Six Shots that Shaped 2004
Singh was five shots behind with five holes to play at the season-opening Mercedes Championships. He came within an inch of forcing a playoff when his 100-foot eagle putt on the 18th at Kapalua grazed the cup.
He finished one shot behind, but that putt was a powerful statement that he should never be counted out.
Singh proved that over the next nine months. He shot 29 on the back nine to win in New Orleans. He refused to get flustered at the Buick Open after John Daly started birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie. He won the PGA Championship despite trailing by two shots as he stood on the 16th tee.
And in perhaps the most amazing of his nine wins, Singh made two triple-bogeys and still won the Canadian Open.
Singh's best shot of the year was his 3-iron into 6 feet on the par-3 17th at Whistling Straits during the three-hole playoff at the PGA Championship, which assured him a one-shot lead going to the final hole.
There were dozens of other memorable shots - Craig Parry holing out with a 6-iron to win at Doral, Todd Hamilton's bump-and-run with a utility club on the 18th at Royal Troon; Mike Weir chipping to 5 feet from the side of the hill at Riviera to save par and win for the second straight year.
But other shots, some of them obscure, helped shape the year on the PGA Tour.
Phil Mickelson at Augusta National:
The 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th at Augusta National is what gave Mickelson his first major, but he might not have been in that position without a birdie on the par-3 16th.
No. 16 can be a tricky hole for a lefty, and it cost Mickelson in 2001 when he put his tee shot atop the ridge right of the flag, three-putting for bogey.
He was up to the task this year. One shot behind, Mickelson hit 8-iron into 15 feet and made birdie to draw even with Ernie Els and set up his dramatic finish.
And without that green jacket, a spectacular year in the majors would have looked like a flop.
Mickelson was tied with Retief Goosen at the U.S. Open until a three-putt from 5 feet to make double-bogey on the 17th hole. He had the lead at Royal Troon until missing a 4-foot par putt on 13 and settling for pars the rest of the way, finishing one shot out of the playoff.
But he has a green jacket. It was a great year.
And it was a perfect 8-iron on the 16th.
John Rollins on No. 18 at La Costa:
Rollins wasn't even eligible for the Match Play Championship until Els withdrew, and he wasn't optimistic about a first-round match with defending champion Tiger Woods.
The match was even on the par-5 18th, and both players had to lay up about 100 yards short of the green. Woods went first and hit a marginal wedge into 20 feet. Rollins tried to stick it close, but the ball drifted just long enough to catch the bunker. He wound up with a bogey and lost.
Woods went on to win his next five matches for his only victory of the year.
John Daly at Torrey Pines:
It had been 10 years since Daly won a PGA Tour event on American soil, and it looked like he might have to wait even longer.
Luke Donald hit a wedge into 6 feet on the par-5 18th, the first playoff hole at the Buick Invitational. Chris Riley, one of the best putters on tour, was about 5 feet away. Daly went for the green in two and found a bunker, leaving him 100 feet from the cup on a downhill shot with water on the other side.
With exquisite touch, Daly blasted out to 4 inches, then won when Donald and Riley missed.
Galleries had even more reason to follow Daly the rest of the year. He made the Tour Championship for the first time in 13 years, and was a hot topic in August whenever someone mentioned the Ryder Cup.
Joey Sindelar at Quail Hollow:
One of the most congenial players in the game, Sindelar showed that it's never too late to recapture the magic.
He made up four shots over the final three holes in the Wachovia Championship, no shot more important than a 4-iron into 3 feet on the par-3 17th, which has a peninsula green and ranks as the hardest hole at Quail Hollow. It was enough to get into a playoff, where the 46-year-old Sindelar won for the first time in 370 tournaments spanning 14 years.
Sindelar was one of six players in their 40s who won this year. Fred Funk won for the first time in six years, Woody Austin for the first time in nine years, and Stephen Ames and Bart Bryant had never won.
Tom Lehman at Las Vegas:
Lehman went three straight weeks with at least a share of the 54-hole lead. During that stretch, he talked about wanting to play in the next Ryder Cup, but only if he could earn a spot on the team by ending five years without a victory.
Lehman didn't convert any of those leads. He best chance was Las Vegas, when he missed a 3-foot par putt on the 17th hole and wound up one shot behind.
Just think if Lehman had made that putt and gone on to win in Las Vegas. When the PGA of America came calling two weeks later, would he have accepted the job as Ryder Cup captain?
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Woods: New putter should help on slower greens
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods’ ice-cold putting showed at least a few signs of heating up earlier this month at The National, where he switched putters and ranked seventh in the field on the greens.
The mallet-style putter is still in the bag as Woods prepares for The Open, and he’s hoping the heavier model with grooves will prove valuable at Carnoustie.
“To be honest with you, I’ve struggled on slower greens throughout my entire career,” Woods said Tuesday. “So for me, it’s going to help on these greens, for sure.”
To combat the slower greens, Woods usually applied a strip of lead tape to his putter. But this heavier model of putter doesn’t need the extra weight, and the grooves on the putter face allow the ball to get rolling faster and hotter.
“You don’t necessarily have to do that with the grooves,” he said of the lead tape. “When I putted with the Nike putter, I didn’t have to put lead tape on the putter to get a little more weight to it. I could just leave it just the way it was. This is the same type.”
For all of the talk about his putting woes this season, Woods still ranks 56th in strokes gained: putting. More crucial this week: He’s 102nd in approach putt performance, which quantifies how well a player lag putts.
Woods: Open best chance for long-term major success
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods is more than a decade removed from his last major title, but he said Tuesday that The Open is the major that gives him the best chance for long-term success.
“I would say yes, because of the fact that you don’t have to be long to play on a links-style golf course,” Woods said during his pre-tournament news conference. “It certainly can be done.”
Woods pointed to the late-career success for both Greg Norman (2008) and Tom Watson (2009), both of whom challenged for the claret jug deep into their 50s.
“Distance becomes a moot point on a links-style golf course,” he said.
That’s certainly not the case, however, at the Masters, where bombers long have thrived, or the U.S. Open, which places a premium on long and straight driving.
“You get to places like Augusta National, which is just a big ballpark, and the golf course outgrows you, unfortunately,” he said. “But links-style courses, you can roll the ball. I hit a 3-iron that went down there 330. Even if I get a little bit older, I can still chase some wood or long club down there and hit the ball the same distance.”
"Vantage Point with Mike Tirico" set to debut Tuesday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel
Special Hour Complementing the Network’s Week-Long Golf Central Live From The Open News Coverage; Premiere Scheduled to Include Interview with 2014 Open Runner-Up Rickie Fowler On-Site from Carnoustie
Features Include Tirico and Curtis Strange Re-watching ’99 Open at Carnoustie & Jim “Bones” Mackay Facilitating Exclusive Conversation with Caddies Michael Greller, John Wood Recounting Final Round Pairing at 2017 Open
To help set the table ahead of The 147TH Open at Carnoustie, Golf Channel will premiere Vantage Point with Mike Tirico on Tuesday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET. An extension of the network’s week-long Golf Central Live From The Open comprehensive news coverage, Vantage Point will revisit landmark moments in The Open’s history, uncover personal stories relevant to the fabric of the week and feature a roundtable discussion with past “Champion Golfers of the Year” on golf’s original championship.
“It’s a thrill to be going back to The Open again this year, which is a fitting setting to launch this new opportunity,” said Tirico, NBC Sports host who this week will celebrate his 22nd consecutive year covering The Open. “I love being a part of the Golf Channel team during golf’s biggest weeks, and anticipate contributing to our commitment to great storytelling with Vantage Point.”
Kicking off the premiere of Vantage Point will be Tirico’s exclusive interview with 2014 Open runner-up and 2015 PLAYERS champion Rickie Fowler on-site from Carnoustie. One of Fowler’s favorite events, he has missed just one cut in eight previous appearances at The Open. Other highlights within the show include:
- Jim “Bones” Mackay facilitating an exclusive conversation between caddies Michael Greller (Jordan Spieth) and John Wood (Matt Kuchar) recounting the final round pairing at The Open last July.
- Tirico hosting a roundtable discussion with past “Champion Golfers of the Year”: David Duval, Tom Lehman and Justin Leonard.
- A recollection of one of the most unforgettable collapses in major championship golf, when Jean van de Velde surrendered a three-shot lead on the 72nd hole in 1999 at The Open. Tirico and Curtis Strange – both on the live tournament broadcast that year for ABC/ESPN – recently re-watched the telecast together for the first time since calling it live.
“This is harder to watch than I thought it was going to be. I’ve never seen anything like
that in my life. I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like that again.” – Curtis Strange
“I think I got caught up in the whole deal and felt human for the guy.” – Mike Tirico
Vantage Point with Mike Tirico will complement the network’s Golf Central Live From The Open, which will feature nearly 60 hours of comprehensive news coverage from Carnoustie. In total, NBC Sports will dedicate more than 350 hours to showcasing the third men’s major championship of the year, including nearly 50 live hours of the network’s Emmy-nominated tournament coverage – annually the most live hours of coverage from any golf event – spanning from Thursday’s opening tee shot to Sunday’s final putt.
How to watch The Open on TV and online
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)