Four reasons the Ryder Cup should be four days

By Jason SobelSeptember 25, 2014, 10:32 am

GLENEAGLES, Scotland – Major championships last four days. Regular tournaments last four days. And yet, here we are on Thursday at the Ryder Cup, waiting one more day before the five sessions are crammed into a three-day period.

All of which leads to one pressing question: Why?

The company line from the PGA of America and European Tour is that it’s all about tradition. That’s valid rationale, but if the event never matured because of tradition, the United States would still be competing against Great Britain & Ireland. No Seve, no Ollie, no Sergio. Much of the drama of the past 35 years would have been removed from the proceedings.

Not that the Ryder Cup deserves to be compared with its little cousin the Presidents Cup, but there are a few things it could steal from the other international affair which could help the excitement factor. The first is having captains produce matches back and forth, like your fantasy football draft, rather than a blind draw. You want Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson on Sunday afternoon? In the current format, you can only cross your fingers and hope; if the captains matched up opponents, though, they could make it happen.

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The other is going to a four-day format. It’s worked for the Presidents Cup and would work just as well for the Ryder Cup. Here are four reasons:

1. More time for weather delays: The last time the Ryder Cup was contested in Europe, lengthy suspensions of play led to a makeshift third session and a Monday finish. That doesn’t benefit the organizing bodies, the competitors or the fans. Stretching the event out for four days allows for some wiggle room in the case of weather.

2. Can’t hide any players: Since this is a dream scenario anyway, I’ll extend that dream to my ideal format: Thursday’s opening session will consist of six fourball matches; Friday’s session would have six foursomes matches; then Saturday and Sunday would remain as they’ve always been. The end result? Four more points available in team matches and an inability to hide any weak spots over the first two days. If you’re on the team, you can’t ride the pine.

3. Removes the boredom factor: On Thursday morning, Ian Poulter met with the assembled media. He was brilliant in speaking about what the Ryder Cup means to him, but he also looked as if he was ready to spring from his chair and sprint to the first tee. Nobody blames him, either. From the “thuggish jingoism” of Rickie Fowler’s haircut, as one European writer put it, to Phil Mickelson’s comment that caused Litigate-gate, we’re all prepared for the actual golf to get going.

4. Money, money, money, money: Let’s face it: This event is about pride and tradition and rivalry, sure, but it’s also all about the Benjamins. The Ryder Cup is a huge money-maker for all organizing bodies, so why wouldn’t they try to maximize the potential of a four-day event? That would mean 33 percent more television revenue and ticket sales. And you know the old saying – money talks. 

Frankly, I’d be surprised if this move doesn’t happen someday. It makes too much sense not to – especially because of that fourth reason on the list.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 9:20 am

Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.

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McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

Said Harmon:

“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

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How The Open cut line is determined

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

• There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

• There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:30 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  

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 (