American rookies do just fine in Ryder Cup

By Associated PressSeptember 19, 2008, 4:00 pm
Ryder CupLOUISVILLE, Ky. ' The Americans did just fine with all those Ryder Cup rookies.
Hunter Mahan finally felt as though he belonged. Anthony Kim brought out the best in Phil Mickelson. And Boo Weekley sure got under the Europeans skin, giving Valhalla Golf Club the feel of a college football stadium while skirting the line on good decorum.
U.S. captain Paul Azinger played all six of his rookies Friday, and they justified his faith by going 3-2-3'surely better than anyone expected in the pressure cooker of golfs grandest team event. In all, the newcomers had a hand in four of the 5 1/2 points won by the Americans, who took a commanding three-point edge into Saturday.
The ones who didnt earn a point were Steve Stricker and Ben Curtis, beaten by Ian Poulter and Justin Rose in the only outright U.S. loss of the day.
I put a lot of rookies out there, Azinger said, and they did well. Im proud of them.
Weekley teamed with another yet another rookie, J.B. Holmes, to halve the final match of the afternoon, a back-and-forth, best-ball showdown with Lee Westwood and Soren Hansen.
All around the course, Weekley revved up the crowd by flapping his arms. They responded with chants of Boooo! that were really cheers.
But Westwood thought Weekley went too far with his raucous celebration at No. 12 after he holed a 50-foot birdie putt from off the green, putting the American duo ahead for the first time since the opening hole. Westwood, who still had a putt to halve the hole, glared at Weekley.
You walk a fine line when you start doing that sort of thing, Westwood said. I dont mind raising your arms and whipping the crowd up. But at 12, when Boos holed off the back, Ive still got a putt for a half. Theres no need to do it between shots. At least wait until were walking off the green. It was interrupting the flow of play.
Weekley shrugged off the criticism.
We miss over there (in Europe), they clap and holler and hoot, the homespun Floridian said. Whats the difference?
Weekley and Holmes went to the 18th with a 1-up lead, but both knocked their tee shots in the water. The Europeans were able to escape with a half-point, and Westwood seemed to relish sticking to it the U.S. team.
Its not my job to tell people how to behave, the Englishman said. It certainly gave me a more burning desire to win some holes.
With a pinch of snuff tucked into his jaw, Weekley said he was just enjoying the moment.
It blew my expectations out of the water, he said. All the people hollering and hooting and cheering, just pulling for you. Its unreal. Its kind of like going to a college football game and being there with a helmet on your head. Thats what I reckon it feels like.
While no one stirred things up like Weekley, Mahan was the most productive rookie. The 26-year-old got off to a shaky start'he and Leonard dropped the first two holes of their morning match'but they bounced back for a 3-and-2 win over Henrik Stenson and Paul Casey.
In the afternoon, the American duo led all the way in a 4-and-3 rout of Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez'the first foursomes loss on Garcias stellar Ryder Cup resume.
I was just trying to go out and play golf, make it as simple as I can, Mahan said. Nothing more, nothing less.
That was a far cry from his attitude a year ago, when he was selected to the Presidents Cup team as a captains pick.
I questioned whether I belonged there, Mahan said. I felt like I deserved to be on the team, but personally I didnt think I was there. I felt more together this year, this week. I feel like Im good enough to be here.
No doubt. While Leonard did most of the heavy lifting'especially in the afternoon best-ball match'Mahan chipped in to help the Americans win five of the 15 holes, four of them with birdies.
Im a good enough player to play with these guys, Mahan said.
The fiery Kim seemed to stir Mickelson to new heights. They read putts together, discussed strategy and exchanged so many high-fives'Kim is only 23, after all'that both sets of hands must have been stinging by the end of the day.
Making it all the sweeter: Mickelson and Kim fell behind by three holes in each of their matches, but rallied for a half point in the morning against Padraig Harrington and Robert Karlsson, then came back to beat Harrington and Graeme McDowell 2-up in the afternoon.
We played with a lot of heart and emotion, Mickelson said. I love playing with this guy tight here. Anthony has got this youthfulness to him, he has a lot of game and we had a lot of fun.
Kim sure enjoyed himself in his first Ryder Cup appearance.
Its definitely lived up to the hype, he said.
Speaking of hype, whats next in the simmering Weekley-Westwood feud. Neither was scheduled to play in the Saturday morning matches, which was especially shocking in Westwoods case. This will be the first time hes sat out a session in his Ryder Cup career, as captain Nick Faldo apparently decided it was more important to rest him.
But hell surely return in the afternoon, and maybe Weekley will be on the opposing team.
Bring it on, Boo said.
I really dont care if I did (upset Westwood), I really dont, Weekley said. I aint there to make him mad or aggravate him or anything like that, but I want everybody here to enjoy what we got going on. I want them to pull for us and holler and hoot. As long as theyre quiet before he hits the shot, it wont matter.
Related Links:
  • U.S. Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • European Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • Full Coverage - 37th Ryder Cup
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    "Vantage Point with Mike Tirico" set to debut Tuesday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsJuly 17, 2018, 10:15 am

    Special Hour Complementing the Network’s Week-Long Golf Central Live From The Open News Coverage; Premiere Scheduled to Include Interview with 2014 Open Runner-Up Rickie Fowler On-Site from Carnoustie

    Features Include Tirico and Curtis Strange Re-watching ’99 Open at Carnoustie & Jim “Bones” Mackay Facilitating Exclusive Conversation with Caddies Michael Greller, John Wood Recounting Final Round Pairing at 2017 Open

    To help set the table ahead of The 147TH Open at Carnoustie, Golf Channel will premiere Vantage Point with Mike Tirico on Tuesday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET. An extension of the network’s week-long Golf Central Live From The Open comprehensive news coverage, Vantage Point will revisit landmark moments in The Open’s history, uncover personal stories relevant to the fabric of the week and feature a roundtable discussion with past “Champion Golfers of the Year” on golf’s original championship.

    “It’s a thrill to be going back to The Open again this year, which is a fitting setting to launch this new opportunity,” said Tirico, NBC Sports host who this week will celebrate his 22nd consecutive year covering The Open. “I love being a part of the Golf Channel team during golf’s biggest weeks, and anticipate contributing to our commitment to great storytelling with Vantage Point.”

    Kicking off the premiere of Vantage Point will be Tirico’s exclusive interview with 2014 Open runner-up and 2015 PLAYERS champion Rickie Fowler on-site from Carnoustie. One of Fowler’s favorite events, he has missed just one cut in eight previous appearances at The Open. Other highlights within the show include:

    • Jim “Bones” Mackay facilitating an exclusive conversation between caddies Michael Greller (Jordan Spieth) and John Wood (Matt Kuchar) recounting the final round pairing at The Open last July.
    • Tirico hosting a roundtable discussion with past “Champion Golfers of the Year”: David Duval, Tom Lehman and Justin Leonard.
    • A recollection of one of the most unforgettable collapses in major championship golf, when Jean van de Velde surrendered a three-shot lead on the 72nd hole in 1999 at The Open. Tirico and Curtis Strange – both on the live tournament broadcast that year for ABC/ESPN – recently re-watched the telecast together for the first time since calling it live.


    “This is harder to watch than I thought it was going to be. I’ve never seen anything like

    that in my life. I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like that again.” – Curtis Strange


    “I think I got caught up in the whole deal and felt human for the guy.” – Mike Tirico


    Vantage Point with Mike Tirico will complement the network’s Golf Central Live From The Open, which will feature nearly 60 hours of comprehensive news coverage from Carnoustie. In total, NBC Sports will dedicate more than 350 hours to showcasing the third men’s major championship of the year, including nearly 50 live hours of the network’s Emmy-nominated tournament coverage – annually the most live hours of coverage from any golf event – spanning from Thursday’s opening tee shot to Sunday’s final putt.

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    How to watch The Open on TV and online

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2018, 8:40 am

    You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

    Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

    In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on  

    Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

    (All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; or check the GLE app)

    Monday, July 16

    GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

    GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

    GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

    Tuesday, July 17

    GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

    Wednesday, July 18

    GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

    Thursday, July 19

    GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

    GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

    GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

    Friday, July 20

    GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

    GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

    Saturday, July 21

    GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

    NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

    GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

    Sunday, July 22

    GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

    NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

    GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (

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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 17, 2018, 8:40 am

    Tiger Woods is competing in his first Open Championship since 2015. We're tracking him this week at Carnoustie.

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    The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2018, 8:30 am

    Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about The Open:

    What's all this "The Open" stuff? I thought it was the British Open.

    What you call it has historically depended on where you were. If you were in the U.S., you called it the British Open, just as Europeans refer to the PGA Championship as the U.S. PGA. Outside the U.S. it generally has been referred to as The Open Championship. The preferred name of the organizers is The Open.

    How old is it?

    It's the oldest golf championship, dating back to 1860.

    Where is it played?

    There is a rotation – or "rota" – of courses used. Currently there are 10: Royal Birkdale, Royal St. George's, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham and St. Annes, all in England; Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland and St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Turnberry and Muirfield, all in Scotland. Muirfield was removed from the rota in 2016 when members voted against allowing female members, but when the vote was reversed in 2017 it was allowed back in.

    Where will it be played this year?

    At Carnoustie, which is located on the south-eastern shore of Scotland.

    Who has won The Open on that course?

    Going back to the first time Carnoustie hosted, in 1931, winners there have been Tommy Armour, Henry Cotton (1937), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1968), Tom Watson (1975), Paul Lawrie (1999), Padraig Harrington (2007).

    Wasn't that the year Hogan nearly won the Slam?

    Yep. He had won the Masters and U.S. Open that season, then traveled to Carnoustie and won that as well. It was the only time he ever played The Open. He was unable to play the PGA Championship that season because the dates conflicted with those of The Open.

    Jean Van de Velde's name should be on that list, right?

    This is true. He had a three-shot lead on the final hole in 1999 and made triple bogey. He lost in a playoff to Lawrie, which also included Justin Leonard.

    Who has won this event the most?

    Harry Vardon, who was from the Channel Island of Jersey, won a record six times between 1896 and 1914. Australian Peter Thomson, American Watson, Scot James Braid and Englishman J.H. Taylor each won five times.

    What about the Morrises?

    Tom Sr. won four times between 1861 and 1867. His son, Tom Jr., also won four times, between 1868 and 1872.

    Have players from any particular country dominated?

    In the early days, Scots won the first 29 Opens – not a shocker since they were all played at one of three Scottish courses, Prestwick, St. Andrews and Musselburgh. In the current era, going back to 1999 (we'll explain why that year in a minute), the scoreboard is United States, nine wins; South Africa, three wins; Ireland, two wins; Northern Ireland, two wins; and Sweden, one win. The only Scot to win in that period was Lawrie, who took advantage of one of the biggest collapses in golf history.

    Who is this year's defending champion?

    That would be American Jordan Spieth, who survived an adventerous final round to defeat Matt Kuchar by three strokes and earn the third leg of the career Grand Slam.

    What is the trophy called?

    The claret jug. It's official name is the Golf Champion Trophy, but you rarely hear that used. The claret jug replaced the original Challenge Belt in 1872. The winner of the claret jug gets to keep it for a year, then must return it (each winner gets a replica to keep).

    Which Opens have been the most memorable?

    Well, there was Palmer in 1961and '62; Van de Velde's collapse in 1999; Hogan's win in 1953; Tiger Woods' eight-shot domination of the 2000 Open at St. Andrews; Watson almost winning at age 59 in 2009; Doug Sanders missing what would have been a winning 3-foot putt at St. Andrews in 1970; Tony Jacklin becoming the first Briton to win the championship in 18 years; and, of course, the Duel in the Sun at Turnberry in 1977, in which Watson and Jack Nicklaus dueled head-to-head over the final 36 holes, Watson winning by shooting 65-65 to Nicklaus' 65-66.

    When I watch this tournament on TV, I hear lots of unfamiliar terms, like "gorse" and "whin" and "burn." What do these terms mean?

    Gorse is a prickly shrub, which sometimes is referred to as whin. Heather is also a shrub. What the scots call a burn, would also be considered a creek or stream.