Goodbye From a Thankful Scribe
So this is the end. After a dozen years of yam-yammering in this corner, this voice will finally be silenced. Someone else is due to take this space, someone with a new outlook, someone with a different view to serve up to you.
Actually, I havent been writing about golf all my 43 years as a sportswriter. I didnt actually play golf until I was 28 years old. Thats when my friend Doug, after a year or so of alternately scolding and cajoling, finally brought an old set of clubs to my home and demanded I play with him. Out of exasperation, he also brought along an old golf bag and even a well-worn pair of spikes. Bereft of all possible excuses, I finally agreed to join him at a local muni.
And, I was hooked. That was in 1973.
In January of 1995 The Golf Channel went on the air. I was one of the uneasy souls who cast my fate with this company. The success of this venture was far from guaranteed, my employment for the next month far from resolved. During those initial months, everyone did everything. I was even on air for a few months, jabbering away with several other souls ' lets see, there was Mark Lye, Deb Vidal, Denis Watson, instructor Gary Smith, and an announcer named Dwayne Ballen. We were thrown together on a show which aired at 12 noon today, 1:30 tomorrow, and 11:30 the day after tomorrow. With such a wide berth of starting times, needless to say we werent a show for very long.
In 2000 this website was redesigned and I became a member of the dot-com team, which was very advantageous to me because I was trained as a writer and not as a television personality. And believe me, I was never a television personality. Now, some will say, You never were a writer, either. But nonetheless, I always felt I was much more of a journalist than a TV bloke.
This job is not easy. I was hired to give my opinions, and the truth is, I am not an opinionated person. But I have tried to throw something out there which would make YOU think. And your feedback to me was like water to a fish ' you have kept me going with your e-mails and your thoughts and YOUR opinions.
The e-mails, Ive decided, come in one of three categories. First, there are the ones who agree wholeheartedly with my topic. Ive gotten to know many of you by name, through the keyboard, even though weve never met face-to-face.
Then there are those who thoughtfully disagree. Those e-mails are important, too. Its impossible for me to be right every time, or for any one person to agree with another every time. Those messages are crucial, too ' and Ive learned a lot from you who beg to differ.
Finally, there is the third category. That is the one which almost always starts with, What a load of crap! Then it goes downhill from there. Those, though, I am happy to say, are few and far between. The first two are far, far more numerous.
Its a great profession, this golf. I married my wife Vicki after having met her at lessons with David Leadbetter. Ive had the honor of making friendships with Davis Love, Nick Price, Corey Pavin, Lee Janzen, Paul Azinger, Brad Bryant, Mark OMeara ... Ive sat in the kitchen while munching a ham-and-egg sandwich made by the late Payne Stewart. Ive played golf with any number of pros ' lets see, there was Sam Snead, Tony Jacklin, Gary Player, Lanny Wadkins, Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson, Nancy Lopez, Jan Stephenson, Hollis Stacey, Michelle Redman, OMeara, both Bart and Brad Bryant, several that I know I have missed. Ive even put my rag-tag game on exhibition with a couple of guys that I met though this column.
Golf has always been rather a mystery to me. I could never come close to mastering the game. But I have swatted it along with a thousand different people, always marveling at the mechanics of a professional who without fail launches it so effortlessly, high and far.
I have been blessed, indeed. Most of all, it has been a great ride enjoying the give-and-take with you the readers. I have been aware many times over that most of you know as much as me, several of you know MORE than me, and all of you have opinions that I have learned from each time I opened another e-mail.
But now, its time to close the back door and slip out into the night. Dont stop communicating ' make the new guy feel like hes one of you, taking care to praise him when he makes a point you think is credible, criticizing him (but politely!) when you think he deserves it. Each of you have been important with your thoughtful praise ' and your honest critiques.
Im going to miss those notes. But its time now. Goodbye!
Email your thoughts to George White
'Hungover' Pepperell improbably in mix after 67
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eddie Pepperell’s 11:40 a.m. tee time on Sunday at The Open was a tad early, and not just because the Englishman was heading out more than three hours before the leaders.
Following a third-round 71 that dropped him eight strokes off the lead, Pepperell did what many golfers do after a less-than-stellar round – he drank.
“Honestly, I was a little hungover. I won't lie. I had too much to drink last night,” said Pepperell, who said he went to bed on Friday at around 11:30 p.m. “I was so frustrated yesterday, that today was really, I wouldn't say a write-off, but I didn't feel I was in the golf tournament. Whether I shot 69 or 73 today, it wouldn't have been heartbreaking.”
Pepperell was much closer to the former on Sunday, posting a round-of-the-day 67 to move to within one stroke of the lead held by multiple players as the leaders made the turn.
Pepperell had just a single bogey on a blustery day at Carnoustie and closed his round with birdies at Nos. 14 and 17. It was one of just four rounds in the 60s on a course that had become increasingly difficult with each gust.
With six players tied for the lead at 6 under par, including defending champion Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, Pepperell planned to wait and see how the afternoon progressed.
“The only hope I have is that it's Carnoustie, and the last three, four holes, even though they're downwind, still anything can happen with obviously pressure and all that sort of stuff out here,” he said. “So I'll have to hang around.”
Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship
Tiger Woods is stalking his 15th career major championship trophy. Follow the action with our tracker to see if he can get it done at Carnoustie.
Tweets by GCTigerTracker
Pros melting down on Twitter as they watch Tiger
Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.
His fellow pros have been watching and tweeting like your average fans.
We're compiling their missives below:
Starting to wonder how many Tiggy is going to win by here........... #isheback— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) July 22, 2018
Tiger is leading the open pic.twitter.com/MbGnJIt1Jj— Tyrrell Hatton (@TyrrellHatton) July 22, 2018
That FW bunker shot by Tiger tho... pic.twitter.com/Fi3GY6AegO— Scott Langley (@Scott_Langley) July 22, 2018
Tiger back doing Tiger stuff.......— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) July 22, 2018
I love you https://t.co/JovVz2clm2— Braden Thornberry (@tberrygolf) July 22, 2018
Omg lesgo @TigerWoods— Willy Wilcox (@willwilcoxgolf) July 22, 2018
Right now, Tiger is like everyone’s ex who we’ve given way too many 2nd chances to, and he has the opportunity to rip your heart right out of your chest but we’re all ok with it because we tend to only remember the good times— max homa (@maxhoma23) July 22, 2018
Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage
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)
7AM-3PM (Watch): Jordan Spieth fired 65 to move into a three-way share of the 54-hole lead, while Tiger Woods (66) played his way into contention. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler and Thorbjorn Olesen.
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. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Henrik Stenson and Bryson DeChambeau.
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.