Jutanugarn, 17, gaining on Lewis in Thailand

By Randall MellFebruary 22, 2013, 1:30 pm

Stacy Lewis will start the weekend trying to hold off yet another teen phenom in women’s golf.

With a 3-under-par 69 Friday at Siam Country Club, Lewis is bidding for a wire-to-wire victory at the Honda LPGA Thailand. At 12-under 132, Lewis is three shots ahead of Thailand’s own Ariya Jutanugarn, a 17-year-old Ladies European Tour pro who might have something to prove after her request for a petition to join the LPGA was denied last year.

Lewis will be paired with the homegrown Thai phenom in the final pairing Saturday. Lewis played with another popular Thai in the first round, Pornanong Phatlum.

“Pornanong got a lot of support, but I think tomorrow is going to be even crazier, being in the last group, and Ariya is kind of the rising star from here,” Lewis said. “I think Ariya is going to be a great player. She has played a lot of pro events so she knows what it’s like. You have to watch out for her just like anybody else.”

Lydia Ko, New Zealand’s 15-year-old amateur sensation, shot a 71 Friday and is tied for ninth, eight shots back. Rolex world No. 1 Yani Tseng rebounded from her opening 75 with a 68. Tseng is 11 shots back in her bid to win this event for a third consecutive year.

Jutanugarn is half of a gifted sister tandem. Her older sister, Moriya, 18, shared medalist honors at LPGA Q-School in December to earn her playing privileges. She is also in this week’s field and sits T-45.

Ariya is considered the more accomplished of the sister tandem. She won the U.S. Girls’ Junior two years ago and lost to Ko in the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur last summer. Last year, Ariya petitioned for a waiver of the LPGA’s rule requiring members be 18 so that she could try to play the LPGA with her sister. They’ve rarely been apart in their budding golf careers. After Ariya was denied a waiver, she went out and gained her Ladies European Tour card by  winning the LET Q-School. The family has been split apart for the start of Ariya’s and Moriya’s pro careers with Ariya’s father accompanying Ariya to LET events and the mother accompanying Moriya to LPGA events.

The sisters made headlines in Thailand winning LPGA and LET Q-Schools in a two-week period.

If Ariya wins in Thailand this weekend, she could petition the LPGA yet again for a waiver to try to claim the two-year exemption that comes with an LPGA victory.

“One can think that one can win,” Ariya said. “I hope that I can win, but I don’t want to put pressure on myself. I’m just going to play my game.”

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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.”