Thompson, Lee share first-round LPGA Championship lead

By Associated PressAugust 14, 2014, 11:17 pm

PITTSFORD, N.Y. - Tall and fit with all those Instagram photos to prove it, long-hitting Lexi Thompson figured she might have an edge on the LPGA Championship's new course.

She did.

Thompson and South Korea's Meena Lee shot 6-under-66 on Thursday to share the first-round lead in the LPGA's fourth major championship of the season.

''It's all about confidence,'' Thompson said. ''You just have to go into every shot just telling yourself you're going to pull it off.''

Thompson, the Kraft Nabisco winner in April for her first major title, and Lee each made eight birdies and a pair of bogeys at Monroe Golf Club to finish a stroke ahead of Brittany Lincicome, Colombia's Lisa McCloskey and Canadian rookie Jennifer Kirby.

Shanshan Feng of China, the tournament winner two years ago, was tied for sixth at 68 with 2010 champion Cristie Kerr.

Catriona Matthew of Scotland, runner-up a year ago to South Korea's Inbee Park, was tied at 69 with seven other players. Park was at even-par 72, one shot better than Paula Creamer and Karrie Webb.


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Top-ranked Stacy Lewis, a three-time winner this year, started on the back nine and birdied three of the first five holes, then faltered with three straight bogeys before the turn. She finished at 71.

Locust Hill had been the LPGA's host in the Rochester area for 37 straight years before the tour made the switch this year to nearby Monroe and moved the date from June to August. The Donald Ross-designed course is about 300 yards longer at 6,717 yards and does not have a single water hazard, but it does feature 106 bunkers, more than double the number at Locust Hill, and they're deeper.

The par 3s are longer, too, at 183, 193 and 207 yards, but the wider fairways favor long hitters like Thompson, who led the LPGA coming in with an average of 271.2 yards off the tee. A course made soft by recent rain only made that edge even larger, as did a stiff wind.

''I would say it (driving) was an advantage,'' said the 6-foot-1 Thompson, who had slumped in her previous four outings, missing one cut. ''You just have to hit it straight. Doesn't matter what club you're hitting.''

Not a problem on a cool, cloudy, breezy day as the LPGA marks the end of its long run in the Rochester area. Thompson used driver on 14 holes and birdied all four par 5s. And she was accurate, hitting 10 of 14 fairways and reaching 16 of 18 greens in regulation. Consecutive three-putt bogeys on the back side were the only blemishes on a round that reached 7 under with a birdie on the par-5 14th hole.

Lincicome, whose best finish this year is a tie for 10th at the Airbus LPGA Classic in Alabama in May, had eight birdies and three bogeys and avoided any three-putt greens.

''I think, take today and just build,'' Lincicome said. ''I feel like I've been playing well. I've been doing a lot of really good things. It's just not all coming together. I was hitting things to like a foot and just tapping them in. It was stress-free.''

Lee hit 12 of 14 fairways, reached 13 of 18 greens in regulation, and needed only 25 putts on the round.

''It's very exciting, and then, well, it's just (the) first day,'' she said.

A year ago, Park survived the stress of a playoff to beat Matthew and start a three-tournament winning streak that also included victories in the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship and U.S. Women's Open, her third straight major win of the season. She began defense of her title with a round that included just two birdies to go with two bogeys.

U.S. players have won the first three majors this year. Besides Thompson's triumph in the Kraft Nabisco, Michelle Wie won the U.S. Women's Open and Mo Martin surged to victory in the final round at the Women's British Open.

The last time the first three majors in the LPGA were won by American players was in 1999, and not since 1992 have Americans won them all. A fifth major, the Evian Championship in France, was added last year.

Wie is not playing this tournament because of an injury to her right index finger, while Martin had to cope with a sore thumb and shot a 72 that included four birdies and four bogeys.

''I'm happy with it,'' Martin said. ''It was the first time I hit a lot of shots out there, so just learning how this course reacts, where to land my shots and where the prevailing winds are.''

Rookie Emma Jandel, who made the field when Wie withdrew, shot a 69.

''It's a little different having cameras in your face, so I'm just kind of learning to put it all together,'' said Jandel, who found out Monday morning she was playing. ''I know I got the game.''

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Watch: Tiger makes 6 birdies, 1 amazing par in Rd. 3

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 4:10 pm

Tiger Woods started the third round of The Open at even par, having made seven birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 holes at Carnoustie.

Following three pars to start on Saturday, Woods went on a birdie binge.

No. 1 came with this putt at the par-4 fourth.


No. 2 with this two-putt at the par-5 sixth.


No. 3 thanks to this 30-footer at the par-4 ninth.


No. 4 after nearly jarring his approach shot on the par-4 10th.


No. 5 when he almost drove the green at the par-4 11th and two-putted, from just off the green, from 95 feet.


And No. 6, which gave him a share of the lead, came courtesy another two-putt at the par-5 14th.


Woods bogeyed the par-3 16th to drop out of the lead and almost dropped - at least - one more shot at the par-4 18th. But his tee shot got a lucky bounce and he turned his good fortune into a par.


Woods shot 5-under 66 and finished the day at 5 under par.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 4:05 pm

Tiger Woods made six birdies and one bogey on Saturday for a 5-under 66 in the third round of The Open. We're tracking him as he vies for major No. 15.


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Rose's Saturday 64 matches Carnoustie Open record

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 1:03 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose needed to sink a 14-foot putt on the final hole Friday just to make the cut on the number at The Open.

Freewheeling when he came to the course Saturday, Rose tied the lowest score ever recorded in an Open at Carnoustie.

Entering the weekend nine shots off the lead, the world No. 3 carded a bogey-free, 7-under 64 to at least make things interesting. It won’t be known for several hours how many shots Rose will be behind, but his back-nine 30 gives him an opportunity, if the wind blows 25 mph Sunday as forecast, to challenge the leaders.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


After all, Paul Lawrie was 10 shots back entering the final round here in 1999.

“I think the birdie on 18 last night freed me up, and I’m just very happy to be out on this golf course and not down the road somewhere else this morning,” said Rose, who is at 4-under 209. “So that might have been part of the shift in mindset today. I had nothing to lose from that point of view.”

Rose’s 64 matched Steve Stricker and Richard Green’s record score at Carnoustie (2007).

It also was Rose’s career-low round in a major.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 12:20 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Saturday, Day 3 (Times ET)

4:30-7AM (Watch): Sunny skies and birdies were on the menu early in Round 3, as Justin Rose made his way around Carnoustie in 64 strokes. Click here or on the image below to watch.


Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.


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 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 marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.