Power Rankings: 2014 Deutsche Bank Championship

By Will GrayAugust 27, 2014, 5:19 pm

This week marks the 43rd event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as the Tour continues the playoffs with the Deutsche Bank Championship. A field of 94 players will tee it up this week at TPC Boston, where the winning score often exceeds 20 under par.

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Henrik Stenson returns to defend the title he won a year ago over Sergio Garcia. Here are 10 names to watch this week in Norton:

1. Adam Scott: The Aussie was T-15 last week at Ridgewood despite a Saturday 75, his seventh straight top-15 finish dating all the way back to May. Scott got his first PGA Tour win here back in 2003 and has added four top-10 finishes since then, including three years in a row from 2010-2012. He knows what it takes to contend at TPC Boston, and should do so again this year.

2. Rory McIlroy: An "off" week for the Ulsterman still netted a top-25 finish, which McIlroy has produced in every start on Tour this year. He won here in a shootout back in 2012 and while his other two results haven't been spectacular, he has shot 65 or better in four of 12 competitive rounds at TPC Boston. McIlroy is certainly not hurting for confidence these days, and should contend again before heading to Denver.

3. Jason Day: Day appears ready to put an injury-plagued summer behind him, as he followed a T-15 finish at Valhalla with a runner-up showing at The Barclays. The Aussie cracked the top three in Boston in both 2010 and 2011, and he had four rounds in the 60s en route to a T-13 finish a year ago.

4. Jim Furyk: While another chance to end his victory drought passed him by, Furyk still notched an eighth-place finish at Ridgewood, his ninth top-10 finish in 18 starts this season. He hasn't finished outside the top 20 since Colonial, and he continues to lead the Tour in scrambling. Furyk has three top 10s in nine starts at TPC Boston, most recently 2011 when he finished sixth.

5. Brandt Snedeker: Despite a missed cut last week in New Jersey, Snedeker remains one of the hotter players around and now heads to a course where he finished sixth or better for three straight years from 2010-2012. Snedeker's three prior starts before the missed cut at Ridgewood all netted top-15 finishes, and he should add to that tally in his final start before Ryder Cup captain's picks are announced.

6. Matt Kuchar: In his first start since withdrawing from the PGA Championship with a bad back, Kuchar picked up right where he left off with a T-5 finish at Ridgewood. It was his third straight top-15 result, and Kuchar has turned 21 starts this season into 11 top 10s and 15 top 25s. He's cracked the top 15 at TPC Boston three of the last five years, including a T-4 finish last year.

7. Hunter Mahan: Now atop the FedEx Cup standings, Mahan is heating up just in time for a potential Ryder Cup berth. His Barclays win was his third straight top-15 finish including Firestone and Akron, and Mahan was among the field leaders in GIR percentage each of those three weeks. He's finished inside the top 15 in Norton two of the past three years, including a T-13 finish last year when he opened with 65.

8. Rickie Fowler: One of the best players this summer, but heading to a course where he has had limited success in the past. Fowler is now riding a streak of five straight top-10 finishes after a T-9 result at Ridgewood but his finishes at TPC Boston have gotton progressively worse: T-41, T-52, T-74 and a missed cut last year. Something's gotta give.

9. William McGirt: The veteran is quietly flying under the radar, and has now notched four straight top-25 finishes. After bookend 64s at Sedgefield, he tied for fifth at The Barclays to head to TPC Boston with some significant momentum. He is among the Tour's putting leaders and has shot 66 or better in six of his last 16 competitive rounds.

10. Jordan Spieth: Spieth hasn't had a month to remember in August, but he closed with a 67 at Ridgewood to finish T-22 last week, his 17th top-25 finish of the season. Spieth is seventh on Tour in birdie average in 2013-14 and returns to TPC Boston after a memorable debut last year, when he tied for fourth after a final-round 62 that locked up his spot on the Presidents Cup team.

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Ball headed O.B., Stone (68) gets huge break

By Mercer BaggsJuly 19, 2018, 2:14 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Brandon Stone knew it when he hit it.

“I knew I hit it out of bounds,” the South African said following his opening round in the 147th Open Championship.

Stone’s second shot on the par-4 18th, from the left fescue, was pulled into the grandstands, which are marked as O.B. But instead of settling in with the crowd, the ball ricocheted back towards the green and nearly onto the putting surface.

Stone made his par and walked away with a 3-under 68, two shots off the early lead.

“I really didn’t put a good swing on it, bad contact and it just came out way left,” Stone said. “I feel so sorry for the person I managed to catch on the forehead there, but got a lucky break.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“When you get breaks like that you know you’re going to have good weeks.”

It’s been more than just good luck recently for Stone. He shot 60 in the final round – missing a 9-foot birdie putt for the first 59 in European Tour history – to win last week’s Scottish Open. It was his third career win on the circuit and first since 2016. It was also just his first top-10 of the season.

“A testament to a different mental approach and probably the change in putter,” said Stone, who added that he switched to a new Ping Anser blade model last week.

“I’ve been putting, probably, the best I have in my entire life.”

This marks Stone’s sixth start in a major championship, with his best finish a tie for 35th in last year’s U.S. Open. He has a missed cut and a T-70 in two prior Open Championships.

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Kang on cheating allegation: 'I did the right thing'

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 1:26 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three weeks after his playing partner claimed that he “cheated,” taking an improper drop at the Quicken Loans National, Sung Kang insisted Thursday that he did nothing wrong.

Joel Dahmen tweeted that Kang cheated after a lengthy dispute about where his ball had last crossed the line of a hazard. A PGA Tour official ruled in Kang’s favor. Kang made par on the hole, shot 64 and earned one of the available spots in the Open Championship.

Kang didn’t learn of the controversy until the next day, when he received an email from a PGA Tour communications official seeking comment. He researched online what the furor was about, then issued a brief statement through the Tour (which added its own statement, saying that there was “no clear evidence” to suggest that Kang dropped incorrectly).


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Kang said he tried to clear the air with Dahmen before the first round of last week’s John Deere Classic, but they never had the opportunity to discuss their differences.

“I followed the rules official and I think I did the right thing,” Kang told a handful of reporters Thursday following his opening round at Carnoustie, where he shot a 2-under 69 to sit three shots off the early lead.

Kang said he was hesitant to discuss the incident with reporters, because he said there clearly was a difference in opinions. He said he’d already told his side to South Korean news outlets but that “whatever I say, some people are going to trust it and some people are not going to trust it. Then I’ve got to think about it more and more when it’s not going to help my golf game.”

“I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened,” he added, “but I’m not going to say anything.”

Kang said that he wouldn’t alter his approach when dealing with rulings in the future.

“No. Why?” he said. “I did the right thing. There’s no point in changing.”

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Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:49 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.

Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.

“We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.

“I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”

Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.

“Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”

The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.

“We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.