By Chris DatresMay 6, 2008, 4:00 pm
The window is open again after having closed it on my fingers at the Masters. Tiger came close to making me look clairvoyant but just couldnt get a clutch putt to drop. Now, he doesnt even give me a chance to jinx him again as hes off rehabbing his bum knee.
So its on to Ponte Vedra, home of the most menacing par 3 in all the game, especially when the wind is causing problems. Yours truly has played it one time and lets just say that I tied Sean OHairs Sunday effort of a year ago. But enough about my pitiful game, lets move on to equally poor prognostications, shall we?
Adam Scott (3-1): The top choice on the board may come as a very big surprise but Ill explain why in a second. The 2004 winner has two worldwide victories this year and has been pretty consistent throughout the year. He even cut short a surfing vacation at home in Australia to collect the win in Dallas. He said he didnt want to watch his good play go to waste and I can think of no other way of wasting it than wiping out on the beautiful shores of the Gold Coast.

Phil Mickelson (4-1): So why isnt Lefty the top choice? Well heres a little something you may not know about The PLAYERS ' no man has successfully defended his title. Lefty claimed last week that hes grown somewhere between a half-inch to an inch in the last year, which I think is right there along the lines of his boast at the beginning of 2007 that he had lost 30 pounds but gained 15 pounds of muscle. Anyway, this new discovery has led to Phil maybe ironing out his recent putting issues. However, I dont think he can beat history.
Vijay Singh (6-1): Dont you think its about time THE BIG FIJIAN won this thing? The man spends 25 hours a day on that driving range honing his game and making poor Shawn do his job. The closest he came was 2001 when he finished second to Tiger. He also had 2006 in his sights but shot a final-round 77. But one other thing Im wondering ' if I moved him to the top spot, would it get me an invite to that awesome party he has at his house? I can be bribed!!
Jim Furyk (8-1): Heres another player that most thought would have won this event by now. He also lives right down the street from the gates and uses his constant straight driving to keep it out of trouble. You might have to close your eyes when he swings the club but Im sure 105% of us would like to hit the fairway as often as he does (70%).
Sergio Garcia (12-1): I compared his putter combinations to Sonic drink combinations in the Masters Odds and maybe, just maybe, hes figured something out. Hes been working with noted short-game guru Stan Utley and he thinks he has everything under control. Its about time he scores again on U.S. soil, as his last win here was 2005. If he can keep that flatstick under control like he did here last year, there could be a huge fiesta on Sunday night.
Padraig Harrington (15-1): Paddy was close here with runner-up finishes in 2003 and 2004 but hasnt been under 70 in his last 9 rounds. So really, there isnt any reason to put him in this category, right? Well, thats sort of what could have been said about Trevor Immelman and Im not getting blindsided by that again!

Anthony Kim (25-1): He pretty much killed any chances of winning this event when he demolished the field at Wachovia last week. Lets face it, nobody but Tiger goes back-to-back anymore. Anthonys first foray around Sawgrass was forgettable as he went 78-83 to miss the cut by a mile. But you have to admit that the snappy blue Wachovia jacket will look good in his closet. Now, can I have a loan?
Trevor Immelman (30-1): I nearly forgot about Trevor again but since hes won the Masters, his play has been rather forgettable. Hes missed the cut in each of his two events since donning the green jacket and dealing with the maelstrom of media that goes with it. So hopefully on his trip down from Charlotte, he stopped by whatever location in Augusta that he left his game so he can have a good week here. However, hes never made the cut at Sawgrass in three attempts so Id say hes still going to be checking milk cartons for the picture of his game.
Brandt Snedeker (35-1): Sneds captured everyones heart at the Masters and then went all Dick Vermeil on us and thus, sending every armchair Bob Rotella into convulsions about what letting it go would mean to his reputation. Hey, the kid can flat-out play. And for all the ladies out there, hell probably even sit through a chick-flick with you. Id call that well rounded.
Boo Weekley (40-1): Excellent ball striker? Check. Can recover from a bad hole? Check (just witness how he held on to his lead at Verizon). Biscuits, grits, and sweet tea for breakfast? Double check. Boos excellent adventure continues and if he cant win this event then Id at least like to watch him wrassle one of the resident gators at Sawgrass.
Fred Couples (60-1): Freddy nearly ended up in the off the board category below but thankfully, Kims victory got him into the field. The TOUR would have looked real foolish to have put the two-time PLAYERS Champion on their online field list on Saturday only to have to remove him and place him on the alternate list had someone that wasnt already eligible gone and won Wachovia.

Mike Weir/Stephen Ames (75-1): Canadas Stanley Cup losing streak is now at 15 but a win would make it two out of three by our North of the Border neighbors at Sawgrass.
Fred Funk (100-1): Freddy would probably say I could add a zero or two to that and it would be about right but hes on there simply because Id love to see him re-create maybe the best celebration after a winning putt that Ive ever seen after winning the 2005 PLAYERS.

Tiger Woods: No. 1s knee finally said enough was enough and Tiger decided to get it taken care of. Funny thing is that hes probably not too sorry that hes missing this tournament. You see, hes only won it once in 2001 and has been outside the top 10 each time since then. So hell continue his rehab and continue to get QT with Elin and Sam and sit back to watch everyone else get frustrated by the Sawgrass layout.
John Daly: Big John is spending PLAYERS week in Italy playing on the European Tour. Yes, they require shirts and shoes on those courses, unlike the one we saw him on last Monday in Arkansas (Click HERE if youve been in a cave and havent seen it). But I do have one question. He missed the cut in Spain last week and Im guessing hell miss in Italy this week. So is he going to get the full tourist effect? You know, go to a bullfight, check out the nude beaches, maybe check out a few art museums in Italia. Ciao!

Theres only one prop that matters this week. The 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass is roughly 135 yards. The first time I saw it in person, I figured it for a good hard pitching wedge. When I finally got to tee it up at that monster, I thought about hitting the wedge but ultimately settled for an 8. It was maybe the crispest, purest 8 Ive ever hit. And naturally hit the back half of the green and skipped into the water. One Moe-Larry-Curly routine from the drop area later and I walked off the proud owner of a Quad. Someday, Ill get my revenge. But as for this week, heres the fields number to beat. If the wind blows like it did in the first round last year, this number could be topped on Day 1:
Over/Under number of shots in the water at the 17th ' 75
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    McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

    McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

    But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

    Said Harmon:

    “Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

    “This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

    McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

    “Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

    McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

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    How The Open cut line is determined

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

    Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

    The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    • After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

    • There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

    • There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

    The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.

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    First-, second-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:30 am

    Three-time champion Tiger Woods is playing in The Open for the first time since he missed the cut in 2015 at St. Andrews. Woods will begin his first round Thursday in the 147th edition at Carnoustie at 10:21 a.m. ET, playing alongside Hideki Matsuyama and Russell Knox.

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth delivered the claret jug to the R&A on Monday at Carnoustie. He will begin his title defense at 4:58 a.m. ET on Thursday, playing with world No. 2 Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

    Other notable groupings:

    • Rory McIlroy will look to capture his second claret jug at 7:53 a.m. Thursday. He goes off with Marc Leishman and Thorbjorn Olesen.
    • World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is playing with Alex Noren and Charley Hoffman. They will play at 8:04 a.m. ET in the first round.
    • World No. 2 Justin Thomas goes at 8:26 a.m. with Francesco Molinari and Branden Grace.
    • Masters champion Patrick Reed will play with Louis Oosthuizen and Paul Casey at 5:20 a.m. ET.
    • U.S. Open champion and world No. 4 Brooks Koepka is grouped with Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith (9:59 a.m. ET).
    • Phil Mickelson, the 2013 Open champion, will begin at 3:03 a.m. ET with Satoshi Kodaira and Rafa Cabrera Bello.

    Here's a look at the full list of times for Rounds 1 and 2 (all times ET):

    1:35AM/6:36AM: Sandy Lyle, Martin Kaymer, Andy Sulliva

    1:46AM/6:47AM: Erik Van Rooyen, Brady Schnell, Matthew Southgate

    1:57AM/6:58AM: Danny Willett, Emiliano Grillo, Luke List

    2:08AM/7:09AM: Mark Calcavecchia, Danthai Boonma, Shaun Nooris

    2:19AM/7:20AM: Kevin Chappell, Oliver Wilson, Eddie Pepperell

    2:30AM/7:31AM: Ross Fisher, Paul Dunne, Austin Cook

    2:41AM/7:42AM: Tyrrell Hatton, Patrick Cantlay, Shane Lowry

    2:52AM/7:53AM: Thomas Pieters, Kevin Kisner, Marcus Kinhult

    3:03AM/8:04AM: Phil Mickelson, Satoshi Kodaira, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    3:14AM/8:15AM: Brian Harman, Yuta Ikeda, Andrew Landry

    3:25AM/8:26AM: Si Woo Kim, Webb Simpson, Nicolai Hojgaard (a)

    3:36AM/8:37AM: Stewart Cink, Brandon Stone, Hideto Tanihara

    3:47AM/8:48AM: Gary Woodland, Yusaku Miyazato, Sung Kang

    4:03AM/9:04AM: Ernie Els, Adam Hadwin, Chesson Hadley

    4:14AM/9:15AM: Pat Perez, Julian Suri, George Coetzee

    4:25AM/9:26AM: David Duval, Scott Jamieson, Kevin Na

    4:36AM/9:37AM: Darren Clarke, Bernhard Langer, Retief Goosen

    4:47AM/9:48AM: Matt Kuchar, Anirban Lahiri, Peter Uihlein

    4:58AM/9:59AM: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Kiradech Aphibarnrat

    5:09AM/10:10AM: Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Chris Wood

    5:20AM/10:21AM: Louis Oosthuizen, Paul Casey, Patrick Reed

    5:31AM/10:32AM: Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Jhonattan Vegas

    5:42AM/10:43AM: Yuxin Lin (a), Alexander Bjork, Sang Hyun Park

    5:53AM/10:54AM: James Robinson, Haraldur Magnus, Zander Lombard

    6:04AM/11:05AM: Kodai Ichihara, Rhys Enoch, Marcus Armitage

    6:15AM/11:16AM: Sean Crocker, Gavin Green, Ash Turner

    6:36AM/1:35AM: Brandt Snedeker, Sam Locke (a), Cameron Davis

    6:47AM/1:46AM: Patton Kizzire, Jonas Blixt, Charles Howell III

    6:58AM/1:57AM: Charl Schwartzel, Daniel Berger, Tom Lewis

    7:09AM/2:08AM: Alex Levy, Ryan Moore, Byeong Hun An

    7:20AM/2:19AM: Michael Hendry, Kelly Kraft, Lee Westwood

    7:31AM/2:30AM: Henrik Stenson, Tommy Fleetwood, Jimmy Walker

    7:42AM/2:41AM: Matthew Fitzpatrick, Russell Henley, Jovan Rebula (a)

    7:53AM/2:52AM: Rory McIlroy, Marc Leishman, Thorbjorn Olesen

    8:04AM/3:03AM: Dustin Johnson, Alex Noren, Charley Hoffman

    8:15AM/3:14AM: Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Brendan Steele

    8:26AM/3:25AM: Justin Thomas, Francesco Molinari, Branden Grace

    8:37AM/3:36AM: Jason Day, Shota Akiyoshi, Haotong Li

    8:48AM/3:47AM: Todd Hamilton, Beau Hossler, Jorge Campillo

    9:04AM/4:03AM: Ryuko Tokimatsu, Chez Reavie, Michael Kim

    9:15AM/4:14AM: Kyle Stanley, Nicolas Colsaerts, Jens Dantorp

    9:26AM/4:25AM: Tom Lehman, Dylan Frittelli, Grant Forrest

    9:37AM/4:36AM: Lucas Herbert, Min Chel Choi, Jason Kokrak

    9:48AM/4:47AM: Padraig Harrington, Bubba Watson, Matt Wallace

    9:59AM/4:58AM: Ian Poulter, Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka

    10:10AM/5:09AM: Sergio Garcia, Bryson DeChambeau, Shubhankar Sharma

    10:21AM/5:20AM: Tiger Woods, Hideki Matsuyama, Russell Knox

    10:32AM/5:31AM: Jason Dufner, Ryan Fox, Keegan Bradley

    10:43AM/5:42AM: Ryan Armour, Abraham Ander, Masahiro Kawamura

    10:54AM/5:53AM: Jazz Janewattananond, Fabrizio Zanotti, Jordan Smith

    11:05AM/6:04AM: Brett Rumford, Masanori Kobayashi, Jack Senior

    11:16AM/6:15AM: Matt Jones, Thomas Curtis, Bronson Burgoon

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    How to watch The Open on TV and online

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:30 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)