Caddie kicked out of U.S. Women's Open over photos

By Randall MellJuly 7, 2015, 5:50 pm

Updated, 4:45 p.m. ET

LANCASTER, Pa. – Sei Young Kim’s caddie was “removed” from the U.S. Women’s Open Tuesday morning after he was discovered in the USGA rules office improperly taking cell phone photos of “internal course setup documents,” according to a USGA official.

Paul Fusco was escorted off the property by USGA security at Lancaster Country Club and will not be permitted to caddie for Kim this week.

The USGA official told GolfChannel.com that Fusco was in an area that he was not properly credentialed to have access and that a USGA official discovered Fusco taking cell phone photos of hole locations and setup info for all four rounds, info that wasn’t yet scheduled to be released to players. The USGA doesn’t release hole locations and setup info for each round until the specific morning of that round.

“I was surprised to hear about it,” Kim told GolfChannel.com on the driving range. “It’s upsetting.”


U.S. Women’s Open: Articles, photos and videos


Kim, whose English is limited, said she spoke briefly with Fusco after learning of his removal, but she was uncomfortable saying more. She said she’s hiring Steve “Rubble” Shellard as her new caddie for the week. Shellard is Se Ri Pak’s regular caddie. Pak withdrew last week from the U.S. Women’s Open.

U.S. Women’s Open championship director Ben Kimball said he was informed that a USGA official discovered Fusco taking photos of documents that would have included hole locations, hole yardages, alternate tee plans and even forecasted wind directions.

“It’s like seeing a test before you take it,” Kimball told GolfChannel.com.

Fusco told GolfChannel.com that there is more to the story as to why he was in the USGA office, but out of respect for Kim’s bid to win the U.S. Women’s Open he’s reserving comment until the championship is over.

Kim, meanwhile, will not be penalized.

Fusco’s removal sent a buzz through the driving range among players and caddies.

“If it’s true, it’s cheating,” one caddie told GolfChannel.com. “It’s like knowing the questions before you take a math or English test.”

Another caddie said improperly obtaining detailed setup plans gives a player an unfair advantage and hurts the caddie profession.

“It makes us all look bad,” the caddie said.

Fusco is an experienced caddie who formerly toted for Vijay Singh and Na Yeon Choi. Fusco has proven a strong ally for Kim, a rookie. Fusco has been on her bag since Q-School last December. He caddied for both of Kim’s LPGA victories this year. As a team, Kim and Fusco also have been a force in the first two majors of the year. She was in the final Sunday pairing at both the ANA Inspiration and KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. She tied for fourth at the ANA and finished second at the KPMG.

While Kim said she looked forward to welcoming Fusco back on her bag in the near future, it’s unclear if he could face discipline from the LPGA.

The LPGA issued this statement: “This being a USGA event and not conducted by the LPGA, we have nothing to add regarding the specifics of the alleged incident. As for future potential discipline or action, we will continue to discuss internally as we gather additional information.”

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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.”