Notes Scott Plays Solo Crane Picks Up Pace

By Associated PressNovember 4, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Tour ChampionshipATLANTA -- Adam Scott likes to go it alone, just not under these circumstances.
Because of Phil Mickelson's withdrawal, there's only 29 players in the Tour Championship. That forces one player to tee off by himself in the first twosome -- or should that be onesome? -- of the day.
After opening with a 3-over 73, Scott had the dubious distinction of going solo Friday.
``There's not much talking,'' the Australian quipped. ``You're just trying to get the round over with.''
Less than 2 1/2 hours later, he was done -- putting out on No. 18 while the second group still had five holes to play. He improved to a 69 despite bogeys on the final two holes.
``I like playing by myself,'' Scott said. ``You don't have to worry about what the other guy is doing.''
But solo is not a desired status at tournament time, since it usually means a golfer played poorly the day before. Scott got to play a round by himself at last year's Tour Championship, which also had a 29-man field after Davis Love III withdrew.
``I don't want to make a habit of it,'' Scott said.
He'll have a playing partner for Saturday. Sean O'Hair gets to set the lonely pace in the third round after his second straight 73.
Ben Crane is trying to speed things up.
A notoriously slow player, Crane got plenty of unwanted attention over the summer at the Booz Allen Classic when Rory Sabbatini -- disgusted at the snail's pace of his partner -- putted out at No. 17 and went on to the 18th tee before Crane sauntered up the green.
In early September, Crane instructed his caddie to time his shots at the Canadian Open, hoping that would shave 10 to 15 seconds off each swing.
``We're pretty close,'' Crane said. ``It's gotten to the point now where I'm not in violation when I'm hitting shots like I probably would have been a few months ago.''
While Sabbatini was criticized for his breach of etiquette, Crane can understand the point.
``You know, when you have a lot of people telling you, 'Hey, look, you're going too slow here,' obviously it's time to pick it up,'' Crane said. ``It's been a process of trying to obviously pick up the pace over the ball over every shot, and it's gotten better.''
Crane, making his first appearance in the season-ending Tour Championship, finds himself in contention after shooting a 5-under 65 Friday, tied for the best round of the day. He was three strokes behind co-leaders Bart Bryant and Retief Goosen.
Crane played the second round with Davis Love III, who apparently had no complaints about the pace of play.
``Is it where I want it to be?'' Crane asked. ``No. I don't get up over the ball like Davis Love. He gets up over the ball, looks at the target and fires. I'm not there yet.''
Tiger Woods got a sampling of Southern hospitality at the 10th hole.
He was standing over a 20-foot putt to save par, gently swinging his club back and forth, when suddenly he backed away and sneezed.
``Bless you!'' the gallery chanted in unison.
Woods broke out in a big smile as he walked back to his ball.
``Thank you,'' he said.
Stuart Appleby had some good fortune on his way to a 65.
Equaling Ben Crane for the best round of the day, Appleby managed a birdie at the 430-yard 14th hole despite hitting his tee shot off a tree.
The errant shot soared over the gallery, but miraculously deflected back into the fairway. He followed with a 9-iron to 6 feet and sank the putt.
``You always need bounces like that,'' Appleby said.
The Aussie also had an eagle at the 607-yard ninth hole, using a driver and a 3-wood to get within 10 feet on the flag. He made the putt, one of several crucial strokes that helped his round.
``If you wanted to be greedy, that's the type of day you'd want to have every time you played golf,'' Appleby said.
He has struggled with his putting game, but it seems to be coming around. He saved par at the 13th with a nice 12-footer -- the kind of putt he's been missing.
``Putting hasn't been a lot of fun for me the last few months,'' Appleby said. ``I haven't really managed to roll the ball as effectively as I would have wanted, and that's where the scoring is.''
Charles Howell has one of the most spectacular putts of the day, sinking a 60-footer for birdie at the par-3 11th. Even Steve Williams, the caddy for playing partner Tiger Woods, chimed in at the next tee: ``Nice putt, Charles.'' Howell shot a 68 and is 5-under at the midway point, five strokes off the lead. ... Bart Bryant isn't the first member of his family to be leading the Tour Championship after 36 holes. Brad Bryant held the top spot midway through the 1995 event at Southern Hills. He finished in a tie for seventh.
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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 (