Sorenstams Shockwave

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 19, 2008, 4:00 pm
Editor's Note: In Backspin, the GOLFCHANNEL.com editorial staff takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf -- with a spin.
 
SAY IT AIN'T SO...: In a press conference last Tuesday, Annika Sorenstam announced that she would be retiring at the end of the 2008 season. Widely regarded as the greatest women's golfer of all-time, the Hall of Famer's resume includes 72 LPGA Tour victories to date, including 10 majors and the career grand slam.
 
BackspinIt was a shocking announcement from the 37-year-old Swede, who stated she is looking forward to focusing more on her business and personal life. Yes, it would have been great to see Annika battle with Lorena for a few more years, but she is leaving on her terms - something very few athletes get to do. On the bright side, she won't be retired until the end of the season, so enjoy her while you still can. We sure will.
 

...AND BACK TO THE GOLF COURSE: World No. 1 Lorena Ochoa won her sixth title of the year Sunday, firing a 1-under par 71 to capture the LPGA Sybase Classic for the third consecutive year. Bad weather shortened play to just 54 holes, as Ochoa had to grind out the victory, winning by just one stroke over five other players.
 
Backspin In a week that began with all the talk focused on Sorenstam's retirement, the 26-year-old Mexican star stole back the spotlight. Last week in this space, we said the ball was in Lorena's court, and Ochoa responded by topping Sorenstam by five strokes, cementing her spot atop the women's game just when Annika looked to be building momentum. Expect this back-and-forth battle between these two superstars to only get better as summer rolls on.
 

A WIN IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE: Ryuji Imada grabbed his first PGA TOUR victory in a playoff Sunday at the AT&T Classic, after Kenny Perry found the water on the 73rd hole of play. The 32-year-old Imada has been a runner-up three times on the PGA TOUR, including twice already this season and once at this very event a year ago when he found the water in sudden death.
 
Backspin It had to feel good to grab his first TOUR win in the same state he attended college. The University of Georgia alum was perhaps most excited afterwards, knowing the win would bring an invite to an even more prestigious tournament held in Georgia each spring, saying, 'I know I get invited to the Masters now. I always dreamed of playing there since I was a kid. I cant wait to see what its like.' Two childhood dreams realized in one day - not bad.
 

PLAYERS HANGOVER: It was a relatively quiet week on the PGA TOUR. Just one week removed from THE PLAYERS Championship, many of the big names in golf took the week off. The highest ranked player in the AT&T Classic field this past week was 15th-ranked Stewart Cink.
 
Backspin Despite the lack of the 'big names,' the weekend was not lacking in interesting storylines. Fan favorites like Camilo Villegas and Kenny Perry were in contention late; there was even a Shark sighting, as Greg Norman made a rare PGA TOUR start (missed the cut, though, after an opening-round 80); heck, even Matt Kuchar made an appearance on the leaderboard with a T-25 finish. That said, we eagerly anticipate the return of some star power. Like say, I guy named Lefty this week.
 

BEAN THERE, DONE THAT: Andy Bean, winless since the 2006 season on the Champions Tour, hung on for victory at the Regions Charity Classic in Alabama. Loren Roberts finished just one stroke back.
 
Backspin Bean's win, while newsworthy, was just an appetizer for this week's Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y. Some of the top names on the senior circuit - Bernhard Langer, Scott Hoch, Tom Watson, Fred Funk - have already won this season and should provide for a great start for the first major of the year on the Champions Tour.
 

BEAM ME UP!: David Mathis claimed the Nationwide Tour's BMW Charity Pro-Am in Greer, S.C., winning by three strokes over Roger Tambellini. It was the 34-year-old Mathis' first Nationwide Tour title.
 
Backspin At one of the more noteworthy events on the Nationwide Tour, Mathis' victory - along with the $121,500 first-place check - all but guarantees his PGA TOUR card for next season. Said the obviously thrilled Mathis, 'It's awesome. Man, I'm just so thankful.' Oh, and he also picked up the keys to a brand new BMW X5.
 

ANTE UP: Next year's World Series of Golf, to be held in Las Vegas, will have a $200,000 entry fee, with a $1.5 million payout for the winner.
 
Backspin This event evokes images of the closing scene from the classic golf flick Caddyshack. No word yet on whether or not they will hold the tournament at Bushwood Country Club or if Ty Webb, Al Czervik, Danny Noonan or Judge Smails will be entering the field.
 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: A fellow by the name of Wayne Gretzky won the pro-am portion of the BMW Charity Pro-Am, partnering with professional Chris Nallen to shoot scores of 59-59-60-62; The USGA announced another corporate partnership - the fourth it has signed in the past 18 months, after going 113 years without one.
 
Backspin You would think this would be big news in the Gretzky household, but hardly. The Great One's wife, Janet Jones-Gretzky, has already been the low celebrity in this event - twice!; Pete Bevacqua, the USGA's chief business officer, vowed, however, the following, 'When you walk on site (Torrey Pines), it is pure. It is logo-free, other than the USGA logo and our championship logo.
 

Related Links:
  • Sorenstam: 'I'm Stepping Away'
  • Full Coverage - AT&T Classic
  • Full Coverage - Sybase Classic
  • More Headlines
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    The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 16, 2018, 9:30 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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    John Deere purse payout: Kim wins a million

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 16, 2018, 9:07 am

    Michael Kim won his first PGA Tour event, and with it, over $1 million. Here's how the purse was paid out at the John Deere Classic.

    1 Michael Kim -27 $1,044,000
    T2 Francesco Molinari -19 $382,800
    T2 Joel Dahmen -19 $382,800
    T2 Sam Ryder -19 $382,800
    T2 Bronson Burgoon -19 $382,800
    6 Harold Varner, III -18 $208,800
    T7 Kevin Streelman -16 $168,780
    T7 John Huh -16 $168,780
    T7 Chad Campbell -16 $168,780
    T7 Keith Mitchell -16 $168,780
    T7 Andres Romero -16 $168,780
    T12 Scott Brown -15 $117,450
    T12 Steve Wheatcroft -15 $117,450
    T12 Tyler Duncan -15 $117,450
    T12 Matt Jones -15 $117,450
    T16 Zach Johnson -14 $81,366
    T16 Mackenzie Hughes -14 $81,366
    T16 Whee Kim -14 $81,366
    T16 Parker McLachlin -14 $81,366
    T16 Seamus Power -14 $81,366
    T16 David Hearn -14 $81,366
    T16 Johnson Wagner -14 $81,366
    T23 Dominic Bozzelli -13 $48,886
    T23 Joaquin Niemann -13 $48,886
    T23 John Merrick -13 $48,886
    T23 Chris Kirk -13 $48,886
    T23 Richy Werenski -13 $48,886
    T23 Derek Fathauer -13 $48,886
    T23 Fabian Gomez -13 $48,886
    T30 Patton Kizzire -12 $36,830
    T30 Jason Bohn -12 $36,830
    T30 Chris Stroud -12 $36,830
    T30 Robert Garrigus -12 $36,830
    T34 Hunter Mahan -11 $27,453
    T34 C.T. Pan -11 $27,453
    T34 John Senden -11 $27,453
    T34 Vaughn Taylor -11 $27,453
    T34 Austin Cook -11 $27,453
    T34 J.J. Henry -11 $27,453
    T34 Nick Taylor -11 $27,453
    T34 Cody Gribble -11 $27,453
    T34 Denny McCarthy -11 $27,453
    T43 Nick Hardy -10 $18,096
    T43 Dylan Meyer -10 $18,096
    T43 Troy Merritt -10 $18,096
    T43 Steve Stricker -10 $18,096
    T43 Patrick Rodgers -10 $18,096
    T43 Ricky Barnes -10 $18,096
    T43 Blayne Barber -10 $18,096
    T50 Tom Lovelady -9 $13,990
    T50 Kevin Tway -9 $13,990
    T50 Hudson Swafford -9 $13,990
    T50 Stuart Appleby -9 $13,990
    T50 Corey Conners -9 $13,990
    T55 Conrad Shindler -8 $13,108
    T55 Ryan Moore -8 $13,108
    T55 Ryan Blaum -8 $13,108
    T55 Andrew Landry -8 $13,108
    T55 Matt Atkins -8 $13,108
    T60 Nick Watney -7 $12,644
    T60 Lanto Griffin -7 $12,644
    T60 Sam Saunders -7 $12,644
    T63 Mark Wilson -6 $12,354
    T63 Kelly Kraft -6 $12,354
    T65 Benjamin Silverman -4 $12,006
    T65 Arjun Atwal -4 $12,006
    T65 Brett Stegmaier -4 $12,006
    T65 J.T. Poston -4 $12,006
    T69 Nicholas Lindheim -3 $11,658
    T69 Tommy Gainey -3 $11,658
    71 Kris Blanks -2 $11,484
    MDF Chesson Hadley -3 $11,136
    MDF Bill Haas -3 $11,136
    MDF David Lingmerth -3 $11,136
    MDF George McNeill -3 $11,136
    MDF Martin Flores -3 $11,136
    MDF Ryan Palmer -2 $10,730
    MDF Sean McCarty -2 $10,730
    MDF Andrew Putnam -1 $10,556
    MDF D.J. Trahan E $10,440
    MDF Brian Stuard 1 $10,324
    MDF Brendon de Jonge 3 $10,208
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    How to watch The Open on TV and online

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 16, 2018, 9:00 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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    Davies wins by 10 on 'best ball-striking round'

    By Associated PressJuly 16, 2018, 1:53 am

    WHEATON, Ill. - Laura Davies immediately recognized the significance of having her name inscribed on the first U.S. Senior Women's Open trophy.

    It might be a long time before anyone secures the title as emphatically as Davies did.

    Davies went virtually unchallenged in Sunday's final round of the inaugural USGA championship for women 50 and older, claiming the title by 10 strokes over Juli Inkster.

    ''It's great seeing this (trophy) paraded down for the very first time and I get my name on it first, you know?'' Davies said. ''This championship will be played for many years and there will only be one first winner - obviously a proud moment for me to win that.''

    The 54-year-old Davies shot a 5-under 68 to finish at 16-under 276 at Chicago Golf Club.

    It was the English player's 85th career win, and she felt the pressure even though her lead was rarely in danger.

    ''I haven't won for eight years - my last win was India, 2010,'' Davies said. ''So that's the pressure you're playing under, when you're trying to do something for yourself, prove to yourself you can still win.

    ''So this ranks highly up there. And obviously it's a USGA event. It's hard comparing tournaments, but this is very high on my list of achievements.''

    A 7-under 66 Saturday provided Davies with a five-shot lead over Inkster and what she said would be a sleepless night worrying about the pressure.


    Full-field scores from the U.S. Senior Women’s Open


    The World Golf Hall of Famer widened her advantage early Sunday when she birdied the par-5 second hole and Inkster made bogey. Davies said a par she salvaged at the 10th was another turning point.

    ''It wasn't the greatest hole I ever played, but I think that, to me, was when I really started to think I might have one hand on the trophy and just had to get the other one in there.''

    Inkster shot an even-par 73. England's Trish Johnson also shot 73 to finish third, 12 shots back.

    ''I mean, she was absolutely spectacular this week,'' Johnson said about Davies. ''I've played against her for 35 years. Yesterday was the best I have ever seen her play in her entire career.

    ''She just said walking down 18 it was best ball-striking round she ever had. Considering she's won 85 tournaments, that's quite some feat.''

    Danielle Ammaccapane was fourth and Yuko Saito finished fifth. Martha Leach was the top amateur, tying for 10th at 6-over 298.

    Davies plans to play in the Women's British Open next month, and called this win a confidence-booster as she continues to compete against the younger generation. She finished tied for second at the LPGA's Bank of Hope Founders Cup earlier this year.

    ''You build up a little bit of momentum, and a golf course is a golf course,'' Davies said. ''Sometimes the field strength is a little bit different, but in your own mind if you've done something like this, 16 under for four rounds around a proper championship course, it can't do anything but fill you full of confidence.''