N. Thompson opens with 64 for early Farmers lead

By Will GrayFebruary 6, 2015, 1:32 am

While Tiger Woods' withdrawal was the biggest news Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open, his departure still left 155 players battling it out for the trophy. Here's how things look after the first day at Torrey Pines, where a pair of Thompsons are on top of the standings:

Leaderboard: Nicholas Thompson (-8), Michael Thompson (-7), Brooks Koepka (-6), Cameron Tringale (-6), Jhonattan Vegas (-5), Freddie Jacobson (-5), Ian Poulter (-5), Chris Kirk (-5), Brendon de Jonge (-5)

What it means: Thompson - the one in first place - is in search of his first PGA Tour win and got off to a fast start. Most of the players on the first page of the leaderboard began with the easier North Course, including Koepka who is looking to win on Tour in back-to-back weeks.

Round of the day: Nicholas Thompson's 8-under 64 began in style, with an opening eagle followed by a birdie on No. 2. Thompson had seven birdies on the day, including three straight on Nos. 13-15, to go along with the eagle and only a single bogey.

Best of the rest: Michael Thompson hasn't made much noise since capturing the Honda Classic two years ago, but he grabbed sole possession of second place with a 7-under 65 on the North Course, a round capped by birdies on Nos. 17 and 18. Thompson had eight birdies on the day as he looks for his first top-60 finish this season.

Biggest disappointment: Woods' round was the focus of much pre-tournament scrutiny and anticipation, but it lasted barely three hours after the seven-time Farmers champ walked off the third green, his 12th of the day. He was 2 over at the time, clearly hampered by back pain and now it remains to be seen when he will next tee it up.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Play was suspended late in the day because of darkness, as fog delays have been a constant so far this week. Once the mist clears Friday, two players to watch will be Koepka, as he battles the difficult South Course, and Vegas, whose 67 was the low round of the day on the South.

Shot of the day: Dustin Johnson gave the crowds reason to cheer in his first start in six months when his 160-yard approach to the fourth hole bounced toward the hole and went in for an unexpected eagle. The shot was a rare highlight for DJ, who was 2 over through 17 holes when play was suspended.

Quote of the day: "It's just my glutes are shutting off. Then they don't activate and then, hence, it goes into my lower back." - Woods

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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.”