Spieth grouped with Thomas, Freddie at Riviera

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 16, 2016, 8:40 pm

The PGA Tour’s West Coast swing wraps up this week with the Northern Trust Open. Here are four featured groups to watch at Riviera (all times ET): 

10:22 a.m. Thursday (10 tee), 3:02 p.m. Friday (1 tee): Bubba Watson, Justin Rose, James Hahn 

After a disappointing performance last week at Pebble Beach – where he missed the secondary cut and snapped a streak of five consecutive top-15s worldwide – Watson returns to the site of his 2014 victory, where he went 64-64 on the weekend to win. He also has four other top-20s in nine career starts at The Riv. Rose is coming off a T-6 at Pebble Beach but he has traditionally struggled here – in nine career starts, he has only one top-10 (2011). Hahn is the defending champion, but he has managed only two top-10s since.  

10:32 a.m. Thursday (10 tee), 3:12 p.m. Friday (1 tee): Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Matt Kuchar 

McIlroy makes his first Tour start of 2016 and also his debut at Hogan’s Alley. The world No. 3 finished in the top six in both of his starts last month on the European Tour. Matsuyama won in his last start, in Phoenix, and likely will be one of the favorites again this week. Last year, he tied for fourth here. Kuchar has never finished inside the top 10 in nine career starts at Riviera. He hasn’t played since a T-49 at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

3:02 p.m. Thursday (1 tee), 10:22 a.m. Friday (10 tee): Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia 

Perhaps a trip to L.A. will get Johnson back on track. After a surprising T-41 at Pebble Beach (where he has won twice), he now returns to the familiar environs of Riviera, where he has four top-five finishes since 2010, including runners-up the last two years. Scott hasn’t played since a T-56 at the Sony Open. He won the rain-shortened event here in 2005, added a runner-up in ’06 and has three other top-20s since. Garcia is making his first Tour start of 2016, but he has a solid record in this event, with seven top-25s in nine starts. The Spaniard hasn’t finished worse than 11th in his last five worldwide starts, including a T-7 a few weeks ago in Qatar.

3:12 p.m. Thursday (1 tee), 10:32 a.m. Friday (10 tee): Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Fred Couples

Spieth is grouped with fellow 22-year-old Thomas, whom he beat, head-to-head, during the NCAA finals to give the Longhorns their first national title in 40 years. Last year, Spieth finished a shot out of a playoff here, while Thomas tied for 41st. The world No. 1’s T-21 last week at Pebble (on the strength of a final-round 66) broke a streak of seven consecutive top-10s worldwide. Couples is making his 34th start in this event. After a stellar run, he has three missed cuts and a T-46 in his last four appearances. 

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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.