A Jordan Themed Open

By Brian HewittJune 28, 2008, 4:00 pm
U.S. WomenEDINA, Minn. -- Stacy Lewis, playing in her first event as a professional, had just made six birdies in the third round of the U.S. Womens to seize the 54-hole lead by a shot over American golf idol Paula Creamer.
 
She had just completed a battery of interviews in which she repeatedly told endearing stories about having her dad as her caddie and surviving surgery to correct scoliosis just five years ago.
 
Finally, she was free of her post-round commitments and a USGA official was ushering her out a side door and past a queue of adoring fans waiting for a shuttle bus.
 
You look 12 years old, a woman yelled with friendly envy.
 
Lewis didnt miss a beat. Hey, she said, thats not a bad thing.
 
Lewis may look younger than her years, but her golf game is all grown up. Saturday at Interlachen Country Club the 23-year-old Lewis needed just 23 putts and finished her round with a 23-hole bogeyless streak, longest in the field that is now chasing her.
 
Jordanesque numbers, to be sure.
 
And she really does look just 12 years old.
 
Moving day, meanwhile, turned out to be a moving day in the most literal sense. After late Friday and early Saturday storms moved through the Twin-Cities, temperatures cooled and the players suddenly got a stiff north breeze that they hadnt seen all week--not even in the practice rounds.
 
That wind is going to eat them up, predicted Jock Olson, Interlachens long-time Master Professional, early in the day. He was especially interested in how the women would handle the par 3 12th, which featured swirling conditions and a nasty, back left pin position.
 
I dont think were going to have any grass left on that tee box at the end of the day, Olson said. The players are picking it all up and tossing it in the air to see what its doing.
 
The third round also was the first time USGA course set-up guy Mike Davis moved the tee box up on the already short par 4 seventh. The hole plays as a right to left dogleg under any conditions. And the new wind was blowing right to left. So Davis tempted the women by moving to tee box up to 247 yards to the hole location.
 
Alas, there werent many fireworks there, in part, because the wind died down by the time the final groups got to the back nine. And the scores went down with it.
 
Lewis, who earlier this month helped lead the U.S. team to a Curtis Cup victory in Scotland, led the charge.
 
Tied for third, one back of Creamer are Swedish veteran Helen Alfredsson and Korean In-Bee Park.
 
I really dont whats going on, to be honest, Lewis said, looking ahead to Sundays final round. Im just going to try and smile.
 
Annika Sorenstam, playing in her last U.S. Womens Open before stepping away from the game at the end of the year, needed 32 putts Saturday. Add that to the 33 she took on Thursday and Friday and you get a very unhappy woman despite the fact that her 2-under total is still within hailing distance of the leaders.
 
Im just very, very disappointed because I think Im doing the right things and its just not happening, Sorenstam said when asked about her putting. But Im not giving up, Ill tell you that. Im not giving up hope yet.
 
Angela Park, who led after 36 holes, bogeyed the seventh, eighth and 12th holes thanks to problems with the sand, the sand and the water, respectively. She finished with a 2-over 75 and trails Lewis by five.
 
Lewis, by the way, will be the first women in the long history of this championship to win it in her first event as a professional if Sunday goes her way. No small feat.
 
Im going to try to play well and see what happens, she said.
 
Sounds like a plan.
 
Oh, by the way, the winds at Interlachen are forecast to howl between 20 and 30 miles per hour Sunday.
 
Might make it tough for anybody to smile.
 
Might make it tough to stick to a plan.
 
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Women's Open
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Open
  • Getty Images

    Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
    Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.”