No. 1 USC 'stunk,' but still makes final 8

By Ryan LavnerMay 30, 2017, 2:13 am

SUGAR GROVE, Ill. – Southern Cal coach Chris Zambri wasn’t about to sugarcoat it. His No. 1-ranked Trojans played poorly Monday in the final round of stroke play at the NCAA Championship. Shot 23 over par. Dropped from a tie for second into the fifth spot.

“Today really stunk,” he said.

And yet, big picture, it doesn’t mean much for USC. The team still qualified for match play, where it will face Illinois in Tuesday’s quarterfinals.

“It’s the ultimate format for putting something behind you,” Zambri said. “There’s no pain from today.”

No, but there was stress.

Playing in winds that gusted up to 40 mph, USC counted no score better than 76 and finished only three shots out of ninth place.

NCAA Division I National Championships: Articles, photos and videos

The only contender with a bigger free fall on the final day was UNLV, which shot 24 over and needed three closing birdies to sneak inside the top-8 bubble.

“We had to play really well at the end today, and we did,” UNLV coach Dwaine Knight said.

Players had benign conditions for much of the first three rounds, and 12 teams were under par after 54 holes. The leaderboard looked much different after Monday’s play, with only Vanderbilt (13 under) and Oklahoma (1 under) in red figures and just four players breaking par during a blustery final day that sent the scoring average soaring to 77.25.

As much volatility as there was among the top eight teams, only one squad moved inside the bubble: defending NCAA champion Oregon, which shot 5 over, to improve eight spots, into a tie for fifth. Moving out was Virginia, which counted a pair of double bogeys on the last three holes to finish 10th.

Vanderbilt won the stroke-play portion by 12 strokes, but no top seed on the men’s or women’s side has gone on to win the NCAA title.

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McIlroy 'committed to everything ... ran out of holes'

By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 7:08 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy summed it up: “I don’t really feel like it’s a defeat. I feel like it’s a good week.”

McIlroy, in search of his fifth major, tied for the lead at The Open late on Sunday at Carnoustie when he made eagle on the par-5 14th hole. An hour later, he had made five consecutive pars to close out a 1-under 70 and tie for second place with Justin Rose, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.

That group ended two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. McIlroy thought it was realistic to squeeze one more shot out of his round, but he never though it was possible to squeeze out two.

“I committed to everything,” he said. “I hit the shots when I needed to. I made good swings on 17 and on 18. I just ran out of holes.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

McIlroy hasn’t played poorly this year, but this hasn't been a year that would rank as a total success. He took the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and collected a second-place finish at the BMW PGA Championship. He had a legitimate chance to win the Masters before a terrible Sunday round, and then missed the cut at the U.S. Open last month at Shinnecock Hills.

Sunday at Carnoustie, McIlroy bogeyed two of his first five holes and quickly became an afterthought. When others faltered, McIlroy birdies Nos. 9 and 11, then eagled 14 to vault back into the picture.

“I’m happy with how I played,” he said. “I didn’t get off to a great start, but I hung in there, and I battled back.

“So I’ll look back at this week and be very encouraged about what I’ve done and the golf that I played. I feel like that will stand me in good stead for what’s coming up.”

McIlroy is scheduled to play the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks, followed by the PGA Championship and the FedExCup Playoffs.

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Edoardo, other pros congratulate Francesco on Twitter

By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 6:54 pm

Francesco Molinari played a bogey-free weekend at Carnoustie to claim Italy's first claret jug.

His rock-solid performance in the final round earned him his share of social media plaudits.

Here's a collection of Twitter hat-tips, and we start off with Frankie's brother, Dodo.

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Woods: Fan who yelled had 'tipped back a few'

By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 6:37 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods stood on the 18th tee and thought he needed birdie to have a chance to win The Open. He pulled driver out of his bag, a sign he wanted to boot the ball as far down the fairway as possible.

Woods took a mighty swat and - right in the middle of his downswing - someone yelled. Woods flinched.

Luckily his ball still found a decent spot just off the right of the fairway.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I’ve had things like that happen a lot in my career with people who just tried to time it,” Woods said Sunday at Carnoustie after shooting 71 to tie for sixth place. “They tipped back a few, and it’s late in the day.

“Unfortunately, that’s part of what we have to deal with in today’s game. People are trying to yell out things to try to be on TV or be in social media or whatever it may be. That was too close to the game of play.”

Woods hit his approach to 6 feet and missed the birdie putt. He tapped in for par to shoot even par and finish 5 under for the week, in a tie for sixth.

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Pros melt down on Twitter as they watch Tiger

By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 6:30 pm

Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and, for a little while, took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.

His fellow pros were watching and tweeting like your average fans.

We compiled some of their missives below:

Woods would go on to finish in a tie for sixth at 5 under par for the week.