Delays No Good For Anyone
Tournament organizers planned to complete Thursdays first round, delayed by heavy rain and lightning, at 8 a.m. ET on Friday morning. Fog prevented the shotgun start, delaying play for the second day in a row. Play finally resumed at 10:35 a.m. Friday morning and was completed at 1 p.m.
Officials made the decision to shorten the 4-day event to 54 holes. The field was split for the second round with 24 groups playing Friday and 24 on Saturday.
All of the afternoon groups from Thursday, with the exclusion of one, finished the first round Friday morning only to turn right around and start the second round.
The 24 groups able to complete the first round Thursday morning had an unexpected day off Friday and will play their second rounds starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Annika Sorenstam and her playing partners, sister Charlotta and Kelly Robbins, were the only afternoon group to finish the first round on Thursday. They joined the Thursday morning groups in a day off.
Upon the completion of the first round, two names joined the leaders. Rookie Beth Bader and Siew-Ai Lim of Malaysia matched Thursdays leading score of 5-under-par 67.
Bader was surprisingly unfazed by the disruptions. I didnt know what would happen today and in a way I think it was a blessing in disguise for me because the delay gave me time to get focused, Bader said between rounds. The delay didnt affect me and it didnt hurt my game either.
Lim recorded an eagle on the 476-yard par-5 6th on her way to 5-under. She was one of many players who had only a few minutes between the completion of the first round and the start of the second round.
Its not an understatement to say that things have not gone smoothly at this inaugural event. With people still reeling from the travesties inflicted on America, 23 players pulled out of the event, forcing officials to scramble through the alternate list and fill all 144 spots.
As the last official full-field money event of the year, this is the last chance for many to make their card for the coming year. The alternative - Q-school - sends shivers down many a spine.
Now many must deal with the added pressure of a cut on Saturday. For some, the time will be good for their games - they are the fortunate ones.
More than one professional golfer knows what it feels like to be on the bubble ' the bubble in this case surrounds 90th place on the LPGA Tour money list. Rookie Tamie Durdin is one of those players. Coming into the Asahi Ryokuken International Championship, Durdin is 91st on the money list with seasonal earnings of $82,413.
For players like Durdin, who shot an opening round of 5-over-par 77, interruptions in play just make things more complicated.
Completion of the second round will commence at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday. The third and final round will be played on Sunday.
Full-field scores from the Asahi Ryokuken International Championship
Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba
Conor Moore is known for his impressions of golfers, and he is back with a new video just in time for The Open.
Moore even got the thumbs up from Ian Poulter.
This is hilarious..— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) July 16, 2018
Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite
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
Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC
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.
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.
Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense
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.
“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.”