Moore, Stroud share CIMB lead as Bradley falters

By Will GrayOctober 26, 2013, 9:18 am

What at one point appeared to be a runaway for Keegan Bradley in Malaysia has turned into a tight race following Bradley's third-round struggles. Here's how things shape up heading into the final round of the CIMB Classic, where Ryan Moore and Chris Stroud share the lead over a host of contenders:

Leaderboard: Ryan Moore (-12), Chris Stroud (-12), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (-11), Gary Woodland (-11), Jerry Kelly (-10), Graham DeLaet (-9), Keegan Bradley (-9)

What it means: Bradley's backpedaling Saturday at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club opened the event back up to the field, and Moore and Stroud took full advantage. Having led after the first round, Moore regained sole possession of the lead after birdies on six of his first 10 holes Saturday, but four bogeys across a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16 dropped him back to 12-under 204. There he was joined by Stroud, who will begin Sunday's round in the final pairing as he looks to win his first career PGA Tour title.

Round of the day: At this point, there's a good chance Bubba Watson would like a mulligan for his opening-round 78. The southpaw rebounded with a 3-under 69 in the second round, then torched Kuala Lumpur for a 7-under 65 on Saturday. The former Masters champ had an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole in addition to seven birdies, including five on the back nine, to card the day's low round. At 7-under 212, Watson sits five shots off the pace with only an outside shot at the title, thanks largely to his struggles on Thursday.

Best of the rest: Just shy of his 47th birthday, Kelly now finds himself in the thick of contention on the PGA Tour thanks to a 6-under 66 Saturday in Malaysia. The Wisconsin native carded seven birdies during his third round against just a single blemish, moving up 13 spots on the leaderboard in the process. He'll now begin the final round alone in fifth place at 10 under, just two shots behind Moore and Stroud, as he looks to secure his first PGA Tour title since the 2009 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Biggest disappointment: Beginning the day with a four-shot lead, everything went wrong for Bradley, who carded a 4-over 76 that was better than only five players Saturday among the 78-man field in Malaysia. The former PGA champion was 1 under through 11 holes but stumbled coming home, carding three bogeys and a double bogey across his final seven holes to surrender the lead. Now three shots off the pace, he'll hope to rebound Sunday as he looks for his first win since the 2012 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: Hard to choose just one from such a crowded leaderboard, as eight players will begin the final round within three shots of the lead. That group includes Stroud, who lost a playoff to Ken Duke at the Travelers Championship this summer, DeLaet, who is quickly ascending the list of 'best players without a PGA Tour title,' and Stewart Cink, who looks to get his hands on a PGA Tour trophy for the first time since lifting the claret jug five years ago.

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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.”