Heat Wave May Lead to Low Scores

By Associated PressJuly 18, 2006, 4:00 pm
135th Open Championship HOYLAKE, England -- Tim Herron sauntered around the putting green in front of the Royal Liverpool clubhouse, soaking up a glorious day and marveling at what he had seen out on the course.
 
They were sunbathing over there, he said, motioning off into the distance with his club.
 
Sunbathing? At the British Open?
 
Indeed.
 
During Tuesdays practice round at this historic course along the Irish Sea, the temperature was climbing into the 80s beneath a brilliant blue sky, with nary a cloud to be had.
 
Royal Liverpool
Clear skies and warm weather greeted players at the beginning of the week.
There were no fearsome gusts whipping in off the water, just a refreshing breeze. Instead of bundling up in sweaters and jackets, most fans milled around the links wearing shorts and T-shirts.
 
If conditions stay anything close to this through the weekend, Tiger Woods record 19-under score while winning at St. Andrews six years ago could be in jeopardy.
 
Obviously, it can be done, said Woods, who won again at St. Andrews last year while using five more strokes. As we all know, it all depends on the weather. We played St. Andrews in 2000 with no wind. It can spring up at any time, you just never know. But if not, the guys are going to be making plenty of birdies.
 
The mound behind the 13th green was an especially popular spot for soaking up some rays. One young fan removed his shirt, used it to cover his face, sprawled out on the trampled-down grass and actually dozed off while getting a tan. He wasnt bothered in the least by Rich Beem and Peter Lonard, yukking it up below as they came through the par-3 hole.
 
With the carnage at Winged Foot still fresh on their minds, the guys taking part in the years third major wouldnt mind a catching a break from the notoriously fickle English weather.
 
I dont care whether it blows or not, Jim Furyk said. As long as its in the 70s, there wont be any complaining from me. I just hate it when its 59 degrees and raining.
 
For the practice rounds, at least, he didnt have any worries.
 
The country was in the grips of a heat wave that was expected to push the temperature at Royal Liverpool into the mid-80s, though it was expected to cool off a bit by the time the first real shot was struck on Thursday.
 
This being Britain, theres always the threat of showers rearing up at any time, though meteorologists said it didnt seem that likely before the weekend. But rest assured, everyone will be keeping an eye on the forecast.
 
More than any other major, this event is defined by its weather.
 
The ancient courses that make up the British Open rotation'and Royal Liverpool, back in the mix after a 39-year absence, is certainly no exception'rely on cold rain and blustery winds to ward off todays big hitters. When conditions are benign, the shorter, wider layouts are there for the taking.
 
After the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, this is a pleasant sight, said Mark Calcavecchia, who won the British in 1989. I think its going to be a nice week of weather and unless it gets really windy, youre going to see some really good scores out there.
 
That certainly wasnt the case at the last major, when Geoff Ogilvys 5-over-par score was good enough to give the Aussie his first major title.
 
While Winged Foot was defined by failure'Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie both making double bogeys on the 72nd hole, Furyk missing a short putt that could have forced a playoff, Tiger Woods missing the cut'this tournament could produce the sort of gaudy scores normally associated with less-glamorous events named after banks, phone companies and farming equipment.
 
If conditions stay anything close to what they were on Monday, its going to take an awfully good number to claim the claret jug. Maybe not as low as Tiger Woods winning score at St. Andrews in 2000 (a 19-under 269), but certainly along the lines of his 14-under victory at the birthplace of golf a year ago.
 
Its playing short and playing fast, Calcavecchia said after his practice round. On a day like today, you would have seen a lot of low scores.
 
In a tournament that already has produced such unlikely major champions as Ben Curtis, Paul Lawrie and Todd Hamilton, the un-British-like weather could expand the field of contenders and possibly pave the way for another surprise winner.
 
Everybody is saying how nice the weather is, but we play in nice weather most weeks in the USA, Calcavecchia said. I would almost like to see it 20 degrees colder and really windy. I really would.
 
Then again, Royal Liverpool presents a different sort of challenge for todays golfers, many of whom werent even born (Woods and Phil Mickelson among them) when this course last hosted the British Open.
 
Several golfers simply walked the course on Monday, getting an idea of all the nooks and crannies before they attempt to hit a shot. For some of those who did swing away, the steep learning curve was apparent.
 
Japanese golfer Yasuharu Imano, whos paired with Mickelson and Northern Irelands Darren Clarke for the first two rounds, stepped gingerly down the steep incline beside the 14th green to get an idea of what he might face after an errant shot.
 
Imano took a mighty whack with his putter but didnt come close to clearing the ridge, the ball settling back at his feet while the smattering of fans groaned. Another swing. Same result. More moans.
 
Finally, on his third attempt, Imano got the ball to stay on the green. Then he turned the wrong way to head to the next hole, finally locating the proper path with the help of a marshal.
 
Curtis, just a month removed from his first victory since that improbable British Open triumph at Royal St. Georges in 2003, isnt so sure that scores will dip all that low, even if the sunny weather holds out.
 
Everybody talks about how St. Georges was nice (weather) and should have been ideal scoring, said Curtis, who captured the claret jug with a 1-under score. But the course played really tough. This is fairly similar and I think by Thursday, itll get tougher.
 
Related Links:
  • Tee Times - 135th Open Championship
  • Course Tour - Royal Liverpool
  • Full Coverage - 135th Open Championship
  • Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

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    Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

    By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

    After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

     There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



    It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

    It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

    “The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

    In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



    Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

    Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

    “You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

    Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



    Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

    If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

    For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

    Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



    Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

    While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

    When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

    Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



    After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

    The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

    That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

    The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

    While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



    Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

    Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

    “We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

    The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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    Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

    John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

    That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

    Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

    Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

    Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


    Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


    Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

    World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

    Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.