Quinney Keeps Fire Going in Phoenix Desert

By Associated PressFebruary 3, 2007, 5:00 pm
2007 FBR OpenSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Five years on the Nationwide Tour transformed Jeff Quinney from a talented but uncertain golfer to a confident pro ready for the big time.
 
After two top 10 finishes in the last two tournaments, Quinney shot an 8-under 63 on Friday to open a three-shot lead halfway through the FBR Open.
 
David Toms
David Toms stands five back of the lead heading into the weekend. (Wire Images)
The 2000 U.S. Amateur champion and former Arizona State star lives in Scottsdale and could think of few better settings for a breakthrough victory.
 
'Other than probably a couple of majors, I think this is where I'd want to win,' he said.
 
Quinney, a PGA TOUR rookie, was at 13-under 129 through 36 holes after a dominating second round under bright sunshine at the TPC Scottsdale course.
 
and Bart Bryant were three shots back at 10-under 132 after 66s.
 
Bubba Watson, John Rollins, Robert Garrigus and Charles Howell III were four back at 9 under. Play was suspended because of darkness Friday with 18 players on the course. Howell was one of them, finishing his final two holes with pars Saturday morning.
 
Quinney acknowledges he was uncertain about his career when he turned professional in 2001.
 
'I probably didn't trust myself enough,' he said.
 
It took five years of struggle and initially not much success before he qualified for the PGA TOUR by finishing sixth on last year's Nationwide money list.
 
He said he is surprised by how well he's done this year -- a tie for fourth at the Bob Hope Classic and a tie for seventh at the Buick Invitational.
 
'But you shouldn't be in a way,' Quinney said. 'This is why you play the game, to contend and to compete. You just don't go out there to finish 30th place and kind of squeak by. This is where I want to be. I want to be in contention and in front of the lights.'
 
Mayfair, who also played golf at Arizona State, hasn't won on the tour since 1998 and is coming off a difficult year that included a divorce, surgery for testicular cancer and his mother's stroke.
 
But his game has been terrific this week on a course that's just a few hundred yards from his home.
 
He chipped in from 85 yards for an eagle on the 552-yard, par-5 15th hole to reach 11 under before his only bogey of the day on the 18th.
 
'I hope an old guy wins once in awhile like myself,' the 40-year-old Mayfair said, 'but it's good to see these young guys come off the Nationwide Tour and start playing well immediately out here, because that's what that tour is for.'
 
Bryant, finishing just before darkness fell, made a birdie on his final hole, the 464-yard, par-4 ninth.
 
Quinney had nine birdies and one bogey on the 7,216-yard layout, where the start of play was delayed 40 minutes Friday by frost. But the sun quickly made conditions ideal.
 
'It was one of those days where you get in the zone and you feel like nothing can go wrong,' Quinney said.
 
Playing with Tiger Woods at the Buick Invitational last Saturday was an added boost.
 
'Just to be thrown in the fire, playing against the No. 1 player in the world,' Quinney said. 'It seemed like he was heads above everybody else. To be right with him playing 18 holes -- I think I bogeyed the last hole and lost by one to him that day -- but that just kind of proved to me that I can play at this level, and on the weekend. It just gave me a lot of confidence.'
 
Two-time FBR champion Phil Mickelson is finished for the week. He shot a 69 on Friday for a 1-under 141 and missed the cut by one stroke.
 
Mickelson tied for 45th at the Hope Classic and 51st at the Buick Invitational. He has not finished better than tied for 16th since his 18th-hole collapse at last year's U.S. Open.
 
'Well, it's not the start I wanted to the year,' he said. 'I'm going to work on it this weekend and see if I can get the putter working.'
 
Divots
For the sixth consecutive year, Woods is skipping the FBR event, opting to play halfway around the world at the Dubai Desert Classic. Next year's FBR Open will be held the same week as the Super Bowl in nearby Glendale. ... FBR officials met with Woods in San Diego last week to try to persuade him to enter next year's event.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard
  • Full Coverage - FBR Open
  • Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.”

    Getty Images

    Harrington: Fiery Carnoustie evokes Hoylake in '06

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 16, 2018, 3:45 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – One course came to mind when Padraig Harrington arrived on property and saw a firm, fast and yellow Carnoustie.

    Hoylake in 2006.

    That's when Tiger Woods avoided every bunker, bludgeoned the links with mid-irons and captured the last of his three Open titles.

    So Harrington was asked: Given the similarity in firmness between Carnoustie and Hoylake, can Tiger stir the ghosts this week?


    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I really don’t know,” Harrington said Monday. “He’s good enough to win this championship, no doubt about it. I don’t think he could play golf like the way he did in 2006. Nobody else could have tried to play the golf course the way he did, and nobody else could have played the way he did. I suspect he couldn’t play that way now, either. But I don’t know if that’s the strategy this week, to lay up that far back.”

    With three days until the start of this championship, that’s the biggest question mark for Harrington, the 2007 winner here. He doesn’t know what his strategy will be – but his game plan will need to be “fluid.” Do you attack the course with driver and try to fly the fairway bunkers? Or do you attempt to lay back with an iron, even though it’s difficult to control the amount of run-out on the baked-out fairways and bring the bunkers into play?

    “The fairways at Hoylake are quite flat, even though they were very fast,” Harrington said. “There’s a lot of undulations in the fairways here, so if you are trying to lay up, you can get hit the back of a slope and kick forward an extra 20 or 30 yards more than you think. So it’s not as easy to eliminate all the risk by laying up.”