The Highs and Lows from the Week in Golf

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 26, 2007, 4:00 pm
Editor's Note: In Front 9 and Back 9, our staff will showcase the highs and lows from the world of golf. We start with the Front 9, which offers up the top moments and stories from this previous week, and then make the turn for the lowlights.
Front 9 Hole 1
TRIPLE THREAT: For the second time this year, Tiger Woods has three-peated in an event. He first did so at the Buick Invitational. He has now done so at the WGC-CA Championship. Strangely enough, this was a pair of three-peats wrapped up in one. It was his third straight win at Doral Country Club and his third straight win in what used to be the American Express Championship. Woods has now won five different tournaments three years in a row. He can add to that total at this years Open Championship - and do it for the second time in his career at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Hole 2
PUTTING ON A SHOW: Woods called his putting pathetic following his opening-round 1-under 71. Those 32 swipes left him four off the lead. Twenty-six putts later on Friday and he was atop the leaderboard. He needed only 28 more rolls in round three to all of a sudden go up by four. He needed just about all of those strokes, too, as he took 33 putts on Sunday to barely hang on for victory. This was his sixth CA Championship title, giving him more in this tournament than any other one on TOUR.
Hole 3
COMMERICAL SUCCESS: Woods is one of 20 PGA TOUR players who will star in a $25 million ad campaign to promote the FedExCup, according to USA Today. For all of his commercial endeavors, this will be the first time the games most notable and marketable player has acted for free in a TOUR advertisement. Tigers spot will feature him communing with a painting of Bobby Jones, asking for a sign as to whether or not he will win the inaugural Cup. A mascot, dressed from head to toe in a Tiger outfit, then comes walking by. OK, that works, Tiger deadpans, according to the paper.
Hole 4
HERO WORSHIP: Albert Pujols, you may be getting a call from Tiger very soon. Woods seems to have a tendency to develop relationships with the cream of the crop in other sports and leagues ' Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Peyton Manning, even Annika Sorenstam. His latest BFF is tennis No. 1, Roger Federer. Federer joined Woods for dinner Tuesday night on his yacht and then inside the ropes for Wednesdays practice round. Woods then attended Federers Saturday night match about 15 minutes away in Key Biscayne. Federer won easily; Woods struggled a bit more the next day, but held on for the win.
Hole 5
CHARLES IN CHARGE: The next time you see Charles Howell III, he will be in his native Augusta for the Masters Tournament ' and hell be trying to put behind him the nightmare of a year ago. Howell shot 80-84 to not only miss the cut, but finish dead last ' behind Charles Coody. Dont expect a repeat performance this time around. Howell earned his sixth top-20 of the season at Doral, more than he had in all of 2006. A closing 75 kept him out of the top 10, but Howell still has five top-10 finishes this year (he's never had more than seven in a single season) and a win (his first since 2002).
Hole 6
JUST SAY NO: Carolyn Bivens has taken a great deal of heat since becoming LPGA Tour commissioner. But she does seem to be one step ahead of the PGA TOUR in implementing policy. The LPGA beat the boys to the punch in installing a playoff system, and now they have come out with a list of banned substances. The Tour wont test for everything that is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), like Human Growth Hormones, but it will test for 33 anabolic steroids, 29 stimulants and 20 beta-blockers, among other substances, beginning in 2008.
Hole 7
QUEEN OF THE MOUNTAIN: Its one thing to make it to the mountain top. Its another thing to stay there. Lorena Ochoa is off to a good start at retaining her LPGA Tour player of the year title by capturing her first event of 2007 in the Safeway International (at Superstition Mountain, no less). Ochoa made four birdies in her final five holes en route to a hard-fought victory. She now shares the top spot on the points list for P.O.Y. with Stacy Prammanasudh. Next up: the Kraft Nabisco Championship, where Ochoa has a bit of revenge on her mind as she lost a year ago to Karrie Webb in a playoff.
Hole 8
DECISIONS, DECISIONS: Skip Kendall has a bit of a predicament ' albeit a good one. Thanks to a 157th-place showing on last years PGA TOUR money list, the veteran is splitting his time this year between the primary and secondary circuits. He won this past weeks Chitimacha Louisiana Open on the Nationwide Tour, which moved him to fourth in earnings, with the top 20 at seasons end gaining PGA TOUR privileges for 2008. He now must decide whether or not he wants to spend more time in the minors to secure a spot in the majors next season. The victory was Kendalls first on either tour since 1994.
Hole 9
FEELING GREEN: Mark Calcavecchia, despite making quadruple-bogey on the final hole Sunday at Doral, can expect a little something special in the mail this week. Calcavecchia qualified for the Masters Tournament by virtue of his position on the money list following this past weeks event in Miami. Calcavecchia is 10th in seasonal earnings, with the top 10 after Doral getting invitations to the seasons first major championship. This will be just the second time since 2002 that Calc has competed at Augusta National.
Back 9 Hole 10
WHAT DO AZALEAS SMELL LIKE?: Mark Wilson, surprise winner of the Honda Classic earlier this month, came into this week in the ninth spot on the money list. Needing to stay inside the top 10 to gain entry into the Masters for the first time, Wilson can thank a couple of major champions for saving him traveling expenses to Augusta. Tiger Woods, who was 11th on the money list coming in, and Geoff Ogilvy, who was 10th, finished first and T-3, respectively, thus bumping Wilson out of the top 10, leaving him to wonder what the flowers smell like off the Augusta fairways.
Hole 11
Last year she had an eagle chip to win it and a birdie would have gotten her into a playoff. This year, however, Michelle Wie will have no such chances, as she officially pulled out of the Kraft Nabisco due to a nagging wrist injury. Though her forays into the men's game get far more publicity; her record in women's majors is simply outstanding, albiet without a win.
Hole 12
THROW THAT 60 IN THE TRASH: Brendan Pappas must have been having a conversation with the golfing gods during the opening round of the Chitimacha Louisiana Open. The South African made things look easy as he made his way around Le Triomphe Country Club with a bogey-free, 11-under 60, one off a magical 59. Alas, golfing gods being golfing gods, Pappas turned around the very next day and shot a 74 and somehow faded from contention.
Hole 13
REALLY! HE'S THE 4th BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD: We all know top-ranked players usually eat up the par-5s at TOUR events. Sometimes, however, the top-ranked players perform like, well, the rank-and-file hackers of the world. Take Adam Scott at the par-5 10th at Doral, where the world's fourth-ranked player posted an eye-popping 10 in the first round. Yikes! As painful as that one hole was, it might not have hurt as much as his closing 80.
Hole 14
MAJOR WARM-UP?: With the LPGA Tour's first major ready to start and the Masters next week, it had to be a bit disconcerning for several big names from both tours in their tune-ups for their respective majors. Retief Goosen limped away from Doral with a tie for 58th, following a plus-9 final score, and Scott topped that with an 11-over tie for 61st. On the ladies side, Karrie Webb, Se Ri Pak and Cristie Kerr will head to the Kraft Nabisco coming off a missed cut. Not the kind of mojo these superstars had in mind.
Hole 15
TOUGH RIDE, COWBOY: Television coverage had yet to come on by the time Shingo Katayama had finished up his round Sunday in Miami, so unless you were there, it was tough to know whether he was still wearing that ever-present cowboy hat for which he has become known -- or if he had lost it after being bucked off a bull of a course. If he wasn't, who could blame him. After starting the tournament with a birdie, the Japanese star went on to produce 19 bogeys, three doubles and a triple. His opening-round 81 eventually made way for a last-place finish, a whopping 30 shots behind Tiger.
Hole 16
TO SPIT OR NOT TO SPIT: Sergio, Sergio, Sergio. Cotton mouth he has not. The fiery 27-year-old Spaniard, ticked off by yet another missed short putt that lead to a three-putt bogey on the 13th hole Saturday, not-so-kindly spit into the bottom of the cup after retrieving his ball. He then later snapped at reporters who dared asked him about the incident.
Hole 17
SHOW NORWAY THE DOORWAY: She put up a noble fight, making last year's Player of the Year Lorena Ochoa sweat it out all the way down to the 18th hole. Unfortunately for Norway's Suzann Pettersen, she came up just a bit shy. Starting the final round with five birdies on the first seven holes, Pettersen could only muster one more birdie the rest of the way and lost to Ochoa by two strokes.
Hole 18
NOT SO FAST, MY FRIEND: Moving down to the Nationwide Tour this week didnt do anything for PGA TOUR regular Craig Perks. The 2002 PLAYERS champion missed the cut in Louisiana, the state where he attended college. He has made only one cut on either tour since July 2005. Carlos Franco, Len Mattiace, Chris Smith, Steve Pate, and a handful of other former TOUR winners also failed to make it to the weekend.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - WGC-CA Championship
  • Full Coverage - Safeway International
  • Full Coverage - Chitimacha Louisiana Open
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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.