Goosen and Drummond Still Share Lead

By Sports NetworkFebruary 2, 2002, 5:00 pm
Sunshine TourRetief Goosen struggled down the stretch on Saturday but remained tied for the lead with Scott Drummond at 14-under-par 202 after 54 holes of the Dimension Data Pro-Am.
 
Goosen holed a gutty six-foot par putt at the par-5 18th of the Gary Player Country Club after dumping his second into water behind the green.
 
'I'm very tired,' said Goosen, who matched Drummond with a 69 on Friday. 'I couldn't sleep and it caught up with me.'
 
Goosen looked to be in command with a three-shot lead heading into the back nine but a birdie by Drummond at the par-5 11th cut the lead to two. It was two back-nine par-3s that brought the Scotsman even with Goosen.
 
The reigning U.S. Open champion bogeyed No. 13 and that left him one shot ahead of Drummond but that lead turned into a deficit after Drummond birdied the 14th and 15th to reach 15-under par.
 
Goosen dropped another shot at the par-3 16th to fall down by two but Drummond took his turn losing a stroke, bogeying No. 17. Goosen was able to collect birdie at the same hole to draw even before the duo both parred the closing hole.
 
'I was excited at playing with Retief, but I was a bit shaky over the first four or five holes as a result of it,' said Drummond, who holed a 40-yard chip-in for eagle at No. 5. 'I hit quite a few poor iron shots on some of the shorter par-4s, which I should've been able to birdie.'
 
Jaco Van Zyl, a South African, fired the lowest round of the day with an 8-under 64 on Saturday and drew to within two at 12-under.
 
David Park and Craig Lile share fourth at 10-under 206, followed by Paddy Gribben, Desvonde Botes and Tjaart van der Walt, who share fifth at 9-under.
 
Nick Price posted a 5-under 67 on Saturday and is in a logjam in ninth at 8-under par.
 
Defending champion Darren Clarke put together his second consecutive 68 to reach 7-under, seven shots out of the lead.
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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.