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Rahm, Day among stars chasing Noren in Farmers

By Doug FergusonJanuary 28, 2018, 1:49 am

SAN DIEGO - A nine-time winner on the European Tour, Alex Noren of Sweden gave himself a chance to make his mark in America with a 3-under 69 on Saturday for a one-shot lead going into the final round of the Farmers Insurance.

Noren finished strong, unlike some of his top challengers. He drilled his second shot over the water on the par-5 18th at Torrey Pines to the back fringe, setting up a simple two-putt birdie.

Ryan Palmer had a chance to tie him for the lead until he missed the final green to the right. He settled for par and a 73.

Jon Rahm, the defending champion who can go to No. 1 in the world with a victory this week, was poised to get within one shot, or possibly tie for the lead. From the middle of the fairway, Rahm's 4-iron came up short and into the water. After a penalty drop, his wedge bounced hard and through the green. His chip came out soft, and he missed a 6-foot putt to make double bogey.

That left him four shots out of the lead. Rahm was three shots behind going into the final round when he won last year.

Tiger Woods was superb with his short game for the second straight day, and it's a good thing. Woods was so wild off the tee that he hit only one fairway on the back nine and three fairways for the round. He putted for birdie on only nine holes. And he still managed to scratch out a 70.

Woods was eight shots behind, in the middle of the pack.

''It's not the driver, it's my swing,'' said Woods, who has hit only six fairways since Thursday. ''Some of my go-to shots aren't there. Some of the shots I like to hit under certain circumstances aren't there, either. The only thing I have is my short game and my heart, and that got me through today.''


Full-field scores from the Farmers Insurance Open

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos


Noren, who played his college golf at Oklahoma State, cracked the top 10 in the world at the end of 2016 after a four-victory season and now is at No. 19. This is his first year playing with a PGA Tour card.

''All I'm trying to do is play some good golf and my goal is to win a tournament,'' Noren said. ''I don't care too much if they know me or not. It's quite nice if they don't know me. But they're very nice to me.''

Noren's only blunder came at the tough par-4 12th, where he pulled his second shot into deep rough, and sent a wedge just over the green into a nasty lie for a downhill chip. He left that short and missed the putt. He bounced back with three birdies over the last six holes.

Palmer began the third round with a one-shot lead and had two bad stretches. He made consecutive bogeys late on the front nine, and then after stretching his lead to two shots with a 45-foot eagle putt on the 13th, he made two bogeys over the next three holes.

Even so, he'll be in the final group on Sunday going for his first victory in eight years.

J.B. Holmes had a 65 to reach 9-under 207 and joins Palmer and Noren in the last group. Michael Kim also was two shots behind and has some course knowledge from going to Torrey Pines High School and playing the South more times than he can remember.

Noren will be leading a big pack of contenders. Two dozen players were separated by five shots, a group that includes Jason Day, the former No. 1 player in the world who hasn't won in 20 months. Day was tied for the lead briefly until dropping three shots. He had a 71 and was three behind.

Left out of the mix was Phil Mickelson, who was three shots out of the lead until he shot 41 on the back nine. Mickelson had a 4-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole that would have put him in the same group as Woods on Sunday. He missed.

Woods again tees off on the back nine for the final round and is too many shots behind with too many players ahead of him to have a realistic chance. But it's been a good week for someone playing the PGA Tour for only the second time since August 2015 because of his three back surgeries. And he certainly gave his back a good test as many times as he was thrashing out of the rough.

''A good 12 months away from playing out of the rough, I don't know what this body is going to do,'' he said. ''But I think it did great today.''

One goal for Sunday is to give his back a rest, and maybe even try to break 70.

''See if I can shoot something in the 60s,'' he said with a smile, ''but make it a little bit easier on myself than today.''

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”

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After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.

While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.

Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2

Zach Johnson: 13/2

Rory McIlroy: 7/1

Jordan Spieth: 8/1

Rickie Fowler: 9/1

Kevin Kisner: 12/1

Xander Schauffele: 16/1

Tony Finau: 16/1

Matt Kuchar: 18/1

Pat Perez: 25/1

Brooks Koepka: 25/1

Erik van Rooyen: 50/1

Alex Noren: 50/1

Tiger Woods: 50/1

Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1

Danny Willett: 60/1

Francesco Molinari: 60/1