Ryu headed for Olympia Fields as No. 1

By Randall MellJune 26, 2017, 12:32 am

So Yeon Ryu will head to suburban Chicago and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship on Monday as the new Rolex world No. 1.

She also takes winning momentum to Olympia Fields.

Ryu’s victory Sunday at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship made her the first two-time LPGA winner this year, ending the tour’s run of 15 different winners over its first 15 events.

With a 2-under-par 69 Sunday, Ryu posted a tournament-record 18-under-par total, finishing two shots better than Amy Yang (64) and Moriya Jutanugarn (66) and five better than Michelle Wie (64) and Stacy Lewis (69).

The new Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking calculation posted about an hour after the tournament ended shows Ryu moving to No. 1 over Ariya Jutanugarn, who passed Lydia Ko as No. 1 just two weeks ago.

“Dreams come true,” Ryu said. “I always dreamed about it. I cannot believe it. I didn’t expect two good things coming together.”

Ryu set up her victory in Arkansas with a tournament-record 61 on Saturday, giving her a five-shot lead going into the final round.

“I was really nervous last night because I had a five-shot lead,” Ryu said. “When you have a five-shot lead, everybody is `For sure, you're going to win the tournament,’ but this is golf. I shot 10 under yesterday, so that means somebody has a chance to shoot 10 under as well.”

Ryu opened the tournament at No. 3 in the world rankings, just .489 world-ranking points behind No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn. Ryu now moves to 8.83 average world ranking points, just 0.249 points ahead of Jutanugarn. Ko drops to No. 3 in the world with 7.928 average points.

Ryu is the 11th player to ascend to No. 1 since the world rankings were initiated in 2006.

Ryu will head to the KPMG Women’s PGA as the only player with a chance to win the Grand Slam. She won the year’s first major championship, the ANA Inspiration in April, defeating Lexi Thompson in a playoff after a four-shot penalty was assessed to Thompson on the back nine in that Sunday finish. It was Ryu’s second major. She won the U.S. Open in 2011.

It’s been a terrific year for Ryu, whose ANA victory was part of a run of eight straight top 10s to open the year. With her victory Sunday, her fifth career LPGA title, she doesn’t just move to No. 1 in the world rankings. She moves to No. 1 on the LPGA money list ($1,212,820) and to No. 1 in the Race to the CME Globe standings (2,195 points).

“I really want to appreciate everyone who has been supportive of me, to make me the No. 1 player in the world,” Ryu said. “I know it’s going to be a lot of pressure, and I know I can handle a lot of different things.”

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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.”