LIVE Chat with Kelly Tilghman
All users in this room have been allowed to talk
Kelly Tilghman: Hi everyone. It's Kelly Tilghman and I'm glad you've joined us tonight. For those of you on the east coast, thanks for staying up and participating. I look forward to answering your questions. I should start by saying, what a finish for Tiger! He shot 30 coming home. I also think Stuart Appleby is a worthy leader. There are so many strong names at or near the top.
thomas: Do you think Phil playing wihout a driver is a good idea?
Kelly Tilghman: Good question. I think he sacrificed some much needed yardage. it becomes quite evident when Tiger and Adam are hitting mid to short irons into greens and he's left with a long iron or a hybrid. I know he struggled to find fairways today and when you're 40 yards behind the guys in your group and in the rough, that's tough to make up. He's a talent and I hope to see him play well tomorrow.
thomas: What do you think the winning score will be?
Kelly Tilghman: I was asked this a lot yesterday and I'll stick to my original answer. I think anything at or just under par will be good enough. the course is drying out and the greens are getting faster.
Eric: Who do you think can challenge Tiger this weekend?
Kelly Tilghman: I think Luke Donald and Ernie Els could easily come into the mix but keep your eye on Lee Westwood. He's been playing some good golf on tough courses lately and I like his style. Stuart Appleby has had a taste of leads in majors before so he might have learned a lot from past experiences. It could be his time. The last 4 US Opens have been won by players in the Southern Hemisphere.
thomas: Is your game getting better with age?
Kelly Tilghman: My game is not like a fine wine. But I will say I got a great tip from Faldo recently and shot my lowest round in months.
John Daly: Have you played with John Daly?
Kelly Tilghman: I haven't played with John but I've got a great relationship with him. We've had a lot of laughs over the years. I think it would be fun to tee it up with him though.
Jen: How much fun was it to actually get to sit back and enjoy a golf tournament as opposed having to 'work'
Kelly Tilghman: That
Kelly Tilghman: that's funny.
Kelly Tilghman: i actually have been working this week prepping for the next four pga tour events. i'll be hosting all of them and i have to write teases. our team is doing a great job on the 'Live From' shows. I've watched them every night.
thomas: What do you think about the 10 inch rough in spots?
Kelly Tilghman: I think you should stay out of them
John Daly: How far can you drive the ball?
Kelly Tilghman: my average drives go about 230-240. i'm not a long hitter but i'll annoy you with my accuracy. i struggle a bit with my iron play but occasionally i can put it all together.
Steve: So will Rocco stick around for some golf late on Sunday?
Kelly Tilghman: I think Rocco's got a great shot to be there on Sunday. He's had a few strong tournaments in recent years. You know he stopped doing on course commentary because he felt healthy for the first time in a long time. it's great to see him back out there doing what he loves and on the leaderboard.
Carson: Is Tiger's 30 on the back 9(Front 9 today) His best 9 holes in a major considering his knee?
Kelly Tilghman: That's a really good question. I would argue that it just might be. It's right up there with the 30 he shot at the 1997 Masters after shooting 40 on the front... we all remember what happened there. If you asked him to rank them, I'd be interested in the answer. you can tell he's in a lot of pain but he's entirely modest.
Mike: Why do you think it is so hard to defend this title?
Kelly Tilghman: Plain and simple... it's the hardest test in golf. Curtis Strange was good enough to figure it out which should make him feel so special. i also think Retief and Ernie getting 2 in 4 years was pretty special.
John Daly: How difficult is it for other players to play with Tiger...is it as distracting as it looks?
Kelly Tilghman: i'm sure it is. can you imagine people talking about the shot he just hit during your pre-shot routine and your backswing... or having the hundreds of people in the gallery head to the next hole while you're standing over a 3 footer for par? that's tough.
HC: have you ever think going back on tour?
Kelly Tilghman: you know...
Kelly Tilghman: not once.
Kelly Tilghman: annika and karrie made that decision very easy for me. i competed with them on the european tour and they were winning everything. at the time, i didn't have the same tools or the funds to help me get there. they are truly special players.
Kelly Tilghman: i get my competitive spirit out in other ways these days... running, water sports, whatever i can do.
Misha: I would like to know who will win the NBA Playoffs and if the Cubs will win the World Series....
Kelly Tilghman: i think the red wings will win the nba playoffs and the bears will win the world series
Kelly Tilghman: just kidding
Kelly Tilghman: i think i'll stick to golf
cej23: What's your worst round that you remember and where did you play it at?
Kelly Tilghman: that's so depressing. i can't go there
Chad: What's your favorite all-time U.S. Open Moment?
Kelly Tilghman: payne stewart making the putt on 18 at Pinehurst in 99, then hugging Phil. you just couldn't have scripted it any better.
Brian: Do you think the Masters, or any of the other majors really, will take a page from the USGA's and pair up tiger and phil again?
Kelly Tilghman: great question. some majors might do it just because of the way they do the pairings traditionally, putting major champions from the previous year together, etc. i wouldn't think the Masters will ever take a page out of someone else's handbook because they pride themselves on tradition and their own personal style. that's what make it so special.
Eric: Who's your favorite play-by-play commentator ever, past or present?
Kelly Tilghman: I was a huge Pat Summerall fan because my dad and i used to stay up late watching football games when he was calling them. his voice was very soothing to me. i guess it reminds me of my childhood and family times. i also think Bob Costas is very talented. I always enjoy watching him at the Olympics.
HC: how big is your office at golf channels headquaters
Kelly Tilghman: i work in a 4X4 cubicle... and i have one of the biggest ones.
Ben Hogan: Is HD Television a girls best friend...meaning the close ups...
Kelly Tilghman: HD television is not a girl's best friend... but HD makeup is.
dave mcclain: How many college events did you win?
Kelly Tilghman: one. furman's event. it was a true privilege to put my name on a trophy with the likes of stars like nancy lopez, betsy king, dottie pepper. stephanie sparks also won that event.
Paul: What is your handicap?
Kelly Tilghman: solid 6 or 7 from the white tees.
Kelly Tilghman: getting worse with age.
Hillary: Have you played with any Presidents???
Kelly Tilghman: no, not yet but i did host the opening tee shot ceremony at Tiger's tournament last year and asked George HW Bush to hit the inaugural shot. He nailed it.
gm19822007: First off, I think that you are doing a great job on the Golf Channel. I enjoy tuning in every weekend to watch you and Nick. Anyways do you think that if Phil Mickelson can drive the ball in the fairway that he would have a chance to win?
Kelly Tilghman: thanks for the kind words i my answer to your question is short. yes. he's that good.
toner1: Hey Kelly. Why is the mallet putter so popular now? I use an old style Arnold Palmer blade putter, very similar to what Ben Crenshaw uses and it works great for me.
Kelly Tilghman: players are taking advantage of so much technology today. mallet head putters help in different ways. you can put the weight low and back to increase top spin on a ball. also the weight of the putter head in general is so much heavier that it smooths out your stroke.
gm19822007: Were you as skocked as I was when Annika announced here retirement?
Kelly Tilghman: sort of. i didn't think she would announce it at the beginning of a season. i always thought she would wait until the end to say something knowing how shy and reserved she is. i can tell you that i know she is truly happy with her husband Mike. she deserves a year long farewell for all she's done for the game.
Steve: What did you think of Tony Romo and Justin Timberlake each breaking 100 last week at Torrey?
Kelly Tilghman: i thought it was so cool that they even tried. i would've loved to have been able to try it.
cej23: Were you one of the Cameron crazies and do you still dislike the tarheels?
Kelly Tilghman: i once camped out in the freezing cold, during flu season and mid terms to get a good seat for a duke home game against UNC. yes, i was a cameron crazy but i promise you i never painted one part of my body. those are the real crazies.
Kelly Tilghman: by the way, you asked if i 'still' hate the tar heels. you're assuming that i hated them at all. never!!!
tuggy: What was your first broadcast for the golf channel? and when?
Kelly Tilghman: my first play by play broadcast was the Mercedes Benz Championship on Maui last year. my first ever report on the golf channel came all the way back in 1997. i did a story on an all natural grass putting course in the orlando area.
Boo Weekley: I know I've heard y'all in the media say I can play but do you think I will ever actually win one of dem pretty major trophies?
Kelly Tilghman: yep. uh huh.
Kelly Tilghman: i think Boo is one of the best ball strikers on tour... and when he makes putts... watch out!
iubaseball: I guess the moderators choose to not let yo answer any bad things about Michelson. It just shows that you as a media person donot have the guts to say or ask the tough things. God forbid that you would say anything bad about Michelson. You are just nothing more than milk toast
Kelly Tilghman: my role is a play by play, not an analyst. trust me, Faldo and Miller have the toughest of the jobs
Kelly Tilghman: they are held accountable for everything they say.
Kelly Tilghman: and they definitely take chances.
Ben Hogan: Hi Kelly...what's your favorite Dinner? Do you always eat out while on the road?
Kelly Tilghman: i like milk toast.
Kelly Tilghman: just kidding.
Kelly Tilghman: i love to eat out on the road and unfortunately it's something you have to do a lot.
Kelly Tilghman: i try to eat healthy and every now and then i'll have a filet mignon with Peter Oosterhuis. He loves steak so it's kind of becoming a tradition for us.
Bobcat: Kelly, are the players at the us open playing defensive, trying not to put up a big number
Kelly Tilghman: i think the US Open forces you to play defensively. i would say everyone in the field is playing defensively the majority of the time. that said, when a player does get it close, they have to choose their spots to be aggressive. i think the USGA has done a wonderful job of creating risk reward opportuinties out there. I love seeing eagles in a US open
Malin: Can Davis Love actually win another major and if he does will that get him into the Hall of Fame?
Kelly Tilghman: i think that would be the greatest thing ever.
Kelly Tilghman: i'm a big fan of his game and he is one of the nicest guys on tour. i think he's quite capable of winning another major but it's a hurdle he's been trying to clear for years. i'm rooting for him to do it again now that he's feeling more healthy.
Monty: Has Faldo dropped any hints to you as to who he might pick as his captain's selctions?
Kelly Tilghman: nope. he's quite tight lipped on all ryder cup matters. out of respect for our friendship, i haven't pressed.
cej23: How much do you get to go home to Myrtle Beach?
Kelly Tilghman: not as much as i would like. i try to schedule trips around the holidays but lately, my family has been coming to me. they enjoy the orlando area.
Paul: We appreciate the job your and and the Golf channel team does on the tournaments. With Faldo in the booth, it sounds like it is a great, humorous time. Has he always been this open with comments and humor?
Kelly Tilghman: i didn't know Nick very well before he became involved in television. it's the only way i've ever known him to be. he's very funny and quick witted.
gm19822007: Who do you think is a sleeper that could possible win the U.S. Open?
Kelly Tilghman: i could pick one but i would have to say with all of those strong names up there, it will likely be one of them. tiger, els, ogilvy have all won opens before.
frank: Will anyone finish under par this week?
Kelly Tilghman: it's highly likely that the winner will be the one under par.
cbo7777: did you see Woody Austin's shirt yesterday...apart from being patriotic what did you think of it?
Kelly Tilghman: i think Woody's an original and i wouldn't expect anything less from him. In general, he's toned it down this year but he always seems to have something 'up his sleeve' for the big events.
Grant: what are your thoughts on Ernie this weekend?
Kelly Tilghman: i think Ernie could win purely from drawing from his past experiences. he's been struggling a lot in recent weeks but don't forget he won a tournament as early as Feb.
John D: I think the money in golf has gotten so great, that it makes people early millionairs and they lose the hunger, many things to buy, to do,----golf and the dedication it takes to play at top levels takes a back seat. I think Ernie Els has all the talent in the world, but lacks the hunger you see in Tiger. Tiger is not motivated by money or status, he has all he will ever need. ---Any thoughts?
Kelly Tilghman: John, I respectfully disagree. the simple fact that he has changed caddies, swing instructors and mental coaches in the last year should tell you something. he's also practicing as hard as i've seen in a while. golf is just such a fickle game and tiger did a number on him in 2000. he's potentially a great tiger challenger.
tuggy: What was it like to caddy for Arnold?
Kelly Tilghman: awesome, amazing, inspirational... one of the greatest golf experiences of my career.
Kelly Tilghman: to be that close to the action with the big 3 is a rare opportunity.
dave mcclain: What is your favorite flavor at Painter Home Made Ice Cream?
Kelly Tilghman: bubble gum
Kelly Tilghman: love it
tee: Kelly - given what you see of the new guard (20 year old) players coming online - do you think Tiger will get to 18 majors.
Kelly Tilghman: i do think tiger will get to 18 majors and i think he'll do it before 2012. as long as he stays healthy. jack nicklaus made the point the other day that he might not have enough players to push him along but i think jack's resume provides a lot of motivation for tiger.
Chris: Kelly are you a cat or a dog person
Kelly Tilghman: i'd have to say dog because i can't take a cat running with me.
Tiger Fan No. 1: No one can beat Tiger, right? He's in the perfect spot. Is everyone afraid of him right now?
Kelly Tilghman: afraid is a strong word. i think most of the guys are used to having him out there now. i think most guys are convinced that tiger will do something special. the question is, do they think they can do something special too? look no further than the tiger/bob may showdown at valhalla in 2000 to know it's possible for relative unknowns to take him to task as well as the big names
Dr. D: Kelly -- I am getting sick of hearing about Tiger's knee. The next time you discuss it, please do so with a split screen showing Ben Hogan at Riviera in 1948. He could hardly walk!
Kelly Tilghman: you make a great point
Kelly Tilghman: i also think Tiger is tired of hearing about his knee but he has a way of putting it out of his mind.
Wed: Where does the U.S. Open trophy ranks among the majors? I mean it's nice but you can't wear it, and you certainly can't drink out of it so it's got to be at least third right?
Kelly Tilghman: it's definitely top 4... just kidding
Kelly Tilghman: a lot of american players would say it's number one.
Kelly Tilghman: it depends on your taste
Kelly Tilghman: if you like birdies, then maybe the pga is your cup of tea
Kelly Tilghman: if you like a ground game, then it's the british.
Paul: Kelly, since you are from SC, do you know Dustin Johnson? Will he win on the tour this year?
Kelly Tilghman: i haven't met Dustin yet. i look forward to it. he's done a lot for our area and i think he could win on tour.
woodz: Kelly, it's great to see a woman who is intelligent, loves the game, and beautiful at the same time.
Kelly Tilghman: mom, is that you?
Chris: Is it true that you couldn't wear a skirt while caddying for Arnold?
Kelly Tilghman: yes, it's true. you have to wear the jumper.
Saskatone: What's the best course out there on the tour, in your opinion and what kind of music dod you like. I love country up here in Saskatchewan
Kelly Tilghman: there are so many to choose from. guess it depends on your criteria. for scenery, pebble... for challenge and nostalgia, Augusta National.
Mallory: After watching Applbey fade at the Masters a couple of years ago, can he hold on and actually win this week?
Kelly Tilghman: it could easily be his time.
Biggest fan: Got a favorite father-daughter moment with your dad on the golf course?
Kelly Tilghman: my favorite father daughter moment actually happened on the driving range. it was the only time i could get my dad to hit a shot in front of me. he had to quit the game when i was little because of a shoulder injury. i never got to play a round with him but he never missed a round of mine.
tuggy: You are HOT and I meen that in a nice and polictialy correct way.
Kelly Tilghman: ummm... thanks?
chance young: wats the most embarassing moment of ur career
Kelly Tilghman: when the guy earlier called me milk toast
BogeyChamp: I think all of the Golf Channel commentators should play a round of golf televised for a charity. Your opinion?
Kelly Tilghman: i think that's a fantastic idea.
Chandra: Kelly, what do you think of Tiger 'fatigue', meaning when Tiger is ahead, rest of the players seem to drop shots and disappear?
Kelly Tilghman: there could be something to it. i saw a statistical study proving that the actual field stroke average goes up an entire shot when Tiger is in the field.
KMB: Do you think he's primed to have one of the top rounds of his career tomorrow (63 or 64) and potentially separate himself from the field like in 2000 at Pebble
Kelly Tilghman: with all due respect, i'm not sure that number is out there.
Kelly Tilghman: he could shoot another 69 or 70 though and take the lead
KMB: I think you are HOT as well and I mean that in the 'you should pose for Playboy way'...
Kelly Tilghman: ummm... thanks?
PuttPutt: Why do you think it has been so long since a European has won this tournament? Is it a statistical fluke?
Kelly Tilghman: could be a fluke... there was a time when only europeans were winning the masters... seve, faldo, woosie, langer, olazabal. it is a shocker though that it's been 38 years, isn't it?
tigger: what golf shoes do you recommend for my wife?
Kelly Tilghman: can't say really, that's a taste thing.
tigger: What's with Nobilo's hairdo?
Kelly Tilghman: i think Frank has some of the best TV hair in the business.
Kelly Tilghman: don't you agree
Fazio: Miguel Angel Jimenez shot an amazing 66 today to move from 56th to 5th and the lowest round of the tourny so far.....but it was ignored by all media outlets.......why is that?
Kelly Tilghman: i watched the coverage and they definitely talked about it. it deserves a ton of respect.
gm19822007: Do you agree that Paula Creamer is the best female player in the world without a major?
Kelly Tilghman: i would have to say yes at this point. even though there are players with more wins that haven't captured a major, she seems to have the most potential.
golfin man: Geeeeeeez......... is it too controversial to ask a question about Tiger's Caddie???Am I the only one insulted by his arrogance at removing his Bib before the round has finished???
Kelly Tilghman: it's not too controversial and i can tell you that it caught a lot of people off guard when they finally picked up on it. but in his defense, steve did say it was tradition for them to do that. gamesmanship or not? we'll never know but if he did do it on purpose then he looks like a genius.
chance young: does the poanna grass effect the players in the afternoon tommorrow. it seems like the poanna grass makes it harder for the players in the afternoon
Kelly Tilghman: no matter the grass, players in the afternoon always have to deal with bumpier greens. it's the game.
luckycraft07: Hi Kelly.....What is your favorite type of turfgrass for putting?
Kelly Tilghman: big fan of bermuda. i grew up on it and i actually like putting on greens that roll around a 9 or 10.
Brian: I'm curious about what you're seeing when you're in the booth. Do you have multiple monitors showing everything going on, or are you watching the telecast along with us? Do you have someone talking in your ear while you're talking on the air?
Kelly Tilghman: i watch two monitors... the first one is exactly what you're seeing... the 2nd one is also what you're seeing but it's on a slight delay.
Kelly Tilghman: i do have someone talking in my ear at all times. they are telling us where we're going next and they are giving me countdowns to when i have to stop talking.
tigger: Kelly, what was it like to hit Arnies tee-shot at 9 on the par 3 at Augusta in 2007? You were under tremendous pressure and you stuck it!
Kelly Tilghman: that was probably the most nervous i've ever been on a golf course. especially considering that i was in a caddie jumper with a microphone wire on, there were thousands of screaming fans, the big 3 were watching and it was practically an island green. oh, and i was using arnie's 8 iron. other than that, i was fine!
Gregg: How about Michelle Wie's 67 2 weeks ago....tell us about ladies' golf, Kelly...
Kelly Tilghman: i think michelle wie is on the road to recovery, physically and emotionally. she has had a bumpy year but she is too good of a talent to hold back for too long. she is an asset to women's golf and the lpga couldn't be healthier than it is right now. they have so many stars.
Weir Fan: Do you like the changes Mike is making to his game? Do you see him winning another major?
Kelly Tilghman: i'm a huge Mike Weir fan. he is a great guy. he could easily win another major because i think he has the discipline to stay at the top for years to come.
Golf pro: Kelly...do you think Nick Faldo will ever play on the champions tour?
Kelly Tilghman: my guess is not much. he's so involved with his family, business life and his Faldo brand that golf is a distant 4th right now. heck, he's even taken up tennis lately and that might put golf in 5th place.
PuttPutt: Would these players do well in competitive miniature golf? Ben Crane challenged a miniature golfer once.
Kelly Tilghman: my hunch is yes but i learned to throw all putt putt logic out the window when my friend beat me hands down the other day. that friend has never broken 120 on a real golf course. ego is still hurting over that one.
Kelly Tilghman: one or two more questions and then it's bedtime for this kid
John D: Hey Kelly, on the men's tour---who do you see as having any chance of becoming the next superstar in golf, or is there anyone on the radar in the next 5 years?
Kelly Tilghman: i think
Kelly Tilghman: Anthony Kim has a great shot
Kelly Tilghman: Also Bubba Watson
Ben Hogan: Do your fingers cramp by the end of a chat???
Kelly Tilghman: my typing actually improves. it's great practice
Kelly Tilghman: okay gang, thanks for all of your questions. sorry if i couldn't get to yours but i'm sure we'll have another opportunity in the future. i appreciate the time with you and i look forward to spending time with you again at the Travelers Championship. Be sure to stay tuned to Live From the US Open all week. No one covers golf like us! Take care.
How to watch The Open on TV and online
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)
Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship
Tiger Woods is competing in his first Open Championship since 2015. We're tracking him this week at Carnoustie.
Tweets by GCTigerTracker
The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major
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.
Four players vying for DJ's No. 1 ranking at Open
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.
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.