Kissing Your Sister

By Brian HewittSeptember 21, 2005, 4:00 pm
Two years ago at the Presidents Cup in South Africa 24 players kissed their sister.
This was because the competition ran out of daylight on the last day resulting in a hastily-declared tie.
In sports, a tie is like kissing your sister. Not, with apologies to Jerry Seinfeld, that theres anything wrong with that.
But the 2003 Presidents Cup was, indisputably, great theater anyway.
Which is more than can be said for the Presidents Cup before that at which the Americans thrashed the International team 21 to 10 at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Prince William County, Va.
That was more like shock theater. The highlight was an in-your-face Sunday singles match between Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh. Woods prevailed 2 and 1 and a heated debate broke out over whether it mattered that Singhs caddie, Paul Tesori, was wearing a cap with the words Tiger Who? stitched on the back.
Look for Singh and Woods to hook up again this year in the singles as the golf returns to RTJ. This is one of the edges the Presidents Cup has over the Ryder Cup'the captains can jury-rig the match-ups on the final day. Everybody wants to see the World No. 1 (Woods) against the World No. 2 (Singh) including the players themselves. And if their much-anticipated Virginia rematch turns out to be the last game of the day with the Cup on the line, so much the better.
A decision, by the way, to abandon a tiebreaker singles match in the event of a 17-17 late Sunday has been made by the powers that be. So if the teams tie again this time, they will continue to share the Presidents Cup.
The Americans appear to be the favorites on paper. The latest world rankings show them to have 11 team members placed in the top 25 of the most current world rankings. The Internationals have seven.
But one of those seven is Ernie Els, arguably the Internationals team leader. Els, alas, will not be playing this time around due to recent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
And about those world rankings: The Internationals have three players ranked between No. 25 and No. 30. Which simply underscores the fact that they will play these matches on 7,315 yards of grass. Not on paper.
Most experts will tell you the intensity of the Ryder Cup'between Europe and America'is greater than that generated by the Presidents Cup. But it depends to whom you are speaking. South Africas Nick Price recently had this to say to the Washington Post when asked about the drama surrounding Woods singles match against Els two years ago:
For the first time in my life I was nervous for a teammate. I was chewing on my shirt. I was eating grass..The intensity of it was almost too much to bear.
But there wasnt a winner. To a man, I guarantee the 24 players that comprise both sides would rather, if given the choice, kiss their wives or, as the case may be, their girlfriends than their sisters.
The captains will do well to remind their squads how contagious enthusiasm can be. All they will have to do is look to weeks back at the Solheim Cup matches in Indianapolis where the American women showed how much exuberance can add to an already compelling stage.
The Americans men have been accused, in the last decade or so, of approaching Ryder and Presidents Cup matches with all the excitement of sitting for root canal. There is at least a grain of truth to this accusation. And it is partially to blame for the fact that only 700 media credentials have been issued to the Presidents Cup compared to the 1,000 media credentials distributed by the PGA of America at last years Ryder Cup near Detroit.
The two captains'American Jack Nicklaus and South African Gary Player'are on record as saying they dont want to foster a war-like us-against-them atmosphere at the Presidents Cup.
One of the jobs I try to do is let the guys have fun, Nicklaus has said. I dont want to put any pressure on them. If they want to play a practice round, go play. If you dont want to play a practice round, dont go play. Just show up Thursday and be ready to play.
Fair enough. Who are we to question Jack Nicklaus?
But the opinion here is that if a few more players on both teams are chewing on their shirts late Sunday, the Presidents Cup will be a better event for the mastication.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 146th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Royal Birkdale, broken down into daily segments:

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 early 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 early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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Knox relishes round with 'mythical figure' Woods

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:48 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Russell Knox was expecting the worst and hoping for the best Thursday at The Open.

Playing with Tiger Woods tends to have that effect.

The native Scot received a treat earlier this week when he saw his name on the tee sheet alongside his boyhood idol, Woods.

“Felt good out there, but obviously my swing, it was just like I had too much tension,” Knox said after an opening 73. “I just wasn’t letting it go as normal. First round with Tiger, I expected to feel a little bit different. The way I felt was better than the way I swung.”

Knox said that he was nervous playing alongside Woods, a player he’d only encountered on the range. “He’s almost like a mythical figure,” he said.

But after a while, he settled into the rhythm of the round at Carnoustie.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I thought it would be worse,” he said, “I feel like I should know what I’m doing. It’s cool playing with Tiger, but I’ve got to get over that. I’m here to win, not just enjoy my walk around the course.”

Knox probably had more interaction with Woods than he anticipated, if only because the third member of the group, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, keeps to himself because of the language barrier.

“It’s kind of a blur,” Knox said. “It’s like, Oh, I’m chatting away with Tiger here like normal. I don’t even remember what I was saying.”

There have been countless stories from this year as the next generation of players – guys who grew up watching Woods dominate the sport – get paired with Woods for the first time.

It was no less special for Knox on Thursday.

“It’s nice for him to say things like that,” Woods said, “and we enjoyed playing with each other. Hopefully we’ll play a little bit better tomorrow.”

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Rain expected to shower Carnoustie Friday morning

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:43 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – By the end of the day Friday, we’ll be able to determine which side of The Open draw ended the first two rounds at Carnoustie with more favorable conditions. With rain expected for most of Friday morning, it seems those who played early/late may be more pleased.

According to, there is a 75 percent chance of rain beginning at 2 a.m. local time Friday here in Scotland. That percentage vaults up to 95 percent by 7 a.m., with the first tee time scheduled for 6:35. At 11, the number drops to 55 percent. After 2 p.m., the percentage chances of rain are 25 percent and below for the remainder of the day.

Temperatures during the day are expected to be from the low 50s to the low 60s and winds will vary between 14-18 mph, again per

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

This is The Open’s official weather report for the weekend:

Saturday: A dull start with some drizzle possible. Staying cloudy for much of the day but gradually becoming brighter with a chance of some sunny intervals during the afternoon and evening. Winds light and variable in direction but should predominantly settle in to a SSE 8-12mph during the afternoon. Max temp 20C (68F).

Sunday: Often cloudy but mainly dry. A better chance of some decent sunny spells compared to Saturday. Most likely the windiest day of the Championship; SW 12-18mph with gusts 20-25mph. Feeling warm, especially in any sunshine with a max temp of 23C (73F).

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Bandaged Woods 5 back after even-par 71

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:38 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods arrived Thursday with therapeutic tape on the back of his neck.

Carnoustie’s back nine inflicted even more pain.

Playing in the most difficult conditions of the day, Woods’ progress was stalled by two late bogeys as he settled for an even-par 71 that left him five shots off the lead at The Open.

“I played better than what the score indicates,” he said. “It certainly could have been a little bit better.”

Woods created a stir when he showed up with black kinesiology tape on his neck. Afterward, he said that his neck has been bugging him “for a while” and that Thursday was merely the first time that the tape was visible.

“Everyone acts like this is the first time I’ve been bandaged up,” he said, smiling. “I’ve been doing this for years.”

Woods said that the discomfort didn’t really affect his swing, other than a few shots “here and there.” It didn’t seem to affect his score, either, as he went out in 2 under before a few stumbles on the back nine.

On the fast, baked-out turf, he played conservatively off the tee, using driver only once and 3-wood just twice. Apparently he didn’t need the added distance, not with his 6-iron traveling 240 yards. He tried to play to his spots, even if it routinely left him more than 200 yards for his approach.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

That’s the strategy he employed at Hoylake in 2006, where he hit driver just once and captured the third of his Open titles. Despite some of the similarities in firmness, Woods said that Carnoustie presents a different challenge off the tee.

“These fairways are very small,” he said. “They’re hard to hit right now. They’re so fast, and they’re so moundy.”

Finding the fairway wasn’t the chief problem for Woods on Day 1, however. He missed just four fairways but found only 11 greens.

More damaging to his score was his play on the par 5s. Despite having only an 8-iron in, he failed to birdie each of the two par 5s and then bogeyed Nos. 10, 13 and 15 to squander his early momentum.

Though the draw here won’t be a significant factor – or at least not like in recent years, with a wide range in scores from morning to afternoon – it’s clear that Woods (in game 47 of 52) encountered the most difficult of the conditions Thursday, with the wind gusting to 20 mph and the fairways running even faster after another sun-splashed afternoon.

Still, his opening 71 was one of the better scores in the late wave.

“He hit it good,” said playing partner Russell Knox. “He plotted his way around, which I expected him to do, and he was very conservative off the tee. It’s kind of fun to watch him do that, to be honest.”

Even more fun would be a major with Woods in contention.

He hasn’t broken par in the opening round of his last eight majors. Indeed, for Woods, these slow starts have been the real pain in the neck.