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C. Choi, Icher co-lead Founders, but spotlight on Korda

By Associated PressMarch 16, 2018, 2:07 am

PHOENIX - Jessica Korda had 240 yards to the front of the 15th green Thursday morning in the chilly first round of the Founders Cup. She reached for driver - and caddie Colin Cann didn't stop her.

While she often hits driver off the deck at home in Florida, she hadn't attempted it in competition.

''It's just if my caddie has a heart attack or not,'' Korda joked.

The lanky American spared her looper's ticker with a shot to 15 feet.

''I think the crowd enjoyed it more than I did, but I did think it was really cool,'' said Korda, making her third start following offseason jaw surgery.

She settled for birdie on the par 5 - her fifth in the first six holes - after the eagle try lipped out.

''I was really upset, because I was like, 'That would've been so cool,''' Korda said. ''What did I do after that? Nothing. I didn't do anything after that.''

She did make one more birdie at Desert Ridge, but closed with two of her three bogeys in a 3-under 69 that left her two strokes behind leaders Karine Icher and Chella Choi. Ariya Jutanugarn, playing alongside Korda and defending champion Anna Nordqvist, was a shot back with Inbee Park, Lizette Salas, Cydney Clanton, Mariajo Uribe and Hee Young Park.

Korda won three weeks ago in Thailand in her return from the surgery, which corrected a severe overbite.

''It's been difficult,'' said Korda, the daughter of former tennis champion Petr Korda and sister of fellow tour player Nelly Korda. ''I didn't know when I was going to be able to come back.''

Though she no longer has constant headaches, she's still sore and fighting a head cold - all more difficult in the cold and wind.

''If you guys are going numb, just think about how my lips are turning blue,'' she joked.

Korda has four straight top-10 finishes, tying for third and second in her final two events last year before the surgery and following the victory in Thailand with a tie for 10th in Singapore. She has worked hard to improve her short game, focusing on her chipping.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

''I'm not afraid to miss a green,'' Korda said. ''I used to get so frustrated missing greens because I was like that's an automatic bogey. I knew how hard I would have to work just to make par. ... It was really bad. It was like really, really, really bad. If I was 40 yards out, I would probably want to putt it.''

Nelly Korda helped mother Regina Rajchrtova - also a former professional tennis player - care for Jessica.

''She was drooling, obviously, because she couldn't feel the bottom half of her face,'' Nelly said. ''Taking off her clothes was a bit difficult because she didn't have any center of gravity, so she would fall over. It was definitely hard to see her at that stage.''

The 19-year-old Nelly had a 72 in the group behind her sister. She tied for second in Singapore, a stroke behind Michelle Wie. The Kordas' brother, 17-year-old Sebastian, won the Australian Open junior tennis title in January and is the top-ranked junior in the world.

Icher bogeyed Nos. 15 and 18 after playing the first 14 holes in 7 under.

''With the wind picking up, it's a little bit hard,'' Icher said.

The 39-year-old Frenchwoman birdied five of her first eight holes.

''The fairway doesn't roll at all and big rough,'' Icher said. ''Last year, we had much more roll off the fairway and no rough. And the wind. The wind and the temperature. Usually in Phoenix we play in the 90s, so it's a different course. We have to adapt.''

Choi also finished with a bogey.

''It was windy and tough out there, but every player in same condition,'' Choi said.

Nordqvist, a Swede who played at Arizona State, closed with a bogey for a 69. Fourth-ranked Sung Hyun Park also had a 69.

Wie opened with a 70 in the afternoon.

''It was a grind,'' Wie said. ''This course, generally, you feel like you have to shoot 10-under par every day.''

Lydia Ko had five bogeys in a 74.

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Van Rooyen continues links run with impressive 67

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:27 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For Erik van Rooyen familiarity has not bred contempt.

The South African, like many European Tour players, has been on a links golf odyssey the last three weeks, playing the Irish Open, Scottish Open and this week’s Open Championship in consecutive weeks, and the crash course paid off on Day 1 at Carnoustie when he opened with a 4-under 67 to assure himself a spot among the early leaders.

Although van Rooyen missed the cut last week just down the coast at Gullane Golf Club, he entered the final round in Ireland with a four-stroke lead.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I didn't pull it off the final day,” said van Rooyen, who closed with a 74 to tie for fourth place. “I still think I played pretty well. I was nervous. That's completely normal, and I'll learn how to deal with that. I'll take that experience into tournaments like this.”

Van Rooyen, who was alone in second place when he completed his round, began his round with back-to-back birdies and was bogey-free until the last hole. It was just what one would expect from a player who has immersed himself in links golf for the better part of a month.

“We've been playing nice golf now the last three weeks, so definitely used to the way this course is playing, definitely used to handling the wind,” he said. “So I'll be ready.”

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Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 9:33 am

Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.

Everything before that, however, was far from routine.

Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.

He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and TaylorMade got him his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.

"I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:40 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 (