Notes Masters Not for All Tigers New Driver
The Viking Classic is part of the Fall Series, meaning it offers no FedExCup points at all.
And the winner won't get that ticket down Magnolia Lane.
``It goes back to what we were years ago when we first started out,'' said Robert Morgan, the tournament's executive director. ``We were official money, but we were not an official win, which was screwy. It's going to be the same in that respect. I would think not having the Masters invitation is going to be a negative.''
The announcement from Augusta National was a double-edged sword for the Fall Series.
Winners of those seven events don't get an invitation to the Masters. However, the Masters will take the top 30 on the money list, meaning more players might compete in the fall if it means a chance for them to move into the top 30 on the money list.
The top 30 from the FedExCup points will be frozen after the TOUR Championship, and all those players will be eligible for the Masters.
``I assume the tour doesn't have anything to do with what the Masters does,'' Morgan said. ``But we were told more than one time that everything would be the same. This was a surprise and a disappointment.''
The Disney Golf Classic might be in the best spot among fall events - the final week of official competition, meaning players will be competing for the top 125 on the money list to earn their cards, and top 30 to get into the Masters, if they aren't already eligible.
Tournament director Kevin Weickel said it's a chance for fall events to prove themselves.
``The Masters always does what's best for the Masters,'' Weickel said. ``It's great for the players that a win gets you back into that circle, and I'd love for the fall events to be included. That may come down in the future. The fall is still new to everybody. They're smart folks up there in Augusta. I'm sure they'll figure it out.''
Even so, fall tournaments must have been wondering about Nick Watney's victory in New Orleans last week. That was a full FedExCup event, but the field was so weak that more world ranking points were awarded to the winner of the BMW Asian Open. Watney earned 28 points, only four more points than the winner of the Mississippi tournament last year.
``We've got to play it first,'' Weickel said of the Fall Series. ``Once we see what the fields are like, that's when we'll all be able to make a fair evaluation.''
Some have described the sound of the Nike Sumo driver as an empty soda can being struck in a racquetball court. That noise was coming from the first tee at Oakmont on Monday, and it was in the hands of Tiger Woods.
Whether he uses it in competition remains to be seen.
Woods used the Sumo driver exclusively during two days of practice at Oakmont.
``The question is whether I use it at the Wachovia (Championship),'' Woods said, referring to next week's tournament at Quail Hollow. ``I already know what my other driver does. It did all right at Augusta National.''
Woods has tested the square-shaped driver in practice, but he has not used it in competition. He had said during a Nike news conference late last year that he hits it farther with the new driver, but he had not figured out the proper launch conditions.
He missed only three fairways with his driver during his final practice round Monday.
Tiger Woods offered an interesting sequence of club selection from the 15th hole of the Masters, even though he never took the 3-iron out of his hand.
He didn't have much of a choice, considering his 4-iron was in two pieces from smacking the tree on his swing at No. 11.
``This is how it went,'' he said. ``When the guys were on the green, it was a 4-iron. When the guys were ready to leave the green, it became a 5-iron. And when I stepped over the ball, it was a 3-iron. The wind was dancing all over the place. It went from no wind, then down and left-to-right, and then it was in and off the right. I always had a 3-iron, but it was like, '3-iron is too much, 3-iron is too much,' and then 3-iron became perfect. And then I hit a terrible shot.''
Woods played a big cut that came up short and into the water, and he scrambled for par.
Electronic leaderboards on the PGA TOUR have been around almost 20 years, and Charles Howell III once described the sound of more than 5,000 yellow cubes turning over as machine gun fire.
Finally, they're about to be replaced.
The tour last week announced a three-year marketing deal with Mitsubishi Electric in which the company will supply 22 Diamond Vision LED scoreboards that will make their debut at The Players Championship next month. After that, officials say the boards will be divided into traveling sets so 11 boards are at each PGA TOUR event.
The boards will be phased in during the summer, and all 11 should be in place starting with the first FedExCup playoff event at The Barclays the last week in August.
The Wachovia Championship next week again is offering its ``Mulligan'' ticket program. Fans who have to leave the tournament early can donate their daily tickets to the tournament, which will be sold for $10. All proceeds from the program go to charity. The tournament already is sold out. ... The Las Vegas tournament will be run by the Shriners Hospital for Children, which will get the charitable proceeds. The tournament, now called the Frys.Com Open, had been run by the Founders Club since it began in 1983. ... Nick Faldo will make his Champions Tour debut in the Senior British Open at Muirfield, the 20-year anniversary of his first major championship at Muirfield. ... Charlotte Country Club will host the 2010 U.S. Women's Amateur, while the 2009 U.S. Senior Amateur is going to The Homestead in Hot Springs, Va.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
D.J. Trahan (Southern Farm Bureau) and Eric Axley (Texas Open) are both outside the top 200 in the world ranking despite winning PGA TOUR events in the last seven months.
``It's a nice, drivable par 4.'' - Tiger Woods, on the 288-yard eighth hole at Oakmont, which plays as a par 3.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship
Tiger Woods is competing in his first Open Championship since 2015. We're tracking him this week at Carnoustie.
Tweets by GCTigerTracker
How to watch The Open on TV and online
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)
The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major
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.
Four players vying for DJ's No. 1 ranking at Open
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.
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.