Who Will Be the Michelin Man

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 10, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Michelin Championship at Las VegasThe Michelin Championship at Las Vegas is the most important event of the year ' at least to the winner. Thats the way its been over the better part of the last five seasons.
In 2000, Billy Andrade was fighting for his professional livelihood. His two-year exemption from winning the 1998 Bell Canadian Open was about to expire. He entered the Las Vegas event mired in 159th place on the money list.
And he left in 43rd place.
Andrade edged Phil Mickelson by a stroke and renewed his PGA Tour card for another two years.
Andre Stoltz
Andre Stoltz' surprise victory last year in Las Vegas extended his PGA Tour life.
Last year was a similar story.
Andre Stoltz, a rookie on tour, was in danger of heading back to the secondary circuit, until he hit the jackpot in Vegas.
Stoltz, who had just six sub-70 scores all year, fired four rounds in the 60s to beat Harrison Frazar by a stroke and catapult from 217th to 89th in earnings.
For others, this event wasnt about making some much needed money, but about ending some much unwanted schneids.
Phil Tatuarangi had never won a tour event until he did so at Vegas in 2002. That gave the oft-injured Kiwi much needed security.
And Stuart Appleby had gone four years without a victory until he beat Scott McCarron in a Vegas playoff in 2003.
Over the last half-decade, the Michelin Championship has indeed been the biggest tournament of the year ' to the winner. The lone exception was Bob Estes, who in 2001 made Vegas his second win of the season. That victory was a bonus; though, it did tack on an additional year of exempt status.
With just four full-field events remaining on the 2005 tour calendar, it is quite possible that Vegas will once again greatly influence a players future.
That is, unless the winner happens to be someone like Jim Furyk. Which is quite possible.
Five for the Title:
Jim Furyk
Long before he was Tiger Woods team partner of choice, and long before he was a major champion, Furyk was golf's Wayne Newton. Furyks maiden tour victory came in Sin City in 1995. He won again in 98, and yet again in 99. Its been six years since he stood next to the token showgirls with trophy in hand, but its not as if hes gone bust during that winless span. In his last five Vegas starts, Furyk has four top-20s, including a fourth-place finish in 2002. Furyk already has one win this year, prevailing at the Cialis Western Open. Its the ninth time in the last 11 years that he has had at least one win on tour. However, he has only one other multiple-win season; that coming in 2003, when he won the U.S. Open and the Buick Open.
Stuart Appleby
Stuart Appleby is in search of his first multiple-win season on tour.
Stuart Appleby
Like Furyk, Appleby has won this tournament before, doing so in 2003. He also already has a win under his belt this season, at the Mercedes Championships. But what he doesnt have is even a single multiple-win season in his career. Appleby has been playing well of late. He has four top-15 finishes in his last five starts.
Chris DiMarco
The good news for DiMarco is that he has had success in this tournament. He owns the course record at Southern Highlands GC (61). The bad news is that Southern Highlands is no longer in the rotation. The tournament was reduced from 90 holes to 72 last year, and SH was replaced with Bears Best. The event is still 72 holes this year, but the courses have been pared down to the host TPC at Summerlin and the TPC at The Canyons. DiMarco missed the cut in this event his first four times, but has made his last four cuts and tied for fifth in 2000.
Scott Verplank
While much is made about DiMarcos winless streak on tour, which reaches back to the 2002 FBR Open, Verplank hasnt won since the 2001 Bell Canadian Open. He has two runner-up finishes this season, which gives him four over the last three years. He has three top-10s in his last seven Vegas starts.
Phil Mickelson
Because of the time of the season, Mickelson hasnt been mentioned among the favorites in his last few starts. But he might have a chance to win just his second tour event ever after the month of August (2000 Tour Championship). Lefty has four top-10s in 11 Vegas starts and was runner-up in 2000. Hes back this year after withdrawing after two solid rounds a year ago due to illness.
Playing Out the Front Nine
Four more to keep an eye on
*Tom Lehman, who was the 54-hole leader a year ago. Lehman closed in 69 to tie for second. It was his second runner-up finish in the last four years in this event.
*Chris Riley, who went to school at UNLV. Its been a long, difficult year for Riley, who has struggled ever since the 2004 Ryder Cup. Hes in need of some home cooking, having made only 10 of 21 cuts this season.
*Ryan Moore, who also went to UNLV. Moore had one of the greatest ever amateur seasons in 2004. Now a professional, he is on the verge of getting his tour card for next year through sponsors exemptions. He could clinch his card this week.
*Andre Stoltz, who is the defending champion. Stoltz is lucky to have a two-year exemption, as he has been limited to just 12 starts this season and has but three made cuts. Furyk is the only player to successfully defend his Vegas title.
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    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”

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    After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

    With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.

    While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.

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

    Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2

    Zach Johnson: 13/2

    Rory McIlroy: 7/1

    Jordan Spieth: 8/1

    Rickie Fowler: 9/1

    Kevin Kisner: 12/1

    Xander Schauffele: 16/1

    Tony Finau: 16/1

    Matt Kuchar: 18/1

    Pat Perez: 25/1

    Brooks Koepka: 25/1

    Erik van Rooyen: 50/1

    Alex Noren: 50/1

    Tiger Woods: 50/1

    Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1

    Danny Willett: 60/1

    Francesco Molinari: 60/1