McConaughey a fan of Fowler, Team USA in Rio

By Jay CoffinAugust 12, 2016, 7:50 pm

RIO DE JANEIRO – The man famous for, among other things, delivering the “alright, alright, alright” line at the Oscars two years ago was following Rickie Fowler Friday at the Olympics saying “nestle, nestle, nestle” when the American star hit a chip shot on the 16th hole.

Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey has been living it up this week while attending the Olympics for the first time. He’s watched men's and women’s rugby, beach volleyball, table tennis and swimming. Friday, it was golf, before flying back to the U.S. later in the evening.

“It’s been a blast,” he said in his signature Texas twang. “We’ve covered some ground, man.

“One, I’m obviously over here rooting on the red, white and blue. Two, I’m over here, my wife’s Brazilian, so I came over here to root for this country to pull it off, which I think they’re doing a pretty good job of that.”

McConaughey, 46, wanted to catch up with Fowler before his trip ended and, four days ago, reached out to Fowler to see if it’d be OK to come watch him play.

The two had never met, although they have been in communication in the past according to Fowler. McConaughey says he’s always admired Fowler’s style and the way he handles himself and wanted to show him, and the other Americans, some support.

“Just shows you how big the Olympics is,” Fowler said. “There’s a lot of people that come in to watch.”

McConaughey, wearing a newsboy hat and Presidents Cup pullover with an American flag emblazoned on the back, is said to be a single-digit handicap even though he contends he only plays golf once a year during his annual charity event. Or, as he describes it, he’s “good enough to want to keep picking them up, but not so good that I’m pissed when I don’t.”

Brazilian ties aside – McConaughey married model Camila Alves in 2006 and they have children ages 8, 6 and 3 – he’s a sports junkie, so the Olympics has always been smack in the middle of his radar even though he’d never been able to attend one before this year.

For more photos of McConaughey's excellent Olympic adventure, click the photo above

Olympic golf coverage: Articles, photos and videos

“It is pure sport,” he said. “Some people I heard the other night said they come here and they are reminded why they wanted to be competitive at whatever sport it was when they were a kid.

“The common denominator is the sport. You come here and everybody has different styles of play, different chants and cheers on the sidelines, different ways how they go about playing the game, different religions, different politics … and the equalizer is the game.”

McConaughey was here as a respite before returning to the U.S. to work on five projects before the end of the year, including two animated features and two Christmas movies.

“I got tired of people saying ‘what’s your kids’ favorite film you’ve done’ and I said, ‘I haven’t made anything they can see yet,’” he said. “I’m not going to sit my kids down and let them watch ‘True Detective’ yet. There would be a lot of explaining to do.”

“True Detective” is the HBO crime-drama television series in which McConaughey and Woody Harrelson starred together for Season 1. Difficult to tell these days which role McConaughey is most known for; the aforementioned Oscar speech, “True Detective,” “Dallas Buyers Club” or even the laid-back car commercials where he nonchalantly cruises around town and waxes poetic. 

Fowler confirmed, McConaughey didn’t try to sell him a Lincoln.

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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.”