Golf

Woods gets hot, shoots 68 at Quicken Loans

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Woods gets hot, shoots 68 at Quicken Loans

GAINESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Tiger Woods took a conservative 3-wood off the first hole Thursday in the Quicken Loans National when many players were hitting driver. No matter -- he still pull-hooked it into the gallery, hit his second shot into a greenside bunker and lipped out a 5-footer for par before slamming his putter against his bag.

On the third hole, he missed the green well left and had to get up-and-down for bogey. A three-putt on No. 4 left him 3 over.

It was his final bogey of the day.

Woods got a fortunate deflection off a marshal left of the green on the par-5 fifth. He apologized, handed out an autographed glove and made his first birdie. Then he ran off five birdies in six holes around the turn for a 3-under 68. That left him five shots behind leaders Retief Goosen and Ryo Ishikawa at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club.

Woods said it was the first time since the Masters in April that he's turned a bad round into a good one.

"That's what scoring is all about," Woods said. "I made a lot of key putts today. I ran them by the hole but I made all the comebacks, and overall I felt like I hit the ball well enough to turn it around. It was nice to actually turn it around."

Woods is the host of the Quicken Loans National, which he won in 2009 and 2012 at Congressional in Maryland. The last of his 79 PGA Tour victories was nearly two years ago, and he has plummeted to 266th in the world.

Woods got up-and-down from a greenside bunker for birdie on the par-5 eighth. He made a 9-footer on 10 and a 7-footer on 11. He hit his approach to tap-in range on 12, the most difficult hole on the course, and ended the run with a 12-footer on 13. He two-putted for par on the final five holes.

The 68 was only his sixth round under 70 this year. He has had three scores of 80 or higher and has missed three cuts and withdrawn once in eight events.

In soft conditions with little wind, Woods' 68 was only good for a tie for 27th. Players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls on the rain-softened fairways, and 81 of them managed to break par.

"We got the fresh greens tomorrow," said Woods, who played in the afternoon after a 95-minute rain delay. "Hopefully, go out there and post a low one."

RTJ is welcoming a regular PGA Tour event for the first time after hosting four Presidents Cups, most recently in 2005, and experience seemed to help. Goosen, who played in two of those events, had a bogey-free 63. Presidents Cup veterans Ernie Els and Justin Leonard were one shot back, along with Kevin Chappell.

Goosen, a 46-year-old two-time major champion, is finally feeling healthy after major back surgery in 2012. Always stoic on the course, he still has plenty of passion for the game, which he showed by qualifying for both the U.S. Open and the British Open.

"I'm lucky to be out here. Three, four years ago my career looked like it was at an end," said Goosen, whose last victory was in 2009. "I'm just glad I'm still out there and playing. Yeah, I just wish I was 10 years younger again."

Ishikawa, who started on the back nine, ran off six birdies in a row starting on the 14th hole. Then he made a hole-in-one on the 180-yard fourth, spinning an 8-iron 15 feet back into the cup for his first competitive ace in the United States.

At that point he was 8 under with five holes to go. He parred the last five.

"It took about two holes to make myself calm," he said. "No. 5 was a par 5, like a birdie hole, but it was kind of difficult for me to make a par right there."

Defending champion Justin Rose, the highest-ranked player in the field, was three shots back. So was Ollie Schneiderjans, making his second professional start.

Rickie Fowler also made an ace, kicking a 7-iron off the fringe and into the cup on the 184-yard ninth, his final hole of the day. He was four shots back after a 67 that could have been much better.

Fowler said his putter went cold after his victory at the Scottish Open, and on Thursday he missed four birdie putts from inside 15 feet in a five-hole stretch. Three of his four birdies were from inside 4 feet. Honoring a club golf tradition, he bought beer for the media to toast his hole-in-one.

"I hit a great shot. Get a little bit of a good kick. Hey, we'll take it," Fowler said. "Looking forward to getting back out tomorrow and see if we can get some putts to go."

Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler headline 2018 Quicken Loans National field

Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler headline 2018 Quicken Loans National field

The 120-man field for the 2018 Quicken Loans National is set.

The tournament, which will run from June 28 - July 1 at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, boasts six former champions, including tournament host Tiger Woods. World No. 8 Rickie Fowler headlines the rest of the field that includes defending champion Kyle Stanley, World Nos. 15 and 16 Francesco Molinari and Marc Leishman and 2016 PGA Champion Jimmy Walker.

2018 QUICKEN LOANS NATIONAL HOW TO WATCH:

What: The Quicken Loans National
When: Thursday, June 28th - Sunday, July 1st 
Where: TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, Potomac, Maryland

DAY 1 COVERAGE (Thursday, June 28):

Time/ TV Channel: 
3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Golf Channel
Livestream: Golf Channel Live extra

DAY 2 COVERAGE (Friday, June 29):

Time/ TV Channel: 
3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Golf Channel
Livestream: Golf Channel Live extra

DAY 3 COVERAGE (Saturday, June 30):

Time/ TV Channel: 
1:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Golf Channel
3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. CBS
Livestream: Golf Channel Live/CBSSports Live

DAY 4 COVERAGE (Sunday, July 1):

Time/ TV Channel: 
1:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Golf Channel
3:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. CBS
Livestream: Golf Channel Live/CBSSports Live

2018 QUICKEN LOANS NATIONAL FIELD

Byeong Hun An
Abraham Ancer
Kiradech Aphibarnrat*
Ryan Armour
Aaron Baddeley
Blayne Barber
Zac Blair
Ryan Blaum
Jonas Blixt
Dominic Bozzelli
Scott Brown
Bronson Burgoon
Chad Campbell
Alex Cejka
Stewart Cink
Corey Conners
Ben Crane
Joel Dahmen
Tyler Duncan
Harris English
Matt Every
Derek Fathauer
Martin Flores
Rickie Fowler
Robert Garrigus
Brian Gay
Doug Ghim*
Fabián Gómez
Talor Gooch
Jason Gore*
Cody Gribble
Lanto Griffin*
Bill Haas
Chesson Hadley
Adam Hadwin
James Hahn
Brandon Harkins
David Hearn
J.J. Henry
Tom Hoge
J.B. Holmes
Billy Horschel
Beau Hossler
Charles Howell III
Mackenzie Hughes
John Huh
Billy Hurley III
Stephan Jaeger
Matt Jones
Sung Kang
Michael Kim
Si Woo Kim
Whee Kim
Jason Kokrak
Kelly Kraft
Anirban Lahiri
Martin Laird
Andrew Landry
Nate Lashley
Danny Lee
Marc Leishman
Nicholas Lindheim
David Lingmerth
Tom Lovelady
Jamie Lovemark
Hunter Mahan
Peter Malnati
Ben Martin
Denny McCarthy
Troy Merritt
Dylan Meyer*
Keith Mitchell
Francesco Molinari
Trey Mullinax
Kevin Na
Joaquin Niemann*
Geoff Ogilvy
Rob Oppenheim
Ryan Palmer
Rod Pampling
C.T. Pan
Cameron Percy
Martin Piller
D.A. Points
J.T. Poston
Ted Potter, Jr.
Seamus Power
Andrew Putnam
Jonathan Randolph
Doc Redman
Patrick Rodgers
Sam Ryder
Rory Sabbatini
Sam Saunders
Adam Schenk
Ollie Schniederjans
Ben Silverman
J.J. Spaun
Scott Stallings
Kyle Stanley
Shawn Stefani
Robert Streb
Kevin Streelman
Chris Stroud
Brian Stuard
Nick Taylor
Michael Thompson
Ethan Tracy
Kevin Tway
Tyrone Van Aswegen
Harold Varner III
Kristoffer Ventura*
Johnson Wagner
Jimmy Walker
Nick Watney
Richy Werenski
Gary Woodland
Tiger Woods
Andrew Yun*
Xinjun Zhang

*Denotes Exemption

2018 U.S. Open Golf Predictions, Picks, Analysis, Odds

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USA Today Sports Images

2018 U.S. Open Golf Predictions, Picks, Analysis, Odds

The 2018 U.S. Open Golf Championship is back at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Tuckahoe, New York, and the weather conditions are going to make the most difficult golf tournament on American soil even more difficult.

Dustin Johnson enters the U.S. Open as the betting favorite at 9-1, with former U.S. Open champion Justin Rose behind him on the odds board at 12-1. Golf stars Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas are all listed at 14-1.

The gusting winds at Shinnecock Hills are going to cause a lot of trouble for golfers who hit with a lot of height. Johnson, the favorite, is one of the PGA's biggest big hitters, which may make his time at the second major of the year a bit challenging. 

The panel of golf experts offering their predictions, picks and analysis are:
Chris Garosi, The Fantasy Fix
Geoff Feinberg, Fantasy Golf Expert
Garrett Johnston, NBC Sports Washington
Kenny Kim, Fantasy Golf Degenerates Podcast
Troy Machir, NBC Sports Washington
Doug McKinney, NBC Sports Washington/Sports Junkies
Matt "Valdez" Myers, 106.7 The Fan's Sports Junkies

2018 U.S. Open Golf Picks:

Geoff Feinberg: Jon Rahm
While everyone seems to be calling the DJ win, Ill happily promote Jon Rahm to lift the trophy Sunday night. He brings that Dustin Johnson-esque skill set to this demanding layout though I wish he had Dustin's temperament at times.  I'm confident Rahm will be the next PGA Tour young gun to win a major.

Chris Garosi: Justin Rose
It’s hard to pass on Justin Rose given his success on links courses and his current form. His game is trending to a win here and he’ll be the favorite on a lot of cards this week.

Garrett Johnston: Dustin Johnson
He dominates at driving distance and US Opens are becoming mostly about that.  Oh, and he won last week.  If anyone is going to break the streak of US Opens not won by players who won the previous week, it’s Dustin.

Kenny Kim: Justin Thomas
Every facet of his game fits the course and has become a hard course specialist as he has won on the 3 toughest courses on Tour in the last 10 months (Quail Hollow, PGA National, Nine Bridges).

Troy Machir: Justin Rose
Won the U.S. Open in 2013 U.S Open and has great success on links-style courses and playing in brutal winds. 

Doug McKinney: Rory McIlroy 
I said at beginning of the year he’d win this event; I’m stubborn and staying with it.  Good form coming in and he can play links golf.  He calls Shinnecock Hills one of his "favorite golf courses in the world."   I think he will back up that statement with a win this week.

Matt Valdez: Jason Day
Long off the tee and with wider than usual fairways, should play to his advantage.  High trajectory helps hold fast and undulating greens of Shinnecock.

2018 U.S Open Golf Sleeper Picks: 

Geoff Feinberg: Tommy Fleetwood 
Over the last 12 months, Fleetwood has played all over the world and in many ways has quietly become the 12th ranked golfer in the world primed for a breakout on American soil.

Chris Garosi: Branden Grace, Brandt Snedeker
Branden Grace at a major? Sign me up. He has five top 10s in his last 12 major starts including two top 5s in his last three U.S. Opens and a T6 at last year’s Open Championship...If poaannua is on the greens, Brandt Snedeker also has to be in consideration as his putters sings on greens like these. He has five top 10s in for his career in the U.S. Open and has three top 25s in his last five Open Championships. 

Garrett Johnston: Tony Finau
Finau's lethal distance and deft touch around the greens is a winning recipe.

Kenny Kim: Keegan Bradley
Bradley has world-class tee-to-green game with horrendous putting.  The only bright side to his game on the greens, Poa is the only surface where he has gained strokes putting throughout his career.

Troy Machir: Tommy Fleetwood
He was a sneaky pick at the 2017 Open Championship and is familiar with the conditions that Shinnecock Hills will present. It's time for Fleetwood to break out and become a star. 

Doug McKinney: Tommy Fleetwood 
If I was a betting man – and I am –that 40/1 price looks juicy, because the Englishman is definitely a contender to win.  I followed him at Honda Classic this year and saw firsthand that when he gets going, only he can stop himself (or Justin Thomas in that case).

Matt Valdez: Marc Leishman
On the cusp of a major.  Finished top 10 at Masters and a very good wind player. If wind picks up during the US Open, he has the advantage.

2018 U.S Open Golf Longshot Picks:

Geoff Feinberg: Emiliano Grillo
I've long proclaimed Emiliano will crash a big boy party and this might just be the week.  His iron play has been spectacular the last few weeks and with less of a premium on birdies and more about keeping the card clean makes him a sneaky play.

Chris Garosi:  Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Jimmy Walker 
Rafa Cabrera-Bello is coming off back to back top 10s in Europe and may fly under the radar a bit. Many will focus on fellow countryman Jon Rahm, but Cabrera-Bello won last year’s Scottish Open on a links course and has had success at the Open Championship including a T4 last year...Jimmy Walker is another player who has played well on course with a similar style to Shinnecock. He also looks like he’s finally healthy as his run of five straight top 20 finishes attests.

Garrett Johnston: Gary Woodland
From many accounts, this course favors bombers.  Woodland is long and is due for a strong performance in a major.

Kenny Kim: Brandt Snedeker

Troy Machir: Ian Poulter
Sticking with my trend of taking international golfers, Ian Poulter has netted a top ten finish in every major at least once, with the U.S. Open being the lone exception (T12 2006). He keeps the ball low and is not on anyone's radar.

Doug McKinney: Gary Woodland
I understand that he went through a stretch of missing four cuts in a row, but he has a win to his name this year and is coming off a nice showing at the Memorial.  I also understand that this is a "true" US Open venue, yet it shares some similarities to an Open Championship track.  Wouldn't you know, "Woody's" best success in the Majors comes at The Open Championship.

Matt Valdez: Branden Grace
Another good wind player.  Kills it on par 70 courses ie final round 63 at the Open Championship (although Johnny Miller would disagree) and finished T2 at Chambers Bay.

2018 U.S Open Golf Fade Picks

Geoff Feinberg: Bubba Watson
While in theory, you might assume the modern US Open layouts would suit Bubba's tee game and 3-point avoidance.  But Bubba seems to excel at 'Bubba tracks' while he seems to struggle at places he's not familiar with especially if they have penalizing rough.

Kenny Kim: Jordan Spieth
Spieth’s horrendous putting seems to have affected other parts of his game.  In his last four events, he has close to 40 bogeys or worse.  When he makes a putt now it’s more relief on his face than celebration.  He used to have a swagger on the course even maybe arrogance but that is now long gone.  It doesn’t even look like he’s having fun out there anymore.

Troy Machir: Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson is fun to watch, but I'm not putting any money on a guy who crushes the ball high and wide. 

Doug McKinney: Jon Rahm and Tiger Woods
The fescue at Shinnecock should bring out Rahm's trademark temper, so not expecting him to contend here.  Howe,ver I’m seriously considering picking him for this year’s PGA Championship. As for Tiger, I fear he will forget his flat stick on his yacht docked in the Hamptons.

Matt Valdez: Jordan Spieth
Can’t pick him until he finds his putter and way too inconsistent off the tee.

2018 U.S Open Golf DraftKings "Price is Right" Bargain:

Geoff Feinberg: Emiliano Grillo ($7,100), Brendan Steele ($6,800)

Chris Garosi: Dean Burmester ($6,000)
There were three South Africans in the top 10 after 54 holes at Shinnecock in 2004. So, do South Africans have an advantage? If you want to find out give Dean Burmester ($6,000) a shot. He’s minimum priced on DK surrounded by a19 year old amateur and Liberty University’s best golfer this past season (maybe?). 

Kenny Kim: Tommy Fleetwood ($8,100), Louis Oosthuizen ($7,800), Byeong-Hun An ($6,900)

Doug McKinney: Marc Leishman ($7,800)
His driving accuracy hasn't been great this season, but he owns six Top 10's and has made 13 of 15 cuts.  His last four majors, he has finished T27-T6-T13-9.  It's an open track, where wind could come into play.  Wind + Leishman = LOVE LOVE LOVE "The Leish" this weekend.

Matt Valdez: Adam Hadwin ($7,000), Brendan Steele ($6,800)
Hadwin: 19 for 19 in cuts...Steele: Long off the tee and last two US Opens he’s finished Top 15 or better.

2018 U.S Open Golf DraftKings Pick(s) to build around:

Geoff Feinberg: Jon Rahm ($9,500), Paul Casey ($8,000)

Kenny Kim: Justin Thomas ($11,000) and Justin Rose ($9,900)

Doug McKinney: Phil Mickelson ($8,600) and Justin Rose ($9,900)