Hnatiuk on Fire in Memphis

By Sports NetworkJune 29, 2002, 4:00 pm
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Canada's Glen Hnatiuk fired his third consecutive 6-under 65 Saturday to extend his lead to four shots after three rounds of the St. Jude Classic. His three-day total of 18-under-par 195 gives him the lead over Tim Petrovic, Matt Kuchar and Notah Begay III at the TPC at Southwind.
Pat Bates, who played in the final group Saturday with Hnatiuk, is alone in fifth at 13-under-par, followed by Tripp Isenhour (64), Neal Lancaster (64) and reigning PGA Champion David Toms (65). The trio is tied for sixth at minus 12.
Hnatiuk owned a one-shot lead after the second round but extended the lead as he went 2-under through his first six holes. At the par-4 seventh, Hnatiuk chipped in from the side of the green and two holes later he sank a 30-footer to make the turn at 16-under-par.
Hnatiuk missed a four-foot par save on the 10th to cut his lead to one over Bates. But Hnatiuk quickly increased his advantage, knocking an 8-iron to eight feet at 11 to set up birdie. He chipped in for birdie at the next hole after his approach spun off the putting surface.
With a three-shot lead, Hnatiuk parred the next three holes as Begay was charging to the top of the leaderboard. Begay, known for putting left-handed or right-handed depending on the break of the putt, ran home a five-foot birdie at the 16th to reach 15-under-par and cut Hnatiuk's lead to two.
Hnatiuk's second at the par-5 16th ran through the green into a chipping area behind the hole. His third shot landed inches from the hole and he tapped in the birdie to reclaim a three-shot edge.
Begay popped up his drive on 18, barely making it to the fairway. He had 193 yards into the hole and his 4-iron approach missed right of the green and wound up in a bunker. Begay failed to get up and down, bogeying the hole and giving Hnatiuk a four-shot cushion.
Hnatiuk missed a birdie putt on 17 and scrambled to make par at 18 after missing the green. Now the Canadian takes the lead into the final round of a PGA Tour event for the first time in his career.
'Obviously, I'm happy with the position I'm in. I don't know how to react because I've never been in this position with any kind of lead. I'm looking forward to it,' said Hnatiuk.
Begay has four victories on the PGA Tour and in three of those he had to chase down the leader. Begay thinks that Hnatiuk will have to battle his nerves Sunday if the Canadian is to make his first trip to the winner's circle.
'It's just a fact of life,' said Begay, who is returning to form after injuring his back before last season. 'Everybody who's won, who's been there, knows that. Now it just depends on how Glen handles it. He handled it great today. It didn't look like it affected him in the least.'
'Anybody in that pack has a chance to win I suppose. If I let it,' said Hnatiuk. 'I'm not going to do anything stupid, not going to take any crazy chances. But I still have to go on, go forward.'
Begay, the 2000 champion at the TPC at Southwind, shot a third-round 68.
Petrovic had an erratic round Saturday with nine birdies, four bogeys and five pars. He shot a 5-under 66 and will play with Hnatiuk in Sunday's final round.
Kuchar closed his round with four birdies in a row to shoot a 67 and get into the group at 14-under-par 199.
Full-field scores from the FedEx St. Jude Classic
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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.

Updated Official World Golf Ranking

There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”