Wie Trying to Make History at US Open
Wie's Shot-by-Shot Scorecard
None of those moments has ramped up the hype over the 16-year-old from Hawaii quite like this.
Wie isn't trying to make the cut Monday at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, N.J. She's trying to make history.
Wie, who just finished her junior year at Punahou School in Honolulu, is among 153 players trying to get 18 spots available for the U.S. Open, which would make her the first female to compete in any major championship.
No one doubts she is capable, although it likely will take two of her best rounds. But the mere prospect of her teeing it up alongside Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els at Winged Foot has drawn media interest from around the world, far more than for anything she has done in a short but entertaining career.
Wie said she didn't feel any differently now than when she first played on the PGA Tour in the '04 Sony Open, where her 68 remains the best score ever by a female competing on a men's tour.
'They're both challenging,' she said.
The odds of her finishing in the top 18 after 36 holes at Canoe Brook depend on how you look at it.
Wie's career-best on the PGA Tour is 2 under par, both times at Waialae Country Club where she often plays. The cutoff for getting into the U.S. Open last year at the Canoe Brook qualifier was 3-under 139. Two years ago, when the New Jersey club hosted one of the larger sectional qualifiers, the 22nd and final spot went to Scott Hend at 140.
The field includes 135 professionals, four dozen of them members of the PGA Tour. Two of them are major champions (Mark O'Meara and Mark Brooks), while another is No. 10 in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings (Vaughn Taylor).
Wie has never made the cut - top 70 and ties - on the PGA Tour. The closest she came was in 2004 at the Sony Open, when she missed by one shot after shooting 68 in the second round.
Now, she has to finish in the top 18.
'I'd be very surprised if she got through,' Brooks said. 'You've got to play better than just making the cut on tour to qualify, usually. If you went over there and looked at those two courses and said, 'What would the tour shoot here?' If you figure the cut would be 3 under, you'd better shoot 4 or 5 under.'
Wie plays at 8:35 a.m. EDT Monday on the South Course, a par 70 at 6,632 yards. She will be the last to tee off in the second 18 holes on the North Course, which plays at 7,066 yards as a par 72. She will be paired with David Gossett, a former PGA Tour winner who has lost his status because of a deep slump, and Rick Hartmann, a club pro from Long Island who qualified for the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
Despite the presence of so many PGA Tour players, the circumstances are different from a regular tour event.
'Some are annoyed that they even have to be there,' USGA executive director David Fay said. 'You have a couple of bad holes and who knows? That's one way of approaching it. The other thinking is to compare her not with the PGA Tour players, but the non-tour players. Each year, a small number of them make it. She only has to be one of them.'
Two years ago, when there were 22 spots available at Canoe Brook, a half-dozen players who qualified weren't on the PGA Tour.
'I don't know what the odds are, but if she plays good, I think she's in,' said Sean O'Hair, who played a practice round with Wie at Waialae in January.
Wie made it through 18-hole local qualifying last month at Turtle Bay in Hawaii, another course she knows well. Some of the PGA Tour players, such as Brooks, Taylor and J.J. Taylor, were playing the final round Sunday at the Memorial in Ohio. They had to fly to New Jersey and be ready to tee it up Monday morning.
Wie arrived at Canoe Brook on Thursday and has been practicing every day. Her swing coach, David Leadbetter, arrived from Florida and has been fine-tuning her swing to keep it simple.
The intangible is how Wie performs for the crowd, from those in the gallery to those with cameras and notepads. She is comfortable in the spotlight and has a knack for making news. She played in the final group of her first LPGA major when she was 13, and had a chance to win the Kraft Nabisco this year until her eagle chip on the 18th hole ran 10 feet by and she missed the birdie putt to get into a playoff.
Even in her professional debut last October, she stole headlines when she was disqualified over a bad drop.
Els had his doubts about Wie until they played a practice round together in 2004 at the Sony Open. He said that day he never would have imagined a female having the talent or even getting the opportunity to play with the best in the world. 'Give her another couple of years to get stronger,' he said.
Now, Els is just as curious as anyone else.
'You've got to give her credit,' he said. 'She's 16, she's really coming on nicely now. At least this one she's qualifying for; she's not taking a spot from anybody. She's doing all the right things, and hopefully, she makes it.'
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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)