After Further Review: 2014 Open Championship

By Randall Mell, Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2014, 8:00 pm

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on a very healthy state of the game even without a very healthy - or high-performing - Tiger Woods, thanks in large part to Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler.

Now that his back's fixed, Tiger Woods can go to work getting his driver fixed, or his driver skills, at least. Rory McIlroy loves to hit driver. When he is on, McIlroy will hit it just about everywhere, with impunity. It's the giant advantage McIlroy has over Woods today. It's the advantage Adam Scott has over Woods. It's the advantage Bubba Watson has over Woods. It's the advantage just about every top-10 player has on Woods, who sometimes looks like a man yanking a bandage off a wound when pulling driver out of his golf bag. Woods can still be so good with his irons, with his short game, with his putter, he'll continue to win, but it's harder work against these major championship challengers if his game plans are designed to avoid hitting drivers. With his back fixed, with his strength and speed coming back, so may that driver, a tool that could go a long way to helping him beat these younger challengers who stand between him and Jack Nicklaus' record.  Randall Mell

It could take Tiger Woods weeks, months, maybe even a year to regain his top form. That’s OK. In the meantime, the sport will be just fine, with Rory McIlroy again in full flight, Adam Scott consistently excellent, and Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth on the cusp of breakthroughs. The first two majors of the year have been snoozers, drama-wise, but were tremendous displays of golf. The Open was a reminder of how McIlroy’s best is unmatched. The common denominator was that Woods, long the sport’s main needle-mover, didn’t play a factor, either because of injury or ineffectiveness. His return to form will simply be a bonus. – Ryan Lavner

Rory McIlroy has the ability to be a truly dominant player. The only question is whether he has the drive to dominate like the players he is being compared to. McIlroy’s victory on Sunday at the Open Championship made him just the third player to claim three legs of the career Grand Slam before his 26th birthday, joining Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus in that elite club. But if he is to continue that impressive trend he will need to avoid the kind of slump that dominated his season in 2013, when he failed to win on the PGA Tour or contend in the majors. “I've really found my passion again for golf,” he said. Along with that passion he’s found his way back onto a historic path.  Rex Hoggard

Rickie Fowler is ready to win a major. Any major. Seems obvious because of his performance at the British Open, but I'm not so sure I'd have made such a declarative statement just four short days ago. He's the only player to finish top-five in each of the season's three majors so far but at both the Masters and the U.S. Open, Fowler played well on Saturday, then followed it with a poor Sunday round. This week Fowler showed tons of guts and fought his butt off until the last putt. He's only won one PGA Tour event, but he's shown that he has a game for all seasons and he's now firing on all cylinders on golf's biggest stages. Major glory will come soon.  Jay Coffin

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Tiger putts way into contention at The Open

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 5:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – When Tiger Woods benched his trusty Scotty Cameron blade putter last month at the Quicken Loans National for a new TaylorMade mallet-headed version some saw it as a sign of desperation, but if his performance on Carnoustie’s greens on Saturday were any indication it could end up being a calculated success.

Woods stormed into contention on Day 3 with a 5-under 66 to move to within shouting distance of the lead at The Open, thanks in large part to his vastly improved putting.

“I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I've had really good feels,” said Woods, whose 29 putts on Saturday belies his performance on Carnoustie’s greens. “Even as this golf course was changing and evolving, I've maintained my feels with the putter. I've made a couple of putts from about 40 to 60 feet, which is nice. I just feel like I've been able to roll the ball.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

The highlight of Woods’ round came at the par-4 ninth hole when he charged in a 40-footer for birdie from the front edge of the green to begin a run of three consecutive birdies. Perhaps more impressive, he didn’t have a three-putt, and has only had two all week, which is always a bonus on links courses.

Woods temporarily took a share of the lead with a lengthy birdie putt at the 14th hole and scrambled for a par save at the last after his drive nearly found the Barry Burn.

“I hit a few putts that I think should have gone in from 20, 30 feet today," he said. "So that's always a good sign.”

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TT postscript: A 66, he's in contention - awesome

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 4:58 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods went berserk Saturday and shot 5-under 66 to vault up the leaderboard at The Open at Carnoustie:


At 4:13PM here in Scotland, when Tiger two-putted for birdie on the par-5 14th hole, he held a share of the lead in a major championship. It was once unthinkable, but it happened. I saw it with my own eyes.

• Tiger’s last two weekend rounds in the 60s in The Open both happened at Carnoustie and both happened on July 21. In 2007, Woods shot 69 here. On Saturday, that score was clipped by three shots. Tiger shot 65 in the second round of The Open at Royal Liverpool in 2006. He won his third claret jug that week. Tiger last shoot 66 in a major during the second round of the 2011 Masters.

• This is the sixth time that Tiger has recorded three consecutive rounds of par of better to start The Open. He went on to win three of the previous five times.

• One bad swing, the only bad swing of the day according to Tiger, produced the luckiest of breaks. Standing on the 18th tee with an iron in hand, Tiger pulled his tee shot that hit on the top of the Barry Burn and very easily could’ve ended in a watery grave. Instead it ended in thick rough, some 250 yards from the pin. Tiger punted it up the fairway, but got up and down from 83 yards to save par and shoot 66. “I hit my number,” he quipped about hitting wedge to 2 feet.

• On the other hand, the lone bogey came from one poor putt. On the par-3 16th hole, with half of Scotland screaming his name, Tiger missed a 7-footer for par. It was deflating at the time because the last three holes are so difficult. Pars on the last two holes were stellar.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• Final stats: 12 of 15 fairways, 14 of 18 greens and 29 total putts. Tiger hit six drivers and one 3-wood, proving that he was way more aggressive. He hit four drivers on Friday and only one on Thursday.

• One of the aforementioned drivers that he hit on the ninth hole was well left and in some thick round, 170 yards from the hole. A safe approach to 40 feet set him up for and easy two-putt par. But he slammed the putt home and made an improbable birdie. “I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I’ve had really good feels,” he said.

• In his own words about his chances of winning: “It certainly is possible. I’ve shown that I’ve been there close enough with a chance to win this year. Given what happened the last few years, I didn’t know if that would ever happen again, but here I am with a chance coming Sunday in a major championship. It’s going to fun.”

Yes, yes it is.

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Watch: Guy sleeps next to many beers at Open

By Grill Room TeamJuly 21, 2018, 4:55 pm

It's Moving Day at The Open Championship for all but one sedentary fan.

Cameras caught this potentially browned-out man having himself a Saturday snooze on the browned-out grasses of Carnoustie:

Browned out. That's a great term. Glad it's in the public domain. We've been using it all weekend. I imagine we'll continue to use it. A lot.

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Watch: Tiger makes 6 birdies, 1 amazing par in Rd. 3

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 4:10 pm

Tiger Woods started the third round of The Open at even par, having made seven birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 holes at Carnoustie.

Following three pars to start on Saturday, Woods went on a birdie binge.

No. 1 came with this putt at the par-4 fourth.

No. 2 with this two-putt at the par-5 sixth.

No. 3 thanks to this 30-footer at the par-4 ninth.

No. 4 after nearly jarring his approach shot on the par-4 10th.

No. 5 when he almost drove the green at the par-4 11th and two-putted, from just off the green, from 95 feet.

And No. 6, which gave him a share of the lead, came courtesy another two-putt at the par-5 14th.

Woods bogeyed the par-3 16th to drop out of the lead and almost dropped - at least - one more shot at the par-4 18th. But his tee shot got a lucky bounce and he turned his good fortune into a par.

Woods shot 5-under 66 and finished the day at 5 under par.