Earn it or Beg for it

By Tom AbbottAugust 13, 2008, 4:00 pm
The majors are over for 2008. We move on from Oakland Hills, leaving its monstrous back nine, raked rough and ridiculously placed national flags, and move on to Valhalla for the Ryder Cup.
The term Valhalla stands for the home of those gloriously slain in battle, according to Norse mythology. But who will come off worse for wear after three days of heated golfing competition? The next few weeks are going to be key in finding out who goes for the European side.
Both sides of the Atlantic are going to play a key part in whos in and whos out on the European side. The team is picked from two different rankings, a world points list derived from the world rankings and a European points list using money earned from European Tour events. With three events left in both the U.S. and Europe there are realistically two or three spots up for grabs.
Because the world points list takes precedence, it appears the following are good to make the team:
Padraig Harrington
Lee Westwood
Sergio Garcia
Henrik Stenson
Robert Karlsson
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Greame McDowell
The players on the bubble right now are: (*indicating currently qualified)
Justin Rose*
Oliver Wilson*
Soren Hansen*
Ian Poulter
Martin Kaymer
Ross Fisher
Nick Dougherty
Soren Kjeldsen
Paul Casey
Rose is a strong player and needs to be on the side, but because hes not safe right now he has changed his schedule to play in Europe next week at the KLM Open in Holland and the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles the following week. On the flip side, it seems Ian Poulter and Paul Casey will try and do it Stateside; surely though a victory is needed to gain enough world ranking points to creep-in. Realistically, Poulter and Casey will probably have to rely on a pick from captain Nick Faldo.
Annika Sorenstam played her final event on Swedish home soil last week. In this the stepping away from the game year it would have been fitting for Annika to take victory. Sadly for Annika, Amy Yang the 19-year-old South Korean, carded a final-round 63 for a come-from-behind victory, her third career LET win. Sorenstam closed with a 72 to tie for sixth in the event, which she hosts, the Scandinavian TPC hosted by Annika.
Sorenstams final tournament on European soil will be the Nykredit Masters in Denmark in early September. She is set to finish her season at the Dubai Ladies Masters, the final LET event of the year in December.
  • Chris Wood, winner of the silver medal at this years Open Championship, will play as a sponsors invite in the SAS Masters this week. Wood will make his professional debut. Dudley Hart and Tony Finau are also invitees to Sweden.
  • The LET visits Wales for the S4C Wales Ladies Championship of Europe.
  • The Challenge Tour splits, with the top 32 on the rankings playing the Trophee du Golf Club de Geneve and the rest teeing it up at the Vodafone Challenge in Germany.
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    Three of world's top 5 MC; not 60-year-old Langer

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 7:04 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three of the top five players in the world missed the cut at The Open.

    Bernhard Langer did not.

    The 60-year-old, who is in the field via his victory in last year’s Senior Open Championship, shot even-par 71 on Friday. At 2 over through 36 holes, he safely made it under the plus-3 cut line.

    "You know, I've played the Masters [this year], made the cut. I'm here and made the cut. I think it is an accomplishment," he said. "There's a lot of great players in the field, and I've beaten a lot of very good players that are a lot younger than me."

    Langer had three birdies and three bogeys in the second round and said afterwards that he was “fighting myself” with his swing. He’s spent the last few days on the phone with his swing coach, Willy Hoffman, trying to find some comfort.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Despite his score, and his made cut, Langer the perfectionist wasn’t satisfied with the way he went about achieving his results.

    "I wasn't happy with my ball-striking. My putting was good, but I was unlucky. I had like four lip-outs, no lip-ins. That part was good. But the ball-striking, I wasn't really comfortable with my swing," he said. "Just, it's always tough trying stuff in the middle of a round."

    Langer, a two-time Masters champion, has never won The Open. He does, however, have six top-3 finishes in 30 prior starts.

    As for finishing higher than some of the top-ranked players in the world, the World Golf Hall of Famer is taking it in stride.

    "I'm not going to look and say, 'Oh, I beat Justin Rose or beat whatever.' But it just shows it's not easy. When some of the top 10 or top 20 in the world don't make the cut, it just shows that the setup is not easy," Langer said. "So I got the better half of the draw maybe, too, right? It wasn't much fun playing in the rain, I guess, this morning for five hours. I had to practice in the rain, but I think once I teed off, we never used umbrellas. So that was a blessing."

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    Kisner doubles 18, defends not laying up

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It was only fitting that Jean Van de Velde was there working as an on-course reporter on Friday as Kevin Kisner struggled his way up Carnoustie’s 18th fairway.

    Rolling along with a two-stroke lead, Kisner’s 8-iron approach shot from an awkward lie in the rough from 160 yards squirted right and bounced into Barry Burn, the winding creek where Van de Velde’s title chances at the 1999 Open Championship began to erode.

    Unlike Van de Velde, who made a triple bogey-7 and lost The Open in a playoff, Kisner’s double bogey only cost him the solo lead and he still has 36 holes to make his closing miscue a distant memory. That’s probably why the 34-year-old seemed at ease with his plight.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “It just came out like a high flop shot to the right. It was weird. I don't know if it caught something or what happened,” said Kisner, who was tied with Zach Johnson and Zander Lombard at 6 under par. “You never know out of that grass. It was in a different grass than usual. It was wet, green grass instead of the brown grass. So I hadn't really played from that too much.”

    Like most in this week’s field Kisner also understands that rounds on what is widely considered the most difficult major championship venue can quickly unravel even with the most innocent of mistakes.

    “To play 35 holes without a double I thought was pretty good,” he said. “I've kept the ball in play, done everything I wanted to do all the way up into that hole. Just one of those things that came out completely different than we expected. I'll live with that more than chipping out and laying up from 20 feet.”

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    Wind, not rain more a weekend factor at Open

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:39 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – After a half-day of rain in Round 2 of the 147th Open Championship, the weekend offers a much drier forecast.

    Saturday at Carnoustie is projected to be mostly cloudy with a high of 62 degrees and only a 20 percent chance of rain.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Sunday calls for much warmer conditions, with temperatures rising upwards of 73 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.

    Wind might be the only element the players have to factor in over the final 36 holes. While the winds will be relatively calm on Saturday, expected around 10-15 mph, they could increase to 25 mph in the final round.

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    Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

    The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

    The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

    After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

    “I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”