Pair Lead Tiger Storms Back

By Sports NetworkJuly 3, 2004, 4:00 pm
Cialis Western OpenLEMONT, Ill. -- Stephen Ames fired a 7-under 64 on Saturday to share the 54-hole lead with Mark Hensby at the Western Open. Hensby, who shot a 4-under 67, matched Ames at 9-under-par 204 at Cog Hill.
 
Geoff Ogilvy is alone in third place at 8-under-par 205 after a third-round 68. Steve Lowery, one of three co-leaders after Friday's second round, posted a 1-under 70 and is tied for fourth with Stuart Appleby, who carded a 67 on Saturday. That duo is knotted at minus-7.
 
Tiger Woods, the defending champion and three-time winner of the Western Open, was in danger of missing the cut Friday afternoon, but extended his consecutive cuts made streak to 126.
 
On Saturday, the top player in the world put together a round of 6-under 65 and is tied for sixth at minus-5. Jim Furyk (68), who is playing in only his second tournament since returning from wrist surgery, and Mike Small (69) joined Woods four shots off the lead.
 
'I have a chance,' said Woods. 'That's what I wanted to do is go out there and play well enough where at least I have a chance going into Sunday, and now if I play a very similar round, like I did today, tomorrow, you never know.'
 
Woods started on the second nine Saturday and flew out of the gate with three birdies in a row. A poor drive at the par-5 15th cost Woods a bogey but he made the turn at 3 under and got himself back in the tournament.
 
He tallied three birdies in his first five holes on his second nine but dropped shots at six and seven. Woods recovered with back-to-back birdies at eight and nine to get himself in contention for his first stroke-play victory since last year's WGC-American Express Championship.
 
'I've been down a few times. It's just part of the sport,' said Woods, who won this year's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. 'You've got to keep fighting and keep grinding, and I have plenty of holes left to try and make it up.'
 
Woods will be trying to catch Ames and Hensby. On Saturday, Ames, from Trinidad, parred his first four holes before reaching the long par-4 fifth. He knocked a 5-iron to 12 feet and holed the putt to get the round going.
 
Ames sank a 4-footer for birdie at No. 8 but his play on the back nine is what sits him atop the leaderboard. He drained a 20-foot birdie putt at the 10th, then parred his next four.
 
Ames reached the green with a 3-wood at the par-5 15th, then two-putted for birdie from 20 feet. He kicked in a pair of 4-footers for birdie at 16 and 17 and made it four birdies in a row to close his round when he holed out from a bunker.
 
Ames owns eight top-10s this season, including seven in his last nine starts. So is PGA Tour victory No. 1 around the corner?
 
'At this stage I don't press myself to see if I should win or can win,' said Ames. 'At this stage I'm trying to play each day as it comes, and when the chips fall where they should or they shouldn't, I'll just take it from there and go on from there.'
 
Hensby hit a 6-iron to 15 feet to set up birdie at the fifth. He closed his front nine with back-to-back birdies at eight and nine to stay atop the leaderboard.
 
Ames went by Hensby into first but Hensby tied him at the par-5 15th. Hensby missed the green with his second shot but chipped to 10 feet and made the birdie putt.
 
Hensby made some great par saves on his way into the clubhouse. At the 17th, Hensby drove into a bunker, then missed the green short with his second shot. He chipped to 6 feet and rolled home the putt to stay knotted in first.
 
He missed the green at 18 but nearly holed a shot from 30 yards. Hensby settled for the tap-in par and his first piece of a 54-hole since joining the tour in 2000.
 
'It was a good day,' said the Australian. 'I struggled a little bit at the end, but I didn't think that really had to do with my golf swing or golf game. It had to do with the wind a little bit. I played tough at the end, but I hung in there and played well.'
 
Shigeki Maruyama (67), John Rollins (69) and Robert Allenby (71) are tied for ninth place at 4-under-par 209.
 
Charles Howell III and Matt Gogel were tied with Lowery for first after 36 holes but both struggled on Saturday. They shot matching rounds of 3-over 74 and are part of a group tied for 12th at minus-3.
 
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    Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 12:55 pm

    NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

    Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

    1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch.


    Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

    Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

    1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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    Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.

    Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.

    “We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.

    Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.

    “It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”

    It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.

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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

    Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.


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    McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

    McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

    But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

    Said Harmon:

    “Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

    “This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

    McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

    “Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

    McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.