Dustin Johnson Johnson brings good history into final FedExCup event as betting favorite

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The combination of course history and coming in hot makes Dustin Johnson the betting favorite for the Tour Championship, the finale of the FedExCup playoff.

Johnson, one of the five players who will capture the FedExCup if he wins this weekend, is listed at +450 to win the tournament at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Not only is Johnson fresh off capturing the BMW Championship, but he has been in the top 10 three times in a row at the Tour Championship.

The layout and length of par-70 East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta places an emphasis on accuracy, but also requires being long off the tee. East Lake’s nines have been flipped, so the 18th hole is now a 600-yard par-5.

Rory McIlroy, who is sixth in the playoff standings, is the second favorite at +600 on the golf betting lines. McIlroy is  a past runner-up (in 2014) at the Tour Championship.

Jason Day (+800), Adam Scott (+1000), Paul Casey (+1400) and Patrick Reed (+1600) are the other four who would automatically win the FedExCup if they win the tournament, although the PGA Tour’s point system gives all 30 players a mathematical chance of winning.

Day should be clear of the back pain that caused him to withdraw from the BMW Championship midway through the final round. The Australian has three top 10 finishes in his last five starts at East Lake. Jordan Spieth, who is also listed at +800, is the defending champion, but his showings of late have been consistency decent, rather than spectacular.

Scott leads the PGA in shots gained from tee to green, and has been fourth in the last three FedExCup events. The Australian is the epitome of consistency.

Casey is 2-for-2 at placing in the top five of this event, and was second at the BMW and Deutsche Bank tournaments. The Englishman is ineligible for the Ryder Cup, so this is a chance to finish his season on a high note.

Reed has finished 19th and 27th in two career Tour championships. A player of his caliber will likely figure out the course eventually, but presently that makes him a longshot.

A sidebar to the tournament, of course, is that U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III will make his final pick on Sunday. Whether that provides motivation or a stifling pressure for the likes of Bubba Watson (+3300) or Ryan Moore (+4000) will be interesting.

Jordan Spieth becomes youngest American to win The Open

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Leaderboard: Spieth (-12), Kuchar (-9), Haotong Li (-6), Rory McIlroy (-5), Cabrera Bello (-5), Matthew Southgate (-4), Marc Leishman (-4), Alex Noren (-4)

The champion golfer of the year: The win gives Spieth his 11th career victory, his third major championship, and the third leg of the career grand slam. He did not make it easy on himself. Spieth squandered his three-shot lead in four holes and went to the back nine tied with Kuchar at 8 under after going out in 3-over 37. Still tied at 8 under through 12, Spieth played one of the most unforgettable holes in golf history at 13. After sailing his drive into a dune, he took an unplayable, walked onto the adjacent practice area, took relief from the parked equipment trailers and somehow – over the course of a half hour – made bogey. Seemingly refocused and re-energized by the ordeal, he followed up with a birdie the par-3 14th and an eagle the par-5 15th and another birdie at the par-4 16th to take a two-shot lead with two to play. Thanks to yet another birdie at 17 and a par at 18, Spieth played his final five holes in 5 under to win by three – the same margin he started with on Sunday. He is now just one of two players – along with Jack Nicklaus – to win his third different major before the age of 24. He will have his first chance to complete the slam in three weeks at the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.

The runner-up: While Spieth performed his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde routine, Kuchar made four birdies and three bogeys en route to a steady, workmanlike 1-under 69. This is the 39-year-old’s best ever finish in a major and his fourth career major top-5. In the last year, Kuchar has walked away with both an Olympic bronze medal and The Open’s silver salver.

Round of the day: Li fired the 32nd round of 63 in major championship history to go from 12 shots back to start the day to solo third. Li was bogey-free Sunday and birdied each of his final four holes. The 21-year-old 107th-ranked player in the world just earned his first Masters invite.

Best of the rest: Aaron Baddeley posted 6 under, but McIlroy, Leishman and Southgate all used rounds of 65 to finish in the top 10. Southgate, who overcame cancer two years ago, has made it into the field via Final Qualifying the last two years in a row, but won’t need to worry about doing so next year. His T-6 finish exempts him into The 2018 Open at Carnoustie.

Shot of the day: Spieth’s eagle at the 15th to retake the lead he’d never again relinquish.

Drop of the day: Spieth’s European vacation at 13

Branden Grace becomes first man to shoot 62 in a major at The Open

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SOUTHPORT, England – Branden Grace has recorded the first 62 in a men’s major championship, torching a defenseless Royal Birkdale on Saturday afternoon at The Open.

Previously, 29 players had shot 63 in a major championship (31 rounds), but no one had gone any lower in a men’s major.

Grace shot 8 under on the par-70 links and didn’t make a bogey. He put himself in position for the record with a two-putt birdie from 35 feet on the par-5 17th.


The Open: Full-field scores | Live blog: Day 3 | Full coverage


The previous low round at Birkdale was 63, shot by Jodie Mudd in the final round of the 1991 Open. On Friday, in blustery conditions, Birkdale surrendered just eight under-par scores all day.

With temperatures in the mid-60s and little wind, Grace went out in 29 and then added birdies on the 13th and 14th holes to close in on one of the most hallowed marks in golf. He drained a 40-footer on 16 for an unlikely birdie, then tacked on another birdie on 17. His two-putt par, from behind the green, on the final hole secured his place in the history books.