Punch Shot: Will Spieth win a major this year?

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 12, 2016, 3:00 pm

Jordan Spieth was on the verge of his second consecutive Masters title and his third major in the last five played. But that all sunk in Rae's Creek. Following an epic collapse, we ask our writers: Will Spieth dust off this major disappointment and win a major this year?

By REX HOGGARD

Sunday’s meltdown aside, Spieth’s record in the major championships strongly suggests that whatever transpired on Augusta National’s 12th will be an afterthought when the Grand Slam season draws to a close.

Consider that in 13 majors starts the 22-year-old has finished in the top 5 nearly half the time (six), including victories at the 2015 Masters and Open Championship. By comparison, Tiger Woods had just one victory (1997 Masters) and two top-5 finishes in his first 13 majors.

This year’s major venues also should give Spieth solace following his collapse on Sunday at Augusta National.

The next major stop is the U.S. Open at Oakmont, which is arguably a more demanding putting contest than Augusta National and Spieth is still the game’s top putter, followed by Royal Troon for the Open Championship and Baltusrol for the PGA Championship.

Spieth’s ball striking wasn’t up to the test last week, but in the brief snapshot of his career he’s proven adept at adjusting to an ever-changing game.

Most important, however, Spieth will be keen to change the conversation after his Masters meltdown, and nothing will do that quicker than a major victory.


By RANDALL MELL

Yes, Spieth will win a major this year.

OK, we all know it’s a fool’s business predicting the winners of major championships. Johnny Miller, Greg Norman and Ben Crenshaw are all World Golf Hall of Famers, and they only won two each over their entire careers. Fred Couples, Tom Kite and Bob Charles are also Hall of Famers and they each claimed a single major. That’s how tough it is to win majors.

Spieth’s odds of winning one this year, however, seem better than anyone else’s given what he is learning under major championship heat. He has given himself excellent chances to win the last five. That’s extraordinary. It’s his ability to keep giving himself chances that makes me believe he’ll snag another one this year. In fact, it’s the fight he showed giving himself a chance last weekend at the Masters without his best stuff that makes me believe he’ll overcome his failure there and keep this hot run going in majors.

Even after Spieth’s quadruple bogey at the 12th, there was no quit in him. Given the emotions that had to be boiling inside, that was something. He fought back from that debacle with a couple birdies. A year ago, he showed us he isn’t a one-trick pony at Augusta National. He showed us he can fit his game to different tests with his victory at Chambers Bay and his close calls at St. Andrews and Whistling Straits.


By JAY COFFIN

Spieth will not win a major this year, but it won’t be because there’s any sort of lingering shrapnel from his devastating Masters meltdown. It’ll be because, well, it’s just plain difficult to win majors. Tiger Woods made it look easy, he made us believe that the best of any era going forward should win majors at an irregular clip. That’s simply not how it works.

Will Spieth contend in a major this year? Likely. The Open Championship at Troon would be my best guess. But winning two last year was an enormous feat. It doesn’t mean he’s going to win one a year for each of the next 10 years.

Spieth will go years without winning majors. In fact, he’ll go many years without winning a major and he’ll do it more often than he will go years with winning one. This year will be one of those where he won’t. And it’ll have nothing to do with the demons planted from Augusta National.


By JOE POSNANSKI

The odds are always against any one player winning a major in a given year, even the best in the world. Tiger in his prime did not win a major in 2003 or 2004. Jack Nicklaus, from 1968 to 1979, had six years where he failed to win a major. There are only three left, and I think you would have to say that odds are against Spieth winning any of the three, especially because his favorite, the Masters, is already over.

That said, I don’t think there will be a significant hangover from his Masters collapse. He’s enough of a golf fan to know that this sort of thing happens to everybody, perhaps not as dramatically but Palmer, Player, Watson, Nicklaus and even Woods all faltered Sunday at a major championship.

I think Spieth should be in contention many times, which is how you pile up the majors. But if I had to bet will he or won’t he this year, I’d bet no.

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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 TaylorMade got him 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 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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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.