Snakebit Spieth (76) twists in the wind at Valspar

By Rex HoggardMarch 10, 2016, 7:34 pm

PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Jordan Spieth needs a nap.

Returning to Innisbrook, the site of his first victory of 2015 that helped catapult him to a historic year, Spieth hoped Copperhead's friendly confines would wrest him out of what has been a pedestrian few weeks, at least by his own lofty standards.

Instead, swirling winds and a swing that was just a fraction off led to an unsightly first round of 5-over 76 at the Valspar Championship and another uphill climb on Friday if he’s going to play the weekend.

“It was tough. Wasn't a very good round. I got off to a poor start and I was behind the 8-ball with gusty winds, you know, on a tough golf course,” said Spieth, who was tied for 113th when he finished his round.

Things went sideways for the world No. 1 from the outset on Thursday, starting with a wayward drive at his first hole (No. 10) into a fairway bunker and a misplayed chip into a greenside bunker for an opening bogey.

Spieth didn’t make his first par of the day until his sixth hole, and even then he needed to scramble to do so. He then appeared completely unsettled on the 16th hole, when he backed off his approach shot three times.

“Stop gusting every time I’m over the ball,” he mumbled as the winds whipped to 30 mph on Day 1.

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Spieth hit just 6 of 18 greens in regulation and 7 of 13 greens. Had it not been for some clutch play on the greens - he took 11 putts on his outward loop - things could have been much worse.

Even after going out in 39, Spieth figured he could bounce back on his second nine.

“Get even for the tournament,” Spieth thought. “I think I was 4 [over] at the time. I knew I'd have, you know, iron into No. 1 on a par 5 and wedge into 2 and couple other wedge opportunities. I knew it would be very challenging.”

Although he was better on his second nine, it wasn’t enough. After a bogey at the third hole, Spieth played his final six holes in even par, but he still found himself nine shots off the lead and, for the second time in his last three tournaments, on the wrong side of the cut after 18 holes.

Last month at the Northern Trust Open, Spieth opened with a 79. He bounced back on Friday with a 68 but still missed the cut for the first time since last September.

He will need something similar on Friday if he has any chance to play 72 holes this week and continue his quest to defend the title that got everything started last year.

Spieth explained the difference the last few weeks has been his inability to mitigate the damaged caused on days when his game isn’t quite right.

“Unfortunately, right now on my off days - typically my history, I'm able to hold that around even par, and I'm just shooting too high a number,” he said. “Hopefully less wind tomorrow and I can work hard to play on the weekend.”

 Spieth will have nearly 24 hours before he tees off for Round 2 to think about what he needs to do on Friday, and he planned to spend that time wisely.

“I'm going to go rest. I'm going to go probably take a nap,” said Spieth, who tees off for Round 2 at 12:57 p.m. ET.

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McIlroy 'committed to everything ... ran out of holes'

By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 7:08 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy summed it up: “I don’t really feel like it’s a defeat. I feel like it’s a good week.”

McIlroy, in search of his fifth major, tied for the lead at The Open late on Sunday at Carnoustie when he made eagle on the par-5 14th hole. An hour later, he had made five consecutive pars to close out a 1-under 70 and tie for second place with Justin Rose, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.

That group ended two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. McIlroy thought it was realistic to squeeze one more shot out of his round, but he never though it was possible to squeeze out two.

“I committed to everything,” he said. “I hit the shots when I needed to. I made good swings on 17 and on 18. I just ran out of holes.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

McIlroy hasn’t played poorly this year, but this hasn't been a year that would rank as a total success. He took the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and collected a second-place finish at the BMW PGA Championship. He had a legitimate chance to win the Masters before a terrible Sunday round, and then missed the cut at the U.S. Open last month at Shinnecock Hills.

Sunday at Carnoustie, McIlroy bogeyed two of his first five holes and quickly became an afterthought. When others faltered, McIlroy birdies Nos. 9 and 11, then eagled 14 to vault back into the picture.

“I’m happy with how I played,” he said. “I didn’t get off to a great start, but I hung in there, and I battled back.

“So I’ll look back at this week and be very encouraged about what I’ve done and the golf that I played. I feel like that will stand me in good stead for what’s coming up.”

McIlroy is scheduled to play the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks, followed by the PGA Championship and the FedExCup Playoffs.

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Edoardo, other pros congratulate Francesco on Twitter

By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 6:54 pm

Francesco Molinari played a bogey-free weekend at Carnoustie to claim Italy's first claret jug.

His rock-solid performance in the final round earned him his share of social media plaudits.

Here's a collection of Twitter hat-tips, and we start off with Frankie's brother, Dodo.

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Woods: Fan who yelled had 'tipped back a few'

By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 6:37 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods stood on the 18th tee and thought he needed birdie to have a chance to win The Open. He pulled driver out of his bag, a sign he wanted to boot the ball as far down the fairway as possible.

Woods took a mighty swat and - right in the middle of his downswing - someone yelled. Woods flinched.

Luckily his ball still found a decent spot just off the right of the fairway.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I’ve had things like that happen a lot in my career with people who just tried to time it,” Woods said Sunday at Carnoustie after shooting 71 to tie for sixth place. “They tipped back a few, and it’s late in the day.

“Unfortunately, that’s part of what we have to deal with in today’s game. People are trying to yell out things to try to be on TV or be in social media or whatever it may be. That was too close to the game of play.”

Woods hit his approach to 6 feet and missed the birdie putt. He tapped in for par to shoot even par and finish 5 under for the week, in a tie for sixth.

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Pros melt down on Twitter as they watch Tiger

By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 6:30 pm

Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and, for a little while, took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.

His fellow pros were watching and tweeting like your average fans.

We compiled some of their missives below:

Woods would go on to finish in a tie for sixth at 5 under par for the week.