Notes: Schedules up in air with Match Play move

By Doug FergusonSeptember 16, 2014, 11:36 pm

ATLANTA – Some 20 years ago, there was a feeling that the PGA Tour didn't really get going until Florida.

It might feel like that next year, too.

Among the contributing factors – the busy end to the FedEx Cup season that forces players to pace themselves during the year, the start of a new season and moving the Match Play Championship to the first weekend in May.

Tiger Woods doesn't know what his schedule will be in 2015. Except for the Match Play, he has played only one event on the West Coast (Torrey Pines) since 2007. He did play Pebble Beach in 2012, but that was a one-time agreement with AT&T.

Adam Scott is contemplating such a big winter break he likely will skip Kapalua.

''My schedule is going to start on the East Coast,'' Scott said last week. ''That's just the way I want to do it. I've got some things I want to do in the offseason to get ready for next year and do better than this year.''

Scott said it would be ''a bit of a heart-breaker'' to skip Kapalua. He said he's not 100 percent sure he will miss the Tournament of Champions, though it sounded that way. The Australian PGA ends Dec. 14 and ''I'll get 10 full weeks'' off before resuming at the Honda Classic.

Of the six Europeans from the top 20 in the world, three played one West Coast event before the Match Play. Graeme McDowell was at Pebble Beach, but only because his father played with him.Justin Rose played Riviera because he missed the Middle East swing because of injury; and Martin Kaymer played Phoenix, where he lives.

The rest showed up at Match Play, which will not be at the end of February in Arizona next year.

Rory McIlroy left Atlanta on Sunday. Odds are it will be five months before he next plays an official PGA Tour event in America.


TECHNIQUE AND FEEL: Tiger Woods is in no hurry to look for a new swing coach, not until he's finished restoring his ''explosiveness.''

Does he even need a coach?

Woods has been playing since he could walk. If he's not talking about owning his swing, he'll say how important it is to be able to fix it in the middle of a round. That led to a question Monday at Isleworth: Has he ever had coaches who didn't know as much as about swing as he did?

''I would have to say on the technical side, I probably don't know as much as some of them,'' Woods said without singling out Butch Harmon, Hank Haney or Sean Foley. ''But from a feel standpoint, which is something I think is innate because of what we're able to do at such an elite level, yeah, I think I know a lot more than they do. Because they've never played down the stretch of a major championship. What do the hands feel? What does the body feel?''

Woods is known to take only what he wants of the instruction offered.

''You have to understand your practice sessions,'' he said. ''Will they work on the back nine on a Sunday of a major? Either yes or no. And I think that's one thing I've always tried to tell all my coaches. Will it work or not work? And if it's not going to work, then we're not going down that road.''


DRIVING SPIETH: Jordan Spieth revealed at the Tour Championship that he has been looking for the right driver for the last four months.

He said the driver he had used the last two years cracked on Wednesday of The Players Championship, where he shared the 54-hole lead with Martin Kaymer. He said he has tried a couple of new heads and can't seem to get the right combination. And he said he hasn't had time to try the latest driver from Titleist.

Spieth, who makes his Ryder Cup debut next week, said he has lost 20 percent in driving accuracy since May.

''I'm not driving the ball worse than anyone else, but it's a strength of mine,'' he said. ''When your strength becomes average, something has to make up for it. And the rest of my game hasn't made up for it.''


PGA TOUR BALLOT: The PGA Tour has sent out its year-end awards ballot to the players. Voting closes Sept. 25, and the awards are to be announced the week after the Ryder Cup (a week before the 2014-15 season begins).

Rory McIlroy figures to be a lock with his two majors. The others on the ballot are U.S. Open and Players Championship winner Martin Kaymer, Masters champion Bubba Watson, FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel and three-time winner Jimmy Walker.

The rookie ballot features only three players. Chesson Hadley was the only rookie who won, though it was an opposite-field event in Puerto Rico. The other two candidates didn't even become members until midway through the season - Victor Dubuisson and Brooks Koepka.


TRINGALE'S RETURN: Cameron Tringale heard about the changes to Masters criteria, such as cutting back on the number of players from the previous year's majors who were invited. So when he was runner-up at The Barclays - in effect assuring him a spot in the Tour Championship - it didn't register until later he was going to Augusta.

The field from the Tour Championship gets in the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.

''I didn't think this got you in,'' Tringale said last week. ''I really didn't think that was the case.''

It will be his first appearance at the Masters, though certainly not his first trip to Augusta National. Tringale played at Georgia Tech and says the Yellow Jackets were invited to play the course once a year.

''I've played there four times,'' he said. ''I haven't broken par.''

He said he shot 73 the first time, and that was about as close as he got. No matter. The course changes from Wednesday to Thursday during the Masters, much less from one year to the next. Besides, Tringale said he was busy taking pictures.

''I was thinking, 'I might never make it back here,''' he said.


DIVOTS: Michelle Wie is the inaugural winner of the Rolex Annika Major Award for the LPGA player who accumulates the most points in the majors. Wie won the U.S. Women's Open and was runner-up in the Kraft Nabisco Championship. ... Davis Love III, who rarely passes on a chance to play golf in Hawaii, is making his Champions Tour debut this week in the Pacific Links Hawaii Championship at Kapolei Golf Club on Oahu. ... Tiger Woods didn't go the entire year without a trophy. His foundation received the Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy. It will be honored Thursday in Princeton, New Jersey, by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. ... The BMW Championship will return to Crooked Stick in 2016.


STAT OF THE WEEK: There are five Americans in the top 25 in the world ranking who are not playing in the Ryder Cup - Billy Horschel (14), Tiger Woods (15), Dustin Johnson (17), Chris Kirk (22) and Steve Stricker (25).


FINAL WORD: ''As a TV spectacle, it's far better than the Super Bowl. Only one comes close - the 100 meters in the Olympics. Maybe. And it only lasts 10 seconds. Golf generally is not amazingly suspenseful on TV, but that is off the charts.'' - Geoff Ogilvy, on the Ryder Cup.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 9:20 am

Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.


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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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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)