Els Goosen Close in on Singh

By Associated PressApril 13, 2002, 4:00 pm
On a soggy mess of a course, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen signaled they're not just going to let Vijay Singh run away with the Masters.
 
Els birdied three holes and eagled another as the second round resumed at Augusta National, pushing him to 7-under-par Saturday morning.
 
Goosen, the U.S. Open champion, knocked a shot into the water at the par-5 13th and wound up taking bogey on a hole that usually provides at least a birdie chance.
 
But the South African bounced right back with birdies at Nos. 14 and 15, making him 7-under, too.
 
Singh, the 2000 Masters winner, put himself right where he wants to be in pursuit of a second green jacket. He finished his round Friday before the rains struck, overpowering the back nine for a 7-under 65, his best round ever in the tourney.
 
'I just feel like I'm playing a lot better now than I did two years ago,'' Singh said. ``That in itself should carry me through, if I keep playing the same way.''
 
One thing about Singh: It's not very likely he'll tumble backward this weekend. The 39-year-old Fijian has won seven out of the 14 times he's held the lead going into the weekend, and he has never finished lower than fourth.
 
The rest of the field will have to chase down this consummate front-runner.
 
A deluge forced postponement of the second round with 38 players still on the course Friday. The rain lasted into Saturday morning, pushing back the scheduled 7:45 a.m. restart by another 1 hour, 20
minutes.
 
The stormy weather created some improbable scenes at pristine Augusta National. Pine straw covered the walking paths across the fairway, and muddy sand was spread between the clubhouse and the 18th hole.
 
``It's a shame to see the course so destroyed,'' Jerry Kelly said.
 
Still, thousands of fans turned out to see Arnold Palmer's farewell tour. He returned Saturday to play his final six holes.
 
``The sun's going to be shining in a little bit,'' Palmer said to the gallery.
 
``He wishes,'' a patron quipped.
 
Palmer was playing his 147th and final round at the Masters, saying goodbye to an army of fans who saluted the four-time champion on just about every step around the course.
 
The King made it to the weekend in his 48th Masters, even though his mammoth score - 28-over with one hole to play - was no longer being posted on the boards.
 
It didn't matter.
 
'This place won't be the same without him,'' two-time winner Ben Crenshaw said.
 
Defending champion Tiger Woods was among those who had to go back on the course to finish the second round Saturday. He had birdies at the 13th and 15th holes to get to 5-under, four strokes behind Singh.
 
Woods is trying to become only the third player to repeat as Masters champion. Singh, on the other hand, came in with low expectations.
 
``I didn't have any pressure on me,'' Singh said. ``All the talk was about the other guys. I thought, 'That's great. I'm just going to go out there and play my game.'''
 
Singh's round, which featured an eagle and two birdies over the final four holes, was his best score at the Masters, but not his best at Augusta National.
 
Curious about the sweeping changes that added 285 yards, Singh got his first look at revamped Augusta a month ago during a practice round. He made 10 birdies in a round of 63.
 
``You shoot a low number like that on a practice day and you say, 'Wow! That wasn't that difficult.' It kind of eased my mind a
little,'' he said.
 
International players dominated the leaderboard on the new Augusta, which didn't get a chance to strike back at all those guys who used to reach for their wedges on the par-4s.
 
The rain softened those notorious greens, though it also filled the fairways with puddles in the morning and small rivers in the afternoon.
 
``I think the golf course is playing as susceptible to birdies as it can,'' said Phil Mickelson, one of the few Americans in contention at 141. ``It is understandable that Vijay could shoot 65.''
 
Among those who finished Friday, Ireland's Padraig Harrington (70), Spain's Sergio Garcia (71) and Argentina's Angel Cabrera (71) were at 139 overall.
 
Mickelson was among eight players who had a share of the lead at one point Friday, although his four birdies were offset by four bogeys in a round of 72 that left him six strokes off the lead.
 
Singh was helped by the soft, calm conditions, and by his playing partner, Thomas Bjorn of Denmark, who set a Masters record by making birdies on his first five holes.
 
``It's good to play with somebody who is making so many birdies,'' Singh said. ``It kind of carries you along a little bit.''
 
Bjorn finished with a 67 and was in the group at 141, along with Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain, who shot a 71.
 
Full Coverage from the Masters Tournament
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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.

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Thirty players have drivers tested by R&A

By Tim RosaforteJuly 17, 2018, 1:00 am

Thirty players, including seven major champions, arrived at the 147th Open and received a letter from the R&A notifying them to bring their respective drivers to the equipment standards office located on Carnoustie’s practice ground by 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Keegan Bradley, Brendan Steele and Brooks Koepka all confirmed that their drivers all passed the COR test (coefficient of restitution, or spring-like effect) administered by the R&A.


Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


This was the first time the R&A took measures that were not part of the distance insight project being done in conjunction with the USGA.

The PGA Tour has been testing club for approximately five years but has not done random testing to this point.  The Tour’s rules department works in conjunction with manufacturers and tests clubs from manufacturer fans at tournaments on a voluntary basis. The USGA assists the PGA Tour in this process.