Notes Norman Watson Come Up Short

By Associated PressJuly 31, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 U.S. Senior OpenKETTERING, Ohio -- Two of the biggest names in golf, senior or otherwise, lingered near the leaderboard but never really threw a scare into the leaders in Sunday's final round of the U.S. Senior Open.
Greg Norman shot a solid 69 that left him at 276, just two shots back of winner Allen Doyle. But Norman didn't make a birdie on the back nine and never got closer than two shots.
``I've really got no complaints with the way I played. It was just really frustrating with the putter,'' Norman said. ``I'm sure there are a lot of players who are saying the same thing, except for the guy who won the tournament.''
Tom Watson closed with a 71 to finish at 277, three shots behind the winner.
Disappointed by the way he played, Watson said he wasn't displeased with the way his month has gone.
``It was a good July,'' Watson said. ``I had a third at the British Open against the kids. I played half decently. Then I won (at the Senior British Open), then I finished top 10 here. It wasn't too bad of a run.''
It's a short, crooked 380-yard par-4, the kind of hole that makes pros salivate and duffers smile: Big curving drive and a short iron to a large green, and then a putt for birdie.
But in the final round of the U.S. Senior Open on Sunday, the 11th hole at NCR Country Club got the best of the 50-and-over crowd.
Loren Roberts came to the hole fresh from back-to-back birdies, carrying a one-shot lead over Craig Stadler and D.A. Weibring.
``Basically, the 11th hole was my whole tournament,'' Roberts said.
Stadler, who had double-bogeyed the ninth hole and then three-putted the next for par, needed a birdie to turn things around. Instead, he hit a pull-hook off the tee deep into the woods, punched out, and then airmailed his approach about 30 feet over the pin. Two putts later, he had another bogey and was on his way to a dreadful 76.
Things were even worse for the usually rock-solid Roberts. From the middle of the fairway, he chopped his wedge into the front bunker and was left with an awkward lie. After digging into the trap with his heels, he blasted a shot out of the sand that only advanced the ball 2 feet.
An angry Roberts stepped up to the ball, and without taking a look, hit his fourth shot onto the green some 20 feet past. Two putts later, he had a double-bogey and Weibring had the lead all by himself -- a lead he would later hand to Allen Doyle when he bogeyed the 17th and 18th holes.
``I drove it just perfectly,'' Roberts said of his travails at 11. ``I had 87 yards to carry the bunker and 92 to the hole, then I probably put my worst swing I've ever put on a wedge.''
Roberts, who finished with a 73 and missed a playoff with Doyle by a shot, said hitting it into the sand was like knocking the ball into a lake.
``I've never seen sand this tough,'' Roberts said. ``The bunkers were definitely hazards this week.''
In an otherwise humdrum day, Bruce Lietzke hit an unforgettable shot while playing out the string far off the pace in the U.S. Senior Open.
On the 549-yard, par-5 sixth hole, Lietzke holed out on his second shot from 219 yards with a rescue club.
``It's pretty cool,'' said Lietzke, who shot a 67 to finish at 281. ``I've had nine holes-in-one, but only two double-eagles. There are guys out here who have spent their whole careers without getting one. So it's pretty extra special. It's hard to do.''
For good measure, he birdied the holes before and after the double-eagle.
After shooting 1-over par through his first 58 holes of the tournament, Lietzke was 5-under for the next three holes.
It was only the second double-eagle in a USGA Open championship, the other coming at the 1985 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills when T.C. Chen posted a 2 at the 527-yard, par-5 second hole.
Rick Rhoden spent 15 years in the major leagues, posting a 151-125 record with the Dodgers, Pirates, Yankees and Astros.
On Sunday at the U.S. Senior Open, the former pitching ace had an ace.
Rhoden scored a hole in one with a 6 iron at the 170-yard, par-3 second hole at NCR Country Club in the final round.
The comeback wasn't a once in a lifetime occurrence for Doyle. He shot a 64 in the final round of the 1999 PGA Seniors Championship to overcome a four-stroke deficit and win. ... Doyle's previous senior major victory was the 2001 Ford Senior Players Championship. ... Doyle hit 11 of 14 fairways, averaged 302 yards on his measured drives and needed just 25 putts in his closing 63. ... Greg Reynolds and George Zahringer shared the low amateur honors at 4-over 288. ... The 2006 Senior Open is at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kansas.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Senior Open
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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 (