Zach Johnson always feels good at Colonial

By Associated PressMay 22, 2013, 10:50 pm

FORT WORTH, Texas – Zach Johnson always feels good when he gets to Colonial.

That feeling usually lasts the whole week.

Johnson has won at Hogan's Alley twice in the last three years. He is the first player in more than three decades with four consecutive top-10 finishes in the event.


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Now he's back as the defending champion, without a top 10 this season. But he has felt good even without eye-catching results.

''I'm going to hopefully take some of those good feelings I've had over the last four years, not necessarily dwell on them, but embrace them and put them into play in some regard,'' Johnson said Wednesday, a day before beginning his title defense.

Five-time winner Ben Hogan is the only player who has won the Colonial more than twice, and he finished in top 10 seven times in a row during a span when he won four times from 1946-53. Tom Watson had been the last with four top 10s in a row at Colonial (1977-80).

Matt Kuchar, No. 13 in the world ranking, is the highest-ranked player in Colonial's invitational field. The only other three in the top 25 are Charl Schwartzel, 2012 Colonial runner-up Jason Dufner and Hunter Mahan.

When Johnson slipped on the winner's plaid jacket last May, it was first victory since the 2010 Colonial. He also won the John Deere Classic last summer.

This season, Johnson has made nine of 12 cuts this year. His best finish was a tie for 18th at the Tournament of Champions in January, but he tied for 19th at The Players Championship two weeks ago.

''I'm excited. I like where my game is going, or is,'' Johnson said. ''I like where it is and I like where it's going. So I'm just trying to remain patient and let things kind of happen.''

It's not really the lack of top-10 finishes that bothers Johnson.

''It's been frustrating that I truly haven't been in contention late on Sunday. That would be my biggest frustration,'' he said. ''What is comforting is that the beginning of the year I was probably more off than I would even like to admit fundamentally. But in saying that, what's comfortable about that is the fact that I would rather be off fundamentally than certainly physically or even mentally. My attitude has been great.''

Johnson then joked that he understood if reporters might not really know about his good attitude because he hasn't been in many interview sessions based on his play.

''If you ask my caddie, it truly has been good,'' Johnson said. ''I've been very positive and certainly trying to keep working. I have hit a lot of balls, in February, March, April and even into May just to try to get it back.''

Before his closing 72 last year, including a two-stroke penalty on the 72nd hole because he failed to properly remark his ball after moving it out of the line Dufner's last putt, Johnson had played 15 consecutive rounds in the 60s at Colonial.

The only other two-time Colonial winner in this week's field is Corey Pavin, the 1985 and 1996 champ making his 30th consecutive start in Fort Worth. And he is again bypassing the Senior PGA Championship to keep that streak intact.

''There was a thought process, yes. It wasn't a very long process,'' Pavin said about the decision to play at Colonial instead of a senior major. ''But ultimately when I kind of got down to it, it was a pretty easy choice then. I just love being here. I would rather be here than there. It's as simple as that.''

In six Champions Tour events this year, Pavin has two top 10s and two other top 25-finishes. His only PGA Tour appearance was the Northern Trust Open, where he missed the cut in his 657th PGA Tour start.

Pavin has eight top-10 finishes at Colonial, including a seventh-place finish just three years ago. He has missed the cut only four times.

''Obviously, I like it here,'' Pavin said. ''It's a golf course that I feel very comfortable on.''

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Watch: Guy 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.


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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.


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“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.”