Who will win the 110th US Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 20, 2010, 10:52 pm

With the final 18 holes to be played on Sunday at famed Pebble Beach, the question is simple: Who will win the 110th U.S. Open? Senior writers Randall Mell and Rex Hoggard offer their takes.

By RANDALL MELL

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Tiger Woods has never come from behind in the final round to win a major championship.

He scores another first changing that today.

Five shots down but alone in third place, Woods has just two players in front of him, formidable foes in that Dustin Johnson and Graeme McDowell are playing so well. Neither, though, has won a major. Johnson and his aggressive game plan might be due a reckoning at Pebble Beach.

Woods’ experience with 14 major championship triumphs makes the difference as long as his swing remains manageable and his putter’s working. Woods looked terrific on both counts Saturday. He looked like he turned a corner, like he’s finding his old powers again.

Woods doesn’t have to hit driver to win the U.S. Open today. That’s a big deal the way he can spray his driver. He has to putt like the Tiger of old, though, not the guy who lost to Y.E. Yang in the final round of the PGA Championship. Woods’ stroke looked terrific again on the back nine Saturday at Pebble Beach.

I wrote Friday that Woods’ colleagues weren’t looking over their shoulder in fear of Woods when he was seven shots back. I wrote Woods’ invincible aura was switched off and would remain so until he started throwing lightning bolts. That was a frightening lightning bolt he threw the 18th hole. That was something to fear.

By REX HOGGARD

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Sometime since Dustin Johnson put the finishing touches on that third-round gem someone within the confines of “Team DJ” has mentioned the obvious – Tiger Woods has never come from behind to win a major championship.

It won’t be a loose swing or another snapshot 3-wood at the 18th hole that will decide the 110th U.S. Open, it will be that confounding fact that will lift Johnson to his first major.

Johnson may be untested. He may even be a tad too aggressive for a national championship that cherishes par, but know this about the towering kid from South Carolina, he will not be overwhelmed by the moment.

“The dude never freaks out, never,” said Johnson’s caddie Bobby Brown.

Nor will he be cajoled by uncut rough or rock-hard greens to dial back a game plan that has lifted him three strokes clear of the field and five ahead of Woods, who has rallied from that far back just twice on Tour in his Hall of Fame career.

Hank Haney once explained Woods’ pedestrian record when playing from the pack, if he’s trailing he doesn’t have his best stuff and that’s an unnerving reality on a demanding golf course.

On Saturday Woods said he needed one good nine. On Sunday he will need more than that to run down Johnson.

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Simpson overtakes DeChambeau in Ryder Cup race

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:09 pm

A T-12 finish at The Open allowed Webb Simpson to move past Bryson DeChambeau into the eighth and final automatic qualifying spot in the U.S. Ryder Cup points race with just three weeks to go.

Simpson finished the week at 3 under, five shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. Adding another strong result to his win at TPC Sawgrass and T-10 finish at the U.S. Open, he's now edged in front of DeChambeau by less than 41 points. But with players earning one point per $1,000 each of the next two weeks and 1.5 points per $1,000 at the PGA Championship, the race is far from over.

Jordan Spieth's T-9 finish strengthened his position at No. 6, as the top six players are essentially assured of qualifying automatically. Rickie Fowler held onto his spot at No. 7, while Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner both moved onto the bubble following T-2 finishes at Carnoustie. After a T-6 finish, Tiger Woods jumped from 31st to 20th.

Here's a look at the updated American standings, with the top eight after the PGA qualifying automatically and captain Jim Furyk adding four picks in September:

1. Brooks Koepka

2. Dustin Johnson

3. Patrick Reed

4. Justin Thomas

5. Bubba Watson

6. Jordan Spieth

7. Rickie Fowler

8. Webb Simpson

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9. Bryson DeChambeau

10. Phil Mickelson

11. Xander Schauffele

12. Matt Kuchar

13. Kevin Kisner

14. Tony Finau

15. Brian Harman

On the European side, Molinari was already in position to qualify automatically but is now assured of a spot on Thomas Bjorn's roster this fall. Fellow major champs Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy also solidified their footing with runner-up performances.

Here's a look at how things look for the Europeans, with the top four from each list after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

European Points

1. Francesco Molinari

2. Justin Rose

3. Tyrrell Hatton

4. Tommy Fleetwood

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Thorbjorn Olesen

Russell Knox

Eddie Pepperell

World Points

1. Jon Rahm

2. Alex Noren

3. Rory McIlroy

4. Paul Casey

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Matthew Fitzpatrick

Sergio Garcia

Ian Poulter

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Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.