Spieth's amazing ride continues at Presidents Cup

By Doug FergusonOctober 2, 2013, 9:59 pm

DUBLIN, Ohio – Every step of the way in the amazing rookie season of Jordan Spieth brings more than he could have imagined.

And then he stepped to the 12th tee Wednesday at Muirfield Village.

It got even better.

Spieth and Steve Stricker, his partner for the opening session of the Presidents Cup, were already behind in an abbreviated match against Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar, who had made two eagles in the tough alternate-shot format. Woods blasted an 8-iron into the par 3. Typical of his year, Spieth wasn't about to be outdone.


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He tracked the flight of a smooth 7-iron, watched it bounce short and then disappear into the cup for a hole-in-one that sent cheers reverberating across the golf course.

''Everybody's hands went up, so our arms went up, and it was really cool,'' Spieth said.

Can it get any better?

He started the season without status on any tour. He assured himself a PGA Tour card in four months. He won the John Deere Classic in July. Only one of the best shots of the year kept him from winning again in August. Playing with Phil Mickelson for the first time, he shot 62 in the final round at the TPC Boston, such an impressive display that Mickelson sent a text message to Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples that said, ''Dude, you've got to pick this guy.''

Couples did, and Spieth made it look even better by nearly winning the Tour Championship.

The International team is rallying around the energy of seven newcomers to the Presidents Cup. The Americans are getting plenty of that from one rookie – a 20-year-old from Dallas who first showed poise on the big stage when he was on the fringe of contention at the Byron Nelson Championship at age 16.

The next big chance starts Thursday when Spieth makes his debut as the youngest American ever in the Presidents Cup. He plays with Stricker – at 46, the oldest player on this team – against Ernie Els and Brendon De Jonge.

Spieth had not celebrated his first birthday when Els won his first major championship.

The two days of practice leading up to the Presidents Cup have been relatively calm. Most of the players know this course from the Memorial, and most are still taking it easy after such a long stretch to end the 2013 tour season. Leave it to Spieth to deliver the first ''wow'' moment of the week.

Davis Love III, an assistant to Couples this week, was standing by the 12th green when Spieth made his ace.

''Every time I've been around him, great things happen,'' Love said. ''I've been kind of watching him since he was real young – like four years ago. He came through the junior ranks barely ahead of my son, so I've always been impressed with everything he's done. He says the right thing, does the right thing.''

Perhaps the strongest assessment came from Love's wife when she told him, ''He just walked in the room like he belongs.''

Spieth comes from an athletic family. His mother played college basketball; his father played college baseball. His younger brother, Steven, plays basketball as a freshman at Brown. Spieth dabbled in everything, but fell in love with golf early.

Inspiration comes from the youngest member of his family, 12-year-old Ellie, a special-needs child who brings Spieth even more joy than he can find in golf. As a high school senior, he volunteered in her classroom every Wednesday.

''I got to see her around her peers, which I don't think a lot of people get to do, to be in a special needs classroom,'' Spieth said. ''It's a lot of fun. It's more fun I think than I ever had at school. A lot of them are much smarter at certain subjects than we were at their age. They just have some things that they don't do quite as well. It's a lot of fun to be able to help, and that's what I look forward to doing for years down the road is getting involved with special-needs kids.''

His hope is to build a foundation around that.

For now, there is golf to be played. And for all that Spieth has achieved this year, the Presidents Cup is his biggest stage.

''I think he's ready to go out there and win some matches,'' Keegan Bradley said. ''He's not afraid of the big moment, which is important.''

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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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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.”