Congressional Offers Major Feeling

By Associated PressJune 8, 2005, 4:00 pm
BETHESDA, Md. -- Eight of the top 10 players in the world are in the field, and the venue is the challenging Blue Course at the posh Congressional Country Club, home of U.S. Opens past and future.
This year, for a change, the Booz Allen Classic has everything you'd want in a major -- except Tiger Woods.
'Coming back brings back memories of a major championship,' said Phil Mickelson, who played in the U.S. Open here in 1997 and plans to do so again six years from now. 'Coming here in 2011 is exciting for us. Everyone is excited to be here, and it does feel like a major.'
Vijay Singh and Ernie Els
Vijay Singh and Ernie Els are just two of the big names on hand this week.
Major enough to attract players such as Spain's Sergio Garcia, who never played this event when it was at the much-maligned TPC at Avenel, located about a mile down the road. Garcia bypassed Jack Nicklaus' farewell appearance at the Memorial last week so he could focus on coming here to experience the tight fairways, thick rough, small greens and the diabolical signature No. 17 downslope approach shot to a hard-to-hit peninsula.
'What a back nine we have here. It's amazing,' Garcia said after Wednesday's pro-am. 'I remember watching in '97. I wanted to come and play Congressional. It was a good opportunity to play a course with so much history. I didn't want to take the chance of missing this week.'
Ditto Retief Goosen, who will try to defend his U.S. Open title next week in Pinehurst, N.C.
'I think the guys would like to play this type of golf course more often,' said Goosen, also making his Booz Allen debut. 'I think this is a true test of your golf. You really cannot get away with any bad part of your game around here.'
The course and the calendar have made for a rare confluence of circumstances for a tournament that usually struggles to attract big names. The Booz Allen has historically been known for producing first-time winners from second-tier fields.
'There's probably a half-dozen to a dozen guys who usually don't play the week before a major who are playing this week because of where it is,' Chris DiMarco said. 'It's a great test for next week.'
Woods is the notable exception. Even the temptation of Congressional wasn't enough to get him to break his long-standing routine of taking the week off before a major. David Toms is the other top-10 player not in the field.
Booz Allen received permission to play at Congressional this year to give the PGA Tour time to renovate Avenel, but no work has been done and none will be done by the time the event returns there next year. That has not been a welcome development for Booz Allen Hamilton chairman Ralph Shrader, who must decide next year whether he wants his company to continue sponsoring the tournament.
Shrader and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem met Tuesday night to discuss the matter, with Finchem outlining a possible timetable for renovations after the 2006 tournament.
The only top player who might prefer to be at Avenel is Adam Scott, who won last year's tournament by four strokes. Scott has the strange sensation of defending a title on a course he has never played.
'It would have been nice to go back to Avenel,' Scott said. 'But this is a great course, a great field. It's going to a be tough week to defend the title.'
The more fitting defending champion -- the defending Congressional champion, actually -- is Ernie Els, who won his second U.S. Open title in 1997.
'I was 27, and it seems like just yesterday,' Els said. 'I remember a lot of shots I made, and when I made the putt at 18, it's probably the most emotion I've ever shown.'
Related Links:
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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

    Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.

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    McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

    McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

    But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

    Said Harmon:

    “Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

    “This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

    McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

    “Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

    McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

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    How The Open cut line is determined

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

    Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

    The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    • After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

    • There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

    • There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

    The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.

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    How to watch The Open on TV and online

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:30 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 (