Garcia ready to act as European leader

By Associated PressSeptember 16, 2008, 4:00 pm
Ryder CupLOUISVILLE, Ky. ' Except for the freckles and playful grin, its a wonder anyone recognizes Sergio Garcia at the Ryder Cup.
 
The Spaniard who cant seem to make a 4-foot putt with a major championship on the line, cant seem to miss from 20 feet when playing for a golf trophy he has to share.
 
Garcia is considered the best player to never win a major. For one week every two years, he is simply the best.
 
There are no excuses at the Ryder Cup, only celebrations.
 
Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia has been almost unbeatable in Ryder Cup - outside of singles. (Getty Images)
He brings a lot of passion to this team. When you see Sergio, you see Seve, European captain Nick Faldo said Tuesday, referring to Seve Ballesteros, Garcias countryman and former Ryder Cup star. They love this event. Obviously, match play is different, isnt it? And he gets fired up. Hes great off the golf course. So hes a key member to the team.
 
Garcia has never lost in eight alternate-shot matches, and the only U.S. team to beat him in fourballs was Tiger Woods and Davis Love III. Garcia is 6-1 against Woods and Phil Mickelson in team matches.
 
Even more astounding is a 14-4-2 record in his four Ryder Cup appearances.
 
If you had to pick one guy out as the toughest test, that you would say is the guy to beat, Id have to pick Sergio, Jim Furyk said.
 
And make no mistake ' the Americans would love nothing more than to beat him.
 
Garcia has proven to be the best at hitting pivotal shots, holing clutch putts and staking Europe to big leads. He also has become the best at getting under the Americans skin.
 
The exuberance began in 1999 when he was 19, the youngest player in Ryder Cup history. Garcia spent the week shaking his fists and leaping into the arms of Jesper Parnevik. Then came 2002, when he sprinted down the 18th fairway and mobbed Pierre Fulke in the middle of his match with Love, forcing the Swede to stop and call it a draw.
 
Two years ago, Europe bolted to a 10-6 lead and was headed for another blowout victory. Garcia was 4-0 that week, and the Americans jokingly told Stewart Cink he would be locked out of the room if he didnt beat the Spaniard.
 
No one had to tell me that, Cink said.
 
Cink built a big lead early, then closed him out with two long putts.
 
I think it angered him, Cink said. I heard him muttering. I would have been muttering, too.
 
Maybe its his constant chattering that makes Garcia so annoying. Remember, this is the guy who last time said, Nothing is sweeter than beating the Americans. Perhaps its the fiery celebrations after winning a hole, even if he wasnt the one who sank the putt.
 
Above all, its the fact he keeps winning.
 
Hes a heck of a player, Cink said. He loves the Ryder Cup. He enjoys it so much, going head to head. Does he get under our skin? Only because he wins a lot.
 
Some Americans felt the same way about Ballesteros, the spiritual leader of the European team since his debut in 1979. Even with five majors, Ballesteros bled for the Ryder Cup.
 
Sergio is one of the most passionate players that Europe has ever had, U.S. captain Paul Azinger said. I just feel like he elevates somehow. He putts different. He putts better. Ask him why he makes so many putts.
 
The frightening aspect for the United States is that Garcia is playing better than ever.
 
No, he still doesnt have a major. His latest opportunity ended at Oakland Hills in the PGA Championship when he lost a three-shot lead on the back nine and gave up the lead for good by missing a 4-foot putt on the 17th. In May, he won The Players Championship. His swing has never been more pure, and he keeps convincing himself hes better with the putter than people realize.
 
As for annoying the Americans?
 
Garcia acted as though he didnt understand the question, but the sneaky grin told otherwise.
 
In which way? Because I play well? he said as the room erupted in laughter. Sorry. What can I say? Im trying as hard as everybody else. So I guess Ive just been lucky.
 
This from a guy who complained that Im playing against a lot of guys out there, more than the field after Padraig Harrington beat him in a playoff at Carnoustie in the British Open last year.
 
But that was for him. What makes him such an invaluable Ryder Cup player is that its all about team.
 
Ive always said it, and I say it from the bottom of my heart, Garcia said. I would rather go 0-5 and win the Ryder Cup as a team than go 5-0 and lose it. Its not about me this week. Its about the European team, and coming together, and achieving our goal, and obviously playing well and retaining the cup. Thats all that matters to me.
 
Garcia didnt waste any time mixing it up.
 
Faldo pulled his troops together on the first tee for an impromptu meeting, wanting them to visualize the opening tee shot. Garcia was among the first to chime in, calling it a great start to the week as Europe goes after its fourth consecutive victory.
 
It was the first full day of practice ' after the team photos, of course ' and Garcia spent the day with Ryder Cup rookie Soren Hansen and Lee Westwood, with whom he has teamed to go 4-1-1.
 
The Americans went out in foursomes, with Kenny Perry and J.B. Holmes whipping up their home state crowd, especially on the 352-yard 13th. Most players went to a forward tee with a 268-yard carry to the island green. Holmes, the biggest basher at Valhalla this week, drove onto the green from the back tee.
 
I just cant imagine what Tiger Woods puts up with all the time, and for one week in my life, I feel like him, Perry said. It was awesome. I grinned the whole time. I had a blast out there.
 
Its usually fun during the three days of practice. The matches start Friday, and thats when it typically changes.
 
The Americans have not led after any session on any day since they last won the Ryder Cup in 1999 at Brookline, rallying from a 10-6 deficit. The pivotal singles victory that afternoon was Furyk beating Garcia.
 
And that might be the one area where Garcia is lacking. Out on his own, his lone singles victory was in 2004 against Mickelson. Still, the image of Garcia that day is running through the crowd with a European flag.
 
His team won, and thats all that counts. Nothing is sweeter than beating the Americans.
 
Related Links:
  • U.S. Report Cards
  • European Report Cards
  • U.S. Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • European Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • Full Coverage - 37th Ryder Cup
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    How to watch The Open on TV and online

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 22, 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)

    Getty Images

    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 22, 2018, 8:30 am

    Tiger Woods begins the final round of the 147th Open Championship four shots off the lead. He's out at 9:25 a.m. ET on Sunday and we're tracking him.


    Getty Images

    Schauffele just fine being the underdog

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

    Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

    Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

    Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

    “All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

    Getty Images

    Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

    So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

    Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Jordan Spieth: 7/4

    Xander Schauffele: 5/1

    Kevin Kisner: 11/2

    Tiger Woods: 14/1

    Francesco Molinari: 14/1

    Rory McIlroy: 14/1

    Kevin Chappell: 20/1

    Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

    Alex Noren: 25/1

    Zach Johnson: 30/1

    Justin Rose: 30/1

    Matt Kuchar: 40/1

    Webb Simpson: 50/1

    Adam Scott: 80/1

    Tony Finau: 80/1

    Charley Hoffman: 100/1

    Austin Cook: 100/1