Press Pass Gambling Games

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 10, 2007, 4:00 pm
Press PassEach week, GOLF CHANNEL experts and analysts offer their thoughts and opinions on hot topics in the world of golf with the Press Pass.
Hot Topic
The PGA TOUR heads to Las Vegas this week. What is your favorite gambling game on the course?
Brian Hewitt Brian Hewitt - Columnist,
Six-point Scotch game: Two points for low ball. Two points for low total. One point for proximity (closest to the pin in regulation). And one point for natural birdie. If you win all six points on a hole you score an 'umbrella,' which means you get double (12) points. Value of a point is pre-determined. Only the team behind may press. And a press, once accepted, stays 'on' for the rest of the match.
Steve Sands Steve Sands - Reporter, GOLF CHANNEL:
Wolf. I like have the ability to team up with someone or go by yourself if you feel confident.

Mercer Baggs Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer,
I don't play golf ... for money ... against people. Actually gambling games are more fun to play when there is a discrepancy between talent. I hate the handicap system and the whole idea of accepting strokes; I'd rather play as teams and come up with some fun way to enjoy the day. The two-man team scramble format is always a good one to play.
Hot Topic
The 2007 major season officially came to a close with the Senior Players Championship. What was your favorite major, on any tour, this past year?
Tough question. So many train wrecks at the Kraft Nabisco. So much grinding at Oakmont. So much back-nine Sunday grit from Zach Johnson at Augusta. So many storylines at Southern Hills -- from Tiger and Woody especially. But I'm gonna go with Carnoustie. Sergio Garcia, one day, is going to have to learn to let a major win him, rather than the other way around. And how about the best moment in golf all year: Padraig Harrington, the eventual winner, double-bogeying the 72nd hole and still smiling like only an Irish father can when his small boy, Patrick, came bounding across the green to be picked up and hugged.
The Open Championship at Carnoustie. The finishing hole is my favorite of any course is the world. The tournament was exciting each day. The finish was awesome. Didn't like it. Loved it!
The first one that comes to mind is Harrington's win at the Open. And if that's the first thing you think of, then that's the best there is. I've long been a Harrington fan and it was nice to see him finally win a major. I must confess it was also quite pleasing to see Zach Johnson, a fellow Christian, win the Masters.
Hot Topic
After watching Jesper Parnevik in Texas, which is tougher: winning for the first time ever on TOUR or winning for the first time in a long time?
Depends on how long it is between wins. Robert Gamez had to wait 15 years and six months between his first win (1990 at Bay Hill) and his second (2005 San Antonio). Still, I think winning the first is toughest.
Winning for the first time. I've asked the question dozens of times: when it's been a while do you still remember the winning feeling coming down the stretch? Almost every player has answered the same way: You never forget that winning feeling when you've had it before. No matter how long it's been it's still in you.
Winning after a lengthy drought. Even though you know that you are capable of winning there has to be an incredible amount of doubt and scar tissue built up in your head. All of these guys/girls have the physical tools to win on tour. More often than not, it's how well the hold up mentally down the stretch that determines whether or not they get the trophy.
Hot Topic
Whats the ONE thing you are most looking forward to this week?
I want to see if Michelle Wie, now a freshman at Stanford, can take her school's sporting mojo (the Cardinal, a 40-point underdog, upset No. 2 USC in football Saturday) and break 80 at the Samsung World Championship in Palm Desert this week.
I'm looking forward to a good tournament in Vegas. For some reason, I've always loved watching this tourney on TV. Whether it's the low scoring, the beautiful desert mountains surrounding the area or seeing the Las Vegas strip in the distance, it's just always been a cool event to watch.
The HSBC World Match Play. I love match play golf and I've played the Wentworth course. It's always fun to see on TV a course you've played in person. They don't have the field that they've had in the past, but they've got enough talent to keep it interesting -- especially since it's being aired in the morning East Coast time.
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    Three of world's top 5 MC; not 60-year-old Langer

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 7:04 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three of the top five players in the world missed the cut at The Open.

    Bernhard Langer did not.

    The 60-year-old, who is in the field via his victory in last year’s Senior Open Championship, shot even-par 71 on Friday. At 2 over through 36 holes, he safely made it under the plus-3 cut line.

    "You know, I've played the Masters [this year], made the cut. I'm here and made the cut. I think it is an accomplishment," he said. "There's a lot of great players in the field, and I've beaten a lot of very good players that are a lot younger than me."

    Langer had three birdies and three bogeys in the second round and said afterwards that he was “fighting myself” with his swing. He’s spent the last few days on the phone with his swing coach, Willy Hoffman, trying to find some comfort.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Despite his score, and his made cut, Langer the perfectionist wasn’t satisfied with the way he went about achieving his results.

    "I wasn't happy with my ball-striking. My putting was good, but I was unlucky. I had like four lip-outs, no lip-ins. That part was good. But the ball-striking, I wasn't really comfortable with my swing," he said. "Just, it's always tough trying stuff in the middle of a round."

    Langer, a two-time Masters champion, has never won The Open. He does, however, have six top-3 finishes in 30 prior starts.

    As for finishing higher than some of the top-ranked players in the world, the World Golf Hall of Famer is taking it in stride.

    "I'm not going to look and say, 'Oh, I beat Justin Rose or beat whatever.' But it just shows it's not easy. When some of the top 10 or top 20 in the world don't make the cut, it just shows that the setup is not easy," Langer said. "So I got the better half of the draw maybe, too, right? It wasn't much fun playing in the rain, I guess, this morning for five hours. I had to practice in the rain, but I think once I teed off, we never used umbrellas. So that was a blessing."

    Getty Images

    Kisner doubles 18, defends not laying up

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It was only fitting that Jean Van de Velde was there working as an on-course reporter on Friday as Kevin Kisner struggled his way up Carnoustie’s 18th fairway.

    Rolling along with a two-stroke lead, Kisner’s 8-iron approach shot from an awkward lie in the rough from 160 yards squirted right and bounced into Barry Burn, the winding creek where Van de Velde’s title chances at the 1999 Open Championship began to erode.

    Unlike Van de Velde, who made a triple bogey-7 and lost The Open in a playoff, Kisner’s double bogey only cost him the solo lead and he still has 36 holes to make his closing miscue a distant memory. That’s probably why the 34-year-old seemed at ease with his plight.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “It just came out like a high flop shot to the right. It was weird. I don't know if it caught something or what happened,” said Kisner, who was tied with Zach Johnson and Zander Lombard at 6 under par. “You never know out of that grass. It was in a different grass than usual. It was wet, green grass instead of the brown grass. So I hadn't really played from that too much.”

    Like most in this week’s field Kisner also understands that rounds on what is widely considered the most difficult major championship venue can quickly unravel even with the most innocent of mistakes.

    “To play 35 holes without a double I thought was pretty good,” he said. “I've kept the ball in play, done everything I wanted to do all the way up into that hole. Just one of those things that came out completely different than we expected. I'll live with that more than chipping out and laying up from 20 feet.”

    Getty Images

    Wind, not rain more a weekend factor at Open

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:39 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – After a half-day of rain in Round 2 of the 147th Open Championship, the weekend offers a much drier forecast.

    Saturday at Carnoustie is projected to be mostly cloudy with a high of 62 degrees and only a 20 percent chance of rain.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Sunday calls for much warmer conditions, with temperatures rising upwards of 73 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.

    Wind might be the only element the players have to factor in over the final 36 holes. While the winds will be relatively calm on Saturday, expected around 10-15 mph, they could increase to 25 mph in the final round.

    Getty Images

    Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

    The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

    The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

    After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

    “I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”