Stat attack!: Humana Challenge statistical preview

By John AntoniniJanuary 15, 2014, 2:30 pm

When the stars are away, the rookies make hay. At least that’s the way it has been at the Sony Open and the Humana Challenge the past several years. Last week at Waialae CC, Will Wilcox burst onto the PGA Tour scene with a T-8 finish (after a third-round 64 got him and his yellow ball within one stroke of the lead). Although he failed to match 2012 Sony winner Russell Henley, who won in his third start on the PGA Tour, Wilcox will get another chance this week as his top-10 on Oahu puts him into the field at Palm Springs. While in the desert, he’ll try to become the latest first-year player to excel at the Humana Challenge, as one rookie in each of the last five years has performed beyond expectations.

Recent notable rookie performances at the Humana Challenge

2013 David Lingmerth Finished T-2 in second PGA Tour start with final-round 62
2012 Harris English Contended early with second-round 62, but stumbled to a T-19
2011 Jhnottan Vegas Became first rookie to win at Palm Springs, winning in a playoff
2009 Alex Prugh Tied for the lead after 54 holes; shot 67 Sunday to finish fifth
2008 Webb Simpson Finished T-5 for first career top-10

The relative lack of star power at Sony and Humana, as well as the ease of the venues, provide newcomers a chance to get off to a fast start in their first season before the more rugged venues - and the Tour’s superstars, who are much more familiar with the nuances of the tougher tests - return en masse. Last year, Waialae ranked 33rd on Tour in scoring average in relation to par and the Humana trio was 41st, 42nd and 43rd among the 43 courses the Tour visited.

Course (2013) Par Scoring To Par
Waialae 70 68.901 -1.099
La Quinta 72 69.487 -2.513
PGA West (Palmer) 72 68.924 -3.076
PGA West (Nicklaus) 72 68 -4

The final-round scoring average at the Palmer course was just 67.802, more than four strokes below par, making it the lowest Sunday scoring average on Tour regardless of par. For the week, the scoring average at Palm Springs was 68.821, also the lowest figure on Tour in 2013.

The wrap-around schedule in 2013-14 provides rookies with a few more chances to start their season strong than in the past, but history shows the Humana Challenge is a ripe place for someone to breakthrough. Ten of the Tour’s 14 rookies are in the field this week (and Kevin Foley is high on the alternate list). In contrast, only one player in the top 10 on the world ranking (No. 6 Zach Johnson) is playing and only nine players in the top 50 are in the field.

A year ago, Brian Gay, who won the playoff over Lingmerth and Charles Howell III, finished T-2 in driving accuracy and T-4 in greens in regulation and missed only one putt from inside 10 feet all week. That’s good enough to offset a driving distance that saw him finish 60th in the field in all drives and 75th in measured drives. Like Gay, 2012 winner Mark Wilson is a short hitter who hit plenty of greens and putted well (fourth in strokes gained-putting), but don’t be fooled into thinking long hitters can’t get it around PGA West and La Quinta. In the past several years many bombers have had success there.

Year Player Finish Distance (event rank)
2013 David Lingmerth T-2 301.2 (T-22)
2012 Robert Garrigus T-2 309.6 (T-2)
2011 Jhonattan Vegas Won 308.7 (3rd)
2011 Bill Hass* T-2 301.8 (10th)
2011 Gary Woodland T-2 312.9 (1st)
2011 Ryan Palmer 4th 303.2 (9th)
2010 Bubba Watson T-2 305.7 (2nd)
2009 Pat Perez Won 303.8 (14th)
2009 John Merrick 2nd 308,8 (5th)

*In 2010, Haas won averaging 292.8 yards off the tee, fifth in the field.

Lingmerth and Vegas, of course, were rookies, which brings us back where we started. Here are the rookies (plus alternate Foley) in the field, and how they’ve fared so far in 2013-14.

Kevin Foley Fifth alternate at Humana was T-72 in Tour debut at Sony Open
Bryce Garnett Has made four cuts in five starts in first Tour go-around
Chesson Hadley T-5 at Shriners has him 83rd in FedEx Cup points
Bronson La'Cassie Got in when Steve Jones withdrew; hasn't made a cut on Tour
Andrew Loupe John Peterson's roommate at LSU; hasn't made a cut in three starts
Peter Malnati T-15 a Mayakoba and T-38 at Sony, in three starts
Wes Roach T-23 at Mayakoba in his only cut made in three starts
Hudson Swafford T-8 at Sony; matched Wilcox for low rookie last week
Kevin Tway Bob's son was T-40 at Open
Tyrone Van Aswegen Has made four cuts in five starts
Will Wilcox Third-round 64 at Waialae had him one shot off the 54-hole lead

ONE FINAL NOTE: Although John Peterson is a first-year PGA Tour player, he is not considered a rookie and is ineligible for the Rookie of the Year award because he played more than seven tournaments in the 2012 season.

If you haven’t already done so, please follow me on Twitter at @johnantoninigc.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 2:15 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.

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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.

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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.

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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  

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 (