The Perks Are Huge When You Win a Players

By George WhiteMarch 25, 2002, 5:00 pm
The suits at the PGA Tour headquarters will bravely try to put a positive spin on all this and say with stiff upper lip that its an example of the depth on the tour nowadays. If youve got a miners helmet, a flashlight and a list of all the members of the tour, you might have picked Craig Perks out of the pack of anonymous no-names who are the fodders of the fairways. But no more - he now wears the title of champion of the Players, beating out by the length of a chip-shot or two another anonymous chap, Stephen Ames.
 
Perks is a likeable man. He richly deserved his trophy, having hung around the lead for three days before finally roaring to the finishing with three glorious holes Sunday. They are three of the scariest at the Sawgrass course, and he played them in 3-under, needing only one putt to conquer the trio of finishers.
 
The question with such winners is always, will he continue in the tradition of Kevin Sutherland, who won the Accenture Match Play but then missed the cut in both his next outings? Sutherland showed an amazing amount of grit in getting by six opponents, but since then, a 79 in the first round at Bay Hill and a 78 in the first round at the Players sent him back to the no-name class again. Will that happen to Perks? Or is this truly a renaissance in the career of the 35-year-old Kiwi?
 
You probably havent heard of this Perks fella if you live outside his native New Zealand, or the area surrounding Lafayette, La., where he now lives. A newsman from Australia was equally stumped at the Players. No, he confessed, he didnt know much about him, though Perks grew up in that island nation nearest Australia.
 
Perhaps thats because Perks hasnt done much since his college days at the University of Oklahoma and then Southwest Louisiana. Perhaps its because his victories the past 10 years have been four titles on the Hooters Tour. The Hooters Tour is a step below the Buy.Com Tour, which is the minor leagues of the PGA Tour. Winners there make on the order of $11,000 per championship, which is what you usually make for last place on the big tour.
 
Perks, though, is not apologizing. Nor should he. It wasnt his fault that Sawgrass was set up so ridiculously difficult that a lucky bounce or two would decide the title. He has certainly paid his dues, swatting it around in the hillbilly towns of America until he finally came up with the Big One.
 
The Hooters Tour? Well, yes - and to all the Hooters Tour players, its a real viable alternative when you cant play the PGA Tour or the Buy.Com.
 
Its a golf tour where you play 72 holes and they cut after 36, playing in some unbelievable towns you never heard of and some very, very poorly conditioned golf courses, he said. But I think that playing in that has helped me progress as a player and got me to the Nike (now Buy.Com) Tour.
 
I think youve got to play. You just cant sit around and wait for Q-School to come and hope to be successful. I did win four times in three years (on the Hooters), and like I said, I was on that tour a lot longer than I wanted to be. Then I was on the Nike (now Buy.Com) a lot longer than I really wanted to, but I think those experiences have really helped me become successful.
 
Well, thats a matter of personal taste. But if you call successful making $457,127 last year or $297,912 the year before (I do!), then he is a success. If you dont call the 113th man on the tours money list a success (and 136 the year before), then you probably arent convinced that this is the real McCoy (or Perks). He made a little over $1 million for winning Sunday, so that one weeks haul was more than his entire haul for the previous 10 years of his pro career.
 
Say this much for him ' this fellow believes in hanging tough and never giving up. He opened the Bay Hill tournament with two out-of-bounds balls on the very first hole, then came back to make the cut.
 
I have seen a lot of players on this tour who would have packed it in, Perks said proudly. I mean, thats how I compete. I could be going so bad and I am going to give it 100 percent on every single shot I have done it my entire career. So it wasnt any different today (Sunday).
 
Perks may well slip back into anonymity, leading a quiet Louisiana life with his family after The Week That Shook the World. Or, its possible that maybe, at 35, he will become a consistent player. Whatever, he will always remember this time when his 15 minutes of fame turned into four wonderful days.
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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 22, 2018, 11:00 am

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.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 22, 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 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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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 22, 2018, 8:30 am

Tiger Woods begins the final round of the 147th Open Championship four shots off the lead. He's out at 9:25 a.m. ET on Sunday and we're tracking him.


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Schauffele just fine being the underdog

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”