Duke's Maguire caught up in rules controversy

By Ryan LavnerMay 27, 2015, 2:46 am

BRADENTON, Fla. – Player of the Year Leona Maguire of Duke found herself in the middle of a rules controversy Tuesday at the NCAA Women’s Championship.

After playing her 10th hole at Concession in the afternoon semifinals, Maguire said she motioned back down the fairway that the hole location was in a different spot on the green than what was shown on the pin sheet.

The rules staff had marked that the cup was 21 paces deep and 10 from the right. It was actually cut 9 on and 7 from the right.

“We just screwed that one up,” NCAA director of rules Jerry Lemieux said later. “We just gave players the wrong paperwork.”

Offering advice to a teammate is considered a rules violation and would result in a loss of hole. That was crucial in this situation, because at the time Maguire was all square in her match against Baylor’s Dylan Kim.

Lemieux approached Maguire in the 13th fairway to discuss the incident, but Maguire said that she was only trying to notify coach Dan Brooks, not teammate Celine Boutier, that the pin sheet was incorrect.

Full coverage: NCAA Division I Women’s National Championship

“Clearly not a rules violation,” Lemieux confirmed. “Information on public matters, including the location of where a hole is on the putting green, by definition is not a rules violation.”

Maguire went on to lose the match, 1 down, and Duke was eliminated after a 3-2 defeat.  

Later in the day, however, officials were informed that Maguire had made a similar gesture during her morning quarterfinal match against Texas Tech’s Gabby Barker. 

Television footage showed that while Maguire was standing in the middle of the seventh green, she looked back down the fairway and, with two hands, appeared to motion like an airport employee guiding a plane out of the gate, a move that seemed to suggest: Hit it here.  

Maguire had won the hole with a par en route to a 5-and-4 win.

Hours later, Lemieux asked Brooks about the signal, “and he said he’d like to take care of it with his team,” Lemieux said.

“Even if it were a violation this morning,” he added, “there’s still no penalty for it anyway, because the match has been posted and it’s final. It’s kind of a moot point.”

Lemieux never talked to Maguire about the previous incident, “but I didn’t need to talk to the player,” he said. “Even if it were a rules violation, it doesn’t really make a difference at this point, and so we’ve let it go from that standpoint.”

Brooks, however, huddled with his team, and specifically Maguire, to address the issue.

Maguire wasn’t made available by the school’s media relations department. Brooks described her as “very tearful” about the situation.

“She got swept up,” Brooks said. “She’s not up there trying to do anything secretly.”

Earlier this week, Maguire finished second in the stroke-play portion of the event and received the Annika Award as the nation’s top player. 

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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.

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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.

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“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.”