US Amateur Ready to Kick Off Monday

By Golf Channel NewsroomAugust 14, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 U.S. AmateurThe U.S. Amateur will probably have to go a few years before it has a championship like last year. That one went to a playoff with Australian Nick Flanagan finally defeating Casey Wittenberg on the first extra hole.
 
This year neither Flanagan nor Wittenberg will be there, both having turned professional during the past year. But the Amateur has plenty of talent to replace them at this years matches, scheduled August 16-22 at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. Winged Foot has two 18s, the East Course and the West Course, and both will be put into play during the week.

Flanagan, last years winner, was the second Australian winner in the last 100 years. He built a 4-up lead before Wittenberg rallied to tie the match. Flanagan, a former soccer player, began playing golf on a serious basis just six years prior to his Amateur victory.
 
Following two days of stroke play Monday, Aug. 16, and Tuesday, Aug. 17, the field of 312 golfers will be reduced to the lowest 64 scorers, who will advance to match play. All matches are 18 holes except the final match. The 36-hole championship final match is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 22.
 
No past champion who is fully exempt for the U.S. Amateur championship has entered. Each of the winners over the past 10 years who would have been exempt has turned professional. However, several quarterfinalists return, including Patrick Carter of Lesage, W.Va., Lee Williams of Alexander City, Ala., and George Zahringer of New York, N.Y.

Six men who have won past USGA championships are fully exempt for the 2004 U.S. Amateur. They include Ryan Moore, 2002 and 2004 U.S. Amateur Public Links; Kemp Richardson, 2001 and 2003 USGA Senior Amateurs; Danny Green, 1999 U.S. Mid-Amateur; Brian Harman, 2003 U.S. Junior Amateur; Sihwan Kim, 2004 U.S. Junior Amateur; and Zahringer, who won the 2002 U.S. Mid-Amateur.

Two more past USGA champions earned their place in the field through qualifying: Tim Hogarth, the 1996 Amateur Public Links champion, and Greg Reynolds, the 2003 Senior Amateur champion.

Eighteen golfers are exempt from having to qualify, including the five USGA champions listed above and three who qualified for the 2004 U.S. Open - Oscar Alvarez, Spencer Levin and Nathan Smith. Other exempt players are Frank Abbott, 2003 USGA Senior Amateur runner-up; Patrick Carter, 2003 U.S. Amateur quarterfinalist; David Chang, 2004 U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up; Trip Kuehne, 2003 USA Walker Cup team member;
 
Chris Nallen, 2003 USA Walker Cup team member, Bryan Norton, 2003 U.S. Mid-Amateur runner-up; Dayton Rose, 2004 U.S. Amateur Public Links runner-up; Lee Williams, 2003 Amateur quarterfinalist and 2003 USA Walker Cup; and Gary Wolstenholme of England, 2003 GB&I Walker Cup and 2003 British Amateur champion.
 
The USGA accepted 7,356 entries for this years Amateur. The most entries ever received for an Amateur championship was 7,920 in 1999 when the U.S. Amateur was played at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

The champion receives an exemption into the 2005 U.S. Open and a probable invitation to play in the 2005 Masters Tournament, if he remains an amateur. He also receives a 10-year exemption into the U.S. Amateur field so long as he remains an amateur.

ESPN2 will cover 10 hours of the championship, two hours each day the last five days, culminating in the winners match Sunday from 3-5 p.m. ET. The first and second rounds of stroke play with be held on the East and West courses, while the remainder of the matches will be held on the West. The East plays to 6,775 yards, the West at 7,266. Both have pars of 70.

Both courses were originally designed by A.W. Tillinghast and opened in 1923. The West Course has undergone a series of restorations by several golf course architects since it opened. Winged Foot has hosted nine USGA championships.
 
The U.S. Amateur Championship is open to amateur golfers who have USGA Handicap Indexes not exceeding 2.4. The Handicap limit was lowered from 3.4 in 1999.

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Amateur Championship
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    How to watch The Open on TV and online

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2018, 8:40 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 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)

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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 17, 2018, 8:40 am

    Tiger Woods is competing in his first Open Championship since 2015. We're tracking him this week at Carnoustie.


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    The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2018, 8:30 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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    Thirty players have drivers tested by R&A

    By Tim RosaforteJuly 17, 2018, 1:00 am

    Thirty players, including seven major champions, arrived at the 147th Open and received a letter from the R&A notifying them to bring their respective drivers to the equipment standards office located on Carnoustie’s practice ground by 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

    Keegan Bradley, Brendan Steele and Brooks Koepka all confirmed that their drivers all passed the COR test (coefficient of restitution, or spring-like effect) administered by the R&A.


    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    This was the first time the R&A took measures that were not part of the distance insight project being done in conjunction with the USGA.

    The PGA Tour has been testing club for approximately five years but has not done random testing to this point.  The Tour’s rules department works in conjunction with manufacturers and tests clubs from manufacturer fans at tournaments on a voluntary basis. The USGA assists the PGA Tour in this process.