Woods ready to return to competition ready for new year

By Doug FergusonJanuary 26, 2011, 11:51 pm
Farmers Insurance OpenSAN DIEGO – Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines felt like the start of any other season on the PGA Tour, except when he awoke at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday and realized he had plenty of time on his hands.

Gone was the crack-of-dawn tee time in the pro-am that had belonged to him for so many years, a product of being the No. 1 player. He was 68th on the money list last year and no longer gets first pick of the best tee times.

“I get to sleep in a little bit,” Woods said. “Got up at 3:30 this morning not knowing what to do.”

He isn’t the defending champion, even though Woods hasn’t lost at Torrey Pines since 2004. Then again, he hasn’t played since 2008 because of knee surgery, followed by an imploding personal life last year.

Woods said he is looking forward to the Farmers Insurance Open, which can be interpreted so many ways.

It’s a new year, and he would just as soon forget about the last one. Woods failed to win anywhere in the world for the first time in his pro career while going through a divorce brought on by his extramarital affairs.

He also feels that he has restored a sense of balance to his life, and he’s eager to see how that will translate to golf.

“I think in order to play this game at a high level, it helps to have a clear mind,” Woods said before going out for his 11 a.m. pro-am time on the South Course. “I’ve played at the high levels before in the past without a clear mind, but it helps to be consistent. It helps having your life in balance. Certainly, my life is much more balanced than it was in the past. That’s exciting for me. I think it’s exciting for my kids, and we’re really looking forward to it.”

Woods and Phil Mickelson are the top attractions, as always, even though it’s odd to promote them as No. 3 and No. 5 in the world. Mickelson’s distractions last year weren’t self-inflicted. He had to cope with arthritis the second half of the season, and now can resume is workouts and other preparations.

“I’ve been antsy to get back and play,” Mickelson said. “I didn’t finish the year the way I wanted to, and I wanted to try to make 2011 the year that I thought 2010 was going to be.”

He also expects a different look from Woods. Mickelson played with him in the final round in Chicago last year, and noticed the speed in his swing starting to return.

“I expect that he’ll be the Tiger that we’ve known for over a decade, unfortunately,” Mickelson said with a grin.

Woods said he’s fresh going into a new season for the first time in about six years, although his two-month break was not pain-free. He had a cortisone shot in his right ankle two days after the Chevron World Challenge, which he said kept him out for a week.

Even so, there wasn’t much else on his mind besides golf.

“It’s nice to have an offseason where I wasn’t in pain and recovering from something,” Woods said. “I’ve had so many darn surgeries and everything. Granted, I had a cortisone shot, but I was fine in a week. I haven’t had an offseason like this. It’s always been trying to somehow, ‘Can I get myself to start up again?’ This was nice to actually practice and build.”

Now it’s time to evaluate his game. And there’s no better to measure the progress than Torrey Pines.

His seventh win as a pro on this public course along the Pacific Bluffs was perhaps the most famous, the 2008 U.S. Open. He made a 12-foot birdie on the 72nd hole to force a playoff with Rocco Mediate, and beat him in 19 holes the next day.

Not by coincidence, Woods will be playing with Mediate (along with Anthony Kim) the first two rounds. The PGA Tour this year is moving around some of the pairings to create story lines.

Mediate expects to see the Woods he did that day at Torrey.

“My opinion, if he gets it and starts driving his ball where he’s looking, the game is over,” Mediate said. “It doesn’t matter who is there. Call it what you want. I’ve seen it. I’ve been around it. I’ve studied it. If you put him in the fairway, as good as he putts, as good as his short game is, good luck. If he can get the ball back on the fairway, Tiger will become Tiger again.”

More than hitting fairways is making putts, and Woods had his worst year on the greens last year. He still might not have won, but he probably would have at least come close, and he didn’t do that last year until his final tournament at the Chevron World Challenge.

Woods blew a four-shot lead – the first time he had lost a lead that large – and was beaten in a playoff by U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell. But what Woods recalls most about that day was being tied for the lead on the last hole and hitting an 8-iron to inside 3 feet for a birdie. He just wasn’t counting on McDowell rolling in a 20-foot birdie of his own.

“The whole year last year, golf-wise, came down to one shot, and that’s what I’m so proud of,” Woods said. “I needed to hit the 8-iron with that kind of shot, and I pulled it off. That one shot was it. That was cool.”

As for the putting?

Woods said he was too distracted to work on his short game. The divorce took some four months of his season, and practice was devoted to a swing gone awry. He tried to fix it himself before hiring swing coach Sean Foley in August.

Where he goes from here remains the mystery.

He remains at 14 majors, still four short of the record held by Jack Nicklaus. That pursuit looks a lot harder than it did a year ago. Woods did not take the bait on whether he was out to prove the cynics wrong.

“I’ve heard it before,” Woods said. “I’ve gone through stretches where I haven’t won. I’ve had it happen in my career before, and I’ve been through this before. All I have to do is keep working and stick to the game plan, just like I have in the past. I think my record kind of speaks to that.”
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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 22, 2018, 11:00 am

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)

7AM-3PM (Watch): Jordan Spieth fired 65 to move into a three-way share of the 54-hole lead, while Tiger Woods (66) played his way into contention. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler and Thorbjorn Olesen.

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. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Henrik Stenson and Bryson DeChambeau.

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.

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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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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 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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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.”