USA grabs early lead at Presidents Cup

By Doug FergusonOctober 9, 2009, 2:58 am
Presidents Cup

SAN FRANCISCO – One putt changed everything except the lead Thursday in the Presidents Cup.

The Americans were poised to seize control in the opening session of foursomes at Harding Park, already assured of the lead and on the verge of winning the final match for a two-point advantage.

Justin Leonard had a 3-foot birdie putt to win – a putt he first thought had been conceded – and was stunned when the putt caught the right edge of the cup and spun away.

The match was halved, and the Americans had to settle for a 3 1/2 -2 1/2 advantage.

Phil Mickelson Anthony Kim Presidents Cup
Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim  paired together for a victory in Day 1 foursomes at Harding Park. (Getty Images)

“We wanted to get out of the day with pretty close to a push, and I’m very, very happy,” International captain Greg Norman said.

He was fortunate for that.

Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker were dominant from the start, playing bogey-free in the difficult alternate-shot format and teaming up for six birdies in a 6-and-4 victory over Geoff Ogilvy and 18-year-old Ryo Ishikawa.

Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim came to life late, closing with four straight birdies to give the Americans the first point of the matches with a 3-and-2 victory over Mike Weir and Tim Clark.

The momentum switched to American red on the scoreboard late on the cloudy, cool afternoon on this public course south of San Francisco. The final push figured to come from Leonard and Jim Furyk, who made a furious rally in the middle of the match and surged ahead of Retief Goosen and Y.E. Yang, 2 up with two holes to play.

Goosen holed a birdie putt on the 17th to send the match to the par-5 18th, and the South African missed the green to the right. Leonard hit a splendid fairway metal to the middle of the green, setting up what appeared to be a two-putt birdie.

Furyk lagged to 3 feet, the International team got up-and-down for birdie, and Goosen looked over at Furyk as if wondering why Leonard even needed to putt. Eventually, the South African realized the putt meant something.

Did it ever.

The Americans were ready to celebrate another point. The International team was prepared for another big deficit.

“I just hit a bad putt,” Leonard said. “I knew I was going to need to make that little putt. Unfortunately, I missed it.”

Norman said there was no gamesmanship on Goosen’s part.

“He thought the match was over,” Norman said. “He didn’t concede the putt, he just thought the match was over. It was a legitimate mistake, and no intent or malice. It was just the intensity of the game.”

Next up are six more matches Friday, this time fourballs.

Two years ago, the International team failed to win a match in the opening session and fell five points behind. This is one time a tie – the halve in the final match – felt far better. It goes into the second round with a fighting chance.

Both teams and captains were around for the finish, and Norman couldn’t help but notice how Leonard went from hitting a clutch shot from the middle of the fairway to missing a short putt for the victory.

“It’s a cruel game,” Norman said.

In the seven previous Presidents Cup, only once has a team trailing after the first session gone on to win – the U.S. team in 2005. The Americans also trailed by one point in 2003 in South Africa, where the cup ended in a tie.

Ishikawa had said he and Ogilvy would be facing the Americans’ best team, and he was right. Woods and Stricker proved to be a tough combination of Woods’ pure iron shots and Stricker’s sure putting.

Woods got them going with an 18-foot birdie putt on the opening hole, while Stricker closed out a flawless front nine with a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-3 ninth.

Weir and Clark, the only partnership that failed to make a single birdie, still managed a 1-up lead through 12 holes because of the wild play of Kim, who is missing some of his swagger from the Ryder Cup last year.

He relied heavily on Mickelson to dig them out of trouble, including a remarkable shot from the edge of a bunker, under a tree. Kim delivered at the right time, however, hitting a wedge to 3 feet for birdie and the lead, then a 7-iron to 18 feet that Mickelson converted into a birdie to seize control.

“We needed something to ignite us and that wedge shot did the trick,” Mickelson said.

Perhaps the most significant U.S. victory came from Kenny Perry and Zach Johnson, who were in the tightest match of the session. Neither team led by one hole, and the match was all square with three remaining. The Americans birdied two straight holes to take the lead, then secured a point when Angel Cabrera’s tee shot trickled into a bunker and left Camilo Villegas an impossible shot.

The International picked up some hope from the final match ending in a halve, and a load of confidence from Adam Scott. He was a surprise captain’s pick coming off his worst year on tour, yet Scott was solid with Ernie Els against mistake-prone Hunter Mahan and Sean O’Hair for a 2-and-1 victory.

“Any victory is important, but personally for me, it feels great,” Scott said. “But more importantly, we need it for the team.”

Getty Images

Rose's Saturday 64 matches Carnoustie Open record

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 1:03 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose needed to sink a 14-foot putt on the final hole Friday just to make the cut on the number at The Open.

Freewheeling when he came to the course Saturday, Rose tied the lowest score ever recorded in an Open at Carnoustie.

Entering the weekend nine shots off the lead, the world No. 3 carded a bogey-free, 7-under 64 to at least make things interesting. It won’t be known for several hours how many shots Rose will be behind, but his back-nine 30 gives him an opportunity, if the wind blows 25 mph Sunday as forecast, to challenge the leaders.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


After all, Paul Lawrie was 10 shots back entering the final round here in 1999.

“I think the birdie on 18 last night freed me up, and I’m just very happy to be out on this golf course and not down the road somewhere else this morning,” said Rose, who is at 4-under 209. “So that might have been part of the shift in mindset today. I had nothing to lose from that point of view.”

Rose’s 64 matched Steve Stricker and Richard Green’s record score at Carnoustie (2007).

It also was Rose’s career-low round in a major.

Getty Images

Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 12:45 pm

Tiger Woods, in search of his 15th career major championship title, started the weekend six off the lead at Carnoustie. We're tracking him in Round 3 of The Open.


Getty Images

Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 12:20 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Saturday, Day 3 (Times ET)

4:30-7AM (Watch): Sunny skies and birdies were on the menu early in Round 3, as Justin Rose made his way around Carnoustie in 64 strokes. Click here or on the image below to watch.


Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.


Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

Getty Images

How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 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 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)