The Man of the Matches

By Mercer BaggsOctober 12, 2009, 11:24 am

U.S. Presidents Cup team

THE PRESIDENTS MEN: Before we get to Jordan, we'll start with the actual matches [with a nod to Tim Finchem]: The United States won the Presidents Cup, 19 1/2-14 1/2 at Harding Park. The victory gave the U.S. a 6-1-1 record in the biennial competition, which dates back to 1994. The Americans are a perfect 5-0 on home soil.
Backspin When Great Britain and Ireland were getting beat down every two years in the Ryder Cup, they invited continental Europe to join the battle. Unfortunately for the International team, they have no cavalry to call. Some say the Rest of the World needs to win to legitimize this event. Actually, being competitive would just be nice. Would you be more inclined to care about the Presidents Cup if the U.S. lost every now and again? Unless you live outside the States, the answer is probably no. Because, honestly, do you even really care if the U.S. wins? You just want to be entertained, regardless of who wins – and regular routs aren't fun to watch.

Steve Stricker

MR. PERFECT: Tiger Woods became the third player in Presidents Cup history [Mark O'Meara, 1996; Shigeki Maruyama, 1998] to go 5-0-0. Woods won four team matches with Steve Stricker as his partner and then punished Y.E. Yang for beating him at the PGA Championship, 6 and 5, in the Sunday singles.
Backspin Tiger might not lose any sleep when he plays poorly in a team event, but he still wants to win. That was evident in his reactions down the stretch Saturday evening and in the way he icily dismissed Yang in the singles. You had to feel for Y.E. Remember when Norman begged off a singles match against Woods in 1998 and then lost, 1 up? Maybe this was like a frat boy finally getting to haze someone after enduring it himself.

Phil Mickelson

 MR. ALMOST PERFECT: Tiger Woods wasn't the only U.S. team member to go undefeated. Phil Mickelson, who once went 0-5-0 in the Presidents Cup, tallied a 4-0-1 record. Unlike Woods, who had Steve Stricker has his partner in all four team sessions, Mickelson played with three different teammates over the first three days: Justin Leonard, Anthony Kim and Sean O'Hair.
Backspin Mickelson without a loss? Mickelson the emotional rock for his partners? Phil Mickelson? The same Phil Mickelson who tunes out golf after the August like the NFL? We kind of like this Phil Mickelson.

Michael Jordan

DUDE, I'M MICHAEL JORDAN: Standing at 6'6' and weighing in with six NBA championship titles, basketball legend Michael Jordan nearly overshadowed the entire Presidents Cup competition. Jordan, who was made an 'assistant-assistant' by U.S. captain Fred Couples, played a practice round with the U.S. team Monday, was asked to quit smoking on the course Tuesday, was reportedly asked by the Tour brass to not partake in the opening ceremonies Wednesday, and whizzed around  from group to group in his own golf cart Thursday-Sunday.
Backspin Jordan awed many, angered some and befuddled others. He said his job was to inspire and motivate the U.S. team, but it's not like they really needed inspiration or motivation to win this event. What he ultimately did was take some of the focus off the Americans and add some levity and cohesion to the team room. He may have his detractors, but Corey Pavin might want to measure him for outfits in Wales.
Camilo Villegas and Vijay Singh

UP STREAM WITH A PADDLE: The U.S. team's behind-the-scenes Ping-Pong matches once again made headlines. And as evidenced above, even the International players got in on the action. Tiger Woods, Zach Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Kenny Perry and several others were peppered with questions about who was beating whom and who was the best. The intense table tennis matches have become the highlight of team-room camaraderie during Presidents and Ryder cup matches.
Backspin If the Ping-Pong matches were taped and televised at the same time as the actual Presidents Cup matches, I guarantee you the former would get the higher ratings. Golf is such a guarded sport, regarding the players' private lives, that we want any kind of glimpse we can get into what they do outside the ropes or behind closed doors – even if it's with red, rubber paddles and a yellow ball.

Greg Norman and Fred Couples

HEY, SKIPPER: Fred Couples captained the United States to victory over Greg Norman's International team. It was the first time either man had been at the helm in a Presidents Cup. Couples participated as a player four times, going 9-5-2. Norman played three times, with a 7-6-1 record.
Backspin Norman could serve as captain again as the teams square off in 2011 in Australia, where the Internationals won their only cup in 1998. Couples, meanwhile, might make for a regular U.S. skipper. He might not be best suited for Ryder Cup formality, but he seemed to be a perfect fit for the Friday casual Presidents Cup.

Adam Scott

NOT EASY TO WATCH: Each captain had one of their wildcard selections impress, while the other pick panned. Hunter Mahan went 2-1-1 for the U.S. side, while U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover went 0-3-1. For the Internationals, 18-year-old rookie Ryo Ishikawa went 3-2-0 with veteran Adam Scott going 1-4-0.
Backspin The American picks were never scrutinized, but the International selections were definitely on the hot seat. Ishikawa validated his spot on the team and showed this may be the first of many Presidents Cup appearances. Scott, on the other hand, not only lost four times, but looked like a beaten man. Not even a little help from a partner could snap Scott out of his funk.

Anthony Kim and Robert Allenby

BIG SHOES TO FILL: After falling to Anthony Kim in the Sunday singles, 5 and 3, Robert Allenby took a swipe at his 24-year-old opponent, calling him the 'current John Daly.' Allenby says friends of his spotted Kim 'come in sideways' at 4 a.m. Sunday morning, less than 6 hours before their tee time. Kim denied the accusations, calling Allenby's statements 'absolutely false.'
Backspin First of all, it doesn't say much for Allenby that he got smoked by a guy whom he believes got snockered the night before. Secondly, why would he make these statement to the press based on hearsay? And finally, even if Kim does have a love of late-night partying, what is it of Allenby's business? We're quite sure Allenby didn't make the above statements because he's concerned about a friend.

Michael Phelps and Tiger Woods

WELCOME TO THE OLYMPICS: Golf was added to the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, the International Olympic Committee announced Friday. The sport last participated in Games in 1904. The format will consist of 72-holes of stroke-play for men and women, with 60 players in each field.
Backspin As Rex Hoggard pointed out, there are still plenty of hurdles to clear to make golf a successful Olympic sport. But one thing people seem to be forgetting is that the Rio de Janeiro games are still seven years away. By then Tiger Woods will be 40; Phil Mickelson 46; Padraig Harrington, who lobbied hard for golf's participation, nearly 45. Who knows what will become of the current crop of players in their 20s and early 30s? The point being: the best players in the world today, on both the men's and women's side, may not be the best players in seven year's time. The re-introduction of golf into the Olympics could be the initial introduction of a lot of fresh faces to the world.
Ross McGowan

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:  England's Ross McGowan won his first European Tour event at the Madrid Masters. ... Christopher Baryla won his first Nationwide Tour event at the Chattanooga Classic. ... Nathan Smith won his second U.S. Mid-Amateur title. ... Martha Stacy Leach won the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur title.
Backspin McGowan used a Saturday 60 to launch him to victory. ... The Canadian moved from 57th to 20th on the season money list, with the top 25 getting 2010 PGA Tour cards. ... Smith also won in 2003. ... Leach is the sister of three-time U.S. Women's Open champion Hollis Stacy.

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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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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 12:45 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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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.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 8:30 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 (