After Further Review: What's Wie's future?

By Randall MellApril 25, 2016, 2:28 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds. 

On another injury-related WD by Michelle Wie ...

At year’s start, swing coach David Leadbetter delivered a tough-love message to Michelle Wie. “I love her like a daughter, and we can say things to each other,” Leadbetter told “I said, `Now is the time, young lady, when you need to show what you’re capable of.’”

That’s what makes her continuing struggle so frustrating for everyone who believes she still has more potential to lift the women’s game to new heights than anyone else playing today, that she has more of the charisma and intangibles required to draw new fans from beyond the sport’s niche than anyone else. Wie started this year finally healthy again, but it’s just not happening for her, and Sunday’s withdrawal just adds to the uncertainty over whether it ever will. Her WD comes on the heels of her missed cut at the Lotte Championship in her Hawaiian home. It marks her fourth MC or WD in seven starts in full field events this year.

Wie’s body looked like it was finally strong enough this year to allow her to build on that great return of promise she flashed two years ago winning the Lotte Championship and U.S. Women’s Open, but we don’t know now if her body’s going to hold up this year or even if her body’s the real problem. She withdrew from the Swinging Skirts Classic after 15 holes Sunday with neck spasms. She was 11 over for the day when she walked of the course.

Is the body giving away again, or is it something even more troubling? We don’t know, and maybe she doesn’t, either, but the timing’s troublesome because we’re on the verge of a historically important run of big events in the women’s game. Now is the time, as Leadbetter said. There’s never been a better time for Wie to show the world what she’s really capable of. – Randall Mell

On players snubbing the Olympics ...

First it was Vijay Singh citing a need to focus on the PGA Tour. Then it was Adam Scott who said his decision was based on a condensed schedule, followed by Louis Oosthuizen. Overall, the three high-profile no-shows from this year’s Olympics are concerning, but not unexpected nor ruinous.

Golf’s return to the Games was never about the impact it would have on the developed nations, like Australia and South Africa. The real measure of success will be on how the Games will influence the growth of golf in undeveloped countries.

“If I’m going to finish third [at the Masters], I’d prefer a bronze medal. For Paraguay, it’s going to be much bigger than a third at the Masters,” said Fabrizio Zanotti, who is currently qualified to play for Paraguay. “For Paraguay, for sure. I think Paraguay only has one [Olympic] medal in the history, in soccer. It’s going to be huge.” – Rex Hoggard

On a refreshing #SB2K16 ...

I’m not afraid to admit it, I loved the hell out of #SB2K16. I could not get enough.

Watching Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas and Smylie Kaufman all be unafraid to share their fun Bahamas vacation on social media was refreshing on so many levels. It even made me create a Snapchat account for the first time. I checked it about 50 times each day.

Now, their respective agents may not have been too pleased that they were each so forthcoming, but there was nothing wrong with anything that anyone did. Four millionaires living the dream in paradise, playing golf shirtless and shoeless, dancing, pulling pranks, doing impressions of various golf announcers, etc., is all good, clean fun. The Rory McIlroy twist was a hoot too.

For my money, Kaufman was #SB2K16’s leading man, which is what Thomas wrote his postmortem. Spieth was the top dog and Fowler was a close second, but we got a great glimpse of Kaufman’s personality. He’ll shine with media for years to come if he can win from time to time.

I was most pleased that I didn’t see anyone hammering them for their antics or accusing them of being elitist. Boys will be boys and we were fortunate to catch a sliver of the action. I’ve already set a notice on my calendar for #SB2K17.  Jay Coffin

What he said ...

Too often we rail against the stars in any sport for being too guarded. Too corporate, too hesitant to show their true colors or any semblance of personality.

Well, thanks to the greatest bro-cation in the history of Snapchat, that claim can't be leveled against the likes of Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas and Smylie Kaufman. The quartet used social media this week to offer a glimpse into their epic getaway, a far cry from the pressure-cooker they experienced at Augusta National just a couple weeks ago.

There was song, dance, drink - even a found dog. But most of all, there was a lighter side to show that these ultra-talented 20-somethings don't take themselves too seriously once they step outside the ropes.

It was a refreshing and enjoyable window into their lives, as they partied it up in the Bahamas as you'd expect most others would do (or would like to have done) at their age. Expect the media credentialing line for Baker's Bay in 2017 to rival anything we'll see later this summer at Oakmont.  Will Gray

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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.”