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Hot Seat: Tiger has major company this week

By Randall MellJanuary 24, 2018, 1:36 pm

The heavy fog that rolls off the Pacific Ocean on so many mornings at Torrey Pines won’t cool the Hot Seat with the most anticipated start of the year finally here.

Tiger Woods is back.

So maybe our special gauge of who is facing the most heat in golf ought to be called the Hot Throne this week.

Woods, after all, has ruled over this venue more than any other in his remarkable career, with nine victories at Torrey Pines, seven of them regular PGA Tour events, one a U.S. Open and one the Junior World Championship.

Of course, Woods isn’t alone taking a toasty seat. Here’s our special heat index with the PGA Tour at the Farmers Insurance Open and the LPGA opening its season at the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic:

Black’s Beach Heat Rash: Tiger Woods

Why should Woods be on The Hot Seat in his first official PGA Tour start in a year, when just remaining upright should count as a triumph in his return from the fourth back surgery of his career?

Because he’s always on the hot seat.

No tour pro in history has been more scrutinized or heavily analyzed. We break down everything, outside how thoroughly he butters his toast in his pregame breakfast. This week won’t be any different. It might even be worse.

If Woods winces after a swing, CNN may break into its regular programming for a special report. If he chunks a chip, there’s a danger Twitter explodes. If his name hits the leaderboard, there’s a chance President Trump scrambles Air Force One for an unscheduled trip to La Jolla.

These are only slight exaggerations.

Nobody in the history of the game has ever played under more heat than Woods, or warmed up on the range under more heat, for that matter.

No comeback in the game will be more meticulously documented than this one will.

Black’s Beach, by the way, lays out beneath the cliffs that Torrey Pines is built above. It’s one of the largest nude beaches in the United States, and yet the folks down there won’t be as stripped bare as Woods’ swing will be by analysts this week.

Lexi Thompson

Bahamian Habanero: Lexi Thompson

Thompson will be making her first tour start since missing that 2-foot putt at her final hole in the LPGA’s final event in 2017.

The miss cost her a chance to win the Rolex Player of the Year Award and ascend to the No.  1 world ranking for the first time, and it left questions about how she would deal with the disappointment over a long off season.

If Thompson rebounds as strongly as she did from the controversial loss she endured at the ANA Inspiration early last year, when she was hit with a four-shot Sunday penalty that derailed her bid to win her second major, this could be her biggest year yet.

Thompson dealt with more than her share of challenges last year, including her mother’s cancer diagnosis in the middle of the season, but she emerged as the story of the year because of all she achieved overcoming those ordeals. With two victories and six second-place finishes, it was nearly a spectacular year.

This year will start with a physical challenge. Thompson shut down her practices in December because of an ailing right hand.

Thompson made a run at winning in the season opener at the Bahamas last year, but ultimately lost to Brittany Lincicome in a playoff. She was practically a fixture on leaderboards the rest of the year.

Mercury Rising: Jason Day

Day arrived at Torrey Pines as the world No. 1 a year ago.

He makes his start this year having slid to No. 14.

Day has gone through a lot in that span, from his mother’s cancer surgery to his wife’s miscarriage. He will have a lot of people rooting for him as he bids to re-ignite a game that has made him such a formidable threat in the Tour’s biggest events. Just how ready he is to begin the year is unclear. He withdrew from the pro-am this week with a sore back.

Just three years ago, Day won at Torrey Pines. The victory launched his biggest year on Tour, getting him started on a five-victory season that included his major championship triumph at the PGA Championship. A good showing on this tough venue could set him up for another big year.

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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  

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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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.”