Illinois Women Bring Home Title

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 12, 2003, 5:00 pm
Courtesy of
MIAMI. -- Illinois held on to its first-round lead during the final round to capture the team title at the Golden Panther Women's Championship, hosted by Florida International University at the par 71, 6,003-yard Doral Resort Silver Course in Miami.
Illinois shot a score of 324 to give the team a 36-hole total score of 633. The Illini finished 12 strokes better than North Carolina-Greensboro, who placed second with a score of 646. Georgia State placed third at 653, 20 strokes behind the victorious Illini. The win marks the first tournament title of the 2002-03 season for the Illini and the first for the program since it won the Illini Spring Classic last season.
Leading the way for Illoinois was senior Laurin Kanda, who captured runner-up honors at 13-over par. Kanda finished second in the 80-player field after carding rounds of 77 and 78 for a total score of 155. She just missed winning the individual title, finishing one stroke behind Florida International's Courtney Burdick, who captured medalist honors with a score of 154. Kanda's second-place finish ties her career-best as an Illini, dating back to her freshman season in the fall of 1999 when she tied for second at the Wolverine Invitational.
'As a team we're very excited to come away with the win,' Kanda said. 'We played really well yesterday and although our scores weren't as low today, we held on and won and it's really exciting to start the spring season by winning our first tournament.
'As for myself, it's hard not to be a little disappointed with missing first place by one stroke, because I can look back and think of how one shot or one putt here or there would have made the difference,' Kanda added. 'But runner-up is still a great honor and definitely gives me confidence heading into our upcoming tournaments.'
Three Illini golfers in all finished in the top 10 in the individual standings. Junior Michelle Carroll tied for fourth with a score of 15-over par 157. The fourth place performance by Carroll marks the highest finish of her collegiate career. Senior Renata Young placed seventh at 16-over par (158) to join Kanda and Carroll in the Top 10.
Illinois takes a two-week break and is next in action Feb. 24-25 at the Central District Challenge in Parrish, Fla.
Golden Panther Women's Championship Final Team Standings
1. Illinois 309-324=633
2. North Carolina-Greensboro 334-312=646
3. Georgia State 334-319=653
4. Florida Atlantic 337-319=656
T5. Middle Tennessee State 334-324=658
T5. Florida International 334-324=658
T7. Southwest Texas State 330-332=662
T7. Bethune-Cookman 331-331=662
T9. Barry 343-331=674
T9. Daytona Beach CC 345-329=674
11. Lynn 357-332=689
12. The Citadel 360-334=694
T13. Northwood 357-341=698
T13. Southern Illinois 353-345=698
15. Nova Southeastern 355-350=705
Illinois Individual Results
2. Laurin Kanda 77-78=155 +13
T4. Michelle Carroll 78-79=157 +15
7. Renata Young 76-82=158 +16
T16. Stephanie Cheney 78-85=163 +21
T40. Megan Godfrey (Ind.) 86-84=170 +28
T47. Marla Cox 83-91=174 +32
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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.”

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Harrington: Fiery Carnoustie evokes Hoylake in '06

By Ryan LavnerJuly 16, 2018, 3:45 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – One course came to mind when Padraig Harrington arrived on property and saw a firm, fast and yellow Carnoustie.

Hoylake in 2006.

That's when Tiger Woods avoided every bunker, bludgeoned the links with mid-irons and captured the last of his three Open titles.

So Harrington was asked: Given the similarity in firmness between Carnoustie and Hoylake, can Tiger stir the ghosts this week?

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I really don’t know,” Harrington said Monday. “He’s good enough to win this championship, no doubt about it. I don’t think he could play golf like the way he did in 2006. Nobody else could have tried to play the golf course the way he did, and nobody else could have played the way he did. I suspect he couldn’t play that way now, either. But I don’t know if that’s the strategy this week, to lay up that far back.”

With three days until the start of this championship, that’s the biggest question mark for Harrington, the 2007 winner here. He doesn’t know what his strategy will be – but his game plan will need to be “fluid.” Do you attack the course with driver and try to fly the fairway bunkers? Or do you attempt to lay back with an iron, even though it’s difficult to control the amount of run-out on the baked-out fairways and bring the bunkers into play?

“The fairways at Hoylake are quite flat, even though they were very fast,” Harrington said. “There’s a lot of undulations in the fairways here, so if you are trying to lay up, you can get hit the back of a slope and kick forward an extra 20 or 30 yards more than you think. So it’s not as easy to eliminate all the risk by laying up.”