Woosnam and Harrington to Battle for Title

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 13, 2001, 4:00 pm
Ian Woosnam and Padraig Harrington each won their semifinal matches Saturday and will advance into the finals of the Cisco World Match Play Championship.
Woosnam triumphed his match over defending champion Lee Westwood in an early 10-and-9 routing at the Wentworth Club.
The Welshman and two-time champion of this event (87 and 90) began his domination early and never let up for a moment.
Woosnam won the first hole with a birdie and went on to win four more holes over his front nine alone, going 5-up.
He ended with an opening 18-hole score of 66 that saw him extend his lead over Westwood to 7-up. The only hole that Westwood won came at the par-4 11th, when Woosnam made a bogey.
Three more unanswered birdies over holes 19 through 26 saw Woosnam increase his lead to an incredible 10-up, and the match was ended at the 26th (par-4 9th), when both men scored pars.
The 43-year-old veteran is finding great success in his later years in the game. This week alone, he has beaten reigning U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen 4-and-3 in the first round, and Colin Montgomerie 4-and-3 in the quarterfinals.
While he has not won on the season, he has recorded three top-4s on the European Tour, including a tie for third at the British Open.
Ive been swinging well recently and thought that a win was just around the corner, claimed Woosnam. Maybe this will be it. Theres no reason why not if I play like today.
In the second match of the day, Harrington continued his strong form as well, ousting 2002 Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance 4-and-3.
While Woosnam took control of his match from the beginning, Harrington got it going in the afternoon.
The Irishman was A/S with Torrance following the opening 18, but rattled off three birdies and an eagle over a five-hole stretch from the 19th to the 23rd, creating a 4-up lead.
Torrance got two holes back with birdies at the 25th and 26th (par-4 7th and 8th) to cut his deficit to 2-down, but Harrington struck back not long after, winning two more holes and ending the match on the 33rd hole four ahead.
Like Woosnam, Harrington has been dominant in each of his matches thus far.
The 30-year-old has beaten Nick Faldo in a 9-and-8 opening-round route, and then Darren Clarke 5-and-4 in the quarters.
His win on Saturday puts him in a position much like Woosnam in another regard as well ' he is searching for his first win of the season.
Harringtons case is a bit more dramatic, however ' he has finished second on six occasions in his 17 events on the 2001 European schedule.
Click Here for Scores from Saturday's Semifinal Results at the Cisco World Match Play Championship.
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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.”