Watson Leads Rainy BofA Championship

By Associated PressJune 22, 2007, 4:00 pm
Champions TourCONCORD, Massachusetts -- The Bank of America Championship is spending more time on The Weather Channel than the GOLF CHANNEL.
A year after the Champions Tour event was flooded out before a single shot was played, Tom Watson weathered two rain delays to shoot a 7-under 65 in Friday's first round. Two-time runner up Tom Purtzer was a stroke back at the Nashawtuc Country Club course.
'This is nothing,' Watson said after two torrential, but quickly moving, downpours delayed play for a combined 3 hours, 13 minutes. 'The question is always asked why I play well in bad weather. I guess it's because I grew up in it.'
A native of Kansas City, Watson played through the winter and learned to putt on frozen greens. He once made a hole-in-one on New Year's Day, at about noon, on a 202-yard, downhill shot off rock-hard ground.
And, of course, he had some foul-weather success on the way to winning eight majors -- five of them at the British Open -- and 39 times on the PGA tour. In the 1979 Memorial, with the temperature struggling to reach 40 degrees and winds whipping around 30 mph, Watson shot a 69 in the second round to take control.
'Fifteen pars and three birdies. That was a good day,' Watson said. 'I lapped the field that day.'
For the 1980 British Open at Muirfield, which he won by four strokes, 'it was just blowing like crazy.'
'That was another round I was proud of,' said Watson, who has sole possession of the lead after the first round of a Champions Tour event for the first time in four years.
John Jacobs was third at 5 under, and two-time winner Larry Nelson was among seven tied for fourth and three strokes off the lead.
On Friday, Watson was at the far end of the course, on the 13th tee, when the horn blew the first time. A harrowing cart ride with Lee Trevino at the wheel delivered them to safety before a downpour was unleashed; just as quickly, it passed.
'It was easy,' Watson said. 'We had Trevino keeping everybody in stitches.'
The weather wasn't as bad as last year, when 12 inches of rain in 10 days sent the nearby Sudbury River over its banks and left fish frolicking on the flooded fairways. After toying with the idea of shortening the course or the event, the entire tournament was called off.
It was the first time an entire Champions Tour event had been canceled since the Sept. 11 attacks.
With an otherwise uninterrupted history that dates to 1981, the tournament is the longest-running 54-hole event on the over-50 tour. But Watson had never played Nashawtuc before this week, and said he actually came out of the first shower feeling more comfortable with his swing.
Although he sliced a 3-wood to the right off the tee at the par-4 14th, Watson cut through the trees and made a 13-foot birdie putt that moved him to 6 under. He was still at minus-6 on the 18th tee when the second delay came; Purtzer was tied for the lead in the clubhouse.
Purtzer had played in Concord three times previously, following a fourth-place finish in 2003 with back-to-back second places.
'Love the golf course. Love the tournament. I'm moving back here,' he said after a bogey-free round. 'I've let two slip away here. I've definitely played well at this course. One of these years, it will happen.'
Purtzer had just teed off on No. 16 when the first horn sounded at 2:58 p.m. An hour and 41 minutes later, he put a pitching wedge to within 15 feet and made birdie.
Purtzer got to 6 under on No. 18, a 521-yard par 5, when he reached the green in two, hitting a 3-iron to 38 feet and lagging his first putt 6 inches from the hole.
Hale Irwin went 185 holes in a row without a three-put before doing so at No. 6 on Friday. Purtzer has the longest active streak at 148. ... Leonard Thompson made double eagle on No. 18, holing a 3-wood from 250 yards. ... Denny Helper, who earned a sponsor's exemption by winning the reality show 'The Big Break,' shot 4-under 68.
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    Tiger putts way into contention at The Open

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 5:17 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – When Tiger Woods benched his trusty Scotty Cameron blade putter last month at the Quicken Loans National for a new TaylorMade mallet-headed version some saw it as a sign of desperation, but if his performance on Carnoustie’s greens on Saturday were any indication it could end up being a calculated success.

    Woods stormed into contention on Day 3 with a 5-under 66 to move to within shouting distance of the lead at The Open, thanks in large part to his vastly improved putting.

    “I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I've had really good feels,” said Woods, whose 29 putts on Saturday belies his performance on Carnoustie’s greens. “Even as this golf course was changing and evolving, I've maintained my feels with the putter. I've made a couple of putts from about 40 to 60 feet, which is nice. I just feel like I've been able to roll the ball.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    The highlight of Woods’ round came at the par-4 ninth hole when he charged in a 40-footer for birdie from the front edge of the green to begin a run of three consecutive birdies. Perhaps more impressive, he didn’t have a three-putt, and has only had two all week, which is always a bonus on links courses.

    Woods temporarily took a share of the lead with a lengthy birdie putt at the 14th hole and scrambled for a par save at the last after his drive nearly found the Barry Burn.

    “I hit a few putts that I think should have gone in from 20, 30 feet today," he said. "So that's always a good sign.”

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    TT postscript: A 66, he's in contention - awesome

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 4:58 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods went berserk Saturday and shot 5-under 66 to vault up the leaderboard at The Open at Carnoustie:


    At 4:13PM here in Scotland, when Tiger two-putted for birdie on the par-5 14th hole, he held a share of the lead in a major championship. It was once unthinkable, but it happened. I saw it with my own eyes.

    • Tiger’s last two weekend rounds in the 60s in The Open both happened at Carnoustie and both happened on July 21. In 2007, Woods shot 69 here. On Saturday, that score was clipped by three shots. Tiger shot 65 in the second round of The Open at Royal Liverpool in 2006. He won his third claret jug that week. Tiger last shoot 66 in a major during the second round of the 2011 Masters.

    • This is the sixth time that Tiger has recorded three consecutive rounds of par of better to start The Open. He went on to win three of the previous five times.

    • One bad swing, the only bad swing of the day according to Tiger, produced the luckiest of breaks. Standing on the 18th tee with an iron in hand, Tiger pulled his tee shot that hit on the top of the Barry Burn and very easily could’ve ended in a watery grave. Instead it ended in thick rough, some 250 yards from the pin. Tiger punted it up the fairway, but got up and down from 83 yards to save par and shoot 66. “I hit my number,” he quipped about hitting wedge to 2 feet.

    • On the other hand, the lone bogey came from one poor putt. On the par-3 16th hole, with half of Scotland screaming his name, Tiger missed a 7-footer for par. It was deflating at the time because the last three holes are so difficult. Pars on the last two holes were stellar.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    • Final stats: 12 of 15 fairways, 14 of 18 greens and 29 total putts. Tiger hit six drivers and one 3-wood, proving that he was way more aggressive. He hit four drivers on Friday and only one on Thursday.

    • One of the aforementioned drivers that he hit on the ninth hole was well left and in some thick round, 170 yards from the hole. A safe approach to 40 feet set him up for and easy two-putt par. But he slammed the putt home and made an improbable birdie. “I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I’ve had really good feels,” he said.

    • In his own words about his chances of winning: “It certainly is possible. I’ve shown that I’ve been there close enough with a chance to win this year. Given what happened the last few years, I didn’t know if that would ever happen again, but here I am with a chance coming Sunday in a major championship. It’s going to fun.”

    Yes, yes it is.

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    Watch: Guy sleeps next to many beers at Open

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 21, 2018, 4:55 pm

    It's Moving Day at The Open Championship for all but one sedentary fan.

    Cameras caught this potentially browned-out man having himself a Saturday snooze on the browned-out grasses of Carnoustie:

    Browned out. That's a great term. Glad it's in the public domain. We've been using it all weekend. I imagine we'll continue to use it. A lot.

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    Watch: Tiger makes 6 birdies, 1 amazing par in Rd. 3

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 4:10 pm

    Tiger Woods started the third round of The Open at even par, having made seven birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 holes at Carnoustie.

    Following three pars to start on Saturday, Woods went on a birdie binge.

    No. 1 came with this putt at the par-4 fourth.

    No. 2 with this two-putt at the par-5 sixth.

    No. 3 thanks to this 30-footer at the par-4 ninth.

    No. 4 after nearly jarring his approach shot on the par-4 10th.

    No. 5 when he almost drove the green at the par-4 11th and two-putted, from just off the green, from 95 feet.

    And No. 6, which gave him a share of the lead, came courtesy another two-putt at the par-5 14th.

    Woods bogeyed the par-3 16th to drop out of the lead and almost dropped - at least - one more shot at the par-4 18th. But his tee shot got a lucky bounce and he turned his good fortune into a par.

    Woods shot 5-under 66 and finished the day at 5 under par.