Category Archives: sports

Watch: Spieth chugs from Claret Jug after Open victory

Just a few hours after claiming his third major championship, Jordan Spieth celebrated in customary style by taking a swig from the Claret Jug as friend Justin Thomas looked on.

It’s unclear what was inside the trophy, but whatever it was apparently tasted “fantastic.”

Spieth admitted during his victory speech he was worried he may have jinxed himself by drinking out of the trophy after Zach Johnson won the 144th Open Championship.

“I was able to drink wine out of it when Zach Johnson won it two years ago and a lot of people told me that was bad luck,” Spieth said Sunday, according to Scott Allen of The Washington Post. “I started to believe them a bit through nine holes today.”

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Rookie Grayson Murray holds on at Barbasol for first PGA Tour title

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) Rookie Grayson Murray won the Barbasol Championship on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title, holing a 5-foot par putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory.

Murray closed with a 3-under 68 to edge Chad Collins on Grand National’s Lake Course. The 23-year-old former Wake Forest and Arizona State player set up the winning par with a nearly 50-foot putt from below the hole. He finished at 21-under 263.

Collins closed with a 68 two days after posting one of the tournament’s two rounds of 60. A tap-in for par on No. 18 left him waiting to see if Murray would stumble.

Brian Gay had a 65 to tie for third at 19 under with third-round leader Scott Stallings (71) and Tag Ridings (69). Stallings shot 60 on Saturday.

Amateur Sam Burns of LSU tied for sixth at 18 under after a 66.

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Oddsmakers install Spieth as massive favorite heading into final round

After a scorching round of 65 on Saturday opened up a three-stroke advantage over Matt Kuchar, oddsmakers have made Jordan Spieth a massive favorite to win The Open Championship.

Jeff Sherman of Golfodds.com and the Westgate SuperBook has Spieth listed at 1-4 to win the Claret Jug on Sunday afternoon, well ahead of second-place Kuchar, who is at 5-1.

Brooks Koepka sits six shots behind Spieth in third-place, listed at 20-1 to mount the comeback win, while Hideki Matsuyama is seven strokes off the pace and listed at 30-1.

The value on the board is certainly Austin Connelly at 80-1 heading to Sunday’s final round. The 20-year-old is playing in his first ever major championship and sits tied with Koepka at 5-under.

Player Place Score to par Odds
Jordan Spieth 1 -11 1-4
Matt Kuchar 2 -8 5-1
Brooks Koepka T-3 -5 20-1
Hideki Matsuyama T-5 -4 30-1
Branden Grace T-5 -4 40-1
Dustin Johnson T-7 -3 50-1
Henrik Stenson T-7 -3 60-1
Austin Connelly T-3 -5 80-1

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McIlroy's charge sees odds move just behind Spieth's ahead of Round 3

Jordan Spieth is the overwhelming favorite, but Rory McIlroy’s Friday charge has him sitting just behind the leader at 7-1 to win the Open Championship in Bodog‘s latest odds.

McIlroy’s 2-under-par 68 in difficult conditions at Royal Birkdale saw him move 52 spots up the leaderboard, and five strokes behind Spieth in a tie for sixth.

Spieth entered the day at 4-1 to win the tournament, and now sits 5-4 after another impressive showing at the links course. The Texan put together a 1-under-par 69, one of just eight rounds better than 70 on the day, to hold a two-shot lead over Matt Kuchar, who’s also listed at 7-1.

First-round co-leader Brooks Koepka ended with a 72 and sits three stokes off the pace. Oddsmakers still like him to contend this weekend, however, as his odds remain at 8-1, the same they were after Thursday’s opening round.

When searching for a value pick, Scotland’s Richie Ramsay jumps off the board at 40-1, despite sitting only four strokes off the lead.

Player Place Score to par Odds
Jordan Spieth 1 -6 5-4
Rory McIlroy T-6 -1 7-1
Matt Kuchar 2 -4 7-1
Brooks Koepka T-3 -3 8-1
Ian Poulter T-3 -3 16-1
Hideki Matsuyama T-10 E 28-1
Alex Noren T-10 E 40-1
Richie Ramsay 5 -2 40-1
Rickie Fowler T-24 +2 50-1
Rafa Cabrera-Bello T-10 E 50-1
Gary Woodland T-6 -1 50-1

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Spieth booked as clear Open favorite after 65 in Round 1

Jordan Spieth is the clear betting favorite after a sizzling 65 in the first round of the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale on Thursday.

The two-time major champion sits at 4-1 to win the tournament in the updated listings by Jeff Sherman of Golfodds.com and the Westgate SuperBook. That represents a significant change from the 12-1 listing Spieth entered play with Thursday morning.

Brooks Koepka and Matt Kuchar sit tied with Spieth at 5-under par, and are currently 8-1 and 10-1, respectively, to hoist the Claret Jug on Sunday evening. Paul Casey’s 66 has him one stroke off the pace, and sees him jump to 12-1 to capture his first major title, while Hideki Matsuyama and Charl Schwartzel are both 15-1 after the opening 18 holes.

Player Place Score Odds
Jordan Spieth T-1 -5 4-1
Brooks Koepka T-1 -5 8-1
Matt Kuchar T-1 -5 10-1
Paul Casey T-4 -4 12-1
Hideki Matsuyama T-12 -2 15-1
Charl Schwartzel T-4 -4 15-1
Justin Thomas T-6 -3 20-1
Jon Rahm T-26 -1 20-1

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R&A chief hopes Woods returns but laments 'the game also moves on'

The R&A held its annual press conference Wednesday at Royal Birkdale Golf Club, with chief executive Martin Slumbers speaking on behalf of the committee.

One of the many topics he touched on was the status of Tiger Woods, who was crowned “Champion Golfer of the Year” three times in his career, but is missing his seventh straight major championship this week.

“I would love to see him tee it up here again,” said Slumbers. “I hope he gets well. I hope he gets fit. I hope he falls back in love with golf. I hope he tees it up at The Open. He’d be extremely welcomed. But the game also moves on.

Slumbers spoke about Woods’ three wins, especially his triumph at St Andrews in 2000, where he won by eight shots, and never found any of the 112 bunkers on the Old Course during the tournament.

“The second half of my golfing life was watching Tiger play. I think the sport should be eternally grateful for the transformation he drove in golf.”

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Rahm has Eminem in his head, and winning on his mind

SOUTHPORT, England (AP) Jon Rahm was coming off a kick-in eagle on the 17th hole Tuesday when he hooked his final drive so far left on 18 that it sailed over the head of spectators lining the fairway at Royal Birkdale.

”Sorry, Phil,” he said to Phil Mickelson, his partner in a match against Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.

”Sorry?” Mickelson replied. ”You just went birdie, birdie, birdie, eagle!”

Nothing to be sorry about, indeed. Rahm would go on to par the hole anyway, leading he and Mickelson to a win in their practice round match.

The way Rahm is playing there may be an even better prize at the end of the week in the 146th British Open. Little more than a year into his pro career, the newest phenom in golf is already one of the favorites to hoist the claret jug on Sunday in his second appearance at the British Open.

Then again, his temper might flare so much he will throw his clubs and toss away any chance of making it to the weekend.

Either way, the young Spaniard who is built more like a linebacker than a golfer figures to be must-see TV in this Open.

”I know why there’s some confidence in me from people who think I’m going to play good this week,” Rahm said. ”And I like to think if they have the faith in me, I should have faith in myself that I’m going to do it properly. So I try to feed positively off of that.”

Rahm should be full of faith himself after dominating in the Irish Open earlier this month in his last time out. He shot 24 under par at Portstewart to win by six shots for his second pro win, a victory even more impressive because it came on a links course he was unfamiliar with.

If he needed any more confidence, he found it on the back nine of Tuesday’s practice round when he strung together three birdies, then hit a hybrid to 4 feet on the 17th hole to help himself and Mickelson win a match he insisted was just for fun.

”No, we were not playing for any money,” Rahm said. ”We really just had a fun day going, and trying focus on the score, and the fact that I played that well does help a lot.”

If Rahm had been playing for cash, he could have asked Mickelson’s caddie to take care of his share. Tim Mickelson was Rahm’s college coach at Arizona State University, and left the school to become his agent.

Now Tim Mickelson is also caddying for his brother after Phil Mickelson parted ways with longtime caddie Jim ”Bones” Mackay.

”He started out as my college coach, and as our relationship developed and the more he helped me, the more comfortable I got with talking to him and telling him my problems,” Rahm said. ”And he kind of ended up being almost as a father figure to me in the States, which is very nice, because my parents were all the way in Spain. And I don’t know what else to say. When it came to the choice to have someone guide me through the pro career, I don’t know when exactly I asked him, but I thought it would be really nice to have the same person that was my college coach, and I saw the nice job he did with everybody, especially me.”

Rahm also has a mental coach to help him with a fiery temper that was on display at the U.S. Open last month, where he slammed one club into the ground and threw another as he ended up missing the cut.

But the 22-year-old also uses his emotions to fire himself up enough to be one of the elite players in the game at times – and it seems to work, with two wins and more than $5 million in earnings since turning pro 13 months ago at Congressional, where he announced his arrival with a 64 in his first round.

Any other announcements Rahm needs to make are done in nearly perfect English, which he picked up by listening to rap music as he earned a degree at ASU.

He still listens to Eminen songs a few minutes before teeing off to get him in the proper mood.

”They’re very motivational,” he said. ”Most of them are not giving up and fighting your way through. And in my case it gets me to the mental state that I need to be to play golf.”

Assuming that state is good, this week might be one Rahm will sing about for some time.

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Stenson-Spieth, Johnson-McIlroy highlight Open Championship groups

The field has been set, and now the tee times for the 146th Open Championship have been confirmed.

The action kicks off at 1:35 a.m. ET on Thursday and should be highlighted by a group including the trios of Henrik Stenson, Jordan Spieth, and Si-Woo Kim and Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, and Charl Schwartzel.

Here is the full opening-round schedule:

Time Group # Players
01:35 1 Mark O’Meara – Chris Wood – Ryan Moore
01:46 2 Phachara Khongwatmai РMaverick McNealy РStuart Manley
01:57 3 Stewart Cink – Sandy Lyle – Jeunghun Wang
02:08 4 Paul Broadhurst – Thongchai Jaidee – Roberto Castro
02:19 5 Tom Lehman – Byeong Hun An – Darren Fichardt
02:30 6 Soren Kjeldsen – Billu Horschel – Danny Willett
02:41 7 Matthew Fitzpatrick РSteve Stricker РEmiliano Grillo
02:52 8 Jason Dufner – Branden Grace – Bryson DeChambeau
03:03 9 Alex Noren – Russell Knox – Ian Poulter
03:14 10 David Duval – Prayad Marksaeng – KT Kim
03:25 11 Younghan Song – David Horsey – Dylan Frittelli
03:36 12 Mike Lorenzo-Vera – Charles Howell III – Shiv Kapur
03:47 13 Russell Henley – Fabrizio Zanotti – Peter Uihlein
04:03 14 Alexander Levy – Brendan Steele – Webb Simpson
04:14 15 Wesley Bryan РAnirban Lahiri РAlfie Plant
04:25 16 Darren Clarke – Gary Woodland – Harry Ellis
04:36 17 Padraig Harrington – Pat Perez – Thomas Pieters
04:47 18 Henrik Stenson – Si-Woo Kim – Jordan Spieth
04:58 19 Louis Oosthuizen – Justin Rose – Justin Thomas
05:09 20 Brooks Koepka – Hideki Matsuyama – Tommy Fleetwood
05:20 21 JB Holmes – Brandt Snedeker – Shane Lowry
05:31 22 Richard Bland – Shaun Norris – Lucia Cianchetti
05:42 23 Yikeun Chang – Chan Kim – Mark Foster
05:53 24 Sung-Hoon Kang – Tony Finau – Matthieu Pavon
06:04 25 Alexander Bjork – Joe Dean – Robert Streb
06:15 26  Robert Dinwiddie РJulian Suri РAdam Hodkinson
06:36 27 ¬†Andrew Johnston¬†– Adam Hadwin –¬†Todd Hamilton
06:47 28 John Daly РAdam Bland England РConnor Syme
06:58 29 William McGirt –¬†Toby Tree – Jamie Lovemark
07:09 30  Matthew Griffin РAustin Connelly РMatthew Southgate
07:20 31 Cameron Smith – Bill Haas – Callum Shinkwin
07:31 32  Michael Hendry РBrian Harman РMartin Laird
07:42 33  Ernie Els РRoss Fisher РBernd Wiesberger
07:53 34 Tyrrell Hatton – Martin Kaymer – Aaron Baddeley
08:04 35 Zach Johnson – Jason Day –¬†Sergio Garcia
08:15 36 Andy Sullivan – Joost Luiten – David Lipsky
08:26 37 Rickie Fowler –¬†Adam Scot¬†– Paul Casey
08:37 38 Matt Kuchar – Richie Ramsay – Ryan Fox
08:48 39  Kevin Kisner -Charley Hoffman РDavid Drysdale
09:04 40 Jimmy Walker – Hideto Tanihara -Thorbjorn Olesen
09:15 41 Jhonattan Vegas – Brandon Stone – Sean O’Hair
09:26 42  Daniel Berger РPablo Larrazabal РYuta Ikeda
09:37 43 Paul Lawrie – Kevin Chappell – Yusaku Miyazato
09:48 44 Rory McIlroy – Dustin Johnson – Charl Schwartzel
09:59 45 Jon Rahm –¬†Patrick Reed – Lee Westwood
10:10 46 ¬†Phil Mickelson – Francesco Molinari –¬†Marc Leishman
10:21 47 Scott Hend – Rafa Cabrera Bello – Bubba Watson
10:32 48  Paul Waring РKyle Stanley РKevin Na
10:43 49 Gi-Whan Kim – Xander Schauffele – Andrew Dodt
10:54 50 Li Haotong – Kent Bulle –¬†Haydn McCullen
11:05 51 Jbe Kruger – Nicholas McCarthy – Ashley Hall
11:16 52 Ryan McCarthy –¬†Laurie Canter – Sebastian Munoz

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This week's winners and losers from the golf world

Winners:

Brittany Lincicome

Lincicome nailed it two weeks ago at the KPGA Women’s PGA Championship when she suggested President Donald Trump’s presence at the U.S. Women’s Open could be “a big debacle.” Sure enough, the president’s arrival on Friday afternoon overshadowed much of the play and the biggest tournament in the women’s game took a back seat to politics. Vindication, in a sense, for Lincicome, who took plenty of heat for her comments.

Left-hand low

It happened. Charles Barkley’s golf swing has been fixed. The basketball Hall of Famer came to the American Century Championship this week with a swing that doesn’t feature an unbelievable pause on the downswing. Barkley now gets through the golf ball in one motion, thanks to a left-hand low technique.

Bryson DeChambeau

DeChambeau validated his unusual approach to the game on Sunday, birdying seven of his last 11 holes to win his first PGA Tour title. The SMU alumnus snagged the $1.008-million paycheck, a two-year exemption on tour, and the final spot in the Open Championship next week.

Losers:

New LPGA dress code

LPGA tour members were sent an email in early July informing them that, as of Monday, a new dress code would be implemented, according to Ashley Mayo of Golf Digest.

Here’s a look at the changes:

  • Racerback with a mock or regular collar are allowed.
  • Plunging necklines are NOT allowed.
  • Leggings, unless under a skort or shorts, are NOT allowed.
  • Length of skirt, skort, and shorts MUST be long enough to not see your bottom area (even if covered by under shorts) at any time, standing or bent over.
  • Appropriate attire should be worn to pro-am parties. You should be dressing yourself to present a professional image.
  • Workout gear and jeans (all colors) NOT allowed inside the ropes.
  • Joggers are NOT allowed.

Golf has been trying to shed this stuffy image for years, and this doesn’t help.

Callum Shinkwin

The Englishman came to the 72nd hole on Sunday needing just a par to win the Scottish Open for his first career European Tour victory. Shinkwin’s four-foot par putt came up short, and he would go on to lose to Rafael Cabrera-Bello on the first extra hole.

(Photos courtesy: Action Images)

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Quick hits from Saturday at John Deere Classic

Top quote – Patrick Rodgers

“This is a nice course to play with the lead,” Rodgers told Dottie Pepper of CBS. “You have to keep the pedal down all day.”

Best round – Daniel Berger (63)

Berger birdied the first three holes of his round and added two more at Nos. 6 and 9, making the turn in 30. The 24-year-old American made his lone bogey at the par-4 13th, but trimmed four more stokes on the back side, posting an 8-under-par 63.

Stat Round 3
Fairways hit 7/14
Greens hit 15/18
Putts per GIR 1.467

Shot of the day – Zach Johnson

Johnson’s tee shot at the reachable par-4 14th settled just short of the putting surface, leaving a 59-foot second shot. The two-time major winner clipped his chip perfectly, and watched it fall into the hole for an eagle.

But is there an eagle dance too? ūü¶Ö

A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour) on Jul 15, 2017 at 1:38pm PDT

Top tweet – Kelly Kraft

Kraft made a wild par save at the 17th hole on Saturday, playing his approach from the hospitality tent left of the fairway, and the commented on the shot after the round.

Stat – 6

There were players that made eagle at the par-5 17th on Saturday at TPC Deere Run.

Player
Scott Stallings
Nicholas Lindheim
Brian Campbell
Miguel Angel Cabrera
John Merrick
Shawn Stefani

Sunday’s storylines

See here.

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