Tours Make Changes in Wake of Terrorist Attacks
'As it relates to PGA Tour competitions this week, we are adjusting our tournament scheduling,' commisioner Tim Finchem said in a statement. 'We will continue to monitor this situation, and make any further adjustments to our tournament schedules that appear to be appropriate or necessary.'
The WGC - American Express Championship will not begin play until Friday when the field is scheduled to play 36 holes. Saturday and Sunday will be played as usual with 18 holes each day.
The Tampa Bay Classic will not play its scheduled Wednesday Pro-Am and will also not begin round one until Friday. Due to the larger field, 18 holes will be played Friday and Saturday at which point a cut will be made. Those making the cut will play 36 holes on Sunday to determine the winner.
The Buy.Com Tour's Oregon Classic will also play 18 holes Friday and Saturday then 36 holes on Sunday.
The Senior PGA Tour's Vantage Championship will remain a three-day event beginning, as scheduled, on Friday. However, both Wednesday and Thursday's pro-am rounds have been cancelled.
The precautions are in reaction to terrorist attacks that began in New York Tuesday morning when two planes crashed into both World Trade Center buildings, resulting in the eventual collapse of both buildings. Later Tuesday morning, another aircraft crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
'Everyone at the PGA Tour shares the grief felt around the country at the tragic developments that have taken place today,' Finchem continued. 'Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of these tragedies and their families and friends.'
The LPGA's Safeway Classic in Portland, Ore. is so far unnafected due to its Friday start. 'Once we have more information, we will determine whether any adjustments to our schedule are appropriate,' LPGA commissioner Ty Votaw said in a statement.
The LPGA did cancel a junior clinic scheduled for Tuesday.
The USGA announced that two sectional qualifying rounds for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship scheduled for the New York metropolitan area Tuesday were cancelled. The Bedford, N.Y., qualifier will now be held on Sept. 17th; the Scotch Plains, N.J., qualifier will be contested on Sept. 20th.
The USGA also announced it will confer with the eight contestants that have reached the quarterfinals at both the U.S. Senior Amateur and U.S. Senior Women's Amateur to determine their views on whether to maintain the planned schedule of the competitions or to reschedule. The events are taking place in St. Louis and Pittsburgh, respectively.
And, regarding the possible effects on this month's Ryder Cup, PGA of America CEO Jim Awtrey said 'Right now our concern is focused on those who are directly affected by today's devastation. I don't think it is appropriate for us to comment on anything else at this time.'
Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba
Conor Moore is known for his impressions of golfers, and he is back with a new video just in time for The Open.
Moore even got the thumbs up from Ian Poulter.
This is hilarious..— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) July 16, 2018
Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite
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
Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC
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.
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.
Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense
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.
“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.”