US takes early lead after morning fourballs

By Associated PressAugust 21, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 Solheim CupSUGAR GROVE, Ill. ' The B team led the way for the Americans at the Solheim Cup.
 
Brittany Lincicome and Solheim Cup rookie Brittany Lang picked up the first point for the United States, and Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr rallied to win their fourball match, giving the Americans a 2 1/2 -1 1/2 lead going into Friday afternoons foursomes.
 
We couldnt have pictured it to go any better than it did today, Lincicome said after a 5-and-4 victory over Laura Davies and Becky Brewerton. We were playing so great, and were just happy to come out on top.
 
The lead could have been bigger, but Womens British Open champ Catriona Matthew made a clutch putt on 18 to halve her and Maria Hjorths match with Morgan Pressel and Michelle Wie.
Paula Creamer Cristie Kerr Solheim
Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr rallied to give the U.S. a big point Friday. (Getty Images)
Youre looking around and you hear the cheers, Matthew said. We knew for us to get something out of our game was probably something really important.
 
The United States needs 14 points to win its third straight Solheim Cup. Europe, which has never won on U.S. soil, needs 14 1/2 .
 
This is Langs first Solheim Cup appearance, and only the second for Lincicome. But they looked like crafty veterans, feeding off of each other ' and the raucous home crowd ' to go 5-up on Laura Davies and Becky Brewerton after 11 holes. The Europeans got a hole back on 12 after Brewerton put her approach shot 5 feet above the hole and knocked it in, but the Americans kept on grinding.
 
Especially in something like this, definitely momentum has everything to do with it, said Lang, who birdied 13 to put the Americans 5-up again. Every time Brittany and I would win a hole, we wouldnt get too excited. We just kept saying, OK, birdie the next hole, keep pressing, keep pressing. We never let up all day, because we knew, even if they won a hole here or there, as long as we kept winning holes, theyd get worn out.
 
The Americans needed only to halve the 14th hole for the victory, and the Europeans were in trouble before they even got to the green. Brewertons second shot had burrowed so deep in the sand behind the green only the very top of the ball was visible. She grimaced and stuck her tongue out when she saw it.
 
Got any ideas? Brewerton asked Davies, standing across the green.
 
One fan suggested picking up. Brewerton didnt do that, but she may as well have. She got out of the sand but landed in the rough, still well short of the hole. That left it to Davies, whose 30-footer for birdie ran long.
 
Lincicomes long birdie putt curled within a few inches of the cup, a gimme and a winner.
 
I had absolutely no idea that we needed to halve that hole. I was so out to lunch, Lang said. When they got done and they started shaking hands, I was like, Oh, my gosh, thats it? Honestly, I had no idea.
 
A fan called out, Thats one! and loud cheers went up. Lincicome and Lang exchanged hugs, and were congratulated by U.S. captain Beth Daniel.
 
Like the Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup is part pep rally, part sporting event ' one fan came dressed as the Statue of Liberty ' and the enthusiasm over Lincicome and Langs win quickly spread to the other holes at Rich Harvest Farms.
 
We got to watch Brittany Squared play some pretty good golf in front of us there, and we were clapping for them quite a bit, Pressel said. It was great to watch them win on 14 there. I had told Michelle on the tee, This is my turn for a birdie, and I finally made one.
 
Actually, she and Wie made three in a row, turning a 2-hole deficit into 1-up.
 
But they couldnt hold their lead on 18.
 
Wie went into the deep rough off the tee, and could do little more than punch out on the par-5. Her ball landed in an old, muddy divot in an area rules officials had decided was ground under repair ' but had failed to mark because it was between where most shots would fall. Wie was given relief, and the Europeans spent several minutes questioning rules officials.
 
I guess they were just talking about why it wasnt marked, and they just wanted an explanation, Wie said.
 
It hardly mattered, because Wies next shot landed in the bunker in front of the green. Pressels chip from the rough, meanwhile, ran all the way across the green to the other side.
 
That left Matthew with a 12-footer for birdie, and she made it easily to halve the hole.
 
Half-points are important. But for a while there it looked like we were going to pull out the full point, so that was definitely a downer at the end, Pressel said. But a half-point is a half-point, and well see how big of a deal that is come Sunday.
 
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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.