Piller trails Hur by one at LPGA's Texas Shootout

By Associated PressApril 29, 2016, 1:53 am

IRVING, Texas – Mi Jung Hur topped the South Korean-dominated leaderboard Thursday in the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout, opening with a 5-under 66 in breezy conditions.

Hur made five straight birdies on the 15th to the first hole. The two-time LPGA Tour winner bogeyed the par-4 fifth and rebounded with a birdie on the par-4 eighth.

''My putting just was everything on the course today,'' Hur said. ''My shot wasn't that good and my address wasn't that comfortable, but my putting did really well.''

She lives in the area in McKinney.

''I used to live in Orlando, Florida, for seven, eight years,'' Hur said. ''Then we had a tournament here three years ago and I look around, it looks pretty nice to live. So I just asked my parents, 'Can we move to Texas?' We love it because there's two big Korean towns nearby. We just moved right away.''

South Korean players held six of the top eight positions. So Yeon Ryu and Eun-Hee Ji were tied for second with American Gerina Piller at 67, and Sei Young Kim, Amy Yang, Jenny Shin and Scotland's Catriona Matthew shot 68.

Piller, the U.S. Solheim Cup star who lives in nearby Plano, birdied four of her last seven holes.

''It's a little tougher this week being a home game and having family in town and just staying at home,'' Piller said. ''It's hard to go home and go to bed. You want to do the dishes or stuff like that. Definitely. have to be more conscious with your time and how you prepare just like any other week because you're at home and it's kind of pulling you opposite directions.''

She tied for third Sunday in California in the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic for her third straight top-six finish.

''I know that I'm playing really well and I've had some really good finishes, so that's golf, you've just kind of got to ride that and just keep pressing on,'' Piller said.

Ryu hit 17 greens in regulation.

''Even when I missed, I was still able to putt it. I was just off the green,'' Ryu said. ''I think today my shot was really great, I just comfortable with everything and like driver, iron, wood, everything was great. Even putting was really great.''

Ji had five birdies in an eight-hole stretch and dropped her only stroke on the par-5 18th.

''I'm really struggling with my allergies, so I'm trying to focus more,'' Ji said. ''I think flower seeds, something like that. I took all this medicine, but it doesn't work at all.''

The event features two cuts. The field will be trimmed to the low 70 and ties after 36 holes and the low 50 and ties after 54 holes.

Fifth-ranked Brooke Henderson had a 69. The 18-year-old Canadian has eight straight top-10 finishes.

''Not as windy as some of the weeks we've been playing in, but it was windy out there today,'' Henderson said. ''The course is in great shape, but as the day got going it got a little bit firmer and you kind of had to adjust your numbers a little bit.''

Fourth-ranked Stacy Lewis opened with a 74, and third-ranked Lexi Thompson had a 75. Lewis, the 2014 winner in her home-state event, is winless in 47 events.

Michelle Wie shot a 76, four days after withdraw during the final round of the Swinging Skirts because of neck spasms. She's winless since the 2014 U.S. Women's Open and hasn't had a top-10 finish in 33 events.

Second-ranked Inbee Park, the 2013 and 2015 champion, is sidelined by a left thumb injury.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 146th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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Knox relishes round with 'mythical figure' Woods

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:48 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Russell Knox was expecting the worst and hoping for the best Thursday at The Open.

Playing with Tiger Woods tends to have that effect.

The native Scot received a treat earlier this week when he saw his name on the tee sheet alongside his boyhood idol, Woods.

“Felt good out there, but obviously my swing, it was just like I had too much tension,” Knox said after an opening 73. “I just wasn’t letting it go as normal. First round with Tiger, I expected to feel a little bit different. The way I felt was better than the way I swung.”

Knox said that he was nervous playing alongside Woods, a player he’d only encountered on the range. “He’s almost like a mythical figure,” he said.

But after a while, he settled into the rhythm of the round at Carnoustie.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I thought it would be worse,” he said, “I feel like I should know what I’m doing. It’s cool playing with Tiger, but I’ve got to get over that. I’m here to win, not just enjoy my walk around the course.”

Knox probably had more interaction with Woods than he anticipated, if only because the third member of the group, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, keeps to himself because of the language barrier.

“It’s kind of a blur,” Knox said. “It’s like, Oh, I’m chatting away with Tiger here like normal. I don’t even remember what I was saying.”

There have been countless stories from this year as the next generation of players – guys who grew up watching Woods dominate the sport – get paired with Woods for the first time.

It was no less special for Knox on Thursday.

“It’s nice for him to say things like that,” Woods said, “and we enjoyed playing with each other. Hopefully we’ll play a little bit better tomorrow.”

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Rain expected to shower Carnoustie Friday morning

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:43 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – By the end of the day Friday, we’ll be able to determine which side of The Open draw ended the first two rounds at Carnoustie with more favorable conditions. With rain expected for most of Friday morning, it seems those who played early/late may be more pleased.

According to Weather.com, there is a 75 percent chance of rain beginning at 2 a.m. local time Friday here in Scotland. That percentage vaults up to 95 percent by 7 a.m., with the first tee time scheduled for 6:35. At 11, the number drops to 55 percent. After 2 p.m., the percentage chances of rain are 25 percent and below for the remainder of the day.

Temperatures during the day are expected to be from the low 50s to the low 60s and winds will vary between 14-18 mph, again per Weather.com.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


This is The Open’s official weather report for the weekend:

Saturday: A dull start with some drizzle possible. Staying cloudy for much of the day but gradually becoming brighter with a chance of some sunny intervals during the afternoon and evening. Winds light and variable in direction but should predominantly settle in to a SSE 8-12mph during the afternoon. Max temp 20C (68F).

Sunday: Often cloudy but mainly dry. A better chance of some decent sunny spells compared to Saturday. Most likely the windiest day of the Championship; SW 12-18mph with gusts 20-25mph. Feeling warm, especially in any sunshine with a max temp of 23C (73F).

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Bandaged Woods 5 back after even-par 71

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:38 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods arrived Thursday with therapeutic tape on the back of his neck.

Carnoustie’s back nine inflicted even more pain.

Playing in the most difficult conditions of the day, Woods’ progress was stalled by two late bogeys as he settled for an even-par 71 that left him five shots off the lead at The Open.

“I played better than what the score indicates,” he said. “It certainly could have been a little bit better.”

Woods created a stir when he showed up with black kinesiology tape on his neck. Afterward, he said that his neck has been bugging him “for a while” and that Thursday was merely the first time that the tape was visible.

“Everyone acts like this is the first time I’ve been bandaged up,” he said, smiling. “I’ve been doing this for years.”

Woods said that the discomfort didn’t really affect his swing, other than a few shots “here and there.” It didn’t seem to affect his score, either, as he went out in 2 under before a few stumbles on the back nine.

On the fast, baked-out turf, he played conservatively off the tee, using driver only once and 3-wood just twice. Apparently he didn’t need the added distance, not with his 6-iron traveling 240 yards. He tried to play to his spots, even if it routinely left him more than 200 yards for his approach.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


That’s the strategy he employed at Hoylake in 2006, where he hit driver just once and captured the third of his Open titles. Despite some of the similarities in firmness, Woods said that Carnoustie presents a different challenge off the tee.

“These fairways are very small,” he said. “They’re hard to hit right now. They’re so fast, and they’re so moundy.”

Finding the fairway wasn’t the chief problem for Woods on Day 1, however. He missed just four fairways but found only 11 greens.

More damaging to his score was his play on the par 5s. Despite having only an 8-iron in, he failed to birdie each of the two par 5s and then bogeyed Nos. 10, 13 and 15 to squander his early momentum.

Though the draw here won’t be a significant factor – or at least not like in recent years, with a wide range in scores from morning to afternoon – it’s clear that Woods (in game 47 of 52) encountered the most difficult of the conditions Thursday, with the wind gusting to 20 mph and the fairways running even faster after another sun-splashed afternoon.

Still, his opening 71 was one of the better scores in the late wave.

“He hit it good,” said playing partner Russell Knox. “He plotted his way around, which I expected him to do, and he was very conservative off the tee. It’s kind of fun to watch him do that, to be honest.”

Even more fun would be a major with Woods in contention.

He hasn’t broken par in the opening round of his last eight majors. Indeed, for Woods, these slow starts have been the real pain in the neck.