Expert Picks: Puerto Rico Open

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 6, 2013, 7:42 pm

This week the PGA Tour heads in two different directions. While many of the game's biggest stars will contest the season's second WGC event at Doral (our picks for that event can be seen here), a full field will also tackle the Trump International Golf Club in Puerto Rico, picks for which are listed below. 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 includes: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and Win McMurry; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams and staff writer Ryan Lavner. They will also be joined by former 'Saturday Night Live' star Norm Macdonald, who will serve as a celebrity guest throughout the fantasy season.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Henrik Stenson: We offended Stenson a few weeks back when he didn’t find his way onto our short list of Swedes without a major championship. The look in his eyes suggested he is not happy with that distinction, or us.

Group 2: Paul Casey: The Englishman said in Abu Dhabi earlier this year that he is healthy after a series of injury-plagued seasons, and when he’s close to 100 percent he should still be considered a world-beater.

Group 3: Robert Allenby: One of the game’s top ballstrikers is an easy pick for the Puerto Rico stop which is annually buffeted by gusty winds.

Group 4: Paul D. Haley II: The Tour graduate is off to a rough start (he’s 0-for-4 in cuts made) but should enjoy a shift to a warmer climate. His best finishes on the secondary circuit last year came in Chile (first) and Mexico (second). It should also be noted he won his only event in 2012 (Chile) 52 weeks ago.

Win McMurry

Group 1: Graham DeLaet: T-9 is his number. He's coming off a T-9 at the Honda Classic, his second T-9 this year, with the same finish at the Farmers Insurance Open, and he finished T-9 last year in Puerto Rico.

Group 2: Robert Streb: He tied for 18th this past week in Palm Beach Gardens and also has a T-16 on his resume this year in the desert.

Group 3: Erik Compton: He was a big story at the Honda with his tie for fourth and while he doesn't have great results in his four previous starts here, he's worth the bet.

Group 4: Vaughn Taylor: This guy has been Monday qualifying to get his PGA Tour starts and maybe this is the week he takes that ability to go low and sustains it throughout tournament week. He's showing good form with a T-25 this past week at the Honda Classic after Monday qualifying to get in.

Jason Sobel

Group 1: Graham DeLaet: Starting to play some of the best golf of his career, which should serve him well on this big ballpark.

Group 2: Patrick Cantlay: Fresh off a win, this wunderkind should have good vibes and a nothing-to-lose attitude.

Group 3: Matt Jones: Played nicely on the weekend at the Honda Classic and could be the first Aussie to win since 2011.

Group 4: Vaughn Taylor: Tempted to go with a young player here, but give me the proven talent in Taylor.

Ryan Lavner

Group 1: Kevin Stadler: Rough weekend at Honda, but his record at Trump International is too much to ignore - two top 10s and a pair of top 20s.

Group 2: Bryce Molder: The best putter on Tour this season, statistically, and has finished in the top 13 in two of his three starts here.

Group 3: Ben Kohles: Up-and-down week kept him out of hte top 40 at Honda, but the kid has a lot of game, as he showed last year on the circuit.

Group 4: Jordan Spieth: T-22 in his last PGA Tour start, and has a pair of top-7 finishes in two starts on the Tour this season. Good form.

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Tiger putts way into contention at The Open

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 5:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – When Tiger Woods benched his trusty Scotty Cameron blade putter last month at the Quicken Loans National for a new TaylorMade mallet-headed version some saw it as a sign of desperation, but if his performance on Carnoustie’s greens on Saturday were any indication it could end up being a calculated success.

Woods stormed into contention on Day 3 with a 5-under 66 to move to within shouting distance of the lead at The Open, thanks in large part to his vastly improved putting.

“I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I've had really good feels,” said Woods, whose 29 putts on Saturday belies his performance on Carnoustie’s greens. “Even as this golf course was changing and evolving, I've maintained my feels with the putter. I've made a couple of putts from about 40 to 60 feet, which is nice. I just feel like I've been able to roll the ball.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

The highlight of Woods’ round came at the par-4 ninth hole when he charged in a 40-footer for birdie from the front edge of the green to begin a run of three consecutive birdies. Perhaps more impressive, he didn’t have a three-putt, and has only had two all week, which is always a bonus on links courses.

Woods temporarily took a share of the lead with a lengthy birdie putt at the 14th hole and scrambled for a par save at the last after his drive nearly found the Barry Burn.

“I hit a few putts that I think should have gone in from 20, 30 feet today," he said. "So that's always a good sign.”

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TT postscript: A 66, he's in contention - awesome

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 4:58 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods went berserk Saturday and shot 5-under 66 to vault up the leaderboard at The Open at Carnoustie:


At 4:13PM here in Scotland, when Tiger two-putted for birdie on the par-5 14th hole, he held a share of the lead in a major championship. It was once unthinkable, but it happened. I saw it with my own eyes.

• Tiger’s last two weekend rounds in the 60s in The Open both happened at Carnoustie and both happened on July 21. In 2007, Woods shot 69 here. On Saturday, that score was clipped by three shots. Tiger shot 65 in the second round of The Open at Royal Liverpool in 2006. He won his third claret jug that week. Tiger last shoot 66 in a major during the second round of the 2011 Masters.

• This is the sixth time that Tiger has recorded three consecutive rounds of par of better to start The Open. He went on to win three of the previous five times.

• One bad swing, the only bad swing of the day according to Tiger, produced the luckiest of breaks. Standing on the 18th tee with an iron in hand, Tiger pulled his tee shot that hit on the top of the Barry Burn and very easily could’ve ended in a watery grave. Instead it ended in thick rough, some 250 yards from the pin. Tiger punted it up the fairway, but got up and down from 83 yards to save par and shoot 66. “I hit my number,” he quipped about hitting wedge to 2 feet.

• On the other hand, the lone bogey came from one poor putt. On the par-3 16th hole, with half of Scotland screaming his name, Tiger missed a 7-footer for par. It was deflating at the time because the last three holes are so difficult. Pars on the last two holes were stellar.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• Final stats: 12 of 15 fairways, 14 of 18 greens and 29 total putts. Tiger hit six drivers and one 3-wood, proving that he was way more aggressive. He hit four drivers on Friday and only one on Thursday.

• One of the aforementioned drivers that he hit on the ninth hole was well left and in some thick round, 170 yards from the hole. A safe approach to 40 feet set him up for and easy two-putt par. But he slammed the putt home and made an improbable birdie. “I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I’ve had really good feels,” he said.

• In his own words about his chances of winning: “It certainly is possible. I’ve shown that I’ve been there close enough with a chance to win this year. Given what happened the last few years, I didn’t know if that would ever happen again, but here I am with a chance coming Sunday in a major championship. It’s going to fun.”

Yes, yes it is.

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Watch: Guy sleeps next to many beers at Open

By Grill Room TeamJuly 21, 2018, 4:55 pm

It's Moving Day at The Open Championship for all but one sedentary fan.

Cameras caught this potentially browned-out man having himself a Saturday snooze on the browned-out grasses of Carnoustie:

Browned out. That's a great term. Glad it's in the public domain. We've been using it all weekend. I imagine we'll continue to use it. A lot.

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Watch: Tiger makes 6 birdies, 1 amazing par in Rd. 3

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 4:10 pm

Tiger Woods started the third round of The Open at even par, having made seven birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 holes at Carnoustie.

Following three pars to start on Saturday, Woods went on a birdie binge.

No. 1 came with this putt at the par-4 fourth.

No. 2 with this two-putt at the par-5 sixth.

No. 3 thanks to this 30-footer at the par-4 ninth.

No. 4 after nearly jarring his approach shot on the par-4 10th.

No. 5 when he almost drove the green at the par-4 11th and two-putted, from just off the green, from 95 feet.

And No. 6, which gave him a share of the lead, came courtesy another two-putt at the par-5 14th.

Woods bogeyed the par-3 16th to drop out of the lead and almost dropped - at least - one more shot at the par-4 18th. But his tee shot got a lucky bounce and he turned his good fortune into a par.

Woods shot 5-under 66 and finished the day at 5 under par.