Spain may miss chance to defend International Crown

By Randall MellOctober 30, 2015, 3:44 pm

The Spaniards are moving the wrong way in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.

If the darlings of the inaugural International Crown are going to defend their title next summer, they’ve got some work to do.

The Spaniards stole the show from the favored South Koreans and Americans at Caves Valley in Maryland last year. They didn’t just win the new team event in a surprising runaway; they dominated the international stage with their charm, bravado and patriotic fervor.

“Our blood boils when we hear the Spanish anthem, when we see the flag,” Beatriz Recari said after Spain won.

But Spain’s flag won’t be flying at the International Crown next summer if the Spaniards don’t make a hard push into early next year. The top eight teams in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings as of April 4 will qualify for the event to be played July 21-24 at Rich Harvest Farms outside Chicago. Spain’s not among the top eight in the Rolex rankings this week. Spain was the fifth-seeded team last year but has plummeted four spots in the world team rankings since last year’s event.

With Charley Hull leading the way, the English have moved among the top eight teams in the world and are making a hard push to knock the Spaniards out. There’s a tough battle among three teams on the bubble with England seventh, Thailand eighth and Spain ninth.

If the International Crown teams were named this week, England would be the only new team in the mix.

The world team rankings are based on the cumulative ranking of the top four players from each nation. Here are the top 16 teams in the latest Rolex rankings:

1. South Korea (22): Inbee Park (2), So Yeon Ryu (5), In Gee Chun (7), Hyo Joo Kim (8).

2. United States (34): Stacy Lewis (3), Lexi Thompson (4), Brittany Lincicome (13), Cristie Kerr (14).

3. Japan (194): Mika Miyazato (38), Shiho Oyama (44), Momoko Ueda (53), Misuzu Narita (59).

4. Chinese Taipei (230): Teresa Lu (21), Yani Tseng (35), Candie Kung (63), Ssu Chia Cheng (111).

5. Sweden (328): Anna Nordqvist (12), Pernilla Lindberg (86), Maria McBride (100), Caroline Hedwall (130).

6. Australia (338): Minjee Lee (15), Karrie Webb (26), Rebecca Artis (116), Sarah Jane Smith (181).

7. England (357): Charley Hull (39), Holly Clyburn (87), Melissa Reid (90), Hannah Burke (141).

8. Thailand (359): Pornanong Phatlum (40), Ariya Jutanugarn (65), Moriya Jutanugarn (96), Onnarin Sattayabanphot (158).

9. Spain (415): Azahara Munoz (27), Carlota Ciganda (58), Beatriz Recari (126), Belen Mozo (204).

10. France (466): Karine Icher (60), Gwladys Nocera (75), Perrine Delacour (162), Celine Herbin (169).

11. Denmark (497): Nicole Broch Larsen (76), Emily Kristine Pedersen (127), Line Vedel Hansen (142), Nanna Koerstz Madsen (152).

12. China (525): Shanshan Feng (6), Xiyu Lin (72), Jing Yan (211), Yueer Cindy Feng (236).

13. South Africa (694): Lee Ann Pace (47), Paula Reto (191), Ashleigh Simon (223), Stacy Lee Bregman (233).

14. Scotland (695): Catriona Matthew (61), Pamela Pretswell (175), Kylie Walker (227), Sally Watson (232).

15. Germany (820): Sandra Gal (49), Caroline Masson (80), Olivia Cowan (322), Ann-Kathrin Lindner (369).

16. Canada (970): Brooke Henderson (18), Alena Sharp (149), Sue Kim (381), Augusta James (422).

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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.

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Four players vying for DJ's No. 1 ranking at Open

By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 8:41 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Four players have an opportunity to overtake Dustin Johnson for world No. 1 this week.

According to Golf Channel world-rankings guru Alan Robinson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm each can grab the top spot in the world ranking.

Thomas’ path is the easiest. He would return to No. 1 with either a win and Johnson finishing worse than solo third, or even a solo runner-up finish as long as Johnson finishes worse than 49th.

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Twenty years after his auspicious performance in The Open, Rose can get to No. 1 for the first time with a victory and Johnson finishing worse than a two-way tie for third.

Kopeka can rise to No. 1 if he wins consecutive majors, assuming that his good friend posts worse than a three-way tie for third.

And Rahm can claim the top spot with a win this week, a Johnson missed cut and a Thomas finish of worse than solo second.   

Johnson’s 15-month reign as world No. 1 ended after The Players. He wasn’t behind Thomas for long, however: After a tie for eighth at the Memorial, Johnson blew away the field in Memphis and then finished third at the U.S. Open to solidify his position at the top.