Singh Cruises to Bay Hill Title

By Associated PressMarch 18, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Arnold Palmer InvitationalORLANDO, Fla. -- Vijay Singh kept staring at the silver trophy from the Arnold Palmer Invitational, turning it slightly at the base to make sure his name was finally on the list of champions.
 
Even then, it must have been hard to believe.
 
Singh has been coming to Bay Hill for 15 years. He had left with nothing but three runner-up finishes and plenty of heartache. There was that bogey-bogey finish in 1994 to lose to Loren Roberts, the 7-iron into the lake on the 18th two years ago to lose to Kenny Perry.
 
He made sure that wouldn't happen Sunday.
 
Singh played so well in the middle that it didn't matter how bad it got at the end. Even with a bogey-bogey-par finish, the 44-year-old Fijian still matched the best score of the final round with a 3-under 67 that gave him a two-shot victory over Rocco Mediate.
 
'I knew how difficult Bay Hill plays on Sunday,' he said. 'It was a good feeling to be standing on 18 tee knowing that you don't have to make a par to win the tournament.'
 
He played his approach far away from the water and wound up making par, anyway.
 
Singh, who finished at 8-under 272, became the first multiple winner on the PGA TOUR this year. His 31st career victory tied him with Harry 'Lighthorse' Cooper of England with the most by a foreign-born player.
 
'I love this place,' Singh said. 'I hate the 18th hole, but I love the rest of it. It feels great. Having won Jack's tournament (Memorial) and now Arnie's, it's a great one to get.'
 
Mediate made three clutch par saves to keep alive his hopes, only to find trouble on the 18th for a bogey and a 67.
 
Vaughn Taylor, who had a two-shot lead going into the final round, didn't make a birdie until the 15th hole. His only other birdie came on the 18th to give him a 73 and third place, but it was not enough to move him into the top 50 in the world ranking and qualify for the World Golf Championship next week at Doral.
 
Ben Curtis closed with a 72 to finish fourth.
 
Tiger Woods delivered a dramatic finish, but not the kind anyone expected.
 
His chances ended with a three-putt double bogey on the 11th hole, and then a bad day got even worse. Woods hit his tee shot into the water on the par-3 17th and made double bogey. After chipping out of the rough on the 18th, he hit his third into the water and made triple bogey for a 43 on the back nine.
 
He closed with a 76, his highest score in a regular PGA TOUR event since a 76 in the third round of the Memorial four years ago. Woods wound up tied for 22nd, ending his streak of 13 straight top 10s worldwide, nine of those on the PGA TOUR.
 
Woods left the course without comment.
 
The sweetest words came from Palmer, who gave Singh an exemption to Bay Hill in 1993 when the Fijian was unknown in these parts. Singh went on to win at Westchester and was voted PGA TOUR rookie of the year. And he never missed a trip back to Bay Hill.
 
Palmer was waiting for him when he walked off the 18th green.
 
'Arnold said, 'Well done. It was a long time coming,'' Singh said.
 
In a career that seems to have no end, Singh now has 19 victories since turning 40 -- the same as Davis Love III, Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite won in their entire careers.
 
Perhaps it's only fitting that the trophy is topped by an image of Palmer lashing away with the driver. The King swung for the fences, and made a name for himself with so many daring escapes from trouble spots.
 
That might have been how Singh won the tournament.
 
Singh ran off four birdies in a five-hole stretch to close out the front nine, and he was coming off a three-putt bogey on the 11th. He decided to go for the par-5 12th in two by hitting driver off the deck, but pulled it under a tree left of the green.
 
Thinking he was in trouble, Singh was thrilled to see a gap in the branches for him to hit wedge toward the green, and he surprised even himself by making a 20-foot birdie putt with about 6 feet of break.
 
Singh essentially sealed victory three holes later when he hit driver over the corner of two houses and a group of Magnolia trees on the 15th, so far that he had only sand wedge left to the green. He spun the ball off the slope to within 2 feet for birdie.
 
That allowed him room for mistakes, and he made his share with bogeys on the 16th and 17th that affected only the margin.
 
'It gives me belief that I can still win out here with the best of them, and not only once,' Singh said. 'I can keep winning.'
 
The consolation for Mediate was his $594,000 for second place, more than enough for him to secure a job the rest of the year. Mediate started the season on a minor medical exemption because of a back injury last year, and he was given 10 tournaments to earn the equivalent of 125th on the 2006 money list.
 
'Ridiculous satisfaction,' Mediate said. 'This is huge.'
 
Sergio Garcia also tried to make a run and got within two shots with a 15-foot birdie on the 13th. But he bogeyed the next two holes, missing a 4-foot par putt on the 15th, and finishing his round of 71 by missing another 4-footer on the 18th. He tied for fifth with John Rollins (71) and Tom Lehman (72).
 
DIVOTS
Singh tied for best score of the day each of the last two rounds, both times with a 67. ... The winning score would have been 16 under if Palmer had not changed par to a 70. The winning score last year was 14-under 274. ... Mediate went 18 straight holes without a bogey until the 72nd hole. ... J.B. Holmes shot 49 on the front nine and was 15 over through his first 10 holes before he played his eight holes in 2 under for an 83. ... Lehman left Bay Hill knowing he would have to watch the Masters on TV. He needed second place alone for a chance to get to Doral and possibly the Masters.
 
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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.