What We Learned: Boo's cruise, Matteo's march

By Jason SobelMay 27, 2013, 12:05 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the world of golf. In this edition, our writers weigh in on Boo Weekley's ball-striking, Matteo Manassero's blossoming talent, the still-looming possibility of chaos over the anchoring ban and the intriguing, if jarring, concept of 12-hole golf.

Whenever Boo Weekley's name is mentioned, the golfer most often associated as being his predecessor is John Daly just a pair of downhome Southern boys prone to brief fits of mercurial golf. But the comparisons end there. Whereas Daly has always been a bomber with soft hands around the greens on the course and an accident waiting to happen off of it, Weekley is more of an iron-playing wizard who has kept his nose clean, save for a long-ago boxing match with an orangutan at a county fair. There's more contrast, too: Despite two majors, Daly is known largely as an underachiever; Weekley, on the other hand, has worked his way back from injury to find the winner's circle once again. 

If a single characteristic is enough to compare one player with another, we might as well liken Weekley to another man known for his ball-striking prowess. His victory at Colonial Country Club came in the shadows of Ben Hogan's statue and while nobody would suggest that Boo is the second coming of the Hawk, his repeatable swing has in fact repeated, with back-to-back years atop the PGA Tour's ball-striking category and now three career wins, all on courses which fit that persona. Despite common sentiment, Weekley isn't another John Daly. In fact, in many ways he's just the opposite, as all of that hard work paid off once again on Sunday. – Jason Sobel

Maybe it’s because the Italian hasn’t played much in the States and his conquests have come on the European circuit. Maybe it’s because he hits the ball only 275 yards off the tee. Whatever it is, Matteo Manassero remains wildly underappreciated in our sport, even after his playoff victory at the BMW PGA Championship. Think about it this way: If a 20-year-old American had four PGA Tour titles to his credit, including The Players, can you imagine the hysteria? Jordan Spieth, who is 19, grabs all the headlines and has three top 10s this season. Manassero, meanwhile, remains as underrated as a 20-year-old four-time winner can get. – Ryan Lavner

The USGA and the R&A are at a crossroads, but they aren’t totally in control of which direction their futures lead. The PGA Tour and the PGA of America may dictate that. With their decision to implement Rule 14-1b and ban anchored strokes without first building a consensus with the PGA Tour and the PGA of America, the USGA and the R&A risked splintering rule-making authority. They risked the PGA Tour and PGA of America striking out on their own and creating their own rules. They took a stance against anchoring that could come with bifurcation as a consequence. Was it worth the risk? We’re all waiting to see. – Randall Mell

Golf needs more 12-hole tournaments. Because of torrential rains and flooding, the Paradise Island layout was reconfigured to 12 holes for this week’s Bahamas LPGA Classic and, we would argue, nothing was lost in the nip/tuck. For those traditionalists who claim 12 holes isn’t golf, we give you Shiskine Golf Club on the Isle of Arran in Scotland which opened for business in 1896 and is, by any definition, a classic gem. – Rex Hoggard

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Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.

Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.

“We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.

Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.

“It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”

It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.

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McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

Said Harmon:

“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

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How The Open cut line is determined

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

• There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

• There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.