Eighth Hole at Oakmont More Than a Par 3

By Associated PressJune 12, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 U.S. OpenOAKMONT, Pa. -- Golfers would do well to stock up before reaching No. 8 at this week's U.S. Open. Grab some water, a few bananas, maybe an energy bar.
 
Better yet, hire a Sherpa.
 
No. 8 at Oakmont Country Club is a 288-yard par 3 and, no, that's not a misprint. It's the longest par 3 in major championship history, and it's going to give the Open field quite a test -- not to mention a workout.
 
'It's probably our best chance of making birdie, a short par 4,' Sergio Garcia said Tuesday, drawing laughs. 'Hitting woods into a par 3 is never fun. ... There's nothing you can really do about it. You just play it, try to hopefully make a 3.'
 
The U.S. Golf Association has long taken pride in making its Open courses the toughest of the majors. The fairways are traditionally narrow, the greens are quick and the thicker the rough, the better. John Daly was so exasperated by the setup at Pinehurt in 1999 that he vowed he'd never play a U.S. Open again.
 
And he's won a British Open.
 
'We have a philosophy that we really want to test players,' said Marty Parkes, a USGA spokesman. 'You've got to really think your way around the golf course.'
 
Thinking is one thing. Pulling out driver on a par 3 is another.
 
'It's a bit longer than I would picture as an ideal par 3,' defending champ Geoff Ogilvy said. 'I'm not a big fan of drivers and 3-woods into the par 3 with no wind. If it blows into the wind, no one is going to get there in one.'
 
The USGA didn't turn No. 8 into a par 3 1/2 just to be mean, though.
 
The hole was 252 yards back when Oakmont hosted its first U.S. Open in 1927, and the distance didn't change the six times the major returned. When the U.S. Amateur was played at Oakmont in 2003, though, players treated the hole as if it had a windmill and a waterfall on it.
 
'We started watching players in the Amateur routinely hit 2-irons, 4-irons, 5-irons. A few of us shook our heads and said, this doesn't need to be done for the Open,' said Mike Davis, the USGA's senior director of rules and competition who sets up the Open courses.
 
So the tee box was pushed back. Waaay back. The previous longest par 3 was the 262-yard No. 17 at Interlachen at the 1930 U.S. Open, according to Rand Jerris of the USGA.
 
Oakmont's No. 8 is now so long that spectators who don't know the course could easily mistake it for a par 4. The shortest par 4 on the course is, in fact, only 25 yards longer. A second group of marshals had to be added to the hole because the ones around the green couldn't see those on the tee signaling when balls were hit.
 
'We thought this distance would really put 1-irons, 3-woods, even drivers back in the players' hands,' Davis said. 'If we have a few players that just cannot get it there, so be it.'
 
During Monday and Tuesday's practice rounds, only the longest hitters hit irons off the tee. Most used their 3-woods or hybrids, and a few even pulled out drivers. Still, balls were landing anywhere from 10 to 30 yards short of the green.
 
When Trevor Immelman reached off the tee, the crowd roared -- not the typical response for a tee shot on a par-3.
 
'You don't know what to call it. It's probably a par 3 1/2 , so the USGA is going to round up or down,' Phil Mickelson said. 'Well, we know what way that is going to go.'
 
Though its length makes it daunting, the USGA did have some compassion. The tee is slightly elevated, and the fairway is straight and not very narrow. The green is one of the largest on the course, and it's fairly flat.
 
There is, though, a bunker off the left front of the green.
 
'I've hit 3-wood there from the back tee,' Tiger Woods said. 'Even into the wind, I can still reach the front edge with a 3-wood.'
 
The original tee box is still in play, too, so the hole can be shortened to 252 yards if the wind and weather calls for it.
 
But don't count on it. The weather the rest of the week is for clear, sunny skies, and few players even bothered teeing off from the shorter distance during practice rounds.
 
'If you make 4, you're not really losing a lot of ground. There's not going to be many 2s there,' Garcia said. 'Hopefully you make your 3 and run to the next tee. Get out of there as quickly as possible.'
 
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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 12:15 pm

    Tiger Woods, in search of his 15th career major championship title, started the weekend six off the lead at Carnoustie. We're tracking him in Round 3 of The Open.


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    How to watch The Open on TV and online

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 8:30 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 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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    Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

    By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

    Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

    The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

    Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

    Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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    Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:55 pm

    NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

    Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

    8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

    1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.


    Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

    Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

    1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.