Singhs Sizzling 61 Good for Lead in Boston

By Associated PressSeptember 3, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 Deutsche Bank ChampionshipNORTON, Mass. -- All that hard work finally paid off Sunday for Vijay Singh, who shot the best round of his PGA TOUR career and put himself in position to end another streak by Tiger Woods at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
 
Singh played his first five holes in 5 under par, then finished with three straight birdies for a 10-under 61 to set the course record at the TPC of Boston and build a three-shot lead over Woods, who shot 67.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods trails Vijay Singh by three strokes entering the final round in Boston.
Two years ago, Singh went toe-to-toe with Woods in the final round on Labor Day and beat him by three shots to rise to No. 1, ending Woods' record 264 consecutive weeks atop the world ranking.
 
Woods now has won four straight times on the PGA Tour, and Singh is poised to end that streak.
 
'It would be good,' Singh said. 'I'm not going to be thinking about his streak or beating him. I've been playing long enough to know that you don't go out there and worry about the guys who are playing with you. You worry about your own game and see what happens.'

There were no worries Saturday.
 
Even more impressive than his score were the miserable conditions in which Singh shot his 61.
 
A light rain at the start of the third round never let up, coating the fairways with a thin layer of moisture, making it difficult to keep clubs dry. With little wind, however, Singh took dead aim at the flags and was never too far off.
 
'This is one of the worst conditions you want to play golf in because it gets everything wet,' Singh said. 'I just kept on plodding.'
 
And he kept making birdies, finishing at 11-under 202.
 
Woods had a chance to get closer, if not catch him over the final two hours after Singh was done. Woods missed four birdie putts inside 15 feet on the back nine, including putts of 10 feet on No. 15 and 8 feet on No. 17.
 
He looked out of sync over the closing holes, letting his hand fly from the club even on shots that turned out well. There was frustration even when he reached the par-5 18th in two, setting up a two-putt birdie that put him in the final group with Singh.
 
Justin Rose also birdied the 18th for a 69, leaving him tied with Woods at 205.
 
J.J. Henry, three weeks away from playing in his first Ryder Cup, shot 68 and was at 207, along with Shaun Micheel (68).

'Hopefully, I can play a little better than last time,' Woods said of his duel with Singh. 'I just know that tomorrow, given that conditions are as soft as they are, I'm going to have to make some birdies.'
 
Circumstances were far different two years ago.
 
Singh was at a level few others have reached, winning nine times in 2004 and setting a PGA Tour record by winning nearly $11 million. Perhaps the most significant victory came at Deutsche Bank, where he beat Woods in the final round to become No. 1 in the world.
 
Now, the roles are reversed again.
 
Woods has won six times this year, including his last four starts, and is so far ahead in the world ranking that he probably could take a year off and still be No. 1.
 
For Singh, it has been nothing but frustration.
 
He missed the cut in the final two majors and has not finished in the top 10 since the Western Open. His only victory this year was at the Barclays Classic, and Singh still isn't sure how that happened.
 
But he kept pounding away on the range, and finally reaped the reward in a big way.
 
'I kept telling myself, and everybody that is associated with me said, 'You're playing well. Just go out there and enjoy it, and it's going to happen.' And it was really difficult to keep practicing and not seeing results,' Singh said. 'And finally it showed up, and I did it in a great way. It didn't feel like it was difficult to do the way I played.'
 
Singh has been around long enough to know that some low scores can be the result of a few more putts going in.
 
Not this one. This was pure from the start.
 
He teed off 90 minutes before the leaders and was atop the leaderboard before Woods stuck a tee in the ground. He hit wedge into 5 feet on the opening hole, hammered a 3-wood over the water hazard to 30 feet for eagle on No. 2, then fired at the flags on the fourth and fifth holes for two more birdies.
 
Two more bursts followed -- one that gave him the lead, the other that should make him hard to catch on Monday.
 
Singh was one shot ahead of Woods when he hit 3-iron into 12 feet on the 16th, spun a wedge back to tap-in range on the 17th, then finished his record round with an 18-foot birdie. His previous best on tour was a 62 in the final round at Hartford in 1998.
 
The 43-year-old Fijian didn't see this one coming.
 
'Each time I made a birdie, I got even calmer for the next hole,' he said. 'And I just had a great time out there. I hit a lot of great shots and just tried to play hole-by-hole and never look ahead.'
 
It was difficult not to look ahead to Labor Day and his showdown with Woods.
 
Woods was still rebuilding his swing with Hank Haney in 2004, about two months away from the pieces falling together. Singh was about to embark on three straight victories, and the hole looked huge.
 
'It seems so far away, two years ago, the way I was playing then and now,' Singh said. 'I think this golf course ... it brings back great memories, and hopefully, it's the start of another great run.'
 
Related Links:
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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.

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    Four players vying for DJ's No. 1 ranking at Open

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 8:41 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Four players have an opportunity to overtake Dustin Johnson for world No. 1 this week.

    According to Golf Channel world-rankings guru Alan Robinson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm each can grab the top spot in the world ranking.

    Thomas’ path is the easiest. He would return to No. 1 with either a win and Johnson finishing worse than solo third, or even a solo runner-up finish as long as Johnson finishes worse than 49th.


    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Twenty years after his auspicious performance in The Open, Rose can get to No. 1 for the first time with a victory and Johnson finishing worse than a two-way tie for third.

    Kopeka can rise to No. 1 if he wins consecutive majors, assuming that his good friend posts worse than a three-way tie for third.

    And Rahm can claim the top spot with a win this week, a Johnson missed cut and a Thomas finish of worse than solo second.   

    Johnson’s 15-month reign as world No. 1 ended after The Players. He wasn’t behind Thomas for long, however: After a tie for eighth at the Memorial, Johnson blew away the field in Memphis and then finished third at the U.S. Open to solidify his position at the top.