Monty Stumbles Ferrie Leads by Five

By Sports NetworkOctober 1, 2005, 4:00 pm
2004 Dunhill Links ChampionshipST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Kenneth Ferrie fired a 5-under 67 in breezy conditions Saturday to take a five-shot lead after three rounds of the dunhill links championship. Ferrie completed 54 holes at 13-under-par 203.
Second-round leader Colin Montgomerie struggled to a 1-over 73. He was joined in second place at 8-under-par 208 by Ricardo Gonzalez and Henrik Stenson. Pierre Fulke is one stroke further back at minus-7 after a 72, while Paul Casey is alone in sixth at 6-under-par 210.
The dunhill links is much like the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the U.S. PGA Tour, as players are paired with amateurs for the first three rounds and spread over three courses. The top-20 amateur teams advanced to Sunday's final round.
Three courses were used for the first three rounds -- the Old Course at St. Andrews Golf Club, Carnoustie Golf Club and Kingsbarns Golf Links. The final round will be played at St. Andrews.
Early in Saturday's third round, Ferrie and Montgomerie were battling for the lead before Ferrie took over on the back nine. Ferrie birdied the third to get to minus-9 and within one of Montgomerie.
Ferrie, who was playing the Old Course, birdied the fifth from 5 feet out to take the lead at 10 under as Montgomerie bogeyed the fifth at Kingsbarns.
Montgomerie birdied the sixth to get back to minus-10, but bogeyed the next. Ferrie bogeyed No. 8 to create a tie at minus-9, but bounced back with a birdie on nine, while Montgomerie got back to 10 under with a 5-foot birdie putt in the 11th.
It was all Ferrie from there. He converted back-to-back birdie chances from the 11th to move to 12 under. The 27-year-old then birdied the 15th.
Ferrie, who won the European Open earlier this year, dropped in a birdie putt on the 16th to move to minus-14, six strokes clear of three players. The Englishman missed a six-foot par putt on the 17th to slip back to 13 under.
He parred the last to lead by five entering the final round. Three of the first four winners here have led or were co-leaders entering the final round.
'I am a pretty fiery guy. I've shot 68-68-67 this week and just finished three-putt, three-putt,' Ferrie said. 'Even though I'm leading the tournament by five, by the standards I've set for myself that's not good enough. I know in that wind it's very tough, but it's something you can't afford to be doing. Three-putting greens in my eyes is just giving shots away.'
Montgomerie dropped a shot at the 15th. His tee ball missed the green and he ran his chip well past the pin. As he started to approach his par putt, the wind blew the ball across the green. After conferring with a rules official, Montgomerie played the ball where it came to rest after the wind blew it. He then two-putted for bogey.
On the par-4 17th, the Scotsman drove into a pot bunker and was forced to lay up. He knocked his third to the back edge of the green, but two-putted for bogey to fall back to 8 under.
Stenson, like Montgomerie, played at Kingsbarns on Saturday. He ran off three straight birdies from the second to jump to minus-4. He turned at 6 under thanks to birdies on the sixth and eighth.
Around the turn, Stenson birdied the 11th and 12th. He got to 9 under as his birdie try on the 15th found the bottom of the cup. However, Stenson bogeyed the next before ending with consecutive pars.
'I was very pleased with pars on the last two holes, especially on the 18th, where I had a bad stance in the bunker at the back of the green,' said Stenson. 'My birdie on 15 was also very important, as the last four holes were always going to be a struggle in these conditions.'
Gonzalez played the front nine at St. Andrews at even-par with a birdie and a bogey. On the back nine, he wrapped birdies at the 12th and 14th around a bogey on 13. Gonzalez parred out to stay at minus-8.
Martin Doyle posted a 6-under 66 on Saturday. That helped him climb into a share of seventh place at 5-under-par 211. He was joined there by Richard Green, Padraig Harrington, Soren Kjeldsen and Lee Westwood.
Defending champion Stephen Gallacher recovered from a shaky first two rounds with a 5-under 67 Saturday to get to minus-three.
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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 2:30 pm

    Tiger Woods shot his second consecutive 70 on Friday at Carnoustie and enters weekend play at even par for the championship, still in contention for major No. 15.

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    Scott and Sunesson a one-week partnership

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 2:13 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Adam Scott has been in between caddies for the last month and went with a bold stand-in for this week’s Open Championship, coaxing veteran looper Fanny Sunesson out of retirement to work for him at Carnoustie.

    Sunesson caddied for Nick Faldo in his prime, as the duo won four major titles together. She also worked for Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia before a back injury forced her to retire.

    But for this week’s championship, Scott convinced the Swede to return to the caddie corps. The results have been impressive, with the Australian following an opening 71 with a second-round 70 for a tie for 16th place.

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    “It's been going great. Fanny is, obviously, a fantastic caddie, and to be able to have that experience out there with me is certainly comforting,” Scott said. “We've gotten along really well. She's picked up on my game quickly, and I think we think about things in a very similar way.”

    Scott was also asked about a potential long-term partnership between the duo, but he didn’t sound hopeful.

    “It's just for this week,” he said. “It would be up to her, but I don't think she's making plans of a comeback. I was being a bit opportunistic in contacting her and coaxing her out of retirement, I guess. But I think she's having a good week. We'll just take it one week at the moment.”

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    After tense Augusta Sunday, Rory ready to be aggressive

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 1:51 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy temporarily lost his superpowers during the Masters.  

    In one of the most surprising rounds of the year, he played tentatively and carefully during the final day. Squaring off against the major-less Patrick Reed, on the brink of history, with the backing of nearly the entire crowd, it was McIlroy who shrank in the moment, who looked like the one searching for validation. He shot a joyless 74 and wound up six shots behind Reed.

    No, the final round was nowhere near as dispiriting as the finale in 2011, but McIlroy still sulked the following week. He binge-watched TV shows. Devoured a few books. Guzzled a couple of bottles of wine. His pity party lasted a few days, until his wife, Erica, finally dragged him out of the house for a walk.

    Some deeper introspection was required, and McIlroy revealed a healthier self-analysis Friday at Carnoustie. He diagnosed what went wrong at Augusta, and then again two months later at the U.S. Open, where he blew himself out of the tournament with an opening 80.

    “I was worrying too much about the result, not focusing on the process,” he said. “Sunday at Augusta was a big learning curve for me because, even if I hadn’t won that tournament, but I went down swinging and aggressive and committing to every shot, I would have walked away a lot happier.”

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    And so McIlroy has a new mantra this week at The Open.

    Let it go.

    Don’t hold back. Don’t worry about the repercussions. Don’t play scared.

    “I’m committed to making sure, even if I don’t play my best golf and don’t shoot the scores I want, I’m going to go down swinging, and I’m going to go down giving my best,” he said. “The result is the byproduct of all the little things you do to lead up to that. Sometimes I’ve forgotten that, and I just need to get back in that mindset.”

    It’s worked through two rounds, even after the cool, damp conditions led McIlroy to abandon his ultra-aggressive strategy. He offset a few mistakes with four birdies, shooting a second consecutive 69 to sit just a couple of shots off the lead.

    During a sun-splashed first round, McIlroy gleefully banged driver on almost every hole, flying or skirting the bunkers that dot these baked-out, undulating fairways. He wasn’t particularly accurate, but he also didn’t need to be, as the thin, wispy rough enabled every player to at least advance their approach shots near the green.

    Friday’s weather presented a different challenge. A steady morning rain took some of the fire out of parched fairways, but the cooler temperatures also reduced much of the bombers’ hang time. Suddenly, all of the bunkers were in play, and McIlroy needed to adjust his driver-heavy approach (he hit only six) on the fly.

    “It just wasn’t worth it,” he said.

    McIlroy hit a few “skanky” shots, in his words, but even his bigger misses – on the sixth and 17th holes – were on the proper side, allowing him to scramble for par and keep the round going.

    It’s the fifth time in his career that he’s opened a major with back-to-back rounds in the 60s. He’s gone on to win three of the previous four – the lone exception that disastrous final round (80) at Augusta in 2011.

    “I don’t want to say easy,” he said, “but it’s felt comfortable.”

    The weekend gets uncomfortable for everyone, apparently even four-time major winners who, when in form, ooze confidence and swagger.

    Once again McIlroy has that look at a major.

    The only thing left to do?

    Let it go.

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    Z. Johnson may have to pay for the jet home

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 1:23 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Zach Johnson will have some bragging rights when he gets back to the ultimate golf frat house on Friday after a second-round 67 moved him into the lead at The Open.

    Johnson is rooming with Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Kevin Kisner, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler this week at Carnoustie. It’s a tradition that began two years ago at Royal Troon.

    Kisner joked on Thursday after he took the first-round lead that the perks for the house/tournament front-runner were limited: “I probably get to eat first,” he said.

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    There is, however, one running wager.

    “Two years ago we, I don't know if you call it bet, but agreement that, if you win, you get the jet and you buy it, so we go home,” said Johnson, who added that because of varying travel arrangements, the wager might not be needed this year. “I didn't pay last year. Somebody else did.”

    Spieth won last year’s championship at Royal Birkdale.

    Despite the expense, Johnson said he didn’t know how much it costs to charter a private flight back to the United States, but it’s a good problem to have.

    “I’d be happy to fork it over,” he smiled.