Trio Share Opening Lead in France - COPIED

By Sports NetworkJune 16, 2007, 4:00 pm
European TourLUMBRES, France -- Peter Fowler, Marcus Higley and Carl Suneson finished the second round tied atop the leaderboard Friday at the Open de Saint Omer.
 
Fowler posted the best round of the leaders with a 4-under 67. Both Higley and Suneson managed rounds of 1-under 70 to join Fowler at 5-under-par 137.
 
Stuart Davis (70), Santiago Luna (71) and Mikael Lundberg (68) are knotted in fourth place at minus-4 at the Val Course at Aa Saint Omer Golf Club.
 
Fowler began his round on the 10th tee Friday and promptly made birdie at his opening hole. He bogeyed the par-4 12th for the second consecutive day, then birdied 16 to make the turn at two-under par for the championship.
 
He parred his first six holes of his second nine, but closed with three straight birdies to match the group at minus-5.
 
'I'm a happy man after that finish,' said Fowler, who is the only European Tour winner of the second-round co-leaders with a victory at the 1993 BMW International Open. 'You have a few opportunities there when you are finishing on the front nine, you just have to pull off a couple of shots. I managed to do that.'
 
Higley played the course as intended and parred his first five holes. Like Fowler, Higley rattled off three straight birdies, although his run started at No. 6.
 
Higley, a tour rookie, bogeyed the 10th again, but collected another birdie at the 15th. He made bogeys at 16 and 17 to lose sole possession of first place, a fact that weighed on the Englishman.
 
'I was a bit disappointed to drop two strokes in the last three holes, but it was a good round considering the conditions,' said Higley, who played in windy conditions in the morning. 'My putting was very good today and I went to see an old friend of mine, Martin Cummings, who specializes in putting, so I went to see him and changed my setup, ball position, grip, stance and stroke. So just a few minor changes.'
 
Suneson started off with a birdie at the first, but parred his next five. He traded a bogey and a birdie over seven and eight and parred four in a row around the turn.
 
Suneson mixed two birdies and two bogeys over a five-hole span on the back to get his share of first.
 
'I am playing all right so it's good for me to be playing here right now,' said Suneson. 'And I do like the course. You don't have to shoot 15-under par to win and if you have experience and don't force situations then you have a chance.'
 
Steve Alker, Paolo Terreni and Julio Zapata all shot 3-under 68s on Friday to share seventh place at 3-under-par 139.
 
Overnight co-leader David Higgins struggled to a 5-over 76 and is tied for 19th place at minus-1. David Bransdon was one shot worse with a 77 and is in a group at even-par 142.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 3-over-par 145 and Edoardo Molinari missed the cut by a stroke.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Open de Saint-Omer
  • Getty Images

    Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
    Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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.


    Updated Official World Golf Ranking


    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.

    Getty Images

    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.


    Full coverage of the 147th Open 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.”