Final Takes for July 28 2003

By Golf Channel NewsroomJuly 31, 2003, 4:00 pm
Grey Goose 19th HoleThe Grey Goose 19th Hole Final Takes for July 28. 2003:
A curious choice from the European Ryder Cup committee this past week, Bernhard Langer - a Ryder Cup stalwart - was chosen to captain the 2004 European team. It is a prestigious role that requires a huge amount of work and preparation. His success in the matches has certainly earned him the honor.
But its that very success that presents the problem, in my view. Langers play, especially in important events, may put him in a position to qualify for a competitive spot on next years team. His clutch play certainly would make him a strong consideration for a captains pick.
Since the captaincy has grown in importance, it is impossible to be an effective playing captain. Making a player of Langers ability virtually unavailable by giving him this role jeopardizes the Europeans effort to field the strongest possible team in 2004. The responsibilities of the captaincy will certainly impact Langers play over the next 15 months, but if he does qualify, what then? If he comes close, will they be relieved that the distractions help him come up short, or concerned that they dont have the 12 best players available?
And what of Nick Faldo? Word has it that Ian Woosnam will captain the squad in 2006. Will Faldo, the most successful European Ryder Cupper in history, ever get his wish to captain a team? All very interesting questions as we begin the long buildup to the most exciting event in the game.
Old guys are hot ' its invigorating for golf Tom Watson, 'Walrus' Stadler, Freddy Couples, Kenny Perry times three. Now its 'Jake Trout' ' Peter Jacobsen, landing a whopper in Hartford.
We thought, by now, young bodies and now new technology wouldve taken over. Instead, the kids are yet to master high-tech. But the sweet oldies are using new weapons to dominate I think the old boys have discovered technological Viagara.
Over the weekend a non-televised, non-sanctioned golf event took place at The Pines in Orrville, Ohio. Overshadowed by the Senior British Open and GHO, this one was special to me and other members of Phi Delta Sigma fraternity at the college of Wooster a reunion to compare waistlines, hairlines and generally torture one another while playing , what was at times, hideous golf.
But as it turns out, two of the teams went to sudden death before a trend continued ... the over-40 foursome took the title and the coveted red and gray jackets.
You see, golf served as something to do between laughs. And while taking time to remember those we lost during the past year ... as we move on and again go our separate ways, the golf will bring us together again next summer playing for a $2-dollar nassau, for bragging rights and to amuse one another.
Ive never seen so many guys improve lies, consume beverages, and genuinely enjoy one anothers company so much while hacking away in some sort of bastardized version of golf. Well never be 19 again. But it sure is fun to feel like it, if only for a day.
Visit the Grey Goose 19th Hole Show Page
Getty Images

Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
Getty Images

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

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.”