Wie, Lewis, Ko, Mo headline field in Toledo

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2014, 11:02 pm

SYLVANIA, Ohio – Some like to see their name in lights. Beatriz Recari was thrilled to see hers bolted to a light pole.

The name of each year's winner of the Marathon Classic is placed on the signs along the main drag of this Toledo suburb.

''It's really cool,'' said Recari, a 27-year-old Spaniard who has won three times on the LPGA Tour. ''It's obviously a great bonus not only to get this trophy and everything that comes along with it. But to get your own street for a year, that's pretty special.''

Recari has become a more of a household name as her career blossomed in the last year. After winning the Kia tournament, she outdueled Paula Creamer down the stretch to also win the Marathon.

While collecting more than $1 million in checks, she placed sixth in the tour's player of the year standings, finished 3-1-1 for the victorious European side at the Solheim Cup and contended at last week's Women's British Open.

She began the final round at Royal Birkdale three shots back of the leader but faded to a tie for 17th with a 79.

''I had a little bit of a slow start first half of the year, but feel like everything is coming along,'' she said, referring to lower back and hip problems. ''I'm working on things that feel good for me. I'm healthy and fit. I had a very good performance last week, and I'm very happy with my practicing.''

Mo Martin, who won the Women's British Open with a closing 72, is still adapting to the title of major champion.

''It's definitely been a whirlwind,'' she said of arriving in Ohio after several connecting flights and lots of frequent-flier miles. ''I hadn't even turned my phone on. When I eventually did get here, I turned my phone on and it kind of exploded, everybody just congratulating me.''

She also got a pat-on-the-back letter from no less than legend Arnold Palmer.

Recari and Martin aren't the only prominent players to keep an eye on this week.

Creamer, who won the tournament formerly known as the Jamie Farr in 2008, always plays well at Highland Meadows. She is one of the most popular players in the field every year.

''Yeah, I love this golf course,'' she said. ''I shot 60 here (in the first round in '08). I have a lot of really good memories. This just fits my game.''

There's also local favorite Stacy Lewis - a Toledo native - who's ranked No. 1 in the world.

''It's always fun coming back here just for me,'' said Lewis, a winner this year in Arkansas, yet another of her childhood homes. ''Just having the family connection, we have big family dinners on the weekends and stuff. It would be awesome to win here.''

The field also includes five-time winner Se Ri Pak, top newcomer Lydia Ko and U.S. Women's Open champion Michelle Wie.

Regardless of who ends up winning on Sunday afternoon, it's likely somebody who produces birdies in bunches. Eleven times in the last 16 years, the winner at Highland Meadows has finished at 14-under 270 or better.

''Small greens, narrow fairways,'' said Wie, who has been coming to the tournament since she got an exemption when she was just 13. ''You feel like if you hit good shots, you should be rewarded.''

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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.”