Euros Have Had Shaky Time Too

By George WhiteSeptember 5, 2006, 4:00 pm
A disclaimer here at the outset ' this column and $2.87 will get you a cup of java at Starbucks. The past 10 Ryder Cups have proven that nothing is more foolhardy than to try to predict a winner before the first tee is pushed in the ground.
Nonetheless, you read a couple of weeks ago in this corner that the Americans have struggled the past couple of months. Tiger has been sensational, of course. Jim Furyk has been steady. But the other 10 have been up-and-down ' and some a lot more down than up.
Today, its Europe turn to stand up and be dissected. And if youre searching for some nugget that might favor the U.S., read on.
The Euros spent last week playing on home soil, of course, and it is exceptionally difficult to get a good read when the gents from the two sides are not competing at the same tournament. The lads competed in the BMW International in Germany last week, and since primarily Europeans were playing, then it isnt really surprising that a European (Henrik Stenson) won. Look at it as an intramural match ' or, if you will, as world-class competition.
So, with that nervous interjection, here is a look at the 12 who make up Europe:
DAVID HOWELL ' Went through a lackluster late summer in which he missed three cuts in seven events before finishing T4 in the BMW. And, he hadnt finished better than T35 prior to the German tournament. Has fought knee and shoulder injuries this summer.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE ' Missed the cut in three of the four majors this year. That may or may not be telling in the Ryder Cup ' probably not, considering what he has done in past matches. And in his last nine tournaments in Europe, hes finished T14 or better in seven.
JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL ' Only Euro to take a pass on the BMW, even though he was in danger of being passed. But with the exception of the European Tours Open de France early in July when he finished T10, he hasnt had a top 20 berth. He did finish T21 in the U.S. Open and T22 in the WGC-Bridgestone.
HENRIK STENSON ' One of two rookies on the European squad (the U.S. has four), Stenson won the aforementioned BMW. He also finished T14 in the PGA, which was not too shabby. However, in his six previous tournaments, his highest finish was a T22 with one missed cut.
LUKE DONALD ' An emerging stroke-play star that American fans must watch closely. His line reads thus this summer: Barclays T5, U.S. Open T12, Cialis Western T21, Scottish Open T2, British Open T35, Deutsche Bank (Europe) T15, PGA T3, WEC-Bridgestone T8, BMW T6.
SERGIO GARCIA ' Another fellow who bears watching ' after missing the cut in the U.S. Open, Garcia finished T5 in the British Open T3 in the PGA in his last two majors.
PAUL CASEY ' Since U.S. Open when he finished 15th, hes been all over the map won at Gleneagles and 15th in the U.S. Open, but missed the cut at Europes Deutsche Bank, 71st in British Open, T53 International, and missed the cut at the PGA. Then, he finishes T4 at the WGC-Bridgestone before landing at T13 at the BMW. Anyone care to guess what his form will be in a couple of weeks?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON ' This is a man who missed the cut in both the British Open and PGA. However, he has several good efforts this summer, including a T2 at the Booz Allen, a second place in Europes Open de France, and last week a playoff loss at the BMW.
ROBERT KARLSSON ' The other European rookie, Karlsson has won two events in Europe and lost a playoff in another. However, in international competition, he finished T35 in the British Open, T29 in the PGA and T62 in the WGC-Bridgestone.
PAUL MCGINLEY ' A real puzzle here- missed the cut in both the majors in which he played (the U.S. and British Opens). And he would have missed the cut in the WGC-Bridgestone (he finished T66 out of 76 in this no-cut event.) And, he missed the cut last week in the Euro tourney at the BMW. However, it should be mentioned that he has had knee problems this year.
LEE WESTWOOD ' He withdrew at the WGC-Bridgestone after shooting 79-67-74. However, he tied for second at Europes Deutsche Bank and tied for 29th at the PGA. One of captain Ian Woosnams wild-card picks, along with:
DARREN CLARKE ' Theres no use trying to predict where this tortured soul will find himself in his return to play after the tragic death of his wife. However, he swears he will be ready. And dont forget that the Cup will be played in the Republic of Ireland, and Clarke is from Northern Island.
All this analysis, and Woosnam says it is futile. Stroke play is stroke play. When it comes to match play, it's a different competition, he says.
I think we've gone into other matches where the guys have not been playing well and we've come out winning. And I think, you know, it's a different kind of beast all together playing in the Ryder Cup. And it's all about bonding, friendliness, being a team. And that's getting each other excited and playing together and pulling our strengths together to fetch the best out of each player.
And of course, hes right.
Ever see a kid go though the farce of whacking a piata? Thats what its like trying to figure out who should be favored. By reputation, Europe has by far the most illustrious players. And, the Euros will be playing at home, in Ireland. But the Ryder Cup is all about intangibles. And we wont know who has the edge in intangibles until the start play at the K Club.
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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  

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 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.