Late Bogey Keeps Monty from Pulling Away

By Sports NetworkOctober 28, 2005, 4:00 pm
European TourSOTOGRANDE, Spain -- Colin Montgomerie three-putted for bogey on the 18th hole Friday to close a round of 5-under 66. He leads the Volvo Masters by two strokes as he completed 36 holes at 9-under-par 133.
 
Defending champion Ian Poulter played with Montgomerie and posted a 3-under 68. He stands alongside Sergio Garcia at 7-under-par 135.
 
Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia can't win the money title, but he would love to win his first Volvo Masters.
Bradley Dredge also carded a 68 to move into fourth place at 4-under-par 138, while Nick O'Hern and Henrik Stenson are one stroke back at minus-3.
 
Montgomerie is trying to win his eighth Order of Merit title this week at Valderrama Golf Club. He is battling U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell for the Order of Merit crown and leads Campbell by eight shots entering the weekend.
 
'Michael is a world (class) player and is capable of scoring two good scores over the weekend,' said Montgomerie. 'I've got to counteract that and that is my job this weekend. I've just got to keep doing the same thing. It is a stress, a huge stress and I'll be glad when Sunday evening arrives whether I win this thing or not.'
 
The Scotsman shared the lead entering the round with Poulter. Before they teed off, Garcia had birdied the third to join them at 4 under.
 
Montgomerie, however, quickly took the lead by himself. He knocked his approach to the first within 2 feet to set up birdie. After Poulter birdied the second, Montgomerie sank a 7-foot birdie putt on the third to get to 6 under.
 
The 42-year-old moved two strokes clear of the field with a 10-foot birdie putt on the fourth. Montgomerie, who holed out for eagle on the par-4 eighth on Thursday, dropped his second shot 2 feet from the cup on the same hole for his fourth birdie of the day.
 
'Well to almost hole your second shot on the first, I'd say that was almost a perfect start,' Montgomerie said. 'I birdied one, three, four and eight and was 4 under after eight, so yeah, that was a good round of golf.'
 
Around the turn, there were two big swings on the 10th and 11th. Poulter played the front nine in 2 under to turn at 6 under. His approach to the 10th stopped 25 feet from the cup.
 
Poulter ran home that putt for birdie to get to 7 under. Meanwhile, Montgomerie's second shot spun off the green and back down the fairway. He chipped to the front edge of the green, then two-putted for bogey to fall into a share of the lead at minus-7 with Poulter.
 
Montgomerie sank a 6-foot birdie putt on the next to reclaim the lead. It became a two-stroke swing as Poulter three-putted for bogey from the front edge to drop back to 6 under. Montgomerie ran home an 18-foot birdie putt on the 13th to grab a three-stroke lead.
 
He made it two in a row as his 17-foot birdie effort found the bottom of the cup at the next. Montgomerie parred his next three holes before a three-putt bogey at the last dropped his lead to two strokes.
 
'This is a very, very difficult course,' said Montgomerie. 'Our most difficult course in Europe to score on and I'm delighted to be 9 under par. Experience counts here.'
 
Poulter meanwhile, birdied the 14th for the second round in a row to get back to 7 under. He parred out from there.
 
After his birdie on the third, Garcia didn't post another birdie until the 10th. He then birdied 11 to move to 6 under. The Spaniard birdied 16 and 17 to put pressure on Montgomerie, but he bogeyed the last to end two back.
 
Lee Westwood and Paul Broadhurst each carded rounds of 2-under 69 to move into a tie for seventh at 2-under-par 140. They were joined there by Niclas Fasth and Jose Maria Olazabal.
 
Campbell shot 69 to get into red figures at minus-1. He was joined there by Luke Donald and Nick Dougherty.
 
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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.


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    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.


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    “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.”

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    Harrington: Fiery Carnoustie evokes Hoylake in '06

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 16, 2018, 3:45 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – One course came to mind when Padraig Harrington arrived on property and saw a firm, fast and yellow Carnoustie.

    Hoylake in 2006.

    That's when Tiger Woods avoided every bunker, bludgeoned the links with mid-irons and captured the last of his three Open titles.

    So Harrington was asked: Given the similarity in firmness between Carnoustie and Hoylake, can Tiger stir the ghosts this week?


    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I really don’t know,” Harrington said Monday. “He’s good enough to win this championship, no doubt about it. I don’t think he could play golf like the way he did in 2006. Nobody else could have tried to play the golf course the way he did, and nobody else could have played the way he did. I suspect he couldn’t play that way now, either. But I don’t know if that’s the strategy this week, to lay up that far back.”

    With three days until the start of this championship, that’s the biggest question mark for Harrington, the 2007 winner here. He doesn’t know what his strategy will be – but his game plan will need to be “fluid.” Do you attack the course with driver and try to fly the fairway bunkers? Or do you attempt to lay back with an iron, even though it’s difficult to control the amount of run-out on the baked-out fairways and bring the bunkers into play?

    “The fairways at Hoylake are quite flat, even though they were very fast,” Harrington said. “There’s a lot of undulations in the fairways here, so if you are trying to lay up, you can get hit the back of a slope and kick forward an extra 20 or 30 yards more than you think. So it’s not as easy to eliminate all the risk by laying up.”