Hansen Survives Four-Man Playoff in Ireland

By Sports NetworkJune 30, 2002, 4:00 pm
CORK, Ireland -- Soren Hansen survived a four-hole playoff Sunday to win the Murphy's Irish Open. Hansen outlasted Darren Fichardt, Niclas Fasth and Richard Bland to earn his first career victory on the European Tour.
It all came down to the 72nd hole during regulation at Fota Island Golf Club Sunday. Hansen was two shots behind Fichardt, who was in the clubhouse at 14-under-par 270. After a booming drive at the par-5 last, Hansen knocked his second shot inside five feet for eagle to join Fichardt atop the leaderboard.
Bland trailed by one stroke and also had an eagle try at the last. The Englishman's putt stopped short of the hole en route to a birdie and a share of the lead. Fasth was the last to join the logjam with a two-putt birdie of his own as the group returned to the 18th tee to begin the extra session.
Hansen talks more about his close win.
Fichardt was the only one to find the fairway off the tee as the other players left themselves with difficult second shots behind and underneath trees. Hansen's hopes seemed to shatter as the Dane went for the green from the rough and watched as his ball rolled into the water next to the putting surface.
After Fasth knocked his ball back onto the fairway, the Swede landed his third shot on the green. Fichardt reached the green in two and had a legitimate eagle try for the win.
Hanson took the drop and chipped his fourth shot onto the putting surface within eight feet of the hole. He saved par as his competitors failed to capitalize.
Fichardt three-putted for par while Fasth rolled his birdie try passed the hole. Fasth made the par coming back to match Bland, whose short birdie try horseshoed out.
'I thought it was all over at the first playoff hole but Darren and Richard both missed and I then grabbed my chance,' said Hansen.
The players returned to the tee to play a second extra hole. Each had better success than their previous tries except for Bland, who was eliminated after he failed to convert on a long birdie try.
Fichardt, Fasth and Hansen moved on to the first tee to continue the playoff. All three players two-putted the green for par as the trio went on to play the par-3 17th.
Fichardt landed his tee shot onto the putting surface, as did Hansen. Fasth, however, missed the green off the tee and put his hope on Fichardt and Hansen failing to convert their birdie attempts.
Fichardt played first and ran his putt just right of the hole. He tapped in for par and watched as Hansen drained the 12-foot putt for the win.
'I played well the first two days but in the third and fourth rounds I was struggling but hanging in there and got the birdies at the right time,' said Hansen, who shot a 3-under 68 in the final round. 'I played some crackling shots from the 15th and knew I needed an eagle on the last.'
Hansen held a share of the overnight lead but struggled out of the gate with a bogey at the first. He reached 12-under after back-to-back birdies from the fifth before running into trouble with a bogey at the seventh.
At the very next hole, Hansen chipped in for birdie to remain within one shot of the lead.
The 28-year-old bogeyed the 12th but got the shot back with a birdie at the 14th. He parred the next three holes before making the crucial eagle at the last.
One month ago, fellow Dane Anders Hansen earned his first career victory at the Volvo PGA Championship.
'It is strange to follow Anders,' Soren said of his close friend. 'It was always me doing something and Anders catching up afterwards. The last few weeks I have been playing so well I thought it was just a matter of time.'
Fellow Dane Thomas Bjorn was almost a part of the playoff but his long eagle try at the 18th was no good. Bjorn also missed the birdie try for a round of 70 and a fifth place finish at 12-under-par 272.
Full-field scores from the Murphy's Irish Open
Getty Images

Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

Getty Images

Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

Getty Images

Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”

Getty Images

After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.

While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.

Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2

Zach Johnson: 13/2

Rory McIlroy: 7/1

Jordan Spieth: 8/1

Rickie Fowler: 9/1

Kevin Kisner: 12/1

Xander Schauffele: 16/1

Tony Finau: 16/1

Matt Kuchar: 18/1

Pat Perez: 25/1

Brooks Koepka: 25/1

Erik van Rooyen: 50/1

Alex Noren: 50/1

Tiger Woods: 50/1

Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1

Danny Willett: 60/1

Francesco Molinari: 60/1