Full Coverage of the 2011 Players Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 15, 2011, 2:27 pm
The Players Championship

May 15, 2011
Jason Sobel: Choi's Boys
PGA Tour: Players Choi-ce
PGA Tour: Notes: Glover crumbles on Day 4, Day joins eagle club
Shag Bad: McDowell comes unglued in final-round 79
PGA Tour: Choi tops Toms in Players playoff
Randall Mell: No Tears, Just Hope
Shag Bag: Goydos makes another Players run
Shag Bag: Sergio looking happier on and off course
Shag Bag: Hoffman's double dunk costly at 17th
Shag Bag: Day bound for Texas, not Australia
Shag Bag: No. 17 no heaven for Stroud
Shag Bag: Sergio channeling old Sergio
Shag Bag: Old-timers day at The Players
Shag Bag: Jason Sobel's Live Blog from The Players
Shag Bag: The Players: 'No lead is safe'
Shag Bag: Finchem once again denies pressuring Tiger
Shag Bag: McDowell holds 54-hole lead at The Players
Shag Bag: McDowell leads Toms, Choi by one after 54 holes
Video: Playing out the Players drama
Video: Working his way to victory
Video: Miller and Hicks wrap up Choi's triumph
Video: John Hawkins: Thoughts on the 2011 Players

May 14, 2011
 Notes: Mother Nature does damage; Sunday Forecast
Rex Hoggard: A Long Sprint to the Finish
Shag Bag: Golf Channel Sunday programming for The Players
Shag Bag: Poulter sprints to Saturday finish
Shag Bag: TPC storm larger than forecasted
Shag Bag: After 4 1/2 hour delay, restart planned at TPC
No big move on a rain-shortened day at Sawgrass
Shag Bag: Cabrera’s finish delayed by storm
Shag Bag: Jason Sobel's Live Blog from The Players
Shag Bag: Finchem denies Woods was pressured to play
Shag Bag: Hear the Beard
Sabbatini, O'Hair clear the air on dispute
Video: Maintaining the Momentum
Video: The Perfect Combination
Video: Rex Hoggard on the Course

May 13, 2011
Notes: Unfortunate missed cuts and withdrawals
Shag Bag: Glover's luck looking up
Shag Bag: Plugged lie ‘great break’ for Watney
Shag Bag: Fishing clubs out of the water
Rex Hoggard: Back in the Thick of Things
Toms leads at halfway mark of The Players
Shag Bag: Toms’ lonely lob wedge
Randall Mell: On His Way Back
Rex Hoggard: Cut Line: Sawgrass Sights, Sounds
Shag Bag: Jason Sobel's Live Blog from The Players
Shag Bag: Catching up with the ‘other’ injured at TPC
Shag Bag: Toms has special motivation
Shag Bag: Vengeance is Lefty's at 13th
Shag Bag: The Players Live Chat with John Hawkins
Video: Web-exclusive: Hawkins wraps up Round 2
Video: Breaking down Mickelson's spotty play
Video: Hawk's video blog: Hall of Fame worthy?
Video: 'Live From' Wrap from Round 2
Video: Leading the Best Players

May 12, 2011
Watney fires 64, leads Players Championship
Shag Bag: Funny bounces with Ben Crane
Rex Hoggard: Another Detour for Tiger
A timeline of Tiger Woods’ injuries
Woods withdraws from The Player Championship
Shag Bag: Dufner trying to fulfill prognostication
Shag Bag: Jason Sobel's Live Blog from The Players
Shag Bag: Woods off to horrendous start at The Players
Shag Bag: The Players: Live Chat with John Hawkins
Punch Shots: Tee shot at 17th at TPC Sawgrass the most pressure-packed shot in tournament golf?
Woods withdraws from The Players after nine holes
Shag Bag: Waiting game for Woods
Punch Shots: Should Tiger Woods play in the U.S. Open?
Randall Mell: Talking With His Clubs
Crane's lucky 17, Glover's beard has FB page
Shag Bag: Duval's homecoming starts well
Shag Bag: O'Meara's Still Got It
Shag Bag: G-Mac back on track
Video: Live From crew discusses Woods' WD from The Players
Video: Sobel's thoughts on Woods' shortened Players
Video: John Hawkins reacts to Tiger Woods' Players WD
Video: Walker and Hawkins break down Round 1 action
Rich Lerner: Hooks and Cuts: Sawgrass Storylines

May 11, 2011
Jason Sobel: Prognosticating The Players
Golfers arrive for Ballesteros' funeral
Shag Bag: Around the horn at TPC Sawgrass
Shag Bag: Bones shares Mickelson's theatrical flair
Shag Bag: Feels like the first time
Punch Shots: Is The Players missing something without Westood and McIlroy?
Golfers, family gather for Ballesteros funeral
Shag Bag: Miller: 'It's an affront' Westwood and McIlroy are skipping The Players
Manassero looking for more power
Rex Hoggard: Bend It Like Bubba
Shag Bag: Kim going back to the basics
Shag Bag: Maggert withdraws from Players
Shag Bag: An island unto itself at Players Championship
Video: Silver anniversary: Spagnolo's 66 on 17
Video: Tiger back in action, answers many questions
Video: Assessing young Italian star Matteo Manassero
Video: The crew breaks down the conditions at TPC
Video: Attributes of a great closer broken down
Randall Mell: Confidence Run Amok
Miller not ruling out Tiger this week
Travel Blog: Where to play golf around TPC Sawgrass

May 10, 2011
Woods weighs in on Watson's comments
Jason Sobel: Tiger ready to shake off the rust
Randall Mell: Competing Against Any Generation
Video: Questions ... And Answers
Video: Opting Out
Video: Angelo Spagnolo: America's Worst Avid Golfer
Video: Tee to Green: TPC Sawgrass - Hole 4
Video: Tee to Green - TPC Sawgrass - Hole 6
Video: Tee to Green - TPC Sawgrass - Hole 9
Video: Tee to Green - TPC Sawgrass - Hole 10
Video: Tee to Green - TPC Sawgrass - Hole 11
Video: Tee to Green - TPC Sawgrass - Hole 12
Video: Tee to Green - TPC Sawgrass - Hole 13
Video: Tee to Green - TPC Sawgrass - Hole 14
Video: Tee to Green - TPC Sawgrass - Hole 16
Video: Tee to Green - TPC Sawgrass - Hole 17
Video: Tee to Green - TPC Sawgrass - Hole 17 green
Video: Tee to Green - TPC Sawgrass - Hole 18
Shag Bag: Goydos still adored at The Players
Shag Bag: Is Westwood right skipping The Players? U.S. Open may be the gauge
Shag Bag: Mickelson in position to move to No. 1
Punch Shots: Which non-major event would you most like to win?
Shag Bag: TPC's 17th: An island hole primer
John Feinstein: The Infamous Move to May
Fantasy Island: The Players Championship

May 9, 2011
Power Rankings: Donald lead the way at TPC Sawgrass
Video: The Golf Fix: The Players Championship Special
Video: Dot-com Extra: Martin's World
Video: Sprint 4G Speed Round: The Players Championship
Video: Dotcom Extra: The Missing Two

May 8, 2011
Shag Bag: Clark: I'll play The Players

May 6, 2011
PGA Tour: Woods to return for The Players

May 4, 2011

Hoggard: Missing Players
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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.

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Punch shot: Predictions for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 4:00 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – In advance of the 147th Open Championship, GolfChannel.com writers sound off on burning questions as players ready for a fast and firm test at Carnoustie. Here’s what our writers think about myriad topics:

The Monday morning headline will be …

REX HOGGARD: “Survival.” This one is easy. It always is at Carnoustie, which is widely considered The Open’s most demanding major championship test. Monday’s headline will be that the champion - pick a champion, any one will do - “survived” another dramatic Open. You don’t dominate Carnoustie; you endure.

RYAN LAVNER: “DJ Bashes Way to Victory at Carnoustie.” If somehow a two-win season could be disappointing, it has been for DJ. He’s first in scoring average, birdie average, par-4 scoring, par-5 scoring, strokes gained: tee to green and proximity from the rough. Those last two stats are the most important, especially here at Carnoustie, with these dry conditions. The game’s preeminent long-and-straight driver, there’s a better-than-decent chance he rolls.

MERCER BAGGS: “Rahm Tough: Spaniard charges to Open victory.” Jon Rahm will claim him maiden major title this week by powering his way through the winds and fescue at Carnoustie.

JAY COFFIN: “Thomas wins second major, ascends to world No. 1 again.” Shortly after The Open last year, Thomas rolled through the end of the PGA Tour season. This is the time of year he likes best. Despite a poor Open record the last two years, he’s not remotely concerned. He’s a tad miffed he didn’t win in France two weeks ago and comes to Carnoustie refreshed, with a gameplan, and ready to pounce.

Who or what will be the biggest surprise?

HOGGARD: Style of play. Given Carnoustie’s reputation as a brute, the surprise will be how the champion arrives at his lofty perch. Unlike previous editions at Carnoustie, this week’s dry conditions will promote more aggressive play off the tee and the winner will defy the norm and power his way to victory.

LAVNER: Tiger Woods. This is Woods’ best chance to win a major this year, and here’s believing he contends. His greatest strengths are his iron game and scrambling, and both aspects will be tested to the extreme at Carnoustie, helping separate him from some of the pretenders. With even a little cooperation from his putter, he should be in the mix.

BAGGS: Padraig Harrington. He had a good opening round last week at the Scottish Open and has some good vibes being the 2007 Open champion at Carnoustie. He won’t contend for four rounds, but a few days in the mix would be a nice surprise.

COFFIN: Alex Noren. Perhaps someone ranked 11th in the world shouldn’t be a surprise, but with so much focus on some of the bigger, household names, don’t be surprised when Noren is in contention on Sunday. He hasn’t finished worse than 25th since early May and won two weeks ago in France. He also tied for sixth place last year at Royal Birkdale.

Who or what will be the biggest disappointment?

HOGGARD: Jordan Spieth. Although he was brilliant on his way to victory last year at Royal Birkdale, Spieth is not the same player for this week’s championship, the byproduct of a balky putter that has eroded his confidence. Spieth said giving back the claret jug this week was hard, but his finish will be even tougher.

LAVNER: Weather. This might sound a little sadistic, but one of the unique joys of covering this tournament is to watch the best in the world battle conditions they face only once a year – the bone-chilling cold, the sideways rain, the howling wind. It doesn’t appear as though that’ll happen this year. With only a few hours of light rain expected, and no crazy winds in the forecast, the biggest challenge for these stars will be judging the bounces on the hard, baked-out turf.

BAGGS: Jordan Spieth. The defending champion is still trying to find his winning form and Carnoustie doesn’t seem the place to do that. As much as he says he loves playing in strong winds, there should be enough danger around here to frustrate Spieth into a missed cut.

COFFIN: Rory McIlroy. I hope I’m wrong on this, because the game is better when Rory is in contention at majors. Putting always has been his issue and seemingly always will be. While there isn’t as much of a premium placed on putting this week because of slower greens, he may still have to hit it close. Super close.

What will be the winning score?

HOGGARD: 10 under. The last two Opens played at Carnoustie were won with 7-under and 6-over totals, but this week’s conditions will favor more aggressive play and lower scores. Expect to see plenty of birdies, but the great equalizer will come on Sunday when wind gusts are forecast to reach 25 mph.

LAVNER: 15 under. An Open at Carnoustie has never produced a winner lower than 9 under (Tom Watson in 1975), but never have the conditions been this susceptible to low scores. Sure, the fairway bunkers are still a one-shot penalty, but today’s big hitters can fly them. The thin, wispy rough isn’t much of a deterrent. And the wind isn’t expected to really whip until the final day.

BAGGS: 12 under. We aren’t going to see the same kind of weather we have previously witnessed at Carnoustie, and that’s a shame. Any players who catch relatively benign conditions should be able to go low, as long as they can properly navigate the fairway rollout.

COFFIN: 14 under. Walked into a local golf shop in the town of Carnoustie wearing a Golf Channel logo and the man behind the counter said, “It’ll take 14 under to win this week.” Well, he’s been here for years and seen Carnoustie host The Open twice before. He knows more about it than I do, so I’ll stick with his number.

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Watch: Na plays backwards flop and practices lefty

By Grill Room TeamJuly 18, 2018, 3:16 pm

Fresh off his victory at The Greenbrier, Kevin Na is taking a quite-literally-backwards approach to his Open prep.

Caddie Kenny Harms has been sharing videos of Na's early work at Carnoustie.

This one shows Na standing in a bunker and playing a flop shot over his own head (as opposed to someone else's):

While it's unlikely he'll have a need for that exact shot this week, it's far more likely a player may have to think about turning his club over and playing from the wrong side of the ball, like so:

Na has made 4 of 6 cuts at The Open and will look to improve on his best career finish, currently a T-22 in 2016 at Royal Troon.

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McIlroy growing 'comfortable' on Open courses

By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 1:45 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For a player who once complained about the vagaries of links golf, Rory McIlroy enters this Open with a dazzling record in the sport’s oldest championship.

Though he missed the 2015 event because of an ankle injury, McIlroy has now posted three consecutive top-5 finishes in the year’s third major.

“It’s surprising a little bit that my best form in major championships has been this tournament,” he said Wednesday, “but at the same time I’ve grown up these courses, and I’m comfortable on them. I think going to courses on The Open rota that I’ve played quite a lot. I think that helps. You have a comfort level with the golf course, and you’ve built up enough experience to know where to hit and where not to hit it.”

Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

McIlroy still regrets what happened in 2015, when he “did something slightly silly” and injured his ankle while playing soccer a few weeks before the event. That came a year after he triumphed at Royal Liverpool.

“Since 2010, I couldn’t wait to play The Open at St. Andrews,” he said. “I thought that was one of my best chances to win a major.”

He tied for 42nd at Carnoustie in 2007, earning low-amateur honors.