You Oughta Know: Russell vs. Rory, Part II

By Will GrayAugust 31, 2014, 11:47 pm

NORTON, Mass. – The stage is set for a dramatic holiday finale at the Deutsche Bank Championship, with the top five names separated by just two shots. Here’s what You Oughta Know heading into the final round at TPC Boston, where Russell Henley leads by one:

• Henley has had an inconsistent season, with 12 missed cuts in 26 starts, but he did win earlier this year at the Honda Classic. Another win would make him just the fifth multiple winner on Tour this season, joining Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Jimmy Walker and Patrick Reed.

• McIlroy will begin the final round just two shots off the pace, in search of his fourth win in his last five starts. He won here in 2012, and five of his 15 career rounds at TPC Boston have gone for 65 or better, including Sunday’s 64.

• Henley knows what it’s like to battle McIlroy successfully. The two were in a four-man playoff at PGA National in March, which Henley won on the first extra hole. Ryan Palmer, who also was in the playoff, will start the final round tied for seventh.

• Billy Horschel has only two top-10 finishes this season, but he could change the tone of his year with a victory. Horschel, whose lone prior PGA Tour win came at the 2013 Zurich Classic, will play alongside Henley in the final pairing, trailing by a shot.

• With a victory, McIlroy could join Tiger Woods as the only other player to win three playoff events during the FedEx Cup era (since 2007). McIlroy went on to win the 2012 BMW Championship a week after he hoisted the trophy at TPC Boston.

• Jason Day is in contention in a playoff event for the second consecutive week. He held a share of the 54-hole lead last week at The Barclays, where he tied for second. He will begin the final round at 10 under, tied for third and two shots behind Henley.

• Monday’s final round will be the last chance for American Ryder Cup hopefuls to impress captain Tom Watson, who will make his three captain’s picks Tuesday. Among the contenders are Chris Kirk (T-3), Webb Simpson (sixth), Keegan Bradley (T-7), Palmer (T-7) and Bill Haas (T-11).

• Only the top 70 players in the FedEx Cup standings will advance to next week’s BMW Championship. K.J. Choi is currently projected for the No. 70 spot, while Bo Van Pelt is currently projected at No. 71. The pair will begin the final round just 10 minutes apart, both tied for 40th.

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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.”