the staff here has done an unbelievable job.'
Tournament director Jay Monahan noted that the golfers have plenty of choices where to play, so his goal has been to give them reasons to come to this Arnold Palmer-designed course near Boston. To that end, they offer special activities at the clubhouse daycare for the players' kids; tickets to Red Sox and Patriots games; a trip for the spouses to Newport and concerts by Hootie and the Blowfish and Clay Walker.
The next question: Will Tiger Woods continue to play in the event that donated $1.5 million to charities last year - a record for a first-year event - primarily the Tiger Woods Foundation?
'He's certainly been a part of this decision today. ... I know he's been thrilled with everything he's seen out here to date,' Monahan said. 'I would expect that given what we are all doing for his foundation that this is something that will be on his calendar for years to come.'
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba
Conor Moore is known for his impressions of golfers, and he is back with a new video just in time for The Open.
Moore even got the thumbs up from Ian Poulter.
This is hilarious..— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) July 16, 2018
Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite
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
Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC
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.
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.
Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense
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.
“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.”