Woods in Attack Mode Early at Carnoustie - COPIED

By Associated PressJuly 19, 2007, 4:00 pm
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland -- Between shots, Tiger Woods looked as though he was on his way to pop a casserole in the oven. When he took off his oversized gloves, he warmed right up to chilly Carnoustie.
 
Woods got off to a strong start Thursday in his quest for a third straight British Open title, shooting a 3-under 33 before the turn to put himself near the top of the leaderboard on a dreary morning along the North Sea.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods gets in and out of trouble Thursday at Carnoustie. (Getty Images)
Ireland's Paul McGinley birdied four of the first seven holes to claim the early lead, while 2005 U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell of New Zealand and South Korea's K.J. Choi, who's won twice on the PGA TOUR this year, were in contention.
 
Choi shot a 2-under 69, even with a pair of bogeys coming down the brutal finishing stretch. Campbell matched Woods with a 33 on the front side and held at 3 under with only the 18th hole to play.
 
Fredrik Andersson Hed of Sweden was at 3 under while still working through the front side, his score bolstered by an eagle at No. 6.
 
Woods, seeking his fourth Open championship overall and 13th major title, birdied No. 3 to get into the red, then made an eagle at the par-5 sixth. He waved his putter to the cheering gallery after the ball dipped into the cup on the 578-yard hole known as Hogan's Alley.
 
Choi, coming off wins at the Memorial and AT&T National, birdied four of the first six holes, his only slip-up on the outgoing stretch coming at the seventh when he missed a sharp-breaking putt from about 3 feet to save par.
 
McGinley also took advantage of conditions that looked ugly but were primed for going low.
 
Morning showers softened up the greens. The breeze whipping in off the North Sea wasn't too imposing. And the knee-high rough that made things so tough in 1999 -- the last time a British Open was held at 'Car-Nasty' -- was shaved down this time around.
 
The only thing to complain about was the temperature, struggling to break 50 degrees in what passes for summer in Scotland.
 
As he stepped up to the first tee, John Rollins blew into his hand, trying to keep it warm. Then, as he sized up his second shot, he let out a big exhale. Yep, he could see his breath.
 
Of course, after the searing heat of Royal St. George's in 2003 and the sun-baked fairways of Royal Liverpool a year ago, this was more like a British Open. Butch Harmon watched the early starters tee off from the second-floor window of his hotel room.
 
'It's the skybox,' the coaching guru quipped.
 
Woods, his new daughter back home in Florida, was trying to become the first golfer in more than a half-century to pull off an Open three-peat. Peter Thomson claimed the claret jug from 1954-56, and only three others have won three straight years in a championship that dates to 1860.
 
Thomson, who won five times overall and was runner-up on three other occasions, expects Woods to be posing with the trophy come Sunday.
 
'He has a chance to win eight in a row,' said the revered Aussie, now a member of the Royal & Ancient. 'If I could do it, surely he could.'
 
No matter who wins this time, there's unlikely to be an Open finish like the last one at this hallowed patch of coastline.
 
Jan Van de Velde went to the final hole in 1999 with a three-stroke lead, needing a mere double-bogey to claim the title for France. Instead, he banged the tee shot far right of the fairway, hit the next shot off a grandstand and wound up in the Barry Burn, which led him to shed his socks and shoes, roll up his pant legs and delve into the frigid creek for a possible shot.
 
He eventually decided to take a penalty drop, but that scene remains an enduring legacy from the last Open at Carnoustie -- especially when Van de Velde took a triple-bogey 7 and lost to Paul Lawrie in a playoff.
 
Van de Velde didn't qualify for this year's Open, his career on hold as he deals with a mysterious illness. He underwent tests just this week in hopes of discovering the cause of his debilitating pain.
 
Lawrie, a native son from right up the road in Aberdeen, is the last European to win a major. The eight-year winless drought has stirred up no shortage of theories why the continent that dominates the U.S. in Ryder Cup doesn't fare as well individually.
 
'Now is the time,' said Colin Montgomerie, who's never won a major in his long, illustrious career. 'I think one of us should come forward. I think we are good enough to come forward now and win.'
 
Paired with Woods, Lawrie wasn't given much chance of a repeat at the scene of his greatest triumph. One prominent British bookie put the odds at 200-to-1.
 
Still, Lawrie hopes more people will come to appreciate his remarkable triumph in '99, when he overcame a 10-shot deficit on the final day by shooting a 4-under 67 on a course where the best cumulative score was 6 over.
 
It will take a much better score than that to win this time.
 
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  • Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee: