Casey Levet Lead Bunched Leaderboard

By Sports NetworkJuly 15, 2004, 4:00 pm
TROON, Scotland -- England's Paul Casey shot a 5-under-par 66 Thursday to join Frenchman Thomas Levet in the lead after the first round of the 133rd British Open Championship at Royal Troon Golf Club.
 
Michael Campbell of New Zealand carded a 4-under 67 to finish alone in third place.
 
Tiger Woods looked to be on track in the opening round of a major for quite some time. The top player in the world, whose last major title came at the U.S. Open at Bethpage in 2002, ran home a long birdie putt at the second and rolled in a 4-footer for a birdie at the sixth to jump to minus-2.
 
The 28-year-old three-putted for a bogey at the seventh but countered with a birdie at the par-3 eighth. Woods found trouble on the back side, however, and missed the green at the 12th on his way to a bogey.
 
Woods dropped another shot at the 13th after he couldn't get up and down but got back into red figures with a birdie at the par-5 16th. He ended up with a 1-under 70, which ties him for 26th.
 
'I think it was positive the way I played today. That's the key,' said the champion in 2000 at St. Andrews. 'Granted, I shot a good number, but I think that's indicative of the shots I hit, and I hit a lot of good shots and controlled my ball really well today.'
 
Casey, who tied for sixth at the Masters, did more than a good job in improving upon his opening round score from last year's Open at Royal St. George's. An 85 on the first day last year meant Casey would be missing out on the weekend for the second year in a row. This time around, the 26-year-old is halfway to making the cut at the Open for the first time in his young career.
 
'Major championships are a big deal, and that's what everybody wants to win,' said Casey. 'You have to treat them the same as every other golf event and if you don't then 85s happen. You've got to want it a lot, but not push it over the edge and find a happy medium.'
 
Casey got things going early at the par-4 first and hit a wedge in to 10 feet for a quick birdie. He then knocked his third shot to 6 feet for a birdie at the par-5 fourth and hit his tee shot inside 6 feet for a birdie at the tricky par-3 eighth.
 
The Arizona State product hit a 7-iron over the back of the green en route to a bogey at the ninth, but responded well with birdies on each of his next two holes to reach 4 under.
 
Casey parred his next three holes before picking up a birdie at the par-5 16th. At the par-4 closing hole, Casey left an 8-iron within 16 feet of the hole and converted the birdie putt to enter the clubhouse in the lead under calm conditions on the seaside links at Troon.
 
'I'm not getting in my own way as I have done, especially last year,' said Casey, a three-time winner on the European Tour. 'This year it's been very good. I've been very relaxed and allowed myself to play good golf, and if I'm in that sort of frame of mind, as I was at the Masters, then anything is possible.'
 
Levet came into this week on a roll after winning the Scottish Open just to earn a spot in the field.
 
'When you win a tournament you get really lucky,' said Levet, who was not planning on competing this week. 'I just try to put everything on my side to be ready for this week and play good golf.'
 
On Thursday, Levet seemed to pick up right where he left off at Loch Lomond. He birdied two in a row starting at the par-5 fourth and ran home a long birdie putt at the par-4 seventh.
 
Levet made it two in a row with a birdie at the eighth, but gave that shot back with a bogey at the par-4 10th. Levet came right back, however, and placed his second shot inside 7 feet for a birdie at the 11th.
 
He coasted at even par over his next five holes before collecting a birdie at the par-3 17th. Levet then parred the last to join Casey atop the leaderboard.
 
Levet was on the verge of major glory two years ago at Muirfield when he lost out in a playoff battle to Ernie Els.
 
'Sometimes you feel like I was not too far from winning. But sometimes you learn from that, as well,' said Levet. 'It's the first time I was about to win something and there is nothing to be ashamed of. He won because he was the best.'
 
Campbell, who tied for third at the 1995 Open at St. Andrews, tallied a birdie at the fourth and added an eagle at the par-5 sixth. With the front nine yielding plenty of scoring, Campbell then birdied the ninth to make the turn at minus-4.
 
The 35-year-old bogeyed the 10th but moved back within a shot of the lead with a birdie at the par-4 15th.
 
'I was very, very comfortable out there today,' said Campbell, who was in contention last week at Loch Lomond. 'It was a good start to the tournament and I'm pretty happy about it.'
 
Vijay Singh posted a 3-under-par 68 to join amateur Stuart Wilson, K.J. Choi, Gary Evans, Carl Pettersson, Marten Olander, Kenneth Ferrie, Alastair Forsyth and Mathew Goggin in a tie for fifth.
 
Els had the shot of the tournament thus far at the difficult par-3 eighth. The South African holed a wedge for an ace to reach 3 under and added a birdie at the 11th to join a logjam at 4 under par.
 
While his challengers faltered over the difficult closing holes at Troon, Els got himself out of some hairy situations. He hit an errant drive at the 13th but was able to muscle his way out of the rough on his way to a par. Els then parred his next three holes before disaster struck at the 17th.
 
Els found a pot bunker off the tee at the par-3 and left his second shot in the sand. He knocked his third just off the front of the green and what had been a fine morning turned sour after Els two-putted for a double bogey.
 
'I didn't feel good after that,' said Els. 'I had a pretty nice round going there. But from such a highlight on eighth to such a low light on 17, it's amazing.'
 
Els played his second shot to 20 feet at the last and two-putted for par and a round of 69.
 
Colin Montgomerie was eager to get out in front of his hometown fans on his home course. Montgomerie, a member at Troon who has played the course since his youth, rocketed out of the gate with three birdies over his first nine holes.
 
The Scot stumbled on the back side with a double bogey at the 10th and a bogey at the 11th, but Montgomerie responded with a birdie at the par-4 12th to get back to 1 under.
 
Montgomerie then sank a 20-footer for a birdie at the par-4 15th and parred his way in for a 69 of his own.
 
'Whether that score is 75 or 65, I was going to enjoy myself, and I did today,' said Montgomerie, who tied for 24th at Troon in 1997. 'It helps if you break 70, it always helps.'
 
Els and Montgomerie were joined by U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, Darren Clarke, Rich Beem, Joakim Haeggman, Kenny Perry, Scott Verplank, Paul McGinley, Skip Kendall, Trevor Immelman, Barry Lane and Steve Lowery at 2 under par.
 
Justin Leonard, the 1997 winner at Troon, was one shot further back at 1-under-par 70 in the group that featured Woods, 1985 Open champion Sandy Lyle, 1995 winner John Daly, Jay Haas and Robert Allenby.
 
Masters champion Phil Mickelson was unable to take advantage of the benign conditions on Thursday. He parred his first nine holes before picking up a bogey at the 10th. Mickelson dropped another shot with a bogey at the 15th but recovered with his only birdie of the day at the 16th.
 
The left-hander was not out of the woods, however, and bogeyed the 17th for a round of 73.
 
Defending champion Ben Curtis hit his approach to 6 feet for a birdie at the opening hole. It was all downhill from that point on for the Ohio native, who double bogeyed the fifth to fall back to 1 over.
 
Curtis birdied the very next hole, but collected four bogeys the rest of the way to finish in a group at 4-over-par 75 that included Sergio Garcia.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - 133rd Open Championship
  • TV Airtimes

  • British Open Photo Gallery

  • Full Coverage - 133rd Open Championship
     
    Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Getty Images

    Maguire's storied Duke career comes to an end

    By Ryan LavnerMay 22, 2018, 8:39 pm

    STILLWATER, Okla. – After losing in the quarterfinals here at the NCAA Women’s Championship, Duke coach Dan Brooks gathered his team and walked back toward the 18th hole. He wanted to get away and deliver a parting speech to senior Leona Maguire, one of the most important players in program history.

    “I feel like I didn’t say enough, and I feel like I didn’t say it right,” he said afterward. “I guess that’s inevitable when dealing with a player who has meant so much.”

    Maguire’s heralded Duke career came to an end Tuesday when she and her teammates dropped their quarterfinal match to Southern Cal, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2. Maguire did her part, winning, 1 up, against USC’s Jennifer Chang, but it still wasn’t enough.

    Maguire will go down as one of the best players not just in Duke’s storied history, but all time in college golf. She’s a two-time Player of the Year. She finished with the best scoring average (70.93) in Division I women’s golf history. She had a record 32 competitive rounds in the 60s. She spent 135 weeks at the top of the World Amateur Golf Rankings, another record.

    The 23-year-old from Ireland is the rare collegian who turned down guaranteed LPGA status to return to school to earn her degree and try to win a NCAA title with twin sister Lisa, the team’s No. 5 player. Ultimately, they never reached the championship match.

    “I wouldn’t change a thing,” she said softly outside the clubhouse. “The experiences, the memories, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

    Maguire said that she’s turning pro soon and has a full schedule upcoming. She’ll play the ShopRite LPGA Classic and then try to capitalize on her full status on the developmental Symetra circuit.

    Asked about her potential at the next level, Brooks said that Maguire can be a future Hall of Famer.

    “She’s the hardest worker and the smartest player I’ve ever coached,” he said. “I’m really going to miss her.”

    Geoff Ogilvy and family at the 2009 WGC-Accenture Match Play. Getty Images

    Notes: Ogilvy moving family to Australia

    By Doug FergusonMay 22, 2018, 6:55 pm

    Geoff Ogilvy's immediate future involves fewer golf tournament and longer flights.

    Ogilvy has been contemplating in the last few years moving back home to Australia, and after discussing it with his Texas-born wife, Juli, they plan to return to Melbourne shortly after Christmas.

    Their daughter, Phoebe, turns 12 in October and will be starting the seventh grade in Australia. They have two sons, Jasper (10) and Harvey (8). The Ogilvys figured that waiting much longer to decide where to live would make it tougher on the children.

    ''We just talked about it, for lots of reasons, and we kept making pros and cons. Juli was strong on it,'' Ogilvy said. ''We're excited. I'm at the point where I'm not going to play 27 times a year. It's going to be brutal to play from there. But you've got to choose life.''

    Ogilvy won the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, and he counts three World Golf Championships among his eight PGA Tour victories. He also has won the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship and has reached No. 3 in the world.

    His last victory was in 2014, and Ogilvy has slipped to No. 416 in the world.

    He has been dividing some of his time with a golf course design business with projects that include Shady Oaks in Fort Worth, Texas, (including a ''Little Nine'' course that opened last year), a renovation in China and a 36-hole course called Peninsula Kingwood in Melbourne.

    Ogilvy, who grew up at Victoria Golf Club, still has a home on the 14th hole of the West Course at Royal Melbourne. If he didn't move back home, Ogilvy figured he would be spending six months in Melbourne and six months in Scottsdale, Arizona.

    ''It's a feeling more than anything,'' he said. ''Scottsdale is dreamy. We live a great existence. I know what I'm getting there. If we didn't move back, we'd be a six-and-six family. The kids get out of school, and they're bounced back and forth. It's not good for continuity.''

    As for golf?

    Ogilvy narrowly kept his full PGA Tour card last year and this season has been a struggle. He hasn't sorted out what kind of schedule he would keep, understanding it would involve long trips from Sydney to Dallas.

    The immediate goal would be to play a heavy fall schedule and miss most of the West Coast swing to get acclimated to the move.

    ''And then we'll start working it out,'' he said.


    US OPEN QUALIFYING: The U.S. Open likes to consider its championship the most democratic of the majors, and it has it just about right again this year. With the addition of 23 players who became exempt by being in the top 60 in the world ranking, 77 players in the 156-man field are exempt from qualifying. That number could go up slightly with another cutoff for the top 60 the Sunday before U.S. Open week.

    The U.S. Open is the only American major that does not offer automatic exemptions to PGA Tour winners. Five such winners from this season still face qualifying, including Patton Kizzire, who has won twice (OHL Classic at Mayakoba and Sony Open). The others are Austin Cook, Ted Potter Jr., Andrew Landry and Aaron Wise.

    Kizzire is at No. 63 in the world, followed by Wise (66) and Landry (69). All have three weeks to crack the top 60.

    Until 2011, the U.S. Open offered exemptions to multiple PGA Tour winners since the previous Open. It leans heavily on the world ranking, as do the other majors. It also awards recent major champions and top finishers from the previous U.S. Open, along with the Tour Championship field from the previous year, to reward a consistently strong season.

    ''All of the tours around the world have bought into the official world golf ranking rankings,'' said Jeff Hall, the USGA's managing director of rules and open championships. ''And this provides just the right place for us to be with exemptions. We don't have to get into the weighting of one tour over another, this championship versus that event, a week-to-week event. We focus on the official world golf rankings and it seems to get us the right players for our championship.''



    FICKLE GAME: Careers can change quickly in golf. No one can attest to that as well as Michael Arnaud.

    The 36-year-old Arnaud had never finished better than a tie for fifth in his 49 starts on the Web.com Tour, and that was three years ago. His career earnings were just over $130,000. He had only made it into one previous event this year, and he wasn't in the field at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in South Carolina last week until Kent Bulle withdrew on the eve of the event.

    Arnaud tied the course record with a 60 in the second round. He closed with a 63 and won by five shots.

    He won $126,000 and moved to No. 13 on the money list, giving him a reasonable chance to reach the PGA Tour if he finishes the season in the top 25.

    ''A lot of people kept pushing me when I wanted to step away from it,'' Arnaud said. ''My wife was one of those that told me to take the chance and go. Low and behold it really paid off.''


    SHINNECOCK SAVANT: Rory McIlroy is excited to get back to Shinnecock Hills for the U.S. Open, a course he already has played a few times.

    Equally excited is his manager, Sean O'Flaherty, who knows the course on New York's Long Island better than McIlroy.

    O'Flaherty spent two summers as a caddie at Shinnecock Hills.

    He went to college at Trinity in Dublin, had friends in the Hamptons and came over during the summer months in 2002 and 2003 to work as a caddie.

    ''I got to know a lot of members,'' O'Flaherty said. ''I can't wait. To me, it's the best course in the world.''


    DIVOTS: Justin Thomas won the Honda Classic on Feb. 25 at No. 4 in the world. No one from the top 10 in the world has won a PGA Tour event since then, a stretch of 12 tournaments. ... Guy Kinnings is leaving IMG after nearly 30 years to become the deputy CEO and Ryder Cup director of the European Tour. He will report directly to European Tour chief Keith Pelley. ... The LPGA tour will play in China during its fall Asia swing at the Buick LPGA Shanghai at Qizhong Garden Golf Club. The tournament will be Oct. 18-21, one week before the men play the HSBC Champions at Sheshan International in Shanghai. ... Alice Chen of Furman has been selected for the Dinah Shore Trophy, awarded to top college women who excel in golf, academics and work off the golf course. ... The Irish Open is going to Lahinch Golf Club in 2019, with former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley serving as the tournament host.


    STAT OF THE WEEK: Matt Kuchar, Peter Uihlein and Jhonattan Vegas are the only players to compete in all five Texas events on the PGA Tour this year.


    FINAL WORD: ''The sum of his shots seems to add up to slightly less than the sum of the shots from another guy.'' - Geoff Ogilvy on Jordan Spieth.

    Getty Images

    Arizona's run continues, knocks off top seed to reach semis

    By Jay CoffinMay 22, 2018, 6:35 pm

    STILLWATER, Okla. – The No. 1 seed in match play has still never won the women’s NCAA Championship.

    That dubious distinction continued Tuesday at Karsten Creek when Arizona knocked out top-seeded UCLA on the final hole of the final match.

    With the matches tied at 2 apiece, the anchor match between Arizona junior Bianca Pagdanganan and UCLA freshman Patty Tavatanakit was tied on the 18th hole, a par 5 that’s reachable in two shots by many.

    Tavatanakit was just short of the green in two and Pagdanganan, the Wildcats’ hero from Monday when she made eagle on the last hole to give her team a shot at match play, blasted her second shot onto the green. Tavatanakit failed to get up and down – missing a 4-footer for birdie – and Pagdanganan two-putted for birdie to give Arizona the victory.


    NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

    NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage


    “We’re lucky to be in match play,” Arizona coach Laura Ianello said. “Let’s ride the highs. Why not?”

    Arizona will now face Stanford in the semifinals. The Cardinal, the 2015 champion and 2016 runner up, has qualified for match play in each of the past four seasons. They beat Northwestern, 3-2, in the quarterfinals to advance.

    USC will face Alabama in the other semifinal, meaning three Pac-12 teams have advanced to the Final Four. The Crimson Tide had an easy go of it in their quarterfinal match against Kent State, winning 4-1. The decisive victory gave Alabama extra rest for its afternoon match.

    USC beat Duke, 3-1-1, in the other quarterfinal, pitting teams that have combined to win nine NCAA titles in the past 20 years. But neither team has had much success in the past four years since the championship turned to match play. Not only has neither team won, neither has even reached the championship match.

    Duke’s Leona Maguire won the first match and the second match was halved, but USC swept the last three matches with Gabriela Ruffels, Alyaa Abdulghany and Amelia Garvey all winning to propel the Trojans into the semifinals.

    Alabama (2) vs. USC (3)

    2:30PM ET: Lauren Stephenson (A) vs. Jennifer Chang (USC)

    2:40PM ET: Kristen Gillman (A) vs. Amelia Garvey (USC)

    2:50PM ET: Cheyenne Knight (A) vs. Allisen Corpuz (USC)

    3:00PM ET: Lakareber Abe (A) vs. Alyaa Abdulghany (USC)

    3:10PM ET: Angelica Moresco (A) Gabriela Ruffels (USC)


    Stanford (5) vs. Arizona (8)

    3:20PM ET: Emily Wang (S) vs. Gigi Stoll (A)

    3:30PM ET: Shannon Aubert (S) vs. Yu-Sang Hou (A)

    3:40PM ET: Mika Liu (S) vs. Haley Moore (A)

    3:50PM ET: Albane Valenzuela (S) vs. Sandra Nordaas (A)

    4:00PM ET: Andrea Lee (S) vs. Bianca Pagdanganan (A)

    Getty Images

    NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 5:50 pm

    The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

    After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals were contested Tuesday morning with semifinals in the afternoon. The finals are being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

    Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

    Scoring:

    TV Times (all times ET):

    Tuesday
    4-8PM: Match-play semifinals (Click here to watch live)

    Wednesday
    4-8PM: Match-play finals