Baena Turns Up the Heat at Futures Tour Event
'I do like the heat and I've always felt that it works to my advantage,' said Baena of Pereira, Colombia, who fired a 5-under-par round of 67 today to take the lead at 140 (-4) going into Sunday's final round.
The second-season pro out of the University of Arizona played a bogey-free round that included five birdies and a handful of up-and-down par scrambles. She successfully navigated Lake Forest Golf Club's large and speedy greens and avoided the 6,214-yard course's treacherous fescue rough.
'I hit 14 greens and had 33 putts on Friday, and today, I hit 10 greens and had 23 putts,' said Baena, still seeking her first win on the Futures Tour. 'Golf is so weird. But I know things will eventually come together. It's important to get yourself going on the front nine here.'
Stephanie George of Myerstown, Pa., moved into second at 141 (-3) after carding a 2-under-par round of 70 today. Like so many others, she battled for pars and was grateful to finish the day with four birdies and two bogeys.
'The greens make this course so difficult,' said George, who recorded 30 putts in today's round. 'I three-putted three times yesterday and today, I had numerous putts within 10 feet that were downhill, sidehill or uphill. It's hard to trust how hard to hit it and the greens are speeding up and getting firmer.'
Sarah-Jane Kenyon of Queensland, Australia, had a little steam coming out of her ears when she walked off the 18th green in Friday's first round. Kenyon was four over after 18 holes. But golf history has shown that Queenslanders -- such as the LPGA's Karrie Webb -- are savvy hot-weather players. Kenyon turned her anger into an assault on the course in today's second round. By day's end, the rookie cruised in with a 6-under-par 66 that locked her into a tie with Clarissa Childs (71) of Glendale, Calif., and Kellee Booth (73) of McKinney, Texas -- all tied at 142 (-2).
Kenyon's performance included three birdies, two eagle-2s (on par-four holes) and one bogey. She holed out from a front bunker on the fifth hole for her first eagle, and then holed out from 152 yards with a 7-iron on the 12th hole for the round's second eagle.
'I didn't hit the ball any better or any worse than yesterday, but I had 33 putts yesterday and 25 today, so that was the difference,' said Kenyon, who won the season's second event in Tampa earlier this year.
Booth opened with bogeys on holes three and four, but rebounded with two birdies on the back and a final bogey at the 17th. Still looking for her first win, the former Arizona State University collegian called her day 'sketchy at times and fabulous at times.'
'I'm still in it,' she added. 'Anything is possible out there but it will take some good shots and good putts to win this tournament.'
First-week rookie pro Julieta Granada of Asuncion, Paraguay carded a 3-under-par 69 today to move into a tie with Seon-Hwa Lee of Chonan, Korea at 1-under-par 143. It was a day of misfortune for the Korean, who took the lead on the 11th hole, but lost it on the 15th.
Lee built her lead to three shots with a birdie on the 14th hole, but took a quadruple-bogey on the 15th when her drive landed under a left tree. Lee was forced to turn her club upside down to hit the shot out, but the ball ricocheted off the tree and hit her shoes for a two-shot penalty. As if to make matters worse, after she was forced to call the penalty on herself, the ball was unplayable and she had to add another shot for a drop. One chip and two putts later, Lee had carded an 8 on the par-4 15th hole.
'That hurt,' said Cindy Pasechnik of Calgary, Alberta, who was playing in Lee's group.
Seventy-four players made the 36-hole cut at 151 (+7) in the fifth annual Ann Arbor tournament.
Sunday's final round of the 54-hole event will begin at 8 a.m., off the first tee only. The leaders will tee off at noon.
Third-round tee times for the 147th Open
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.
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
Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm
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.
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.”
Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish
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.”
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.”
After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood
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