Stat attack!: WGC-HSBC Champions review

By John AntoniniNovember 9, 2014, 9:16 pm

With Phil Mickelson suffering through the worst full season of his career in 2014, and Mike Weir continuing a free-falling slump than began in 2010, it has been up to Bubba Watson to pick up the slack for left-handers on the PGA Tour. Watson won his second Masters a year ago, and with his seventh career win at Sunday’s WGC-HSBC Champions in China moves past Bob Charles as the PGA Tour’s third-winningest southpaw. Watson is one win back of Weir for second on the list.

Watson’s playoff victory over Tim Clark also extends his streak of finishing second at least once for 11 straight seasons. It’s tied with Mickelson for the longest active streak, Phil having the rest of the 2014-15 season to get a runner-up finish and extend his streak to 12 years.

This was Watson’s first win in a World Golf Championship event, making him the fourth player to win a major and a WGC in the same calendar year. Tiger Woods accomplished the feat eight times, while Rory McIlroy (2014) and Geoff Ogilvy (2006) did it once.

Most wins by lefthanders in PGA Tour history

 Player  Wins  Most recent
 Phil Mickelson 42   2013 British Open
 Mike Weir   2007 Fry’s Electronics Open
 Bubba Watson    2014 WGC-HSBC Champions
 Bob Charles   1974 Greater Greensboro Open
 Steve Flesch   2007 Turning Stone Resort Championship
 Six players*  1  

Sam Adams, Eric Axley, Russ Cochran, Ernie Gonzalez, Brian Harman and Ted Potter Jr. all have one victory.

Longest active streak of consecutive years with a runner-up finish on Tour 

 Player Years
 Tim Clark 11 (2005-2015)
 Phil Mickelson 11 (2004-2014)
 Gary Woodland  3 (2013-2015)
 Jim Furyk 3 (2012-2014)
 Keegan Bradley 3 (2012-2014)
 Rory McIlroy 3 (2012-2014)
 Zach Johnson 3 (2012-2014)

Auspicious debut

Not often a fast starter on the PGA Tour, Watson won for the first time while making his PGA Tour season debut, and he was able to overcome an opening 71, the highest first-round score by an eventual winner in the young season.

Watson had finished in the top 10 just two previous times while making his season debut. One of those starts came in his rookie season of 2006 and the other was in the short-field Hyundai T of C in 2013. 

Watson’s best finishes in his PGA Tour season opener

 Finish Tournament
 Won 2014-15 WGC-HSBC Champions
 4 2006 Sony Open
 T-4 2013 Hyundai T of C
 T-18 2012 Hyundai T of C
 T-25 2011 Hyundai T of C

Highest first-round score by eventual winners since 2013

 Player Score Tournament
 Justin Rose 74 2014 Quicken Loans
 Chris Kirk 73 2014 Deutsche Bank
 Kevin Streelman 73 2013 Tampa Bay Champ.
 John Senden 72 2014 Valspar Champ.
 Scott Stallings 72 2014 Farmers Ins. Open
 Bubba Watson 71 2014 WGC-HSBC Champions
 Adam Scott 71 2014 Crowne Plaza Colonial
 Justin Rose 71 2013 U.S. Open
 Graeme McDowell 71 2013 RBC Heritage

Going long

Watson and Clark would never be confused as similar performers. Watson is one of the Tour’s longest hitters and Clark one of the shortest. However, at the WGC-HSBC Champions both players dominated on the par-5 holes. Watson made 12 birdies in addition to his amazing eagle on the last hole of regulation on the three-shotters, a remarkable scoring average of 4.13. Clark made 11 birdies and didn’t have a bogey on the long holes.

Watson finished the week with 25 birdies, matching the most in his career in a 72-hole tournament. Watson made 25 birdies in his victory in the 2010 Zurich Classic, however that week he stumbled on the other holes, finishing just T-43. (Watson made more than 25 birdies in the 2009 and 2010 Bob Hope Classics. Both tournaments were 90-hole affairs.)

Par-5 scoring leaders at the WGC-HSBC Champions

 Player Par-5 scoring Finish
 Bubba Watson 4.13 Won
 Tim Clark 4.31 2
 Jamie Donaldson 4.38 T-24
 Ian Poulter 4.38 T-6
 Marc Leishman 4.44 9

Most birdies in a 72-hole tournament by Bubba Watson

 Birdies Tournament Finish
 25 2014 WGC-HSBC Champions Won
 25 2010 Zurich Classic T-43
 24 2008 Buick Open T-2
 24 2007 Shell Houston Open T-2
 23 2012 WGC-Cadillac Champ. 2
 23 2011 Hyundai T of C T-25
 23 2007 Memorial 3

Iwata performance

Hiroshi Iwata’s T-3 finish at the WGC-HSBC Champions is tied for the best finish by a Japanese player in a World Golf Championship event. Iwata matches Toru Taniguchi, who was third in the 2001 Accenture Match Play Championship. The 33-year-old Iwata entered the week ranked 127th on the Official World Ranking and was third on the Japan Golf Tour money list.

Top finishes by Japanese players in WGC events

 Finish Player Tournament
 3 Toru Taniguchi 2001 Match Play
 T-3 Hiroshi Iwata 2014 HSBC Champions
 4 Ryo Ishikawa

2011 Bridgestone

 T-5 Shigeki Maruyama 1999 Match Play
 T-5 Shigeki Maruyama 2001 Match Play

A down and up weekend

Finally, acknowledgement must be given to Henrik Stenson, who became the first player since 2007 to shoot 80 or worse in the third round and follow with a round of 65 or better on Sunday. Stenson shot 81 on Saturday, but took 16 off strokes his score with a 65 in the final round, the best score of the day.

Third round of 80 or worse, final round of 65 or better on the PGA Tour since 2000

 Player Third round Fourth round Tournament
 Henrik Stenson 81 65 2014 WGC-HSBC Champions
 Brett Wetterich 80 65 2007 Travelers Championship
 Richard S. Johnson 82 64 2004 Reno-Tahoe Open
 Tiger Woods 81 65 2002 British Open
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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 (