Strive to strike the ball like Open champ McIlroy

By Tyrus YorkJuly 20, 2014, 10:00 pm

Rory McIlroy’s performance in the British Open over the last several days was nothing short of spectacular.

Taking on one of golf’s toughest challenges at Royal Liverpool, McIlroy led wire to wire to claim his third career major championship in convincing fashion.

McIlroy completed four rounds of championship golf without recording anything worse than a bogey on his scorecard.

Several factors led to his ability to avoid high numbers, but the bottom line was that his ball-striking, most notably with the driver, was clearly a notch above his competition.

If you can improve your ability to hit the ball, you can begin lowering your scores to levels you might never have imagined.

Here are some things to consider when trying to improve your overall ball-striking:

Take a lesson. Pre-swing fundamentals like grip, aim, alignment and posture can be difficult if you’ve never had instruction to guide you. But compared to the intricacies involved in a full swing, pre-swing fundamentals are a simple, necessary step to make sure your ball-striking won’t suffer. A lesson with your local PGA professional is well worth the investment just to make sure your game isn’t suffering from simple, fundamental mistakes.

Find the sweet spot. It still amazes me how many golfers aren’t sure when their ball hits the center of the clubface. When feel isn’t providing enough feedback, it is important that you find a way to see where the ball is hitting the clubface. Impact tape applied to the clubface has been used for a long time to get proper feedback, but it can be expensive and can influence the feel you get at impact. Try covering the clubface with a dry erase marker or foot spray (like Dr. Scholl’s) as an inexpensive way to see where the ball is contacting the clubface.

Get in shape. You might have the best golf swing in the world, but for it to hold up for 18 holes, especially under pressure, your body needs to be in good condition. Today’s stars on the PGA Tour prove this point day in and day out. Golf-specific fitness programs, like the Titleist Performance Institute, are great ways to get in golf shape. But if you’re unable to start those programs, simply walking the course more often will begin building your endurance.

For more tips from Golf Channel to help you improve your ball-striking, click here.

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Watch: All of Tiger's Rd. 3 birdies at The Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 2:44 pm

Tiger Woods started the third round of The Open at even par, having made seven birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 holes at Carnoustie.

Following three pars to start on Saturday, Woods went on a birdie binge.

No. 1 came with this putt at the par-4 fourth.


No. 2 with this two-putt at the par-5 sixth.


No. 3 thanks to this 30-footer at the par-4 ninth.


No. 4 after nearly jarring his approach shot on the par-4 10th.


And No. 5 when he almost drove the green at the par-4 11th and two-putted, from just off the green, from 95 feet.


At 5 under for the day, and 5 under for the championship, he was one off the lead at this point.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 2:15 pm

Tiger Woods, in search of his 15th career major championship title, started the weekend six off the lead at Carnoustie. We're tracking him in Round 3 of The Open.


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Rose's Saturday 64 matches Carnoustie Open record

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 1:03 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose needed to sink a 14-foot putt on the final hole Friday just to make the cut on the number at The Open.

Freewheeling when he came to the course Saturday, Rose tied the lowest score ever recorded in an Open at Carnoustie.

Entering the weekend nine shots off the lead, the world No. 3 carded a bogey-free, 7-under 64 to at least make things interesting. It won’t be known for several hours how many shots Rose will be behind, but his back-nine 30 gives him an opportunity, if the wind blows 25 mph Sunday as forecast, to challenge the leaders.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


After all, Paul Lawrie was 10 shots back entering the final round here in 1999.

“I think the birdie on 18 last night freed me up, and I’m just very happy to be out on this golf course and not down the road somewhere else this morning,” said Rose, who is at 4-under 209. “So that might have been part of the shift in mindset today. I had nothing to lose from that point of view.”

Rose’s 64 matched Steve Stricker and Richard Green’s record score at Carnoustie (2007).

It also was Rose’s career-low round in a major.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 12:20 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:

Saturday, Day 3 (Times ET)

4:30-7AM (Watch): Sunny skies and birdies were on the menu early in Round 3, as Justin Rose made his way around Carnoustie in 64 strokes. Click here or on the image below to watch.


Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

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. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.


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 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 marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.