If these stars could do just one thing differently ...

By Brandel ChambleeMarch 16, 2016, 2:00 pm

As vices go, it’s right up there with smoking in bed. Yet for all the risks, many of today’s professional golfers make changes, not just in technique, but in coaches, trainers and psychologists, simply for the sake of change.

I suppose it’s a remnant of the “I’m bored” generation, who flit from one video game to the next in an obsessive quest to stay on a high, calling it the pursuit of perfection.

To be fair, this is the attitude that built just about every great thing on this earth. A never-ending desire to innovate.

But an athlete is limited by the toll of those constant changes on his body and the time it takes to make them, to say nothing of the psychological trauma of always being a “little off.”

So when is "good" good enough? And when is "better" the enemy?

When the changes are more of an end than a beginning, when an athlete loses the subconscious flow of athleticism that gave him the luxury of contemplation of a higher order and the supreme confidence that comes with that athleticism and contemplation.

Having said this – and said it many times, by the way – I wish I could give just one change to many of today’s best players. Not for change’s sake, but for theirs.

To Jason Day: I would have him watch videos of Sam Snead’s golf swing and think of being “oily” in transition.

To Rory Mcilroy: I would have him practice putting with just his right hand, a la Tiger Woods in his prime. Rory talks about wanting less right hand in his stroke; I would argue he needs more. Much more.

To Bubba Watson: I would ask him to read Arnold Palmer’s biography. Bubba has a king’s talent; he needs a peasant’s perspective.

To Justin Rose: I would stick him in a room and make him watch Lee Trevino and Bobby Jones on a loop. Specifically, the way they get “into a shot” with their feet and hands always in motion so that the backswing begins almost as a rebound of that motion. Rose is too good to be that stiff-looking before he swings a club.

To Adam Scott: I would have him round his shoulders just a hint at address to take a little of the tension away that is present before he begins his swing. There is a generational poverty in this particular part of the address position amongst today’s Tour players and it is particularly noticeable in Adam.

To Phil Mickelson: who has the kind of ingredients in a golf swing that can’t be cooked up in a science lab and plays as if he’s been given a pocket full of get-out-of-jail free cards, 10 more years injury-free. Please.

To Rickie Fowler: Just as Phil Mickelson has for his entire career, please, lift your lead heel at the top of your swing and those 10 injury-free later years that I ask for him will come to you as well. Professional golf has always been a younger man’s game, and this move keeps one young.

To Bill Haas: He seems to have everything  a great swing and a great family… and a FedEx Cup title, but no major success. Stand taller and move closer to the ball. Byron Nelson said one can’t stand too close to the ball and Jack Grout, Jack Nicklaus’ teacher, famously said, “A high trajectory wins majors.” If Haas stood a little taller, he would have to move up to the ball and as a consequence, he would hit it higher and major success would follow.

To Louis Oosthuizen: The realization that in a decade or so, there will be time enough for the farm. The sun is shining now.

To Jordan Spieth: Ten children. As they say in Texas, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

To Dustin Johnson: Six hours a day in a bunker for a month. It worked for Tom Watson, it will work for you.

To Lee Westwood: At some point, a microphone. You are too clever not to be heard.

To Sergio Garcia: Tapes of me for the last 15 years lauding your talents and ignoring your psychological sabotage.

To Tiger Woods: The ability to finish the greatest career in the history of golf as you see fit.

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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

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”

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After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.

While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.

Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2

Zach Johnson: 13/2

Rory McIlroy: 7/1

Jordan Spieth: 8/1

Rickie Fowler: 9/1

Kevin Kisner: 12/1

Xander Schauffele: 16/1

Tony Finau: 16/1

Matt Kuchar: 18/1

Pat Perez: 25/1

Brooks Koepka: 25/1

Erik van Rooyen: 50/1

Alex Noren: 50/1

Tiger Woods: 50/1

Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1

Danny Willett: 60/1

Francesco Molinari: 60/1