What We Learned: The Players Championship

By Jason SobelMay 13, 2013, 1:38 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the world of golf. This week, our writers weigh in on Tiger Woods' second-career victory at The Players Championship and the fascinating dynamic between Woods and Sergio Garcia.

The rivalry between Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia that appeared imminent back in 1999 has never developed and never will. Well, not in the traditional sense, at least, with the two players trading haymakers on major championship stages throughout their careers. Since the 1999 PGA Championship, Woods’ career has soared while that of Garcia – perfectly acceptable on its own merits – has listlessly paled in comparison, his lifelong major title odometer still stuck on zero. And yet, following this weekend’s events, from the incident on the second hole on Saturday to the back-and-forth comments through the media to Tiger’s win in the wake of Sergio’s collapse, there is no more intriguing potential set of playing partners on the planet than the two of ‘em. 

Sure, I’d accept the chilly stares of Woods and Phil Mickelson or the buddy-buddy duo of Woods and Rory McIlroy, but if you’re asking for the one final twosome that I’d love to see at each of the year’s final three majors, it’s easily Woods and Garcia. Their chilly relationship is fascinating; their inability to mince words publicly is intoxicating. Pro wrestling fans pay good money for this type of drama – and it’s fake. (Whoops, sorry for the lack of a spoiler alert.) Tiger and Sergio will never become a rivalry, but that’s OK. It’s still more entertaining than any other combination of pairings. Let’s hope we’re treated to more icy glares and cursory comments again sometime in the very near future. – Jason Sobel

Apparently, we should get used to seeing the white flag flying on the PGA Tour again.

Don’t get me wrong, Tiger Woods looked really good again Sunday winning The Players, but the rest of the Tour is looking as if it is just going to go into surrender mode again. Yes, Woods was solid all week at The Players, and yet just as he did in his last victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, Woods made himself uncharacteristically vulnerable with the lead down the stretch. He opened the door to challengers. At Bay Hill, Rickie Fowler wasn’t ready to take advantage when Woods gave him an opening. Fowler plunked two balls in the water at the 70th hole in his surrender. At the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course Sunday, Sergio Garcia did one better. He showed he was not ready for the challenge, plunking three balls in the water, two at the 17th and one at the 18th.

Yes, Woods is gaining back his winning mojo, but for somebody who roots for drama, it’s disappointing to see yet another failure to step up to the tremendous challenge Woods presents. Are we on the verge of marveling at more Woods greatness as he resurrects his run at Nicklaus' record? Or is somebody going to step up to the challenges he presents? – Randall Mell

The Players Championship may never enjoy “fifth major” status, but there is no denying TPC Sawgrass’ ability to identify a worthy champion and ignite a gallery. With the help of more user-friendly hole locations on the back nine on Sunday, the Stadium Course delivered the key component of a memorable championship – two-way traffic. With four players tied for the lead with four holes to play, there were equal amounts of heroics (Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia at the 16th hole) and heartbreak (Garcia and Jeff Maggert at the 17th hole and David Lingmerth at the 14th) to qualify as a memorable championship – be it a major or otherwise. – Rex Hoggard

The 17th hole at the Stadium Course will continue to live in infamy.

Every year, players descend upon TPC Sawgrass for the PGA Tour’s flagship event, and the opinions often read like a predetermined script: some like its position on the course, others tolerate the hole but would rather see it elsewhere in the rotation of holes, and a chosen few would just as soon sink the island green to the bottom of the lake surrounding it.

Yet once again, the 137-yard hole played a pivotal role in determining the tournament’s outcome Sunday, as some of the game’s best players were vexed by a wedge shot to a relatively sprawling green. The penultimate hole crushed the hopes of Sergio Garcia, who won the title in 2008 on the very same hole, while also costing 49-year-old Jeff Maggert a shot at what would have been the biggest win of his career.

So while some in the field will continue to rue its very existence, the fact remains: hokey or not, fair or unfair … the 17th hole at Sawgrass isn’t going anywhere. Will Gray

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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.

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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 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)