Expert picks: Mayakoba Golf Classic

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 21, 2012, 7:00 pm

This is another double week for fantasy players! experts offer up their fantasy choices below for the Mayakoba Golf Classic, and their selections for the WGC-Accenture Match Play can be seen here. Each week a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players based on Golf Channel's new fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel consists of: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and Win McMurry; editorial director Jay Coffin;'s Rob Bolton; 'Morning Drive' hosts Gary Williams and Erik Kuselias; and Golf Talk Central contributor Ryan Ballengee.

Win McMurry

Group 1: Spencer Levin: He comes into the week ready to avenge his playoff loss from a year ago and ready to get a win already! He finished third at Phoenix after his falter on Sunday but tied for ninth in a rebound effort at Pebble.

Group 2: Seung-yul Noh: He finished T-33 and T-27 in his last two starts. Noh is a very talented player who won't stay under the radar for long.

Group 3: Jarrod Lyle: He's hands down the best bet for your money in this group. He finished T-4 at Riviera and T-5 at this event in Mexico a year ago.

Group 4: Cameron Beckman: He finished 12th last year at Mayakoba, about as good an indicator as you can have for anyone in this group.

Ryan Ballengee

Group 1: Johnson Wagner: The Sony Open winner is the defending champion at Mayakoba and in great form to start the year.

Group 2: Brian Gay: Gay was T-5 in this event last year, coming off of a T-20 finish at Pebble. Back with Kip Henley, they're working well.

Group 3: Jarrod Lyle: Was in the top 10 here the last two years and didn't go away on Sunday at Rivera against, frankly, superior talent.

Group 4: Cameron Beckman: He's been in the top 15 here in four of his last five starts. It's his personal ATM.

Jason Sobel

Group 1: Spencer Levin: Last year's playoff runner-up has been knocking on the door all year. This may finally be his week.

Group 2: Josh Teater: Playing some inspired golf lately, he's the type of guy who can pull his first win at a tournament like this one.

Group 3: Jarrod Lyle: In contention all week at Riviera, he should thrive against a more second-rate field.

Group 4: Tom Lehman: A year ago, fifty-something John Cook was solo third. Don't be surprised if this other super senior makes a similar statement.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Charles Howell III: That he's not in the WGC Match Play field is a testament to the inherent problems with the World Golf Ranking, but CHIII has gotten better with each start in Mexico.

Group 2: Erik Compton: He scrambled to make the cut last week in Los Angeles and punched his ticket to the PGA Tour with a victory at last year's Mexico Open on the Nationwide Tour.

Group 3: Brendon Todd: Q-School medalist has been solid so far this season and could lock up his spot in next week's reshuffle with another workman-like week.

Group 4: Joe Durant: Veteran has a good history in Mexico. He finished runner-up at the Mayakoba Golf Classic event in 2010, and one of the game's top ball-strikers could excel if the winds come up.

Randall Mell

Group 1: Johnson Wagner: With his start, he probably should be at the Match Play. He'll tower tall this week.

Group 2: Danny Lee: Tough start to the new year, but tons of talent and this is a good place to break out.

Group 3: Jarrod Lyle: Nice and steady start to 2012, with a nice upturn at Riviera (T-4).

Group 4: Tom Lehman: Lehman will show the kids he's still got some mojo.

Rob Bolton

Group 1: Spencer Levin: Lost in last year's playoff. Enjoyed a torrid West Coast Swing despite a meltdown in Scottsdale.

Group 2: Brian Gay: Money in the bank. Recorded his first PGA Tour victory here in 2008 and finished T-5 last year.

Group 3: Jarrod Lyle: His T-4 at Riviera was a personal-best finish on the PGA Tour. Top-10s in each of his last three starts at the Mayakoba.

Group 4: Cameron Beckman: All-time money leader at this event; has a win and three more top-10s.

You can watch complete coverage of the Mayakoba Golf Classic Thursday-Saturday on Golf Channel from 6:30PM-8:30PM ET and Sunday from 7PM-9:30PM.

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Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 9:33 am

Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.

Everything before that, however, was far from routine.

Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.

He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and TaylorMade got him his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.

"I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.

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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  

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; or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (

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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.