Frenchman Leads in Taiwan

By Sports NetworkNovember 22, 2001, 5:00 pm
European TourSebastien Delagrange shot 4-under-par 68 Thursday to take a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the inaugural BMW Asian Open, the first official event on the 2002 European Tour schedule.
England's Gary Clark and Jamie Spence each had 69 to finish alongside Tony Johnstone of Zimbabwe at 3-under. Two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal and fellow Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez turned in 70s to tie for fifth place with three others at minus-two.
Delagrange braved blustery conditions at Ta Shee Golf and Country Club, posting birdies at his first two holes -- the 10th and 11th -- before adding two more to make the turn in 32.
The 27-year-old Frenchman moved way out in front with birdies at the third and sixth holes, but errant tee shots at the eighth and ninth led to a pair of closing bogeys.
'I played well today especially as I only had two hours sleep last night,' said Delagrange, who earned a spot on the European Tour after winning twice on the Challenge Tour in 2001. 'It is also pleasing because this is the first time that I have played in Asia.'
Olazabal also began on the back nine Thursday and wallowed for a time after a bogey at the 12th hole. His fortunes turned at the par-5 3rd, where he rolled in a 45-foot putt for eagle, and he later tacked on a birdie two at the par-3 7th.
'I'm very pleased, I think it's a good round,' said Olazabal, who captured his 19th European Tour title at the French Open in May. 'The wind was very strong and it was difficult to score well.'
Fiji's Vijay Singh, who recorded back-to-back victories in Asia earlier this year at the Carlesburg Malaysian Open and the Caltex Singapore Masters, finished three shots off the pace with a 1-under 71.
Part of the next group at even-par 72 was New Zealand's Michael Campbell, the winner of the 2000 Johnnie Walker Classic over this same Ta Shee Resort layout.
Six-time major winner Nick Faldo made a brief appearance on the leaderboard after an eagle at the third. He carded four bogeys and one birdie the rest of the way to tie for 27th at 1-over.
Full-Field Scores from the BMW Asian Open
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'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

“The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

“That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”

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Ball headed O.B., Stone (68) gets huge break

By Mercer BaggsJuly 19, 2018, 2:14 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Brandon Stone knew it when he hit it.

“I knew I hit it out of bounds,” the South African said following his opening round in the 147th Open Championship.

Stone’s second shot on the par-4 18th, from the left fescue, was pulled into the grandstands, which are marked as O.B. But instead of settling in with the crowd, the ball ricocheted back towards the green and nearly onto the putting surface.

Stone made his par and walked away with a 3-under 68, two shots off the early lead.

“I really didn’t put a good swing on it, bad contact and it just came out way left,” Stone said. “I feel so sorry for the person I managed to catch on the forehead there, but got a lucky break.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“When you get breaks like that you know you’re going to have good weeks.”

It’s been more than just good luck recently for Stone. He shot 60 in the final round – missing a 9-foot birdie putt for the first 59 in European Tour history – to win last week’s Scottish Open. It was his third career win on the circuit and first since 2016. It was also just his first top-10 of the season.

“A testament to a different mental approach and probably the change in putter,” said Stone, who added that he switched to a new Ping Anser blade model last week.

“I’ve been putting, probably, the best I have in my entire life.”

This marks Stone’s sixth start in a major championship, with his best finish a tie for 35th in last year’s U.S. Open. He has a missed cut and a T-70 in two prior Open Championships.