Granada leads Pressel, Ciganda by 1 at LPGA finale

By Will GrayNovember 22, 2014, 9:36 pm

Julieta Granada captured the first $1 million prize in LPGA history back in 2006, and after three rounds in Naples she is on the cusp of another big payday. Here's how things look heading into the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship, where Granada clings to a one-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Julieta Granada (-9), Morgan Pressel (-8), Carlota Ciganda (-8), Sandra Gal (-7), Lydia Ko (-6), So Yeon Ryu (-6), Michelle Wie (-5)

What it means: Granada has held at least a share of the lead after each round, and she carded a third straight sub-par round despite blustery conditions to stay in front of Ciganda and Pressel. With $500,000 going to the tournament winner, the trophy remains very much up for grabs as six players will tee off within three shots of the lead.

Round of the day: Angela Stanford was mired in the back of the pack through two rounds, but the veteran made a big move Saturday with a 5-under 67. Stanford made only one bogey on the day and did her damage early in the round, with six birdies across her first 12 holes including three in a row on Nos. 10-12.

Best of the rest: Ko still has a chance for a $1.5 million payday after a 4-under 68 in the third round. The rookie entered the week at No. 3 in the Race to the CME Globe standings and controls her own destiny for the seven-figure bonus, and she is just three shots back after a topsy-turvy day that included seven birdies and three bogeys.

Biggest disappointment: Sarah Jane Smith started the day just two shots off the lead, but the Aussie stumbled out of the gates en route to a 4-over 76. Smith bogeyed three of her first four holes then closed her round with three more bogeys, as she needed 32 putts to complete her round.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: Commissioner Mike Whan has a dream scenario, as the race remains wide open on two fronts entering the season's final day. The fight for the season-long bonus appears to be between Stacy Lewis, Wie and Ko, while Granada will look to go wire-to-wire and end an eight-year victory drought in the process.

Shot of the day: Pressel took an aggressive line with her approach to No. 18, and her 7-iron cleared the hazard and rolled to within six feet. The closing birdie moved her into a share of second place as she looks to win for the first time since 2008.

@bubbawatson on Instagram

Bubba gets inked by Brooks, meets Tebow

By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 5:40 pm

Bubba Watson missed the cut at Shinnecock Hills following rounds of 77-74, but that didn't stop him from enjoying his weekend.

Watson played alongside Jason Day and eventual champion Brooks Koepka in Rounds 1 and 2, and somehow this body ink slipped by us on Thursday.

Got autographed by defending @usopengolf Champ @bkoepka!! #NeverShoweringAgain

A post shared by Bubba Watson (@bubbawatson) on

And while we're sure Bubba would have rather been in contention over the weekend, we're also sure that taking your son to meet the second most famous minor-league baseball player who ever lived was a lot more fun than getting your teeth kicked in by Shinnecock Hills over the weekend, as just about everyone not named Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood did.

Already in Hartford, Watson will be going for his third Travelers Championship trophy this week, following wins in 2010 and 2015.

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Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it

By Nick MentaJune 18, 2018, 3:09 pm

There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.

The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."

Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:

If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

“The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”

The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.

Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).

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Ryder Cup race: Mickelson out, Simpson in

By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:34 pm

There's a new man at the top of the U.S. Ryder Cup race following the U.S. Open, and there's also a familiar name now on the outside looking in.

Brooks Koepka's successful title defense vaulted him to the top of the American points race, up four spots and ensuring he'll be on the team Jim Furyk takes to Paris in September. Dustin Johnson's third-place finish moved him past Patrick Reed at No. 2, while Webb Simpson entered the top eight after a a tie for 10th.

While Bryson DeChambeau remained at No. 9, Phil Mickelson dropped two spots to No. 10. Tony Finau, who finished alone in fifth, went from 16th to 13th, while Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 37.

Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

1. Brooks Koepka

2. Dustin Johnson

3. Patrick Reed

4. Justin Thomas

5. Jordan Spieth

6. Rickie Fowler

7. Bubba Watson

8. Webb Simpson

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9. Bryson DeChambeau

10. Phil Mickelson

11. Matt Kuchar

12. Brian Harman

On the European side, England's Tommy Fleetwood took a big stride toward securing his first Ryder Cup appearance with a runner-up finish that included a Sunday 63 while countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick snuck into a qualifying spot after tying for 12th.

Here's a look at the updated Euro standings, with the top four from both points lists joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National:

European Points

1. Tyrrell Hatton

2. Justin Rose

3. Tommy Fleetwood

4. Francesco Molinari

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5. Thorbjorn Olesen

6. Ross Fisher

World Points

1. Jon Rahm

2. Rory McIlroy

3. Alex Noren

4. Matthew Fitzpatrick

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5. Ian Poulter

6. Rafael Cabrera-Bello

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Koepka autographs local kids' 'Go Brooks' sign after win

By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 2:30 pm

Brooks Koepka is a two-time U.S. Open winner, but that doesn't mean he's now too big to go sign a couple pieces of cardboard in somebody's front yard in the middle of the night.

Koepka's girlfriend, Jena Sims, posted two pictures to her Instagram story on Sunday of "Go Brooks" signs she says were put up by some local kids in the area where Koepka was staying for the week.

The first is dated prior to Koepka's final-round tee time.



The second is from Sunday night.



And here, separately, for no reason in particular (other than the fact that she posted it) is a video of Sims running over a parking cone at last year's U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

Speaking of kids, just feels those two are gonna make it.