CONNELLY FINISHES WITH TWO BIRDIES
SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND» Austin Connelly is making a name for himself at this year’s British Open.
Just not to Jordan Spieth. Connelly birdied his last two holes for a 4-under-par 66 on Saturday, leaving him six shots out of the lead and in the penultimate group with U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka.
The 20-year-old Texan, who plays under the Canadian flag because of dual citizenship, earned one of 15 spots from the 36-hole qualifier on links courses in Britain two weeks ago. And he’s clearly not spooked by the big stage at Royal Birkdale.
Spieth has known Connelly for several years, and they share the same swing coach in Cameron Mccormick.
Still smiling. Henrik Stenson will probably leave Royal Birkdale on Sunday without the claret jug he has enjoyed caring for much of the past year.
He’ll be minus some valuables and clothes, too, after a burglar broke into the rental house he had this weekend in Southport.
Stenson, who won last year in a brilliant duel with Phil Mickelson, was 3-under for the tournament, eight shots off the lead. He said he has had a great week defending his title, despite the theft of his belongings.
Poulter’s regret. Ian Poulter was the only player in the current top 28 who was over par Saturday on an ideal day for low scoring at Royal Birkdale. And he wasn’t happy about it. Poulter took four questions from reporters after his 1-over 71. All of the responses were brief, and two were interspersed with curse words. He then took to Twitter to apologize for his play.
Divots. The fifth hole was shortened to 310 yards to entice players to go for the green. Rickie Fowler hit a driver that missed going in by a few inches. Fowler, however, made pars over 14 holes and managed a 67.