Lexi, Park, Ko chasing Lincicome at LPGA Champ.

By Associated Press, Matt AdamsAugust 16, 2014, 12:25 am

PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Brittany Lincicome opened a three-stroke lead Friday in the wind-swept LPGA Championship, the tour's fourth major championship of the season.

The long-hitting Lincicome followed her opening 67 with a 68 to reach 9 under at Monroe Golf Club. She won the 2009 Kraft Nabisco for her lone major title and has five LPGA victories.

Lexi Thompson, tied for the first-round lead with Meena Lee, dropped into a tie for second with defending champion Inbee Park of South Korea. Thompson had a 72, and Park shot 66.

That gave the United States two players at the top as the Americans go for their fourth straight major title of the season. Thompson won the Kraft Nabisco to start the run.

Seventeen-year-old Lydia Ko of New Zealand had a 69 to join Lee, from South Korea, and Jane Park at 5 under. Lee had a 73, and Park shot 69.

Top-ranked Stacy Lewis sputtered again with a 1-over 73 to finish the two rounds at even par.

It's the first time Americans have won the first three majors since 1999, and they haven't won four since 1992. A fifth major, the Evian Championship in France, was added last year.

Michelle Wie won the U.S. Women's Open, and Mo Martin surged to victory in the final round at the Women's British Open.

Lincicome had an eagle and three birdies to go with one bogey for her second solid day. She averaged 277.5 yards off the tee and needed 26 putts for the second straight day.

''It's been incredible. I haven't been here in a while, especially in a major,'' said Lincicome, who hasn't won on tour since 2011. ''I feel like I've been playing really well. It's just not coming together.''

Thompson reached 8 under after a birdie at the par-5 14th hole but followed with bogeys at Nos. 8 and 9 to drop into a tie with Lincicome at the turn.

Lincicome, who started the day one shot off the lead, birdied the par-5 12th hole to gain a one-shot advantage while Inbee Park slowly clawed her way back into contention after shooting even par on the first day.


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Park had two birdies and an eagle on her first five holes on the back side, and three birdies in the first three holes on the front put her at 6 under.

Thompson's birdie at No. 3 forged a tie with Lincicome and Meena Lee at 7 under, but it was short-lived. Moments later, Lincicome notched the sixth eagle of the day at the par-5 14th hole to put her two shots ahead and then parred out.

Unable to string any sort of run together as she did on the first day, Thompson dropped into a tie for second after a bogey at the par-3 sixth hole, statistically the sixth-most difficult hole on the day.

Locust Hill had been the LPGA's host in the Rochester area for 37 straight years before the tour made the switch this year to nearby Monroe. The Donald Ross-designed course is about 300 yards longer at 6,717 yards, and the wider fairways favored long hitters.

''Right now, the fairways are generous. You can just bomb it off the tee,'' Pettersen said. ''You can risk the extra few yards. Even if you miss it (the fairway), you'll still be able to get to the greens somehow.''

A gusting wind strafed the course all day, sending leaves and bits of bark onto some greens and making each shot an adventure. Pettersen, who averaged over 276 yards off the tee, second-best over the first two rounds, was in the morning group and managed to stay out of trouble for the most part.

It wasn't easy.

''It is playable out there, but you've got to hit some great golf shots,'' said Suzann Pettersen, who’s tied for seventh at 4 under after a 69. ''The wind is a bit choppy. It's bounding up and down all the time. You've got to try and find the pocket, try and hit the right shot that gives you the highest percentage.''

Ko, already a four-time LPGA winner, hit all 14 fairways and reached 15 greens in regulation in notching six birdies with three bogeys in an up-and-down day.

Ko needed 31 putts to complete the round – six more than the first day – in part because of a three-putt bogey at No. 2 and then failing to get up-and-down at No. 4, making another bogey. Both holes are par 4s.

''I just give myself as many opportunities as I can,'' said the low-key Ko, who didn't touch a club during a recent five-day stretch because her swing was ''on holiday.''

''I wish I was a long hitter,'' Ko said. ''I'm just trying to play to my strengths.''

Ko, a two-time winner this season, remained focused on the moment and just shrugged at the possibility of becoming the youngest winner of a major in LPGA history.

''I think about winning at the end of the week,'' Ko said. ''I'm going to go out there and just have some fun. There's still two more days. I'm pretty confident. It's good to be in this position.''

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Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 9:33 am

Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.

Everything before that, however, was far from routine.



Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.

He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and TaylorMade got him his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.

"I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:40 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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The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:30 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.