Game of Sorry

By Mercer BaggsOctober 19, 2009, 10:55 pm

Anthony Kim and Robert Allenby

SORRY EXCUSES: The PGA Tour tried to quash the negative press that resulted in Robert Allenby's biting criticism of Anthony Kim after the latter defeated the former, 5 and 3, in singles at the Presidents Cup. The Tour released statements from both players, with Allenby apologizing for calling Kim the 'current John Daly' – among many other things – and Kim accepting the apology.
Backspin If you buy Allenby's mea culpa or Kim's acceptance then there's a boy trapped in a balloon who needs your saving. Allenby's statement began, 'While I feel like the comments published were taken out of context ...' Really? Allenby was asked specifically [ senior writer Randall Mell was among those on hand during the interview] if his comments were on the record and he responded with, 'I don't care. Ask his playing partners, ask his team.' It's one thing to backpedal when you're under fire, but don't shoot a mockingbird and then blame the gun. It makes you look lame. Lame, Robert Allenby.

John Daly

JUST BLOWING SMOKE?: John Daly told Golf Channel this past week that he plans to return to competition after previously saying he was shutting it down for the remainder of the year due to back problems. Daly is expected to play the PGA Tour's Viking Classic in Mississippi, Oct. 29 - Nov. 1.
Backspin Last we saw Daly, he missed the third-round cut at the Wyndham. Prior to that, he shot 78 in the first round of the PGA Championship and withdrew. Before that, he shot 88 in the second round of the Buick Open. People love Daly. They say he's 'everyman.' They love him because of his faults. We've all been divorced four times; blown through millions of dollars like leaves on a lawn; battled alcohol and gambling addiction; wasted second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth chances from others. We've all been there. That's why we love him. He's just like me and you.

Corey Pavin and Colin Montgomerie

DON'T PEN THESE GUYS IN JUST YET: U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin and European captain Colin Montgomeire met up last Monday at Celtic Manor Resort for a 'Year to Go' exhibition match. The two men played a little golf on the Twenty Ten course, site of the 2010 matches, and answered questions ranging from Tiger Woods' flawless Presidents Cup performance to possible vice captains.
Backspin Here's a fun game to play: What if Ryder Cup qualifying ended today? Then Tom Watson,  Ricky Barnes and David Duval would be on the U.S. squad. Meanwhile, the European team would consist of: Simon Dyson, Lee Westwood, Ross McGowan, Padraig Harrington, Alexander Noren, Francesco Molinari, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Rory McIlroy, and Oliver Wilson. And Montgomerie would be clutching his chest like Fred Sanford.

Martin Laird

WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS ... : Scotland's Martin Laird defeated Chad Campbell and George McNeill in a playoff to win the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas. The victory was Laird's first on the PGA Tour.
Backspin People like to go to Vegas to act in anonymity and then go back to their regular lives without anyone else being aware of how they behaved. That's exactly what seems to be happening at this event. The last six winners are: Laird, Marc Turnesa, McNeill, Troy Matteson, Wes Short, Jr., and Andre Stoltz. They go to Vegas, win big, and no one else ever remembers what transpired.
Stuart Appleby

WORK HARD FOR THE MONEY: There are three tournaments remaining on the 2009 PGA Tour schedule, leaving only three opportunities for players to gain or retain their cards for next season. Three players from outside the top 125 moved inside due to their performances in Vegas: Lard, 134th to 62nd; Bill Lunde, 126th to 124th, and Chris Stroud, 129th to 126th.
Backspin At the moment, David Duval is inside the top 125, at 121st, while Stuart Appleby is 132nd. Duval hasn't finished inside the cut line since 2002. Appleby, on the other hand, hasn't finished worse than 55th since his rookie year in 1996, when he was 130th.

Lee Westwood

THE RACE IS ON?: Lee Westwood ended a two-year winless drought, shooting no worse than 67 over four rounds in winning the Portugal Masters. The victory moved the Englishman to first on the Order of Merit, with six official events remaining on the 2009 European calendar.
Backspin By being tops in money, Westwood also leads the Race to Dubai, which offers a bonus of $1.5 million to the overall champion. The RTD was supposed to outshine the FedEx Cup monetarily, draw in PGA Tour stars, and provide drama over the final months of the year. Instead, the prize fund has been reduced by 25 percent; no Americans are in the top 60, which is the cut-off number for the season finale; and the Race has received less publicity than Police Academy 6. In other words, things haven't worked out as planned.

Tiger Woods

GOODBYE, MILWAUKEE: Milwaukee Golf Charities Inc., the organization that runs the Milwaukee PGA Tour stop, is dissolving after failing to find a sponsor. That all but assures that the Tour won't return to Milwaukee next year and presents a huge question mark regarding the future of professional golf in the area. The tournament most recently known as the U.S. Bank Championship had been played 42 consecutive years on the PGA Tour.
Backspin The event was where Tiger Woods made his 'Hello, world' pro debut in 1996. It boasts winners like Dave Stockton, Calvin Peete, Mark O'Meara, Corey Pavin and Greg Norman. But recently, the tournament has suffered to secure a top-flight field due to a spot on the schedule the same week as the Open Championship. It's a shame to lose this event, but it would be a worthy sacrifice if this got the Tour to abandon opposite-field events.
Road Hole at St. Andrews

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:  The Royal & Ancient announced that the famous Road Hole 17th at St. Andrews would be lengthened for the 2010 Open Championship. ... Anthony Kim let go of his caddie, Greg Larson. ... Ian Poulter was on the sidelines of the Florida-Arkansas football game Saturday in Gainesville, Fla. ... John Cook won on the Champions Tour and Chad Collins won on the Nationwide Tour.
Backspin The hole goes from 465 yards on the card to 490. ... Larson caddied for Kim much of the last two years. If you're wondering where you've heard his name before, he's Mark Calcavecchia's former employee, who spent 11 years in jail for his part in a small cocaine ring. ... No. 1 Florida squeaked out an ugly 23-20 victory. Poulter has been asked never to attend another game. ... It was Cook's third career victory on the senior circuit and Collins' second on the developmental tour.

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Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 9:33 am

Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.

Everything before that, however, was far from routine.

Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.

He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and TaylorMade got him his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.

"I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:40 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  

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; or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (

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

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:30 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.