Gamecocks Blitz Stellar Mercedes Field

By Golf Channel NewsroomFebruary 10, 2004, 5:00 pm
Courtesy of
College CentralPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Paced by sophomore Eirik Johansen, who carded a final-round 67, to lead four individuals in the top 10, the South Carolina men's golf team turned in a dominant performance in capturing its second team title in as many outings with a 27-stroke win at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate. The margin of victory shattered the previous record of 15 shots, which was held by the Gamecocks in the 1998 event. The 54-hole tournament was contested at the par-72, 6,955-yard Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
'First of all, I couldn't be any more proud of a group of guys than I am right now,' said USC head coach Puggy Blackmon. 'They've worked so hard and to lead from start to finish against what will probably be one of the top fields in the nation this year is great. I think this would have to be one of the greatest victories in the history of the South Carolina program. We're just elated right now.'
The Gamecocks were the only team to break par for the tournament, posting a final-round team score of 4-under-par, 284, giving them a 54-hole total 3-under-par, 288-289-284-861. That score was 27 shots better than Oklahoma State (308-289-291-888) and top-ranked Florida (299-300-289-888), as the 18-team field included five of the nation's top-10 teams.
'For us to be paired with the defending national champion (Clemson) and the runner-up (Oklahoma State) on the final day and continue to build our lead was just outstanding,' said Blackmon. 'It's a special win and it will certainly give us a lot of momentum as far as rankings and heading into the rest of the season.'
In the individual standings, Johansen recorded seven birdies and a 5-under-par 31 on the front nine to card his final round 67 and finish alone in second place at 2-under-par, 71-76-67-214. The 67 matched the low round of the day and put Johansen three shots off the pace of individual medalist Jason Hartwick of Texas, who completed play in the tournament at 5-under-par, 71-73-67-211.
Joining Johansen in the event's final top-three was junior Jake Thompson, who concluded the best tournament of his career with a final-round score of even-par, 72. That total tied him with Clemson's Gregg Jones (77-66-72-215) for third place at 1-under-par, 71-71-73-215. Fellow junior Martin Rominger finished as one of four players tied for fifth place with his 54-hole total of even-par, 73-73-70-216.
The next South Carolina individual in the field was junior Alex Hamilton, who was part of a two-way tie for 10th place, following his 3-over-par total of 73-72-74-214. Sophomore Robert Svensson was the final member of the Gamecock contingent in the field, as he tied for 53rd place at 79-73-78-230.
Highlights from the tournament will be shown on the Golf Channel on Wednesday night at 10 p.m. South Carolina will now take nearly a month off before returning to action at the Coastal Carolina Invitational, which will be held at the TPC of Myrtle Beach in Murrells Inlet, S.C.

1.South Carolina288-289-284-861
2.Oklahoma State308-289-291-888
8.North Florida318-292-288-898
11.NC State315-295-295-905
13.Augusta State319-295-297-911
16.North Carolina319-300-296-915
17.Florida State326-298-295-919
1.Jason Hartwick, Texas71-73-67-211
2.Eirik Johansen, South Carolina71-76-67-214
3.Gregg Jones, Clemson77-66-72-215
Jake Thompson, South Carolina71-71-73-215
5.Dustin Bray, North Carolina73-72-71-216
Tom Johnson, Northwestern74-73-69-216
Martin Rominger, South Carolina73-73-70-216
Camilo Villegas, Florida72-74-70-216
9.Casey Wittenberg, Oklahoma State75-70-73-218
10.Alex Hamilton, South Carolina73-72-74-219
John Holmes, Kentucky74-75-70-219
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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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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.”