Annika Quietly Wins Another

By George WhiteSeptember 7, 2006, 4:00 pm
Lost in the shuffle of Tigers fifth win in a row was this item that you probably never even noticed ' Annika Sorenstam also won, No. 69 in a relentless climb toward No. 88.
 
Annika came from five behind to win the State Farm Classic, her third win of the season. It sounds impressive until you remember that she once came from 10 off the pace to win. In fact, in 21 of her wins, she has come from behind. This time, she just went out and took it from Maria Hjorth and Cristie Kerr, firing a 62 to tie an LPGA record for the lowest final round by a winner.
 
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam has held 69 LPGA Tour trophies in her career.
The season has been something of a disappointment for Annika. Her lowest win total in the last six years has been five in 2000. Last year she won 10 times. The fact that she also won last month in Sweden at the tournament which bears her name wont help her much ' it wasnt an official LPGA event. It was a Ladies European Tour event.
 
If youre keeping score, it was Sorenstams 14th non-LPGA win. If those were added to her LPGA total, she would now be on 83 instead of 69, and Kathy Whitworths record would be much more manageable. As it is, Annika has only thought of Whitworths record 88 in fleeting terms. That mark remains a very daunting 19 wins away to tie, 20 to get to 89.
 
Obviously, I know some of the history, says Annika. 'But to be honest, I've never really thought that, you know - I didn't come out here on tour and say I'm going to beat Kathy Whitworth's 88 wins. I mean, that just sounds a little crazy.
 
Right now, I'm in a position where I never thought I can get to, like you mentioned (69) career wins. I have to pinch myself many times, is it really true? But nowadays I have to set new goals, I have to push myself harder. Yes, I think about that. I wonder what my chances are, if I can do that. Obviously, you need a few good years to have a chance to achieve that.
 
Annika has worked exceptionally hard on her swing this year, so hard that it may have prevented her from winning a time or two. She and coach Henri Reis have been working on some technical fine-tuning, and they have spent many long hours at her Orlando residence going over drills which may finally have begun to pay dividends.
 
I have been working so hard on my swing for so long, she said. And I just haven't felt like I have been able to finish.
 
The British Open I started good, but I didn't finish. The first round here (at the State Farm), I started well and I didn't finish. It just seems like this year it's been 14 or 15 really good holes. In Atlanta I was leading and hit out-of-bounds on 17, which to me it's very rare. Normally, I am so consistent and I can finish.
 
Annika is about a month removed from her 36th birthday, and the wins will only get tougher and tougher from here on out. Lorena Ochoa has emerged as a major force, Karrie Webb has rejuvenated her slumping career, Michelle Wie looms, and a whole host of Koreans have emerged who can win. Winning, it must be said, is much more difficult.
 
Sorenstam could very easily get caught up in trying to beat Whitworths record. But she refuses to get caught in that trap. She breaks it down year-by-year, month-to-month, and round-by-round, even shot-by-shot. I think the key is to stay in the present, she said.
 
And even though you get off to a good (start), it's easy to start thinking about birdies, and thinking, Oh, I'm going to shoot a really low score. You have got to stay in the moment. The third hole is done with, and let's go to the fourth and play that. And it's, Let's hit one shot at a time.
 
And for me, it's short-term goals within the round. And that is why I used to say, put the flag in the center (of the fiarway) - that is my first goal. I have to get it there. And then you put a flag on the green, and that is my second goal. And I kind of plug along that way. And it's a way of breaking the round up - an easy way to stay in the moment rather than looking at 18 holes and thinking I have to shoot 65, or something to catch someone. That, to me, is very difficult.
 
Sorenstams quest certainly is not lost on her competitors. She is universally idolized by them.
 
I admire her, said Ochoa. She has been No. 1 for so long and she deserves to be No. 1.
 
Kerr has finished second to Annika probably eight or nine times in my career, she said, and it happened again at the State Farm when Sorenstam birdied five of the last six holes, including a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 18.
 
You never can count her out, Kerr said. If she gets it going and she gets her confidence going, you know, anything is possible.
 
If the past four years are any indication, Annika is about to put it in another gear. During that time, Annika has averaged four wins a year after the first week of September. She may be just heating up.
 
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More sun, dry conditions expected early at Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 9:14 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – An atypically dry Scottish summer is expected to continue this week at The Open.

There’s a possibility of a few showers Thursday and Friday, but otherwise conditions are expected to remain dry with temperatures around 70 degrees and winds in the 15-20 mph range.

The forecast for the opening round at Carnoustie is sunshine with clouds developing later in the day. The high is expected to be around 70 degrees, with winds increasing throughout the day, maxing out at 18 mph.


Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


There’s a chance of rain overnight Thursday and into Friday morning, but it’s not expected to slow down the fiery conditions.

It’s been one of the driest summers in recent memory, leading to fairways that are baked out and fescue rough that is lighter and thinner than in previous years.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 8:40 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 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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The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 8:30 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.