What We Learned: Moore or less

By Jason SobelOctober 28, 2013, 1:02 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the world of golf. In this edition, our writers weigh in on Ryan Moore's future, how golf is thriving in Asia and how Suzann Pettersen is thriving there, too.

When it comes to Ryan Moore, there are plenty of reasons for optimism. Nine of his last 12 rounds have been in the 60s. He has back-to-back top 10s to start his 2013-14 campaign. After his CIMB Classic victory, the third of his career, he credited his ongoing work with his swing coach, Troy Denton, and his physical trainer. But it’s still too early to anoint Moore, 30, as one of the players ready to break through in the majors. He has only a pair of top 10s in 23 major starts, and none since 2009. He hasn’t finished inside the top 20 in his last 12 major appearances. Two of his three wins have come in late fall, when many of the world’s best are resting from a long year. Moore is a short hitter who wasn’t particularly sharp with either his irons (114th) or his putter (110th) in 2013. A year earlier, he was 61st in greens hit and 22nd in putting en route to his best season as a pro, when he had eight top 10s and a victory. If he’s to transform from consistent contender to major champion, he’ll need to continue to sharpen all aspects of his game.  Ryan Lavner

Remember the name Chang-woo Lee. I'm not going to pretend to know anything about the 19-year-old Korean other than what I've read in the wake of his Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship title, but I do know he has recent history on his side. That's because each of the last three APAC champions – Hideki Matsuyama twice; Tianlang Guan once – has made the Masters cut. Not that the folks in green jackets care about a little thing like criticism, but they opened themselves up to it when they first started granting an invitation to the inaugural winner of this event in 2009. Instead, they've helped cultivate young talent and watch it flourish. For those asking why PGA and European tour events were held in Asia both this past week and next week, one of the major reasons is growing the game in a region where it's booming. The game is only becoming bigger in the Far East, where players are growing more talented and the thirst is there for better tournaments. These few weeks, with a Korean amateur securing a Masters invitation and some of the game's best showcasing their skills, may not become the norm, but get used to it. In Asia, the game is only going to continue to thrive. – Jason Sobel

Norway's Suzann Pettersen has planted more flags in foreign nations than any Viking ever did. Pettersen is especially fond of conquering Asian events. They love her there, and she loves them back. Pettersen's win Sunday at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship was a successful title defense. She has won more than a third of her LPGA titles in Asia (5/14). She has six professional titles overall in Asia. She also won a Ladies European Tour event in China this year. Overall, Pettersen has won pro titles in nine different countries.  Randall Mell

According to the PGA Tour, Sunday’s weather delays at the CIMB Classic – two stoppages totaling nearly four hours – was the first of the 2013-14 season. While technically correct, that distinction feels a tad evasive considering the circuit’s track record with Mother Nature this year. Still, we got a primetime playoff Sunday night (Monday morning in Malaysia) between Gary Woodland and Ryan Moore, so let’s call this a push. – Rex Hoggard

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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.”