Bryant Still in Command at East Lake

By Sports NetworkNovember 5, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Tour ChampionshipATLANTA -- Bart Bryant holed out from a bunker on his 18th hole Saturday to shoot a 4-under 66 and move three clear after three rounds of the Tour Championship.
 
His 14-under-par-196 total established a new 54-hole record, bettering Tom Lehman's old mark from 1996 by one. It's been a record-setting week for Bryant, who won this year's Memorial. On Thursday, he posted a new course record at East Lake Golf Club with an 8-under 62.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods was once again erratic, but managed to stay in contention.
'I hit the ball solid all day, said Bryant, who has owned at least a piece of the lead after every round. 'I'm a little surprised in my mind, but I'm sure I'm a surprise in a lot of people's minds that I'm leading at this point.'
 
Defending champion and overnight co-leader Retief Goosen managed a 1-under 69 on Saturday and is alone in second place at 11-under-par 199.
 
Tiger Woods, who won this title in 1999, birdied three of his last five holes Saturday, en route to a 67. The reigning Masters and British Open champion is alone in third place at 10-under-par 200.
 
Woods birdied 14 and 15 to get to 9 under par, then rolled in a 5-footer for birdie at the 17th. On the par-3 closing hole, Woods landed in a front bunker, but blasted out to 4 feet. He converted the par putt to get within four of Bryant's lead.
 
'Overall, I felt like I was swinging the club a lot better today,' said Woods, who hit the stick at the par-3 11th, but missed the birdie putt after the ball ran 15 feet from the hole. 'I had better control of my shots.'
 
Woods has not had great control of his drives this week. He leads this elite, 29-man field in driving distance to the tune of 325 yards, but is dead last in accuracy, hitting only 33 percent of the fairways.
 
'I hit some good drives that ended up in tough spots, but I also hit some pretty bad drives,' acknowledged Woods. 'The fairways are a little faster. I am hitting it farther and with less effort, which is nice.'
 
Bryant has certainly had no problems statistically this week. He shares the lead in the tournament in fairways hit and is first in greens in regulation.
 
He flew out of the gate on Saturday with a 5-foot birdie putt at the first, but it was Goosen who took the lead early in the third round. The two-time U.S. Open winner birdied one from 8 feet, then tapped in a short birdie putt at the second. Goosen took a two-shot lead when his 10-foot birdie putt at the sixth disappeared in the cup.
 
Things turned for the first time at the seventh. Goosen found a pair of bunkers on the way to making a bogey. Bryant knocked his approach inside a foot and tapped in for the birdie to tie for the lead.
 
Goosen bogeyed eight to fall one back and both players birdied the par-5 ninth. Bryant gave a shot back at 13 when his drive in the left rough forced him into a difficult stance.
 
Bryant rolled in a 5-foot birdie putt at the 14th to reclaim the top spot on the leaderboard. From there, it was a combination of Goosen mistakes and a clutch bunker shot that gave Bryant his three-stroke cushion.
 
Bryant made a routine par at the 17th, but Goosen hit a mediocre approach to 45 feet. He three-putted for a bogey and was two behind.
 
At the par-3 18th, both players were in the same bunker, and Bryant went first. His bunker shot ultimately fell into the cup and Goosen got up and down from 5 feet for par to remain three off the lead.
 
'I'm going to try to get some good rest tonight and come out tomorrow and stick with the same game plan, try and get it in the fairway,' said Bryant. 'I think if I continue to do that, I have a decent chance to coming out on top,'
 
If Goosen is to become a back-to-back winner, he will have to improve his play at the end of the round.
 
'I'm holing a lot of good par putts, so tomorrow I'm going to have to scramble better or play better, one of the two,' said Goosen. 'I've been up-and-down this year, but I just need to somehow find the fairways. That's the key.'
 
Scott Verplank posted a 1-under 69 and is alone in fourth place at 8-under-par 202. Davis Love III fired a 5-under 65 and has sole possession of fifth place at minus-6.
 
Padraig Harrington (68), Charles Howell III (70) and Ben Crane (72) are knotted in sixth place at 5-under-par 205. Vijay Singh (68), Stuart Appleby (71) and Tim Clark (72) share ninth at minus-4.
 
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    Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:55 pm

    NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 146th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

    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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    Knox relishes round with 'mythical figure' Woods

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Russell Knox was expecting the worst and hoping for the best Thursday at The Open.

    Playing with Tiger Woods tends to have that effect.

    The native Scot received a treat earlier this week when he saw his name on the tee sheet alongside his boyhood idol, Woods.

    “Felt good out there, but obviously my swing, it was just like I had too much tension,” Knox said after an opening 73. “I just wasn’t letting it go as normal. First round with Tiger, I expected to feel a little bit different. The way I felt was better than the way I swung.”

    Knox said that he was nervous playing alongside Woods, a player he’d only encountered on the range. “He’s almost like a mythical figure,” he said.

    But after a while, he settled into the rhythm of the round at Carnoustie.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I thought it would be worse,” he said, “I feel like I should know what I’m doing. It’s cool playing with Tiger, but I’ve got to get over that. I’m here to win, not just enjoy my walk around the course.”

    Knox probably had more interaction with Woods than he anticipated, if only because the third member of the group, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, keeps to himself because of the language barrier.

    “It’s kind of a blur,” Knox said. “It’s like, Oh, I’m chatting away with Tiger here like normal. I don’t even remember what I was saying.”

    There have been countless stories from this year as the next generation of players – guys who grew up watching Woods dominate the sport – get paired with Woods for the first time.

    It was no less special for Knox on Thursday.

    “It’s nice for him to say things like that,” Woods said, “and we enjoyed playing with each other. Hopefully we’ll play a little bit better tomorrow.”

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    Rain expected to shower Carnoustie Friday morning

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:43 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – By the end of the day Friday, we’ll be able to determine which side of The Open draw ended the first two rounds at Carnoustie with more favorable conditions. With rain expected for most of Friday morning, it seems those who played early/late may be more pleased.

    According to Weather.com, there is a 75 percent chance of rain beginning at 2 a.m. local time Friday here in Scotland. That percentage vaults up to 95 percent by 7 a.m., with the first tee time scheduled for 6:35. At 11, the number drops to 55 percent. After 2 p.m., the percentage chances of rain are 25 percent and below for the remainder of the day.

    Temperatures during the day are expected to be from the low 50s to the low 60s and winds will vary between 14-18 mph, again per Weather.com.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    This is The Open’s official weather report for the weekend:

    Saturday: A dull start with some drizzle possible. Staying cloudy for much of the day but gradually becoming brighter with a chance of some sunny intervals during the afternoon and evening. Winds light and variable in direction but should predominantly settle in to a SSE 8-12mph during the afternoon. Max temp 20C (68F).

    Sunday: Often cloudy but mainly dry. A better chance of some decent sunny spells compared to Saturday. Most likely the windiest day of the Championship; SW 12-18mph with gusts 20-25mph. Feeling warm, especially in any sunshine with a max temp of 23C (73F).

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    Bandaged Woods 5 back after even-par 71

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:38 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods arrived Thursday with therapeutic tape on the back of his neck.

    Carnoustie’s back nine inflicted even more pain.

    Playing in the most difficult conditions of the day, Woods’ progress was stalled by two late bogeys as he settled for an even-par 71 that left him five shots off the lead at The Open.

    “I played better than what the score indicates,” he said. “It certainly could have been a little bit better.”

    Woods created a stir when he showed up with black kinesiology tape on his neck. Afterward, he said that his neck has been bugging him “for a while” and that Thursday was merely the first time that the tape was visible.

    “Everyone acts like this is the first time I’ve been bandaged up,” he said, smiling. “I’ve been doing this for years.”

    Woods said that the discomfort didn’t really affect his swing, other than a few shots “here and there.” It didn’t seem to affect his score, either, as he went out in 2 under before a few stumbles on the back nine.

    On the fast, baked-out turf, he played conservatively off the tee, using driver only once and 3-wood just twice. Apparently he didn’t need the added distance, not with his 6-iron traveling 240 yards. He tried to play to his spots, even if it routinely left him more than 200 yards for his approach.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    That’s the strategy he employed at Hoylake in 2006, where he hit driver just once and captured the third of his Open titles. Despite some of the similarities in firmness, Woods said that Carnoustie presents a different challenge off the tee.

    “These fairways are very small,” he said. “They’re hard to hit right now. They’re so fast, and they’re so moundy.”

    Finding the fairway wasn’t the chief problem for Woods on Day 1, however. He missed just four fairways but found only 11 greens.

    More damaging to his score was his play on the par 5s. Despite having only an 8-iron in, he failed to birdie each of the two par 5s and then bogeyed Nos. 10, 13 and 15 to squander his early momentum.

    Though the draw here won’t be a significant factor – or at least not like in recent years, with a wide range in scores from morning to afternoon – it’s clear that Woods (in game 47 of 52) encountered the most difficult of the conditions Thursday, with the wind gusting to 20 mph and the fairways running even faster after another sun-splashed afternoon.

    Still, his opening 71 was one of the better scores in the late wave.

    “He hit it good,” said playing partner Russell Knox. “He plotted his way around, which I expected him to do, and he was very conservative off the tee. It’s kind of fun to watch him do that, to be honest.”

    Even more fun would be a major with Woods in contention.

    He hasn’t broken par in the opening round of his last eight majors. Indeed, for Woods, these slow starts have been the real pain in the neck.