Rain Cancels Play on Day 2

By Sports NetworkFebruary 26, 2004, 5:00 pm
CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Second-round matches at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship were postponed Thursday due to heavy rainfall that rendered La Costa Resort & Spa unplayable.
 
Play was pushed back twice on Thursday as the grounds crew at La Costa scurried to try and make the course playable. There were large streams running through some fairways and large collections of water in several bunkers.
 
'Quite simply, the golf course is unplayable,' said Mike Shea, Senior Director of Rules for the PGA Tour. 'The greens are fine but there is a lot of water in the bunkers which still require quite a bit of work. The main concern is the amount of casual water in the fairways, caused by the creek which runs through the center of the course overflowing.
 
'We just could not play the game properly because of the condition of these fairways.'
 
The plan is to begin the second-round matches at 10:00 a.m. ET Friday morning off the first and 10th tees. The third-round matches are scheduled to begin around 2:45 p.m. Friday with all matches going off No. 1.
 
Play was supposed to begin at 12:15 p.m. Thursday but thanks to nearly two inches of rain that pounded La Costa Wednesday night and Thursday morning, the start time was pushed back to 2:30.
 
When officials could not get the course in shape by then, play was delayed until 3:50, and ultimately called for the day. The grounds crew will be working hard the remainder of Thursday in an effort to get La Costa in the best condition for Friday's marathon session.
 
'The forecast is good, however,' said Shea. 'We look like we will have a sunny afternoon and although there are a few showers forecast for the remainder of the week, they are nothing compared to what we had overnight.'
 
Tiger Woods, the No. 1 seed in the Bobby Jones bracket and the defending champion, needed a birdie at 18 and a few mistakes down the stretch by John Rollins to win his first-round match, 1-up. Woods will face South Africa's Trevor Immelman in the second round.
 
All of the remaining No. 1 seeds advanced to the second round.
 
Vijay Singh, the top seed in the Gary Player bracket, trounced Shingo Katayama, 5 and 3. Mike Weir, last week's Nissan Open champion and No. 1 seed in the Ben Hogan bracket, beat 2002 PGA Champion Rich Beem, 3 and 2, and Davis Love III, tops in the Sam Snead bracket, defeated Briny Baird, 2-up.
 
Of all the No. 1 seeds, Love has the most intriguing match in the second round. He will battle good friend Fred Couples, while Singh meets Jerry Kelly and Weir takes on Stephen Leaney.
 
Phil Mickelson was a winner in Wednesday's first round as he bested England's Lee Westwood, 3 and 1.
 
The biggest upset in Wednesday's first round involved Retief Goosen, the No. 2 seed on the Hogan side. He was defeated by John Huston, 2 and 1, and was the highest seed eliminated in the first round.
 
Both of last year's stunning major winners advanced on Wednesday. British Open winner Ben Curtis defeated Charles Howell III, 2-up, and PGA Champion Shaun Micheel needed 21 holes to oust Englishman Paul Casey, 1-up.
 
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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.”