Wie returns in Lewis' adopted state

By Associated PressJune 26, 2014, 10:32 pm

ROGERS, Ark. - Michelle Wie has enjoyed a week full of celebration and national attention since finally winning her first major championship in the U.S. Women's Open.

The most recognizable name in women's golf danced with her trophy and appeared on the morning television circuit, taking in the rewards after beating top-ranked Stacy Lewis by a stroke Sunday at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina.

''It feels great, but I don't know how people in showbiz do it,'' Wie said about the attention.

Wie received congratulatory messages from Arnold Palmer and Condoleezza Rice, among others, as well as flowers from Adam Sandler.

''I feel like that's the biggest prize in golf, getting flowers from Happy Gilmore,'' Wie joked.

Celebration aside, Wie will return to play Friday in the NW Arkansas Championship. And she'll do it in former Arkansas star Lewis' backyard at Pinnacle Country Club.

Lewis, a two-time winner who also has four runner-up finishes, nearly chased down Wie during the final round last week. She shot a 66, bolstered by eight birdies, before congratulating Wie - her training and practice partner in Florida - as she walked off the 18th green.

The duo will once again headline this week's event, and not only because of their back-to-back tee times Friday.

While Wie's popularity follows her wherever she goes on the LPGA tour, Lewis' star never shines more brightly than this week each year.

Pinnacle Country Club is approximately 20 minutes north of Fayetteville, where Lewis was a four-time All-American with the Razorbacks. The Texan embraces her college roots and party-like atmosphere at the event each year, handing out Arkansas memorabilia and leading the crowd in calls of ''Woo Pig Sooie.''

''I don't think there's any other place on tour that supports someone individually like this tournament supports me,'' Lewis said. ''There's no one else that has it.''

Lewis earned a rain-shortened unofficial win at the NW Arkansas Championship as an amateur at Arkansas in 2007. She was in contention last year before settling for third place behind winner Inbee Park, but that didn't dampen the pro-Razorbacks crowds then - or this week.

''I joke with Stacy that it's the one tournament I don't want to play with you,'' said Wie, also the winner this year in her home state of Hawaii. ''Because it just gets so crazy.''

Nine out of the top 10 players in the world are entered in the tournament, with Wie's Friday afternoon group with So Yeon Ryu and Paula Creamer following Lewis' threesome with Lydia Ko and Jessica Korda. 

Park won the tournament with a 4-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole against Ryu last year, and she will open Friday morning with Cristie Kerr and Azahara Munoz.

Whoever wins this week will once again have to overcome the pro-Lewis crowd, while Lewis is once again faced with living up to the expectations of her adopted state.

''Sometimes you just want to sit there and have dinner and not worry about it, but that's just not the case here this week, at least for me,'' Lewis said. ''I'm just trying to be patient with it but at the same time enjoy it because nobody else on tour gets what I get here.''

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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.”