Day 2 wrap: NCAA men's golf regionals

By Ryan LavnerMay 15, 2015, 11:55 pm

The NCAA Division I men’s regionals got underway Thursday at six sites around the country. The low five teams in each regional after Saturday’s final round will advance to the May 28-June 3 NCAA Championship at Concession Golf Club in Florida.

Here are the second-round results from the Chapel Hill (N.C.), Noblesville (Ind.), Yale (Conn.), Lubbock (Texas), San Diego (Calif.) and Bremerton (Wash.) regionals:

Chapel Hill Regional, at Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, N.C.:

Leader: Stanford (-11)

Second place: Charlotte (-10)

Rest of the top 5: Florida State (-6), Kennesaw State (-3) and Florida (-3)

Work to do: Clemson (-1), North Carolina (-1), GRU Augusta (+2), Wake Forest (+6)

Individual leader: J.T. Poston, Western Carolina (-8)

Skinny: Stanford’s second-round 275 was the best round of the day by nine shots. Still, the Cardinal have only a 10-shot advantage over the sixth-place teams. Charlotte is the No. 9 seed, but the 49ers are holding steady after a 3-over 291. The two big surprises so far: No. 1-ranked Florida State and host North Carolina need a good round Saturday just to advance. The Seminoles are five shots clear of sixth place, but they’ve yet to post a round under 69. The Tar Heels, despite playing on their home course, have only one player under par after 36 holes. 

New Haven Regional, at The Course at Yale in New Haven, Conn.:

Leader: South Florida (-3)

Second place: N.C. State (+6) 

Rest of the top 5: San Diego State (+7), Vanderbilt (+7), Oklahoma State (+10)

Work to do: Iowa (+11), Ohio State (+13), North Texas (+13), LSU (+21)

Individual leader: Jordan Niebrugge, Oklahoma State (-6)

Skinny: USF posted the lowest score of the day (4-under 276) for the second round in a row to open up a nine-shot lead. More importantly, the Bulls have a 14-stroke cushion over sixth place as they try to advance to the NCAA finals, which will be played about an hour from their Tampa campus. N.C. State, the No. 8 seed in the regional, moved up four spots on the leaderboard after a solid second round that included a 67 from lead man David Cooke. Jordan Niebrugge blitzed Yale’s course with a 8-under 62 that was more than 11 shots better than the field average. With the rest of his teammates failing to break 74, Niebrugge’s round pushed the Cowboys into the all-important fifth spot, though just one clear of Iowa.   

NCAA men's regional team and individual scores

Full coverage: NCAA men's regionals

Noblesville Regional, at Sagamore Golf Club in Noblesville, Ind:

Leader: SMU (-3)

Second place: Colorado (+1)

Rest of the top 5: Illinois (+3), UCLA (+6), UNLV (+9) 

Work to do: Oregon (+14), Alabama (+21), Georgia Southern (+22)

Individual leader: Jonathan Garrick, UCLA (-7)

Skinny: SMU has three players inside the top-7 individually. Only one Colorado player shot better than 75 on Friday, but the Buffaloes’ opening 277 gave them plenty of room to work with. They’re still 13 shots clear of sixth place. The big story Saturday will be whether Alabama can summon a charge and advance to NCAA finals. The two-time defending NCAA champions are 12 shots back of fifth heading into the finale. 

Bremerton Regional, at Gold Mountain in Bremerton, Wash.: 

Leader: TCU (-12)

Second place: UAB (-11)

Rest of the top 5: USC (-7), South Carolina (-5), Baylor (-3)

Work to do: Iowa State (-2), Washington (+1), Michigan (+4)

Individual leader: Cheng-Tsung Pan, Washington (-8)

Skinny: TCU didn’t record a score worse than 73 in the second round as the Horned Frogs leaped over UAB into the top spot. Baylor made the biggest move of the day, shooting 8 under to move into the fifth spot. Kyle Jones and Andreas Gjesteby each carded 69s for the Bears. The team to watch Saturday is host Washington, which is in seventh, four shots back of Baylor, despite the effort of senior Cheng-Tsung Pan (-8). No other Huskies player is inside the top 25 individually. 

San Diego Regional, at The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.:

Leader: Oklahoma (-17) 

Second place: Arizona State (+5) 

Rest of the top 5: Georgia Tech (+6), East Tennessee State (+7), Georgia (+9) 

Work to do: Virginia (+11), Idaho (+12), Wichita State (+10), San Diego (+16), New Mexico (+19)

Individual leader: Jon Rahm, Arizona State (-7)

Skinny: Oklahoma increased its lead to a whopping 22 shots with a Friday-best 275. All five Sooners players are inside the top 15 individually. No. 1 seed Arizona State got back into the mix after an 8-under 64 from Jon Rahm. Georgia also surged seven spots on the board, into the all-important fifth spot, after three players shot 70 or better, including Zach Healy’s 67. Host San Diego has yet to put it together on its home course, shooting 297-295 to lurk seven shots outside the cut line. 

Lubbock Regional, at the Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas:

Leader: Texas Tech (-16) 

Second place: Texas (-13) 

Rest of the top 5: Duke (-10), Houston (-7), Southeastern Louisiana and Louisville (-4) 

Work to do: Auburn (-3), California (-2), Purdue (E) 

Individual leader: K.K. Limbhasut, Cal (-8) 

Skinny: After a 4 ½-hour weather delay, Texas Tech, playing on its home course, surged in front with a 10-under 274, the best round of the day by five shots. Clement Sordet is leading the Red Raiders, at 6 under through two days. Southeastern Louisiana is the biggest surprise thus far, as the No. 9 seed shares fourth place with Houston after 36 holes. Third-seeded Auburn should consider itself fortunate to still have a chance, as no Tiger player is inside the top 20 individually. Still, they are just one shot back of fifth place. 

American Junior Golf Association

Junior golfer's amazing run: ace, albatross, birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 11:03 pm

While most of the golf world had its attention focused on Scotland and The Open Championship at Carnoustie on Thursday, the REALLY remarkable performance of the day was taking place in Halifax, Mass.

There, in an American Junior Golf Association tournament, a 16-year-old Thai player made a hole-in-one and an albatross on consecutive holes.

According to the AJGA, Conor Kelly holed a 5-iron shot on the 198-yard, par-3 eighth hole. It was his first hole-in-one. He then holed a 4-iron second shot from 220 yards on the 480-yard ninth holer for the albatross. (We're gonna go out on a limb and say it was his first albatross.)

Certainly a nice way to make the turn - but Kelly wasn't finished. He birdied the par-4 10th for a 1-2-3 sequence on his scorecard. For the day, he shot a 5-under 67 in the AJGA Junior Golf Hub Championship at the Country Club of Halifax.

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McIlroy, Rahm betting co-favorites after Open Round 1

By Will GrayJuly 19, 2018, 10:10 pm

They're both three shots off the lead, but after starting The Open with rounds in the 60s Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are now betting co-favorites to lift the claret jug at Carnoustie.

McIlroy is four years removed from his Open triumph at Royal Liverpool, while Rahm remains in search of his first major title. Both carded rounds of 2-under 69 in Scotland to sit three shots off the lead of Kevin Kisner. While McIlroy started the tournament at 16/1 and Rahm at 20/1, they're now dead even at 10/1 in updated odds at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

Kisner started the week at 200/1, but after an opening-round 66 he's quickly been trimmed to 25/1. Tony Finau sits one shot behind Kisner and is now listed behind only McIlroy and Rahm at 12/1 after starting the tournament at 60/1.

On the other side of the coin, consensus pre-tournament betting favorite Dustin Johnson fell from 12/1 to 100/1 following an opening 76 while Masters champ Patrick Reed shot a 4-over 75 to plummet from 30/1 to 200/1. Trailing by five shots following an opening-round 71, Tiger Woods' odds remained unchanged at 25/1 as he seeks a 15th career major title.

Here's a look at the revised betting odds heading into the second round at Carnoustie:

10/1: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm

12/1: Tony Finau

14/1: Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler

20/1: Francesco Molinari

25/1: Tiger Woods, Alex Noren, Henrik Stenson, Kevin Kisner

30/1: Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka

40/1: Ryan Moore, Jason Day

50/1: Erik Van Rooyen, Brandon Stone, Matt Kuchar

60/1: Danny Willett, Thomas Pieters, Marc Leishman, Thorbjorn Olesen, Russell Henley, Matthew Southgate

80/1: Webb Simpson, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Brendan Steele, Kevin Na

100/1: Dustin Johnson, Zander Lombard, Sung Kang, Paul Casey, Louis Oosthuizen, Xander Schauffele, Chris Wood, Pat Perez, Luke List, Charley Hoffman

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Despite 78, Lincicome savors PGA Tour experience

By Randall MellJuly 19, 2018, 9:41 pm

Two bad holes derailed Brittany Lincicome in her historic start Thursday at the Barbasol Championship, but they couldn’t wipe the smile off her face afterward.

It might have been the most fun she ever had shooting a 78.

Lincicome joined Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie as the only women to tee it up in a PGA Tour event when she striped her opening tee shot down the middle Thursday at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

A double bogey at her ninth hole and a triple at her 16th might have spoiled her chances at joining Zaharias as the only women to make a 36-hole cut in a PGA Tour event, but it didn’t spoil her experience.

“I did what I wanted to do, with having fun,” Lincicome said. “I think I nailed that part pretty well.

“I love playing with the guys. It's so much fun, being inside the ropes with them. Hopefully, I can get a good one tomorrow.”

Lincicome, 32, held her own for 16 holes, playing them in 1 over par, but those two big numbers left her tied for last place when she signed her scorecard, though other players remained on the course.

At 6 over, Lincicome is 13 shots behind the leader, probably seven or eight shots off the projected cut line, but she savored the experience. She arrived wanting to inspire young girls to dream big, and to bring some extra attention to a title sponsor who means so much to her. She represents Pure Silk, part of the Barbasol family.

Sam Ryder, who joined Conrad Shindler playing alongside Lincicome, was impressed with the way Lincicome carried herself.

“I would play with her every day if she wanted to,” said Ryder, who opened with a 68. “She's just a great person.

“Even though I know she's probably a little disappointed with her final score, she had a smile on her face all day.”

Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, made her first birdie at her 12th hole, dropping a 30-foot putt, but she wasn’t happy with her putter much of the day. She missed three other good birdie chances, a 4-footer at her eighth hole, an 8-footer at her 10th and a 12-footer at the last.

“Pretty happy with my game overall,” Lincicome said. “I had two bad holes, but I drove it well. I did all the things I said I needed to do, but my putter let me down today.”

After piping her first drive, Lincicome opened with three consecutive pars.

“I was actually calmer than I thought I was going to be,” she said. “I thought I was going to be a nervous wreck. After the first tee shot, I was pretty happy that I found the fairway.”

Lincicome said Ryder and Shindler made her feel welcome. So did the crowds.

“It was great,” she said. “I could feel the energy of the crowd support me. Every time I hit a good driver or good shot, they would cheer for me, which was great.

“Conrad and Sam were so nice. I couldn't have asked for a better pairing. They were very welcoming, and we were interacting, they were asking me questions, and it was great.”

On Tuesday, Lincicome said a key to her play would be hitting fairways. She did that, hitting 10 of 14, but she was taking in longer clubs than she does in LPGA events, with Keene Trace set up at 7,168 yards. That’s 600 yards longer than she played last week at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic, where she finished second. She hit just 8 greens in regulation in this PGA Tour start.

Lincicome is nicknamed “Bam Bam.” She is one of the LPGA’s longest drivers, but she was typically 30 to 40 yards behind Ryder and Shindler after hitting her driver. She averaged 259 yards per drive, Ryder 289 yards.

“She had a couple birdie putts that she could have made,” Ryder said. “If she made a couple of those, might've been a little bit different, just to get a little bit of momentum. Who knows?”

Lincicome’s biggest challenges were the par 3s.

At the 18th, playing 195 yards, she mis-hit her tee shot, knocking it in the water, short of the green. She took a penalty, moved up to a forward tee, dropped and hit into a right greenside bunker. She got up and down from there for a 5.

At the seventh, playing 198 yards, she missed wild right and deep. From a tough spot in the rough, she left her pitch short of the green. She chipped her third past the hole and to the fringe, where she took three putts from 20 feet.

Afterward, Lincicome wasn’t dwelling on the bad shots. She was focused on going to sign autographs for all the fans waiting for her, including all the little girls who came out to see her.

“I need to go back over there and sign,” she said. “Any time I can influence a child, especially a girl, obviously I want to get them involved with the LPGA, as much as possible.”

Her overall assessment of her day?

“It was a great experience,” she said.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.