Gulbis Dis-Harmon-y Wie Going to Prom
Whoa! Dissension already in the early days of the Harmon-Phil Mickelson honeymoon?
Actually, renowned golf instructor Harmon was talking about comments attributed recently to John Gulbis, whose daughter Natalie is one of Harmons prize pupils.
The elder Gulbis was dissatisfied with his daughters recent play and was quoted as saying that at least part of the blame should be shouldered by Harmon.
Harmon has since spoken to Natalie Gulbis about the remarks. And, he told me, his status as her instructor has not changed. Harmon added that he and John Gulbis are overdue for a sit-down conversation to attempt to thaw the frost between the two men.
Michelle Wies next big event is next week in Hawaii. It will not, however, be a tournament. Wie, who has been sidelined from competitive golf much of this year with a wrist injury, will be attending her high school senior prom at the Punahou School.
Wie hopes to return to tournament golf late next month at the Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika. But she is still awaiting clearance from her doctors. If she does play in that event, she will miss her high school graduation.
Wednesday was the application deadline for U.S. Open Local Qualifying. Wies people confirmed that she did not enter. But the USGA said that Hawaiian teen sensation Tadd Fujikawa has entered the local at Turtle Bay. Last year, Fujikawa earned the lone spot from the Hawaii sectional into the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.
Hawaiian golf officials, meanwhile, are increasingly disappointed that the USGA stripped its state this year of its lone sectional qualifying spot. All of that states local qualifiers now must travel to the mainland, at no small personal expense, for a sectional.
Predictably, the number of local entrants in Hawaii is down dramatically. Wed like to remind the USGA that were still a part of the United States, one official told me. For its part, the USGA has said it will review the decision and could reinstate Hawaiis sectional for 2008.
OAKMONT AN OGRE:
The buzz over the difficulty of Oakmont, the site of this years U.S. Open, continues to grow. Tiger Woods reportedly needed a full 3-wood to get to the green last weekend in a practice round at Oakmonts 288-yard, par-3 eighth hole.
USGA course set-up guy Mike Davis told me he thinks Oakmonts 231-yard 16th will actually play the toughest of the par-3s there. Davis also said he didnt expect to hear the fair word, prevalent at last years U.S. Open at Winged Foot, from the worlds best players when they arrive.
But those complaints wont be because of the set-up, Davis said, they will be because of the architecture.
Earlier this month USGA Executive Director David Fay was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying, Oakmont was the big, bad wolf of American golf courses when it opened in 1904 and it remains the big, bad wolf 103 years later.
Sources at The TOUR confirmed today they have scheduled the dedication for the new 70,000 square foot, $32 million clubhouse at the TPC Sawgrass for the Tuesday before next months PLAYERS Championship.
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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba
Conor Moore is known for his impressions of golfers, and he is back with a new video just in time for The Open.
Moore even got the thumbs up from Ian Poulter.
This is hilarious..— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) July 16, 2018
Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite
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
Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC
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.
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.
Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense
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.
“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.”