Weibring Molines Favorite Son

By George WhiteJuly 22, 2002, 4:00 pm
D.A. Weibring is a homeboy. You doubt it? He has won five times on the PGA Tour, and four of them have been in his home state of Illinois.
One of his wins is the Western Open, which he won in 1987. But three of the others came in the same city, Moline, which is only a little more than two hours from his boyhood home of Quincy, Ill. His victories in Moline have all been under different titles ' the Ed McMahon Jaycees Quad Cities Open in 1979, the Hardees Golf Classic in 1991, and the Quad City Classic in 1995.
All were played on the Oakwood Country Club course. And they finally let Weibring ' who went to college at, naturally, Illinois State - design the course where the Moline tournament is now played. Weibring put pen to paper and came up with the TPC at Deere Run, which has been the home of the John Deere Classic since 2000.
His victory in 95 was the silver anniversary of the tournament. The Moline event has had an impressive list of winners ' Deane Beman, Dave Stockton, Scott Hoch, Payne Stewart, David Frost, Mark McCumber, David Toms. Weibrings triumph came in front of his mother and much of the population of Quincy, who had traveled just to see him.
'I get emotional when I think of all the people who are here,' he said. 'You want to be successful anywhere, but it means more when you can share it.'
Weibrings most recent win in 95 may be his most impressive. The tournament was played in late September in brutal conditions ' 30 and 40 degree temperatures, winds, and above all, a steady downpour that reduced play to 54 holes. And yet, Weibring was outstanding with an opening-round 64 ' even though it took two days to accomplish.
Weibring started the first round by ramming home seven birdies in the first 11 holes, despite the cold weather that had everyone playing in sweaters and jackets in a rain that halted play Thursday. He returned Friday and, despite a thermometer that dipped even lower, into the 30s on this day, Weibring completed the round by making seven straight pars.
'I had a couple of players tell me that has to be one of the best rounds of the year,' said Weibring at the time.
'It does make you feel pretty good when you get those looks from other players. Like, What are you doing? and What course did you play?'
Weibring added a 65 in the second round to go with his 64. He would go into the third and final round Sunday with a four-stroke lead on the field.
But he would have to survive a battle to win. Jonathon Kaye, who had recently graduated from the University of Colorado, was the surprise darkhorse.
Weibring played the front side Sunday, carding two birdies and one bogey. But Kaye was sizzling, working on a bogey-free front-nine 30. At the turn, Weibring found himself in a tie for the lead despite his impressive opening round.
The back side was an up-and-down adventure for both players. But Kaye actually took the lead and at the par-4 18th, he still had the advantage.
At the 72nd hole, he striped his 2-iron down the left side, the ball bounding into the rough. Weibring aimed his 3-wood into the fairway.
Kaye managed to put a 6-iron shot into the fringe to the right side of the green. Weibrings approach was close enough to the pin, just 18 feet from the cup, but it wound up in the fringe also.
Kaye went first and rookie nerves forced him into a big mental mistake. His chip went all the way through the green. Now it was Weibrings turn, and though he couldnt clean the mud smeared on his ball, he yanked out his putter, stroked the ball to the high side of the hole, and it dropped in the cup after hanging momentarily on the lip.
'I didnt over-analyze how the mud was going to affect it,' said Weibring. 'I was just going to try and hang it out there. I was surprised it fell, but I knew I did what I was trying to do.'
His birdie-three gave him a one-shot win over Kaye, who had a bogey-five. The Illinois Kid had struck again.
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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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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.”