Notes: PGA Tour looking south of the border

By Associated PressJune 7, 2011, 7:35 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Florida – The PGA Tour has been spending a lot of time in South America, and not just because of the Olympics.

For the last 18 months, officials have been meeting with golf federations of several countries with hopes of starting a PGA Tour-branded circuit in South America, Latin America and the Caribbean. It would help develop local talent and provide another avenue for any player to find his way to the big leagues.

Think of it as a tour that would be one step below the Nationwide Tour.

And while there remain significant details to work out – not only finding an umbrella sponsor, but the number of tournaments and eligibility criteria – the plan is for this series to begin as early as 2012.

“If you look at the top 500 in the world ranking, only 14 players are from South America and eight of those come from Argentina,” said Ty Votaw, executive vice president of international affairs who is spearheading the Olympic effort for the PGA Tour. “It’s a part of the world where the development of elite players is something that we see as being an opportunity.”

With golf returning to the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, a series that would provide access to the Nationwide Tour and might offer even minimal world ranking points could increase the number of players in the world ranking from South America and help give golf some momentum on that continent.

Votaw said the plan is not entirely driven by the Olympics, although it has sped up the process.

The plan would be for open competition not restricted to local players. If the purses could be raised to $175,000, and if the top players on a money list (the number to be determined) were offered a spot on the Nationwide Tour, it could provide an attractive alternative to playing the mini-tours in which players have to put up their own money.

Keegan Bradley played mini-tours out of college, then made it far enough through Q-school to get onto the Nationwide Tour, a path that took him to victory two weeks ago on the PGA Tour. If a tour in South America were available then, Bradley said he would have gone.

“If there was access to the Nationwide? That would be a no-brainer,” Bradley said.

South America is seen by some as fertile ground for young players. It has produced two-time major champion Angel Cabrera, and PGA Tour winners from Argentina (Andres Romero), Colombia (Camilo Villegas), Venezuela (Jhonattan Vegas) and Paraguay (Carlos Franco).

Cabrera has started a foundation with hopes of funding some of the young players. He is aware of the tour’s plan and loves it.

“I hope it succeeds,” Cabrera said. “We have a lot of strong players on the PGA Tour already, and it would be very good for South America to have this. We could develop some players. It would be good for the young players to give them an opportunity.”

This would not replace the Tour de las Americas, but work alongside it. One of the difficulties is working with the various countries, which have their own agendas, and coming up with a right number of tournaments that gets the entire continent involved. Also to be considered is the climate in South America, with countries on both sides of the equator.

Votaw said the idea is for about 12 to 14 tournaments from eight countries.

The tour involvement would be important to give the series an identity, a path to bigger things and consistent standards in how the tournaments are run and promoted.

Votaw said a Nationwide Tour event in Colombia would continue, and serve as somewhat of a carrot.

“With the Nationwide Tour in Colombia, it gives an understanding of what the Nationwide Tour is, and provides an even more tacit example of the brass ring,” he said.


BUBBA’S WORLD: With three wins in the last year and growing notoriety, Bubba Watson plans to take his game around the world.

Watson already has signed up to play in the French Open and the Scandinavian Masters this summer, with the Swedish tournament one week after the British Open. Then comes three weeks in Australia toward the end of the year, with the Australian Open and Australian PGA Championship sandwiched around the Presidents Cup.

For next year, Watson said he would consider playing the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, which would endear himself to a European Tour nation that wonders why no Americans bother playing.

“I’ve heard it’s a good course,” Watson said. “I talked to Luke Donald about it the other day. He seemed to like it. I don’t know. I think it would be a cool thing to do.”

Watson is not a newcomer to traveling. Before his rookie season on the PGA Tour, he spent three weeks in Australia, along with playing the Dunlop Phoenix and Taiheiyo Masters in Japan.


GAY’S PLEDGE: Brian Gay made 25 birdies when he won the St. Jude Classic two years ago. Now he wants them to count in other ways.

Gay and his wife Kimberly are donating $100 for every birdie he makes in this week’s tournament to support the St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and he has enlisted four other players to join him.

Bryce Molder, Tom Pernice Jr. and Texas Open winner Brendan Steele also will donate $100 for each birdie they make. Phil Mickelson isn’t playing Memphis, but he will pitch in $100 for every birdie Gay makes.

All are Gaylord Sports Management clients, and the company has agreed to match all the contributions.


AWKWARD CELEBRATION: As he contemplated a possible PGA Tour-branded series in South America, Jim Furyk recalled the time he won the Argentina Open in 1997 in one of the more awkward trophy presentations.

Furyk wound up tied with Eduardo Romero. Before the playoff began, however, it was discovered that Romero and Vicente Fernandez forgot to exchange their scorecards before the final round. By rule, the two Argentines playing in their national open were disqualified, and Furyk was declared the winner.

“It was really strange,” Furyk said. “I was in the scoring tent for 20 minutes with everyone speaking Spanish, and no one told me what the hell was going on. It was awkward. It was really strange. It was good to get out of Dodge at that point.”

Leave it to Roberto de Vicenzo to save the day.

Along with winning his lone major at Royal Liverpool in 1967, De Vicenzo is famous for signing a higher score in the 1968 Masters than he actually shot, which kept him out of a playoff. “What a stupid I am,” was his memorable quote.

Alas, what a gentleman he was that day in ’97.

“De Vicenzo prepared this great speech about the honor of the game, and it was the right thing to do and ‘Jim is the champion and we need to embrace him,”’ Furyk said. “It was nice.”


STAT OF THE WEEK: Rickie Fowler had 26 birdies and an eagle last week at the Memorial. He shot 4 under 284 and tied for 22nd.


FINAL WORD: “I’m not much of a historian. I have read all the names on the claret jug. If he had won that, I might have heard of him.” – Stewart Cink, asked about the 100-year anniversary of John McDermott winning the U.S. Open.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 12:15 pm

Tiger Woods, in search of his 15th career major championship title, started the weekend six off the lead at Carnoustie. We're tracking him in Round 3 of The Open.


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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 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)

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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.


Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.