PGA running diary: Rory's win, his 'Deep V' on Day 4

By Jason CrookAugust 11, 2014, 12:10 pm

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Well, this is it. It’s what we’ve been building toward all week. Through the early wake-ups, the rain, the mud, the heat, the crowds, the Hot Browns, the bourbon tastings and the occasional run-in with Amanda Dufner – it’s finally PGA Championship Sunday.

I know I’ve ragged on golf – specifically watching golf in person – a lot this week. Don’t expect me to take any of it back, but at least we’ve arrived at the final round of a major with some very intriguing storylines. Rory could win his second consecutive major. Rickie could finally break through. Phil could show up for the first time this year. Bernd Wiesberger could make tonight’s SportsCenter Top 10, but not No. 1, because there’s no way a relative unknown winning a major championship is bigger than a diving catch in regular season Major League Baseball game.

Anyway, you get my point, I think. Today could be exciting. With that said, lets fast-forward straight to the action.


12:00 p.m. ET – Get to Valhalla. Notice there’s a light sprinkle falling from the sky. Way to literally rain on my parade. Today was going pretty good until, you know, I actually got to the golf course.

12:22 – Head to the media dining room. If there’s ever a problem in life not solved by free food, that problem might be unsolvable.

12:47That heavy stuff Carl Spackler was talking about. It’s coming down now.

12:53 – Play is suspended. It’s tough to hear the announcement over this fried chicken, though.

12:55 – Cable goes out. What’s that? We’re stuck in a building with no cable and limited Internet, but unlimited free food. What to do … what to do …

1:13 – Rain starts to let up, I make a run slow crawl toward the media center. I'm moving like that giant blueberry girl from “Willy Wonka,” except imagine if she blew up into something unhealthy, like a fudge brownie.

3:20 – Enough time has passed for me to move again and I've run out of things to do on the Internet. Decide I haven't spent enough money in merchandise tent. Make the trek over there bringing only my credit card.

3:42 – Pull out my credit card to pay for my last-day-of-the-tournament-we-need-to-get-rid-of-this-crap, 20-percent-off Valhalla coffee mug. My credit card looks suspiciously like my hotel key. Epic fail.

4:17 – Head out to course. So. Much. Orange. I'm not sure who the fan-favorite is, but it looks like the Syracuse University mascot threw-up all over the course. And not just on the kids; on their parents, too.

4:46 – Only took me 29 minutes and two missed holes of action to catch up to the marquee group of Mickelson and Fowler. Turns out, a couple other people were watching them, too.

4:47 – David Feherty is wearing some sweet jeans. He could use a chain wallet. Some fans serenade him with his TV show theme song. He seems to enjoy it.

5:15 – Standing behind the green on No. 5. Fans around me (one of whom looks suspiciously like Shia LaBeouf, which is definitely possible since he is not famous anymore) are arguing over scores and positions on the leaderboard. No one seems to care that Francis Ouimet is here.


5:16 – I hear, “Rickie’s in the orange,” as they come down the fairway. Now we know.

5:18 – Phil misses right of the fifth green. Nails someone. What does he carry more of in his bag … wedges or gloves? Things to ponder at night.

5:22 – Rickie chips in for his third consecutive birdie. Crowd goes nuts. Hard to not give a little fist pump, I wouldn’t have cared who it was, it was awesome. Oh, maybe this is why people like coming to these things?

5:23 – Weigh my options of trying to fight through the crowd to catch another big shot or actually watching the rest of the tournament. It’s not really a close call. Back to the media center I go.

5:50 – Make it back to the media center. Place is buzzing.

6:03 – Phil misses an eagle putt on No. 7 by centimeters. People are giddy.

7:20 – Notice Rory is going anti-Bubba. No, not the fact that he hit driver on 10 or that he’s trying to finish closer to first than last. I’m talking about this “Deep V” thing that he’s got going on. Check it out below. Any deeper and he might have to start modeling with Ben Stiller and Andy Samberg.


8:03 - Even Gwen Stefani thinks this tournament is bananas. The media center is freaking out. Mostly about the possibility if them not finishing and having to rearrange their travel plans, but still.

8:43 - Final putt drops, Rory is your champ. I win $60 from our office pool and all is right in the world. Everyone gets to go home and no one has to come back to the course tomorrow. 

This whole week has been a wild experience. The Grill Room went from a generally unknown commodity to an established veteran journalistic presence among its peers in the golf industry. At least that's what I'm hearing ... from the Grill Room. Hopefully, Golf Channel will send us out to cover another event again soon. If this didn't convince them, I don't know what will. Don't tune in tomorrow because this is the last of our exclusive PGA Championship coverage. But check out yesterday's running diary here, and continue coming to the Grill Room for more of the lighter side of golf.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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 (

Getty Images

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.