PGA Golf

PGA News Wire
  • McIlroy implodes with 79 at The Open
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 18, 2019

    Rory McIlroy shot an opening-round 79 at The Open Championship at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland on Thursday, all but dashing dreams he'd win his first major title in five years in his home country.

    • "I would like to punch myself. I made a couple of stupid mistakes. I was pretty nervous on the first tee and hit a bad shot," McIlroy said Thursday.

      The World No. 3 entered the tournament as the favorite or co-favorite to win by most sportsbooks, but making the cut is not a guarantee after he opened with a quadruple-bogey on the par-4, 421-yard first hole.

      The round got off to a disastrous start for the 30-year-old. His drive sailed out of bounds, into thick brush and he wound up with a quadruple-bogey 8.

      McIlroy said he wasn't rattled.

      "It was almost as if that first tee shot settled me down a little bit," he told the Golf Channel after the round. "It was like, 'We can't start much worse than this, so we might as well just get the head down and get going. I thought that I showed some resilience around the middle of the round. Made a couple of birdies, got it back a little bit. But, whenever you play your first and last holes in a combined 7-over par, it's going to be a pretty tough day."

      He added a bogey on No. 3, a double bogey on No. 16 and a triple bogey at No. 18. Only two birdies sprinkled in the round kept him from an over-80 score.

      He hit eight of 14 fairways and 11 of 18 greens and needed 32 putts to complete the round. This is the same course where as a 16-year-old amateur in 2005 he set the course record of 61.

      That time, he didn't have the weight of a nation on his shoulders, though he said he didn't feel the extra pressure.

      "I don't think that was it. If anything, I think that people wanted it more for me than I ... obviously I wanted it, and I wanted to play well," he said.

      He will enter Friday's second round trying to make up some ground.

      "I'm going to have to have a number in mind. I'd obviously love to be here for the weekend, and I need to shoot a pretty good score tomorrow for that to happen.," he said.

      The early leader on the day was Irishman Shane Lowry, who shot a 4-under 67. Six players trailed him by one shot, including Spain's Sergio Garcia.

      "It was tough all day," said Garcia. "This course is playing difficult. It was quite breezy. So some tough holes out there. Obviously 18 we played into the wind and with rain, so that played really long."

      --Field Level Media

  • McIlroy: Open's return to Northern Ireland 'bigger than me'
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    Despite competing on home soil in Northern Ireland, Rory McIroy said there's no added pressure to win this week's Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

    • "I'm just treating this like any other Open Championship," he said Wednesday, per "I've played well here for the last few years, and I've played well on this golf course. So I've just got to go out and hit the shots and stay in the present. If I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, hopefully by Sunday night, that will be good enough."

      As the 30-year-old betting favorite prepared to try to snap his five-year major drought, he said the return of the tournament to Royal Portrush for the first time since 1951 is "bigger than me."

      "This is a wonderful thing for this country and golf in general, and to be quite a big part of it is an honor and a privilege," McIlroy said. "And I want to keep reminding myself of that, that this is bigger than me, right? This is bigger than me.

      "If you can look at the bigger picture and you can see that, it sort of takes a little bit of the pressure off. I still want to play well and concentrate and do all the right things, but at the same time just having that perspective might just make me relax a little bit more.

      "So I think no matter what happens this week, if I win or whoever else wins, having The Open back in this country is a massive thing for golf. And I think as well it will be a massive thing for the country."

      McIlroy set the course record at Royal Portrush with a 61 when he was only 16 years old.

      McIlroy won his fourth and most recent major at the 2014 PGA Championship, the same year he won his only Open title at Royal Liverpool.

      The world No. 3 begins his quest for the Claret Jug on Thursday, when he is paired with U.S. Open winner Gary Woodland and England's Paul Casey.

      --Field Level Media

  • Lang pregnant with first child
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    Brittany Lang announced that she and husband Kevin Spann are pregnant, with the couple's first child due on Jan. 25.

    • Spann, 41, underwent surgery 18 months ago in an effort to help the couple conceive. However, it had been unsuccessful and the couple was set to undergo In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) in September before learning that Lang had become pregnant naturally.

      Lang, 33, made the announcement on Twitter with a picture of the ultrasound and a message that read, "It has been a long journey but I am so excited to announce @kspann25 and I are expecting our first child January 2020!"

      Lang recently rushed friend Brittany Lincicome to a Chicago-area hospital when Lincicome went into labor while the two were traveling to an event. Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller have returned to the Tour this year following the births of their first children, and new mother Suzann Pettersen is scheduled to play in her first tournament this week since giving birth to son Herman Alexander in August.

      Lang is teamed with Marina Alex for this week's Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. She lives in McKinney, Texas, and plans to make the Volunteers of America Classic scheduled for Oct. 3-6 in nearby Colony her final tournament before going on maternity leave.

      Lang plans to return to the Tour in 2020 and play alongside the other new mothers.

      "I feel like that's all we talk about is baby stuff now," she said, per Golfweek.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rose: New majors schedule is 'too condensed'
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Britain's Justin Rose criticized professional golf's new tighter schedule for its four major tournaments, saying the timeline makes too many concessions to the FedEx Cup playoffs.

    • "It's too condensed," Rose told reporters Tuesday about playing the four majors from April (the Masters) to July (the Open Championship this week). "I also think it's pretty much driven by the FedEx Cup, wanting to finish on a certain date, everything else having to fit in where it can.

      "For me, a major championship should be the things that are protected the most. That's how all of our careers ultimately are going to be measured. Thirty or 40 years ago, there wasn't a FedEx Cup, so if you're trying to compare one career to another career, Jack (Nicklaus) versus Tiger (Woods), it's the majors that are the benchmarks. For them to be tweaked so much I think is quite interesting at this point."

      The big change this year was moving the PGA Championship from August to May, slotting in between the Masters and the U.S. Open in June.

      Last year, the FedEx Cup playoffs were held from Aug. 23 to Sept. 23. This year, the playoffs have been pared from four tournament to three and will wrap up Aug. 25, meaning the conclusion to the PGA Tour season no longer has to compete for attention with the NFL regular season.

      Rose, who tied for third at the U.S. Open, said he didn't play in any subsequent events before this week's final major because of the condensed schedule.

      "As a professional in terms of trying to peak for something, the process that's involved in trying to do that can be detailed and it can be longer than a month," he said. "I think we're all trying to adapt. It's about trying to peak, valley and peak again in such a short period of time. This is unchartered territory for me to take time off between majors."

      --Field Level Media

  • Golf Glance: McIlroy seeks major glory in native land
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

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

    • PGA TOUR

      LAST TOURNAMENT: John Deere Classic (Dylan Frittelli)

      THIS WEEK: The Open Championship, July 18-21

      Royal Portrush - Dunluce Links, Portrush, Northern Ireland (Par 71, 7,344 yards)

      Purse: $10.75 million (Winner: $1.935 million)

      Defending champion: Francesco Molinari

      FedEx Cup leader: Matt Kuchar

      Television: Thursday-Friday: 1:30 a.m.-4 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday: 5-7 a.m. (GC), 7 a.m.-3 p.m. (NBC); Sunday: 4-7 a.m. (GC), 7 a.m.-2 p.m. (NBC).

      NOTES: The field includes three Northern Ireland natives: Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke. McIlroy (32 under) holds the lowest score in relation to par at The Open since 2014. ... Royal Portrush has hosted only one previous Open (won by Max Faulkner in 1951). ... Americans have won the first three majors of 2019. They have not won all four in a year since 1982. ... Gary Woodland attempts to become the first player to win the U.S. Open and The Open in the same year since Tiger Woods in 2000. ... Woods is competing for the first time since last month's U.S. Open. He is one win shy of tying Sam Snead's record of 82 career PGA Tour titles and is three majors shy of Jack Nicklaus' record of 18. ... No. 1 Brooks Koepka is attempting to become just the fourth player to win at least five majors before turning 30 (Nicklaus, Woods, Bobby Jones). He can also become the first player under 30 to finish first or second in all four majors in a single year. Koepka's caddie, Ricky Elliott, grew up in Portrush. ... Molinari seeks to become just the seventh player to successfully defend an Open title since World War II. ... Twenty of the past 21 major champions entered the week ranked within the top 25 in the world.

      BEST BETS: McIlroy (+900 on PointsBet) set a course record with a 61 at Royal Portrush in the 2005 North of Ireland Amateur, at age 16. He has geared his entire 2019 schedule around winning a major in his native country and has four consecutive top-five finishes in The Open. ... Jon Rahm (+1400) is coming off a victory two weeks ago as he seeks his first career major title. ... Xander Schauffele (+2500) finished T2 last year and has four top-5s and a T6 in 10 career starts in majors. ... McDowell (+8000) is the only Portrush native in the field. On a course very unfamiliar to most players in the field, McDowell estimates he has played it "300 to 500 times."

      THIS WEEK: Barbasol Championship, July 18-21

      Keene Trace GC - Champions, Lexington, Ky. (Par 72, 7,328 yards)

      Purse: $3.5 million (Winner: $630,000 - based on 2018)

      Defending champion: Troy Merritt

      Television: Thursday-Friday, 5-8 p.m. (Golf Channel). Saturday, 4-6 p.m. (GC). Sunday, 4-7 p.m. (GC).

      NOTES: Former major champions Jason Dufner and John Daly are in the field. Daly withdrew from The Open after being denied the use of a power cart. ... 2011 FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas is in the event for the first time. ... Kentucky native Kenny Perry, 58, makes his seventh Tour start of 2019. ... The event is in its second year at Keene Trace, with the Champions course one of only two on Tour that end in a par 3.

      NEXT WEEK: WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, Memphis, Tenn.


      LAST TOURNAMENT: Marathon Classic (Sei Young Kim)

      THIS WEEK: Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, July 17-20

      Midland Country Club, Midland, Mich. (Par 71, 6,561 yards)

      Purse: $2 million

      Defending champion: Inaugural event

      CME Race to the Globe leader: Jin Young Ko

      Television: Wednesday: 4-6 p.m. ET; Thursday-Friday: 8-10 p.m. (tape delay); Saturday: 6-8 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)

      NOTES: This is the first official team event in the history of the LPGA Tour. The field will include 71 two-player teams competing in foursomes and four-ball formats, including two pairs of sisters: Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn and Jessica and Nelly Korda. The first and third rounds will be foursomes (alternate shot) with the second and final rounds being four-ball (best ball) format. The field will be cut to the top 35 teams and ties following the second round. ... Suzann Pettersen makes her return to competition following the birth of her first child last August. The 2019 Solheim Cup vice-captain is paired with captain Catriona Matthew.

      NEXT TOURNAMENT: The Evian Championship, Evian-les-Bains, France


      LAST TOURNAMENT: Senior Players Championship (Retief Goosen)


      NEXT TOURNAMENT: The Senior Open, Lytham & St. Annes, Lancashire, England, July 25-28.

      --Field Level Media

  • Koepka enters Open Championship with local ace on the bag
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Brooks Koepka admits he's looking for inside information and insight from his locally grown caddie, longtime bagman Ricky Elliott, at The Open Championship this week.

    • Two practice rounds into his stay at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, site of The Open, Koepka realized much of the gallery wasn't stalking the No. 1-ranked player in golf.

      "I probably hear more, 'Ricky! Hey, Ricky, what's going on?' than anything," Koepka said of Elliott's popularity in Portrush. "I'm sure he'll have quite a bit of friends and family out. It will be a special week for him, for sure."

      Elliott is Koepka's full-time caddie and has been since the 2013 PGA Championship. But he grew up in Northern Ireland, has a low round of 65 on the course to his credit and said he can't even count the number of rounds he's walked on the grounds.

      "Luckily my caddie has played this golf course I can't tell you how many times, so that's a big advantage," Koepka said. "Every hole I just step up on, 'You tell me what to do, you've played it more than anybody.' So just let him figure it out."

      Koepka, who has four major victories and has finished first or second in the first three majors of the 2019 season, is the favorite to win in the minds of many players taking part in the event. Koepka is scheduled to hit his first tee shot at 1:04 p.m. (8:04 a.m. ET) on Thursday, paired with 2010 champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa and Shubhankar Sharma of India.

      Between now and then, a number of players have been angling for Elliott's time. And Koepka's.

      That includes three-time Open Championship winner Tiger Woods, who said Koepka is ghosting him. Woods admitted he was aware of Elliott's edge at Portrush, which is hosting the event for the first time since 1951.

      "I'll tell you a funny story. I texted Brooks congratulations on another great finish," Woods began. "What he's done in the last four major championships has been unbelievable. He's been so consistent, so solid. He's been in contention to win each and every major championship. So I said, 'Hey dude, do you mind if I tag along and play a practice round?' I've heard nothing."

      Woods laughed off the story, but Koepka is a steely eyed competitor. There are secrets everywhere on the links at Portrush, and Elliott knows most of them. Even so, he said he's still measuring the difference between his own shot lines and those he'll experience this week on Koepka's bag.

      "Brooks hits the ball a lot different than the lines I hit it on," Elliott said. "I'll have to work with the yardage book a little bit."

      Koepka, who spent Friday at Elliott's childhood home with their families, wants nothing more than to hand Elliott the Claret Jug on Sunday afternoon, then celebrate a major title together with Elliott at the renowned Harbour Bar.

      "There would be nothing cooler. Put it this way, I don't think when he grew up that he ever thought there would be an Open Championship here. And to top it off, I don't think he ever thought he'd be a part of it," Koepka said. "To be caddying and to be able to win one here ... he'd be a legend, wouldn't he? He already is."

      --Field Level Media

  • Woods on Masters: 'It took a lot out of me'
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    In the week of the Masters this spring, Tiger Woods said he knew he was ready for the challenge, and he walked away wearing his fifth green jacket.

    • He said Tuesday that he doesn't have as much confidence in his game as he enters The Open Championship this week.

      "It's not quite as sharp as I'd like to have it right now," Woods said at his pre-tournament news conference. "Today it was a good range session. I need another one tomorrow. And hopefully that will be enough to be ready."

      Woods played seven practice holes Tuesday at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland, which is hosting The Open for the first time since 1951.

      "My touch around the greens is right where I need to have it," he said. "I still need to get the ball - the shape of the golf ball a little bit better than I am right now, especially with the weather coming in and the winds are going to be changing. I'm going to have to be able to cut the ball, draw the ball, hit at different heights and move it all around."

      Woods has played in just nine tournaments this season, winning only at Augusta National. He missed the cut at the PGA Championship and finished in a tie for 21st at the U.S. Open.

      The 43-year-old Woods said returning to his pre-Masters form has proved difficult.

      "Well, getting myself into position to win the Masters ... It took a lot out of me. That golf course puts so much stress on the system," Woods said. "It was a very emotional week and one that I keep reliving. It's hard to believe that I pulled it off and I ended up winning the tournament."

      Woods previously won The Open three times, most recently in 2006.

      --Field Level Media

  • Woods paired with Reed in Open Championship
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    Tiger Woods tees off at 10:10 a.m. ET Thursday in the first round of The Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

    • Woods is paired with Patrick Reed and Matthew Wallace. He's been on the grounds in Northern Ireland for more than a week, syncing his body with the time zone and getting familiar with the layout.

      A three-time British Open champion, Woods played 18 holes with Reed on Sunday. On Monday he played another 18 with Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler. Woods hasn't played in a tournament since the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach a month ago.

      "The breaks are always great for my golf," Woods said Monday, noting he's following the plan he shared late last year to trim back the number of tournaments he entered in hopes of competing for the entire season.

      Woods won his 15th major at The Masters in April. He claimed the Claret Jug by winning the British Open in 2000, 2005 and 2006, but missed the cut at the PGA Championship in May. He tied for 21st at the U.S. Open.

      Portrush native Darren Clarke has the honors of taking the first tee shot Thursday -- at 1:35 a.m. ET -- and spent last week serving as an ambassador for the town and course.

      Another local favorite, Rory McIlroy, is paired with U.S. Open winner Gary Woodland and Paul Casey. McIlroy set the Portrush course record of 61 when he was 16 years old. McIlroy said he's entirely comfortable on the challenging course, which "just feels like Portrush to me."

      McIlroy hasn't won a major in five years, but said winning this week would be a career-defining achievement in his mind.

      "Never in a million years did I think that an Open Championship would be played again at Royal Portrush," he said.

      Defending champion Francesco Molinari and Bryson DeChambeau are in a group with Adam Scott and will tee off (4:58 a.m. ET) one group before McIlroy's.

      Charles Howell III, who tied for sixth Sunday at the John Deere Classic, withdrew from the field Monday and was replaced by Brian Harman.

      --Field Level Media

  • Open form: Mickelson drops 15 pounds on water, coffee fast
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    A six-day fast helped Phil Mickelson drop 15 pounds ahead of the Open Championship.

    • The 49-year-old said in a video posted to his Twitter feed that he wanted to do everything possible to be his best at Royal Portrush, site of the 2019 Open Championship this week. That included a six-day fast during which he allowed himself only a special coffee blend for nutrition and water.

      "I haven't been my best and I'm doing all I can to get it right," Mickelson said.

      Mickelson has not posted a top-15 finish since winning at Pebble Beach in February. Since tying for 18th at The Masters, he has missed the cut in four of his last six tournaments.

      Mickelson won The Open at Muirfield in 2013 and has been preparing for this week's challenges on and off the course.

      "The last 10 days I've done what I call a hard reset to change and try and make things better," he said.

      --Field Level Media

  • Na withdraws from Open due to neck injury
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 11, 2019

    Kevin Na withdrew from next week's Open Championship at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland due to a neck injury, with Slovakia's Rory Sabbatini named as Na's replacement.

    • Na withdrew from last week's inaugural 3M Open due to the ongoing issue with his neck. He is currently ranked 34th in the world, having reached No. 31 after winning the Charles Schwab Challenge in May. Na missed the cut at the U.S. Open and finished sixth at the Korea Open before the neck injury forced him out last week.

      Sabbatini is the second alternate to get into the Open field this week. Kevin Streelman received an invite after John Daly withdrew from the tournament because his request for a medical exemption to use a cart was denied. Sabbatini is currently ranked No. 86.

      No. 88 Kevin Harman is now the first alternate, followed by former world No. 1 Martin Kaymer of Germany, who is currently ranked No. 90 after a T9 at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open last week. No. 93 Kevin Tway is the third alternate.

      --Field Level Media

  • Lincicome gives birth to first child 8 weeks early
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 9, 2019

    Brittany Lincicome announced that she and husband Dewald Gouws welcomed their first child, Emery Reign Gouws, on Monday.

    • Lincicome, 33, announced her pregnancy in February and has since taken a leave from the LPGA Tour. She was on her way to play in the Rockford ProAm in Illinois on Monday when she went into labor eight weeks early.

      Lincicome, who had flown to Chicago on Sunday, gave birth at Javon Bea Hospital-Riverside.

      "So our little bundle of joy decided she didn't want to wait anymore to make her grand entrance," she posted on Instagram. "I flew to Chicago for an outing yesterday and she came today at 3:50pm. She is exactly 8 weeks early. So we need some prayers for her. So far she is doing awesome."

      Lincicome, who suffered a miscarriage last year, announced that Emery Reign was born at 4 pounds, 11 ounces and required oxygen overnight.

      "She is doing great," Lincicome posted Tuesday. "They took her off oxygen this morning. Which is a great sign. Still in need of prayers she keeps progressing and we get to go home sooner rather then later"

      Lincicome has not announced her plans for returning to competition, but a new LPGA Tour policy means that she will begin next season with the same status she had when she took her maternity break.

      --Field Level Media

  • Golf Glance
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 9, 2019

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

    • PGA TOUR

      LAST TOURNAMENT: 3M Open (Matthew Wolff)

      THIS WEEK: John Deere Classic, July 11-14

      TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Ill. (Par 71, 7,268 yards)

      Purse: $6 million (Winner: $1.08 million)

      Defending champion: Michael Kim

      FedEx Cup leader: Matt Kuchar

      Television: Thursday-Friday, 4-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:45 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS)

      NOTES: The event holds the final available spot into the field for next week's Open Championship, which would go to the top player not otherwise exempt who finishes inside the top five and ties. The JDC provides a charter flight to players traveling to The Open on Sunday night. ... Kim was ranked 215th after winning by eight shots last year. He enters this week having missed all 17 cuts in 2019 since the year-opening Tournament of Champions, where tied for last in the no-cut event. He has not made a full-field cut since finishing 76th at The CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges in October. ... Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native Zach Johnson makes his 18th consecutive start in the event. ... Tour rookie Viktor Hovland will play on a sponsor's exemption, as will Justin Suh. ... Wolff earned a two-year full Tour exemption with his victory last week, while Collin Morikawa earned a special temporary membership with his T2. ... Ho Sung Choi, a 45-year-old South Korean whose swing has been nicknamed "The Fisherman Swing," will make his second career PGA Tour start. He missed the cut at this year's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

      BEST BETS: The youth movement could well continue with no top 10 players in the field. Hovland (+1600 by PointsBet) is playing for the fifth consecutive week, but he has also made strong Sunday runs in each of the past two tournaments. ... Johnson (+2800) doesn't bring great odds for a player with one top 20 in 2019, but he has also played 41 consecutive rounds at TPC Deere Run at par or better and is on the event's board of directors. Sitting at 138th in the FedEx Cup standings, he needs a strong week with only four events remaining before the playoffs. ... Joel Dahmen (+5000) is in the midst of a career season and could enjoy a breakthrough against a modest field. He has moved from 527th to 81st in the world rankings since April 2018, highlighted by a solo second at the Wells Fargo Championship in May.

      NEXT WEEK: The Open Championship, Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland, July 18-21; Barbasol Championship, Keene Trace Golf Club, Nicholasville, Ky., July 18-21


      LAST TOURNAMENT: Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic (Shanshan Feng)

      THIS WEEK: Marathon Classic, July 11-14

      Highland Meadows Golf Club, Sylvania, Ohio (Par 71, 6,561 yards)

      Purse: $1.75 million (Winner: $262,500)

      Defending champion: Jasmine Suwannapura

      Race to the CME Globe leader: Jin Young Ko

      Television: Thursday-Friday, 7:30-9:30 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 6-8 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)

      NOTES: Suwannapura claimed her first LPGA Tour title with a birdie on the first playoff hole against Brittany Lincicome last year. ... Ko leads the Tour in scoring average (69.255) and greens in regulation (79.1 percent). ... Ko, Brooke Henderson and Sung Hyun Park are the only multiple winners on Tour this year, with Henderson the only one of the three in this week's field. ... South Korea's Se Ri Pak still holds the tournament scoring record of 261, 23-under par set in 1998. ... The average age of winners on Tour this season is 24.06. ... Nelly Korda and Danielle Kang are tied for the Tour lead with eight top-10 finishes in 2019. ... Lexi Thompson, who is in the field this week, leads the U.S. Solheim Cup team standings with 517 points. She has qualified for the team along with Kang, Korda and Jessica Korda.

      NEXT TOURNAMENT: Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, Midland, Mich., July 17-20


      LAST TOURNAMENT: U.S. Senior Open Championship (Steve Stricker)

      THIS WEEK: Senior Players Championship, July 11-14

      Firestone Country Club, Akron, Ohio (Par 70, 7,400 yards)

      Purse: $2.8 million (winner: $420,000)

      Defending champion: Vijay Singh

      Charles Schwab Cup leader: Scott McCarron

      Television: Thursday-Friday, 1:30-4 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)

      NOTES: The event is being played for the first time at Firestone, which previously hosted the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Firestone will host the Senior Players through 2022. ... Stricker, who has already won two senior majors this year, opted to compete at Firestone this week rather than the John Deere Classic. Stricker trails McCarron by $479,878 in the Charles Schwab Cup standings. ... Singh beat Jeff Maggert on the second playoff hole last year to claim his first senior major championship. ... Fred Couples will make his first start since a T17 at the Rapiscan Systems Classic in March. The 2011 Senior Players champion will be honored as the 2019 Ambassador of Golf, honoring a person who has fostered the ideals of the game on an international level and whose concern for others extends beyond the golf course.

      NEXT TOURNAMENT: DICK'S Sporting Goods Open, Endicott, N.Y., Aug. 16-18.

      --Field Level Media

  • No ride, Daly pulls out of Open Championship
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 9, 2019

    John Daly withdrew from The Open Championship after his request for a medical exemption to use a golf cart was denied.

    • Daly's decision was announced Tuesday by the R&A, which confirmed Kevin Streelman as Daly's replacement at Royal Portrush.

      Daly won The Open in 1995 at St. Andrews.

      "Quite disappointed they do not see it the same way our PGA of America and PGA Tour sees it," Daly said Saturday on Instagram. "Different continents different laws???

      "... While I trust the R&A's decision was made with good intentions, I could not disagree more with their conclusions."

      Daly, 53, initially said he would attempt to play in The Open from July 18-21 without the cart.

      The R&A understands Daly's challenges -- the golfer says he has bi-compartmental degenerative arthritis in his right knee -- but stood firm in sticking to its policies.

      "We have carefully considered the request from John Daly to use a buggy at The Open," the R&A said in a statement. "We appreciate the difficulty John is facing and have full sympathy for him as this is clearly a serious, long-term condition. Having considered all of the relevant factors, the Championship Committee has decided to decline his request.

      "We believe that walking the course is an integral part of the Championship and is central to the tradition of links golf which is synonymous with The Open. We must also ensure that, as far as possible, the challenge is the same for all players in the field."

      Daly's request to use a cart for this year's PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in May was approved. He failed to make the cut.

      Instead of playing at Royal Portrush next week, Daly will be competing in the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Gold Club in Nicholasville, Ky. He is expected to be using a golf cart.

      Streelman said he received his invitation via email.

      "My mind's everywhere right now," Streelman told WREX in Rockford, Ill. "My passport is in Scottsdale (Ariz.) at my house. I don't have enough clothes, enough warm clothes, so I have to go shopping for them. My caddy is not going to go. I need to find a new caddy. Besides that it's pretty exciting. I have a few things to iron out."

      It will be Streelman's first appearance at The Open since 2015 and fifth overall.

      --Field Level Media

  • Wolff vaults 1,524 spots; Rahm returns to top 10
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 8, 2019

    The perks keep rolling in from Matthew Wolff's dramatic victory at the inaugural 3M Open.

    • The 20-year-old PGA Tour rookie vaulted 1,524 spots to No. 135 in the official world rankings on Monday. That's the cherry on top of a full two-year exemption on the Tour, spots in this year's FedEx Cup Playoffs and next year's Masters and a cool $1.152 million winner's check.

      Wolff entered last week playing on his third sponsors exemption since turning pro. After a T-80 and a missed cut in his first two events, Wolff rolled in an eagle putt from the fringe on the 72nd hole to beat Bryson DeChambeau and fellow rookie Collin Morikawa for his first Tour win.

      Morikawa also earned a special temporary exemption with his T-2, along with rising from No. 631 to 213 in the world rankings. The 24-year-old former Cal-Berkeley star was ranked 1,039 after a T-14 at the RBC Canadian Open last month.

      Spain's Jon Rahm returned to the top 10 following his final-round 62 to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open on Sunday. He leapt past Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele to reach No. 8.

      The top five spots remained unchanged, with Brooks Koepka remaining No. 1, followed by Dustin Johnson, Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, England's Justin Rose and Tiger Woods. DeChambeau vaulted one spot, past Italy's Francesco Molinari.

      After Schauffele at No. 11, U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland, FedEx Cup leader Matt Kuchar, Rickie Fowler and England's Paul Casey round out the Top 15.

      Former No. 1 Jordan Spieth, who has taken time off since missing the cut at the Travelers Championship, fell another four spots to No. 36, his lowest ranking since 2013.

      Wolff became the youngest winner on Tour since Spieth won the 2013 John Deere Classic at 19 years, 11 months and 17 days old.

      Spieth is not in this week's field at the John Deere, and will return to competition at The Open in Northern Ireland next week. He told JDC tournament director Clair Peterson last week that he's dealing with an undisclosed injury that he's "nursing," according to the Quad-City Times.

      --Field Level Media

  • LPGA adds Florida stop in 2020
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 8, 2019

    The LPGA added a Florida tournament to the 2020 schedule.

    • The Pelican Women's Championship will be played May 14-17 at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, about 45 minutes from Tampa. It will feature 144 players competing for a $1.75 million purse.

      The title sponsor of the event is DEX Imaging.

      "We are so excited to bring a new LPGA Tour event to the Tampa area with the help of a presenting sponsor that shares the LPGA's values of giving back to the community and providing equal opportunities for women through the sport," LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said Monday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Purse at Women's British Open rises to $4.5M
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 8, 2019

    The purse at next month's AIG Women's British Open climbed nearly 40 percent from 2018 to $4.5 million.

    • The R&A announced the increase on Monday amid a focus on pay equality for women in sports, with much attention being paid to the significantly lower amount of money winners of the Women's World Cup earn compared to their male counterparts.

      Factoring in the increase, the Women's British Open has the second-highest payout of the five major championships, trailing only the $5.5 million purse for the U.S. Open.

      The Women's British Open will be played Aug. 1-4 at the Marquess' Course at the Woburn Golf Club in London.

      "We recognized that more needed to be done to elevate the prize fund for this great championship and are pleased that we have been able to make a significant increase this year as part of The R&A's commitment to women's golf," said Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A.

      Defending champion Georgia Hall, a 23-year-old from England, won $490,000 last year at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in England. This year's winner will take home $727,500.

      When the men compete in the 148th Open Championship from July 18-21, they will be playing for a purse of $10.75 million. The winner will receive $1.935 million.

      "This is an important first step and we know it will take time to move closer to achieving parity with the men's game," Slumbers said. "We will continue to work toward the long-term goal of a sustainable business model but we can't do it alone and the support of fans, sponsors and media are all key to achieving that success."

      --Field Level Media

  • Rookie Wolff eagles 18 to leap DeChambeau, win 3M Open
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, July 7, 2019

    Playing in his fourth PGA Tour event and third as a pro, Matthew Wolff buried a 26-foot eagle putt from the fringe at the par-5 18th hole to answer Bryson DeChambeau and win the inaugural 3M Open on Sunday in Blaine, Minn.

    • Moments earlier, DeChambeau made a six-foot eagle putt to reach 20 under and take a one-stroke lead, with Wolff and Collin Morikawa coming up the 18th fairway at TPC Twin Cities.

      Wolff's second shot settled just left off the green. His ensuing putt hit the flagstick dead center and dropped in, drawing roars from the crowd and capping a round of 6-under 65, for a total of 21-under 263.

      Morikawa, who had played the previous seven holes in 5 under, measured a 25-foot eagle putt from the middle of the green to force a playoff, but his attempt slid wide, clinching the victory for Wolff.

      Wolff, 20, turned pro just three weeks ago. He tied for 80th at the Travelers Championship and was cut at the Rocket Mortgage Classic last week. The reigning NCAA champion at Oklahoma State, Wolff also played in the Waste Management Open in February as an amateur, tying for 50th.

      He's now one of only three players ever to win an NCAA individual championship and a PGA Tour title in the same year -- joining Tiger Woods and Ben Crenshaw -- and will collect $1.152 million after Sunday's dramatic victory.

      "I just proved to myself that I can be out here," Wolff told CBS Sports afterward. "As soon as I got to Oklahoma State, my coaches, they told me I was a talent they've never seen before, and I think this week that I just really believed in myself. It all kind of took care of itself, but it's still settling in."

      Playing on a sponsor exemption, Wolff entered the final round tied with DeChambeau and Morikawa at 15 under after shooting 62 on Saturday. He needed to win or finish alone in second to earn a special temporary exemption through the end of the season.

      "It's something that changed my life forever," Wolff told reporters of making the winning putt. "It's something I'll always remember. To do that with all the nerves and trying to get my Tour card, it's pretty special to me. It still hasn't settled in. It's a dream come true."

      Morikawa, who competed against Wolff in college while at California Berkeley, was also on a sponsorship exemption and needed to finish alone in third or better than a four-way tie for second to earn a temporary exemption through 2019. He did just that by tapping in for birdie at the 18th, tying DeChambeau for second as both golfers shot 66.

      To start Sunday's round, Wolff and DeChambeau each made two birdies in the first six holes, while Morikawa bogeyed Nos. 2 and 3, putting him four strokes back. DeChambeau bogeyed Nos. 7 and 9, while Wolff bogeyed the ninth to remain one stroke ahead, before all three heated up on the back nine.

      Wolff and DeChambeau each birdied the 10th, and they were temporarily tied atop the leaderboard after DeChambeau birdied 13. But Wolff notched back-to-back birdies at 14 and 15, leaving DeChambeau a stroke back even after he birdied 16.

      Morikawa, meanwhile, caught fire with five birdies between Nos. 11 and 16 and then nearly made a 27-footer at the par-3 17th, which would have given him the outright lead. Instead, the putt got nearly halfway down before cruelly lipping out, setting the stage for Wolff's heroics at 18.

      DeChambeau was seeking his sixth career win and his first this year after he won four in 2018.

      "That's golf sometimes," he said of missing out on a playoff. "Sometimes you're just not going to get your way, you know? I gave it my all.

      "...I had no idea he would make that putt. And congrats to Matt. I mean, unbelievable to make that and win for his first PGA Tour title. Hats off to him, he's a great player and obviously a stud, so he belongs out here."

      Canada's Adam Hadwin finished alone in fourth at 18 under after shooting 67, while Wyndham Clark (68) and Mexico's Carlos Ortiz (64) finished tied for fifth another stroke back.

      Six players tied for seventh at 16 under.

      World No. 1 Brooks Koepka shot 72 to finish at 6 under and alone in 65th.

      --Field Level Media

  • R&A denies Daly's request to use golf cart at British Open
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 6, 2019

    John Daly's request to use a golf cart at The Open later this month was denied, he said on his Instagram account on Saturday.

    • Daly was seeking to use a cart at Royal Portrush due to his persistent knee pain. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club (R&A) considered making an exception before ultimately down the request.

      "Quite disappointed they do not see it the same way our PGA of America and PGA Tour sees it," Daly said on Instagram. "Different continents different laws???

      "... While I trust the R&A's decision was made with good intentions, I could not disagree more with their conclusions."

      Daly, 53, said he will attempt to play in The Open from July 18-21 without the cart.

      The R&A understands Daly's challenges -- the golfer says he has bi-compartmental degenerative arthritis in his right knee -- but stood firm in sticking to its policies.

      "We have carefully considered the request from John Daly to use a buggy at The Open," the R&A said in a statement. "We appreciate the difficulty John is facing and have full sympathy for him as this is clearly a serious, long-term condition. Having considered all of the relevant factors, the Championship Committee has decided to decline his request.

      "We believe that walking the course is an integral part of the Championship and is central to the tradition of links golf which is synonymous with The Open. We must also ensure that, as far as possible, the challenge is the same for all players in the field."

      Daly's request to use a cart for this year's PGA Championship in May was approved. He failed to make the cut.

      Daly, who won the 1995 Open Championship at St. Andrews in Scotland, knows walking around the course will be a challenge.

      "Fingers crossed I can make it thru the pain," he wrote.

      --Field Level Media

  • Redman earns special temporary membership on PGA Tour
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 3, 2019

    The PGA Tour granted Doc Redman, the 2017 U.S. Amateur champion and runner-up in last week's Rocket Mortgage Classic, a special temporary membership for the rest of the 2018-19 season.

    • Redman, a 21-year-old native of Raleigh, N.C., will have unlimited sponsor exemptions throughout the season as he attempts to earn his PGA Tour card for next season.

      He qualified for the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit in the Monday qualifier by shooting a 62. By finishing in second place at 19-under par, he earned enough non-member FedExCup points - 300 -- to qualify for the temporary membership to go with a check for $788,400.

      Redman must earn at least as many non-member points as the golfer sitting at No. 125 in the final 2018-19 FedExCup standings to earn his tour card. That spot currently is occupied by Daniel Berger with 275 points.

      On the year, Redman has amassed 344 non-member FedExCup points.

      Redman, who played two seasons at Clemson before turning pro, is the third player on the tour as a special temporary member this season, joining Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard and Matthew Fitzpatrick of England.

      --Field Level Media

  • Inkster likely facing difficult Solheim Cup decisions
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 3, 2019

    Lexi Thompson, Danielle Kang and Nelly Korda have secured spots on the United States Solheim Cup team that will take on Team Europe from Sept. 13-15 on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles in Scotland.

    • The top eight players in the standings following the CP Canadian Women's Open, Aug. 22-25, will earn automatic spots, with captain Julie Inkster making the final two picks.

      It figures to be a difficult process for Inkster.

      Jessica Korda is currently fourth in the standings and in good shape to join her sister on the team. Lizette Salas, Megan Khang, Marina Alex and Brittany Altomare occupy the final four automatic spots this week.

      However, there are still seven qualifying events remaining and plenty of time for the positions to change.

      Veteran Cristie Kerr and youngster Angel Yin currently occupy spots Nos. 9 and 10, followed by Austin Ernst.

      Complicating the process is Brittany Lincicome taking the rest of the year off for the birth of her first child, and Michelle Wie also sidelined for at least the rest of 2019 due to a wrist injury.

      Not currently in the top 10 of the standings are Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller, two Solheim Cup veterans who returned to the Tour this year following maternity leave. Also outside of the current points picture are Paula Creamer, Angela Stanford and Morgan Pressel, experienced Solheim Cup players who have not been in top form for some time.

      Creamer has been on every Solheim Cup team since turning pro in 2005. She was a captain's pick two years ago and responded with a 3-1 record. Her 19.5 career Solheim Cup points rank second in U.S. history behind only Kerr's 21. Creamer and Pressel are teaming at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational in two weeks in hopes of impressing Inkster.

      "I also have to think about who will be able to handle the pressure of playing a road game," Inkster wrote in her Solheim Cup captain's blog on Tuesday. "It's going to be really hard playing overseas. The fans are going to be loud and loyal behind Europe, and I need to find players who can handle that situation. It takes a special player who can take the cheers for her opponent and turn them to something that motivates her and not distract her."

      Inkster likely will have difficult decisions looming between the veterans and inexperienced Solheim Cup youngsters including Kristen Gillman, Ally McDonald, Amy Olson, Annie Park and Jennifer Song.

      "I have an embarrassment of riches to choose from, and it's a curse because with only two captain's picks it makes my job harder," Inkster wrote.


      1. Lexi Thompson, 517 points

      2. Danielle Kang, 480.5 points

      3. Nelly Korda, 477.5 points

      4. Jessica Korda, 374.5 points

      5. Lizette Salas, 310 points

      6. Megan Khang, 255.5 points

      7. Marina Alex, 250 points

      8. Brittany Altomare, 241 points

      9. Cristie Kerr, 224.5 points

      10. Angel Yin, 217 points

      --Field Level Media

  • Garrigus: 'I don't cheat the game'
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 2, 2019

    Robert Garrigus will make his first PGA Tour start at this week's 3M Open following a three-month suspension levied by the Tour in March.

    • Garrigus was suspended after a failed drug test due to elevated levels of THC, one of the active ingredients in marijuana. The 41-year-old told the Golf Channel this week that he was using prescribed marijuana to treat knee and back pain, and that he had been monitoring his THC levels during the fall and winter to make sure he stayed within Tour guidelines.

      Garrigus did not appeal the suspension, but he does believe there needs to be a discussion around how the Tour views the use of marijuana vs. other drugs.

      "I wasn't trying to degrade the PGA Tour in any way, my fellow professionals in any way. I don't cheat the game," Garrigus told the Golf Channel. "I understand HGH (Human Growth Hormone), anything you are trying to do to cheat the game you should be suspended for 100 percent. Everything else should be a discussion."

      Garrigus' lone Tour victory came in 2010. He is playing on conditional status this season, and he entered 2019 ranked 362nd in the world. He had dropped to 433rd following his most recent Tour start at the Puerto Rico Open, and Garrigus plummeted to 603rd after making a pair of starts on the second-tier Korn Ferry Tour the past two weeks.

      The Idaho native owns a marijuana farm in Washington state, one of several to have legalized recreational marijuana use in recent years. He plans to meet with Tour commissioner Jay Monahan at next week's John Deere Classic.

      "If you have some sort of pain and CBD or THC may help that, and you feel like it can help you and be prescribed by a doctor, then what are we doing?" Garrigus said. "If you are doing marijuana, then we should be testing for alcohol, too. If you can buy it in a store, then why are we testing for it? That's my opinion."

      He will play the first two rounds of the inaugural 3M Open with Lucas Glover and Brandon Harkins.

      --Field Level Media

  • Golf Glance
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 2, 2019

    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 (Nate Lashley)

      THIS WEEK: 3M Open, July 4-7

      TPC Twin Cities, Blaine, Minn. (Par 71, 7,468 yards)

      Purse: $6.4 million (Winner: $1.152 million)

      Defending champion: Inaugural event

      FedEx Cup leader: Matt Kuchar

      Television: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:45 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).

      NOTES: TPC Twin Cities previously hosted the 3M Championship on the Champions Tour from 1993-2018. ... This is the first non-major PGA Tour event in Minnesota since the 1969 Minnesota Golf Classic, and the last Tour event in the state was the 2009 PGA Championship held at Hazeltine. ... TPC Twin Cities was designed by Arnold Palmer, with Tom Lehman as a consultant, and was renovated ahead of hosting the Tour event. ... No. 1 Brooks Koepka is in the field, with No. 8 Bryson DeChambeau the only other Top 10 player. Koepka enters the week only 89 FedEx Cup points behind leader Kuchar. ... Lashley is in the field, claiming his first Tour victory last week after being a Monday qualifier playing on conditional status. ... Former Oklahoma State teammates Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff will make their third consecutive starts on sponsors exemptions since turning professional as they attempt to earn enough money to secure playing status next season. Wolff has failed to reach Sunday each of the past two weeks, while Hovland has a T54 and a T13.

      BEST BETS: Hideki Matsuyama (+1000 by PointsBet) leads the Tour with 24 consecutive cuts made. He hasn't won since 2017 but has five consecutive T5 finishes and should be a big factor against a field with limited star power. ... Joaquin Niemann (+2800) continued his upward trajectory with his second consecutive T5 last week. ... Hovland (+3300) made a Sunday charge last week. The main concern is fatigue as the newly minted pro plays for the fourth consecutive week. ... Kevin Na (+4000) has wrapped a MC at the U.S. Open with a win at the Charles Schwab Challenge and a solo sixth at the Korea Open. ... Is Tom Hoge (+25000) this week's Lashley? Hoge is ranked 362nd in the world and has only one T25 the entire 2019-20 season while missing more cuts than he has made in 2019. But he was also a two-time Minnesota State Amateur champion. Hoge's lone win in 212 Tour events came back in 2011.

      NEXT WEEK: John Deere Classic, Silvis, Ill., July 11-14


      LAST TOURNAMENT: Walmart NW Arkansas Championship (Sung Hyun Park)

      THIS WEEK: Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, July 4-7

      Thornberry Creek at Oneida, Oneida, Wis. (Par 72, 6,646 yards)

      Purse: $2 million (Winner: $300,000)

      Defending champion: Sei Young Kim

      Race to the CME Globe leader: Jin Young Ko

      Television: Thursday-Friday, 6-8:30 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 5:30-8:30 p.m. (all times Golf Channel)

      NOTES: Park reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the Rolex Rankings with her victory last week. ... This is the third year of the event. Kim set the tournament scoring record at 31-under 257 last year. ... Lexi Thompson, Danielle Kang and Nelly Korda have clinched spots on the U.S. Solheim Cup team that will take on Team Europe in September. ... Ko leads the Tour in scoring average (69.255) and greens in regulation (79.6 percent). ... Korean players have won eight events this season. Players from the rest of the world have won a combined nine. ... The average age of winners on Tour this season is 23.76.

      NEXT TOURNAMENT: Marathon Classic, Sylvania, Ohio, July 11-14


      LAST TOURNAMENT: U.S. Senior Open Championship (Steve Stricker)


      NEXT TOURNAMENT: Senior Players Championship, Akron, Ohio, July 11-14

      --Field Level Media

  • Koepka, Thomas commit to WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 2, 2019

    Top-ranked Brooks Koepka and defending champion Justin Thomas have committed to play in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational that will take place July 25-28 at TPC Southwind in Memphis.

    • They join fellow top-10 players Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, who had previously committed to the event.

      England's Tommy Fleetwood, currently ranked No. 20, also confirmed he will be in the field.

      Thomas won last year's invitational event in Akron, Ohio, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, while Koepka said he enjoys playing at TPC Southwind.

      "It's always a great spot to go back to," Koepka said in a statement. "It's a special place, everything that St. Jude does for the kids, and to be able to go to the hospital and spend time with them, it's incredible to see the smiles on their faces especially through what they're going through."

      Thomas will be defending his event title while competing on a course new to him.

      "I'm excited to get there, especially for a WGC," Thomas said on a conference call with reporters, per Golfweek. "I've always watched the tournament on TV and it looks like a fun little course. It rewards good golf and penalizes bad golf, which I think is great."

      --Field Level Media

  • Tiger to skip inaugural 3M, return for The Open
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, June 30, 2019

    Tiger Woods confirmed that he will not play in next week's 3M Open and will return to competition for The Open Championship in Northern Ireland beginning July 18.

    • Woods has not played since tying for 21st at the U.S. Open earlier this month. He wasn't expected to play in next week's inaugural event in Blaine, Minn., despite missing the cut at the PGA Championship last month after remaining out of competition following his win at the Masters in April.

      Woods told ESPN that he plans to "enjoy some family time" and will prepare for the year's final major at Royal Portrush by playing at home.

      He is ranked No. 5 in the world and needs one win to tie Sam Snead's record of 82 PGA Tour victories, but has acknowledged that at 43 years old, he needs to plan his schedule carefully -- especially with the new schedule featuring six prominent events -- including all four majors -- over six consecutive months.

      Woods has won 15 major championships, including three Opens (2000, 2005, 2006).

      --Field Level Media

  • Stricker sets scoring record to lead Senior Open
    By Field Level Media / Friday, June 28, 2019

    Steve Stricker shot a 6-under-par 64 Friday to set the 36-hole tournament scoring record while taking a two-stroke lead at the U.S. Senior Open Championship in Notre Dame, Ind.

    • Stricker shot a bogey-free round at the Warren Golf Course on Friday after he tied the tournament record with a 62 on Thursday to share the first-round lead with defending champion David Toms.

      With a total of 14-under 126, Strick broke Senior Open records for total strokes and score in relation to par through two rounds. The previous marks were 11-under 129, set by Kirk Triplett and Kenny Perry in 2017.

      Stricker birdied his final two holes of the day to lead Jerry Kelly (64-64) by two strokes, with Toms sitting third at 11 under after a second-round 67 that featured three bogeys.

      "I've been driving the ball well, getting it in the fairways," Stricker said. "My iron play has been pretty strong this week, and I'm holing a few putts. To go bogey-free around here is a good day."

      South Africa's Retief Goosen shot a 5-under 65 to move to fourth place at 9 under. A trio of players -- Chris DiMarco, Bob Estes and Triplett -- are tied for fifth at 8 under. Estes shot a 65 on Friday, while DiMarco finished with his second consecutive 66 and Triplett was at 68.

      Stricker is coming off a three-way playoff loss last week at the American Family Insurance Championship in his hometown of Madison, Wis., in an event that he hosts. Kelly, also a Madison native, won that event over Goosen and his good friend Stricker, whom he has competed against each other since their junior amateur days.

      "I knew this course would set up well for him," Stricker said of Kelly. "It's a course where if you drive it well -- and the fairways are pretty generous here, so getting it in the fairway is not extremely difficult -- but if you do get it in the fairway, it sets up a lot of good second shots, and he's a good iron player."

      Kelly, like Stricker, was bogey free on Friday and birdied his final two holes.

      "Definitely a continuation of last week," he said. "Got a great feel. It's just been the last five weeks or so that I've really had a great feel of my swing and putting. My short game has been good, because I wasn't hitting it very good in the year. So that's tuned up."

      Germany's Bernhard Langer is among four players who are at 6 under, tied for eighth.

      Tom Watson, 69, managed five birdies in beating his age with a round of 68 that left him at 3 under for the tournament and tied for 16th.

      Perry, a two-time U.S. Senior Open champion withdrew after an opening-round 67 because of an elbow injury.

      The 52-year-old Stricker, who is playing in his first Senior Open, said scoring could get more difficult over the final two rounds on a course that has been softened by rain.

      "I'm sure it'll get tougher," Stricker said. "They can set some tougher pins."

      Sixty players made the cut, which was at 1-over 141, matching the lowest 36-hole cut in tournament history (2017).

      --Field Level Media