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Erik Van Rooyen fired a 4-under-par 33-34=67 in round one of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, good enough for a two-shot clubhouse lead over Matthew Southgate on the first day.

Playing in the second group out this morning (06:46), the South African cashed in on the benign morning conditions at the Scottish links. He set the tone with a pair of opening birdies at 1 & 2 before adding another red number at the par-5 6th. The 28-year-old picked up further shots at 11 and 15 but swallowed a walk-off bogey, his only blemish, on the tough par-4 18th. Van Rooyen was the 36- and 54-hole leader in the Irish Open two weeks ago before finishing tied fourth and has a history of fast starts on the European Tour this season (he’s been in the top four after R1 five times). In his first ever round in a major, he piped 13 (of 15) fairways, hit 14 greens in regulation and took 29 putts. On the live leaderboard, he leads by a shot from Danny Willett, Patrick Cantlay, Kevin Kisner, Brandon Stone and Chesson Hadley.
Jul 19 - 6:28 AM

World No. 98 Billy Horschel makes his Barbasol Championship debut and checks in at 45th in the FedExCup standings.

The Florida alum, a pre-tourney 11/1 outright fave, is 11-for-19 on the season with six top 25 and two top 10s. His one individual top 10 is a T5 at the RBC Heritage eight (individual) starts ago, and the other is a win at the Zurich Classic teamed with Scott Piercy. The 31-year-old arrives off a T17 three weeks ago at the Quicken Loans, buoyed by a season-best 64/R1. He finished in the top 30 in all strokes gained sub categories with the exception of a -3.086 around-the-green, which ranked 69th of 74. Horschel slots 191st on TOUR this season in SG: Around and 110th in SG: Approach, while 20th in SG: Off-the-Tee and 25th in SG: Putting.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Jul 18 - 8:31 PM

Unranked John VanDerLaan will make his pro and PGA TOUR debut at this week's Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

The 2018 Jack Nicklaus Award winner is in the field via a sponsor exemption, earned after winning last month's Barbasol Shootout in Columbus, Ohio, by three shots over Oregon's Norman Xiong and Midland College's Callum Bruce. He was the 2018 NCAA Division II Men's individual champion out of Florida Southern, where he won seven times last season en route to the Sunshine State Conference's Male Athlete of the Year. Along with his seven wins, the Connecticut native recorded nine top 5s and 13 top 10s and owned a national-best 69.05 scoring average. His highest position attained in the World Amateur Golf Ranking was 17th.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Jul 18 - 8:19 PM

Unranked Cooper Musselman makes his pro and PGA TOUR debut at this week's Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

The Louisville native is in the field via a sponsor exemption and this is his first event on any pro circuit. He'll leave the unpaid ranks as the No. 53-ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, highlighted by winning the 2017 Kentucky Open, a 54-hole event consisting of pro and amateurs that are Kentucky residents. Musselman won the event while a senior and co-captain at the University of Kentucky and will have a childhood friend on the bag for him this week.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Jul 18 - 7:51 PM

World No. 251 Harris English preps for his Barbasol Championship debut and arrives at 127th in the FedExCup standings.

The Georgia alum finished a career-worst 118th in the FEC standings last season and recorded no podiums for the first time since his rookie campaign in 2012. He's not faring any better this season, checking in 9-for-27 and on the heels of five straight missed cuts, seven in his last eight (T20, Fort Worth). The 28-year-old, who celebrates his birthday on July 23rd, is a two-time winner on TOUR, most recently the 2014 OHL, and is a buried down at 66/1 outright in an extremely weak field, reflective of his months-long-slide. He's not missed the FEC Playoffs in his six previous seasons and with five events remaining in the regular season, needs to get on his horse.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Jul 18 - 7:30 PM

Peter Malnati arrives at the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club looking for a bounce back after last weekend.

Malnati failed to make the cut at the John Deere Classic, but could be a little more comfortable this week. He hails from nearby New Castle, Indiana, and is now a Tennessee resident. Perhaps playing closer to his stomping grounds will knock off some of the edge. He has made the cut in five of his past seven PGA Tour events, and was a respectable 30th at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in early June in a similar geographic setting. He has been a disaster in Driving Distance (156th), Driving Accuracy Percentage (168th) and GIR (189th), but his sand work, decent scrambling ability and top-notch putting gets him through. In fact, he is one of the best on TOUR when it comes to the greens, checking in fourth in Putts Per Round (27.99). In a field where he is among the hunted, and not the hunter, he could excel.
Jul 18 - 5:10 PM

Spencer Levin will make his second PGA Tour appearance of the season at the Barbasol Championship this week.

Levin lost his PGA Tour card after the 2017 season, and he cited an equipment change as the biggest reason for his shaky play last year. He switched back to his old equipment this season, but it hasn't made a difference, as he has made just four cuts in 18 events on the Web.com Tour. Perhaps he has been pushing too much, but he isn't in great position to get his tour card back anytime soon. A solid showing at the Barbasol would help, and he did make the cut in his only previous PGA Tour event this season back in late October at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi. Still, he is just too toxic to roll with, and even the biggest contrarians won't touch him.
Jul 18 - 5:04 PM

Stephan Jaeger heads to the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club looking to rebound after a disappointing finish last week.

Jaeger bowed out of the John Deere Classic after a second-round 72, missing the cut by one stroke. He made some waves a few weeks ago when he pieced together a 7-under 263 at the Quicken Loans National to end up 13th overall. His best attribute is his Driving Distance, ranking 65th on TOUR at 298.9 yards. The scores will be low this week at Keene Trace, and he can run it out there with the best of them. Whether he makes the cut will depend on his scrambling and putting. He is so-so in the scrambling department, but awful on the greens. He ranks 158th on TOUR in Putts Per Round (29.48). If he can at least be adequate on the greens, he should make the cut and challenge for a top-25 position.
Jul 18 - 4:46 PM

Lanto Griffin arrives at the Barbasol Championship this week with a four-event cut streak in tow.

Griffin will try to slay the Champions Course at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky for his fifth consecutive cut made. He hasn't been terribly impressive during the four-event streak, but he did turn in a 26th-place showing at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier to turn some heads and earn a nice payday. Scores will be low at Keene Trace, and he has show 70 or better in 12 of his past 16 rounds. Griffin should make the cut again this week and he has top-20 potential.
Jul 18 - 4:36 PM

Bryson DeChambeau made the trip to Scotland and is all set to return from injury at this week's Open Championship.

DeChambeau lasted just 15 holes last week before withdrawing, as he was trying to defend his title at the John Deere Classic. It wasn't a case of wanting to leave town early. In fact, Tom Johnston of The Dispatch/Argus reported that he flew to Denver to get his shoulder evaluated. The X-rays were negative so he then flew back to the Quad Cities to catch the charter plane. The SMU product is having a breakout season in terms of consistency but he's a major wildcard this week as he attempts to return from his shoulder injury. Gamers should be aware of the WD risk if they decide to take a chance on DeChambeau.
Jul 18 - 3:27 PM

Morgan Hoffmann provided an update on his leave of absence from the TOUR as he goes through treatment for muscular dystrophy.

Hoffmann posted an update via social media, saying that's he's in Day 88 (of 90) of his treatment in Nepal for muscular dystrophy. He finished with "I’ll be making my comeback on the @pgatour once I know I’m getting better! And it’s looking like sooner than later." This is great news for Hoffmann fans as it looks like we might see him return to action as soon as the fall.
Jul 18 - 12:27 PM

Dustin Johnson heads to The Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Links this week looking to play into the weekend again in the British Isles.

Johnson missed the cut in his first Open Championship back in 2009, but he has made the cut in each of his past eight trips overseas since. That includes a runner-up finish in 2011 at Royal St. George's Golf Club, and three top-10- showings at the event. He has been on fire this season, making the cut in each of his 12 events, finishing 17th or better in each tournament. That includes a 10th-place showing at the Masters, and third-place Shinnecock Hills, a similar coastal links with plenty of wind like Carnoustie. One area of concern might be his Driving Accuracy Percentage, as he ranks 147th on TOUR in the category, but that hasn't kept him from ranking first in Scoring Average (68.602). He has been able to overcome his wildness in a big way, ranking first on TOUR in both Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee. Those are very important areas to key on, as is his solid scrambling ability. You get what you pay for with Johnson and are rarely, if ever, disappointed.
Source: TheOpen.com
Jul 18 - 5:59 AM

Cameron Smith arrives at The Open Championship this week at Carnoustie Golf Links looking to snap an ugly streak of five straight missed cuts.

Smith hasn't played into the weekend since the RBC Heritage in the middle of April. Oddly enough, his most consistent showing of the season was a surprise fifth-place at the Masters. It has been impossible to know what you're getting with the Aussie this season. The Open Championship isn't a great place to try and iron out your problems, and even the biggest contrarian players won't want any exposure to Smith this week. He ranks 158th in Driving Accuracy Percentage, and he struggles in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and Strokes Gained: Off-to-Tee. If anything is going to save him it is his above-average scrambling ability and good work with the putter.
Source: TheOpen.com
Jul 18 - 5:50 AM

Retief Goosen heads to The Open Championship this week at Carnoustie Golf Links simply trying to make the cut.

Goosen has been terribly inconsistent lately, posting three top-20 finishes over his past five events, but also a pair of missed cuts. He is one of a handful of golfers in the field to have played in the 2007 British Open Championship at Carnoustie and he finished 23rd at 1-over 285. That's a long time ago for a guy who is 49 and in the twilight of his TOUR career, however. His lack of length and accuracy off the tee, combined with poor results in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee make him an extremely risky play, even as a cheap final roster candidate in DFS.
Source: TheOpen.com
Jul 18 - 5:42 AM

Patton Kizzire heads overseas to The Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Links this week.

Kizzire will be appearing in his fifth-career major, and his second-ever Open. He made the cut in his first appearance in The Open, tying for 68th at Royal Troon in 2016. Kizzire has made the cut in just two of his previous four major appearances. His inaccuracy off the tee doesn't bode well for a good finish this week, as he checks in 185th on TOUR in Driving Accuracy Percentage with just 497 fairways hit out of a possible 914. He also stumbles in the Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee categories, so that doesn't bode well for success, either. His only attractive quality is his decent scrambling ability, but that isn't good enough to change his status to a buy option in DFS. Avoid him until he is back on a smaller stage with a less star-studded field, too.
Source: TheOpen.com
Jul 18 - 5:22 AM



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