Mahan, McIlroy, Walker grouped at Deutsche Bank

By Will GrayAugust 26, 2014, 4:06 pm

Atop the revised FedEx Cup standings following his win at The Barclays, Hunter Mahan will play the first two rounds of the Deutsche Bank Championship alongside the two men closest to him in the points race, Rory McIlroy and Jimmy Walker.

Mahan jumped 61 spots after his victory at Ridgewood and will make the Tour Championship for the eighth consecutive year. He leads McIlroy by 466 points, while Walker sits 783 points back. The trio will begin the first round Friday at 9:20 a.m. ET off the 10th tee, followed by a 1:40 p.m. start time in Round 2.

The remaining groups will also be set according to FedEx Cup standings, so Americans Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson and Jim Furyk will play together as Nos. 4, 5 and 6, respectively. They will have the inverse tee times of the three men ahead of them in the standings, beginning at 1:40 p.m. off No. 1 and starting the second round at 9:20 a.m. off No. 10.

Here are some  early-round groups to keep an eye on at TPC Boston (all times ET):

9:08 a.m. Round 1/1:28 p.m. Round 2: Jason Day, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth

9:20 a.m. Round 1/1:40 p.m. Round 2: Webb Simpson, Martin Kaymer, Hideki Matsuyama

1:16 p.m. Round 1/8:56 a.m. Round 2: Graham DeLaet, Tim Clark, Ernie Els

1:28 p.m. Round 1/9:08 a.m. Round 2: Cameron Tringale, Rickie Fowler, Zach Johnson

While the top 100 in the FedEx Cup standings are eligible to tee it up at TPC Boston, the field this week will contain only 94 players. Graeme McDowell and Paul Casey both withdrew for family reasons, with McDowell's wife giving birth to the couple's first child on Monday while Casey's wife is expecting a child in early September. Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose opted to sit out this week to rest for the remaining playoff events and upcoming Ryder Cup matches. Jason Dufner's season is officially over after bulging discs in his neck forced another withdrawal. Dustin Johnson, of course, remains on an indefinite leave of absence.

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Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:49 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.

Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.

“We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.

“I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”

Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.

“Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”

The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.

“We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.

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Van Rooyen continues links run with impressive 67

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:27 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For Erik van Rooyen familiarity has not bred contempt.

The South African, like many European Tour players, has been on a links golf odyssey the last three weeks, playing the Irish Open, Scottish Open and this week’s Open Championship in consecutive weeks, and the crash course paid off on Day 1 at Carnoustie when he opened with a 4-under 67 to assure himself a spot among the early leaders.

Although van Rooyen missed the cut last week just down the coast at Gullane Golf Club, he entered the final round in Ireland with a four-stroke lead.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I didn't pull it off the final day,” said van Rooyen, who closed with a 74 to tie for fourth place. “I still think I played pretty well. I was nervous. That's completely normal, and I'll learn how to deal with that. I'll take that experience into tournaments like this.”

Van Rooyen, who was alone in second place when he completed his round, began his round with back-to-back birdies and was bogey-free until the last hole. It was just what one would expect from a player who has immersed himself in links golf for the better part of a month.

“We've been playing nice golf now the last three weeks, so definitely used to the way this course is playing, definitely used to handling the wind,” he said. “So I'll be ready.”

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Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 9:33 am

Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.

Everything before that, however, was far from routine.

Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.

He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and TaylorMade got him his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.

"I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.