A Revamped Ryder Cup System but Why Stop There

By Associated PressNovember 7, 2006, 5:00 pm
After crunching numbers to apply the new Ryder Cup points system to the previous team, there appears to be only one conclusion. The Americans lost because they didn't have Arron Oberholser.
U.S. captain Paul Azinger did the right thing by asking to shake up the formula.

Instead of using the archaic system of awarding points based on top 10s over two years, he simplified the process by basing it on money, something that usually hits home with American players. Except for a few tweaks, the system closely mirrors how the Presidents Cup team is determined, and it's shocking that the PGA of America would ever agree to anything the PGA Tour thought of first.
But does it really matter?
Under the previous method, points were quadrupled in the Ryder Cup year with a 75-point bonus for winning and heavy emphasis on the majors. The top 10 players were Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Chad Campbell, David Toms, Chris DiMarco, Vaughn Taylor, J.J. Henry, Zach Johnson and Brett Wetterich.
The new system awards one point for every $1,000 earned in the 2007 majors and 2008 PGA Tour events, and two points in the 2008 majors. Only eight players qualify, giving Azinger a record four captain's picks. Using that method, the U.S. team (in order) would have been Woods, Mickelson, Furyk, DiMarco, Campbell, Toms, Oberholser and Johnson.
So get rid of Taylor, Henry and Wetterich and replace them with Oberholser and four captain's picks, if Azinger can find four guys worth picking.
Really, how does this help?
Don't they still have to make putts?
'You're absolutely right,' PGA president Roger Warren said. 'In the end, whatever team is out there has got to play better than the other team for a chance to win. It's all about playing. We want to make sure we give Paul the best opportunity to have the best team of players out there.'
Oberholser is not meant to be a punch line. He is worth paying attention to the next two years, and he might have helped this last team. In an informal poll of 18 golf writers who were asked to pick the entire team, Oberholser was named on nine ballots and tied for 12th with Lucas Glover.
One reason he ranked so high in Azinger's system was his tie for 14th in the Masters and his tie for 16th in the U.S. Open, which earned him nothing under the old formula. He also had top 20s against three other strong fields (Torrey Pines, Match Play and Byron Nelson).
Azinger has said on more than one occasion that he is the captain, not the coach. Not since Arnold Palmer was the playing captain at East Lake in 1963 as any captain had a direct bearing on the outcome.
Azinger knows what he is up against, too. Europe not only has won the last three times in the Ryder Cup, it hasn't even been close the last two matches -- 18 1/2 -9 1/2 home and away.
'The European Ryder Cup team is fantastic, and they have been for a long time,' Azinger said. 'And it's about time we genuinely recognize that fact. We're doing everything we can by what we believe is improving the selection process.'
The radical change was getting four captain's picks instead of two, which should help identify who's hot.
But even that isn't a guarantee. No one was playing better than Stewart Cink in 2004 when he was a captain's pick. He won at Firestone, tied for fourth at the Canadian, and then slipped into mediocrity at Oakland Hills.
Azinger got his captaincy off to a good start by changing the formula.
The key is not to stop there.
Over the next two years, he would do well to get rid of the hokey cookouts aimed at allowing the Americans to bond. These guys get along fine (even Tiger and Phil).
Azinger could start by changing the order of play.
For years, the opening session was foursomes, an uncomfortable format (especially for Ryder Cup rookies) that requires a little more caution because every swing counts. Seve Ballesteros changed the order in 1997 (Europe won) and fourballs as been the opening format every year since then except 1999 (Europe lost).
Along those lines, talk the PGA of America into having morning and afternoon singles matches (eight plays each) on Sunday. That's how it was from 1963 to 1975, and the Americans never left town without the cup.
But that was when Europe was weak, so the format was changed to allow it to hide players. No one took it as seriously as Mark James in 1999 at the Brookline when he hid three players until Sunday.
Europe no longer needs the help. Then again, the Americans can't even win singles these days.
Azinger also should get more involved in setting up Valhalla, specifically the speed of the greens. Americans do their best on slick greens, so jack them up to about 15 on the Stimpmeter, then see how fearless Europeans go after those 30-foot birdie putts.
And if you really want radical? Stick with alternate shot for the first session, and bench Tiger.
This idea came from Scott Verplank.
He figures two Europeans are begging to face Woods in the opening match each year, because it's their chance to be heroes. Woods is the No. 1 player in golf, and they have nothing to lose.
'So you keep him out of the alternate shot, which isn't going to make him very happy,' Verplank said. 'And it would confuse the other team. Then right before lunch, you stick your head in the European team room and say, 'Tiger is ready to play now. Who wants him?''
Radical, sure. But it couldn't hurt.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 9:00 am

Tiger Woods shot his second consecutive 70 on Friday at Carnoustie and enters weekend play at even par for the championship, still in contention for major No. 15.

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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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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson