Transamerica runner-up BolloxInBruges offers tips

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 12, 2014, 10:12 pm

While the Blue Course at Congressional Country Club has proven to be a stern test over the years for even the game's best, WGT veteran BolloxInBruges had no such issues last month en route to a runner-up finish at the Transamerica Classic.

A WGT member since 2009, he carded an 18-hole score of 54 in each of the two rounds of the stroke-play event, tying for first in the Tour Legend division before ultimately ceding the title to dansamcam via a scorecard tiebreaker.

A self-admitted "golf junkie," BolloxInBruges has more than 4.5 million WGT credits in career earnings and carries a single-digit handicap when the Minnesota weather allows him to venture out onto the golf course. He was originally enamored with the virtual renderings of world-class courses when he first started playing virtual golf, but the competitive nature of the game quickly grabbed him.

"When I was ascending the ranks as a player, I was driven to be the best," he explained via e-mail to "Once I had a number of big tournament wins under my belt, the competitive drive decreased some, but the competitive aspect is still what keeps me coming back."

The 32-year-old doesn't play as much golf as he would like due to the shortened golf season in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but still tries to play at least once a week during the summer. When surrounded by snow, though, he gets his golf fix through WGT events, although he doesn't play as much now as he did when he first became introduced to the game.

"At one point I was playing an absurd amount ... 40+ hours per week was the norm for me in the early years," he said. "Over the past couple of years I've settled down to a more healthy level of play, averaging closer to 15 hours of play per week."

BolloxInBruges believes that putting has the biggest impact on scoring at WGT events, and he feels that players new to virtual golf can lower their scores by improving their mental approach and paying closer attention to errant shots.

"Too often players place blame on the random deviations that are a part of the game for their poor results on a particular shot or round," he said. "If a shot doesn't work out well, make a note of it and consider that there may be a more optimal way of playing the shot rather than getting worked up about it."

In terms of his performance at last month's event, BolloxInBruges viewed the approach to the home hole at Congressional as a key to carding a pair of low scores.

"The approach on the 18th is always the toughest shot on the course when you have a great round going," he added. "With it being typically 200-240 yards and significantly downhill into the green, a small mis-hit is going to really be magnified."

The WGT Virtual Tour's first major of 2014, the GolfNow Championship, is now open to players of all ability. Click here for more information or to get signed up before heading to the first tee box.

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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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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.

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.

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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.

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.”