Z. Johnson, Spieth one back through 54 at Wyndham

By Will GrayAugust 17, 2013, 10:06 pm

With rain interrupting play early Saturday morning at Sedgefield Country Club, the Wyndham Championship leaderboard has become a crowded one with just 18 holes to play. Here's the skinny heading into the final round in Greensboro, where John Huh and Patrick Reed share the lead:

Leaderboard: John Huh (-10), Patrick Reed (-10), Zach Johnson (-9), Jordan Spieth (-9), Bob Estes (-9), Robert Garrigus (-8), Matt Every (-8), Brian Harman (-8)

What it means: Huh and Reed both began slowly after morning rain fell at Sedgefield, with Huh taking a triple-bogey 7 on the second hole while Reed played his first six holes in 2 over. Both rallied impressively, though, notably Reed, who regained sole possession of the lead with three straight birdies from holes 14-16. When he bogeyed the final hole of the day, Reed fell back into a tie with Huh. Several players still have a realistic chance to win, though, as eight will begin the final round within two shots of the lead.

Round of the day: Perhaps the hottest golfer on Tour, Johnson began his week in Greensboro on the heels of four straight top-10 finishes, a stretch that included both the British Open and PGA Championship. The former Masters champion put himself in position for yet another top finish Saturday at Sedgefield, carding a 4-under 66 to move within two shots of Reed. Johnson birdied five of his first 14 holes during the third round and briefly held a share of the lead before dropping back to 9-under 201 with a bogey on the home hole.

Best of the rest: Like Johnson, Brendan Steele surged up the leaderboard Saturday thanks to a 4-under 66 that included only a single blemish. Beginning the day on the back nine, Steele turned in 1-under 34 before adding three birdies in a four-hole stretch from Nos. 1-4. In his most recent start, Steele recorded his best finish of the year, a fourth-place showing at the Reno-Tahoe Open, and the one-time Tour winner will now begin the final round alone in ninth place, four shots off the pace.

Biggest disappointment: Beginning the day inside the top 25, veteran Stuart Appleby appeared in position for a timely high finish as he looks to bolster his chances for the upcoming FedEx Cup playoffs. Instead, though, the Aussie tumbled down the leaderboard Saturday, carding a 6-over 76 that included an outward nine of 6-over 41. As a result, Appleby fell all the way to 2-over 212 and now finds himself in a tie for 67th through three rounds.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: There is no shortage of potential stories in Greensboro, where Reed is in search of his first career PGA Tour title and Huh, the reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, looks for his first win since last year's Mayakoba Classic. Much of the attention will be placed upon the players directly below them on the leaderboard, though, as Johnson hopes to accrue precious Presidents Cup points with yet another high finish while the 20-year-old Spieth could potentially become the youngest player in PGA Tour history with multiple victories.

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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.”