Notes Tiger tested twice for drugs Sergios swoon

By Doug FergusonMay 7, 2009, 4:00 pm
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The PlayersPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. ' Tiger Woods said Thursday he has been tested twice for drugs under the PGA Tours anti-doping policy, including one time when he wasnt even playing.
 
The drug testing program began July 1, a week after Woods had knee surgery that kept him out of golf until late February.
 
Asked the first time he was tested, Woods said it was in December at the Chevron World Challenge in California, the charity event he hosts at the end of the year. It was his first public appearance at any golf tournament since knee surgery.
 
Woods laughed at the coincidence of his first test.
 
The PGA Tour reserves the right to test any member out of competition, and Woods was asked at his press conference that day in December whether the Tour had ever come to his house for a drug test.
 
No, he said.
 
Asked if he was expecting a visit during his time off, Woods replied, Yeah, actually.
 
Right after I got done telling you guys that, they were waiting for me, he said.
 
Woods said he also was chosen for a drug test during the CA Championship at Doral in early March. He was not tested on his return to competition two weeks earlier at the Accenture Match Play Championship. Then again, he was only there for two rounds.
 

 
SERGIOS SWOON: No one has ever won back-to-back at The Players Championship, and Sergio Garcia made it sound Thursday as though that streak was going to continue. Ignore the 71 on his scorecard and listen to his comments.
 
Im playing so badly it makes me want to puke, Garcia said.
 
Now, the 29-year-old Spaniard did take a double bogey on par-3 eighth and failed to birdie the par-5 ninth from a greenside bunker. He said he didnt deserve to be 3 under, anyway.
 
I was hitting the ball very poorly, he said.
 
But what about the three birdies on his opening four holes?
 
Didnt matter, he said, adding that he was not swinging well and that he was steering the ball.
 
Was he at least happy with his score?
 
No, no, he said. I cant be happy with anything. Obviously, 71 is not that bad a score. The course is playing the easiest that its going to play all week. If you play halfway decent, youre going to shoot 68, 67, 69.
 
Someone tried to cheer him up by saying that theres always tomorrow.
 
Theres always next week, Garcia said, back at home.
 

 
A COUPLE OF LEFTIES: Phil Mickelson played golf with another Lefty on Wednesday ' Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow.
 
Mickelson said he didnt keep score, but he figured Tebow shot somewhere around 80 at Pablo Creek.
 
Hes got a lot of clubhead speed, hits the ball pretty good, Mickelson said. Not a bad player at all.
 
Mickelson is right-handed in everything but golf. Tebow, the Heisman Trophy winner two years ago, does everything as a southpaw, which allowed him a few swings with Mickelsons driver.
 
Every time I use it now, I remember that he used my driver because theres a big mark on the top of it, Mickelson said.
 
It wasnt just a day of golf. They also had a contest to see who could throw a football farther.
 
He beat by 2 yards, Mickelson said. He was on his knees, though.
 

 
MISTAKEN IDENTITY: The video boards across the TPC Sawgrass sometimes delve in the background of various players, but the fans behind the 17th green must have been surprised to learn this tidbit about Tiger Woods.
 
Played handball at a high level in Sweden and was a tennis player since age 6.
 
Blame that on a technical glitch when the electronic pages were out of sync. The name and face were of Woods, but the biographical material belonged to Richard S. Johnson.
 
And even the 5-foot-6 Swede wanted to make a few clarifications: Its a team sport in Europe, and he wasnt really that good.
 
But if he didnt know any better, he could buy the fact Woods was a high-level handball player.
 
He can probably jump as high as anybody, Johnson said. Hes probably the most athletic guy we have out here. I bet hed be good at anything he did.
 
Theres jumping in handball?
 
Yeah, youve got to jump, he said. Thats why I quit.
 

 
OUT OF THERE: Oliver Wilson of England felt a twinge in his neck after one hole of practice on Wednesday, and it wound up keeping him from his debut in The Players Championship. That was good news for PGA Tour rookie Webb Simpson, the first alternate who spent the morning on the range until his name was called. But it went from downhill from there, as Simpson shot a 76.
 
D.A. Weibring, who got in as the Senior Players Champion, was 8 over after six holes when he withdrew. Former U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell, who had not broken par in his previous nine rounds at Sawgrass, withdrew after a 45 on his opening nine.
 

 
WATER BALLS: As expected, the island-green 17th hole had its share of victims Thursday with 14 balls in the water.
 
The surprise was that it wasnt the most treacherous of the par 3s.
 
With the hole location at the back left corner of the green, the 13th hole had 18 balls in the water and ranked sixth in the degree of difficult for the opening round.
 
There is water in play on all but two holes at Sawgrass, and 89 balls were in the water overall.
 

 
DIVOTS: The pairings are generated by a computer, and this computer clearly had no heart. Masters champion Angel Cabrera was in the same group as Kenny Perry, who lost to the Argentine on the second playoff hole at Augusta National. Cabrera had a 72, but it was anything but conventional. He didnt make a par until his eighth hole ' No. 17 ' while making a triple bogey, three straight birdies, two straight bogeys and an eagle. Perry shot a 73. Jason Dufner, an alternate who got in when Brandt Snedeker withdrew because of a rib injury earlier in the week, was among those at 67. Rory Sabbatini didnt make a birdie and shot 81.
 

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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.

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    Four players vying for DJ's No. 1 ranking at Open

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 8:41 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Four players have an opportunity to overtake Dustin Johnson for world No. 1 this week.

    According to Golf Channel world-rankings guru Alan Robinson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm each can grab the top spot in the world ranking.

    Thomas’ path is the easiest. He would return to No. 1 with either a win and Johnson finishing worse than solo third, or even a solo runner-up finish as long as Johnson finishes worse than 49th.


    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Twenty years after his auspicious performance in The Open, Rose can get to No. 1 for the first time with a victory and Johnson finishing worse than a two-way tie for third.

    Kopeka can rise to No. 1 if he wins consecutive majors, assuming that his good friend posts worse than a three-way tie for third.

    And Rahm can claim the top spot with a win this week, a Johnson missed cut and a Thomas finish of worse than solo second.   

    Johnson’s 15-month reign as world No. 1 ended after The Players. He wasn’t behind Thomas for long, however: After a tie for eighth at the Memorial, Johnson blew away the field in Memphis and then finished third at the U.S. Open to solidify his position at the top.