Calc Rides Short Game to Greensboro Lead

By Golf Channel NewsroomApril 25, 2002, 4:00 pm
Greensboro, NC -- Mark Calcavecchia fired a 7-under-par 65 Thursday to take a one-shot lead over Paul Stankowski after the first round of the Greater Greensboro Classic.
 
Lee Porter, Jim Gallagher, Jr., Chad Campbell and Robert Gamez share third place at 5-under. Loren Roberts, Rocco Mediate, Phil Tataurangi, Paul Goydos, Bo Van Pelt and Carl Paulson are tied for seventh at minus-4.
 
Calcavecchia used a birdie tear on the back side at Forest Oaks Country Club to move to the top of the leaderboard. He birdied 13, 14 and 15 before making it five in a row with a pair of seven-footers at 16 and 17.
 
'I felt great getting to the 12th tee, so I was hoping to really shoot 3- or 4-under and get a little run. To make five in a row was nice,' said Calcavecchia, whose last win came at the 2001 Phoenix Open, where he posted the PGA Tour's all-time record 72-hole total of 256. 'That's the way I play sometimes. I never know when five in a row are coming. It doesn't happen very often, but it's fun when it does.'
 
The birdie run was spectacular but it might have been Calcavecchia's scrambling around the turn that kept him at the top of the leaderboard.
 
Calcavecchia snap-hooked his drive at the par-5 ninth and landed under a rock. After taking a penalty drop, he hooked his third shot out of the trees and down the fairway. Calcavecchia played his fourth shot to three feet to save a miraculous par when double-bogey looked like a possibility.
 
The 41-year-old missed the fairway at 10, then landed in a greenside bunker. Calcavecchia blasted out to eight feet, then made that to once again save an improbable par.
 
At 11, Calcavecchia found the trees once again and played another hook shot out of trouble. The ball landed in the back bunker and Calcavecchia played a clutch shot out of the sand that stopped a foot from the hole.
 
'I made seven birdies and no bogeys, and I really honestly think the key to my whole round was nine, 10 and 11,' said Calcavecchia, a member of the 2001 U.S. Ryder Cup team. 'I could have made a couple of doubles and a bogey in those holes and I made three pars. It was three really unbelievable pars and then I hit a good shot on 12 and settled back down and got going after that.'
 
Stankowski's round included 10 birdies, four bogeys and four pars.
 
Check out Stankowski's roller-coaster round
 
'I was all over the map, some good, some bad, some ugly, but it worked out all right,' said Stankowski, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour. 'All in all, if you shoot 6-under-par it's hard to complain too much. I hit the ball good at times and really badly at times, but the bad shots were still OK and I got some good breaks.'
 
Bubba Dickerson, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion, made his professional debut Thursday and posted a 1-over-par 73.
 
'I hit it pretty good,' Dickerson said. 'I just couldn't make a putt all day.'
 
Last year's champion, Scott Hoch, was forced to withdraw from the tournament Thursday morning because of an eye problem. He underwent surgery in January of 2001 but has had complications since and has experienced depth perception problems since a third laser eye procedure on Monday.
 
Full-field scores from the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic
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DJ, McIlroy, Spieth listed as PGA betting favorites

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 1:38 pm

Three majors are in the books, but there's still one more trophy up for grabs in two weeks' time.

While next year The Open will signal the end of the 2019 major season amid a revamped calendar, this is the final year that the PGA Championship will be held in August. The tournament returns next month to Bellerive Country Club outside St. Louis, which last hosted the PGA when Nick Price won in 1992 and hasn't hosted a PGA Tour event since Camilo Villegas won the 2008 BMW Championship.

Oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook published PGA betting odds shortly after the final putt dropped at Carnoustie and Francesco Molinari left with the claret jug. Topping the board are a trio of major champions: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, all listed at 12/1.

McIlroy won the PGA in both 2012 and 2014, while Spieth needs only the Wanamaker Trophy to round out the career Grand Slam. Johnson has recorded four top-10s in the PGA, notably a T-5 finish at Whistling Straits in 2010 when a few grains of sand kept him out of a playoff with Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson.

Fresh off a T-6 finish in Scotland, Tiger Woods headlines the group listed at 16/1, behind only the three co-favorites as he looks to win a 15th career major.

Here's a look at the betting odds for a number of contenders, with the opening round of the PGA just 17 days away:

12/1: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth

16/1: Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler

18/1: Justin Rose

20/1: Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Tommy Fleetwood, Francesco Molinari, Jason Day

30/1: Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama

40/1: Henrik Stenson, Alex Noren, Paul Casey

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Matt Kuchar

60/1: Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Webb Simpson

80/1: Adam Scott, Zach Johnson, Kevin Kisner

100/1: Ian Poulter, Thomas Pieters, Tyrrell Hatton, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Daniel Berger, Kevin Chappell, Brian Harman, Brandt Snedeker, Charley Hoffman

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Molinari moves to No. 6 in world with Open win

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:31 pm

After breaking through for his first career major title, Francesco Molinari reached some rarified air in the latest installment of the Official World Golf Rankings.

The Italian's two-shot win at Carnoustie moved him up nine spots to No. 6 in the world, not surprisingly a new career high. But it's also a quick ascent for Molinari, who has now won three of his last six worldwide starts and was ranked No. 33 in the world after missing the cut at The Players Championship two months ago.

A share of second place helped Xander Schauffele jump from No. 24 to No. 18 in the updated standings, while the same result meant Kevin Kisner went from No. 33 to No. 25. Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy both went up one spot after T-2 finishes to No. 2 and No. 7, respectively - a new career high for Rose.

The drama in the rankings unfolded at No. 50, as Tiger Woods moved up 21 spots to exactly No. 50 following his T-6 finish. While some projections had him moving to 51st, Woods was able to sneak into the top 50 just in time to qualify for a return to the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, as the top 50 in the rankings both this week and next qualify for Akron.

That includes Zach Johnson, last year's runner-up who was not yet qualified but moved from No. 52 to No. 49 this week. It also includes Kevin Chappell, who went from 61st to 47th with a T-6 finish in Scotland.

Despite missing the cut at Carnoustie, Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1 for another week followed by Rose, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Molinari is now at No. 6, with McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day rounding out the top 10.

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Simpson overtakes DeChambeau in Ryder Cup race

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:09 pm

A T-12 finish at The Open allowed Webb Simpson to move past Bryson DeChambeau into the eighth and final automatic qualifying spot in the U.S. Ryder Cup points race with just three weeks to go.

Simpson finished the week at 3 under, five shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. Adding another strong result to his win at TPC Sawgrass and T-10 finish at the U.S. Open, he's now edged in front of DeChambeau by less than 41 points. But with players earning one point per $1,000 each of the next two weeks and 1.5 points per $1,000 at the PGA Championship, the race is far from over.

Jordan Spieth's T-9 finish strengthened his position at No. 6, as the top six players are essentially assured of qualifying automatically. Rickie Fowler held onto his spot at No. 7, while Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner both moved onto the bubble following T-2 finishes at Carnoustie. After a T-6 finish, Tiger Woods jumped from 31st to 20th.

Here's a look at the updated American standings, with the top eight after the PGA qualifying automatically and captain Jim Furyk adding four picks in September:

1. Brooks Koepka

2. Dustin Johnson

3. Patrick Reed

4. Justin Thomas

5. Bubba Watson

6. Jordan Spieth

7. Rickie Fowler

8. Webb Simpson

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9. Bryson DeChambeau

10. Phil Mickelson

11. Xander Schauffele

12. Matt Kuchar

13. Kevin Kisner

14. Tony Finau

15. Brian Harman

On the European side, Molinari was already in position to qualify automatically but is now assured of a spot on Thomas Bjorn's roster this fall. Fellow major champs Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy also solidified their footing with runner-up performances.

Here's a look at how things look for the Europeans, with the top four from each list after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

European Points

1. Francesco Molinari

2. Justin Rose

3. Tyrrell Hatton

4. Tommy Fleetwood

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Thorbjorn Olesen

Russell Knox

Eddie Pepperell

World Points

1. Jon Rahm

2. Alex Noren

3. Rory McIlroy

4. Paul Casey

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Matthew Fitzpatrick

Sergio Garcia

Ian Poulter

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Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.