Unheralded Martin leads through 36 at W. British

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 11, 2014, 7:40 pm

An American is leading the Women’s British Open. No surprise considering U.S. players have claimed each of the season’s first two majors. The shocker is that it’s Mo Martin out front. The third-year LPGA player shot 3-under 69 on Friday, complete with five birdies and two bogeys. Here’s how things stand after two rounds at Royal Birkdale:

Leaderboard: Mo Martin (-6), Beatriz Recari (-3), So Yeon Ryu (-3), Sun-Ju Ahn (-2), Julieta Granada (-2), four others tied at 1 under.

What it means: Martin has a chance to become the most unheralded American major champion on the women's side since Hilary Lunke at the 2003 U.S. Open. Martin, a 31-year-old Californian, has one top-10 in 63 career LPGA starts. There are still 36 holes to play, but she was impressive Friday. After back-to-back bogeys early on the back nine, she steadied herself to play the final six holes in 2 under. Martin is ranked 99th in the world.

Round of the day: Recari and Ahn both shot 5-under 67 on Friday, the low scores through two rounds of the tournament. The slight edge for ROD goes to Recari, however, as this was her first sub-70 round on the LPGA since February.

Best of the rest: Martin aside, Ariya Jutanugarn finished eagle-birdie for a 4-under 68 to reach 1 under overall. Honorable mention goes to Lexi Thompson. The Kraft Nabisco champion opened sextuple bogey-bogey (10-5), but played her final 16 holes in 2 under to make the cut.

Biggest disappointment: Michelle Wie. Needing a solid round to get into contention (after opening in 75), she went the other way. Wie had six bogeys, one double and two birdies in a 6-over 78. In her first major since becoming a major champion, Wie (+9) missed the cut by three strokes. Other bummers: Ayako Uehara (overnight leader after a 68, to 79 and nine back), Lydia Ko (76 to drop to +4) and Karrie Webb (79 to miss the cut).

Main storyline heading into Saturday: Can any of the prominent trailers make a move? It’s been a banner year for the LPGA as stars seem to shine every week. Jessica Korda, Azahara Munoz and Morgan Pressel are at even par. Stacy Lewis, Suzann Pettersen and Ai Miyazato are at 1 over.

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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.”