Ringing cell phones The Jordan Rules

By Associated PressOctober 9, 2009, 6:34 am
Presidents Cup

SAN FRANCISCO – As incidents go, it was almost comical. And Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker hardly needed any help anyway.

But on a day when almost everything seemed to go bad for Ryo Ishikawa and Geoff Ogilvy, a ringing cell phone and a fan who couldn’t keep his mouth shut added to their misery.

The International team members were already 1-down in their match on the third hole when Ogilvy ran into problems while trying to putt for a par that would have given them a halve. By the time he missed the putt, Woods was apologizing to him even though both he and Stricker were blameless.

“Tiger did a classy thing and apologized for that, not that he had anything to do with it, but we hate to see stuff like that happen,” Stricker said.

What happened was the phone of a course marshal standing near the green started ringing as Ogilvy stood over his putt. When he backed off and then stood over it again, the phone rang again.

The players and their caddies looked into the crowd to see who the offender was, and it turned out to be a marshal. But he apparently was not familiar with how to turn his phone off and it rang several more times before he finally retreated out of sight.

Stricker said he thought it went off seven different times, but Woods held up five fingers to indicate it wasn’t that much. But when Ogilvy went to finally hit the putt, a fan yelled out a reference from the movie “Caddyshack” and he ended up missing it.

“You know the only part that was intentional was the guy yelling out, which was absolutely uncalled for,” Woods said. “And this is not what golf is all about.”

Woods and Stricker went on to beat Ogilvy and Ishikawa 6 and 4 in the alternate shot format, the biggest win by any team on the day.


A NEW ROUTE: The routing at Harding Park changed from when the World Golf Championship was played here in 2005, mainly to make sure that everyone reached the 18th hole, the signature hole with a dramatic tee shot over Lake Merced.

That now plays as No. 15, and it was pivotal for Phil Mickelson, who crushed a tee shot that set up the third straight birdie that gave he and Anthony Kim control of their match.

Mickelson was asked his strategy on playing the hole.

“I approach it similar to whether I’m ahead or behind,” Lefty said. “Basically, I try to tee it really high and rip at it.”

Upon hearing this, Tiger Woods dropped his head and stifled a laugh.

Mickelson said by taking a big cut and going long, it makes the fairway wider. Then he turned to Steve Stricker and asked if that was his strategy on the hole, too.

“I don’t play it that way,” Stricker said.

Woods finally chimed in: “We didn’t play that hole.”

Woods and Stricker closed out their match on the 14th hole, the shortest of the six matches.


JORDAN RULES: Michael Jordan’s role as an unofficial yet official assistant captain continued to be a thorny issue at Harding Park.

The former NBA superstar had a golf cart and a team windbreaker and spent most of the day shuttling between groups to offer words of encouragement, particularly to the younger players.

Asked about Jordan, Couples said he hangs around in the team room with players, acts as a sounding board for some of them, and is a cheerleader. Earlier in the week he played a practice round with them, generating some controversy because he was smoking a cigar on a city course where it is not allowed.

“On the golf course he’s allowed to do a little bit and not trying to do a lot,” Couples said. “So he’s just telling them to relax and have fun and this is what it’s all about. Just like what Greg (Norman) and I do. And I don’t want Greg to think I’ve got two assistants out there. He is out dressed like that because I thought it would be best to keep it from being this show. But everyone knows Michael Jordan, and he’s having a great time.”


SPECIAL GUEST: Among the dignitaries at the Presidents Cup this week was California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, at least according to British Open champion Stewart Cink.

He said on Twitter that the U.S. team asked the former actor about his golf game.

“On his golf game he said, ‘Last time I held a club was in Conan the Barbarian.’ Funny moment,” Cink wrote.


ROCKET SCIENTISTS: Fred Couples has always liked to keep things simple, and his pairings in the Presidents Cup reflect that.

It makes it easier, of course, when you listen to who your top player wants to partner with. Tiger Woods won big with Steve Stricker in the opening alternate ball matches, and they will play again Friday, this time against Geoff Ogilvy and Angel Cabrera.

That Woods and Stricker should be comfortable with each other is no surprise. They were paired together in seven rounds during the PGA Tour playoffs, and they may play together all week here.

Finding Woods a partner he is happy with could be a key to the President’s Cup. In recent team competitions, Woods has clearly been out of sorts with his partner, including his infamous pairing with Mickelson at the Ryder Cup.

“I was comfortable having him as my partner, but I wanted to make sure he was comfortable having me as his partner, just because I didn’t want to feel like he had to hold up my end as well as his end,” Stricker said.

Couples said way too much is made of the way players are paired together because in the end they are all very good players.

“Greg could make my pairings and think he’s doing a horrible job and I can take his and think I’m doing a horrible job; they are still six great teams,” Couples said. “It’s not that difficult.”


IN THE WOODS: Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim took their first lead on the sixth hole, which played under 400 yards.

With a bogey, no less.

Kim hit his tee shot into the trees, leaving Mickelson no choice but to play toward the fifth fairway. Kim came up short of the green, and Mickelson chipped some 4 feet short of the cup.

The good news for them? Mike Weir and Tim Clark rattled around in the trees, taking four shots to reach the green. From there, Weir missed a 6-foot putt for a double bogey.

“Hopefully, darkness didn’t come before we finished the hole,” Kim said. “We were fortunate.”

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Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 9:33 am

Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.

Everything before that, however, was far from routine.



Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.

He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and TaylorMade got him his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.

"I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:40 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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The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:30 am

Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about The Open:

What's all this "The Open" stuff? I thought it was the British Open.

What you call it has historically depended on where you were. If you were in the U.S., you called it the British Open, just as Europeans refer to the PGA Championship as the U.S. PGA. Outside the U.S. it generally has been referred to as The Open Championship. The preferred name of the organizers is The Open.

How old is it?

It's the oldest golf championship, dating back to 1860.

Where is it played?

There is a rotation – or "rota" – of courses used. Currently there are 10: Royal Birkdale, Royal St. George's, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham and St. Annes, all in England; Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland and St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Turnberry and Muirfield, all in Scotland. Muirfield was removed from the rota in 2016 when members voted against allowing female members, but when the vote was reversed in 2017 it was allowed back in.

Where will it be played this year?

At Carnoustie, which is located on the south-eastern shore of Scotland.

Who has won The Open on that course?

Going back to the first time Carnoustie hosted, in 1931, winners there have been Tommy Armour, Henry Cotton (1937), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1968), Tom Watson (1975), Paul Lawrie (1999), Padraig Harrington (2007).

Wasn't that the year Hogan nearly won the Slam?

Yep. He had won the Masters and U.S. Open that season, then traveled to Carnoustie and won that as well. It was the only time he ever played The Open. He was unable to play the PGA Championship that season because the dates conflicted with those of The Open.

Jean Van de Velde's name should be on that list, right?

This is true. He had a three-shot lead on the final hole in 1999 and made triple bogey. He lost in a playoff to Lawrie, which also included Justin Leonard.

Who has won this event the most?

Harry Vardon, who was from the Channel Island of Jersey, won a record six times between 1896 and 1914. Australian Peter Thomson, American Watson, Scot James Braid and Englishman J.H. Taylor each won five times.

What about the Morrises?

Tom Sr. won four times between 1861 and 1867. His son, Tom Jr., also won four times, between 1868 and 1872.

Have players from any particular country dominated?

In the early days, Scots won the first 29 Opens – not a shocker since they were all played at one of three Scottish courses, Prestwick, St. Andrews and Musselburgh. In the current era, going back to 1999 (we'll explain why that year in a minute), the scoreboard is United States, nine wins; South Africa, three wins; Ireland, two wins; Northern Ireland, two wins; and Sweden, one win. The only Scot to win in that period was Lawrie, who took advantage of one of the biggest collapses in golf history.

Who is this year's defending champion?

That would be American Jordan Spieth, who survived an adventerous final round to defeat Matt Kuchar by three strokes and earn the third leg of the career Grand Slam.

What is the trophy called?

The claret jug. It's official name is the Golf Champion Trophy, but you rarely hear that used. The claret jug replaced the original Challenge Belt in 1872. The winner of the claret jug gets to keep it for a year, then must return it (each winner gets a replica to keep).

Which Opens have been the most memorable?

Well, there was Palmer in 1961and '62; Van de Velde's collapse in 1999; Hogan's win in 1953; Tiger Woods' eight-shot domination of the 2000 Open at St. Andrews; Watson almost winning at age 59 in 2009; Doug Sanders missing what would have been a winning 3-foot putt at St. Andrews in 1970; Tony Jacklin becoming the first Briton to win the championship in 18 years; and, of course, the Duel in the Sun at Turnberry in 1977, in which Watson and Jack Nicklaus dueled head-to-head over the final 36 holes, Watson winning by shooting 65-65 to Nicklaus' 65-66.

When I watch this tournament on TV, I hear lots of unfamiliar terms, like "gorse" and "whin" and "burn." What do these terms mean?

Gorse is a prickly shrub, which sometimes is referred to as whin. Heather is also a shrub. What the scots call a burn, would also be considered a creek or stream.