British Open QA - A Quick 6

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 12, 2005, 4:00 pm
With Open Championship Week in full swing we asked The Golf Channel's Peter Oosterhuis and Frank Nobilo to take time away from their Sprint Post Game duties to answer a few questions on the field and the course.
 
1. A dark horse has won the last two Opens. If another wins in 2005, who will it be?
 
Peter Oosterhuis:
The very talented Australian Geoff Ogilvy. Long hitter, a little more patient with himself after Tuscon win. His caddie 'Squirrel', Mark James' former caddie, should be a real asset at 'The Home of Golf'.
 
Frank Nobilo:
While I don't think it is going to happen and it would not be a wild stretch given his T5 and T3 in the last two majors Australian Mark Hensby could provide an upset. He did not drive it that well in the U.S. Open and finished third. Great belief in his own ability and I would put him in the mould of a David Graham who did happen to win two Major Championships.
 
2. What are Tigers chances to repeat his dominant performance at St. Andrews from 2000?
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods prepares for his run at a second Open Championship title.
Peter Oosterhuis:
I'd rate Tiger's chances as very good! Power, creativeness, desire, love of the history at St. Andrews, everything!
 
Frank Nobilo:
While Tiger is the favorite to win this year by virtue of being the world No.1 I doubt he will show the dominance he did in 2000. The reason being he is still prone to the errant tee shot. In 2000 he managed to avoid the many pot bunkers that lurk off the tee. When Tiger drives it well, he is so strong through the rest of the bag everybody is forced to play catch up. If he is to stray this year off the tee and find a few pot bunkers this year they will be an instant bogey at best and he will become the chaser.
 
3. What aspect of a players game is most important at St. Andrews?
 
Peter Oosterhuis:
There is no easy answer. Power helps! Greens are huge so putting is important! Wind game might be needed! Previous experience at The Old Course is useful. Staying focused no matter what happens. There is a reason the course is so highly respected, you need a little of everything.
 
Frank Nobilo:
Flair is so important at St. Andrews. Conditions change so quickly that a hole all of sudden plays downwind and you can attack. A severe cross wind challenges the player to be creative. St. Andrews is not for the weak of heart as its roll of Champions proves.
 
4. How hard is it to get up and down out of the road hole bunker?
 
Peter Oosterhuis:
If you get unlucky with the lie of the ball you could be delighted just getting out in ANY direction! It will be interesting to see how the rebuilt bunker plays.
 
Frank Nobilo:
The advent of the lob wedge has taken a lot of the fear of the Road hole bunker away. Gone are the Nakijima days when players couldn't find a way out of it. Hell bunker now presents the bigger challenge.
 
5. How does St. Andrews rank with the other top courses in the Open rotation?
 
Peter Oosterhuis:
Awesome. Unique course design and history!
 
Frank Nobilo:
St. Andrews by virtue of being the home of Golf will always be No. 1 on the British Open rotation. A chance for the young and brave to walk the same fairways as have all the game's greats.
 
6. What is your most memorable Open Championship moment?
 
Peter Oosterhuis:
1974 Open at Royal Lytham. Playing in the last group with Gary Player, I parred the last four holes (15 and 17 are very tough par 4s) to finish second, one shot ahead of Jack Nicklaus. Gary was leading by seven with four to play so even though he was in the hay at 17 and up against the clubhouse at 18 he was always going to win. Finishing ahead of Jack in The Open Championship was always an achievement!
 
1978 had the 'potential' to be the most memorable. In the last group again, this time with Tom Watson, we were tied for the lead. I shot 38 on the incoming 9 with 20 putts!! Finished alone in sixth place, one behind a 4-way tie for second, three behind Champion Golfer Jack Nicklaus! Definitely my best chance to win. Still bugs me to this day. But not in a bad way!
 
Frank Nobilo:
Strangely enough my best British Open moment did not involve my own participation. I missed qualifying in the 1982 British Open at Troon. I went to the range to see what was happening and in order hitting balls next to each other were Palmer, Nicklaus, Watson, David Graham, Miller, Ballesteros, Norman, Trevino and Tom Weiskopf. For a budding 22 year old professional there was no better motivation to continue the quest.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - 134th Open Champoinship
  • Daily Photo Gallery
  • Open Championship Trivia Challenge
  • Getty Images

    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

    Getty Images

    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

    Getty Images

    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

    Getty Images

    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.