Ryder Cup tide bound to turn

By Brandel ChambleeSeptember 22, 2014, 1:30 pm

Before the Ryder Cup became the schadenfreude parade that it is now, the only reason to keep score used to be so everyone would know when it was over. From 1959-83 the United States never lost. In 1967 after European captain Dai Rees went through lengthy introductions for each of his 12 players, Ben Hogan, the U.S. captain, stood up, motioned to his team and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, the 12 best players in the world,” and then sat down. It was typical Hogan ... but he was wrong.

Jack Nicklaus, who had won seven majors to that point, wasn’t even on the U.S. team.  The PGA of America had a rule that a player had to serve a five-year apprenticeship as a pro before he could be granted full membership, and only then could he begin to accumulate Ryder Cup points. Nicklaus was granted membership in June 1966, and the cutoff for accumulating Ryder Cup points was the following year's Masters. Despite being the two-time defending champion at Augusta, Nicklaus missed the cut and wound up 13th on the Ryder Cup points list. And there were no captain's picks at that time. The same antiquated rule had kept Arnold Palmer out of the Ryder Cup until 1961. No matter - three days after Hogan's terse introduction the United States won, 23 1/2-8 1/2 (from 1963-75 the Ryder Cup consisted of 32 matches), which is the largest margin of victory in the almost 100-year history of this event.

I think what Hogan meant and saw no reason to draw out was that sitting beside him were the 12 best players in that room.

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In 1989 captain Ray Floyd, while introducing his team, on foreign soil no less, pungently echoed Hogan’s words from over two decades before. Sitting in that room — and not on Floyd’s team — were Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and Ian Woosnam. The late scribe Grantland Rice might have called them the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Together they were the nucleus of Death, Destruction, Pestilence and Famine, at least to the American dominance in the Ryder Cup.

All four of these men would ascend to No. 1 in the world. All four would partner and win with players far less skilled than themselves and the history of each of them became the history of all of them.

Like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson had done from the early '60s to the early '80s, Europe’s “Four Horsemen” wrong-footed the opposition. But more than that, they obliterated what the Ryder Cup had been. By beating the Americans they turned a cult into a major religion.

Of course this stands to reason. Seve, Nick, Bernhard and Woosie were the best players in the world and the Ryder Cup is to golf what the Pro Bowl and the All-Star Game are to football and baseball: a venue for the best to show off.

And when the best face off against each other, over time the talents of each side see-saw to bring the contest to an equilibrium.

Don't believe it? Let's look at Major League Baseball's All-Star Game and the NFL's Pro Bowl.

Since the inception of the All-Star Game in 1933 (when Babe Ruth hit the first homer in All-Star Game history to lead the American League over the National League), the NL has won 43 to the AL’s 40, with two ties. There have been eras when one team dominated the other - from 1963-1982 the NL won 19 of 20 games but since 1988 the AL has won 20 of 27, wth one tie - but overall the results have been largely equal. 

A tally of runs scored mirrors the results; AL 349, NL 355. 

Football's Pro Bowl dates to 1950 but since 1971 it has pitted the AFC and the NFC. Over that time the NFC has 22 wins to the AFC’s 21.

Parity gets a bad rap, but it’s alive in baseball, football and golf.

Now to the Ryder Cup, which the U.S. leads all time 25-12-2 but is currently in a cycle of European dominance. Europe has won seven of the last nine matches, but a longer view takes us back to 1979, when the Great Britain and Ireland team was expanded to include all of Europe. Over that period Europe's lead is just 9-7-1. And since 1979 out of a possible 476 points, Europe has 241 1/2-234 1/2 for the U.S. In the last 17 Ryder Cups these two teams are separated by just seven points, with two of those points coming in the last two contests.

Taken as a whole, it gives one a different view of Europe’s dominance of late.

Perhaps this is the year that the Americans reverse the trend. But then maybe the Ryder Cup has become something so different from its origins, so animated, so confrontational, so jingoistic that it no longer suits the insulated sameness that it is to be an American millionaire Tour player.

Maybe the sour taste of the losing records of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk has impacted this generation of U.S. players the same way the spirit of Seve lives in Garcia, Westwood and in particular Poulter, who plays this event with the swollen arrogance of Henry the VIII. But it is all of this ... the losing and the yelling and the screaming and the history and the singing that make the Ryder Cup the greatest week in golf. Regardless of who wins.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 2:15 pm

Tiger Woods, in search of his 15th career major championship title, started the weekend six off the lead at Carnoustie. We're tracking him in Round 3 of The Open.

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Rose's Saturday 64 matches Carnoustie Open record

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 1:03 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose needed to sink a 14-foot putt on the final hole Friday just to make the cut on the number at The Open.

Freewheeling when he came to the course Saturday, Rose tied the lowest score ever recorded in an Open at Carnoustie.

Entering the weekend nine shots off the lead, the world No. 3 carded a bogey-free, 7-under 64 to at least make things interesting. It won’t be known for several hours how many shots Rose will be behind, but his back-nine 30 gives him an opportunity, if the wind blows 25 mph Sunday as forecast, to challenge the leaders.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

After all, Paul Lawrie was 10 shots back entering the final round here in 1999.

“I think the birdie on 18 last night freed me up, and I’m just very happy to be out on this golf course and not down the road somewhere else this morning,” said Rose, who is at 4-under 209. “So that might have been part of the shift in mindset today. I had nothing to lose from that point of view.”

Rose’s 64 matched Steve Stricker and Richard Green’s record score at Carnoustie (2007).

It also was Rose’s career-low round in a major.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 12:20 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Saturday, Day 3 (Times ET)

4:30-7AM (Watch): Sunny skies and birdies were on the menu early in Round 3, as Justin Rose made his way around Carnoustie in 64 strokes. Click here or on the image below to watch.

Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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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)