Allenby Palmer share Sony Open lead

By Doug FergusonJanuary 17, 2010, 8:38 am

2007 Sony Open

HONOLULU – Robert Allenby had every reason to skip the pro-am at the Sony Open this week because of an ankle sprain that turned the bottom of his right foot purple and made it difficult to walk even a flat course like Waialae.

One reason he played was to see how a bum ankle would affect his swing, and to learn to accept bad shots.

There haven’t been too many when it counted.

He made three birdies from inside 4 feet for a 3-under 67 on Saturday and was tied for the lead with Ryan Palmer, the first time Allenby has been atop a PGA Tour leaderboard through 54 holes in more than six years.

“I wanted to have a feel for how I was going to play golf,” Allenby said of his decision to play the pro-am Wednesday. “I think it was a good thing for me. It enabled me in my mind that I’d hit a lot of (bad) shots, but I’d be able to accept it. When you know there’s a problem, it’s a lot easier to accept.”

Palmer also played bogey-free in his round of 68, two-putting from long range on the final two holes – one for par, one for birdie. The last one gave him a share of the lead at 11-under 199, and another date with Allenby in the final group.

Neither of them were spectacular, although they didn’t need to be with no one making a big move.

Eleven players started the third round within three shots of the lead. When the sun dipped below the Pacific horizon, Allenby and Palmer had a three-shot margin over Davis Love III (68), Troy Matteson (68), Steve Stricker (69) and defending champion Zach Johnson (70).

Five more players were another shot back, including a pair of 50-year-olds in Tom Lehman and Michael Allen.

All their hopes start with the play of Allenby and Palmer, who have been steady throughout.

“If I can go out tomorrow and shoot under par, someone will have to shoot a good round to catch or pass us,” Palmer said.

Allenby last had a share of the 54-hole lead at Sahalee in a World Golf Championship in August 2002, and his most recent PGA Tour victory was the Pennsylvania Classic in 2001, the first event after the Sept. 11 attacks.

He has won seven times around the world since then, including the Australia “Triple Crown” in 2005 when he won his native country’s Masters, PGA and Open championships. And he is coming off consecutive victories last month in South Africa and Australia.

“I’m moving in the right direction,” Allenby said. “I may not win tomorrow, but I believe I will definitely win this year. And when I do, I’ll win again and again. With me, it’s just confidence. When I get the confidence going, I feel like I can do anything. I have that confidence right now, and I’m very patient. Hopefully, I can do what’s needed.”

Into a stiff breeze from just over 150 yards, Allenby hit a 6-iron that settled 4 feet behind the flag for a birdie on No. 2 to erase Palmer’s small lead. He also hit a delicate pitch-and-run to 2 feet on the 10th, and a wedge to about the same distance on the 12th.

His best shot might have been a 5-iron around the trees on the 13th, which bounced onto the green for an easy par.

Palmer can relate, as his most memorable shot also led to par.

His wedge got away from him on the 16th hole and landed on the back slope of a bunker, leaving him little room to bring the club down steeply to carry the clip. He thought about a putter to get into the middle of a bunker, a hit-and-hope sand wedge, even a utility club to slam it up the front of the bunker.

Palmer settled on a 7-iron that came out perfectly, caught a good bounce and settled 6-feet away for a remarkable save.

“It’s a big help having a three-shot lead,” Palmer said. “That’s still a lot to make up in one round of golf, especially if the wind keeps blowing. I’m very ecstatic with where I’m at. I couldn’t be in a better spot.”

Stricker missed four birdie putts inside 10 feet, so he was thrilled to see a 12-footer from the fringe fall for birdie on the final hole, leaving him in range.

“Very important,” Stricker said. “It’s a good start for tomorrow. I’ll only be about three shots back, and not a lot of guys in between. So I’ve got a shot at it.”

So does Love, who has made only two bogeys all week at Waialae. He didn’t make many birdie putts Saturday, although a few 4-foot par putts saved the day. A victory would be the easiest way for Love to get into the Masters, and get him headed back to where he feels he belongs.

“If I can hole a few more putts, I’ve got as good of a chance as anyone,” Love said.

DIVOTS: Among those who missed the 54-hole cut was Sean O’Hair, who had a 74. He is headed home to Philadelphia to get tests on a stress fracture in his left arm and likely won’t return until Pebble Beach or Match Play. … Tom Lehman, using a one-time exemption from career money, said he plans to divide his time between the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour the rest of the year. His PGA Tour plans include Phoenix, Pebble Beach and Riviera.

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Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 9:33 am

Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.

Everything before that, however, was far from routine.



Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.

He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and TaylorMade got him his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.

"I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:40 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)

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The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:30 am

Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about The Open:

What's all this "The Open" stuff? I thought it was the British Open.

What you call it has historically depended on where you were. If you were in the U.S., you called it the British Open, just as Europeans refer to the PGA Championship as the U.S. PGA. Outside the U.S. it generally has been referred to as The Open Championship. The preferred name of the organizers is The Open.

How old is it?

It's the oldest golf championship, dating back to 1860.

Where is it played?

There is a rotation – or "rota" – of courses used. Currently there are 10: Royal Birkdale, Royal St. George's, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham and St. Annes, all in England; Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland and St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Turnberry and Muirfield, all in Scotland. Muirfield was removed from the rota in 2016 when members voted against allowing female members, but when the vote was reversed in 2017 it was allowed back in.

Where will it be played this year?

At Carnoustie, which is located on the south-eastern shore of Scotland.

Who has won The Open on that course?

Going back to the first time Carnoustie hosted, in 1931, winners there have been Tommy Armour, Henry Cotton (1937), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1968), Tom Watson (1975), Paul Lawrie (1999), Padraig Harrington (2007).

Wasn't that the year Hogan nearly won the Slam?

Yep. He had won the Masters and U.S. Open that season, then traveled to Carnoustie and won that as well. It was the only time he ever played The Open. He was unable to play the PGA Championship that season because the dates conflicted with those of The Open.

Jean Van de Velde's name should be on that list, right?

This is true. He had a three-shot lead on the final hole in 1999 and made triple bogey. He lost in a playoff to Lawrie, which also included Justin Leonard.

Who has won this event the most?

Harry Vardon, who was from the Channel Island of Jersey, won a record six times between 1896 and 1914. Australian Peter Thomson, American Watson, Scot James Braid and Englishman J.H. Taylor each won five times.

What about the Morrises?

Tom Sr. won four times between 1861 and 1867. His son, Tom Jr., also won four times, between 1868 and 1872.

Have players from any particular country dominated?

In the early days, Scots won the first 29 Opens – not a shocker since they were all played at one of three Scottish courses, Prestwick, St. Andrews and Musselburgh. In the current era, going back to 1999 (we'll explain why that year in a minute), the scoreboard is United States, nine wins; South Africa, three wins; Ireland, two wins; Northern Ireland, two wins; and Sweden, one win. The only Scot to win in that period was Lawrie, who took advantage of one of the biggest collapses in golf history.

Who is this year's defending champion?

That would be American Jordan Spieth, who survived an adventerous final round to defeat Matt Kuchar by three strokes and earn the third leg of the career Grand Slam.

What is the trophy called?

The claret jug. It's official name is the Golf Champion Trophy, but you rarely hear that used. The claret jug replaced the original Challenge Belt in 1872. The winner of the claret jug gets to keep it for a year, then must return it (each winner gets a replica to keep).

Which Opens have been the most memorable?

Well, there was Palmer in 1961and '62; Van de Velde's collapse in 1999; Hogan's win in 1953; Tiger Woods' eight-shot domination of the 2000 Open at St. Andrews; Watson almost winning at age 59 in 2009; Doug Sanders missing what would have been a winning 3-foot putt at St. Andrews in 1970; Tony Jacklin becoming the first Briton to win the championship in 18 years; and, of course, the Duel in the Sun at Turnberry in 1977, in which Watson and Jack Nicklaus dueled head-to-head over the final 36 holes, Watson winning by shooting 65-65 to Nicklaus' 65-66.

When I watch this tournament on TV, I hear lots of unfamiliar terms, like "gorse" and "whin" and "burn." What do these terms mean?

Gorse is a prickly shrub, which sometimes is referred to as whin. Heather is also a shrub. What the scots call a burn, would also be considered a creek or stream.