Sandelin Captures Inaugural Asian Open
Sandelin, who started one behind third-round leaders Carl Pettersson and Miguel Angel Jimenez, slipped two shots off the pace with an opening bogey. He quickly rebounded with four birdies over the next five holes to take over the top spot at 9-under-par, and he was soon joined there when Jimenez notched his second birdie of the day at the sixth.
A birdie just before the turn lifted Sandelin into double figures, while Jimenez backed up with a bogey at the eighth and a double-bogey at the ninth. At the par-3 11th, Sandelin pulled three clear of the field after knocking his tee shot to six feet to set up his sixth birdie in 10 holes.
Sandelin made it interesting down the stretch, blowing his approach over the 16th green en route to a bogey that dropped him to minus-10.
But Olazabal was already in the clubhouse at 9-under with a bogey-free 67, and Pettersson recorded back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 15 and 16 to fall three shots back of Sandelin.
The victory was Sandelin's fifth on European Tour and his first since he captured the German Open title in a playoff two seasons ago. That marked his second win of 1999 and earned him a spot on the European Ryder Cup squad for the matches at Brookline.
'It's been two years of a lot of struggling,' Sandelin said. 'From now on I am going to take it one week at a time. Last season (2001) I finished 100th on the Volvo Order of Merit so this season I want to take the two zeroes off.'
He's off to a great start. The BMW Asian Open, which was co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Davidoff (Asian PGA) Tour, was the first event to count toward the 2002 European Tour Order of Merit.
Jaidee had chances to reach 10-under but came up short with birdie attempts at the last two holes. He finished alongside Olazabal at 279, after a 67 that included five birdies, an eagle and two bogeys.
'Both putts were downhill so I didn't think I would leave them short,' said Jaidee of his missed opportunities. 'It was a little disappointing but it feels great to finish second.'
Sweden's Pettersson shot even-par 72 to tie for fourth place at 7-under 281 with Barry Lane of England, who carded a 3-under 69.
Spain's Jimenez, who like Sandelin was seeking his first win since 1999, turned in a 73 for a share of sixth place with New Zealand's Michael Campbell.
Campbell, whose 6-under 66 was the best round of the day, won the 2000 Johnnie Walker Classic over this same Ta Shee Resort layout.
Vijay Singh, the winner of back-to-back titles in Asia earlier this year at the Malaysian Open and Singapore Masters, shot a final-round 70 to finish with Brian Davis and Stephen Dodd at minus-five.
Full-Field Scores from the BMW Asian Open
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.”