Fitzpatrick gets first pro win at British Masters

By Associated PressOctober 11, 2015, 5:02 pm

WOBURN, England – Matthew Fitzpatrick signaled his emergence as one of Europe's most prominent young golfers on Sunday, shooting a 3-under 68 to complete a wire-to-wire victory in the British Masters at Woburn for his first professional title.

The 21-year-old Englishman, playing his first full professional season on the European Tour, made five birdies in his final round to win by two strokes and finish on a 15-under total of 269.

"I honestly did not think I was going to win this year," Fitzpatrick said, even though he finished second in the European Masters in Switzerland in July. "A wire-to-wire victory is unbelievable for me, I really feel that is an amazing achievement. I dreamt of doing it but I never thought I would be good enough."

Fitzpatrick's front nine was quiet and unspectacular, making seven pars, a bogey and a birdie on the fourth.

But the 2013 U.S. Amateur champion shifted gears on the back nine with four birdies.

"It was frustrating after the front nine, I could not get anything going," Fitzpatrick said. "But the back nine, I started brightly and it felt like I was swinging it a little bit better and I managed to pull it off."

Fitzpatrick was jostling for the lead with Soren Kjeldsen (69) at the top of the leaderboard on the closing stretch, and they both missed putts for the outright lead within minutes of each other on Nos. 13 and 14.

Fitzpatrick saw an eight-footer slide another two feet beyond the hole on the 13th, which he returned for par, while Kjeldsen spurned a straight one from 12 feet moments after on the 14th.

It was Kjeldsen, 19 years Fitzpatrick's senior, who crumpled under the pressure.

On the par-5 15th, he gave himself a 30-foot putt for eagle, but an excessive swing saw his ball race off the green. The 40-year-old Dane saved par, before a wild and wayward tee shot on No. 16 settled in the rough, behind the base of a tree.

He escaped, but failed to get up and down for par from 60 feet, by which point Fitzpatrick had demonstrated his composure to surge two shots clear.

After Fitzpatrick escaped from a fairway bunker on the 15th, a resplendent approach with his 8-iron from 175 yards settled 20 feet before the flag. On the same green that had troubled Kjeldsen moments before, the youngest player in the field rolled the ball firmly into the center of the cup for birdie.

On the par-3 17th, Fitzpatrick's tee shot finished eight feet from the pin for a routine birdie before a bogey on the 18th.

Kjeldsen ended tied for second on 13 under alongside Paraguay's Fabrizo Zanotti (69) and Bridgestone Invitational winner Shane Lowry (67) of Ireland.

Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who started the day tied for the lead with Fitzpatrick, carded a 1-over 72 and was tied fifth on 11 under.

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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 (