Rymers Top Tournament Destinations

By Charlie RymerJanuary 5, 2010, 1:05 am

Plantation Course

1. SBS Championship at Kapalua, Maui. Let’s get balls in the air! And what a place to start. Kapalua is one of the best and most magical spots on the planet. I've travelled the world (at least 3 times around), been to many a goat ropin' and several shrub judgins'. You might say I've seen it all, but I'm always excited to go home. Except when I leave Kapalua. It’s the only place on the planet where I get sad when I leave.

St. Andrews

2. The Open Championship at St. Andrews. Even though I am a Southerner (breaking news), the Open Championship is my favorite major. I love links golf and I just can't get over the fact that guys smacking rocks with shepherd crooks around a stretch of land good for nothing but that purpose are the forefathers of our great game. And it all started at St. Andrews. It is unique and well above comparison.

Augusta National

3. The Masters. Well, it’s the Masters. The back nine Sunday is back ... and I hope for good.

Whistling Straits

4. PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. This Pete Dye gem is a true American classic, and you don't even feel like you are in America. It’s a love it or hate it golf course. If the wind is up, it may be possible that just one man will love it in August.

Pebble Beach

5. AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. I just finished 'The Match' by Mark Frost. I sure wish I had read that book before playing this event for the first time. Great read. Great event. Frost traces the history of the 'Clam Bake' and it's fascinating. A new course is in play this year and the Monterrey Peninsula CC is reputed to be a beauty. I've never played it as the club has a requirement that you must keep your shirt on at all times. That’s a commitment I just can't make. Just watching Bill Murray play golf is enough to get my attention. And finally, if you attend the event, you have to try some fried squid. They have it in stands all over the place. Prior to my first trip to Pebble Beach I thought squid was just used for catching catfish. Now I know why it works so well. That stuff is good!

Pebble Beach

6. The U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Always a great U.S. Open venue. I missed the cut there in 1992. I think it was because I ate too much fried squid.

John Deere

7. The John Deere Classic. This was a favorite during my playing days and remains so today. Events like this are the heart and soul of the PGA Tour. It’s a great fit for the community and hopefully John Deere as well. Kudos to the players who keep the John Deere Classic on their schedule and also to the community that supports this event. And did I mention that they have world class pork chop sandwiches on the course? I can close my eyes and smell those babies grillin’ right now.

Elvis

8. St. Jude Classic in Memphis. Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous Ribs. 355 North Main Street. Charlie Rymer 5-Star rated (out of 5).  And in case you are counting, that’s two consecutive picks that involve pork. My record is four.

Barclays

9. The Barclays at Ridgewood Country Cub in Paramus, N.J. Viewers tuning in this year will miss the beautiful camera shots of the Statue of Liberty that were such a treat at Liberty National in 2009. But they will come to love Ridgewood. Designed by A.W. Tillinghast and opened in 1929, it is an absolute beauty. It’s some of 'Tillie the Terrible's' finest work. I'm a huge fan of classic architecture and I'm always thrilled to see a great old course added to the PGA Tour. And did I mention this is the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs?

Byron Nelson

10. HP Byron Nelson Championship. I have the course record at the TPC at Four Seasons [It’s a 61 gross. Really. All 18 holes. I was paired with Davis Love III. He shot 71. I beat him by 10. In one day. Really.].  If you listen to the broadcast of the tournament I'm real sure they will mention me. At least they better! Hey, when you only have one career highlight you gotta fit it in somewhere.

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Punch shot: Predictions for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 4:00 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – In advance of the 147th Open Championship, GolfChannel.com writers sound off on burning questions as players ready for a fast and firm test at Carnoustie. Here’s what our writers think about myriad topics:

The Monday morning headline will be …

REX HOGGARD: “Survival.” This one is easy. It always is at Carnoustie, which is widely considered The Open’s most demanding major championship test. Monday’s headline will be that the champion - pick a champion, any one will do - “survived” another dramatic Open. You don’t dominate Carnoustie; you endure.

RYAN LAVNER: “DJ Bashes Way to Victory at Carnoustie.” If somehow a two-win season could be disappointing, it has been for DJ. He’s first in scoring average, birdie average, par-4 scoring, par-5 scoring, strokes gained: tee to green and proximity from the rough. Those last two stats are the most important, especially here at Carnoustie, with these dry conditions. The game’s preeminent long-and-straight driver, there’s a better-than-decent chance he rolls.

MERCER BAGGS: “Rahm Tough: Spaniard charges to Open victory.” Jon Rahm will claim him maiden major title this week by powering his way through the winds and fescue at Carnoustie.

JAY COFFIN: “Thomas wins second major, ascends to world No. 1 again.” Shortly after The Open last year, Thomas rolled through the end of the PGA Tour season. This is the time of year he likes best. Despite a poor Open record the last two years, he’s not remotely concerned. He’s a tad miffed he didn’t win in France two weeks ago and comes to Carnoustie refreshed, with a gameplan, and ready to pounce.



Who or what will be the biggest surprise?

HOGGARD: Style of play. Given Carnoustie’s reputation as a brute, the surprise will be how the champion arrives at his lofty perch. Unlike previous editions at Carnoustie, this week’s dry conditions will promote more aggressive play off the tee and the winner will defy the norm and power his way to victory.

LAVNER: Tiger Woods. This is Woods’ best chance to win a major this year, and here’s believing he contends. His greatest strengths are his iron game and scrambling, and both aspects will be tested to the extreme at Carnoustie, helping separate him from some of the pretenders. With even a little cooperation from his putter, he should be in the mix.

BAGGS: Padraig Harrington. He had a good opening round last week at the Scottish Open and has some good vibes being the 2007 Open champion at Carnoustie. He won’t contend for four rounds, but a few days in the mix would be a nice surprise.

COFFIN: Alex Noren. Perhaps someone ranked 11th in the world shouldn’t be a surprise, but with so much focus on some of the bigger, household names, don’t be surprised when Noren is in contention on Sunday. He hasn’t finished worse than 25th since early May and won two weeks ago in France. He also tied for sixth place last year at Royal Birkdale.



Who or what will be the biggest disappointment?

HOGGARD: Jordan Spieth. Although he was brilliant on his way to victory last year at Royal Birkdale, Spieth is not the same player for this week’s championship, the byproduct of a balky putter that has eroded his confidence. Spieth said giving back the claret jug this week was hard, but his finish will be even tougher.

LAVNER: Weather. This might sound a little sadistic, but one of the unique joys of covering this tournament is to watch the best in the world battle conditions they face only once a year – the bone-chilling cold, the sideways rain, the howling wind. It doesn’t appear as though that’ll happen this year. With only a few hours of light rain expected, and no crazy winds in the forecast, the biggest challenge for these stars will be judging the bounces on the hard, baked-out turf.

BAGGS: Jordan Spieth. The defending champion is still trying to find his winning form and Carnoustie doesn’t seem the place to do that. As much as he says he loves playing in strong winds, there should be enough danger around here to frustrate Spieth into a missed cut.

COFFIN: Rory McIlroy. I hope I’m wrong on this, because the game is better when Rory is in contention at majors. Putting always has been his issue and seemingly always will be. While there isn’t as much of a premium placed on putting this week because of slower greens, he may still have to hit it close. Super close.



What will be the winning score?

HOGGARD: 10 under. The last two Opens played at Carnoustie were won with 7-under and 6-over totals, but this week’s conditions will favor more aggressive play and lower scores. Expect to see plenty of birdies, but the great equalizer will come on Sunday when wind gusts are forecast to reach 25 mph.

LAVNER: 15 under. An Open at Carnoustie has never produced a winner lower than 9 under (Tom Watson in 1975), but never have the conditions been this susceptible to low scores. Sure, the fairway bunkers are still a one-shot penalty, but today’s big hitters can fly them. The thin, wispy rough isn’t much of a deterrent. And the wind isn’t expected to really whip until the final day.

BAGGS: 12 under. We aren’t going to see the same kind of weather we have previously witnessed at Carnoustie, and that’s a shame. Any players who catch relatively benign conditions should be able to go low, as long as they can properly navigate the fairway rollout.

COFFIN: 14 under. Walked into a local golf shop in the town of Carnoustie wearing a Golf Channel logo and the man behind the counter said, “It’ll take 14 under to win this week.” Well, he’s been here for years and seen Carnoustie host The Open twice before. He knows more about it than I do, so I’ll stick with his number.

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Watch: Na plays backwards flop and practices lefty

By Grill Room TeamJuly 18, 2018, 3:16 pm

Fresh off his victory at The Greenbrier, Kevin Na is taking a quite-literally-backwards approach to his Open prep.

Caddie Kenny Harms has been sharing videos of Na's early work at Carnoustie.

This one shows Na standing in a bunker and playing a flop shot over his own head (as opposed to someone else's):

While it's unlikely he'll have a need for that exact shot this week, it's far more likely a player may have to think about turning his club over and playing from the wrong side of the ball, like so:

Na has made 4 of 6 cuts at The Open and will look to improve on his best career finish, currently a T-22 in 2016 at Royal Troon.

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McIlroy growing 'comfortable' on Open courses

By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 1:45 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For a player who once complained about the vagaries of links golf, Rory McIlroy enters this Open with a dazzling record in the sport’s oldest championship.

Though he missed the 2015 event because of an ankle injury, McIlroy has now posted three consecutive top-5 finishes in the year’s third major.

“It’s surprising a little bit that my best form in major championships has been this tournament,” he said Wednesday, “but at the same time I’ve grown up these courses, and I’m comfortable on them. I think going to courses on The Open rota that I’ve played quite a lot. I think that helps. You have a comfort level with the golf course, and you’ve built up enough experience to know where to hit and where not to hit it.”


Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


McIlroy still regrets what happened in 2015, when he “did something slightly silly” and injured his ankle while playing soccer a few weeks before the event. That came a year after he triumphed at Royal Liverpool.

“Since 2010, I couldn’t wait to play The Open at St. Andrews,” he said. “I thought that was one of my best chances to win a major.”

He tied for 42nd at Carnoustie in 2007, earning low-amateur honors.  

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Height of irony: Phil putts in front of 'rules' sign

By Grill Room TeamJuly 18, 2018, 1:36 pm

A picture is worth 1,000 words and potentially two strokes for playing a moving ball under Rule 14-5 but not Rule 1-2.

Phil Mickelson has been having some fun during his Open prep at Carnoustie hitting flop shots over human beings, but the irony of this photo below is too obvious to go over anyone's head.

Mickelson also tried tapping down fescue two weeks ago at The Greenbrier, incurring another two-shot penalty.

And so we're left to wonder about what Phil asked himself back at Shinnecock Hills: "The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’”