International Presidents Cup team capsules

By Jason SobelSeptember 30, 2013, 12:30 pm

Here is a breakdown of International captain Nick Price’s 12-man roster for the Presidents Cup, which will be played Oct. 3-6 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Click here for U.S. team capsules.

Adam ScottAdam Scott

Age: 33

Record: 10-13-2 (6th appearance)

World ranking: 2

PGA Tour victories: 10

The lowdown: Four years ago, Scott was little more than a pity pick from captain and countryman Greg Norman, who felt a spot on the team would boost his confidence. Turns out he was right. The Masters champion comes into this one as the anchor of his team.

Jason DayJason Day

Age: 25

Record: 1-3-1 (2nd appearance)

World ranking: 16

PGA Tour victories: 1

The lowdown: He’s young; he’s a terrific ball-striker; he contends at majors. If there’s a question mark surrounding Day, it’s about why he’s only won one career PGA Tour event, but that mark appears in jeopardy each week he tees it up. He played on his first team two years ago and may not miss another one for a decade or two.

Charl SchwartzelCharl Schwartzel

Age: 29

Record: 3-1-1 (2nd appearance)

World ranking: 19

PGA Tour victories: 1

The lowdown: The past Masters champion fared very nicely in his first Presidents Cup assignment two years ago. Don’t be surprised if he finds a familiar face in a partnership with childhood buddy Louis Oosthuizen. It’s hard to imagine the two of ‘em won’t lobby for Price to pair them up in team matches.

Ernie ElsErnie Els

Age: 43

Record: 17-16-2 (8th appearance)

World ranking: 23

PGA Tour victories: 19

The lowdown: The Big Easy is still going strong, easily qualifying for this team for a record-tying eighth time. (Vijay Singh also repped the International side eight times.) Els is a former winner at Muirfield Village, but that’s merely a silver lining: He hasn’t finished inside the top 30 at the venue since 2009.

Louis OosthuizenLouis Oosthuizen

Age: 30

Record: Rookie

World ranking: 29

PGA Tour victories: 1

The lowdown: Consider this spot the biggest question mark on Price’s roster – not because Oosthuizen lacks talent (he owns one of the game’s sweetest swings), but because he’s been sidelined with a neck and back injury since July. If it acts up again come tourney week, the captain will have a tough time hiding him on the bench.

Hideki MatsuyamaHideki Matsuyama

Age: 21

Record: Rookie

World ranking: 30

PGA Tour victories: None

The lowdown: A two-time Asian Amateur champion, Matsuyama turned pro and immediately started proving he could hang with the big boys. After making the cut in two Masters appearances as an amateur, he played the final three majors this year, finishing an impressive T-10, T-6 and T-19.

Branden GraceBranden Grace

Age: 25

Record: Rookie

World ranking: 38

PGA Tour victories: None

The lowdown: After bursting onto the scene with four European Tour victories a year ago, Grace held steady inside the top 10 on the points list for much of this year, solidifying his spot on the team. If the rookie needs helps feeling comfortable, having a bevy of South Africans in the team room should help matters.

Graham DeLaetGraham DeLaet

Age: 31

Record: Rookie

World ranking: 32

PGA Tour victories: None

The lowdown: Talk about good timing, DeLaet picked a great couple of weeks to start playing some of the best golf of his life, finishing T-2 at The Barclays and solo third at the Deutsche Bank Championship, not only making this roster as the lone Canadian, but proving his worth as a difficult man to beat in the upcoming matches.

Richard SterneRichard Sterne

Age: 31

Record: Rookie

World ranking: 41

PGA Tour victories: None

The lowdown: Perhaps the least known player on either roster, Sterne is a short but accurate ball-striker with a deft touch around the greens. And though he’s never won on U.S. soil, the South African has claimed a half-dozen titles on the European Tour, including this year’s Joburg Open.

Angel CabreraAngel Cabrera

Age: 43

Record: 4-6-3 (4th appearance)

World ranking: 51

PGA Tour victories: 2

The lowdown: You know what they say: If it’s a major, Cabrera will find his way onto the leaderboard. On the other 48 weeks, he rests. Well, Price is hoping El Pato looks at this one like a major. His go-for-broke, aim-for-the-flagsticks style of play should be fun to watch, provided he’s paired with a steadier player to offset the heroics.

Brendon de JongeBrendon de Jonge

Age: 33

Record: Rookie

World ranking: 63

PGA Tour victories: None

The lowdown: Just as Scott may have gotten a favorable call from a countryman four years ago, de Jonge grew up idolizing Price and will now play for him. It’s hardly just a homer call, though. With eight rounds in the 60s in four FedEx Cup starts, he’s peaking at just the right time.

Marc LeishmanMarc Leishman

Age: 29

Record: Rookie

World ranking: 61

PGA Tour victories: 1

The lowdown: After acquitting himself well with a fourth-place finish at the Masters this year, Leishman jumped onto Price’s radar and never fell off. The stats show he does everything well, but nothing great. That said, the Aussie has shown an ability to go low, including a final-round 62 to win last year’s Travelers Championship.

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Schauffele just fine being the underdog

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

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Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Jordan Spieth: 7/4

Xander Schauffele: 5/1

Kevin Kisner: 11/2

Tiger Woods: 14/1

Francesco Molinari: 14/1

Rory McIlroy: 14/1

Kevin Chappell: 20/1

Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

Alex Noren: 25/1

Zach Johnson: 30/1

Justin Rose: 30/1

Matt Kuchar: 40/1

Webb Simpson: 50/1

Adam Scott: 80/1

Tony Finau: 80/1

Charley Hoffman: 100/1

Austin Cook: 100/1

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Spieth stands on brink of Open repeat

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 7:49 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jordan Spieth described Monday’s “ceremony” to return the claret jug to the keepers of the game’s oldest championship as anything but enjoyable.

For the last 12 months the silver chalice has been a ready reminder of what he was able to overcome and accomplish in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, a beacon of hope during a year that’s been infinitely forgettable.

By comparison, the relative pillow fight this week at Carnoustie has been a welcome distraction, a happy-go-lucky stroll through a wispy field. Unlike last year’s edition, when Spieth traveled from the depths of defeat to the heights of victory within a 30-minute window, the defending champion has made this Open seem stress-free, easy even, by comparison.

But then those who remain at Carnoustie know it’s little more than a temporary sleight of hand.

As carefree as things appeared on Saturday when 13 players, including Spieth, posted rounds of 67 or lower, as tame as Carnoustie, which stands alone as The Open’s undisputed bully, has been through 54 holes there was a foreboding tension among the rank and file as they readied for a final trip around Royal Brown & Bouncy.

“This kind of southeast or east/southeast wind we had is probably the easiest wind this golf course can have, but when it goes off the left side, which I think is forecasted, that's when you start getting more into the wind versus that kind of cross downwind,” said Spieth, who is tied for the lead with Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner at 9 under par after a 6-under 65. “It won't be the case tomorrow. It's going to be a meaty start, not to mention, obviously, the last few holes to finish.”

Carnoustie only gives so much and with winds predicted to gust to 25 mph there was a distinct feeling that playtime was over.

As melancholy as Spieth was about giving back the claret jug, and make no mistake, he wasn’t happy, not even his status among the leading contenders with a lap remaining was enough for him to ignore the sleeping giant.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

But then he’s come by his anxiousness honestly. Spieth has spent far too much time answering questions about an inexplicably balky putter the last few weeks and he hasn’t finished better than 21st since his “show” finish in April at the Masters.

After a refreshingly solid start to his week on Thursday imploded with a double bogey-bogey-par-bogey finish he appeared closer to an early ride home on Friday than he did another victory lap, but he slowly clawed his way back into the conversation as only he can with one clutch putt after the next.

“I'm playing golf for me now. I've kind of got a cleared mind. I've made a lot of progress over the year that's been kind of an off year, a building year,” said Spieth, who is bogey-free over his last 36 holes. “And I've got an opportunity to make it a very memorable one with a round, but it's not necessary for me to prove anything for any reason.”

But if an awakened Carnoustie has Spieth’s attention, the collection of would-be champions assembled around and behind him adds another layer of intrigue.

Kisner, Spieth’s housemate this week on Angus coast, has led or shared the lead after each round this week and hasn’t shown any signs of fading like he did at last year’s PGA Championship, when he started the final round with a one-stroke lead only to close with a 74 to tie for seventh place.

“I haven't played it in that much wind. So I think it's going to be a true test, and we'll get to see really who's hitting it the best and playing the best tomorrow,” said Kisner, who added a 68 to his total on Day 3.

There’s no shortage of potential party crashers, from Justin Rose at 4 under after a round-of-the-week 64 to 2015 champion Zach Johnson, who also made himself at home with Spieth and Kisner in the annual Open frat house and is at 5 under.

Rory McIlroy, who is four years removed from winning his last major championship, looked like a player poised to get off the Grand Slam schneid for much of the day, moving to 7 under with a birdie at the 15th hole, but he played the last three holes in 2 over par and is tied with Johnson at 5 under par. 

And then there’s Tiger Woods. For three magical hours the three-time Open champion played like he’d never drifted into the dark competitive hole that’s defined his last few years. Like he’d never been sidelined by an endless collection of injuries and eventually sought relief under the surgeon’s knife.

As quietly as Woods can do anything, he turned in 3 under par for the day and added two more birdies at Nos. 10 and 11. His birdie putt at the 14th hole lifted him temporarily into a share of the lead at 6 under par.

“We knew there were going to be 10, 12 guys with a chance to win on Sunday, and it's turning out to be that,” said Woods, who is four strokes off the lead. “I didn't want to be too far back if the guys got to 10 [under] today. Five [shots back] is certainly doable, and especially if we get the forecast tomorrow.”

Woods held his round of 66 together with a gritty par save at the 18th hole after hitting what he said was his only clunker of the day off the final tee.

Even that episode seemed like foreshadowing.

The 18th hole has rough, bunkers, out of bounds and a burn named Barry that weaves its way through the hole like a drunken soccer fan. It’s the Grand Slam of hazardous living and appears certain to play a leading role in Sunday’s outcome.

Perhaps none of the leading men will go full Jean Van de Velde, the star-crossed Frenchman who could still be standing in that burn if not for a rising tide back at the 1999 championship, but if the 499 yards of dusty turf is an uninvited guest, it’s a guest nonetheless.

It may not create the same joyless feelings that he had when he returned the claret jug, but given the hole’s history and Spieth’s penchant for late-inning histrionics (see Open Championship, 2017), the 18th hole is certain to produce more than a few uncomfortable moments.

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Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

“I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”