You Oughta Know: Fowler eyes another win at Quicken

By Will GrayAugust 1, 2015, 10:13 pm

After 54 holes of the Quicken Loans National, Rickie Fowler is still very much in contention for what would be his third worldwide win in less than three months. Here's what You Oughta Know heading into the final round at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, where Fowler sits just one shot off the pace:

• Fowler shot a 68 in the third round and at 13 under, he trails Troy Merritt and Kevin Chappell by a shot. Fowler won the Players Championship in May, and then added a victory at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open last month. 

• At No. 8 in the world, Fowler is the second-highest ranked player in this week's field behind only defending champion Justin Rose (No. 7).

• Both Merritt and Chappell have yet to win on the PGA Tour. Merritt matched his season low with a 61 in the third round, moving from seven shots off the pace into a share of the lead. He previously held the 54-hole lead at the RBC Heritage in April, where he finished third.

• Merritt picked an opportune time to fire a low round. He entered the week at No. 123 in the FedEx Cup points race, with only the top 125 later this month qualifying for the postseason, and had missed the cut in each of his last five starts. 

• Chappell finished T-8 at the John Deere Classic last month, but he has only one other top-10 finish this season. While he has yet to win, Chappell did finish second at both the 2011 Valero Texas Open and the 2013 Memorial Tournament.

• Since its inception in 2007, this event has never seen a first-time winner capture the trophy, a streak that both Merritt and Chappell could end on Sunday. 

• Playing alongside Tiger Woods in the third round, Charles Howell III shot a third straight 67 to grab a share of fourth, two shots off the pace. While he is 25th on the PGA Tour's career money list, Howell has not won since the 2007 Northern Trust Open. 

• David Lingmerth is alongside Howell at 12 under, two shots back. After his breakthrough win at the Memorial this summer, the Swede also contended at The Greenbrier Classic last month, where he finished T-6.

• Jason Bohn is also T-4 as he continues a quietly solid season. Bohn has a pair of runner-up finishes (Sanderson Farms Championship, Crowne Plaza Invitational) and held a share of the 54-hole lead at The Greenbrier before finishing T-13. 

• Rose sits at 11 under, three shots back as he looks to win this event for the third time on the third different golf course. He captured the trophy in 2010 at Aronimink in Pennsylvania before beating Shawn Stefani in a playoff last year at Congressional.

• After playing his way into contention through two rounds, Woods fell well off the pace with a Saturday 74. At 5 under, he will begin the final round in a tie for 42nd, nine shots behind Merritt and Chappell.

• While he likely won't win, Woods could still card three rounds in the 60s - and even record a top-10 finish - both feats that he last accomplished at The Barclays in 2013.

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Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

“I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

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Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

“I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

“More punishment,” he said.

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DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

• Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

• This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

• Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

• At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

• Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

• My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.