Whatever the Name Chois a Major Contender

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2007, 4:00 pm
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland -- Let's start with the name, which is Kyoung-Ju Choi on the birth certificate. But you can call him K.J.
 
Heck, Choi came up with that one himself at his very first British Open in 1998.
 
'At the first tee, they announce, 'Kung Choy,'' he recalled. 'It's a very difficult name. My idea the next day is, 'Kyoung-Ju is very long. Who is that?' And I think of the 'K' initial and the 'J' initial. Everybody understands K.J.-- it's a very simple name -- and Choi. So the next day, it's K.J. Choi from Korea. So easy.'
 
Well, if this keeps up, he might answer to another moniker.
 
Major champion.
 
Choi arrived at Carnoustie on quite a roll, having won a couple of golf tournaments hosted by two pretty big names in this sport: Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. And he's carried it right through to another British Open, where they no longer have any trouble with his name.
 
It's K.J. Choi, and he'll be teeing off in the final group of a major on the weekend.
 
The 36-year-old South Korean broke par for the second round in a row Friday, shooting a 2-under 69 that left him just two strokes behind leader Sergio Garcia. For a guy who grew up on an island that didn't have a golf course, who didn't touch a club until he was 16, who thought he was too small (5-foot-8) to make a go of it, this is quite an accomplishment.
 
At times, Choi still seems a bit overwhelmed by it all.
 
'I didn't think I'd be in this spot going into the weekend,' he acknowledged, shortly after salvaging a bogey at the brutal 18th hole.
 
Then again, Choi sure looks meant for this moment when he's out on the course. He plays with calm assurance, rarely showing any emotion, just working his way around the course in a businesslike fashion. Everything about this guy is steady, steady, steady -- his tee shots, his iron play, his putting.
 
There were a couple of slip-ups in the second round, such as a three-putt bogey from 20 feet at the eighth hole. But even his mistakes seemed to work out OK, such as the tee shot at 18 that rolled to a stop just a foot or two shy of the Barry Burn. He managed to get a foothold at the treacherous edge of the stream, punched out with a 7-iron and gladly settled for a two-putt bogey at the intimidating, 499-yard hole.
 
'You've got to play that hole as a par-5,' Choi said through a translator. 'Even if you get a bogey, just consider it a good par.'
 
This is a return trip to Carnoustie, where Choi survived four daunting rounds at the '99 Open. Back then, the weather and the setup brought the world's best golfers to their knees. Choi made it to the weekend, but struggled through an 81 in the third round and finished in a tie for 49th with a 20-over total.
 
Although he became an afterthought in that tournament, he did have a beneficial pairing with eventual winner Paul Lawrie, a Scot who knows a thing or two about getting around a links course in the homeland of golf. Despite the language barrier, Choi soaked up plenty of lessons that are coming in handy eight years later.
 
'Back in 1999, my shots were very weak in the wind,' Choi said. 'When I played with Paul, I actually learned a lot. I saw how Paul used the ball, used the wind to work for him. It was a good lesson for me. Coming into this week, I knew how to use the wind to my advantage.'
 
Choi should have plenty of strength, having started his athletic career as a weightlifter. To him, it seemed a more logical path than golf, but that outlook changed when he saw Ian Woosnam -- all 5 feet, 4 1/2 inches of him -- win the Masters in 1991.
 
By 1994, Choi was playing professionally on the Korean tour. After traveling to South Carolina to represent his country in the World Cup, his focus shifted to earning a spot on the PGA Tour. He spent a couple of years bouncing around in Europe and Asia, building up his confidence for a shot at the ultimate goal. He earned his card at Q-school in 1999, and he's been part of the tour ever since.
 
Choi entered this year with four career triumphs and more than $11.5 million in earnings, but he lacked that signature victory. He has come out on top in New Orleans and Greensboro and twice in Tampa, but those will never be mistaken for Augusta or St. Andrews.
 
Then came the Memorial, where Choi accepted the top prize from Nicklaus. Over the Fourth of July holiday, the Korean won again at Woods' new invitational tournament near Washington.
 
Those were a step up, but they still weren't majors. That's next on the agenda for Choi, who relishes the idea of becoming the first Asian male to win one of golf's premier events -- especially since his country is known mostly for its success on the women's tour.
 
He's not sure how the weekend will turn out, but he doesn't feel out of place. Not anymore.
 
'Now,' his translator said, 'it's a lot different because I have more shots in my bag. I have a lot of shots that are working for me, so I think that may prove to be the difference this year.'
 
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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 9:00 am

    Tiger Woods shot his second consecutive 70 on Friday at Carnoustie and enters weekend play at even par for the championship, still in contention for major No. 15.


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    How to watch The Open on TV and online

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 8:30 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)

    Getty Images

    Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

    By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

    Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

    The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

    Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

    Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson