Driscoll Leads Entering Final Day of Q-School
The 2000 U.S. Amateur runner-up fired a 3-under 69 for a 72-hole total of 277, one shot better than Chris Wollmann (Cleveland, OH). Fellow Americans Eric Crouse and Joey Gullion are two back.
Driscoll, 24, had a hard time controlling his shots off the tee but found his short game in a big way. On the par-3 17th hole, after launching his tee shot over the green, Driscoll flew the green again coming back before chipping in from the rough to save par.
All in all it was a pretty solid round, I saved a bunch of shots out there, he said minutes after coming off the course. Sure I also left a few out there, but that happens in this game. My distance control was awful, but I made up for it with the short game today. I ended up saving more shots that I gave away.
When asked how he will approach Fridays final round, Driscoll made it clear that he has no intention to play in conservatively.
There are a bunch of guys right behind me, and they will be closing in quickly. The key will be to keep doing what I have been, and see where I am at the end of the day.
Following play Thursday, the starting field of 240 golfers was cut to the low 60 scores plus ties. Those remaining will play the ChampionsGate International course in the final round Friday, with 20 exempt and 15 (plus ties) non-exempt cards for the 2002 Canadian Tour season to be handed out after play. The Canadian Tour had announced earlier Thursday that five additional non-exempt cards would be awarded than was originally planned. Dave Levesque (+3) was the lone Canadian to advance.
Also moving on were former US Amateur champions Hank Kuehne (1998) and Jeff Quinney, who defeated Driscoll in a playoff at the 2000 final. Kuehne is at 5-under, while Quinney is one behind him.
Former NHL star goaltender Grant Fuhr (Calgary, AB) wound up at 19-over 307.
Wollmann, 26, has been pleased with his play this week and, like Driscoll, stressed he will not change his game plan in the final round.
Ive been driving the ball well, my chipping and putting has been strong, so I have been able to take advantage of the par 5s, said Wollmann, who played on the Buy.Com Tour last season. But, like any Q-school, you have to play to win. If you goal is just to finish in the top 20, theres a chance you will lose out.
The big mover of the day was Crouse, whose 6-under 66 moved him from six shots out of the lead after Wednesday to within one with 18 holes to play.
Regardless of where you are on the leaderboard, the difference is if you are willing to lay it all on the line and be satisfied with the results, said the 30-year-old, his right arm slung over wife Angelas shoulder. Today I did lay it on the line, and I am thrilled. Angela has stood by me all the way, and we are both looking forward to trying to nail this down tomorrow. I feel this is the fastest-growing international tour in the world, and I want to be a part of it.
Round 3 Scores From Winter Qualifying School
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.”