Notes: Watson's short media tour; no Open for Woods?

By Doug FergusonApril 15, 2014, 10:47 pm

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Bubba Watson decided to keep his post-Masters victory more low key this year. Instead of going to New York for a media tour, he headed home to Orlando, Fla., and kept plans for a five-day vacation with his wife.

Bubba being Bubba, there had to be a wrinkle.

Before leaving Tuesday morning for The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, Watson decided to pay an unannounced visit to the Golf Channel studio and wanted to keep it a surprise.

''True Bubba style,'' manager Jens Beck said. ''He has a good relationship with all those guys. But even when we left his house this morning, he started to get into his car. I said, 'Bubba, we can't be taking your car if we want this to be a surprise.' So we all got into my little rental car so they wouldn't spot us when we pulled up.''

The video shows Watson winding his way down the hallway and into the studio.

Beck said Watson's wife and the wife of Golf Channel president Mike McCarley are friends, and not even the top man at the network was aware of the plans.

Watson also did ''CBS This Morning'' via satellite from his home.

His ''media'' tour actually began with a selfie. In a move that was sure to thrill his Southern fan base, Watson finished up his obligations Sunday night at Augusta National and then tweeted a picture of his crew having a late-night dinner at The Waffle House.

Watson planned to spend the rest of the week in West Virginia, and then Beck said he would try to carve out time to return to the University of Georgia and to his home in the Florida Panhandle to let fans in both spots join the celebration.

He was not sure where Watson was playing next.

Watson had just become a father before he won the Masters in 2012. After playing in New Orleans, he skipped the Wells Fargo Championship and The Players Championship so he could have a full month at home.


TIGER'S FUTURE: Notah Begay doesn't expect to see Tiger Woods at the U.S. Open. Woods had back surgery a week before the Masters to alleviate a pinched nerve and has said only he would be out of golf until this summer.

Begay is one of Woods' closest friends, and he told CBS Radio on Monday that he was in contact with Woods during the Masters.

''He missed being at Augusta and certainly was watching the tournament,'' Begay said. ''I think he needs to give it a minimum of 90 days to make sure that scar tissue heals up appropriately and he doesn't run the risk of reinjuring it. So that would push him past the U.S. Open.''

And that would mean a new No. 1 in the world golf ranking.

Ian Barker from the Official World Golf Ranking said if neither Woods nor Adam Scott play again over the next month – a year ago, Scott took three weeks off - then enough points would come off Woods' ledger that Scott would pass him after The Players Championship.

And that projection was made before Scott tied for 14th in the Masters.

Henrik Stenson also could overtake Woods before then.


A RUN FOR THE ROSES: The PGA Championship returns to Valhalla in August, allowing for its defending champion a special visit.

Jason Dufner will be at the Kentucky Derby the first weekend in May, walking the red carpet on Derby Day with his Wanamaker Trophy and attending the Barnstable-Brown Party on Derby Eve. He also is to hit the first golf shot from one of the elevated skybox terraces at Churchill Downs.

''I'm excited to see Louisville at its best for two world-class sporting events,'' Dufner said.

Dufner is to return to Louisville for his official media day at Valhalla on June 18 – Wednesday after the U.S. Open. The PGA Championship is Aug. 7-10.


RANKING RUMBLINGS: Jordan Spieth moved to No. 9 in the world with his runner-up finish in the Masters, making him the youngest American to be in the top 10. Spieth was 20 years, 8 months. Tiger Woods was 21 years, 4 months when he first cracked the top 10 by winning the 1997 Masters.

The youngest player in the top 10 was Sergio Garcia, who got there a week after turning 20 in January 2000.

Woods still holds the record as the youngest player to reach No. 1 (21 years, 5 months). Spieth would have to get to No. 1 by the end of the year to break that record.


THE KING: Golf Channel's three-part documentary on Arnold Palmer got off to a big start. The network said ''Arnie'' was the most-watched original film in its 20-year history after the first of three installments.

The first part was shown Sunday night after the Masters and had 471,000 viewers, Golf Channel said citing Nielsen Fast Nationals. That was nearly double the number of viewers for ''War By The Shore,'' the film about the 1991 Ryder Cup that aired in September 2012.


DIVOTS: Rory McIlroy played the par 5s at even par for the week at the Masters and might chalk up the week as a disappointment. The silver lining? He tied for eighth, his first top-10 finish at Augusta National. ... The last player to win the Masters on his first try was Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. The last player to capture the British Open on his first try was Ben Curtis in 2003. The last first-time winner at the PGA Championship was Keegan Bradley in 2011. As for the U.S. Open? Go all the way back to 1913, when an amateur named Francis Ouimet won. ... Maybe this is a good omen for Phil Mickelson missing the cut at the Masters. Raymond Floyd also was 43 when he missed the cut at the 1986 Masters. Floyd went on to win the U.S. Open that year at Shinnecock Hills.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Tiger Woods has played only 76 official PGA Tour events since his knee surgery in 2008. He won 14 of them.


FINAL WORD: ''Freak show. I can't describe it any other way.'' – Ted Scott, the caddie for Masters champion Bubba Watson, asked to give his definition of ''Bubba golf.''

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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”