Klein To The Top

By Sports NetworkJuly 15, 2001, 4:00 pm
Emilee Klein shot a 3-under 69 Sunday and romped to a wire-to-wire victory at the Michelob Light Classic near St. Louis.
The 27-year-old Klein posted a total of 11-under-par 205 to finish five shots ahead of Jill McGill and Annika Sorenstam. She collected $120,000 for the win and ended a nearly five-year victory drought.
'I've won so many times, I've never been scared to win,' said Klein, a two- time All-American at Arizona State who won the 1994 NCAA Individual Championship title. 'I've won so many times, I know how to do it.'
Klein, whose successful amateur career also included a win in the 1991 U.S. Junior Girls Championship and an appearance on the 1994 U.S. Curtis Cup squad, captured back-to-back LPGA titles in 1996, her second year on tour.
She fired a final-round 65 to win by two shots over Karrie Webb at the PING Welch's Championship in August that year. The following week she cruised to a seven-shot triumph at the Women's British Open at Woburn Golf Club in England.
But while Klein had three runner-up showings over the next two years, her highest finish in 1999 was third. She notched just two top-10s last year, with her best a tie for seventh at the Corning Classic.
'It's been very frustrating the last couple of years, especially when I'm finishing 22nd or 24th on the money list,' Klein said. 'The money doesn't mean anything to me. Winning means everything. I'm not out here just to play in golf tournaments, I'm just here to win golf tournaments.'
After opening Friday with what was then a course-record 64 at Fox Run Golf Club, Klein carded an even-par 72 Saturday that left her two shots ahead of Sherri Turner, who was seeking her first LPGA victory in 12 years.
But Turner struggled to a 75 Sunday and tied for 13th, eight shots back.
McGill collected nine birdies en route to setting a new course record with a bogey-free 63. Her 9-under-par score also tied the tournament record for 18 holes, a mark established in 1996 by Vicki Fergon at Forest Hills Country Club.
The 63 also eclipsed McGill's previous career-low round by two shots.
'I was never really in trouble out there today,' said McGill, who vaulted from 48th place after two rounds into a tie for second with Sorenstam. 'I had a lot of opportunities and made almost all of them that I had, which hasn't happened in a long time.'
Sorenstam, who leads the LPGA Tour with five victories this season but hasn't won since early May, closed with a 2-under 70 to finish at 6-under 210.
'I'll take it,' said Sorenstam, who finished second for the third time this year. 'Golf-wise I have some things to work on. I hit some brilliant shots and some scary ones too, so it was definitely a roller-coaster for me out there today. I putted really well and my short game was great all week.'
The Swedish star, a four-time champion of the Michelob Light Classic, will get a chance to return to the winner's circle when she defends her title next week at the Big Apple Classic in New York.
Shani Waugh, Mitzi Edge and Denise Killeen shared fourth place at 5-under.
Webb, the winner of the last two majors on the LPGA Tour, tied for seventh with Jeong Jang, Leta Lindley, Amy Fruhwirth, Diana D'Alessio and Kris Tschetter.
The Women's British Open, the fourth and final major of the 2001 LPGA season, will be held August 2-5 at Sunningdale Golf Club in England.
Full-field scores from the Michelob Light 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.”