Nelson Seeks 1st Major at The Tradition

By Golf Channel NewsroomApril 11, 2001, 4:00 pm
Larry Nelson was the 2000 Senior PGA Tour Player of the Year. He won six times. He earned over $2.7 million.
But there was one thing lacking from his resume ' a major championship victory.
This week, Nelson will try to avenge his playoff loss to Tom Kite at The Countrywide Tradition in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Nelson, who has 13 career Senior wins, missed a chance to collect his first major when he bogeyed the second hole of sudden death. That left the tournament in the hands of a pair of Toms ' Kite and Watson.
Six proved to be the lucky number for Kite. On the sixth playoff hole, Kite stuck a 6-iron to six inches for a tap-in birdie and his first major triumph since the 1992 U.S. Open.
The Tradition wasnt Nelson's only close call in 2000. He tied for second two weeks later in the seasons second major, the PGA Seniors Championship. However, Doug Tewell ran away with the tournament, winning by seven shots.
In the years final major, Nelson earned his third runner-up finish at the Ford Senior Players Championship. This time, he shot 67 in the final round to finish one shot back of Raymond Floyd, who shot 66 on Sunday.

This year has been a continuation of the last. Nelson won the first two events of the season, the MasterCard Championship and the Royal Caribbean Classic. Hes also tops on the money list with over $730,000.
But still, the major lingers.
To collect that elusive title, Nelson will have to defeat a host of major-caliber players. Kites back to defend; as is two-time Tradition winner Gil Morgan, four-time champion Jack Nicklaus, Bruce Fleisher and Hale Irwin.
Irwin has 30 career Senior victories to his credit ' a Tour record ' but none have occurred at this event. Hes won the Senior PGA three times, the U.S. Senior Open twice and Senior Players once.
But never The Tradition.
One notable exception from the field is Watson. Last years co-runner-up opted to play in the PGA Tours WORLDCOM Classic in Hilton Head, S.C.
News, Notes and Numbers
*This years purse is $1,700,000. The winner will earn $255,000 and there is no 36-hole cut.
*This is the 13th playing of The Tradition; all have been contested on the Cochise Course at Desert Mountain.
*Last year, Tom Kite became the 9th player to earn his maiden Senior victory in a major championship. Doug Tewell became the 10th at the 2000 PGA Seniors Championship. Jack Nicklaus also earned his first Senior win at The Tradition in 1990.
*Kites winning score of 8-under-par 280 last year was the highest in tournament history. The tournament record is 22-under-par 266, set by Gil Morgan in 1997.
*Nicklaus is the only player to win all four Senior majors. Hale Irwin, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer lack only The Tradition to their credit.
*This weeks dates for this event are the latest since 1989. That is due to the weather. In 1990, an ice storm postponed the opening round. In 1997, temperatures were in the low 40s, with winds blowing 20mph and rain falling. In 1998, another ice storm delayed the first round for 2 hours. In 1999, two days worth of snow reduced the event to 36 holes. And last year, lightning and rain on Friday twice suspended play and forced the second round to be completed Saturday morning.
This week's full field
Getty Images

Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 12:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch.

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

Getty Images

Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.

Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.

“We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.

Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.

“It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”

It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.