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PGA: The Open Championship - First Round
Preview

Golf Glance: Final push for playoff spots at Wyndham

August 3, 2022, 6:21 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Field Level Media's Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.

PGA TOUR

LAST TOURNAMENT: Rocket Mortgage Classic (Tony Finau)

THIS WEEK: Wyndham Championship, Greensboro, N.C., Aug. 4-7

Course: Sedgefield Country Club (Par 70, 7,131 yards)

Purse: $7.3M (Winner: $1.314M)

Defending Champion: Kevin Kisner

FedExCup Leader: Scottie Scheffler

HOW TO FOLLOW

TV: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS)

Streaming: Four daily stream feeds on ESPN+

Twitter: @WyndhamChamp

NOTES: This is the final event of the regular season, with the FedEx Cup playoffs beginning next week. ... Since the current points structure was implemented in 2009, an average of 2.5 players per year have entered the Wyndham outside of the top 125 and played their way into the playoffs. ... Alex Smotherman holds the 125th spot in the rankings with the top three players currently outside of the playoff "bubble" being Max McGreevy, Danny Willett and Justin Lower. ... No. 148 Charlie Hoffman needs to finish in the top four or better to continue his streak of qualifying for the playoffs in every season.

BEST BETS: Sungjae Im (+1400 at BetMGM) is coming off a T2 at the 3M Open. ... Shane Lowry (+1600) is teeing it up for the first time since a T21 at The Open Championship that followed a T9 at the Irish Open. ... Will Zalatoris (+1600) is the top-ranked player in the field at No. 14 as he seeks his first career PGA Tour victory. ... Billy Horschel (+1800) is also teeing it up for the first time since a T21 at The Open and won the Memorial in June. He finished second in the Wyndham in 2020.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: FedEx St. Jude Championship, Memphis, Aug. 11-14

LPGA Tour

LAST TOURNAMENT: Women's Scottish Open (Ayaka Furue)

THIS WEEK: AIG Women's Open, East Lothian, Scotland, Aug. 4-7

Course: Muirfield (Par 72, 6,680 yards)

Purse: $7.3M (Winner: $1.095M)

Defending Champion: Anna Nordqvist

Race to the CME Globe leader: Minjee Lee

HOW TO FOLLOW

TV: Thursday-Friday, 6 a.m.-1 p.m. ET (USA); Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. (USA), 12-3 p.m. (NBC)

Twitter: @AIGWomensOpen

NOTES: The R&A announced the new prize fund this week that represents a nearly 26 percent increase from last year's total of $5.8 million. The second-place finisher will receive $720,028, while the third-place representative will pocket $521,498. ... The event was elevated to major status in 2001. ... Lizette Salas has finished second two of the past three years while Lee has consecutive top-5 finishes in the event. ... Jin Young Ko leads the tour with a 70.34 scoring average in majors since the beginning of 2019, while Nelly Korda leads with an average of 2.64 strokes gained per round. ... Karen Stupples holds the tournament scoring record of 269 set in 2004.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: ISPS Handa World Invitational, Antrim, Northern Ireland, Aug. 11-14

Champions Tour

LAST TOURNAMENT: The Senior Open Championship (Darren Clarke)

THIS WEEK: Shaw Charity Classic, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Aug. 5-7

Course: Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club (Par 70, 7,086 yards)

Purse: $2.35M (Winner: $352,500)

Defending Champion: Doug Barron

Charles Schwab Cup leader: Steven Alker

HOW TO FOLLOW

TV: Friday, 9:30-11:30 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)

Twitter: @ShawClassic

NOTES: Padraig Harrington is second in the Cup standings and is coming off a victory at the U.S. Senior Open as he makes his tournament debut. He has five top-10 finishes in eight starts this season. ... Jerry Kelly has seven top-10 finishes in 15 events, including a win at the Senior Players Championship. ... The field includes four World Golf Hall of Fame members: Fred Couples, Colin Montgomerie, Mark O'Meara and Vijay Singh.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: Boeing Classic, Snoqualmie, Wash., Aug. 12-14

--Field Level Media

PGA: Wyndham Championship - First Round
News

Jason Day (illness) WDs from Wyndham Championship

August 5, 2022, 5:34 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Jason Day withdrew ahead of Friday's second round of the Wyndham Championship due to an illness.

The 34-year-old Australian was tied for 23rd place after carding a 3-under 67 on Thursday at Sedgefield Golf Club in Greensboro, N.C.

Day's positioning for the start of the FedEx Cup Playoffs at next week's St. Jude Championship in Memphis appears to be secure. He entered this week at No. 115 in the points list, and the top 125 advance to the first playoff event.

This is the 12th time in his career that the former World No. 1 has withdrawn from a tournament, according to Golfweek. Day also withdrew ahead of last month's John Deere Classic with a back injury.

A 12-time winner on the PGA Tour, including the 2015 PGA Championship, Day surpassed $50 million in career earnings earlier this year.

--Field Level Media

PGA: Wyndham Championship - First Round
Recap

John Huh posts 61 to take lead at Wyndham Championship

August 4, 2022, 11:33 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

John Huh ran in five straight birdies and added a long eagle putt to shoot a career-low, 9-under-par 61 and take the first-round lead Thursday at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C.

Huh leads South Korea's Sungjae Im by two shots at the PGA Tour's regular-season finale. Peter Malnati and Brandon Wu are tied for third at 6-under 64.

Huh, 32, needed a good showing this week at Sedgefield Country Club to ensure his berth into the FedEx Cup Playoffs. He entered the week 111th in the points standings, with 125 qualifying for the first leg. Huh would shoot up to 39th if the tournament ended Thursday.

"I'm actually surprised I'm at the top of the leaderboard, yeah, to be quite honest with you," Huh said. "I didn't really feel my game was there, but it's one of those days where I took advantage of some good shots and good breaks, I think."

Huh made six birdies for a front-nine 29, including five in a row at Nos. 4-8. His 10 1/2-foot putt at the par-4 sixth was the only birdie tap outside 10 feet.

At the par-5 15th, he drove the green in two and drained a left-to-right eagle putt from 38 feet out before adding his final birdie at No. 17.

"I knew it was going to be a quick one," Huh said of the eagle putt. "I hit a good stroke, hit my line. I was hoping to go and I got lucky that it hit the flagstick and went in the hole."

Im had two eagles on his card, making a 15-foot putt at the par-5 fifth and a 21-footer at No. 15. His 63 featured just one bogey and gave him good standing to try to finish the regular season in the top 10 in FedEx Cup points. He entered the week 15th.

Wu made six birdies for a bogey-free 64, while Malnati bogeyed just once and eagled the fifth with a 28-foot putt. Both are comfortably in the field of 125 for the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

"Maybe like 110th is maybe the lowest I've gotten on the FedExCup (leaderboard)," Malnati said of his season. "But I've hung out in that range where it's not completely comfortable, but I've never felt like my back was completely against the wall either."

A large tie at 5-under 65 included Brian Stuard, Aaron Wise, Austin Smotherman, Ben Kohles, Alex Smalley, Ryan Moore, Australia's Cameron Percy, Spain's Rafa Cabrera Bello and Canada's Michael Gligic.

Smotherman entered the week as the last man in the field of 125. After a bogey-free round with five birdies, he'd be safely in the playoffs if the Wyndham Championship ended Thursday.

Similarly, Stuard entered the week No. 137 in the standings and is projected at No. 124 based on Thursday's leaderboard. Though he knows what's at stake, he said he doesn't feel much pressure.

"I don't have much to lose," Stuard said. "I'm kind of not in a real good spot, so just trying to figure out how to play some good golf again and see what happens."

Another player not in a good spot: Rickie Fowler. He entered the week No. 123 in the points standings and is in danger of missing the cut and losing his chance at the FedEx Cup Playoffs following a 1-over 71 Thursday. Fowler opened with a double-bogey 6 at the first hole, fought back to get to 1 under and dropped back again with a bogey-bogey finish.

--Field Level Media

PGA: Rocket Mortgage Classic - First Round
Betting

2022 Wyndham Championship: Preview & Predictions

August 3, 2022, 11:18 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

This is the final event of the regular season, with the FedEx Cup playoffs beginning next week.

The event begins Thursday at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., and Field Level Media's golf experts provide important tournament notes, odds and their best bets to win this week.

WYNDHAM CHAMPIONSHIP

Location: Greensboro, N.C., Aug. 4-7

Course: Sedgefield Country Club (Par 70, 7,127 yards)

Purse: $7.3M (Winner: $1.3M)

Defending Champion: Kevin Kisner

FedExCup Leader: Scottie Scheffler

HOW TO FOLLOW

TV: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS)

Streaming: Four daily stream feeds on ESPN+

Twitter: @WyndhamChamp

NOTES:

--Since the current points structure was implemented in 2009, an average of 2.5 players per year have entered the Wyndham outside of the top 125 and played their way into the playoffs.

--Austin Smotherman holds the 125th spot in the rankings with the top three players currently outside of the playoff "bubble" being Max McGreevy, Danny Willett and Justin Lower.

--No. 148 Charlie Hoffman needs to finish in the top four or better to continue his streak of qualifying for the playoffs in every season.

BEST BETS:

--Will Zalatoris (+1600 BetMGM) is the top-ranked player in the field at No. 14 as he seeks his first career PGA Tour victory. He's the biggest liability at BetMGM and accounts for 11.9 percent of the handle. Zalatoris (+1200) is the favorite at DraftKings, drawing 13 percent of the handle and 10 percent of the bets.

--Sungjae Im (+1400 at BetMGM) is coming off a T2 at the 3M Open. He's also +1400 -- though second -- at DraftKings, drawing 9 percent of the handle and 6 percent of the bets.

--Shane Lowry (+1600) is teeing it up for the first time since a T21 at The Open Championship that followed a T9 at the Irish Open.

--Billy Horschel (+1800) is also teeing it up for the first time since a T21 at The Open and won the Memorial in June. He finished second in the Wyndham in 2020.

--Field Level Media

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch
News

Phil Mickelson among 11 golfers to file suit against PGA Tour

August 3, 2022, 7:07 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

A cadre of golfers including Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour on Wednesday.

Eleven golfers now on the LIV Golf Series joined the lawsuit, which challenges their suspension from the PGA Tour. Three of the 11 - Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford, Matt Jones - are seeking a temporary restraining order to be allowed to participate in the FedEx Cup playoffs, which begin next week.

That trio qualified for the playoffs but were banned after joining LIV, a competing circuit considered a direct threat to the PGA Tour.

In addition, Abraham Ancer, Jason Kokrak, Carlos Ortiz, Pat Perez, Ian Poulter and Peter Uihlein are listed along with Mickelson in the lawsuit.

Multiple media outlets obtained copies of the lawsuit, first reported on by The Wall Street Journal.

"As part of its carefully orchestrated plan to defeat competition, the Tour has threatened lifetime bans on players who play in even a single LIV Golf event," the lawsuit says. "It has backed up these threats by imposing unprecedented suspensions on players (including the Plaintiffs) that threaten irreparable harm to the players and their ability to pursue their profession.

"It has threatened sponsors, vendors, and agents to coerce players to abandon opportunities to play in LIV Golf events. And it has orchestrated a per se unlawful group boycott with the European Tour to deny LIV Golf access to their members."

The FedEx Cup playoffs begin with the St. Jude Classic in Memphis next week. The top 125 players are eligible to play - except for those who opted to play in LIV events.

Gooch is No. 20 in points, Swafford is 63rd and Jones No. 91.

"Banning Plaintiffs and other top professional golfers from its own events degrades the Tour's strength of field and diminishes the quality of the product that it offers to golf fans by depriving them from seeing many top golfers participate in Tour events," the lawsuit reads.

"The only conceivable benefit to the Tour from degrading its own product in this manner is the destruction of competition. Indeed, the Tour has conceded its nakedly anticompetitive purpose in attacking and injuring the players."

--Field Level Media

PGA: John Deere Classic - First Round
News

Steve Stricker, Webb Simpson named Presidents Cup assistants

August 2, 2022, 8:25 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Davis Love III named Steve Stricker and Webb Simpson as his final two captain's assistants for the U.S. Team at next month's Presidents Cup.

Stricker and Simpson join Fred Couples and Zach Johnson, who were previously named assistants.

Love will captain the U.S. Team and South Africa's Trevor Immelman will lead the International Team at the 2022 Presidents Cup from Sept. 22-25 at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C.

Stricker, 55, just captained the Americans to a one-sided Ryder Cup victory over Team Europe last fall.

"Steve has been a great friend to so many players on the PGA Tour throughout the years, and I know that camaraderie he brings to both the golf course and the team room will be incredibly valuable in September," Love said in a news release. "As we look at this youth movement on the U.S. Team, having Steve as a trusted ally in tense situations is something I know our players will lean on.

Simpson is young for an assistant at 36, but he is a member of Quail Hollow and will provide knowledge of the course.

"Webb is a fiery competitor and a player who has served as an incredible role model to so many of the young guys on TOUR," Love said. "To add someone with his experience to the team room, who is also a peer and one of the top players in the game, will be a great addition to the week at Quail Hollow. I know he's excited to help lead the U.S. Team on his home course."

The top six players in the U.S. Team points standings as of Aug. 21 will automatically qualify for the Presidents Cup team. As of Tuesday, those six are Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Sam Burns, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas and Tony Finau, with Jordan Spieth standing in seventh. Love will make six captain's picks to round out the team.

--Field Level Media

Syndication: Florida Times-Union
News

PGA Tour bumps prize money to $415M next season

August 1, 2022, 6:18 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The PGA Tour on Monday announced its schedule for the 2022-23 season, including total prize money that balloons to a record $415 million.

Further, the Tour will dole out an additional $145 million in bonus money, including $75 million for the FedExCup.

The announcement comes a week after the renegade LIV Golf Series announced a 14-event schedule that will award $405 million in prize money in 2023.

The PGA Tour's 44-event regular-season slate kicks off Sept. 15 at the Fortinet Championship in Napa, Calif. It will conclude with the FedExCup playoffs, which will include just the top 70 players -- down from 125 -- for the first event, the St. Jude Championship.

"We've heard from our fans and the overwhelming sentiment was that they wanted more consequences for both the FedExCup regular season and the playoffs, and to further strengthen events that traditionally feature top players competing head-to-head," PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in the press release.

Next season marks the last one that will span two calendar years. Beginning in 2024, the season will begin and end in the same calendar year.

--Field Level Media

PGA: Rocket Mortgage Classic - Final Round
Recap

Tony Finau wins for second straight week, claims Rocket Mortgage title

July 31, 2022, 11:14 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Tony Finau became the first player in three years to win back-to-back PGA Tour events Sunday, as his final-round 67 gave him a comfortable five-shot victory at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.

Finau carded a tournament record 26-under 262, one week after he surged ahead late on Sunday to win the 3M Open in Minnesota.

Brendon Todd's consecutive wins at the Bermuda Championship and Mayakoba Golf Classic in November 2019 marked the last time a PGA Tour player went back-to-back.

"Wins are so special out here because they're so rare," Finau said. "I think I'm gonna really be able to soak these up probably when I'm home. It probably hasn't hit me yet, the magnitude of what I've accomplished these last couple weeks."

Finau spent all week atop the leaderboard with Canadian Taylor Pendrith. They shared the lead after Thursday, Pendrith took a one-shot lead through 36 holes and Finau tied it back up during Saturday's third round.

But on Sunday, Pendrith struggled to an even-par 72 and settled for a tie for second with Patrick Cantlay (66) and Cameron Young (68) at 21 under.

"It was tough," said Pendrith, who bogeyed the second hole on his way to three bogeys and three birdies. "Couldn't really get anything going and didn't get off to the best start like I did the last three days, but kind of hung in there. You know, middle of the round I hit some really nice iron shots and just couldn't get anything to fall. I left a lot of putts short and obviously those have no chance of going in."

Finau had a quiet front nine, only birdieing the par-5 fourth and seventh holes. He went birdie-bogey-birdie after the turn, culminating in a 30-foot birdie putt at the par-4 12th. By that point, he was comfortably ahead of Pendrith and the pack.

Cantlay, the defending FedEx Cup champion, made a run by sinking five birdies on the front nine. After a bogey at No. 12, he eagled the par-5 14th by sticking his second shot just 5 feet from the pin. But he couldn't get closer, finishing birdie-bogey at the final two holes.

"I played well all week, really solid and that's what I've got to keep doing, just keep knocking on the door," Cantlay said. "And got three big tournaments to close the season out (in the FedEx Cup Playoffs)."

Finau was projected to move up 10 spots to No. 7 in the FedEx Cup points standings. Cantlay will move from sixth to fifth in the standings, and Young -- a PGA Tour rookie who picked up his seventh top-three finish of the season -- will move from 13th to ninth.

Germany's Stephan Jaeger shot a final-round 68 to finish in fifth at 20 under, and Taylor Moore placed sixth at 19 under (including a 66 Sunday).

Earlier in the day, Joohyung Kim carded an eagle and seven birdies to the course record of 9-under 63. The promising 20-year-old from South Korea received a special temporary membership for the remainder of the season that allows him to play on an unlimited number of sponsor exemptions as he aims to earn his PGA Tour card.

Kim, who finished seventh at 18 under, holed out for eagle from 126 yards away at the par-4 10th.

"It was a soft pitching wedge in the wind," Kim said. "I saw it land, I didn't know it went in and I kind of turned over to put my club in the bag and everyone just went kind of crazy. Yeah, it was just one of those shots where you don't expect it, but it was a great shot."

--Field Level Media

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Recap

Tony Finau tied atop leaderboard at Rocket Mortgage

July 31, 2022, 12:01 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Tony Finau fired a 7-under-par 65 on Saturday to draw into a tie for the lead with Canadian Taylor Pendrith at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.

The pair sit at 21-under 195, good for a four-shot cushion. Pendrith carded a 66.

Pendrith and Finau were tied for the lead after Thursday, and Pendrith owned a one-shot lead over Finau heading into Saturday's third round at the Detroit Golf Club.

Cameron Young (65) sits solo third at 17 under, German Stephan Jaeger (65) sits five shots back in fourth, Patrick Cantlay (66) occupies solo fifth at 15 under, and Scott Stallings (67) is seven shots back in sixth place.

Finau turned in a clean card in pursuit of his second consecutive victory. Finau recorded seven birdies, including four going out. In fact, Finau has yet to card a bogey through the first 54 holes of the tourney.

"No bogeys up to this point on the scorecard in the tournament, which is nice," Finau said. "I think it's a golf course that yields some birdies. You'll have some looks, but to not make any mistakes to this point is nice and I think that's the main reason I've kind of found myself on top of the leaderboard."

Finau, who won last week's 3M Open, is seeking to become the first player to win in back-to-back weeks during the PGA Tour regular season since Brendon Todd in 2019.

"Taylor's playing some great golf," Finau said. "This is the type of golf course where someone can shoot 8, 9, 10 under, but if we put together a good round tomorrow, might be a two-man race and I'm looking forward to the challenge again."

Pendrith's day yielded eight birdies but also two bogeys en route to his 66. The tour rookie birdied four of his last five holes, however.

"Obviously, he made a ton of birdies and I finished the round with a lot of birdies, so it was fun," Pendrith said. "We were going back and forth. Tony bombs it off the tee and I hit it far as well, so it was fun, kind of similar games I guess, and we attacked it very well."

--Field Level Media

PGA: Rocket Mortgage Classic - Second Round
Recap

Taylor Pendrith slides past Tony Finau for Rocket Mortgage lead

July 30, 2022, 12:04 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Canadian Taylor Pendrith birdied the first four holes of his round Friday and turned in a 7-under-par 65 to take a one-shot lead over Tony Finau at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.

Pendrith and Finau were tied for the lead after Thursday. After the second round, Pendrith reached 15-under 129 and Finau's 66 got him to 14 under par.

They'll play in the final pairing Saturday afternoon at Detroit Golf Club and see if they can leave the field in the dust. Lee Hodges (66 Friday) was alone in third at 12 under and three players -- Cameron Young (63), Russell Henley (65) and Stewart Cink (66) -- were at 10 under.

Pendrith, 31, is ranked No. 237 in the Official World Golf Ranking and looking for his first win on tour. He is also playing his third event since a roughly four-month break caused by a fractured rib.

He poured in eight birdies, including a 2-foot tap-in at the second after an accurate approach, while making just one bogey.

A native of nearby Ontario, Pendrith felt like playing in Detroit was a home game.

"Close to home, have some family and friends higher, lots of ‘Go Canada' cheers out there, people were singing the national anthem, so it's pretty cool," Pendrith said. "I feel very welcomed here and I love the golf course, so looking forward to the weekend."

Finau won last week's PGA Tour stop, the 3M Open, and kept the momentum going in Detroit. His bogey-free 66 featured six birdies, five coming on the back nine to surge into second.

"I've been working extremely hard on my game all year and I think I'm just kind of bearing the fruit of the labor I've had throughout this season and it's coming together for me late in the season," Finau said.

Hodges played with Pendrith for the first two rounds and, in fact, matched Pendrith birdie for birdie over the first four holes Friday. Hodges' 66 kept him within striking distance for the weekend.

"Got off to another really nice start, which is cool, and just kind of had some nice up-and-downs. Didn't hit it as well as I did yesterday, but chipping and putting kind of saved me today, so it was nice."

Young's 63 was the low round of the tournament so far. Starting on the back nine, he got an early jolt by holing out from the 13th fairway for an eagle 2.

"We had 136 (yards) and I said I was going to hit it about four steps long, 140, and a few steps left," Young said. "So I missed it just short right and happened to fly directly in the hole."

Young, who placed second at The Open Championship earlier this month, added seven birdies Friday without a bogey. Young, Pendrith and Hodges are all PGA Tour rookies.

Patrick Cantlay, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 4, shot a 65 to get into a tie for seventh at 9 under with Scott Stallings (65), Sahith Theegala (67), Australia's Adam Scott (66), Germany's Stephan Jaeger (68) and South Korea's Si Woo Kim (68).

Those who fell short of the 3-under cut line included Gary Woodland (2 under), Harris English (2 under), Kevin Kisner (1 under) and Rickie Fowler (3 over).

--Field Level Media