SATURDAY  | JULY 21, 2018
by Alex Miceli

In the gambling world, the "chalk" is the betting favorite. On Friday night, the post-mortem midway through the British Open was that the chalk, World No. 1 Dustin Johnson at 12-1, was headed back across the Atlantic. The leaderboard here at Carnoustie Golf Links is packed with major haves and have-nots.

Of the top 13 players, only Zach Johnson, a co-leader at 6-under 136, Rory McIlroy (T-6 at 4 under) and defending champion Jordan Spieth (T-11 at 3 under) have won multiple major titles (scores). The rest are a collection of young and hungry newcomers, inspiring veterans and past-their-prime hopefuls, all looking to win a first major title.


by Alex Miceli

Twenty-two years ago at Oakland Hills near Detroit, American Tom Lehman let the U.S. Open slip away to good friend Steve Jones.

After the final round, Lehman summed up his one-stroke loss. “Being [in] the last group at the Open is a little bit more pressure,” said Lehman, who led after 54 holes but closed with a 1-over 71 to Jones’ 69. “As you get older and more mature as a player, you are able to kind of push that out of the way and just go ahead and do your thing.”


by John Hawkins

David Duval doesn’t get much ink these days, so his withdrawal Friday from the British Open after firing an opening-round 80 was neither a needle-mover nor a surprise. His status as a past champion (2001) earns Duval an automatic berth in the field, and though he has played in all but two Opens since that landmark triumph, he has made just one cut since 2008.

If you’re among those who wonder why Duval keeps trying, I would point to the man’s competitive soul. The inner drive that carried him to victory at Royal Lytham & St. Annes has not completely dissipated, which is somewhat remarkable in that his playing career has remained largely dormant for 15 years.


The Barry Burn vs. Mookie Wilson
Jeff Babineau’s comparison of Jean Van de Velde to Bill Buckner​ is spot on (“Jean Van de Velde rises above Buckner moment,” July 20).

As a hard-bitten Red Sox fan, Babineau knows of what he speaks (and writes). ​​



Number of bogey-free rounds through two days of the 147th British Open at Carnoustie (Scotland) Golf Links. England’s Tommy Fleetwood shot a bogey-free 6-under 65 on Friday to surge into a share of second place, one stroke behind American co-leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner (scores).


Added: To the Official World Golf Ranking list of tours whose tournaments qualify for world-ranking points, the All Thailand Golf Tour, the Professional Golf Tour of India and the Japan Golf Tour’s Abema TV Tour. The Thailand and India tours will receive a minimum level of five first-place points for their 72-hole events. The Abema TV Tour will receive four first-place points for its 54-hole events. The change takes effect with Week 1, which ends Jan. 6. Also, the OWGR has promoted the Asian Tour’s Ho Tram Players Championship to flagship status, replacing the Indonesian Masters, meaning that the tournament winner will receive at least 20 first-place points.



Hawk & Rude: British Open halftime
In Hawk & Rude, a podcast featuring veteran golf journalists John Hawkins and Jeff Rude, the hosts examine the first 36 holes at Carnoustie. Two very different weather days, an emerging leader board – and the Nos. 1- and 2-ranked players headed home. What's coming this weekend?

July 16-21
Junior girls: U.S. Girls’ Junior

Poppy Hills GC, Pebble Beach, Calif.

Junior boys: U.S. Junior Amateur

Baltusrol GC, Springfield, N.J.

July 18-21
Men’s amateur: Southern Amateur

The Club at Olde Stone, Bowling Green, Ky.

Men’s amateur: Porter Cup

Niagara Falls (N.Y.) CC

July 19-22 Tour: Pinnacle Bank Championship

The Club at Indian Creek, Omaha, Neb.

PGA/European tours: British Open

Carnoustie (Scotland) GL

Symetra Tour: Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic

Brook Lea CC, Rochester, N.Y.

PGA Tour: Barbasol Championship

Keene Trace GC, Nicholasville, Ky.

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