Steve Marino Paul Goydos share lead at The Barclays

By Doug FergusonAugust 29, 2009, 4:00 pm
The Barclays JERSEY CITY, N.J. ' Paul Goydos figured Liberty National at least would look good on television, with the Statue of Liberty and so many other New York landmarks serving as a spectacular backdrop at The Barclays.
 
Inside the ropes is starting to look pretty good to him, too.
 
Goydos put together three straight birdies early in the third round Saturday to build a lead that stood up until Steve Marino ran off three straight late on the cloudy afternoon to catch him for the lead. Both shot 3-under 68 and were at 9-under 204.
 
As for those beauty shots?
 
I havent been watching, Goydos said. Thankfully, Ive been playing well and Ive been on TV.
 
Tiger Woods waves at The Barclays
Tiger Woods waves to the crowd after a birdie Saturday. (Getty Images)
That might not make him the star attraction Sunday.
 
Goydos has only two victories in his 17 years on the PGA Tour. Marino made his debut as a PGA Tour rookie in 2007 at the last tournament Goydos won (Sony Open) and is still looking for his first victory.
 
The focus shifted behind them on a day of light rain that didnt last long. Suddenly lurking is Tiger Woods, who suggested the players used ladies tees on Saturday even though he remained confounded by the putting surfaces. Woods was capable of making enough putts for a 67 that put him within five shots of the leaders.
 
Asked if he would be looking over his shoulder, the droll Goydos kept it all in perspective, as always.
 
First of all, hes going to be in front of me, not behind me, he said. So Ill be looking straight ahead.
 
The opening event of the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedEx Cup has several possibilities:
 
Of the top six players on the leaderboard, only Steve Stricker, who is three shots behind, has won this year. Stricker won the inaugural playoff event two years ago at The Barclays. He kept bogeys off his card, yet only made birdies on the par 5s for his 68.
 
Marino had two chances to win this year, losing a playoff at the Colonial and sharing the 36-hole lead with Tom Watson at the British Open. He might find out how that experience will help him at Liberty National.
 
I felt like I was ready to win back then, too, Marino said. It just didnt turn out that way. I just feel like Im playing real well right now, and Im going to do the best I can. I think if I play well, Ill have a good chance to win the golf tournament.
 
Two shots out of the lead were Fredrik Jacobson (72), the Swede with moving parts in his swing, who is winless in his six years on the PGA Tour; and 24-year-old Webb Simpson, who overcame a triple bogey to shoot 72 and give himself a chance to become the first rookie to win on Tour this year.
 
And then there was Woods, surprised to see the tees moved so far forward that it was 355 yards shorter than the card.
 
They are playing the ladies tees most of the day, Woods said.
 
He was concerned because he didnt take advantage of the lack of length, particularly on the par-5 13th, with tees moved up 54 yards to make it play only 509 yards. Woods had to hit 3-wood to avoid going into a lake that he couldnt reach before. Trying to hit a soft 3-iron from a downhill lie, he caught it fat and went into the water.
 
Woods followed with a 5-iron to 7 feet for a remarkable save, and he holed a 12-foot par putt on the final hole that brightened his day.
 
If the guys get going coming in, they can kind of run away with it,' he said following his round. But the par on 18 at least kept me within reach ' so far.
 
Hes still there ' barely.
 
Woods won Bay Hill with a five-shot rally Sunday, matching his PGA Tour best for comebacks. He won the Memorial from four shots behind. Working in his favor is that only three players ahead of him ' Goydos, Stricker and Heath Slocum ' have won on Tour.
 
Woods, however, has company. After getting up-and-down from 190 yards for par on the 13th, and making a 12-foot par putt on his final hole, he was at 4-under 209 along with Padraig Harrington and Zach Johnson.
 
Liberty National, described throughout the week as long and hard, received a new identity in the third round.
 
The tees were moved forward so far that the course was only 7,064 yards. The two biggest changes presented the biggest problems for Woods as he tried to get closer to the leaders ' the 13th and 18th holes, where he scrambled for pars.
 
And just his luck, the only players who made a move on the back nine were the guys trying to catch Goydos.
 
Marino did just that. He ran off three straight birdies starting with the par-3 14th, hitting his tee shot to 2 feet of the front pin. Then came an approach to 10 feet on the 15th, and a wedge to 6 feet on the 16th.
 
He is not concerned with whos behind him ' Woods name was mentioned ' and neither is Goydos.
 
The greater mystery is how the PGA Tour will set up the golf course. The tees have been moved around quite a bit this week, and with rain in the forecast, this was as short as it has played. That likely helped Goydos, among the shortest hitters.
 
You have to be careful to take what this golf course gives you each day, Goydos said. And the way they have kind of moved the tees around on different holes, we are going to have take that as it comes tomorrow. I dont know what to expect tomorrow. We may play the tips for all I know. That would change everything, play the tips. Wouldnt need irons.
 
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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.


    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.

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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.


    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.”

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    Harrington: Fiery Carnoustie evokes Hoylake in '06

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 16, 2018, 3:45 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – One course came to mind when Padraig Harrington arrived on property and saw a firm, fast and yellow Carnoustie.

    Hoylake in 2006.

    That's when Tiger Woods avoided every bunker, bludgeoned the links with mid-irons and captured the last of his three Open titles.

    So Harrington was asked: Given the similarity in firmness between Carnoustie and Hoylake, can Tiger stir the ghosts this week?


    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I really don’t know,” Harrington said Monday. “He’s good enough to win this championship, no doubt about it. I don’t think he could play golf like the way he did in 2006. Nobody else could have tried to play the golf course the way he did, and nobody else could have played the way he did. I suspect he couldn’t play that way now, either. But I don’t know if that’s the strategy this week, to lay up that far back.”

    With three days until the start of this championship, that’s the biggest question mark for Harrington, the 2007 winner here. He doesn’t know what his strategy will be – but his game plan will need to be “fluid.” Do you attack the course with driver and try to fly the fairway bunkers? Or do you attempt to lay back with an iron, even though it’s difficult to control the amount of run-out on the baked-out fairways and bring the bunkers into play?

    “The fairways at Hoylake are quite flat, even though they were very fast,” Harrington said. “There’s a lot of undulations in the fairways here, so if you are trying to lay up, you can get hit the back of a slope and kick forward an extra 20 or 30 yards more than you think. So it’s not as easy to eliminate all the risk by laying up.”