Woods' five victories don't ensure FedEx Cup win

By Jason SobelSeptember 9, 2013, 7:30 pm

For a player who always contends that he owns a singular goal entering each tournament (“To get the W,” he’s said so frequently) and even had a marketing slogan written around that sentiment (“Winning takes care of everything,” Nike bellowed in advertisements earlier this year), the following choice of words produced a strange juxtaposition.

It was prior to The Barclays, the initial tournament in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, when Tiger Woods was questioned about the current format and what it would take for him to win the $10 million grand prize at the season-ending festivities.

“You're basically playing for the top-five positioning going into the Tour Championship,” he matter-of-factly stated without a hint of irony.

Cue the aphorisms.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Slow and steady wins the race.

They may be clichés, but when it comes to winning the FedEx Cup, they’re also truisms. You don’t need a whiteboard and a few dry-erase markers to understand the general tenet of Woods’ conclusion. Simple math – OK, maybe not-so-simple math – tells us that any player inside the top-five entering the finale can and will claim the overall title with a victory at East Lake Golf Club.

Brandt Snedeker proved that algorithm last year, parlaying his placement at No. 5 in the ranking after the first three events into a FedEx Cup championship when he also won the Tour Championship.

And so it’s important to remember that right now, at the midway point of this year’s edition of the PGA Tour playoffs, we are only at a checkpoint on the road to the game’s biggest payday. Success so far may be a means to an end, but it’s hardly the end.

With a victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship coupled with a T-65 from previous points leader Woods, Henrik Stenson took a 14-point advantage into the bye week, which is about as significant as an NBA squad owning a one-point lead at halftime of a playoff tilt.

The team sports analogies don’t end there, either.

Ask any member of the 2007 New England Patriots what it means to win ‘em all without winning the last one and you’ll likely hear a tale of woe more becoming a last-place also-ran. The same prospect faces the PGA Tour’s best golfers, though. Case in point: Stenson’s win was his first of the year and he now leads Woods, who has triumphed on five occasions.

“Theoretically, you can win every tournament of the year and not be the FedEx champion,” Woods acknowledged. “I mean, whoever is in the top-five, whoever wins that event, wins the FedEx Cup. So it will be interesting to see what happens.”

Interesting, but not completely unpredictable so far.

Trailing Stenson and Woods is an amalgam of elite-level players that includes Adam Scott (third), Matt Kuchar (fourth), Phil Mickelson (sixth), Justin Rose (seventh), Steve Stricker (eighth) and Snedeker (ninth). There may be a few notable surprises in Graham DeLaet (fifth) and Jordan Spieth (10th), but really, those should only be considered surprises to anyone who has never witnessed the acumen with which each of those players hit the ball.

Because of the format’s volatility, though, the list of candidates doesn’t end with those names. Two years ago, Bill Haas limped into the third playoff event on the heels of 24th- and 61st-place finishes at the first two. A share of 16th at the BMW Championship ensured he’d make the trip to East Lake, where a playoff win from the water led to an improbable daily double – whether he knew it at the time or not.

Therein lies an everlasting quandary for PGA Tour officials. They’d love to once again have the drama of a playoff for both the tournament title and the FedEx Cup win. But the entire system reeks of a novelty when one of those players doesn’t even know what’s at stake when he’s competing.

To employ that 2007 New England Patriots analogy again, those players may have lost the Super Bowl after an undefeated season, but at least they knew what they were playing for.

The latest FedEx Cup champion will be crowned two weeks from now, possibly even owning a keen awareness that he just won the FedEx Cup. This week, though, is all about positioning. After all, like the cliché states, this is a marathon, not a sprint. At the third playoff event, players will simply need to be in position to win while crossing the next checkpoint.

It’s just simple – OK, maybe not-so-simple – math.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 22, 2018, 11:00 am

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)

7AM-3PM (Watch): Jordan Spieth fired 65 to move into a three-way share of the 54-hole lead, while Tiger Woods (66) played his way into contention. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler and Thorbjorn Olesen.

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. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Henrik Stenson and Bryson DeChambeau.


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 22, 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)

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 22, 2018, 8:30 am

Tiger Woods begins the final round of the 147th Open Championship four shots off the lead. He's out at 9:25 a.m. ET on Sunday and we're tracking him.


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Schauffele just fine being the underdog

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”