Appleby Comes Up Aces in Vegas

By Sports NetworkOctober 12, 2003, 4:00 pm
LAS VEGAS -- Stuart Appleby drained an 18-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole Sunday to win the Las Vegas Invitational. Appleby posted a 3-under 69 to head to the extra session tied with Scott McCarron at 31-under-par 328.
McCarron closed with a 6-under 66. Steve Lowery rallied to finish alone in third place. He closed with a 5-under 67 to come in at 28-under-par 331.
Appleby and McCarron returned to the 18th tee at the TPC at Summerlin for the playoff. After good drives, Appleby knocked his second shot on the green. McCarron dropped his shot on the green as well, and spun it back, nearly hitting Appleby's ball.
Appleby was the first to putt and calmly ran in the birdie try. McCarron, who also had a chance to win on the last hole of regulation, was unable to make the putt thus giving the victory to Appleby.
'On No. 18, I had a look at the putt and as soon as I saw it, I thought I could roll it in,' Appleby said. 'I was very relieved it fell in the hole, but at the same time, I still had Scott's putt to take notice of. To my benefit, he just missed the putt.'
Appleby battled throughout the round with playing partners Steve Flesch and McCarron. The trio had moved to 28-under through eight holes. Appleby had spread two birdies and two bogeys out over those first eight holes, while McCarron birdied Nos. 4, 5 and 8, and Flesch had two birdies and a bogey to that point.
'Really No. 3 focused me back to the point where I need to do what I was doing the previous day,' said Appleby of the hole where he notched his first birdie on Sunday. 'To stay with the shots, pick the shot correctly. I liked the way I was reading the greens and how everything was feeling.'
Appleby, who shared second place here last year, and Flesch both birdied the ninth to move one stroke ahead, but McCarron created a three-way tie with a birdie on the 10th. After the trio all parred the 11th, some separation came at the 12th.
Appleby birdied the hole, while Flesch bogeyed and fell two shots back. He would not challenge again. McCarron, who parred the 12th, tied Appleby in the lead with a birdie on 13.
The duo both parred the 14th and birdied the 15th to maintain a three-stroke lead over Lowery. Appleby birdied the 16th to move ahead, but stumbled to a bogey at the next when his tee ball nearly found water.
'I was fortunate enough to hit the ball left and have it stay up,' said Appleby, who earns $720,000 for the win. 'I was really relieved that it stayed dry and I was thinking that is a good break and a nice thing to have happen.'
Both men parred the 18th hole, with McCarron's attempt for birdie and the win missing on the right side. So the pair returned to the 18th tee for the playoff.
'Stuart's ball stays up twice on the 17th hole, it was just his turn to win,' said McCarron.
Scott Verplank carded a 5-under 67 to finish alone in fourth place at 27-under-par 332. David Frost ended one stroke further back at minus-26.
Flesch bogeyed the 12th and 13th to fall off the pace and fell farther back with a double bogey on No. 16. He shared sixth place with Woody Austin at 25-under-par 334.
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    Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 12:55 pm

    NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

    Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

    1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch.

    Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

    Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

    1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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    Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

    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.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    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.

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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

    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.

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    McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

    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.

    Said Harmon:

    “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.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “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.