Two-Stroke Penalty Costs Garcia in Australia
Garcia made an up-and-down out of a bunker at the final hole Saturday for what he thought was a 68 and a two-shot lead over the 19-year-old Aussie. However, Garcia was informed afterward that he was assessed a two-stroke penalty for an incorrect drop at the first hole at The Lakes Golf Club.
Garcia was told of the infraction by the European Tour's chief referee John Paramor, who was later asked if the 21-year-old Spaniard was happy with the decision to change his score to a 70.
'I haven't really found a player yet who is happy about getting a two-shot penalty,' Paramor said. 'There has never been one who said, `Thanks very much.''
'Of course, I am angry,' said Garcia, who took a drop to get line-of-sight relief from an advertising sign after an errant tee shot at the opening hole. 'I was leading by two and now I'm tied for the lead. That's okay. I'm playing well. Hopefully, even with John Paramor's rules and everything I will be able to win the tournament.'
Garcia was asked by Greg Norman, his playing partner and the tournament host, if he wanted to get an official to give a ruling on the drop. When Garcia said no, Norman looked at the situation and said that he felt the drop was legal.
'I personally feel bad because he asked me for a ruling,' said Norman, who at 14-under is just two shots out of the lead. 'I gave him a ruling the way I thought the ruling reads. Thank God he wasn't disqualified.'
Norman said that according to Paramor, Garcia would have been disqualified had the drop blatantly improved his subsequent shot.
'The onus goes on the players,' Norman admitted. 'We really should know the rules of golf. We're professionals. At the end of the day it is the individual's responsibility, nobody else's.'
The penalty marred what has been an otherwise sensational tournament for Garcia, whose only other blemish this week was a bogey in the second round. His round on Saturday was still a solid one, fueled by four birdies over a five-hole stretch from the eighth to the 12th hole.
Baddeley will tee off in the final group with Garcia on Sunday after posting his second straight round of 5-under 68.
'You had to have patience out there today,' said Baddeley, the winner of the last two Australian Opens. 'The wind was blowing and then the rain started. I was patient all the way through. I tried to hit good shots, smart shots.'
The young Aussie tallied a birdie at the par-3 15th, and two holes later notched another after hitting a 50-yard bunker shot close at the 17th green.
'I thought if I hit a full bunker shot it would get up into wind,' he said. 'I tried to hit it like a pitch shot and bounce and run it up there. I hit an absolute gem.'
England's Ian Poulter turned in the round of the day, firing an 8-under 65 for solo third at 15-under 204.
'The round I played today, I can't really play much better than that,' said Poulter, whose card was bogey-free on Saturday. 'I started with five birdies in the first seven and had a very makeable chance on three.'
Poulter, who added three more birdies on the homeward nine, was asked to rate his chances for finishing on top on Sunday.
'If I play the way I did today, I can't see any problem,' he said.
Norman celebrated his 46th birthday Saturday with a somewhat disappointing 71. He made it to 15-under with three birdies over the first 11 holes, only to find the water at 14 and three-putt at 16 for bogeys.
He recovered one of the lost strokes at 17, rolling a 15-footer into the heart of the cup for a birdie. Then like Garcia, Norman found the right bunker at the par-3 closing hole and shadowed the Spaniard with a sand shot out to 10 feet followed by a par-saving putt.
Win or lose Sunday, Peter Lonard will be able to drive away from the tournament behind the wheel of a new car. The Sydney native used a 4-iron to ace the 195-yard 18th, negating with one swing bogeys at the 15th and 17th. He finished with a 66, and after 54 holes is tied with fellow Aussie Jarrod Moseley for fifth place at 13-under.
Moseley capped off his round in less auspicious fashion. The Perth resident bogeyed the last and had to settle for his 66.
Craig Parry is five shots off the pace at 11-under, while Scott Gardiner, David Bransdon, Peter Baker, Steve Alker, Phillip Price and Pierre Fulke round out the top-10 at 10-under.
Click here for Full-Field scores from the Greg Norman Holden International!
Chamblee: Like Tiger in '13, Mickelson should've DQ'd self
Two days after Brooks Koepka left Long Island with the U.S. Open trophy, the third-round antics of Phil Mickelson are still garnering plenty of discussion.
Mickelson became a lightning rod of opinion after he intentionally hit a moving ball on the 13th green Saturday at Shinnecock Hills, incurring a two-shot penalty but not a disqualification. In the aftermath, he explained that he made a conscious choice to take the penalty to avoid playing back and forth across the crispy putting surface, and he tied for 48th after a final-round 66.
Speaking Tuesday on "Morning Drive," Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee shared his view that Mickelson would have been well-served to disqualify himself ahead of the final round. He also compared it to Tiger Woods' incident at the 2013 Masters, when he took an incorrect drop and, like Mickelson, received a two-shot penalty but not a disqualification.
"I think Tiger, at least it's my opinion that his year would have been less distracting if he had done so," Chamblee said. "And I think the same of Phil Mickelson. If he had withdrawn from the championship and said, 'Look. This is a little sketchy. It didn't play out the way I thought. I've given it some thought and it's in the best interest of the championship that I withdraw.'"
Chamblee added that Mickelson's antics were "really distracting" on a day filled with drama as the USGA lost control of course conditions, noting that Mickelson and playing partner Andrew "Beef" Johnston were the only tee time where both players failed to break 80 despite the difficult conditions.
But having had time to review the situation and having surveyed a number of peers, Chamblee is as convinced as ever that Mickelson made a mistake by showing up for his final-round tee time.
"What Phil did, I haven't run into a single person that hasn't said he deserved to be disqualified," Chamblee said. "Under any interpretation, a serious breach - if gaining an advantage is not a serious breach, I don't know what is. And he clearly said he was gaining an advantage and doing it for strategic reasons."
Norman to pose in ESPN's 'Body Issue'
Professional golfers have, from time to time, appeared in ESPN's "Body Issue," which features athletes strategically posed in the nude. The list includes: Belen Mozo, Carly Booth, Gary Player, Camilo Villegas, Sandra Gal, Christina Kim, Anna Grzebien, Suzann Pettersen and Sadena Parks.
And now, Greg Norman.
Modesty has never been an issue for Norman, who has an affinity for posing without a shirt (and sometimes without pants) on his Instagram account.
He joins a list of athletes, in this year's edition, ranging from professional wrestlers (Charlotte Flair) to Olympians (Adam Rippon) to WNBA stars (Sue Bird). Click here for a full list of the athletes to appear.
DJ listed as betting favorite for The Open
With the U.S. Open officially in the books, oddsmakers quickly turned their attention to the season's third major.
Minutes after Brooks Koepka holed the winning putt to successfully defend his title at Shinnecock Hills, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook published its first set of odds for The Open. Jordan Spieth, who opened at 14/1, will defend his title as the tournament shifts to Carnoustie in Scotland for the first time since 2007, when Padraig Harrington defeated Sergio Garcia in a playoff.
Joining Spieth at 14/1 is 2014 Open champion Rory McIlroy, but they're both listed behind world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Johnson, who was a runner-up at the 2011 Open at Royal St. George's and just finished third at the U.S. Open, opened as a 12/1 betting favorite. Koepka, now a two-time major winner, is listed at 20/1 alongside U.S. Open runner-up Tommy Fleetwood.
Here's a look at the first edition of odds, with The Open just five weeks away:
12/1: Dustin Johnson
14/1: Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy
16/1: Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas
20/1: Brooks Koepka, Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm
25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods
30/1: Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama
40/1: Phil Mickelson, Branden Grace, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Marc Leishman
50/1: Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Tyrrell Hatton
60/1: Matt Kuchar, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Ian Poulter, Francesco Molinari, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Matthew Fitzpatrick
80/1: Tony Finau, Zach Johnson, Thomas Pieters, Daniel Berger, Xander Schauffele, Bubba Watson, Shane Lowry
100/1: Charl Schwartzel, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker
Golf Channel, Loch Lomond Partner on Claret Jug Tour Ahead of 147TH Open
Award-Winning Independent Scotcb Whisky Sponsoring Tour to Select U.S. Cities; Will Include Special Tastings and Opportunities for Fans to Engage with Golf’s Most Storied Trophy
Golf Channel and Loch Lomond Group are partnering on a promotional tour with the Claret Jug – golf’s most iconic trophy, first awarded in 1873 to the winner of The Open – to select U.S. cities in advance of the 147TH Open at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. Loch Lomond Whisky’s sponsorship of the tour further enhances the brand’s existing five-year partnership with the R&A as the official spirit of The Open, initially announced in February.
“We are proud to partner with Golf Channel to support this tour of golf’s most iconic trophy,” said Colin Matthews, CEO of Loch Lomond Group. “Whisky and golf are two of Scotland’s greatest gifts to the world, and following the news of our recent partnership with the R&A for The Open, being a part of the Claret Jug tour was a perfect fit for Loch Lomond Group to further showcase our commitment to the game.”
“The Loch Lomond Group could not be a more natural fit to sponsor the Claret Jug tour,” said Tom Knapp, senior vice president of golf sponsorship, NBC Sports Group. “Much like the storied history that accompanies the Claret Jug, Loch Lomond’s Scottish roots trace back centuries ago, and their aspirations to align with golf’s most celebrated traditions will resonate with a broad range of consumers in addition to golf fans and whisky enthusiasts.”
The tour kicks off today in Austin, Texas, and will culminate on Wednesday, July 11 at the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe one week prior to The Open. Those wishing to engage with the Claret Jug will have an opportunity at one of several tour stops being staged at Topgolf locations in select cities. The tour will feature a custom, authentic Scottish pub where consumers (of age) can sample Loch Lomond’s portfolio of whiskies in the spirit of golf’s original championship and the Claret Jug. The Claret Jug also will make special pop-up visits to select GolfNow course partners located within some of the designated tour markets.
(All Times Local)
Monday, June 18 Austin, Texas (Topgolf, 5:30-8:30 p.m.)
Tuesday, June 19 Houston (Topgolf, 5-8 p.m.)
Wednesday, June 20 Jacksonville, Fla. (Topgolf, 6-9 p.m.)
Monday, June 25 Orlando, Fla. (Topgolf, 6-9 p.m.)
Wednesday, July 4 Washington D.C. (Topgolf, 5:30-8:30 p.m. – Ashburn, Va.)
Monday, July 9 Edison, N.J. (Topgolf, Time TBA)
Wednesday, July 11 Lake Tahoe, Nev. American Century Championship (On Course)
Fans interacting with the Claret Jug and Loch Lomond during the course of the tour are encouraged to share their experience using the hashtag, #ClaretJug on social media, and tag @TheOpen and @LochLomondMalts on Twitter and Instagram.
NBC Sports Group is the exclusive U.S. television home of the 147TH Open from Carnoustie, with nearly 50 live hours of tournament coverage, Thursday-Sunday, July 19-22. The Claret Jug is presented each July to the winner of The Open, with the winner also being given the title of “Champion Golfer of the Year” until the following year’s event is staged. The Claret Jug is one of the most storied trophies in all of sports; first presented to the 1873 winner of The Open, Tom Kidd. Each year, the winner’s name is engraved on to the trophy, forever etched into the history of golf’s original championship. It is customary for the Champion Golfer of the Year to drink a favorite alcoholic beverage from the Claret Jug in celebration of the victory.