Thomas plays Frys pro-am with 'golf nuts' Curry, Iguodala

By Ryan LavnerOctober 14, 2015, 10:02 pm

NAPA, Calif. – To be fair, it’s only his second year out here, but Justin Thomas felt even more anonymous than usual Wednesday at the Open. 

No surprise there. He played in the same pro-am group as Golden State Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala. 

“It was great for me because no one knew who I was,” Thomas joked afterward. “I just walked to the next tee. I signed one autograph the whole day; they figured I was just part of an entourage.

“No one knows who I am anyways, but even more so in that situation.”

The group attracted by far the biggest crowd of the day, even with Rory McIlroy out on the course.

Curry, the reigning NBA MVP, is one of the best golfers on the celebrity circuit, and as recently as this summer he sported a 0.1 handicap index. He had signed up for the California State Amateur in June but later had to withdraw – his team reached (and then won) the NBA Finals. 

“He’s really good,” Thomas said. “Does everything really well.” 

Curry says he has a “very clear-cut golf season.” It starts the day after his final game of the season and runs through the end of September, when practice for the new season begins to ramp up. He usually plays three or four times a week, though he says it's less often now that he has two young children. 

Curry played in a preseason game Tuesday night in Oakland (14 points, seven assists) and was headed back to practice after the pro-am. When asked whether it was difficult to cram a basketball game and 18 holes into a 14-hour window, Curry laughed. 

“I wouldn’t call it tough,” he said, “because any time you get to play golf you somehow miraculously get energy. We have to obviously recharge before tonight. But this is a nice little breath of fresh air to come out and play and have some fun.”

Iguodala, the 2015 Finals MVP, began playing three years ago but only started taking the game seriously within the past year, when he has cut his handicap in half. He topped his first tee shot into the hazard but settled down as the round went on, even stuffing an approach to 5 feet on the last. (He missed.)

“I’m tired of giving him compliments while we’re playing golf,” Iguodala said of Curry. “I guess he just has it. I don’t know what it is, but I’m trying to figure out a way to give it to my son. Hopefully he’ll give my son some lessons.”

How does Thomas fit in this group? 

PGA Tour player Rickie Barnes went to school at Arizona with Iguodala and attended (along with several others) the Warriors’ playoff game in New Orleans in April. That night, Curry dropped 40 points, including a 3-pointer in the final seconds, to help lift the Warriors to a 20-point, fourth-quarter comeback.

Iguodala invited Barnes and a few of his friends out to dinner later that week, and he and Thomas have stayed in touch over the past few months. When it became clear Iguodala and Curry were able to play the pro-am, Thomas set up the group.

“It was so cool,” Thomas said. “They’re both golf nuts too, so they really enjoy it and like the game as much as we like watching them.”

Justin Rose has his own Curry story. 

After attending that Warriors-Pelicans playoff game, Rose said he was inspired by Curry’s lights-out performance and went on to earn his own victory that week at the Zurich Classic. In the winner’s news conference, Rose even credited Curry with some of his success.

“I was struck by his confidence,” he said.  

A few days later, while shopping around Union Square in San Francisco, Rose bumped into Curry, who had heard about Rose’s remarks.

“The craziest thing,” Rose said. 

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.

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McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

Said Harmon:

“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

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How The Open cut line is determined

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

• There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

• There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:30 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 (