Fathauer leads by 1 going into Web.com final round

By Jason CrookSeptember 20, 2014, 9:58 pm

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Derek Fathauer, Zac Blair and Jason Gore are trying to turn the Web.com Tour Championship into a three-man race with just 18 holes to play. Here's how things look heading into the final round at TPC Sawgrass’ Valley Course:

Leaderboard: Derek Fathauer (-12), Zac Blair (-11), Jason Gore (-10), James Herman (-8), Adam Hadwin (-8), Tyrone Van Aswegen (-8), Travis Bertoni (-7), Tom Gillis (-7)

What it means: Fathauer, who has top-10 finishes in two of his last three starts, has already secured his PGA Tour card based on regular-season earnings but still has room to move up on the priority list. Barring a total collapse, Blair seems to have locked up his card based on his play this week and could move as high as No. 3 on the priority list with a win. Not a bad week’s work for someone who came into the Web.com Tour Championship sitting T-118.

Numbers game: How the priority rankings work

Round of the day: Scott Pinckney sat 39th on the priority list after Friday’s 5-over 75, and was in danger of sliding out of the top 50 with another poor round on Saturday. Fortunately for him, the rainy Moving Day played right into his hands, and he went rocketing up the leaderboard with a 5-under 65, highlighted by a hole-out eagle at the par-4 third, his 12th hole of the day.

Best of the rest: Gore, 40, doesn’t seem content with just earning full-time status on the PGA Tour for the first time since 2009. After his third-round 66, he now sits 10th on the priority list and could move even higher with another low round Sunday. Jim Herman’s 5-under 65 moved him into T-4 for the week and up 10 spots to 15th on the priority list.

Biggest disappointment: After a course-record 62 on Friday, Tommy Gainey was bound to come back to earth in Round 3. But finishing under par would have a least given him the chance at a top-5 finish, which likely would have snuck him in to the top 50. He couldn’t keep it going on Moving Day though, carding a 2-over 72. While there’s still an outside shot for “Two Gloves,” he’ll start the final round nine shots off the lead and five out of the top 5.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: While there will be plenty of eyes on Blair and Fathauer at the top of the leaderboard (and rightfully so), the real drama will surround the 50th spot on the leaderboard. Who’s in? Who’s out? Who will excel under pressure down the stretch? Who will wilt?

Quote of the day: “It turns your hair gray; you lose some hair.” – Tag Ridings, who currently sits one spot out of the final PGA Tour card.

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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.”