Trio Lead Pressel Webb One Back

By Associated PressJune 7, 2007, 4:00 pm
McDonalds LPGAHARVE DE GRACE, Md. -- Michelle Wie never took her driver out of the bag, trying to make it through the opening round of the LPGA Championship with an easy swing and smart decisions, both of which have been in short supply lately.
 
'It's a tough strategy for her,' swing coach David Leadbetter said as he followed her around Thursday. 'It's like owning a Ferrari and not being allowed to get out of second gear.'
 
The good news for Wie is that the car didn't go off the road.
 
After a tumultuous week of criticism that put Wie under more pressure than she has faced in any round, the 17-year-old from Hawaii recovered from a sloppy start with three birdies in a four-hole stretch and a couple of key pars late in her round of 1-over 73, leaving her six shots behind the leaders but in decent shape to stay all four days at Bulle Rock.
 
'I built a lot of confidence over this round,' said Wie, whose handlers limited her to five questions. 'It's a work in progress, and hopefully it's going to get better and better.'
 
Former U.S. Women's Open champion Birdie Kim came to life with a 5-under 67, leaving her atop the leaderboard at Bulle Rock with rookie Angela Park and Kim Saiki-Maloney.
 
Morgan Pressel got off to a good start in her bid for the second leg of the Grand Slam with a 68, joining seven-time major champion Karrie Webb and Laura Davies, who could qualify for the Hall of Fame with a victory in this major.
 
But the focus was on Wie and cloud of criticism around her the last week.
 
She withdrew after 16 holes last week at the Ginn Tribute, citing a wrist injury, showed up at Bulle Rock two days later to hit balls, then got sassy with Annika Sorenstam and LPGA Tour commissioner Carolyn Bivens when they questioned her conduct.
 
'I don't think I need to apologize for anything,' Wie said earlier this week.
 
There was no need to apologize for her score.
 
Some thought she might withdraw again when she summoned a rules official on her sixth hole, the par-5 15th, to ask permission for her therapist to work on her wrist. Wie had just hit three shots out of deep rough in her previous four full swings, and said it hurt. She kept playing, though, and wound up in a tie for 47th.
 
'I played smartly,' Wie said.
 
Se Ri Pak also shot 73, and her smile was never brighter.
 
The defending champion officially logged her 10th tournament of the year, marking her 10th season on the LPGA Tour, and that was all she needed to be eligible for the Hall of Fame. At 29, Pak will be the youngest member when she's inducted in November.
 
Several players from South Korea lined the back of the interview room, a fitting tribute to their pioneer. The McDonald's LPGA Championship was her first LPGA victory in 1998, and she went on to 23 victories and five majors.
 
'I don't think I can ask for anything more at this moment,' Pak said. 'I'm a very lucky person.'
 
Sorenstam, in her second tournament since neck and back problems forced her out of competition for two months, opened with a 70. Lorena Ochoa was in the group at 71.
 
Sorenstam fueled the Wie criticism earlier this week by saying the teenager showed a lack of class and respect by pulling out of the Ginn -- where Sorenstam was the tournament host -- and coming to the next tournament to hit balls.
 
There also was speculation Wie withdrew to avoid shooting 88, which would ban her from the LPGA Tour the rest of the year because of a policy for non-tour members.
 
Bivens said the LPGA did not recommend to the Wie camp that she withdraw to avoid 'Rule 88,' although she confirmed she spoke to Wie's father and agent about conduct she would not disclose.
 
And she backed Sorenstam's criticism.
 
'I think that leaving the tournament and coming to practice when one had pulled out with a wrist injury was not very respectful, and that's what Annika and what some of the other members are responding to,' Bivens said.
 
'Every person who tees it up on the LPGA signs a registration form that says they are bound by the rules and regulations of the LPGA. It's a privilege, and it is not a right.'
 
Wie teed off about 30 minutes later, and while it was the first time she failed to break par at Bulle Rock, there were few complaints.
 
'It was great today,' she said. 'It's definitely not where I want to be. I hit some great shots out there today.'
 
Even without the driver, she only hit five fairways and 11 greens in regulation.
 
She was 2 over through five holes when it got ugly.
 
Her 3-wood missed the fairway some 40 yards to the right, in wispy grass up to her knees. Wie slashed out to the rough framing the right side of the fairway, then hacked that one over a small ravine to the fairway, eventually making double bogey to go 4 over.
 
That's when she summoned Leanne Quinn, her trainer and therapist, to massage her wrist. Quinn wound up working on her a half-dozen times, later in the 5 1/2 -hour round massaging the right wrist.
 
Leadbetter said the plan was to not hit driver because longer clubs put more stress on her wrist. He still noticed the mechanics way off in her swing, and was pleased with how she salvaged a 73.
 
'She's hitting shots I've never seen her hit,' Leadbetter said.
 
But she finally made a few putts, and they were key.
 
It started with a fairway bunker shot to 8 feet for birdie, and birdie putts of about 12 feet on the 18th and first holes. Equally key were the par saves, from 10 feet on the sixth and 6 feet on the seventh. She got her last birdie on the par-5 eighth, driving into a bunker, laying up and spinning a wedge back to 6 inches. She walked up to the green with a smile, a rarity Thursday until the round was over.
 
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    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

    Getty Images

    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”

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    After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

    With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.

    While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.

    Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2

    Zach Johnson: 13/2

    Rory McIlroy: 7/1

    Jordan Spieth: 8/1

    Rickie Fowler: 9/1

    Kevin Kisner: 12/1

    Xander Schauffele: 16/1

    Tony Finau: 16/1

    Matt Kuchar: 18/1

    Pat Perez: 25/1

    Brooks Koepka: 25/1

    Erik van Rooyen: 50/1

    Alex Noren: 50/1

    Tiger Woods: 50/1

    Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1

    Danny Willett: 60/1

    Francesco Molinari: 60/1