Day-Spieth-McIlroy grouped at Firestone

By Will GrayAugust 1, 2017, 8:49 pm

AKRON, Ohio – Fans won’t be lacking for marquee groupings this week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Firestone Country Club will play host to 76 of the game’s best as they make final tweaks before heading east for the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow. Here’s a look at a few notable early-round groupings in Ohio (all times ET):

8:10 a.m. Thursday, 9:10 a.m. Friday: Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day
The Champion Golfer of the Year will make his first start since his triumph at Royal Birkdale, as Spieth looks to improve on last year’s T-3 finish at Firestone. He’ll be joined by McIlroy, who will have a new caddie on the bag and hasn’t played this event since his win in 2014, while Ohio resident Day will round out the trio in search of his first win in 15 months.

8:20 a.m. Thursday, 9:20 a.m. Friday: Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama
This trio won’t lack for firepower, as the defending champ and world No. 1 will be sandwiched between the top two finishers at Erin Hills. Johnson is coming off a T-8 finish in Canada, while Koepka hasn’t played since his T-6 finish at The Open and Matsuyama looks to win his second WGC title of the season after routing the field in Shanghai last fall.

9:10 a.m. Thursday, 8 a.m. Friday: Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Adam Scott
Rahm will be making his Firestone debut after a middling performance at Royal Birkdale, and he’ll be joined by Thomas who remains in search of his fourth win of the season after missing the cut in each of his last three starts. Rounding out the group will be Scott, who won here in 2011 and has cracked the top 10 twice in the last three years.

9:20 a.m. Thursday, 8:10 a.m. Friday: Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar
The reigning Masters champ heads to Akron fresh off his wedding over the weekend in Texas, and he’ll look to improve upon his runner-up finish here in 2014 when he was out-dueled in the final round by McIlroy. Fowler is the only player in this week’s field with top-10 finishes each of the last three years, while Kuchar finished T-32 in Canada on the heels of his Open disappointment.

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Koepka looking to make hay on Horrible Horseshoe

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:26 pm

The Horrible Horseshoe - Nos. 3, 4 and 5 at Colonial Country Club - annually ranks as one of the toughest three-hole stretches on the PGA Tour.

Consider Brooks Koepka undeterred.

Last year's U.S. Open champ has played the stretch 2 over this week but knows that if he's going to have any chance at catching Justin Rose on Sunday, he's going to need take advantage of the par-5 first and then find a way to pick up shots on the Horseshoe.

"I feel like just need to get off to a good start on this golf course," Koepka said after a third-round 67 Saturday. "If you can get 2 or 3 under through six holes, I think you'll be right there."

Koepka will start the final round behind Rose, as he looks to win for the first time since his maiden major victory last year.


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The big-hitter missed nearly four months this year with a wrist injury and is progressing quickly in his comeback despite dislocating his wrist on two different occasions over the last two months.

Koepka missed the cut with partner Marc Turnesa at the Zurich Classic in his competitive return before following up with a tie for 42nd at the Wells Fargo Championship and a tie for 11th at The Players Championship.

Now, thanks to a clsong birdie Sunday, he finds himself playing alongside Rose in the final group on Sunday.

"I feel like my game is coming around," he said. "[At Zurich], I was five days into touching clubs. I am finally finding a rhythm and feel like I'm getting really close. ...

"Just want to get off to a good start [tomorrow]. That's really all I am trying to do. You put together a good solid round tomorrow, you never know what can happen. The important thing is we were just trying to get in that final group. I thought the putt on 18 was kind of big to get in that final group and play with Rosey."

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Rose leads Koepka, Grillo by four at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 9:06 pm

On the strength of a 4-under 66 Saturday, Justin Rose will take a four-shot lead over Brooks Koepka and Emiliano Grillo into the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational. Here's where things stand through 54 holes at Colonial Country Club.

Leaderboard: Rose (-14), Koepka (-10), Grillo (-10), Corey Conners (-8), Jon Rahm (-8), Louis Oosthuizen (-8), J.T. Poston (-8), Ryan Armour (-8)

What it means: The fifth-ranked player in the world is 18 holes from his ninth PGA Tour victory and his second this season. Up one to start the third round, Rose extended his lead to as much as five with birdies on four of his first six holes. Through 54 holes, Rose has made 17 birdies and just three bogeys. The 2013 U.S. Open winner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist has a history of winning at iconic venues - Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional - and now looks to add Colonial to the list. He'll be chased on Sunday by Grillo, the young Argentinian who won his first Tour start as a member in 2015, and Koepka, last year's U.S. Open winner who continues to impress in his injury comeback despite ongoing wrist issues.

Round of the day: Corey Conners and Ted Potter both turned in 7-under 63. Potter was bogey-free and Conners came home in 6-under 29 on the back nine.

Best of the rest: Jon Rahm, Louis Oosthuizen, Brian Harman and Michael Thompson all signed for 64. Rahm called his six-birdie start the best 10 holes he's played so far this year.

Biggest disappointment: Jordan Spieth has finished second-first-second in the last three years at this event, but he's yet to find his normal Colonial form through three rounds. Spieth, who said Friday he was capable of shooting "10 or 12 under" over the weekend, shot even-par 70 Saturday. He sits in T-38 at 3 under for the week, 11 back.

Shot of the day: Rory Sabbatini closed out his third round Saturday with this eagle holeout from 134 yards at the 18th.

His colorful scorecard featured three bogeys, two birdies, a double bogey and that eagle. It added up to a 1-over 71. 

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McCarron closes with only bogey, shares lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 8:49 pm

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Scott McCarron, seeking a second senior major title to go with his 2017 Senior Players Championship, made his only bogey of the third round on the final hole to slip into a tie for the lead Saturday with Tim Petrovic in the Senior PGA Championship.

They were at 13 under par after Petrovic, seeking his first major, shot 65. McCarron has shared the lead through three rounds.

England's Paul Broadhurst, the 2016 British Senior Open winner, matched the best third-round score in tournament history with a 64. He was at 11 under.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, coming off his first major championship last week at the Regions Tradition, shot 65 and was 9 under.

Tom Byrum, who made a hole-in-one in shooting a 67, was in a group at 8 under.

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Watch: Rose one-arms approach, makes birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 7:25 pm

Justin Rose appears to have taken a course in Hideki Matsuyama-ing.

Already 3 under on his round through five thanks to a birdie-birdie-birdie start, Rose played this approach from 143 yards at the par-4 sixth.

That one-armed approach set up a 6-foot birdie putt he rolled in to move to 4 under on his round and 14 under for the week, five clear of the field.