Fanning Readies For Final Round Shootout
The 33-year-old Winnipeg native carded a 7-under 65 and sits at 18-under through three rounds for a share of the lead with Mark Slawter (Raleigh, N.C.) heading into Sundays final round. Chris Greenwood (Valdese, N.C.) is two shots behind, while Craig Matthew (Ile Bizard, QC), Rich Massey (Harrington Park, N.J.) and Steve Scott (Wellington, Fla.) are tied for fourth at 15-under.
Now into the second of a three-year sponsorship deal with Lacasse, Fanning admitted that this event, the official Canadian Tour Tournament Players Championship, has been circled on his calendar all year.
When I looked at the schedule earlier this year, I thought to myself if there were two tournaments Id like to win, this one and the MTS Classic (in Winnipeg) would be them, said Fanning, who is in search of his first Tour victory after four second-place finishes.
Obviously, Andre has treated me like gold, and I fell in love with this course the first time I played it in 1998.
After a birdie and an eagle on his first two holes Saturday, Fanning rode the momentum to a 5-under-par 31 on the front nine en route to a final-pairing date with Slawter. Still, with the numbers his fellow Tour players have been putting up all week, the two-time Canadian junior champion isnt taking anything for granted.
When I tee it up tomorrow, there could be a course record in the house and the leader could be finished his round. Everyone is attacking this course because right now that is the way it is playing. They always say its tough to follow up a great roundthe way I see it, Ive had three very good rounds (67, 66, 65). I havent had that great round yet.
Slawter, who carried a two-shot edge over Massey into Saturday, agreed, adding his recovery from an even-par front nine to wind up 4-under on the day likely kept him in the hunt.
If I happened to shot 72 today, I was probably out of the tournament, he conceded. I would have been passed-thats just the way its been out here.
In the media center following his round Saturday, Slawter and Fanning shook hands in anticipation of their final-round pairing before Slawter jokingly remarked, And try to keep that noisy gallery down (Sunday).
Coming off a win in Thunder Bay last month and a ninth-place showing at the TELUS Open in Montreal a week ago, Matthew, 25, is back within striking distance of the leaders once again.
Going 68, 67, 66 (in the first three rounds)..I like the trend. Everyone is playing well right now, but I cant worry about what they are doing. I just have to focus on what it is I have to do.
The Canadian Tour all-time record winning score relative to par is 27-under, set by Brian Kontak (Tempe, Ariz.) during the 1998 Alberta Open at Wolf Creek Golf Club.
Full-field scores from the Eagle Creek Classic
Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.
Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.
“We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”
It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.
Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.
“It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”
It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.
Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship
Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.
Tweets by GCTigerTracker
McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.
McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.
But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.
“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.
“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.
“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”
McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.
“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”
McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.
How The Open cut line is determined
Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.
The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:
• After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.
• There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.
• There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.
The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.