Mickelson: Mixed emotions for North, South courses

By Will GrayJanuary 22, 2014, 7:34 pm

SAN DIEGO – Phil Mickelson is in a unique position at this week’s Farmers Insurance Open: when he tees off Thursday morning in his opening round on the North Course, he’ll look to go low on a track that he will have a hand in overhauling next year.

Mickelson explained Wednesday that his work on redesigning the easier of the two courses at Torrey Pines will begin in 2015, and the five-time major champion has eyes on making the layout accessible for the average player.

“The last year, year and a half we’ve been taking a lot of input from the public and making sure that we’re on the right track to make the golf course as playable as possible,” noted Mickelson. “There was concern that after what happened to the South becoming almost unplayable for the average player and 80-plus percent of the local rounds going to the North … that the North would become too difficult in an attempt to make it more challenging.”

A key for Mickelson’s prospective design will be to remove obstacles in front of greens, ones which prove difficult for higher-handicap players to overcome with their approach shots.


Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, videos and photos


“Why so many players love links golf is that you always have the avenue to run a ball up and it’s very easy to make the parameters left and right,” he explained. “There’s no need to block the fronts of greens.”

The changes align with Mickelson’s overall thoughts on golf course design, which he reiterated Wednesday has led to courses becoming overly difficult as players increasingly watch shots carom away from their intended targets.

“So much of golf now repels balls away into trouble,” said Mickelson. “What I want to do is contain. I want to create containment where balls run up to the green. Once you get to the green, that’s where you can start repelling and making it challenging.”

He also expanded on his desire to cut back on overall maintenance and water costs by removing sections of grass that rarely are in play, and Mickelson will look to make the scenic coastline that borders the course a larger factor in the future.

“I want to bring the canyon back into the feel of the golf course,” he added. “I don’t want to move the holes to the canyon; I want to bring the canyon back into some of the holes so that you feel the natural beauty that’s here.”

While Mickelson hopes to make the North more playable for amateurs, he’s confident that the course will remain a suitable test come tournament week, when the track in its current form frequently averages two shots easier than the South, if not more.

“You can make any golf course hard by simply making the greens firm and making thick rough,” said Mickelson. “What I want to do though is make a course that is fun to play, that is playable under a variety of conditions.”

Mickelson remains upbeat about the prospect of rolling up his sleeves and getting to work on the North Course, but his attitude is somewhat frosty when discussing its counterpart at Torrey Pines. The 43-year-old has won this event three times, but his most recent victory came in 2001 – not coincidentally, the final time the event was played before Rees Jones’ redesign.

He admits that his attitude toward the course that comprises 75 percent of this week’s competitive action hasn’t exactly helped his playing record, which includes just one top-10 finish since 2009.

“My feelings of animosity toward it might be a factor as to why I haven’t played well per se on it,” said Mickelson, who tied for 51st here last year and missed the cut in 2012. “I’ve learned to play it over the years, but it is not conducive to the way I like to play, which is aggressive.

“Every shot is repelled away from the tucked pins, every green breaks away from the bunkers, every time you’re in a bunker you’ve got a downhill shot,” he continued. “It’s just monotonous to me and it doesn’t allow for great recovery and it does not allow for aggressive play. It allows for 40 feet away from the hole and try to make a putt, try to take advantage of the par 5s.”

Mickelson cedes that a bevy of positives have come to both the course and the area following the redesign, which led to the venue landing the 2008 U.S. Open, but concluded his comments Wednesday with a terse response when asked if it surprises him that the season’s second major hasn’t returned to San Diego.

“No, it doesn’t,” he noted.

For Mickelson, the South Course will wait until Friday morning. Thursday will be about making birdies on the North, and perhaps bringing with him a notebook to jot down changes to make next year when shovel meets dirt.

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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.”