Power Rankings: Farmers Insurance Open

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2014, 1:52 pm

This week marks the 10th event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as players take on Torrey Pines at the Farmers Insurance Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the North and South courses, with three of four competitive rounds played on the South, which hosted the U.S. Open in 2008.

Be sure to join the Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge to test yourself against our panel of experts, including defending champion Charlie Rymer.

World No. 1 Tiger Woods makes his 2014 debut as he defends the title he won last year by four shots over Brandt Snedeker and Josh Teater. Here are 10 players to watch this week in San Diego:

1. Tiger Woods: A heavy favorite this week, and for good reason. Woods has won this event seven times - including last year's romp - in addition to his U.S. Open title on the South Course seven years ago. He tends to thrive amid friendly confines, and Torrey Pines certainly qualifies.

2. Brandt Snedeker: Tiger may own Torrey, but Snedeker has had a pretty successful run in San Diego himself, notching four straight top-10 finishes. The former FedEx champ followed his 2012 win here with a runner-up showing last year, and also tied for second in 2010 to go along with a third-place finish in 2007.

3. Phil Mickelson: Mickelson displayed some classic signs of "Phil" golf en route to a T-2 last week in Abu Dhabi: often brilliant, sometimes puzzling, but at the end of the week still better than most. Now he returns States-side to an event where he has recorded 10 top-10 finishes in 24 career starts, including three wins (1993, 2000, 2001).

4. Rickie Fowler: Fowler tied for sixth here last year and has yet to finish outside the top 20 in four career Farmers appearances. After a sluggish start, he bounced back to post 67-66 over the weekend in Palm Springs and now will look to carry that momentum into an event where he has had plenty of past success.

5. Hunter Mahan: Mahan hasn't logged a start yet during the 2013-14 season, but Torrey Pines should prove to be a friendly venue on which to make his debut. Mahan has cracked the top 15 here four of the last five years, including back-to-back T-6 finishes in 2011 and 2012.

6. Bill Haas: Haas shot 67 or better in each of his four rounds last week en route to a T-6 at Humana, and now heads to a course where he has finished inside the top 10 each of the last three years. The former FedEx Cup champ tied for fourth at Torrey in 2012 and has shot par or better in 18 of his last 20 rounds in San Diego.

7. Jason Day: The Aussie is making his first start of the 2013-14 season and still carries the momentum from an emotional win at the World Cup in November in front of the home crowds. A mainstay on leaderboards throughout 2013, Day tied for ninth at Torrey a year ago on the strength of a final-round 66.

8. Jordan Spieth: Spieth showed he was human in Honolulu, where he missed the Sony Open cut, but is likely to bounce back this week in California. He also missed the cut here last year in his season debut, but over the interim 12 months has been one of the hottest golfers around. A runner-up earlier this month in Kapalua, the 20-year-old should find more success this time around.

9. Jimmy Walker: Known for years as one of the more consistent players on Tour, Walker is now a proven winner and hoisted the trophy in his most recent start in Hawaii. The Texan has notched back-to-back top-10 finishes at Torrey Pines, including a T-4 last year.

10. Charles Howell III: Time is quickly running out for Howell to make an early-season move in the OWGR, but the veteran has had prior success in San Diego. Howell already has four top-10 finishes to his credit this season, including a T-8 two weeks ago in Hawaii, and his T-9 last year was his fifth top-10 finish at Torrey Pines in 11 career starts.

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Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

“I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

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Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

“I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

“More punishment,” he said.

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DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

• Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

• This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

• Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

• At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

• Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

• My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.