Stenson pads East Lake edge, leads by 4

By Will GraySeptember 20, 2013, 9:50 pm

On yet another day where birdies were relatively hard to come by at East Lake Golf Club, Henrik Stenson made it look pretty easy for the second day in a row. Here’s how things shape up heading into the third round of the Tour Championship, where the Swede now leads an elite field by four shots:

Leaderboard: Henrik Stenson (-10), Adam Scott (-6), Jordan Spieth (-5), Justin Rose (-4), Dustin Johnson (-4), Billy Horschel (-4)

What it means: Though two rounds remain at East Lake, Stenson appears poised to take home both the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup titles. He once again got off to a hot start Friday, with three birdies across his first four holes, and his 10-under 130 total ties his career low for 36 holes.

Round of the day: A week after notching a runner-up finish at the BMW Championship, Nick Watney played his way back into the top 10 thanks to a 5-under 65 Friday in Atlanta. The veteran carded seven total birdies on his round, including three over his final four holes, and as a result was able to rebound from an opening 72 and move somewhat into contention, albeit seven shots behind Stenson’s lead.

Best of the rest: Former PGA champion Keegan Bradley matched Watney’s 65 for low round honors Friday, with six birdies against just a single dropped shot at the fifth hole. Bradley recorded four birdies across a seven-hole stretch from Nos. 9-15, and like Watney will now begin the weekend seven shots off the pace as he looks to continue his climb up the overall FedEx Cup standings.

Biggest disappointment: Through 13 holes, it appeared Tiger Woods was headed for “round of the day” honors, as the world No. 1 was 5 under on his round with just five holes remaining. He played that closing stretch in 6 over, though, a disappointing finish that included a triple-bogey 7 at No. 17 and left Woods with a 1-over 71 in the second round. At 4-over 144, he now finds himself tied for 26th among the 30-man field with just two rounds to play.

Main storyline heading into Saturday: With tee times moved up due to approaching inclement weather, the biggest question is whether or not Stenson will allow any of the elite players in this week’s field within striking distance. The Swede has largely put on a clinic through 36 holes, and now halfway to a season-long title shows no signs of slowing. If anyone can catch him, though, it may be Scott, who sits in second place and eyes Player of the Year honors that may come his way should he win Sunday.

Shot of the day: From 123 yards away in the opening fairway, Stenson stuck his wedge approach to within eight feet of the hole. The result continued his trend of accurate iron shots from Thursday's opening round, and the birdie helped propel the Swede to his second-round 66.

Quote of the day: “I just ran out of gas.” – Woods, after playing his final five holes Friday in 6 over.

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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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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.”

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Kisner not expecting awkward night with Spieth

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:33 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It might get awkward in that star-studded rental house Saturday night.

Two of the three Open co-leaders, Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner, are sharing a house this week near Carnoustie. Though it’ll be late by the time they both get back to the house Saturday night, they’ll have plenty of time to kill Sunday morning, with their tee times not until nearly 3 p.m. local time.

“Everybody is probably going to get treatment and eating and trying to find a bed,” Kisner said. “I’m sure there’ll be some conversations. There always are. Everybody has a few horror stories or good laughs over something that happened out there. That will probably be the end of it.”

One thing they’re almost certain to discuss is the weather.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

After three days of mostly benign conditions, Sunday’s forecast calls for warm temperatures and wind gusts up to 25 mph.

“When you watch any TV, that’s all they talk about – how Sunday’s coming,” Kisner said. “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.”

Zach Johnson is also in the house – along with Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker and Jason Dufner – and he rode to the course Saturday with Kisner, with whom he played in the final group, at 4 p.m. It’s unclear whether the co-leaders Sunday will have a similar arrangement.

This is the third year that Spieth and Co. have shared a house at The Open, though Kisner is a new addition to the group.

“It’s the end of the week,” Kisner said. “Everybody’s got a lot of stuff going on. Everybody’s going their separate ways tomorrow. Tomorrow morning we’ll all sit around and laugh on the couch and talk about why that guy’s making so many birdies.”