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Jordan Spieth feels confident in his game ahead of his course debut at Shinnecock Hills, set to open his week at 8:02 a.m. ET on Thursday for this week's U.S. Open Championship.

Spieth has yet to win this season and his putting has fallen off the map (190th in strokes gained putting). The Texan isn't too worried and it's easy to hear that when listening to him in pressers. Just this week he said the following, "I putted well there and am trending in the right direction...The game feels like it's in really good shape right now, as good as it has this year." Spieth was referencing his putting at Muirfield Village (+1.8 SGP in two rounds) which snapped a streak of six straight ShotLink starts where he lost strokes putting. With wins at Royal Birkdale and Chambers Bay, this week's links-style layout may be the perfect venue to kick-start his season and potentially get him back on the podium.
Source: USOpen.com
Jun 12 - 2:19 PM

Charl Schwartzel led the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg after 36 holes but his hopes of winning the event for the first time were vanquished as he completed a stuttering weekend with a closing 1-over-par 36-36=72 to finish at 10-under 274, eight back from runaway winner Louis Oosthuizen and in a four-way tie for third.

Schwartzel managed the consolation prize of securing a place in next year's Open but he would have expected to make the field for Portush anyway so today was about the disappointment of letting a good chance to win his home Open slip away. Three back after 54 holes, the writing was on the wall early as Schwartzel swallowed double bogey-6 at No. 2 and he also took six swipes at the par-4 13th. There were birdies at 4, 12 and 17 but a second successive round of 72 at Firethorn when leading the way at the midpoint shows that Schwartzel is still battling to get it done on the course despite saying he's been striping it on the range. The good news? He'll have another opportunity in next week's Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek, a venue where he's won four times (2005, 2013, 2014, 2016).
Dec 9 - 7:58 AM

There were three Open spots up for grabs at this week's South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg and England's Oliver Wilson banked one of the golden tickets for Portrush after twirling a final-round 4-under-par 31-36=67 at Firethorn to finish in a four-way tie for third spot on 10-under 274.

That was eight behind winner Louis Oosthuizen. Wilson's higher world ranking (273rd) meant he edged out Thomas Aiken and Bryce Easton, who also finished T3. That wouldn't have been the case until very recently and after last year's Open he was ranked outside the world's top 2000. The former World No. 35, who played in the 2008 Ryder Cup, has surged back up with two wins on the Challenge Tour in the last four months and showed plenty of that form and confidence this week. The Englishman opened with 73 but fired 66-68-67 over the final 54 holes, outpacing two bogeys with six birdies (all in the first 14 holes) in today's closer. Wilson is certainly worth keeping an eye on in 2019 after this impressive finish to 2018.
Dec 9 - 7:45 AM

Louis Oosthuizen's ninth European Tour win was one from the bucket list, a stunning six-shot victory at Randpark GC to secure his long-awaited first win at the South African Open thanks to a 4-under-par 33-34=67 in round four which saw the World No. 36 triumph with 18-under 266 (62-70-67-67).

Romain Langasque was runner-up at 12-under while Bryce Easton, Thomas Aiken, Oliver Wilson and Charl Schwartzel were T3 a further two shots back. Three clear at start of play, the prospect of trying to get over the line in an event he'd been trying to win since 2002 seemed to weigh on the 36-year-old South African as he bogeyed 2 and 3. But he got the motor running with birdie at Firethorn's 4th hole and kicked clear of the field with red circles at 6, 7 and 9 before eagle-3 at 14. He traded a birdie at 16 with a bogey 17 and a par at 18 meant he matched the highest winning margin since the SA Open became a European Tour event in 1997. "This feels very special," said an emotional Oosthuizen. "It's been a great ride. I've been very patient this week." Next target? Perhaps a first win on American soil in 2019. Before that, he'll also line up in next week's Alfred Dunhill Championship.
Dec 9 - 7:29 AM

Romain Langasque recorded his best finish on the European Tour at the South African Open Sunday, jumping 18 spots to end runner-up to Louis Oosthuizen after carding a final-round 5-under-par 33-33=66 for a 72-hole score of 12-under 272.

That was six behind the winner although the Frenchman was the only player in the mammoth 240-man field to shoot all four rounds in the 60s and he received the added bonus of securing a spot in next year's Open Championship. The 2015 British Amateur champ recorded bogeys at 3 and 16 but between that he flew up the leaderboard with birdies at 4, 6, 9, 12 and 13 before making eagle-3 at 14. This is another example of a Q School grad making good early use of his card, something we saw last week when Kurt Kitayama won the Mauritius Open. Langasque was T23 there after finishing with a win and two top fives in his final five events on the Challenge Tour. In this form, he won't want the Christmas break to come although the 23-year-old will get one more opportunity to ride his momentum when contesting next week's Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek in the north-east of South Africa.
Dec 9 - 7:14 AM

Louis Oosthuizen cruised to a 4-under-par 33-34=67 third round at Randpark GC which earned him a three-shot lead heading into the final lap of the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg.

There is a big Sunday in prospect for the 36-year-old who is yet to claim his national Open despite three top fives in his last five appearances. That said, this is, rather remarkably, his first start in the event since 2010. He is also seeking a first win anywhere since early 2016 and only the second since early 2014. He earned the chance by making three birdies and a bogey on both nines. On the front nine the red came at 1, 4, and 6, the blue at 5. At the 11th he found sand with his approach, his escape ricocheted off flag to 10’0" but he drained it for par and he celebrated with birdies at 14 and 15, the latter from 12‘0". A second bogey-4 of the week at the 17th may bode ill for the back nine Sunday, but he is 7-for-14 with a 54-hole lead (or share of it). Matt Wallace, Charl Schwartzel and Madalitso Muthiya are his challengers in T2.
Dec 8 - 7:55 AM

Dylan Frittelli was one of the favorites going into his home South African Open at Randpark GC but while other big names Charl Schwartzel (1st), Louis Oosthuizen (T3), Branden Grace (T8) and Matt Wallace (T8) are all in great position for a title challenge, the 28-year-old is slamming his trunk early after a 1-over-par 35-37=72 in round two left him at 3-over 145 and four shots outside the cut line.

After taking 73 swishes at the tougher Firethorn layout Thursday, Frittelli was hoping to repair the damage at the Bushwillow which played two-and-a-half shots easier on day one. He couldn't. An opening birdie was one of just two red numbers and he swallowed three bogeys to record another over-par round and finish T149 of the 240 starters. A total of 70 players made it to the weekend at T57 (-2) or better. Those to miss out included: 141- Trevor Fisher, Jr., Darren Fichardt, Justin Harding ... 142- Dean Burmester, Bernd Wiesberger, Matthieu Pavon ... 143- Pablo Larrazabal, Trevor Immelman ... 144- George Coetzee ... 147- Richard Sterne.
Dec 7 - 11:55 AM

Boosted by a hole-out eagle at his penultimate hole of the day, local hero Charl Schwartzel thrashed a bogey-free 8-under-par 33-30=63 in round two of the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg at Randpark and set the clubhouse lead of 12-under 130.

That's one clear of Madalitso Muthiya and two in front of South African compatriot Zander Lombard and last week's Mauritius Open winner Kurt Kitayama. Schwartzel said in the build-up that he's been hitting it "as good as I ever have" on the range but couldn't bring it to the golf course. It means he started this week at 85th on the OWGR, his lowest ranking for nine years. But the 2011 Masters champ fired a 62 in the pro-am and was just one higher on the easier Bushwillow course today after a hot back nine which saw him blast four birdies at 11, 12, 14 and 16 before holing his wedge at the par-17th to leapfrog Muthiya and jump into the lead on 12-under. He was 4-under on the three par 5s today and 3-under on the three par 5s at the Firethorn in yesterday's 67. "If you’re hitting it straight, you’re leaving yourself with mid-irons into these par 5s. I'm looking forward to the weekend (both rounds at Firethorn)," said Schwartzel, who has yet to win his national Open.
Dec 7 - 6:43 AM

Madalisto Muthiya backed up his opening 63 at the Bushwillow with a second-round 3-under-par 34-34=68 at the tougher Firethorn to reach 11-under 131 at the halfway mark of the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg at Randpark, good enough for a one-shot clubhouse lead over Kurt Kitayama early on day two.

As well as the harder course, the Zambian had windier conditions to cope with today and a double bogey-6 at 13 meant he was only even par for his round following earlier birdies at 4, 9 and 12 against a bogey at 8. But the World No. 1330, who played for three years on the Web.com, one-putted the final five greens. That comprised three birdie conversions at 14, 15 and 16 before he holed a long par putt at 17 and saved from sand at 18. "A little bit of a windy day but all in all a good day," said the 35-year-old. "It was quite brutal, starting off with the wind, it kept on obviously gusting here and there. I made quite a clutch par on 17, and 18 actually, to finish off the round." He'll now have two more laps of the Firethorn this weekend as he goes in search of a first win on the European Tour.
Dec 7 - 5:51 AM

Kurt Kitayama majestically rode the wave of his maiden European Tour success last week to open the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg with a stunning lap of 31-32=63, good for T2 and just one swing behind Louis Oosthuizen.

The first circuit after a win tends to go one way or the other: Understandably difficult to maintain momentum or the polar opposite. On this Thursday it was the latter. He launched himself from the traps with four birdies in his opening five holes (at the first then a hat-trick at the third, fourth and fifth). Eight pars followed but he was far from satisfied. He made an eagle-3 at the par-5 14th and another birdie at the very next hole. A final par breaker on the last hole confirmed the score, but whilst he sits one behind the home favorite on the leaderboard a more nuanced glance indicates that he is effectively the "real" leader, having already negotiated his pre-cut round of the tougher Firethorn Course at Randpark GC. Tomorrow he can cash in on Bushwillow whilst his nearest contenders deal with the trickier test. When he signed his card he had gone three swings lower than anyone else on Firethorn.
Dec 6 - 9:55 AM

Local man Erik Van Rooyen failed to make it to the start line at the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg, pulling out due to illness.

The 28-year-old had been a popular pick with gamers at Randpark this week having finished runner-up when this venue hosted the 2017 Joburg Open. The South African had shown some strong form on the European Tour last season, ending his campaign with T26 at the DP World Tour Championship to finish 38th on the Race to Dubai. But due to an unspecified illness he didn't make his tee-time alongside compatriot Brandon Stone and last week's Mauritius Open winner Kurt Kitayama. Conway Kunneke took his place and was +6 playing the 17th.
Dec 6 - 9:25 AM

World No. 1330 Madalisto Muthiya torched Bushwillow for a bogey-free 29-34=63 in the first round of the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg at Randpark GC, coming to rest just a shot back from outright leader Louis Oosthuizen.

The Zambian played the U.S. Open back in 2006, revealing that he honed his game by watching videos of Nick Faldo. He currently plays on the South African Sunshine Tour and flashed some form recently when taking fourth in the Vodacom Origins - Final. Muthiya, who went to the University of New Mexico and played on the Web.com for three years, started like a train with birdies at 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 9 to be out in just 29 blows and he added further par breakers at 12 and 15. Like the vast majority of the leaders, he compiled his score on the easier Bushwillow so we'll see if he can keep it going at the Firethorn (host course for last 36 holes) in round two.
Dec 6 - 9:03 AM




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