Two tales of sponsor exemptions

By Associated PressJanuary 27, 2010, 1:09 am

SAN DIEGO (AP)—David Duval went from the sixth alternate at Torrey Pines toreceiving a sponsor’s exemption to withdrawing from this week’s FarmersInsurance Open, all within a span of about 24 hours.

Missing from this strange sequence of events is that Duval had already beenrejected once. When the exemption was awarded to him on Monday night, his WestCoast schedule already was set.

“It was entirely unplanned,” Duval said on Tuesday from his home inDenver. “I had written for an exemption and was turned down, and other thingsfell into place.”

The former British Open champion ran out of status last year when he failedto finish in the top 125 on the money list and didn’t earn a card from Q-school.He is having to rely on sponsor exemptions and his status as a past champion,and he’s having relatively good success.

Just not in San Diego.

The U.S. PGA Tour players who initially received exemptions to Torrey Pineswere John Daly , Rocco Mediate and Billy Mayfair . The tournament had two extraexemptions to award on Monday, and gave them to Duval and Tom Pernice Jr.

Duval missed the cut on Sunday at the Bob Hope Classic, flew home with hisfamily and then learned a spot was waiting for him in San Diego. Trouble was, healready had accepted exemptions to Los Angeles and Pebble Beach, and he’s in thetournament in Mexico. To play in San Diego would have meant five straight weeks.

“That’s not conducive to your golf game, mental game, anything,” Duvalsaid. “I feel bad about it, but I already had been turned down once and I hadto build my schedule around that.”

CHARITY BOOST: In a tough year for charity, Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon hada record year in New England.

The Andrade-Faxon Charities for Children distributed more than $321,135 to52 organizations that serve at-risk children in Rhode Island and southeasternMassachusetts.

Money comes from their CVS Charity Classic in the summer and from individualcontributions. They have awarded more than $4 million since they created thecharity in 1994.

“These grants will help meet the basic needs of our community’s children,”Faxon said. “We try to lessen the burden of hunger and illness so kids can bekids.”

VETERANS: Bobby Mitchell, a two-time winner on the U.S. PGA Tour, onceshowed up at Quail Hollow as a 60-year-old who was the 61st alternate. Becauseso many alternates didn’t show up, he was next in line when the final group teedoff.

That wouldn’t happen under a new policy in the PGA Tour regulations thisyear.

To be eligible as an alternate as a past champion or a veteran (making 150cuts in a career), a player must have signed up for Q-school in at least one ofthe previous two years, made a cut on the U.S. PGA Tour or Nationwide Tour inthe previous two calendar years, or played in five or more tournaments on eithertour the previous year.

The change should help Lance Ten Broeck , the caddie for Jesper Parnevik whoplayed in the Texas Open last year under such circumstances. He gets credit forplaying the Texas Open in 2009. Plus, he played the Reno-Tahoe Open and aChampions Tour event in Minnesota in 2008.

DIVOTS: The U.S. PGA Tour’s final tally for charity in 2009 was $108million, with the Valero Texas Open the top tournament at $8 million. … PaulLawrie signed an equipment deal with Wilson Golf. Lawrie last played Wilson whenhe won the British Open at Carnoustie in 1999. … Four weeks into the U.S. PGATour season, Pat Perez is the only player to enter every event this year.

STAT: Tim Clark of South Africa has more runner-up finishes (eight) than anyother active player without a U.S. PGA Tour victory. Next on the list is BrettQuigley with five.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 12:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch.

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.

Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.

“We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.

Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.

“It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”

It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.

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McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

Said Harmon:

“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.