Vegas, Langley tied at Greenbrier; Tiger four back

By Associated PressJuly 4, 2015, 1:17 am

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – Jhonattan Vegas hasn't had much success since winning his second PGA Tour event as a rookie in 2011. The Greenbrier Classic could give him that needed boost.

Vegas shot a 5-under-par 65 to tie Scott Langley for the lead after the second round Friday. They were at 9-under 131 on the Old White TPC course in West Virginia.

Twenty-three golfers were within three shots of the lead, including seven at 8 under.

Vegas doesn't have a top-10 finish this season, but he's looking to change that. He made five birdies during a bogey-free round Friday, including two of his final three holes.

''I feel like I'm playing great, I just haven't been able to put it all together,'' the Venezuelan said. ''But I'm staying patient and working really hard to make it happen, and it's coming together.''

Langley didn't have the same birdie explosion as he enjoyed in the first round, when he shot 62 to take the lead.


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Starting his round on the back nine, Langley made back-to-back birdies on Nos. 6 and 7 and shot 69.

''Following up a round of 62 is never super easy,'' Langley said. ''I left a lot of putts within 6 inches of the hole, just right in the heart. I need to be a little more assertive (Saturday) on the greens.''

Langley and Vegas had a chance to make noise last week at the Travelers Championship. Langley was four strokes behind eventual winner Bubba Watson entering weekend play, while Vegas was six shots back.

Both faded in the final two rounds.

The top four finishers at The Greenbrier not previously eligible for the British Open will earn spots at St. Andrews, provided they are among the top 12 and ties.

''That's one of the goals for the week,'' Vegas said. ''So we're going to try to go get it.''

Tiger Woods made little progress after a solid first round but avoided missing consecutive cuts for the first time as a pro. Woods shot 69 Friday and was at 5 under, four shots back.

Woods had more trouble reaching fairways on Friday. He found the water to the right on the par-5 17th for the second straight day, hit his golf bag with his driver in disgust, then nearly holed his 97-yard fourth shot and made par.

He salvaged his under-par round with a short birdie putt on the par-3 18th. He declined interviews afterward.

Langley is looking to become the third person to become a first-time PGA Tour winner by winning The Greenbrier in the tournament's six-year history.

So, too, is David Hearn, who was among those in the group at 8 under. The Canadian is still looking for his first PGA Tour win in his 164th event. His best finish was second at the 2013 John Deere Classic.

''This would be a great place for me to win one, but I've got 36 holes of golf (left),'' Hearn said. ''I'm playing great right now and I look forward to the weekend.''

Hearn birdied six of his first eight holes and shot 64. He and Jonathan Byrd were tied for the lead on the back nine before late bogeys slowed their momentum. Byrd shot 69 and also was at 8 under.

Sixty-seven golfers made the cut at 2 under. Michael Putnam had an eagle and four birdies on the back nine to make the cut on the number.

Steve Stricker missed only his third cut since 2010.

Heavy rains stopped play for 18 minutes in the morning. Occasional thunderstorms are forecast through the weekend.

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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

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.”