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  • Woods dropped from wrongful death case
    By Field Level Media / Monday, June 24, 2019

    A family's wrongful death lawsuit that was filed last month against Tiger Woods, a Florida restaurant named for him, and Woods' girlfriend, Erica Herman, the eatery's general manager, is no longer targeting the star golfer, Woods' attorney said Monday.

    • The other defendants in the case remain. The family of Nicholas Immesberger, 24, a bartender at The Woods in Jupiter, Fla., filed the lawsuit in the wake of his death late last year in a car crash after he had apparently been drinking heavily at the restaurant after his shift ended.

      Woods' attorney, Barry Postman, wrote that the Immesberger estate dropped the golfer from the lawsuit because, despite the restaurant's name, Woods doesn't own the place.

      Excluding Woods "was clearly appropriate and reflected the fact that Mr. Woods should not have been included in the lawsuit in the first place because he had nothing to do with Mr. Immesberger's death," according to a written statement from Postman.

      Attempts to reach Spencer Kuvin, an attorney for the estate, were unsuccessful Monday, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

      Immesberger's parents alleged in their filing that their son had a "habitual problem" with alcohol, which was known to the restaurant's staff, and he had been overserved.

      After ending his shift on Dec. 10, 2018, Immesberger allegedly stuck around and drank to the point of intoxication before he left the restaurant. He later died after losing control of his car and swerved across three lanes of highway traffic before going airborne and landing in a grassy patch, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, per the Palm Beach Post at the time.

      At the time of the crash, Immesberger's reported blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit at .256.

      --Field Level Media

  • Mickelson admits winning a U.S. Open unlikely
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 19, 2019

    One year away from his 50th birthday, Phil Mickelson is starting to accept what is becoming painfully obvious: His best chance to win a U.S. Open is likely gone.

    • Less than a week after he finished tied for 52nd at last weekend's U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, Mickelson was getting set to participate in the Travelers Championship at Cromwell, Conn., but the topic of a certain Grand Slam tournament was still being discussed.

      "I really don't have many more chances," Mickelson told reporters Wednesday from the Travelers Championship. "I probably have to come to the realization that I'm not going to win a U.S. Open."

      Mickelson has won the Masters three times (2004, 2006, 2010), the PGA Championship once (2005) and the British Open once (2013), but the tournament he covets most has been just out of his reach.

      He has teed off in the U.S. Open 26 times, and his best finish is second place, doing that a record six times. His most recent runner-up finish came in 2013.

      Next year's U.S. Open will take place at Winged Foot Golf Club at Mamaroneck, N.Y., where Mickelson fell apart on the 72nd hole of the 2006 championship, when he just needed a par for the title but made double bogey.

      He has 44 victories in his career and still appears to be playing at an elite level, but playing his best during U.S. Open week is something he still desires. His last win came at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, and he also won in Mexico in 2018.

      "When I do play well, I'm able to play at a comparable level to what I played like at the height of my career and I'm able to pick off wins," Mickelson said. "I'm just not having as many opportunities.

      "That's been the hardest thing for me is having the energy levels and recovering and being focused for each shot in four rounds. But I'm not going to stop trying. You never know."

      --Field Level Media

  • Korn Ferry replaces Web.com as tour sponsor
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 19, 2019

    The PGA Tour's developmental circuit rebranded as the Korn Ferry Tour, effective immediately.

    • The PGA Tour and Korn Ferry, a consulting firm based in Los Angeles, announced on Wednesday a 10-year sponsorship agreement through the end of the 2028 season. Financial terms were not announced.

      Previously the Web.com Tour, the circuit also has been the Nationwide Tour, Buy.com Tour, Nike Tour and Hogan Tour since it launched in 1990.

      The Korn Ferry Tour is the route to the PGA Tour for some players. Tour cards are awarded to the 25 leading points earners at the end of the regular season, with 25 more available at the three-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals at the end of the regular season.

      Golfers who got their start on the developmental circuit include Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson and Jason Day.

      The Korn Ferry Tour's next tournament is the Wichita Open, which begins Thursday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Inspired by NBA, Wie makes comeback at Women's PGA
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 19, 2019

    Michelle Wie is tired of sitting on the sideline.

    • The 29-year-old LPGA star has played only eight competitive rounds this season and hasn't teed it up since missing the cut in mid-April at the LOTTE Championship due to a nagging wrist injury.

      But Wie is back in action at this week's KPMG Women's PGA Championship, the LPGA's third major of the season, and says she feels hopeful ahead of her week at Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minn.

      "I'm feeling hopeful. It's still a process that I'm going through," said the five-time LPGA title winner, who first dazzled fans when she played her way into the final pairing of the 2003 Kraft Nabisco Championship as a 13-year-old.

      "It's been hard sitting out during the middle of the season. There's really nothing worse. But I had to take the time to get myself back to where I want to be. ... I'm not saying that it's completely perfect right now, but it's something I'm working very hard every day on. I see it getting better and better."

      Wie's injury stemmed from a car accident two years ago. Her right hand was on the steering wheel when her car was rear-ended, and she was diagnosed with a small avulsion fracture, bone spurring and nerve entrapment in the hand.

      She considered taking a medical exemption for the 2019 season, but when doctors explained that extended rest was no guarantee, and that rehab and perhaps a swing change was what she really needed, Wie abandoned the idea of sitting out the rest of the year.

      The 2014 U.S. Women's Open winner said she also drew inspiration from watching the Golden State Warriors battle through injuries in the NBA Finals, which she got to see firsthand. Wie is engaged to Jonnie West, a Golden State Warriors executive and the son of NBA legend Jerry West.

      "You know, I sat pretty close to the court and you just see a lot, what happens on the court and you just -- when you're there, you really realize and when you're there behind the scenes you really notice a lot of small things," she said, describing seeing Stephen Curry tape a dislocated finger and keep playing and Klay Thompson shoot two foul shots after tearing his ACL.

      "You also notice that being an athlete, you're not never going to be a 100 percent, always going to go through something and it was a confirmation to me being like, 'It's OK. It's OK that you're hurt.' That's just part of being an athlete, and you just have to go through it and find a way to compete."

      Injuries have plagued Wie throughout her career, starting with a fall while jogging in 2007 that injured her left wrist. She also had issues with a finger, knee and hip, and bouts of appendicitis, bursitis, strep throat, an upper-respiratory infection and food allergies have gotten in the way of play as well. And while she's keen to avoid mistakes of the past -- namely returning to competition too soon after injury -- she admits that her wrist still randomly hurts, but not enough to stop her.

      "It sucked sitting out of the U.S. Open. I just didn't want to do it again, and I'm here," said Wie, who lists graduating from Stanford and winning the U.S. Women's Open as her greatest accomplishments.

      "I may be bull-headed and stubborn, but it's just -- I'm happy being here. I missed my friends out here, I missed playing, I miss competing and I'm very excited to be here."

      --Field Level Media

  • Golf Glance
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, June 18, 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: U.S. Open (Gary Woodland)

      THIS WEEK: Travelers Championship, June 20-23

      TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Conn. (Par 70, 6,841 yards)

      Purse: $7.2 million (Winner: $1.26 million - Based on 2018)

      Defending champion: Bubba Watson

      FedEx Cup leader: Matt Kuchar

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

      NOTES: Norway's Viktor Hovland makes his professional debut after taking low amateur honors with a T12 at the U.S. Open. So, too, does former Oklahoma State teammate Matthew Wolff, the consensus collegiate player of the year. Wolff finished 50th at this year's Waste Management Open after opening with a 67. ... Watson is a three-time winner of the event, one shy of Billy Casper's record four. Watson will be paired with Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau for the first two rounds. ... Phil Mickelson is the event's only back-to-back champion (2001-02) and is in the field for the first time since 2003. He is paired with 2017 event winner Jordan Spieth and 2012 winner Marc Leishman. ... Jim Furyk holds the 18-hole course record with a 58 in the fourth round in 2016, which is also the lowest round in PGA Tour history. Kenny Perry (258, 2009), holds the 72-hole record. ... Paul Casey failed to close out a four-shot lead entering the final round last year, and lost out to Watson in a playoff in 2015.

      BEST BETS: Koepka (7/1 by PointsBet) has only two PGA Tour wins outside of his four major titles. The world's top-ranked player is coming off his third runner-up finish of the season at the U.S. Open. ... Patrick Cantlay (10/1) won three weeks ago at the Memorial and returns to the site where he set a PGA Tour 18-hole amateur record with a 60 in 2011. ... Francesco Molinari (18/1) has a win and two other top-5s this season, along with the stellar iron play to go low on a very scorable course. ... Hovland (60/1) held his own while paired with Koepka and Molinari for the first two rounds at Pebble Beach before closing with a 67 to break Jack Nicklaus' 72-hole amateur scoring record in the U.S. Open. He was also the low amateur at this year's Masters and won the Ben Hogan Award as the nation's top collegiate player.

      NEXT WEEK: Rocket Mortgage Classic, Detroit.

      LPGA TOUR

      LAST TOURNAMENT: Meijer LPGA Classic (Brooke Henderson)

      THIS WEEK: KPMG Women's PGA Championship, June 20-23

      Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, Minn. (Par 72, 6,807 yards)

      Purse: $3.85 million (Winner: $577,500)

      Defending champion: Sung Hyun Park

      Race to the CME Globe leader: Jin Young Ko

      Television: Thursday-Friday, 6-9 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m. (NBC)

      NOTES: Henderson moved up three spots to No. 5 in the Rolex Rankings with her victory last week, while Lexi Thompson has vaulted to No. 2 with a win and a T2 in her past two events. ... Park birdied the second playoff hole to defeat So Yeon Ryu last year. Nasa Hataoka was eliminated with a par on the first playoff hole. Three of the past five KPMG Women's PGA Championships have been decided in playoffs. ... Ko leads the LPGA Tour in scoring average (69.205) and greens in regulation (79.3 percent). ... Ko and Henderson are the only multiple winners on tour this year through 15 events. ... The average age of winners on Tour in 2019 is 23.8.

      NEXT TOURNAMENT: Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, Rogers, Ark.

      CHAMPIONS TOUR

      LAST TOURNAMENT: Mastercard Japan Championship (Scott McCarron)

      THIS WEEK: American Family Insurance Championship, June 21-23

      University Ridge Golf Course, Madison, Wis. (Par 72, 7,056 yards)

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

      Defending champion: McCarron

      Charles Schwab Cup leader: McCarron

      Television: Friday, 12-2:30 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)

      NOTES: This event marks the midway point of the Champions tour schedule. ... McCarron beat Madison resident Jerry Kelly by one stroke last year. ... Fellow Madison resident Steve Stricker is the tournament host and finished T3 last year. ... Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz will make his third start of the season. He finished T53 at the Cologuard Classic and T61 at the Mitsubishi Electric Classic ... McCarron leads the tour with three wins and eight top-10 finishes this season. He has not successfully defended any of his previous six wins on tour, although McCarron has posted four T10s. ... This is one of nine of the 27 events on the Champions schedule this year that Bernhard Langer has yet to win.

      NEXT TOURNAMENT: U.S. Senior Open Championship, Notre Dame, Ind.

      --Field Level Media

  • Koepka early Open favorite
    By Field Level Media / Monday, June 17, 2019

    Brooks Koepka fell short in his attempt to win his third consecutive U.S. Open on Sunday, but the four-time major champion has already been installed as the early favorite to win next month's Open Championship in Northern Ireland.

    • PointsBet listed Koepka at 9/1 and FanDuel at 7/1, slightly ahead of Rory McIlroy (10/1 and 8.5/1), who will be an overwhelming crowd favorite as he seeks to win The Open in his home country. Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods were all listed at 12/1 by PointsBet on Monday, while FanDuel had Woods at 9.5/1 and the other two at 12/1.

      Gary Woodland held off Koepka at Pebble Beach to claim his first major championship and rise to No. 12 in the world rankings, but he is still only 66/1 by PointsBet.

      The 148th Open Championship will be held at Royal Portrush July 18-21.

      Portrush native Graeme McDowell secured his entry into the event at the RBC Canadian Open earlier this month. Despite posting a solid T16 finish at the U.S. Open, McDowell is still 42/1 by FanDuel while PointsBet isn't yet offering a future wager on the 39-year-old.

      However, PointsBet is offering 5,000/1 odds on 1995 Open champion John Daly.

      The Open odds (via PointsBet)

      Brooks Koepka, +900

      Rory McIlroy, +1000

      Dustin Johnson, +1200

      Jordan Spieth, +1200

      Tiger Woods, +1200

      Justin Rose, +1600

      Francesco Molinari, +1800

      Jon Rahm, +2000

      Tommy Fleetwood, +2200

      Rickie Fowler, +2500

      Justin Thomas, +2500

      Xander Schauffele, +2500

      Jason Day, +2800

      Bryson DeChambeau, +2800

      Tony Finau, +3000

      Patrick Cantlay, +3000

      Sergio Garcia, +3300

      Hideki Matsuyama, +3500

      Henrik Stenson, +4000

      Alex Noren, +4000

      Paul Casey, +4000

      Phil Mickelson, +4000

      Adam Scott, +4000

      Patrick Reed, +5000

      Louis Oosthuizen, +5000

      Branden Grace, +5000

      Marc Leishman, +5000

      Matt Kuchar, +5000

      Ian Poulter, +6000

      Matt Wallace, +6000

      Tyrrell Hatton, +6600

      Matthew Fitzpatrick, +6600

      Bubba Watson, +6600

      Shane Lowry, +6600

      Gary Woodland, +6600

      Webb Simpson, +8000

      Paul Dunne, +8000

      Brandt Snedeker, +8000

      Danny Willett, +8000

      Russell Knox, +8000

      Rafael Cabrera Bello, +8000

      Zach Johnson, +8000

      Thomas Pieters, +8000

      Eddie Pepperell, +9000

      Chris Wood, +10000

      Jimmy Walker, +10000

      Kevin Chappell, +10000

      Thorbjorn Olesen, +10000

      Ryan Fox, +10000

      Kevin Kisner, +10000

      Haotong Li, +10000

      Cameron Smith, +10000

      Byeong Hun An, +12500

      Emiliano Grillo, +12500

      Ryan Moore, +12500

      Brian Harman, +12500

      Luke List, +12500

      Kiradech Aphibarnrat, +12500

      Beau Hossler, +12500

      Daniel Berger, +15000

      Charl Schwartzel, +15000

      Kevin Na, +15000

      Jason Dufner, +15000

      Keegan Bradley, +15000

      Padraig Harrington, +15000

      Joost Luiten, +15000

      Alexander Levy, +15000

      Peter Uihlein, +15000

      Dylan Frittelli, +15000

      Bernd Wiesberger, +15000

      Si Woo Kim, +15000

      Kyle Stanley, +15000

      Charley Hoffman, +15000

      Alexander Bjork, +17500

      Hudson Swafford, +17500

      Austin Cook, +20000

      Ross Fisher, +20000

      Russell Henley, +20000

      Jorge Campillo, +20000

      Charles Howell, +20000

      Ernie Els, +20000

      Jeunghun Wang, +20000

      Danny Lee, +20000

      Grayson Murray, +20000

      Satoshi Kodaira, +25000

      Stewart Cink, +25000

      Mikko Korhonen, +25000

      Paul Lawrie, +25000

      Shubhankar Sharma, +25000

      Todd Hamilton, +50000

      Darren Clarke, +50000

      Mark Calcavecchia, +50000

      David Duval, +50000

      Tom Lehman, +50000

      John Daly, +50000

      --Field Level Media

  • Woodland rises to No. 12 in world rankings after U.S. Open win
    By Field Level Media / Monday, June 17, 2019

    With his first major championship win on Sunday at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, Gary Woodland moved up to a career-best No. 12 in the world golf rankings.

    • Woodland beat out two-time defending champion and world No. 1 Brooks Koepka by three shots at the U.S. Open, carding a final-round 69 for a 13-under 271 total to become just the fourth player in history to record four sub-par rounds en route to hoisting the trophy.

      Woodland climbed 13 spots after his win at Pebble Beach. He started the week ranked No. 25.

      "I've worked hard my whole life. I've been surrounded by amazing people and I always just wanted to be successful. I didn't know what it was, what I was going to do. I fell in love with golf, and it's transcended to today," Woodland said.

      "People probably growing up said the U.S. Open wouldn't suit me, because I'm a long hitter, I'm a bomber. Coming to Pebble Beach, on top of that, it's a shorter golf course. And I went out and proved, I think to everybody else, what I always believed -- that I'm pretty good."

      Woodland also rose from ninth to fifth in the FedEx Cup standings; Matt Kuchar remained in first place.

      Koepka, who shot 68 on Sunday to finish alone in second place, remains the world's No. 1 player for the 13th straight week while Dustin Johnson, who finished tied for 35th, stays at No. 2.

      There was some minor shuffling among the top 10.

      England's Justin Rose, who finished tied for third at Pebble Beach, moved up to No. 3 while Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy dropped to No. 4 after finishing tied for ninth place. Tiger Woods, who won the 2000 championship at Pebble Beach by a record 15 strokes with a 12-under 272 total, remains No. 5.

      Flip-flopping the final two spots in the top 10 are Xander Schauffele, who moved to No. 9 after finishing tied for third on Sunday, and Bryson DeChambeau, who dropped a spot to No. 10 with a T-35 finish.

      --Field Level Media

  • Woods concludes shaky U.S. Open with a flourish
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, June 16, 2019

    Six birdies in the last 12 holes moved Tiger Woods up the leaderboard, but he was a non-factor in the 119th edition of the U.S. Open.

    • It was a minor consolation to Woods that he finished well at Pebble Beach, but he knows it was just a band-aid to a week's worth of scabs and welts.

      "I wish I would have known because I would have turned it around a little earlier than that," Woods said after a final-round 69 that allowed him to finish at 2-under 282, well behind the leaders. "Again, got off to another crappy start and was able to fight it off. Turned back around and got it to under par for the week which is -- normally it's a good thing, but this week the guys are definitely taking to it."

      The final round marked the lone time Woods broke 70 in four rounds on the scenic course on the northern California coast. But it sure didn't come easy.

      Woods bogeyed four of the first six holes and appeared to be en route to a dreadful day. He bogeyed the par-5 Nos. 1 and 2 to start off the round, failing to sink a five-foot putt on the second hole.

      A bogey on the par-3 fifth hole was followed by another bogey on the par-5 sixth, leaving Woods' mood as gloomy as the cloudy sky hovering over the course.

      "It was just a matter of can I somehow get it back to even par for the day and the total," said Woods, "and that was our goal."

      The turnaround began with a birdie-2 on the 102-yard seventh hole and was followed with a birdie on the par-4 eighth.

      After four straight pars, Woods finished with a flourish by nailing birdies on 13, 14, 16 and 18. Nos. 13 and 16 were par-4 holes -- he began his late flurry by sinking a 40-foot putt on 13 -- while Nos. 14 (582 yards) and 18 (539) were par-5s.

      The ending left Woods with a positive way to conclude the tournament, even if he was never in contention.

      "Just because I got off to a bad start doesn't mean it's over," Woods said. "Keep grinding, keep playing. And I was able to turn my round around today as well as yesterday. So rounds that could have easily slipped away and kind of gone the other way pretty easily I was able to (get a) turnaround."

      Woods has won three U.S. Open titles, but the most recent was the memorable 91-hole playoff victory over Rocco Mediate at Torrey Pines in 2008.

      He said next up on his slate is getting some rest -- "I think I'm going to take a little bit of time off and enjoy some family time," Woods said -- with an eye on being physically fresh next month for The Open Championship (formerly British Open) at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

      "I'm looking forward to getting up there and taking a look at the golf course and trying to figure out," Woods said of a course in which he has never played or seen. "I hope that my practice rounds are such that we get different winds, especially on a golf course that I've never played, and to get a different feel how it could play for the week. And definitely have to do my homework once I get there."

      --Field Level Media

  • Woods' movement stalls with third-round 71 at U.S. Open
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, June 15, 2019

    Moving day at the U.S. Open didn't equate to an improvement in Tiger Woods' fortunes.

    • His movement was one stroke back, one stroke forward, as he had five birdies and five bogeys in an even-par 71 round on Saturday on a cool day at Pebble Beach.

      Woods also is even par through three rounds with a 213 total, good for a tie for 27th and 11 strokes behind leader Gary Woodland. He knows that placement doesn't typically equate to any final-day surge occurring at the prestigious tournament being held on the northern California coast.

      "I've had my chances to post good rounds -- today, this week," Woods told reporters after Saturday's round. "Today was a perfect example. I fought back, and if I was able to clean up my rounds the first two days, I would be closer to the lead than I am now."

      Woods felt he needed a strong start on Saturday to try to work himself in the mix. Instead, the opposite happened, as he bogeyed two of the first three holes.

      "Those are supposed to be some of the easier holes, and I'm a couple over and had to fight back the entire day, and I was able to clod around a few more, which is pretty good," Woods said.

      Woods seemed to escape his fog -- on a day in which low-lying clouds blocked the sun from baking the course -- with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5.

      But a three-putt bogey on No. 7 pushed him over for the round. Another bogey on No. 12 hurt, but Woods scored birdies on three of the last five holes (14, 16 and 18) though he had another bogey on 15.

      What stuck with Woods is he felt the course conditions were more favorable than the first two rounds, yet he didn't take advantage.

      "They were able to get some mowers on the fairways, and they were a little bit quicker," he said. "I think they did a great job of setting it up so that we can make birdies. And if you do miss them on the wrong spot, then you still can get up and down here, which is not always the case."

      The cool conditions presented another challenge for Woods, who said his body was aching throughout Saturday's round.

      "The forces have to go somewhere," said Woods, who has undergone four back surgeries. "And if they're not in the lower back, they're in the neck, and if not, they're in the mid-back and if not they go to the knee. You name it. ...

      "Let me put it this way, I feel every shot I hit. I think that's always going to be the place from here going forward."

      --Field Level Media

  • Runaway golf cart injures U.S. Open fans
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, June 15, 2019

    An unattended golf cart caused a scary scene Friday morning at the U.S. Open, injuring five people at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links.

    • The California Highway Patrol reported that the incident began when a vendor arrived at a concession stand near the 16th hole with his cart loaded with boxes.

      The vendor stepped out of the cart, and one of the boxes fell on accelerator, prompting the vehicle to start moving. The vendor and four spectators, ages 25 to 82, were hurt, according to the (Salinas) Californian.

      ESPN cited the CHP saying that one person sustained a broken arm while another had a spinal injury.

      Multiple media outlets reported that one seriously injured person was transported to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, while those with lesser injuries were taken to Natividad Medical Center in Salinas.

      Eyewitness Georgie Salant told golf.com, "We were standing in the concession line on the 16th hole when all of a sudden there was a runaway cart and one guy running after it, then a bunch of people running after it. It was actually coming straight for the concession line and then it turned, just on its own, and it didn't stop! It started driving in circles. It ran over like, five people."

      Another unnamed witness told golf.com, "This one guy was trying to chase it and was diving after it trying to stop it, I think he was just a spectator. And he got injured diving after it. He was sitting on the ground for a while afterwards, not moving.

      "Finally a guy jumped on it and turned the wheel really hard and then pushed the box off -- it was crazy."

      The U.S. Golf Association, which runs the U.S. Open, issued a statement that listed a different number of injuries. The statement read: "Unfortunately, during today's second round there was an incident involving a golf cart on the 16th hole that resulted in three spectators and a vendor being injured and requiring medical treatment. We will continue to monitor their conditions."

      --Field Level Media

  • Woods steamed after late second-round collapse
    By Field Level Media / Friday, June 14, 2019

    Tiger Woods was failing to make a second-round dash at the U.S. Open and then the bottom fell out of his round.

    • Woods finished his Friday round with back-to-back bogeys -- at Nos. 8 and 9 -- for a 1-over 72 at Pebble Beach that left him in a foul mood.

      Asked later by reporters if he was steaming, Woods said, "Yeah, I am. Not a very good finish."

      At that point, Woods was seven shots behind clubhouse leader Justin Rose of England with roughly half the field still on the scenic course in northern California.

      Woods, at even-par 142, didn't want to write himself off with 36 holes to go as he seeks his first U.S. Open win since his memorable 2008 triumph at Torrey Pines.

      "Yeah, right now I'm still in the ballgame," Woods said. "There's so many guys with a chance to win. We've got a long way to go, and, you know, we'll see how it shapes up for tomorrow.

      "The golf course can be a little bit faster, a little bit more springy than it was today, and scores will continue to back up a little bit."

      Woods recorded a birdie on the par-4 11th on his second hole of the day before shooting par on 14 consecutive holes.

      While he wasn't making a splash, he wasn't sinking either -- until he reached the eighth hole and put his second shot in the rough to the right. He eventually two-putted for a bogey.

      Woods' tee shot on the ninth hole landed in a bunker, and his second shot settled into the heavy rough. After reaching the green, he again two-putted as his par putt slid wide left of the hole.

      Woods was highly upset after walking off No. 9. After taking time to cool down, he said he knows he missed some key opportunities.

      "It's just a matter of leaving the ball in the right spots," Woods said. "And yesterday I did that; today I didn't. I was above the hole. And just wasn't as crisp as I needed to be to put the ball below the hole each and every shot."

      --Field Level Media

  • Tiger grinds out opening 70 at Pebble Beach
    By Field Level Media / Friday, June 14, 2019

    Tiger Woods hit 9 of 14 fairways and drained 11 one-putts during the first round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach on Thursday -- stats that before the round would have brought predictions of a potentially dominating lead.

    • Instead, on a day of record scoring, he wound up five shots back of the leader, England's Justin Rose, in a tie for 28th after a 1-under-par 70.

      The driver has always been the most inconsistent club in Woods' bag, and the once-mighty putter has been far more average since his return from a fourth back procedure in his 40s.

      Considered arguably the best iron player in the history of the game, Woods hit a "double-cross" off the tee on the par-3 5th hole that foreshadowed issues with his iron play throughout his opening round at Pebble Beach, Calif. He wound up with a bogey on that hole.

      He rebounded with birdies on the next two holes, but he still didn't stick iron shots on either hole as close as expected. Woods then drilled the fairway on Nos. 9-11 but missed the green with all three approach shots and had to scramble for pars.

      Woods attempted to reach the par-5 14th hole in two, but left it in the front bunker. He clipped the shot out of the sand clear over the putting surface, chipped it back onto the green and then hit a 30-foot par putt that elicited a fist pump.

      "I probably shouldn't have tried to fly it that far back," he acknowledged to FOX Sports. "I clipped it, and I was just trying to hack out and take my medicine and happened to hit a putt."

      Woods also had a chance to reach the par-5 18th in two, but he pulled his approach shot left into the back of another bunker. He played a safe bunker shot to 30 feet and two-putted for his 11th consecutive par.

      "It was a grind, wow," Woods said with a grin. "Pebble Beach, you have like the first seven holes and you can get it going. After that, it's a fight, and I kind of proved that today. Just kind of hung in there, and just kind of grinded along.

      "I was trying to just kind of hang in there today. Just kind of one of those days."

      With a morning tee time starting on the 10th hole Friday, Woods said he was "done" on Thursday and would focus on rest rather than going back to the range to work on his game.

      --Field Level Media

  • LPGA announces new Florida event
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, June 13, 2019

    The LPGA Tour announced a new Florida event for the 2020 season, with the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio scheduled to be held from Jan. 20-26.

    • The 108-player event will feature a $2 million purse and follow the season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions held on the Western side of the state in Naples, creating a "Florida Swing" for the Tour.

      "We are honored to host the world's best female golfers at our course and thank honorary Boca Rio member Morgan Pressel for urging us to take this step," said Paul Shapiro, president of Boca Rio Golf Club, in a statement.

      "We are also very impressed with Group1001 and the work they do in promoting STEM education among young women, which is yet another reason why this event will be an exciting opportunity for this community. We can't wait to welcome local fans and LPGA players to Boca Rio next January."

      --Field Level Media

  • Koepka: Golfers complain too much at U.S. Open
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, June 11, 2019

    The U.S. Open is known as the toughest test in golf, with narrow fairways, penalizing rough, and pin placements almost impossible to reach.

    • Some of the top pros claim the way the USGA has set up its championship courses in recent years is more than tough; it's been unfair.

      Those complaints were a big topic of conversation Tuesday after practice rounds for this week's U.S. Open, which begins Thursday at the famed and picturesque Pebble Beach in northern California.

      But you won't hear any moaning from the guy who is going for his third consecutive U.S. Open title.

      "I mean, everybody has got to play the same golf course," Brooks Koepka said.

      "It doesn't make a difference if you put it in the fairway and you hit every green, there's really no problem, is there? So obviously they're not doing what they're supposed to do. So they're not playing good enough. If they put it in the fairway, you shouldn't have to complain about the rough. You hit the greens and you hit it close, you shouldn't have to complain about the greens.

      "I've just never been one to complain, make excuses. It doesn't matter. Nobody wants to hear anybody's excuse. I find it annoying even when I play with guys and they're dropping clubs or throwing them or complaining, like telling me how bad the golf course is or how bad this is. I don't want to hear it. I don't care. It doesn't matter to me.

      "It's just something we've all got to deal with. If you play good enough, you shouldn't have a problem."

      Koepka won last year at Shinnecock Hills in New York with a 1-over-par total. Perhaps the moment most remember from the event is Phil Mickelson, afraid his putt at a treacherous hole location was going to roll off the green and into a bunker, chased down the ball and hit it back while it was moving. He was assessed a two-stroke penalty.

      On Saturday at Shinnecock, the last 45 players to tee off failed to break par.

      Tough or unfair?

      "I think big picture you still had the right champions every single time. And that's what you want to do in majors, you want to separate who is playing the best from who's not," said Jordan Spieth, who won the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, when dead fescue grass on the greens was a significant storyline.

      "And I don't see how that's not had the right result in any of the previous years, even though certainly everything could have gone a hundred percent perfectly and it didn't, necessarily."

      The USGA has narrowed the fairways slightly from the typical setup at Pebble Beach, and Englishman Justin Rose said, "The rough seems penal but not outrageous."

      "I think there's going to be some very unlucky lies around the greens and the tops of the bunkers the way they've let the fescue, or whatever that grass is around the tops of the bunkers, grow," he added.

      "It's quite a coarse grass as well. Any ball that lands just over the top of a bunker and lands in that longer grass, I think the ball is going to stick in there and you're going to have some tough lies. And maybe you'll see guys not move a ball possibly from the tops of those bunkers. That's probably the most penal area of the golf course, I think."

      It's all fine by Koepka.

      "I just view it as this is what it is this week, and I've got to deal with it and go," he said. "In my mind it doesn't equate to a bad setup or good setup."

      --Field Level Media

  • Golf Glance
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, June 11, 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: RBC Canadian Open (Rory McIlroy)

      THIS WEEK: U.S. Open, June 13-16

      Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, Calif. (Par 71, 7,075 yards)

      Purse: $12.5 million (Winner: $2.25 million)

      Defending champion: Brooks Koepka

      FedEx Cup leader: Matt Kuchar

      Television: Thursday-Friday: 12:30-7:30 p.m. ET (FS1), 7:30-10:30 p.m. (FOX); Saturday, 12-10 p.m. (FOX); Sunday, 12-10 p.m. (FOX)

      This will be the sixth U.S. Open held at Pebble Beach but the first since Graeme McDowell won his lone major in 2010. Other winners include Jack Nicklaus (1972), Tom Watson ('82), Tom Kite ('92) and Tiger Woods (2000). ... Koepka seeks to become just the second player to win three consecutive U.S. Opens. ... Woods won by 15 strokes in 2000, beating the field by an average of 29.2 shots. He needs one victory to tie Sam Snead's all-time PGA Tour record of 82. ... Phil Mickelson won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for the fifth time in February. ... McIlroy (2014 St. Jude Invitational, PGA Championship) is the last player to win on Tour the week before claiming a major championship. ... Koepka is trying to become only the fourth player to win at least five majors before turning 30 (Woods/10, Nicklaus/7, Bobby Jones/7).

      BEST BETS: Dustin Johnson (+700 by William Hill) is a two-time winner of the Pro-Am at Pebble Beach and finished second to Koepka at last month's PGA Championship. ... Koepka (+850) admitted he didn't care about his finish last week. The T50 was uninspiring but predictable, and Koepka clearly thrives on the major stage. ... Woods (-1000) returns to the scene of the most dominating performance in major golf history. He is coming off a solid performance at the RBC Canadian Open and Woods' short iron play will be a major asset in attacking some of the smallest greens on Tour. ... McIlroy (+10000) provides solid betting odds despite his dominant victory last week coupled with 10 T10s in 12 events this year. ... Tommy Fleetwood (+3500) is one of the world's elite ball strikers and a terrific putter. A great combination around Pebble Beach and despite Fleetwood's lack of a major, he has a resume chock full of first-page contention.

      NEXT WEEK: Travelers Championship, Cromwell, Conn.

      LPGA TOUR

      LAST TOURNAMENT: ShopRite LPGA Classic (Lexi Thompson)

      THIS WEEK: Meijer LPGA Classic, June 13-16

      Blythefield Country Club, Grand Rapids, Mich. (Par 72, 6,639 yards)

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

      Defending champion: So Yeon Ryu

      Race to the CME Globe leader: Jin Young Ko

      Television: Thursday-Friday, 12:30-3:30 p.m.; Saturday, 1-4 p.m., Sunday, 2-5 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)

      Brooke Henderson (21-under, 263, 2017) holds the tournament scoring record. ... South Koreans have won as many tournaments in 2019 (7) as the rest of the countries combined. The United States is the only other country with multiple tournaments won (Thompson, Nelly Korda). ... Ko is the only multiple winner on Tour in 2019 (Bank of Hope Founders Cup, ANA Inspiration. ... Henderson, Korda, Ko and Azahara Munoz lead the Tour with six top 10 finishes each. ... Thompson reclaimed the top spot from Korda in the USA Solheim Cup team standings. ... This is the fourth of 12 consecutive weekends with an LPGA Tour event, culminating in the Ladies Scottish Open in August.

      NEXT TOURNAMENT: KPMG Women's PGA Championship, Chaska, Minn.

      CHAMPIONS TOUR

      LAST TOURNAMENT: Mastercard Japan Championship (Scott McCarron)

      THIS WEEK: OFF.

      Charles Schwab Cup leader: McCarron

      NEXT TOURNAMENT: American Family Insurance Championship, Madison, Wisc., June 21-23

      --Field Level Media

  • Koepka's U.S. Open odds cool a bit
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, June 11, 2019

    It's hard to argue with the game plan of the man who has won four of the past nine majors, but U.S. sportsbooks have cooled a bit on Brooks Koepka's odds of winning a third consecutive U.S. Open this week.

    • Koepka acknowledged that he did not touch a club after winning the PGA Championship last month until arriving at last week's RBC Canadian Open. He then tied for 50th at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Ontario. He never sniffed at contention.

      A distinct favorite for Pebble Beach after his two-stroke triumph at Bethpage Black, Koepka has been surpassed by Dustin Johnson as the listed favorite by several sportsbooks. Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy has also nudged ahead in some sportsbooks following his seven-shot victory in Canada.

      While those three are co-favorites at +850 by FanDuel, SugarHouse favors Johnson (+700) over McIlroy (+800) and Koepka (+900). William Hill also has Johnson at +700, followed by Koepka (+850) and Jordan Spieth (+1000). Despite his record-setting victory at the Canadian Open, McIlroy is only tied for the third betting favorite by William Hill at +1000.

      PointsBet lists Johnson and McIlroy as the co-favorites at +800 -- slightly ahead of Koepka (+850).

      Tiger Woods is no worse than +1100 by each of the four books.

      Looking for a stab at the riches? SugarHouse is offering +250000 on a trio of players: Connor Arendell, Eric Dietrich and Hayden Shieh.

      William Hill is offering some fun matchup prop bets, with McIlroy (-165) favored to finished higher than Woods (+145), and Johnson (-130) expected to out-duel Koepka (+110).

      William Hill Prop Bets

      Top 10 finish/not

      Tiger Woods: +120/-140

      Brooks Koepka: +100/-120

      Rory McIlroy: +100/-120

      Dustin Johnson: -110/-110

      Jordan Spieth: -120/+100

      Phil Mickelson: +200/-240

      Rickie Fowler: +110/-130

      Justin Thomas: +130/-150

      Make/Miss Cut props:

      Phil Mickelson: -250/+210

      Sergio Garcia: -220/+190

      Bubba Watson: -190/+170

      Patrick Reed: -260/+220

      Paul Casey: -260/+220

      Hole In One

      Yes: -130

      No: +110

      Decided By Playoff

      Yes: +300

      No: -360

      Lowest Round Score (64.5): -110/-110

      72-hole Winning Score (278.5): -110/-110

      36-hole Cut Score (146.5): -110/-110

      PointsBet is offering odds on the nationality of the winner:

      USA: -400

      England: +540

      Northern Ireland: +550

      Australia: +800

      Spain: +1200

      Japan: +1600

      Italy: +1800

      South Africa: +1800

      Sweden: +2000

      Ireland: +2500

      South Korea: +3000

      Germany: +3500

      Denmark: +4000

      China: +5000

      Chinese Tapei: +5000

      Slovakia: +5000

      Belgium: +5000

      --Field Level Media

  • McIlroy rises to No. 3 in world rankings
    By Field Level Media / Monday, June 10, 2019

    Rory McIlroy will enter this week's U.S. Open as the No. 3-ranked player in the world, moving up one spot on Monday following his seven-shot victory at the RBC Canadian Open.

    • The Northern Irishman moved past England's Justin Rose with his second victory and 10th top 10 finish in 12 events this year. McIlroy won The Players Championship in March and posted a pair of T8s before missing the cut at the Memorial Tournament.

      He also rose to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings behind Matt Kuchar.

      "Obviously a huge confidence builder not just for next week, but for the rest of the season," McIlroy said after posting a 61 on Sunday. "To be tied for the lead and to play the way I did, play with that freedom and play with no inhibitions, take driver and stay aggressive ...

      "Hopefully sets up well for the rest of year, too."

      Two-time reigning U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka will arrive at Pebble Beach this week atop the world rankings, followed by good friend Dustin Johnson. Johnson closed the gap a bit with a T20 in Canada, while Koepka posted a T50 in his first start since winning the PGA Championship last month.

      Tiger Woods remained No. 5, followed by Italy's Francesco Molinari, who moved up one spot past Justin Thomas. Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau and Xander Schauffele round out the top 10.

      --Field Level Media

  • Wrist injury forces Schwartzel to end season
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, June 9, 2019

    South Africa's Charl Schwartzel announced that he will sit out the rest of the 2019 season in order to let a lingering wrist injury heal.

    • "I've been forced, due to my wrist injury to take the remainder of the season off to give my wrist time to rest and heal!," Schwartzel tweeted. "It's very frustrating but with a long career still ahead of me, I will get this fixed and I look forward to the come back."

      The 34-year-old entered 2019 ranked No. 79 in the world, but has slipped to 135 with only three cuts made in 11 worldwide starts. He has not played since missing the cut at the RBC Heritage in April.

      The 2011 Masters champion also missed the cut at Augusta this year. He withdrew from last month's PGA Championship due to the wrist injury and then withdrew ahead of sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open.

      --Field Level Media

  • Day hires Williams to caddie at U.S. Open
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, June 8, 2019

    Steve Williams will caddie for Jason Day at next week's U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, according to multiple reports.

    • Williams caddied for Tiger Woods when he set a major championship record with a 15-stroke victory in the U.S. Open at the same course in 2000.

      Williams was on the bag for 13 of Woods' 15 major titles. The New Zealander later caddied for Adam Scott from 2011-17 before announcing his retirement.

      Day, whose only major victory to date was the 2015 PGA Championship, has missed the cut in the U.S. Open in each of the past two years. He finished in second place at the U.S. Open in 2011 and tied for second in 2013.

      Day's caddie since 2017 has been longtime friend and fellow Australian Luke Reardon. When asked by Golf Channel, Day and his representatives would not say if using Williams was a one-time thing or a permanent move.

      --Field Level Media

  • Koepka 'could care less' about Canadian Open result
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 5, 2019

    Brooks Koepka acknowledges that his debut appearance at this week's RBC Canadian Open is geared specifically toward preparing for next week's U.S. Open.

    • The world's top-ranked player told reporters that "I've not touched a club" since winning last month's PGA Championship. That victory marked Koepka's fourth major title in the past eight majors, and the two-time defending U.S. Open champion's sole concern this week is in sharpening his game for Pebble Beach.

      "I could care less what happens (this week)," he said, per the Golf Channel. "I just want to feel good going into next week. As long as I can leave feeling confident, striking the ball very well, starting it where I want to, finishing where I want to, hitting some good putts ... it doesn't matter if they do go in or not. I just want to feel confident leaving."

      The Canadian Open benefitted greatly from the move to June from its traditional July slot. Pegged between two majors, it boasts a field featuring Koepka, No. 2 Dustin Johnson and No. 4 Rory McIlroy.

      Koepka has played the week before all four of his major victories, including finishing no better than 30th the week before his two U.S. Open triumphs.

      "The result doesn't really matter this week," he said. "It's just how I feel I've played. Am I hitting enough good shots and really finding a rhythm?"

      --Field Level Media

  • D.J. downplays split with swing coach
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 5, 2019

    Dustin Johnson downplayed the recent announcement of his split with swing coach Claude Harmon III as he prepares to defend his title at the RBC Canadian Open ahead of next week's U.S. Open.

    • Johnson announced over the weekend that he will work with longtime coach Alan Terrell and continue to work with Claude Harmon's father, Butch, via video.

      "I really haven't had a coaching change," Johnson told reporters Wednesday. "I've always worked with coach Terrell. I've always worked with Butch and Claude. So it's not really a change."

      Claude Harmon also works with top-ranked Brooks Koepka, and texted Johnson from last week's Memorial Tournament that he believed it was time to move on. Johnson, the world's No. 2 player, worked with Terrell at the PGA Championship.

      Johnson, who has one PGA Tour victory this season at the WGC-Mexico in February, finished second to Koepka at Bethpage Black last month.

      Terrell recruited Johnson to Coastal Carolina in 2004 and runs his branded golf academy in South Carolina. Johnson also sends weekly swing videos to Butch Harmon, who decided last season to stop traveling the Tour.

      Koepka is the two-time reigning U.S. Open champion, while Johnson is a two-time winner of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Either one could arrive in California next week as the No. 1-ranked player, depending on how the RBC Canadian Open plays out.

      "I feel like I'm rested. I'm mentally sharp, and I'm ready to go for the last push through the end of the year," Johnson said. "I've got a lot of really big tournaments coming up, and for me it's just about putting myself into position to have a chance to win."

      --Field Level Media

  • Golf Glance
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 5, 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: Memorial Tournament (Patrick Cantlay)

      THIS WEEK: RBC Canadian Open, June 6-9

      Hamilton Golf & Country Club, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (Par 70, 6,967 yards)

      Purse: $7.6 million (Winner: $1.368 million)

      Defending champion: Dustin Johnson

      FedEx Cup leader: Matt Kuchar

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

      World No. 1 Brooks Koepka will make his first start since winning the PGA Championship. ... The last Canadian to win the country's national championship was Pat Fletcher in 1954. Twelve Canadians are in the field. ... The event moves from July to June for the first time since 1989. ... Scott Piercy (263 in 2012) holds the tournament scoring record at Hamilton G&CC, which first hosted the event 100 years ago. ... World No. 4 Rory McIlroy and No. 6 Justin Thomas are making their tournament debuts. ... Johnson seeks to become the seventh player to successfully defend an RBC Canadian Open title.

      BEST BETS: Johnson (11/2 by Sportsbook.ag) is known for his distance, but it's his improved iron play that has transformed D.J. into a consistent weekly threat. He should have plenty of short irons in his hands this week with Hamilton playing under 7,000 yards. ... Koepka (6/1) is a four-time major winner, but wants to build his non-major resume as he enters with a modest six career PGA Tour victories. ... Shane Lowry (40/1) is a momentum pick based on a T3 at the PBC Heritage and a T8 at the PGA Championship in his past two starts. The Irishman also won earlier this year at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. ... Corey Conners (80/1) is a longshot to break the 65-year Canadian drought in the event, but the Ontario native is a feel-good story as a longshot bet who has two top-fives this season to go with his first PGA Tour victory at the Valero Texas Open.

      NEXT WEEK: U.S. Open, Pebble Beach, Calif.

      LPGA TOUR

      LAST TOURNAMENT: U.S. Women's Open (Jeongeun Lee6)

      THIS WEEK: ShopRite LPGA Classic, June 7-9

      Seaview Hotel and Golf Club, Bay Course, Galloway, N.J. (Par 71, 6,217 yards)

      Purse: $1.75 million (Winner: $252,500)

      Defending champion: Annie Park

      Race to the CME Globe leader: Jin Young Ko

      Television: Friday, noon-2:30 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 3-5 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)

      This event was first held in 1986 and returned to the schedule in 2010 following a three-year hiatus. ... Park shot a final-round 8-under 63 to beat Sakura Yokomine by one stroke for her first LPGA Tour victory last year. ... Canadian Brooke Henderson has six top-10 finishes in 11 starts this season, tied for the Tour lead. ... Lexi Thompson is making her first start in the event since 2015. ... This is the third of 12 consecutive weekends with an LPGA Tour event, culminating in the Ladies Scottish Open in August.

      NEXT WEEK: Meijer LPGA Classic, Grand Rapids, Mich.

      CHAMPIONS TOUR

      LAST TOURNAMENT: Principal Charity Classic (Kevin Sutherland)

      THIS WEEK: Mastercard Japan Championship, Narita-shi, Chiba, Japan, June 7-9

      Narita Golf Club-Accordia Golf (Par 72, 7,140 yards)

      Purse: $2.5 million (Winner: $400,000)

      Defending champion: Colin Montgomerie (2017)

      Charles Schwab Cup leader: Scott McCarron

      Television: Thursday, 10 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday 12:30-3 a.m. (All times Golf Channel)

      Montgomerie's victory punctuated the first official PGA Tour-sanctioned tournament in Japan. ... Scott Parel is coming off a playoff loss last week and posted a T10 in the event two years ago. ... Jerry Kelly has gone 40 holes without a bogey and has four T5s in his past five starts. ... Kobe, Japan, native Ken Tanigawa won the Senior PGA Championship two weeks ago and is second on the Charles Schwab Cup money list.

      NEXT TOURNAMENT: American Family Insurance Championship, Madison, Wis., June 21-23

      --Field Level Media

  • PGA Tour adds Bermuda to 2019-20 schedule
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, June 4, 2019

    The PGA Tour added the island of Bermuda to the 2019-20 schedule, with the Bermuda Championship making its debut from Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2019.

    • On Tuesday, the tour announced a five-year agreement through 2023 with the Bermuda Tourism Authority as the title sponsor of the tour's first annual event on the Caribbean island.

      The tournament held at the Port Royal Golf Course will feature an anticipated field of 120 players and a $3 million purse, with 300 FedExCup points awarded to the champion.

      "We are excited to add the Bermuda Championship to the PGA Tour beginning next season," executive vice president Ty Votaw said in a statement. "Bermuda is an appealing year-round destination, and the players will love visiting in the fall, plus we will be hosted by an outstanding golf course. It promises to be a wonderful opportunity to showcase Bermuda -- a beautiful island destination that embodies genuine hospitality -- to the world."

      The Bermuda Championship will be played the same week as the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China.

      --Field Level Media

  • Cantlay now among U.S. Open betting favorites
    By Field Level Media / Monday, June 3, 2019

    Patrick Cantlay realized several tangible benefits from his second career PGA Tour victory at the Memorial Tournament on Sunday.

    • Along with a cool $1.638 million winner's check and guaranteed entries into all the marquee events over the next year, Cantlay also vaulted six spots to No. 8 in the official world golf rankings -- a career high for the 27-year-old.

      With that success on a big stage against a tough field comes respect from oddsmakers.

      Cantlay entered the Memorial in good form, having tied for ninth at the Masters and then tying for third at the RBC Heritage and the PGA Championship in his past four tournaments.

      He arrived in Dublin, Ohio, last week listed at 25/1 by Sportsbetting.ag and 28/1 by Sportsbook.ag to win the 2019 U.S. Open later this month. After setting a Sunday scoring record in claiming the Memorial title, Cantlay is now listed at 18/1 by Sportsbetting.ag and 20/1 by Sportsbook.ag and Bovada.lv.

      Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka remains the betting favorite at 6/1 by Sportsbetting.ag and 11/2 by Sportsbook.ag, while Dustin Johnson (7.5/1 and 7/1) is close behind. Tiger Woods entered Sunday's round at 10/1 by both sportsbooks and remained there following his closing 67 to charge into the top 10.

      Martin Kaymer, the overnight Memorial leader who stumbled to a third-place finish with a 72 on Sunday, still improved from 100/1 to 66/1 by Sportsbook.ag. The German, who finished tied for 51st at the Masters and missed the cut at the PGA Championship, also vaulted 89 spots to No. 97 in the world golf rankings.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former teammates Liu, Boutier share U.S. Women's Open lead
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, June 1, 2019

    Moving day at the U.S. Women's Open turned into a traffic jam at the top of the leaderboard, as China's Yu Liu and France's Celine Boutier hold a narrow one-shot lead at the Country Club of Charleston over a trio of players, including Lexi Thompson and Japan's Mamiko Higa, the surprise leader the first two rounds.

    • It is familiar company but uncharted territory for Liu and Boutier, who played collegiate golf together at Duke, where they won the national championship in 2014.

      "We've never talked about this. I think this is something that's really out of my expectations because it's only my first ever U.S. Open," said Liu. "I was just happy to make the cut and being able to play the weekend. But now it's something that I didn't really expect.

      "Definitely just trying to embrace the moment, playing with my great friend, possibly in the last group tomorrow. It's going to be a lot of fun."

      This is just the second season on tour for Liu, who made 21 cuts in 27 events last year as a rookie and had three top-10 finishes including a career-best major finish of a tie for seventh at the Women's British Open. Liu has three top-10 finishes already this season including a runner-up finish at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup in March.

      Boutier, who joined the tour in 2017 and captured her first win this February at the ISPS Handa Vic Open, added that her time at Duke as well as seeing former teammates play well has been a motivating factor.

      "I think just being able to practice, and kind of be around great players, really motivates you to work harder and kind of, you know, try to compete with them a little bit," said Boutier regarding her time at Duke. "Even though you're on the same team, you kind of push each other. I think that's what also you can see a lot of Dukies, kind of -- I feel like it just encourages people, like me at least. I don't know about other people, but when I see Duke players playing well, I kind of want to play well, too."

      Boutier made three birdies over her first 13 holes and held the lead at 8 under until she made her only bogey of the round on No. 16. Liu made six birdies in a 13-hole stretch to move into contention after starting four shots off the lead.

      Thompson, a 10-time LPGA Tour champion who tied for fifth at last year's Open, muscled her way into contention by going eagle-birdie on Nos. 15 and 16 to shoot 68.

      Higa posted an up-and-down round of three birdies and three bogeys to finish with her second straight 71.

      Also tied for second is Jaye Marie Green, a five-year LPGA veteran, who also shot 68 for her second sub-70 showing this week.

      Defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand shot 69 to finish tied for 27th at 1 over. No. 1-ranked Jin Young Ko of South Korea shot 69 and is tied for 12th at 2 under.

      --Field Level Media