Na Villegas tied for Canadian Open lead

By Associated PressJuly 24, 2009, 4:00 pm
RBC Canadian OpenOAKVILLE, Canada ' Kevin Na skipped his senior year of high school to turn professional at 17. At 25, the Canadian Open co-leader can still be a little childish.
 
That was clear to anyone within earshot of Na and caddie Kenny Harms on Thursday at Glen Abbey as they argued about their options on the 11th hole ' a tree and the swollen 16-Mile Creek lurking ahead on the downhill par 4.

Camilo Villegas finished his first round strong on Friday with an eagle on 18. (Getty Images)
It all started on my first hole when I started after the delay on 11, which was my second hole, said Na, winless in six seasons on the PGA Tour. Pulled my tee shot into the trees and I didnt have a good lie in the rough. I had to go over the creek.
 
And I told my caddie, I said, I think I can get over the tree. He goes, Theres no way you can get over the tree. We sat and argued there for a couple minutes. I said, I can do it. He said, No, you cant.
 
He rarely says you cant do something, so he made me pitch out, and I ended up making a 15-footer for par that kind of kept the round going. And after that I started to back down and started catching fire.
 
Did he ever, birdieing the final five holes and nine of the last 12 for a 9-under 63 in the round delayed 7 1/2 hours Thursday because of rain.
 
Once in a while we get it, said Na, coming off a seventh-place tie Sunday in Milwaukee ' his seventh top-11 finish in 18 events this year.
 
Camilo Villegas matched Na late Friday morning, playing the final six holes in 6 under. The Colombian hit to an inch to set up a birdie on the 152-yard 15th and holed a 15-foot eagle chip on the par-5 18th.
 
What a great way to finish the round, said Villegas, rushing to have lunch before he headed back out for his second round.
 
Ninety-eight players were unable to finish Thursday, and 39 of them didnt even begin play until Friday.
 
The horn signaling the suspension Thursday sounded at 8:46 p.m., with players having the option to finish a hole they started. Na was fast to tee off on No. 9, making sure he didnt have to return early Friday to play one hole.
 
Thats all I was hoping for, said Na, the South Korean-born player who moved to the United States at age 8 and took up golf a year later. I was just trying to get to the tee real quick and hit. Ended up being we had 10, 15 minutes to spare, but you never know when theyre going to call it.
 
Scott Verplank, Retief Goosen, Joe Durant and Friday finishers Jerry Kelly, Peter Tomasulo and Martin Laird opened with 65s.
 
You can get after it, Kelly said about the soft course conditions.
 
Mike Weir, trying to become the first Canadian to win the national championship since Pat Fletcher in 1954, opened with a 70.
 
It was not what we wanted for this event, Weir said. Its kind of playing soft ' a dart show. Its too bad because the course is really good. Its in really good condition, but super soft.
 
Na finished his first nine with birdies on the par-5 16th and 18th, also birdied Nos. 1 and 2 and closed with five in a row for a front-nine 28, matching the tournament record set by Vijay Singh on the same nine in the second round of his 2004 victory.
 
The greens are holding, so you can get aggressive with the irons, Na said. But off the tee you must put yourself in the fairway. The rough is very thick.
 
Durant aced No. 7.
 
It was like 147 to the hole, which for me was kind of an in-between shot, Durant said. I hit a nice little smooth 8-iron. It hit about 4 feet past and drew back in.
 
He also was relieved to finish the round Thursday.
 
We were running the last couple holes to try to get done, Durant said. Itll be nice to sleep in.
 
Goosen played the four par 5s in 5 under, making eagle at the 13th.
 
Thirteen hours from tee-off to finish, said Goosen, coming off a fifth-place tie Sunday in the British Open. Ive been up since 4:30.
 
After the round began on time at 7 a.m. Thursday, rain forced the suspension of play at 8:38. The rain stopped just before noon and course workers needed more than 4 hours to drain the flooded bunkers and get the clay-based layout in shape.
 
Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to use preferred lies in the fairways ' just as they did in all four rounds last year in the rain-plagued event. While Glen Abbey was much drier Friday, players played the ball up again because of rain forecast for Saturday when the round will be completed.
 
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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.

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    Four players vying for DJ's No. 1 ranking at Open

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 8:41 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Four players have an opportunity to overtake Dustin Johnson for world No. 1 this week.

    According to Golf Channel world-rankings guru Alan Robinson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm each can grab the top spot in the world ranking.

    Thomas’ path is the easiest. He would return to No. 1 with either a win and Johnson finishing worse than solo third, or even a solo runner-up finish as long as Johnson finishes worse than 49th.


    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Twenty years after his auspicious performance in The Open, Rose can get to No. 1 for the first time with a victory and Johnson finishing worse than a two-way tie for third.

    Kopeka can rise to No. 1 if he wins consecutive majors, assuming that his good friend posts worse than a three-way tie for third.

    And Rahm can claim the top spot with a win this week, a Johnson missed cut and a Thomas finish of worse than solo second.   

    Johnson’s 15-month reign as world No. 1 ended after The Players. He wasn’t behind Thomas for long, however: After a tie for eighth at the Memorial, Johnson blew away the field in Memphis and then finished third at the U.S. Open to solidify his position at the top.