Thompson in position for 2nd win of year in Canada

By Randall MellJune 10, 2017, 10:04 pm

Lexi Thompson is in position to win her second LPGA title this year.

The 22-year-old American looks poised to do more than win the LPGA’s Manulife Classic Sunday at Whistle Bear Golf Club in Ontario, Canada. With her putting stroke honed to a new level, she has her game in a good place to make a hard run with three major championships scheduled over the next eight weeks.

Sunday’s no sure thing in Canada, however, with some proven contenders chasing.

Thompson birdied the final hole Saturday at Whistle Bear to post a 5-under-par 67, giving her a one-shot leader over Lindy Duncan (67), a two-shot lead over two-time major champion In Gee Chun (68) and a three-shot lead over Ariya Jutanugarn (65), the LPGA’s Rolex Player of the Year last season. Canadian Alena Sharp ( 70) is also three behind.

Jutanugarn is one one-hundredth of a rankings point behind Rolex world No. 1 Lydia Ko with a chance to overtake Ko for the top spot Sunday. Ko isn’t playing this week.

If not for the four-shot penalty that blindsided her in the final-round of the ANA Inspiration in April, Thompson might already be the player in command of this season. Instead, it remains very much up for grabs, with 13 different winners in the first 13 events of the year.

Thompson has a strong record as a frontrunner. She has led or shared the lead going into the final round of six of her eight LPGA titles.

“I’m playing very well and making some good putts,” Thompson said. “Hopefully, just continue that tomorrow.”

Thompson is among the longest hitters in the women’s game, and her putting is making her dangerous this season. While Thompson has rode a hot putter in her career, putting has ranked as the most frustrating element of her game. She putted with her eyes closed for long stretches last season, but she spent this past offseason devoted to working on her stroke. It’s paying off. She ranks 23rd in putts per greens in regulation this year. She was 49th last year.

Thompson won the Kingsmill Championship three weeks ago. She has finished first or second in three of her last five worldwide starts.

“Winning always helps confidence,” Thompson said. “Just going to focus on one shot at a time tomorrow and do my routine and stick the same game plan I had the last three days.”

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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.