Griggs' winning putt highlights Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals

By Rex HoggardApril 3, 2016, 6:40 pm

AUGUSTA, Ga. – It’s the putt everyone grows up wanting to make. Well, almost.

Hovering over a 15-foot putt, Ty Griggs knew it was his last and only chance to win the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals on Sunday at Augusta National.

There wasn’t a green jacket waiting on the other end at Augusta National’s 18th green, but for a 13-year-old who aspires to be a professional golfer, it was the next best thing.

Griggs’ putt, which needed to nestle to about a half foot to secure the Manteca, Calif., eighth grader the title in the 12-13 Boys division, dropped into the cup to complete what he called a dream come true.

“I was shaking, I was nervous, I was emotional,” said Griggs, who won the driving portion of the competition and finished runner-up in the chipping and putting portions to edge Skyler Fox by a point. “I thought I had to get [his final putt] to about a half foot, but that’s tough to do.”

Griggs was one of 80 participants who competed in Sunday’s Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, which featured four age groups for boys and girls, and while his might have been the most dramatic victory, it might rank second behind Stephen Robert Hernandez’s triumph in emotional output.

The 9-year-old from Houston rolled to a three-point victory in the 7-9 Boys division by winning the driving and chipping portion of the competition.

“It’s coming from mystical reasons. I don’t know what happened, this is a dream,” said Hernandez, who won his regional DC&P qualifier by eight points. “I play golf a lot, and I didn't know that I had a chance to go to the Masters [so] young.”

Alexa Pano of Lake Worth, Fla., also cruised to her title in the 10-11 Girls division, winning the long drive portion and finishing second and fourth in the chipping and putting competitions, respectively, for a seven-point victory.

Kayla Sam of Anaheim Hills, Calif., took the 12-13 Girls division, also winning the long drive competition, with 26 points; and Emerson Blair of West Point, Miss., edged Mary Miller by a half point in the 7-9 Girls division after winning the putting portion.

“Meeting all of these amazing golfers and celebrities, and winning the Drive, Chip & Putt, it was really shocking and unexpected,” Sam said.

Michael Thorbjornsen of Wellesley, Mass., edged Daniel Uranga by a point to claim the 14-15 Boys division; Alyssa Montgomery of Knoxville, Tenn., won the 14-15 Girls division; and Christian Kim of Vernon Hills, Ill., finished in the top 3 in each competition to win the 10-11 Boys division.

But even for those who didn’t win, the consolation prize was a day spent at a place that until Sunday seemed out of reach.

“I thought that I would never be [at Augusta National], because it's really one of those magical places that you've always seen on TV but you never end up, and here I am,” Griggs said.

Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals results

Boys 7-9: 1. Stephen Robert Hernandez (25 points); 2. Hugh Faulkner (22 points); 3. Colin Norton (19 points)

Boys 10-11: 1. Christian Kim (26 points); 2. Nolan Haynes (25 points); 3. NaShawn Tyson (21 points)

Boys 12-13: 1. Ty Griggs (28 points); 2. Skyler Fox (27 points); 3. Daniel Adkins (20)

Boys 14-15: 1. Michael Thorbjornsen (23 points); T-2. Daniel Uranga (22 points); T-2. Chase Venn (22 points); T-2. Marco Punzo (22 points)

Girls 7-9: 1. Emerson Blair (24 points); 2. Mary Miller (23.5 points); T-3. Kyla Layman (22 points); T-3. Avery Zweig (22 points)

Girls 10-11: 1. Alexa Pano (26 points); T-2. Mia Raines (19 points); T-2. Morgan Guepet (19 points)

Girls 12-13: 1. Kayla Sam (26 points); 2. Elle Fox (25 points); 3. Nicole Adam (20 points)

Girls 14-15: 1. Alyssa Montgomery (26.5 points); 2. Skylar Thompson (23 points); T-3. Kyra Cox (17.5 points); T-3. Anika Dy (17.5 points)

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Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 9:33 am

Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.

Everything before that, however, was far from routine.

Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.

He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and was able to cobble together his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.

"I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:40 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 19, 2018, 5:30 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.