Who's hot, who's not heading into Augusta

By Ryan Reiterman April 4, 2017, 5:00 pm

Masters week is finally here, but before the first men's major of the year begins, take a look at how the top players have fared so far this season to see who's hot and who's not heading into Augusta.

Dustin Johnson

World Ranking: 1

2017 PGA Tour Starts: 7

Wins: 3

Top-10s: 6

Missed Cuts: 1

Best Masters Finish: T-4 (2016)

Masters Outlook: Last season’s Player of the Year has kept on rolling in 2017, and he couldn’t be in better form heading into the Masters. Johnson is coming off three straight wins, and he has 16 top-10s in his last 20 starts.


Rory McIlroy

World Ranking: 2

2017 Starts: 4

Wins: 0

Top-10s: 3

Missed Cuts: 0

Best Masters Finish: 4 (2015)

Masters Outlook: With only four starts on Tour in 2017 because of a rib injury, McIlroy heads into Augusta for his second shot at the career Grand Slam rested but not rusty. He finished T-7 in his first start back at the WGC in Mexico, T-4 at Bay Hill and played well at the Match Play despite failing to win his pool.


Jason Day

World Ranking: 3

2017 PGA Tour Starts: 6

Wins: 0

Top-10s: 1

Missed Cuts: 1

Best Masters Finish: T-2 (2011)

Masters Outlook: He started the season at No. 1, but it’s been a rocky 2017 so far for Day. He ended last year by withdrawing from the Tour Championship because of a back injury, and he began the year with a T-12 at Kapalua, MC at Torrey and a T-5 at Pebble. After that it’s been lackluster starts at Riviera and Bay Hill, along with a WD from Mexico (illness) and at the Match Play Day, where he left early to be with his mother, who is battling cancer. He is preparing to play in the Masters.


Hideki Matsuyama

World Ranking: 4

2017 PGA Tour Starts: 8

Wins: 1

Top-10s: 2

Missed Cuts: 1

Best Masters Finish: 5 (2015)

Masters Outlook: Matsuyama closed 2016 with four wins in his final six starts, and he successfully defended his title at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. But since Phoenix, Matsuyama has finished MC, T-25, T-45 and T-51.


Henrik Stenson

World Ranking: 5

2017 PGA Tour Starts: 6

Wins: 0

Top-10s: 3

Missed Cuts: 2

Best Masters Finish: T-14 (2014)

Masters Outlook: The reigning Open champion has cooled off in his last two starts with missed cuts at Bay Hill and Houston. But outside those poor showings and a WD in Mexico (illness), Stenson has seven top-10s in his last 10 starts. Surprisingly, he’s yet to record a top-10 finish at the Masters in 11 career starts.


Jordan Spieth

World Ranking: 6

2017 PGA Tour Starts: 8

Wins: 1

Top-10s: 4

Missed Cuts: 1

Best Masters Finish: 1 (2015)

Masters Outlook: Despite dropping to No. 6 in the world ranking and coming off a missed cut in Houston, there is a legitimate argument that Spieth is the real favorite this week. He’s finished T-2, 1, T-2 in his three career starts at the Masters, but he’ll be looking to move the narrative forward after giving up a five-shot lead on the second nine last year. Spieth hit two balls into the water at the par-3 12th, but he said he’s already exorcised the demons during a couple of scouting trips to Augusta, and he has won three times since last April, including a four-shot win in February at Pebble Beach.


Justin Thomas

World Ranking: 7

2017 PGA Tour Starts: 8

Wins: 2

Top-10s: 3

Missed Cuts: 3

Best Masters Finish: T-39 (2016)

Masters Outlook: He started the season with a bang after wins in Malaysia, Kapalua and the Sony Open. But since then, Thomas has a mixed record of three missed cuts, two T-39s and a T-5 at the WGC in Mexico. Finished T-39 last year in his only Masters start.


Rickie Fowler

World Ranking: 8

2017 PGA Tour Starts: 7

Wins: 1

Top-10s: 3

Missed Cuts: 1

Best Masters Finish: T-5 (2014)

Masters Outlook: Fowler is trending nicely for Augusta. He’s coming off a T-3 in Houston, and Fowler won earlier this year at the Honda. He also recorded solid finishes at Bay Hill (12th), WGC Mexico (T-16) and Phoenix (T-4). After top-5 finishes in all four majors in 2014, Fowler hasn’t been a factor in his last eight major starts.


Adam Scott

World Ranking: 9

2017 PGA Tour Starts: 5

Wins: 0

Top-10s: 1

Missed Cuts: 1

Best Masters Finish: 1 (2013)

Masters Outlook: The 2013 champion has only played in five events and is coming off a missed cut in Houston. The good news is his strokes gained-putting stats have improved this year (129th to 38th), and he has finished out of the top 15 just three times in his last 14 starts.


Sergio Garcia

World Ranking: 11

2017 PGA Tour Starts: 6

Wins: 1

Top-10s: 1

Missed Cuts: 0

Best Masters Finish: T-4 (2004)

Masters Outlook: With only three top-10s in 18 career starts, Garcia and Augusta have not always been on good terms. But the 37-year-old Garcia is a happy camper off the course (he’s engaged), and he captured the Dubai Desert Classic earlier this year.


Jon Rahm

World Ranking: 12

2017 PGA Tour Starts: 7

Wins: 1

Top-10s: 4

Missed Cuts: 0

Best Masters Finish: Rookie

Masters Outlook: Besides Dustin Johnson, Rahm has been the story of the year so far. The rookie from Spain won at Torrey Pines, lost to DJ in the final at the Match Play and Rahm has recorded two other top-5 finishes. A Masters rookie hasn’t won since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979, but Rahm is certainly the favorite this year to break that streak.


Patrick Reed

World Ranking: 13

2017 PGA Tour Starts: 9

Wins: 0

Top-10s: 1

Missed Cuts: 1

Best Masters Finish: T-22 (2015)

Masters Outlook: The Ryder Cup hero has yet to find his game since leading the U.S. team to victory last October. In 13 events since Hazeltine, Reed only has two top-10s and both were in limited-field events (Hero World Challenge and Kapalua). He also missed the cut last week in Houston after rounds of 77-69.


Justin Rose

World Ranking: 14

2017 PGA Tour Starts: 7

Wins: 0

Top-10s: 4

Missed Cuts: 0

Best Masters Finish: T-2 (2015)

Masters Outlook: Coming off a top-10 in Houston, Rose is also trending well heading into an event where he has some good history. Rose has three top-5 finishes this year after battling a bad back late last season. He tied for 10th last year at Augusta and finished T-2 in 2015.


Danny Willett

World Ranking: 17

2017 PGA Tour Starts: 6

Wins: 0

Top-10s: 1

Missed Cuts: 2

Best Masters Finish: 1 (2016)

Masters Outlook: The defending champion has been up-and-down since winning the green jacket last year. He admitted to being burned out at the end of last year, and 2017 hasn’t been much better with only one top-10 in six starts.


Phil Mickelson

World Ranking: 18

2017 PGA Tour Starts: 8

Wins: 0

Top-10s: 2

Missed Cuts: 0

Best Masters Finish: 1 (2004, 2006, 2010)

Masters Outlook: Lefty is still searching for his first win since the 2013 Open, but he heads into Augusta with some decent form after a T-7 and T-5 in the two WGC events. Mickelson will also be motivated to rebound from a rare missed cut at last year’s Masters.


Bubba Watson

World Ranking: 19

2017 PGA Tour Starts: 7

Wins: 0

Top-10s: 1

Missed Cuts: 2

Best Masters Finish: 1 (2012, 2014)

Masters Outlook: The two-time Masters champion hasn’t won since the 2016 Genesis Open at Riviera, and he hasn’t done much yet in 2017. His only top-10 in seven starts came in his last event at the WGC Match Play, where he lost in the round of 16.

Getty Images

Schauffele just fine being the underdog

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

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Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Jordan Spieth: 7/4

Xander Schauffele: 5/1

Kevin Kisner: 11/2

Tiger Woods: 14/1

Francesco Molinari: 14/1

Rory McIlroy: 14/1

Kevin Chappell: 20/1

Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

Alex Noren: 25/1

Zach Johnson: 30/1

Justin Rose: 30/1

Matt Kuchar: 40/1

Webb Simpson: 50/1

Adam Scott: 80/1

Tony Finau: 80/1

Charley Hoffman: 100/1

Austin Cook: 100/1

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Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

“I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”

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Kisner not expecting awkward night with Spieth

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:33 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It might get awkward in that star-studded rental house Saturday night.

Two of the three Open co-leaders, Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner, are sharing a house this week near Carnoustie. Though it’ll be late by the time they both get back to the house Saturday night, they’ll have plenty of time to kill Sunday morning, with their tee times not until nearly 3 p.m. local time.

“Everybody is probably going to get treatment and eating and trying to find a bed,” Kisner said. “I’m sure there’ll be some conversations. There always are. Everybody has a few horror stories or good laughs over something that happened out there. That will probably be the end of it.”

One thing they’re almost certain to discuss is the weather.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


After three days of mostly benign conditions, Sunday’s forecast calls for warm temperatures and wind gusts up to 25 mph.

“When you watch any TV, that’s all they talk about – how Sunday’s coming,” Kisner said. “It’s going to be a true test, and we’ll get to see really who’s hitting it the best and playing the best.”

Zach Johnson is also in the house – along with Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker and Jason Dufner – and he rode to the course Saturday with Kisner, with whom he played in the final group, at 4 p.m. It’s unclear whether the co-leaders Sunday will have a similar arrangement.

This is the third year that Spieth and Co. have shared a house at The Open, though Kisner is a new addition to the group.

“It’s the end of the week,” Kisner said. “Everybody’s got a lot of stuff going on. Everybody’s going their separate ways tomorrow. Tomorrow morning we’ll all sit around and laugh on the couch and talk about why that guy’s making so many birdies.”