Horschel bogey-free, leads BMW by 3

By Will GraySeptember 6, 2014, 9:58 pm

After blowing a chance to win on the 72nd hole last week at TPC Boston, Billy Horschel is showing no signs of a letdown. Here's how things stand after three rounds at the BMW Championship, where Horschel holds a three-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Billy Horschel (-13), Ryan Palmer (-10), Martin Kaymer (-8), Bubba Watson (-8), Rickie Fowler (-7), Sergio Garcia (-6), Jordan Spieth (-5), Jim Furyk (-5)

What it means: Horschel  has only one career win, but he is known to get hot for weeks at a time and has carried his momentum from last week's runner-up at the Deutsche Bank Championship to this week at Cherry Hills. He'll take the role of leader into the final round, while Palmer - another player in contention a week ago - will look to chase him down, as both seek their first win of the season.

Round of the day: Morgan Hoffmann barely snuck into the field this week at No. 68 in the FedEx Cup standings, but he made a big move up the leaderboard with an 8-under 62. Hoffmann briefly scared golf's magic number of 59, but even after playing his last six holes in even par he moved up 43 spots in the standings and gave himself a chance to make the Tour Championship after starting the playoffs at No. 124 in the points race.

Best of the rest: Horschel made it around Cherry Hills without a bogey, notching birdies on Nos. 1 and 8 before making three circles across four holes on Nos. 14-17 to move into the lead. He added a final birdie on the home hole, draining a putt from 32 feet, to shoot a 7-under 63 and take command of the event with one round to go.

Biggest disappointment: Garcia entered the day with a one-shot lead, but he now faces a seven-shot deficit after shooting a 2-over 72. Garcia needed only 21 putts in the second round, but his magic ran out on the greens at Cherry Hills, as the Spaniard missed four putts inside 5 feet. (Dis)honorable mention goes to Rory McIlroy, whose 72 included a four-putt triple bogey on No. 12.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: After a flawless third round, this appears to be Horschel's event to lose, as he leads the elite field in putting just a few days after his chances to win at TPC Boston disappeared into the hazard on the final hole. Should Horschel stumble again, Watson has the length to conquer Cherry Hills, while Palmer is eager to show captain Tom Watson that he should have been considered for the Ryder Cup squad.

Shot of the day: Horschel appeared ready to polish off a 64 with a two-putt par before dropping a final bomb on the 18th hole to briefly extend his lead to four shots. It was his seventh birdie of the day, and third made putt of more than 20 feet.

Quote of the day: "You can't dwell on it. There's bigger things in life than hitting a fat 6-iron into the hazard." - Horschel, on his 72nd-hole approach shot last week at TPC Boston.

Getty Images

Schauffele just fine being the underdog

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

Getty Images

Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Jordan Spieth: 7/4

Xander Schauffele: 5/1

Kevin Kisner: 11/2

Tiger Woods: 14/1

Francesco Molinari: 14/1

Rory McIlroy: 14/1

Kevin Chappell: 20/1

Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

Alex Noren: 25/1

Zach Johnson: 30/1

Justin Rose: 30/1

Matt Kuchar: 40/1

Webb Simpson: 50/1

Adam Scott: 80/1

Tony Finau: 80/1

Charley Hoffman: 100/1

Austin Cook: 100/1

Getty Images

Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

“I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”

Getty Images

Kisner not expecting awkward night with Spieth

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:33 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It might get awkward in that star-studded rental house Saturday night.

Two of the three Open co-leaders, Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner, are sharing a house this week near Carnoustie. Though it’ll be late by the time they both get back to the house Saturday night, they’ll have plenty of time to kill Sunday morning, with their tee times not until nearly 3 p.m. local time.

“Everybody is probably going to get treatment and eating and trying to find a bed,” Kisner said. “I’m sure there’ll be some conversations. There always are. Everybody has a few horror stories or good laughs over something that happened out there. That will probably be the end of it.”

One thing they’re almost certain to discuss is the weather.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

After three days of mostly benign conditions, Sunday’s forecast calls for warm temperatures and wind gusts up to 25 mph.

“When you watch any TV, that’s all they talk about – how Sunday’s coming,” Kisner said. “It’s going to be a true test, and we’ll get to see really who’s hitting it the best and playing the best.”

Zach Johnson is also in the house – along with Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker and Jason Dufner – and he rode to the course Saturday with Kisner, with whom he played in the final group, at 4 p.m. It’s unclear whether the co-leaders Sunday will have a similar arrangement.

This is the third year that Spieth and Co. have shared a house at The Open, though Kisner is a new addition to the group.

“It’s the end of the week,” Kisner said. “Everybody’s got a lot of stuff going on. Everybody’s going their separate ways tomorrow. Tomorrow morning we’ll all sit around and laugh on the couch and talk about why that guy’s making so many birdies.”