Casey Leads Garcia at Open de Madrid

By Sports NetworkOctober 23, 2003, 4:00 pm
MADRID, Spain -- Paul Casey fired an 8-under-par 63 on Thursday to take a one-shot lead over local favorite Sergio Garcia after the first round of the Telefonica Open de Madrid.
Ireland's Padraig Harrington shot a 6-under-par 65 to share third place with Robert Karlsson of Sweden.
Casey, who is enjoying his most successful season to date on the European Tour with two victories to his name, started on the back nine at Club de Campo and picked up his first birdie of the day at the par-4 13th.
He added birdies at 15 and 17 before knocking his approach within six feet of the cup at the par-4 18th. Casey then drained the birdie putt to make the turn at 4 under.
The Englishman continued his fine play on the front side and landed his second shot within 12 feet at the par-5 fourth for an eagle.
Casey reached minus-7 with a birdie at the fifth after his approach dropped inside eight feet but he found trouble with a bogey at the very next hole.
The 26-year-old recovered quickly, however, and reached the green in two at the par-5 seventh. Casey two-putted for birdie and added a birdie at the eighth to secure the opening-round lead.
'I didn't expect much especially as I decided to throw out the window the things I was working on,' said Casey. 'I didn't hit it well the last two days, so I forgot how I was swinging it.'
Garcia holed out for an eagle at the par-4 fifth and added an eagle at the par-5 seventh to move to minus-4. He stumbled with a bogey at the eighth but responded with a birdie at the par-3 ninth after his tee shot stopped 16 feet from the cup.
The young Spaniard hit his second shot to four feet for a birdie at the 10th and landed his tee shot inside two feet for a tap-in birdie at the par-3 11th to make it three in a row.
Garcia faltered with a bogey at the 16th but ran home a 25-foot putt for a birdie at the 17th. At the par-4 18th, Garcia hit his approach to 14 feet and sank the putt to finish alone in second.
France's Thomas Levet, who was in a playoff at the British Open two years ago, collected six birdies and a bogey to finish alone in fifth place at 5-under-par 66.
Angel Cabrera, Peter Fowler, Gregory Havret, Barry Lane, Manuel Moreno, Nick O'Hern, Jarmo Sandelin, Miles Tunnicliff and Spanish amateur Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano were one shot further back at 4-under-par 67.
Defending champion Steen Tinning, who is retiring after this event because of a back injury, finished in a group at 3-under-par 68 that featured Lee Westwood, Ignacio Garrido and Ian Woosnam.
'I knew around the time of the Volvo PGA Championship that it wasn't going to get any better so I made the decision then,' said Tinning. 'It was a very difficult decision to make because I had been a professional on the European Tour for 16 years and it had become my way of life.'
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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.