Notes Player Tabs Baker-Finch as Asst Captain

By Associated PressAugust 19, 2005, 4:00 pm
AKRON, Ohio -- Gary Player had no trouble making his two captain's picks for the Presidents Cup. The hard part was finding as assistant captain for the International team.
Player finally selected former British Open champion Ian Baker-Finch, the congenial Australian who will be helping out for the third time. Baker-Finch also was the assistant captain in 1996 under Peter Thomson and in 2003 under Player when the matches ended in a tie in South Africa.
``The assistant was supposed to be the alternate,'' Baker-Finch said Friday. ``Gary told me a few months ago that he would get a player who was unlucky not to make the team. I'm happy to be back.''

Player first wanted Nick Price, who failed to make the International team for the first time, but was turned down.
``He wanted to make the team, and it was just a letdown not making the team that he'd like to be excused from being the vice captain,'' Player said Tuesday.
He also asked Steve Elkington, who many figured would be a captain's pick after his runner-up finish at the PGA Championship. Player instead took Peter Lonard and Trevor Immelman, and Elkington wasn't interested in riding around the Robert Trent Jones Club with only a radio.
Others that Players wanted for his assistant were Robert Allenby and Craig Parry.
Baker-Finch had no trouble being on a waiting list, and he has no interest in becoming captain one day.
``I'm happy to be assistant captain,'' he said. ``If I ever get to be captain, by the time it gets to me, a lot of other guys -- Nicky Price, Greg Norman -- all those guys should be captain before me.''
U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus will have Jeff Sluman for the second straight time.
The 16th hole at Firestone already is a beast at 667 yards, and it played like one Friday. The pin was all the way to the right, squeezed behind the large pond and in front of deep rough. The tree-lined fairway blocked some of the wind, which was helping the players.
It was difficult to pull the right club, and it showed in the scores.
Davis Love III was 4 under par when he put his third shot into the water, his fifth shot over the green, then had to make a 3-footer for a triple-bogey 8. Vijay Singh was at 5 under and tied for the lead when his third shot came up short and into the water. He holed a chip with a fairway metal just off the green to save bogey.
There were only nine birdies, and it ranked as the third-hardest hole. Five players made double bogey, while Love had triple bogey and Chris Riley made a quadruple-bogey 9.
Tiger Woods narrowly escaped a big number.
His tee shot went off a cart path into the trees. He tried to punch out to the fairway, but it rolled into a bunker 163 yards to the hole over the water. He hit 8-iron to 20 feet and two-putted for par.
``Just play it like I did,'' he said. ``Lay up to a full 8-iron out of the bunker.''
Three players tried to reach the green in two. Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke came up just short and both made birdie; Stuart Appleby's second shot hit the green and went over, and he had to settle for par
Firestone is getting a new title sponsor for the first time since 1984.
The Akron Beacon Journal reported Friday that Bridgestone Corp., the Tokyo-based tire company, will take over as title sponsor of the World Golf Championship starting in 2006. Details were expected to be announced on Sunday, although it is believed that the deal will run through 2010, keeping the tournament at Firestone the next five years.
NEC took over as title sponsor in 1984 when the tournament was known as the World Series of Golf, and it became the NEC Invitational when it became a WGC event in 1999.
Bridgestone bought Akron-based Firestone Tire & Rubber Co in 1998, but it never owned Firestone Country Club. Firestone sold its country club to ClubCorp of American in 1981.
Starting times have been moved up in the third round to avoid thunderstorms in the forecast Saturday afternoon. Players will go off from both tees in threesomes starting, and the round is to be finished by 2 p.m. EDT. ... Marc Cayeux of Zimbabwe, the 27-year-old who played with Woods in his U.S. debut, had a 75 and was at 6-over 146. ... Mike Weir shot a 69, his first round in the 60s since he shot a 68 in the third round of the Masters.
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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 (