Choi Leads Wild Chrysler

By Associated PressOctober 27, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Chrysler ChampionshipPALM HARBOR, Fla. -- K.J. Choi took double bogey and called it a good experience. He nearly made an ace on what he called a bad shot. It added up to a 5-under 66 that gave him a one-shot lead after a wild Friday in the Chrysler Championship.
 
Along with solid play from Ernie Els, relief for Paul Azinger and agony for Brian Bateman, was a police chase in the middle of the round as officers with guns drawn sought a pair of juveniles accused of burglarizing a nearby house.
 
Brian Gay
First-round leader Brian Gay is one back at 7 under.
'Never had a manhunt out here,' said Brian Gay, whose drive was interrupted when police came onto the third tee box.
 
As the wind died late in the afternoon at Innisbrook, Choi was at 8-under 134 and led Els, Gay and Jonathan Byrd by one shot.
 
'Today is very good,' Choi concluded after his strange day that set up a chance to get into the TOUR Championship next week with a victory. 'My swing is very strong and my control is very good.'
 
The Chrysler Championship is the final full-field event of the year on the PGA TOUR, and there are battles all over the Copperhead course as players are trying to get into the top 30 on the money list to get into the TOUR Championship, the top 40 to secure Masters invitations, or the top 125 to keep their cards.
 
As usual, the drama was toward the bottom of the leaderboard, because the only way to make money is to make the cut.
 
Brian Bateman was No. 126, and getting a tee time on the weekend might have been all he needed to get inside the top 125. It was a struggle most of the day, but he finished strong with an approach into 2 feet on his final hole to reach 3 over.
 
Then he waited -- in vain, as it turned out.
 
Stuart Appleby made a 15-foot birdie on his ninth and final hole, and not enough players on the bubble made bogey in the blustery conditions late in the day. Seventy players made the cut at 2-over 144, meaning Bateman will have to head back to Q-school.
 
Still alive were Duffy Waldorf (No. 130), despite a 76 that put him at 143; and Paul Goydos, a long shot to keep his card. He birdied the 18th for his second straight 68, leaving him in fifth place and only two shots out of the lead.
 
Goydos needs to finish at least alone in fourth place or better to have a chance at earning his card for 2007.
 
The thrills belonged to Paul Azinger, who two years ago bogeyed the last two holes to miss the cut by one shot, eventually costing him his card. He was at No. 122 coming into the Chrysler Championship, and had to scramble at the end. But he holed a 15-foot par putt on the 17th, and an 8-foot par putt on the 18th to make the cut by one shot.
 
With one guy ahead of him (Matthias Gronberg) and five guys behind him on the money list who either missed the cut or did not play, Azinger is virtually a lock to keep his card and be eligible for the FedExCup competition next year.
 
'Sweet,' he said, raising a plastic cup of iced tea.
 
For all the money, a trophy is still on the line this week, and Choi and Els appeared to be strong front-runners.
 
Choi won at Innisbrook in 2002, so he has good vibes on the golf course. The swirling wind at 8 a.m. had been concerned, but he shot up the leaderboard with a 32 on the back nine, and four straight birdies on the front.
 
No shot looked better than the par-3 fourth, a 4-iron that stopped a foot from the cup.
 
'A very bad shot,' Choi said, speaking without an interpreter. 'I hook shot. Usually hook shot in the bunker. Today, the wind was strong and wind push and together with the hole ...'
 
The only hitch came at No. 8, when he ripped a new 5-wood through the wind, beyond the green and into the deep rough. He powered that shot through the green and was pleased to escape with double bogey.
 
'A good experience today,' he said.
 
Els is feeling good, too. He has looked lost at times this year, but he has dedicated himself to catching Tiger Woods atop the world ranking, setting aside three years to get it done. That seems to have motivated Els, and with a target in mind -- even though Woods isn't here this week -- he has walked tall at Innisbrook.
 
Els shot a 66 with superior iron play, none has impressive as a 7-iron from 161 yards into a slight breeze to a back pin at No. 10, his opening hole. It won't make many highlight films, but it was pure, stopping 3 feet away for a birdie. He also hit a 30-yard bunker shot to 2 feet on the par-5 11th for birdie, and even after pushing a 5-foot birdie putt on the 13th, his spirits were strong.
 
Els is No. 30 on the money list, but has every reason to believe he can win this week for the first time all year, and get that trip he so badly wants to Kapalua for the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship. At the very worst, he appears to have sewn up his spot in the TOUR Championship next week.
 
'I'm hitting it solidly, and I'm putting quite nicely,' Els said. 'I'm looking forward to this weekend. I would love to get into Hawaii. I figure I have two chances at it.'
 
Divots:
Bubba Watson was 5 over and needed a big finish, and the big-hitting rookie knows only one way. He tried to drive over the water on the 380-yard 12th hole -- most guys lay up with 3-iron or a hybrid club -- and he easily cleared the pond, not to mention the mesh netting that borders the golf course. It went well out-of-bounds, so he reloaded and came up 30 yards short of the green. He made double bogey, but it was entertaining. ... Brittany Lincicome, one of the biggest hitters on the LPGA Tour, followed Watson in the second round. She lives in the area and used to be a volunteer at this tournament. ... Adam Scott holed out from the ninth fairway for eagle, but still missed the cut with a 74. ... Defending champion Carl Pettersson missed the cut.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Chrysler Championship
  • Full Coverage - Chrysler Championship
     
    Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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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 GolfChannel.com.  

    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; GC.com=GolfChannel.com or check the GLE app)

    Monday, July 16

    GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

    GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

    GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


    Tuesday, July 17

    GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


    Wednesday, July 18

    GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


    Thursday, July 19

    GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

    GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

    GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

    GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

    GC.com: Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

    GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


    Friday, July 20

    GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

    GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

    GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

    GC.com: Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

    GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


    Saturday, July 21

    GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

    NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

    GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

    GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

    GC.com: Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

    GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


    Sunday, July 22

    GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

    NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

    GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

    GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

    GC.com: Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

    GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

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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.