New Zealand Still Leads World Cup US Alone in Second
The Americans fired a 9-under 63 at the Taiheiyo Club's Gotemba Course to close within three shots of the lead at 19-under 197. They had a chance to pull even closer at the par-five 18th, but Duval dumped his second shot in the water fronting the green and Woods lipped out his four-foot birdie attempt.
Host Japan, represented by Shigeki Maruyama and Toshi Izawa, kept the home crowd happy by posting a 65 in the shadow of Mount Fuji. They finished with a share of third place at 18-under with Ernie Els and Retief Goosen of South Africa, Angel Cabrera and Eduardo Romero of Argentina, and Thomas Levet and Raphael Jacquelin of France.
The South African, Argentinian and French teams each turned in 63s on a day rife with low scores. Twenty of the 24 teams in the field shot 6-under-par or better.
The Americans, five shots back at the start of the day, vaulted into the mix with 10 birdies in the third round. Woods led the way with six birdies, including four on the inward nine.
'I think we played fairly well today,' said Woods, the top-ranked player in the world. His British Open-winning partner is ranked No. 3.
'It wasn't a great round but we moved up the board and put ourselves in a position to win,' Woods added. 'I just wish I would have made that birdie putt on the 18th because I don't like to finish that way.'
After Duval made the last of his four birdies at the 11th to take his team to 16-under, Woods took control with two straight birdies. He followed an eight-foot putt at 13 with a sensational 9-iron approach to tap-in range at the 14th.
They both hit irons off the tee at the par-4 15th but their bids for accuracy backfired when Duval's drive finished in the left rough and Woods' shot landed in the right fairway bunker. Duval then left his second short of the green and Woods sent his approach from the sand over the putting surface.
Although Woods threaded the needle between some trees with his punch third shot, his ball rolled 20 feet past the hole and his par try caught the edge of the cup and spun out. Duval had a chance to save the day but missed his putt for par after chipping to six feet.
The U.S. regrouped right away, with Woods birdieing the 16th with a six-footer before knocking his tee shot at the par-3 17th to 10 feet then rolling in the putt to get to 19-under par.
Campbell, No. 30 in the world, took the Kiwis to 20-under with a six-foot birdie at the 13th. The unheralded Smail, a regular on the Australasian Tour with experience playing Japanese courses, got into the act by holing a birdie putt from off the edge of the 14th green.
Campbell missed birdie attempts from eight and 10 feet down the stretch but two-putted from 15 feet at the last for a closing birdie.
'It will be a big thrill tomorrow to play with Duval and Woods,' said Campbell, who finished third behind Woods at the Johnnie Walker Classic in Thailand a year ago Monday and second to him at the TPC of Europe in May.
New Zealand is in position to win its first ever World Cup title, while the U.S. is chasing its third straight Cup and 24th overall since the event's inception in 1953.
Els and Goosen, a duo with three U.S. Open titles between them, is seeking a third victory in this event for South Africa. Els, who captured the 1996 World Cup with Wayne Westner, drew his team within four shots of the lead Saturday with a short eagle putt at the 18th hole.
Romero drained a lengthy eagle putt at No. 18 to move Argentina into third place, as well, while Welshmen Phillip Price and Mark Mouland shot a 62 for a share of 17-under 199 with Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain (65), Thomas Bjorn and Soren Hansen of Denmark (65), and Andrew Coltart and Dean Robertson of Scotland (66).
Robertson chipped in for birdie at the 15th to lift Scotland to 18-under but he and Coltart ran into trouble at the next hole and were lucky to come away with a bogey. Robertson had an opportunity to make up for the bad hole but missed a four-footer for birdie at the 17th.
The Norwegian tandem of Per Haugsrud and Henrik Bjornstad fashioned an 11-under-par 61 -- the low round of the tournament -- to jump into a tie for 11th with England (63), Australia (64) and Ireland (64) at 16-under 200.
Click Here for Full-Field Scores From the WGC-EMC World Cup
Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba
Conor Moore is known for his impressions of golfers, and he is back with a new video just in time for The Open.
Moore even got the thumbs up from Ian Poulter.
This is hilarious..— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) July 16, 2018
Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite
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
Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC
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.
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.
Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense
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.
“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.”