Doral Doldrums

By Mike RitzFebruary 27, 2002, 5:00 pm
And you thought I had a glamorous life ...
 
Well, let me tell you about my evening. Please. I need to vent.
 
After suffering through the wrong directions provided by the hotel, I finally arrived at my temporary home in Miami to cover the Genuity at Doral. It was six in the evening.
 
I should have sensed something coming
 
To be (somewhat) fair to the hotel where Im staying this week, it shall remain nameless. Lets just say its world-famous and is most conveniently located for intrepid reporters hoping to cover the PGA Tour stop at Doral.
 
When I pulled my car up to register, I declined valet parking and was told by a very nice young man I could pull it right over there while I checked in. I parked it, as directed, out of the way. Then a not very nice, not as young man, told me Id have to leave him my car keys.
 
Curious, I asked why? Well, I always take the keys for cars parked here. But I dont want anyone else to drive my personal car, I explained. He then said, Oh, I wont drive your car, but I need your keys.
 
Huh?!? If youre not going to move my car, then why do you need the keys? It seemed a logical question. Well, this scintillating exchange went around and around about three more times until the nice young man thankfully intervened and explained it was OK.
 
When I got to the front desk, I gave the very nice young woman my name and confirmation number. After quite a bit of to-ing and fro-ing at her computer screen, she informed me no rooms were ready. Your surprised storyteller: Really, at six oclock? Im very sorry sir. Twenty minutes later I was told a chamber had been discovered.
 
I noticed during my desk encounter, PGA Tour veteran Neal Lancaster was experiencing something eerily similar. Wait, Im supposed to have one king-sized single tonight and two adjoining doubles starting tomorrow night, Neal explained. Neal was still explaining when a bellboy hailed me.
 
I should have sensed something coming
 
After this very nice young man escorted my luggage and me to my room, we discovered it wasnt ready, after all. First, it was not the coveted single king I had reserved and second, one of the two beds was not maid, er, made. Upon further review, we found dirty towels strewn in the bathroom and the service bar unlocked with a few $5 sodas missing.
 
Oh, it gets worse.
 
After a phone conversation with reception that netted nothing, that very nice young man and I returned to the front desk. The bellboy had obviously seen such shenanigans before, so he wisely suggested we get the manager.
 
A very nice young manager apologized profusely, nodded in understanding and said hed see what he could do. Fifteen minutes later his smiling countenance informed me a non-smoking single-king would be available. Id just have to wait while the room was readied. Meanwhile, that very nice bellboy gave up on me and went to hustle some tips elsewhere.
 
Twenty minutes later (a recurring theme) my new room was ready. My bellboy returned and we gleefully entered the non-smoking single-king. Oh, what a great room! With generous tip in hand, the bellboy left me on my own.
 
I should have sensed something coming.
 
After un-packing and settling in, I ordered room service. I sprawled on the couch, watching Kelly Tilghman and Dorals Jim McLean on Academy Live while I waited (yes, the hotel has The Golf Channel, no wonder its four-star).
 
As I pondered how I could finagle a free lesson from Jim, a loud bang shook me from the sofa. My God! Someone was trying to break into my room! A prudent peak through the peephole and then I opened my door to another bellboy and another equally shocked hotel guest. You see, that crazy front desk had given him the same room.
 
I had been told room service would take about 55 minutes. One hour and ten later, I called. Twenty minutes later, it arrived. Yup, you guessed it - it was not the meal I had ordered.
 
Twenty minutes later, my dinner was delivered. Twenty minutes after supping, I went to my self-parked car to retrieve a couple items. Upon returning, my key-card didnt work and I couldnt get back into my room. Apparently that crazy front desk had changed the code for the other guest. Imagine that. So I trudged the mile back to the desk, found my friendly manager and got a new key.
 
Oh, by the way during one lobby stint I chatted up one of the Tours more successful young stars. He informed me he had just flown in with his family from Orlando on a demo flight. A what? Oh, you know, a private plane. They demod it for me. Really? It sure beats the hell out of that four-hour drive.

And you thought I had a glamorous life.
Getty Images

Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
Getty Images

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

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.”