Notes Iraq veteran gets golfing thrill

By Doug FergusonNovember 18, 2009, 1:59 am
MELBOURNE, Australia – Tiger Woods first made his move in the Australian Masters in the middle of the opening round, getting his name on the leaderboard next to a player named “Jordan” that even some of the local fans did not recognize.

Damien Jordan, the last player to get into the field, was worth getting to know.

The 29-year-old rookie fulfilled one part of his dream by making it through Q-School last year on the Australasian Tour, a goal that had been put on hold when he enlisted in the Army and served two tours in Iraq.

The first tour was for five months in 2002, and he returned in 2005 for a seven-month tour of more heavy combat. He left the Army a year later, and took two years to polish his game. If anything, it has given him a different perspective than most.

“Regardless of what happens, I know I’ll go home at the end of the day and have a hot shower, have a good feed,” he said. “Half the time you’re over there, you’re thinking, ‘This could be the time when an IED goes off and I’m not going home.''

Jordan’s parents introduced him to golf at a young age, and he was slowly developing into a decent golfer when he felt compelled to join the Army, serving in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment.

“A lot of people before me have given their lives for the country, and I thought, ‘Why should I be different and not put my end up?’' Jordan said. “That’s what I did. I met a lot of good mates, a lot of friends for life, and it made me stronger out here.”

Even now, he faces a struggle different from most.

He said his time in the Army cost him his marriage, which Jordan said was one of the untold statistics of Army life. He spends as much time as he can with his two daughters, ages 2 and 3.

Jordan said he will take medication the rest of his life to cope with the dreams, and he continues to see a psychiatrist twice a month.

“Even smells can bring it back,” he said. “I walked into a fruit and vegetable shop, and there had been an Iraqi shop that had the same incense going,” he said. “That made it tough. It was exactly the same. I’m trying to get away from stuff like that.”

Jordan mostly played the pro-am circuit this year in Australia, in which amateurs put up the purse while playing with the pros. It would be comparable to a mini-tour in the United States, and Jordan won eight tournaments.

The Australian Masters was his first event that counted on the world ranking. He opened with a 69 before falling well back and finishing toward the bottom of the leaderboard.

Asked for his greatest moment in golf, he smiled.

“Playing here, mate,” he said. “It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my golf career. To make the cut, and to be out here, is just brilliant. And I got to see Tiger. To play in the field with anyone of that stature is phenomenal.”

Jordan was not sure if he would get into the Australian Open or the Australian PGA Championship next month. Asked for his ultimate goal, he did not mention winning or even playing a particular tournament.

“Just keep living the dream, doing what I’m doing,” Jordan said. “Every day is a win for me.”

RACE TO DUBAI: The European Tour has four players in position to win the Race to Dubai, which features a $7.5 million bonus pool in addition to the $7.5 million purse this week at the Dubai World Championship.

Rory McIlroy, the 20-year-old from Northern Ireland, moved atop the standings with his runner-up finish last week in Hong Kong, putting him about $190,000 ahead of Lee Westwood. They are followed by Martin Kaymer and Ross Fisher.

Paul Casey is fifth in the standings, but has withdrawn with a recurring rib injury.

PRESIDENTS CUP: PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said the Tour has agreed to look into the possibility of staging the Presidents Cup in China in 2019, which he said might be enough time for China to set a goal of having a player capable of competing in the matches, or worthy enough to be a captain’s pick.

If that’s the case, it would leave 2015 open for an international venue.

Finchem is intrigued by the idea that the Presidents Cup head to South America in 2015, one year before golf returns to the Olympic program in Brazil. Golf is only guaranteed the 2016 and 2020 Olympics before another vote of confirmation. It is important that golf put on a good show in Rio.

“We can’t just show up and say, ‘We’re here,'' Finchem said.

The Nationwide Tour is headed to Colombia next year, home country of Camilo Villegas. One problem is that the best players from South America are coming from Argentina – two-time major champion Angel Cabrera, Andres Romero, Ricardo Gonzalez, Daniel Vancsik and Estanislao Goya. Argentina held a wildly successful World Cup, won by Tiger Woods and David Duval, in 2000.

“Will that help with an Olympics in Brazil? I don’t know,” Finchem said.

He said the first priority before South America – perhaps Brazil, in this case – can be considered for a Presidents Cup is getting more golf courses built.

TIGER’S CHECK: Depending on the exchange rate when the check was written, Tiger Woods earned a little more than $250,000 for his victory in the Australian Masters, which was the sixth-lowest winning check of his career.

Two of those checks came on the PGA Tour.

Woods earned $216,000 for winning at Disney in 1996 and the Mercedes Championship at La Costa to open the next season. The tour negotiated its new TV deal later that year, and prize money took off a few years later.

The smallest check was $48,450 in 1997 for winning the Asian Honda Classic, followed by $190,798 for winning the Johnnie Walker Classic in 2000. Woods also received only $223,061 for winning the Johnnie Walker in 1998.

Of course, he received appearance fees that dwarfed the total purse in those overseas events.

DIVOTS: Tiger Woods earned 28 world ranking points with his victory in the Australian Masters, the fewest for any victory since he received 24 in the 2000 Johnnie Walker Classic. … There were 91 players who earned over $1 million on the PGA Tour, the fewest since 78 players in 2005. … The PGA Tour had 13 playoffs this year, three short of the record last set in 1991.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Adam Scott tied for third in Singapore and tied for sixth in Australia. It was the first time he had top-10s in consecutive tournaments since May 2008.

FINAL WORD: “I’m definitely playing well. I haven’t missed a cut since Tiger invited me to his tournament. But unfortunately, it’s not about missing cuts out here.” – Chris Riley, who failed to finish inside the top 125 on the PGA Tour money list to keep his card.
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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 22, 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  

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; or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 22, 2018, 8:30 am

Tiger Woods begins the final round of the 147th Open Championship four shots off the lead. He's out at 9:25 a.m. ET on Sunday and we're tracking him.

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Schauffele just fine being the underdog

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

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Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Jordan Spieth: 7/4

Xander Schauffele: 5/1

Kevin Kisner: 11/2

Tiger Woods: 14/1

Francesco Molinari: 14/1

Rory McIlroy: 14/1

Kevin Chappell: 20/1

Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

Alex Noren: 25/1

Zach Johnson: 30/1

Justin Rose: 30/1

Matt Kuchar: 40/1

Webb Simpson: 50/1

Adam Scott: 80/1

Tony Finau: 80/1

Charley Hoffman: 100/1

Austin Cook: 100/1