Woods rebounds with 68 at Quicken Loans

By Ryan Reiterman August 2, 2015, 8:15 pm

GAINESVILLE, Va. – Tiger Woods bounced back after a third-round 74 with a solid 3-under 68 on Sunday at the Quicken Loans National.

But it was another round that featured a couple of big mistakes that cost Woods a chance of posting a really low number.

"It was kind of a mixed bag as far as the results, but the fact I had total control of the golf ball was nice," he said after making six birdies and three bogeys.

Woods hit 11 of 14 fairways, 15 of 18 greens and took 29 putts on a hot and sunny day along Lake Manassas.

Unlike the first three days, his round didn't feature any nasty hooks off the tee. And, yes, that can be considered progress for a guy with 14 majors.

But perhaps more importantly, Woods said after four rounds at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club he feels like he's turned a corner with his new swing under instructor Chris Como.

"I'm getting some speed back, which is nice," he said. "I'm starting to pump the ball out there again, and I know the lofts on my irons are very weak compared to today's standards. I'm hitting the ball up there with some of the bigger guys again ... I was able to make some putts, and the short game's becoming good again like it used to be."

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Starting the day nine strokes off the lead, Woods got the crowd going with birdies on 3, 4 and 5, and then he raised the putter on the par-3 9th after dropping a 42-foot putt for birdie to make the turn at 9 under and five strokes back.

He continued the charge with a birdie on the par-4 10th to reach double digits, but his 3-foot par putt on the par-3 11th spun around the hole for a momentum-killing bogey. He dropped another shot at 12 when his drive found the pond right of the fairway. And on the par-5 14th he got one more punch to the stomach when his third shot spun back into the water for yet another bogey.

Woods hit the ball solid coming in and added a birdie on 17, but he was tied for 21st when he finished on a weekend that could have turned his season around.

The tournament host would have punched a ticket to next week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with a win here, and he could have gotten into the FedEx Cup playoffs.

He still has a chance to get into the Barclays with a high finish at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, and Woods plans on getting plenty of early practice in.

"It's a great golf course," he said. "Pete Dye intimidates you with the visuals out there, but he gives you a lot more room than you think."

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Ball headed O.B., Stone (68) gets huge break

By Mercer BaggsJuly 19, 2018, 2:14 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Brandon Stone knew it when he hit it.

“I knew I hit it out of bounds,” the South African said following his opening round in the 147th Open Championship.

Stone’s second shot on the par-4 18th, from the left fescue, was pulled into the grandstands, which are marked as O.B. But instead of settling in with the crowd, the ball ricocheted back towards the green and nearly onto the putting surface.

Stone made his par and walked away with a 3-under 68, two shots off the early lead.

“I really didn’t put a good swing on it, bad contact and it just came out way left,” Stone said. “I feel so sorry for the person I managed to catch on the forehead there, but got a lucky break.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“When you get breaks like that you know you’re going to have good weeks.”

It’s been more than just good luck recently for Stone. He shot 60 in the final round – missing a 9-foot birdie putt for the first 59 in European Tour history – to win last week’s Scottish Open. It was his third career win on the circuit and first since 2016. It was also just his first top-10 of the season.

“A testament to a different mental approach and probably the change in putter,” said Stone, who added that he switched to a new Ping Anser blade model last week.

“I’ve been putting, probably, the best I have in my entire life.”

This marks Stone’s sixth start in a major championship, with his best finish a tie for 35th in last year’s U.S. Open. He has a missed cut and a T-70 in two prior Open Championships.

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Kang on cheating allegation: 'I did the right thing'

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 1:26 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three weeks after his playing partner claimed that he “cheated,” taking an improper drop at the Quicken Loans National, Sung Kang insisted Thursday that he did nothing wrong.

Joel Dahmen tweeted that Kang cheated after a lengthy dispute about where his ball had last crossed the line of a hazard. A PGA Tour official ruled in Kang’s favor. Kang made par on the hole, shot 64 and earned one of the available spots in the Open Championship.

Kang didn’t learn of the controversy until the next day, when he received an email from a PGA Tour communications official seeking comment. He researched online what the furor was about, then issued a brief statement through the Tour (which added its own statement, saying that there was “no clear evidence” to suggest that Kang dropped incorrectly).

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Kang said he tried to clear the air with Dahmen before the first round of last week’s John Deere Classic, but they never had the opportunity to discuss their differences.

“I followed the rules official and I think I did the right thing,” Kang told a handful of reporters Thursday following his opening round at Carnoustie, where he shot a 2-under 69 to sit three shots off the early lead.

Kang said he was hesitant to discuss the incident with reporters, because he said there clearly was a difference in opinions. He said he’d already told his side to South Korean news outlets but that “whatever I say, some people are going to trust it and some people are not going to trust it. Then I’ve got to think about it more and more when it’s not going to help my golf game.”

“I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened,” he added, “but I’m not going to say anything.”

Kang said that he wouldn’t alter his approach when dealing with rulings in the future.

“No. Why?” he said. “I did the right thing. There’s no point in changing.”

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Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:49 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.

Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.

“We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.

“I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”

Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.

“Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”

The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.

“We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.