Jack Comes Up Aces

By Golf Channel NewsroomFebruary 9, 2004, 5:00 pm
The Champions Tour heads west across Florida's Alligator Alley to Naples, Fla., for the 17th edition of The ACE Group Classic.
 
Played for the second time at The Club at TwinEagles, the field is loaded with big names as reigning player of the year Tom Watson, PGA Tour and Champions Tour star Craig Stadler, Fuzzy Zoeller, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite and Jack Nicklaus all will be on hand to tee it up.
 
For Nicklaus, his appearance at the course he co-designed with his son Jack II, comes as somewhat of a surprise. Health problems have limited his schedule in the past several years, with his 63-year-old back being the main culprit.
 
However, after his fine showing at the MasterCard Championship in Hawaii, in which he shot a final-round 66 to tie for 11th, Nicklaus declared himself fit and has decided to add to his schedule.
 
'I'm feeling better,' Nicklaus said. 'I'm not good yet. I am greatly, greatly improved, and that's allowed me to play.'
 
Stadler, meanwhile, is coming off yet another strong performance on the regular tour, finishing in a tie for 35th at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, despite a final-round 76. Stadler 's $25,572 paycheck vaulted him to 66th in earnings on the PGA Tour. His only appearance in a Champions Tour event in 2004 resulted in a tie for third at the above mentioned season-opening MasterCard Championship.
 
Last year's champion Vicente Fernandez returns to defend the crown he won in fine fashion in 2003. The 56-year-old from Argentina sank a monster 61-foot birdie putt on the last hole to finish the three day event in 14-under-par, three shots better than Tom Watson and Des Smyth.
 
Former European Ryder Cup captains Sam Torrance and Mark James are again in the field as they try to make their first dent on the senior circuit.
 
The purse is $1,600,000 with a first-place check of $240,000.
 
The Golf Channel will carry exclusive, three-round coverage of The ACE Group Classic. Coverage will begin at 1:30 PM ET Friday-Sunday with a special primetime encore at 9:00 PM ET.
 
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - The ACE Group Classic

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    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.”