Westwood stays within striking distance in Qatar

By Associated PressJanuary 29, 2010, 8:24 pm

2009 European TourDOHA, Qatar – Brett Rumford’s 6-under 66 recorded in calm early morning conditions on Friday proved too good for his rivals on the second day of the Qatar Masters.

The 34-year-old Australian reached 9 under to top the leaderboard before lunch and held on to that position throughout the afternoon when a light breeze made scoring tougher.

All his nearest rivals also had early start times with Bradley Dredge of Wales moving into outright second, a shot off the lead, with a 69.

Two Englishmen shared third place at 7 under. Oliver Wilson, who shared the first-day lead with Dredge, shot a 70 while Lee Westwood, the winner of last year’s European money list, had a 69.

The best the late starters had to offer was the 6 under total of Sweden’s Robert Karlsson, who shot 68 in his first round, but could only shoot a 70 on Friday.

Rumford, who failed to keep his playing card after a year on the PGA Tour in 2008, had no doubts why he was so successful in a round that contained seven birdies and one bogey.

“When the conditions are tough I actually enjoy it more,” said Rumford of the harsh course set-up with its long clinging rough and hard greens. “You have to stay very patient and because your expectations are low you do not have to beat yourself up when you play a bad a shot.”

Rumford has won three events on the European Tour, most recently the European Masters in Switzerland in 2007.

Lee Westwood of England blamed a lack of sleep for failing to follow up on his opening-round 68.

“The conditions were easier and 64 or 65 would have been a really good score,” Westwood said. “I had a wake up call at 4.50am and I am not a morning person. I just could not put it together with my swing on the golf course. But I am still in contention for the weekend.”

Wilson, who has yet to record his first European Tour victory after 12 second-place finishes, was slowed by failing to convert birdie chances at the Doha Golf Course.

“I just could not find the hole,” said the Englishman who made his Ryder Cup debut at Valhalla 17 months ago. “I was more than a little bit confused with the grain and the slopes. I was clueless and did not know what was going on.”

Kenny Perry, the 13th-ranked American playing his first European Tour event, just made the cut at two over par, but he needed an eagle at the 10th to keep his score at a level 72.

American Todd Hamilton, the 2004 British Open Champion who is attempting to resuscitate his career after losing his PGA playing rights, missed the cut in Doha after following his opening 78 with a 75.

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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.”