Reed among four co-leaders at Congressional

By Will GrayJune 27, 2014, 9:50 pm

Patrick Reed has struggled since making his infamous "top five" comments following his win at Doral, but his name is once again atop a PGA Tour leaderboard. Here's how we stand after two rounds of the Quicken Loans National, where things remain crowded at the halfway point:

Leaderboard: Patrick Reed (-6), Marc Leishman (-6), Oliver Goss (-6), Ricky Barnes (-6), Stuart Appleby (-5), Hudson Swafford (-5), Billy Horschel (-4)

What it means: The Aussies got out to a hot start, though Barnes held the lead for much of the afternoon and at one point reached 8 under. He gave back some of his progress on the back nine, though, and Reed ended with three birdies across his last five holes as he looks to win for the fourth time in less than a year.

Round of the day: Justin Rose appeared headed for a missed cut after an opening 74, but the Englishman rallied with a 6-under 65 Friday to make a big move up the standings. Rose started slowly but birdied five of his final nine holes, including three in a row on Nos. 7-9 to end the day, and failed to drop a shot at Congressional while carding the lowest score thus far this week, one that moved him up 72 spots on the leaderboard.

Best of the rest: Goss is making just his second start since turning pro, but he's in position for his first big paycheck after a bogey-free 66 in the second round. The Aussie opened with a birdie on the first hole and made the turn in 2-under 34 before adding circles on Nos. 11, 14 and 16. After earning low amateur honors earlier this year at the Masters, Goss is now one of several players from Down Under in contention heading into the weekend at Congressional.

Biggest disappointment: Tiger Woods kept expectations low in his first start since back surgery in March, but his effort was still somewhat underwhelming. He followed a 74 with a 4-over 75 in the second round, an effort derailed by four straight bogeys on holes 11-14. He missed the cut by four shots in what will likely be his only tournament appearance before heading to England for the Open Championship.

Main storyline heading into Saturday: This is still anyone's game, as 21 players will begin the third round within four shots of the lead. Reed has displayed a penchant for playing well with the lead this year, but in a season where an Aussie seemingly wins every other week on the PGA Tour, there's reason to keep an eye on Leishman and Goss, not to mention Appleby one shot off the pace.

Quote of the day: ""The thing I was worried about the most was hitting driver, and I hit it really well the last 2 days. The short game was off." - Woods

Getty Images

Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
Getty Images

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

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.”