Turnberry lengthened for British Open Championship

By Associated PressApril 21, 2009, 4:00 pm
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2009 European TourTURNBERRY, Scotland ' Organizers of the British Open at Turnberry have lengthened the course by 247 yards since it was last played there 15 years ago.
 
The new layout features six new tees, including a spectacular 200-yard drive over the bay near the famous Lighthouse at the 10th hole.
 
The changes, which have been made gradually over the years, were announced at a news conference at the course Tuesday.
 
The yardage changes for the July 16-19 championship include 135 yards added to the final three holes, with the par-5 17th stretched from 498 to 559 yards and the 16th changing from a 410-yard straight hole to a 455-yard dogleg right.
 
The course on the west coast of Scotland, which held the tournament in 1977, 86 and 94, now has an overall length of 7,204 yards, up from 6,957.
 
Tiger Woods, who has won the British Open three times, will play the course for the first time. Padraig Harrington, winner at Carnoustie in 2007 and Royal Birkdale last year, is trying to become the first player to win the Open three years in a row since Peter Thomson in 1956.
 
Turnberry made its debut on the Open rota of links courses in 1977 when Tom Watson, who went on to win the tournament five times, edged Jack Nicklaus in what became known as the Duel in the Sun over the last 36 holes. Although Nicklaus finished 65-66, Watson made 65-65 while third-place Hubert Green finished 10 shots back.
 
Greg Norman won his first Open title in 86, helped by a second round 63, and Nick Price won in 94 after he eagled the 17th with a 50-foot putt to overtake Jesper Parnevik.
 
Organizers dismissed speculation that nearby Royal Troon, which also hosts Open championships, is on standby to stage this years tournament because of delayed renovation of the five-star Turnberry Hotel, which overlooks the links.
 
We are quite satisfied that the hotel will be ready to serve as the headquarters for competitors, said David Hill, the Royal & Ancients director of championships. We are in constant touch with (Turnberry owners) Leisurecorp and are assured it will be ready in time.
 
Prize money for the Open has not yet been announced and there have been reports that it will not change much from last years 4.2 million pounds. But because of the weakened British pound that would be just over $6 million, compared to almost $8.4 million last year in a tournament where Americans have dominated.
 
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By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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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

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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.

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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.”