Furyk, McDowell not afraid of Woods

By Jason SobelJune 17, 2012, 4:20 am

SAN FRANCISCO – Consider it golf’s version of Bigfoot or the Abominable Snowman or the Loch Ness Monster.

It’s called the Tiger Intimidation Factor and its existence is all based on whom you choose to believe.

There are some who claim they’ve witnessed this phenomenon with their own eyes, elite professional golfers seemingly curling up into the fetal position when Tiger Woods is amongst them in contention for a tournament title. Many others think this is pure myth, a figment of the imagination whose legend only grows over time.

If the Tiger Intimidation Factor truly does exist, then it most likely occurs at major championships, during the weekend rounds when Woods is making yet another bid toward immortality in his career-long quest to capture the all-time major victory record.

Video: Patience paves Furyk's way to the lead

Video: McDowell enjoying another U.S. Open run

Of course, even if there is such a thing, some players are simply immune to it. Perhaps it’s akin to looking in the wrong direction when Bigfoot or the Abominable Snowman or the Loch Ness Monster springs from the wilderness, but for the chosen few it never rears its ugly head.

These men come in all shapes and sizes, carrying varied forms of resume credentials. From Bob May to Chris DiMarco to Rocco Mediate to Y.E. Yang, even those who couldn’t defeat Woods in their major championship matchup didn’t fall victim to the Tiger Intimidation Factor.

You can add the names Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk to that list, as well.

Entering the third round of the 112th U.S. Open with Woods in a share of the lead, there was a prevailing feeling that the 14-time major champion may be on the precipice of turning the final 36 holes into his own private coronation. Instead, he posted a score of 5-over 75 to fall into a share of 14th place.

While it can be correctly stated that few were intimidated by his initial presence on the leaderboard, none thrived in the situation as much as McDowell and Furyk, who carded rounds of 68 and 70, respectively, to claim a share of the lead entering the final round – the only two players under par through 54 holes.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise. McDowell has stood toe-to-toe with Tiger before, holing a lengthy putt on the final hole of the Chevron World Challenge to force a playoff with the tournament host, then another to win minutes later. Furyk, meanwhile, is a longtime friend of Woods and past Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup partner, a familiarity he parlayed into a five-shot differential in the final pairing with him on Saturday at The Olympic Club.

“You can really get caught up in playing with him just from the amount of media, from the amount of attention, cameras,” Furyk explained. “He had to lay it up on 1 and the crowd is yelling, ‘Take advantage of it, Jimmy. Try to get ahead of him.’ And you have to realize that you're not playing Tiger Woods today. I was playing against the golf course, trying to fire a number.

“I tried today not to worry about his game or how he was playing. I didn't watch him make a lot of swings.”

McDowell was equally passionate in not getting caught up with trying to keep up with Woods, but instead playing his own game and realizing there was a large group of potential champions amongst the contenders.

“You know, I look at the leaderboard and I see Tiger's name, but I see other great names there, as well,” he said. “Lee Westwood and David Toms and guys who know how to get the job done. It's fairly crowded. … I'm sure Tiger believes he has a chance going out tomorrow as do other players.”

What a difference 24 hours makes.

Prior to the third round, Woods’ name lurked on the leaderboard as the one to watch, the Tiger Intimidation Factor – whether real or imagined – ready to pounce on unsuspecting contenders.

Instead, much like Bigfoot or the Abominable Snowman or the Loch Ness Monster, any glimpse of it was shrouded by insufficient evidence of its existence.

In the gloaming of Saturday evening, it was McDowell and Furyk who emanated from the clubhouse, exchanged handshakes and similar greetings of, “Nice playing, see you tomorrow.” Neither will be intimidated by the other, nor will they be intimidated by anyone else, either.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 9:20 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.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:30 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)