Woods helps golf world regain normalcy again

By Jason SobelDecember 2, 2014, 8:24 pm

WINDERMERE, Fla. – Rebranded with its fifth title sponsor since the turn of the century – not including the year it went without one – Tiger Woods’ own late-season money-grab event might as well be called the Irony Invitational these days. That’s because, in truth, it’s now the Hero World Challenge, a nod to new Woods endorser Hero MotoCorp, but even the most cynical among us can spot the unintentional double-entendre in its name.

In the four months since Woods last teed it up in competition – just like the month he missed last year and the three months he missed two years earlier and the three months the year before that – we may not have learned anything new, but a few of our collective opinions were certainly reinforced.

One, the game at its most elite level isn’t spiraling down the rabbit hole of insignificance without him; and two, it’s a whole lot more interesting with him.

On Monday, a six-second Vine video of Woods hitting a tee shot on a driving range went viral on social media, its existence alone enough to inspire the long-slumbering golf community into sleuthing for clues about the future. Is he standing more upright? Does his swing speed look a bit faster? Has he lost some weight?

Hey, maybe the tournament wasn’t the only one holding out for a Hero.

Now that Woods is returning to action once again, it feels like the golf world is getting back to some normalcy. That world doesn’t revolve around him, but he at least helps place it back on the proper axis.

Of course, the words “Tiger” and “back” are a double-entendre themselves these days, the half-decade-old intonation that he’s still trying to regain prior form mixed with a reminder of the injury that led to his most recent absence in the first place – a recurring back injury which ended his previous season after the PGA Championship.



Don’t expect those two to come together in perfect harmony at this week’s 18-player tournament here at posh Isleworth Golf and Country Club, either. Woods admitted during a news conference before a packed house that while the injury is no longer a concern, the time missed because of it could keep him at a decided disadvantage against the field.

“Am I game-ready? Probably not quite as I would like to be,” he conceded. “It will be interesting to go out there on Thursday and [see] how long does it take for me to get my feel back for game shots; feel for my numbers; feel for my yardages; hitting the ball a certain trajectory; what's the wind doing; all the little things, hearing things; and making adjustments on my downswing.

“How long does it take me to get back into the flow of a round – sometimes it takes me a shot, sometimes it takes me three or four holes after a long layoff. I don't know. We'll see on Thursday.”

As if there weren’t already enough variables at play, Woods is also introducing a new swing “consultant” to his game, sparking debate as to whether he’ll endure another long journey toward multiple changes in his move through the ball.

It’s been widely pointed out that Chris Como’s other clients – Aaron Baddeley, Richard Lee, Trevor Immelman and Jamie Lovemark – aren’t exactly the most accurate ball-strikers around, leading to a theory that Woods could fall in line with such erraticism.

Conversely, though, it should be noted that he’s fresh off a relationship with Sean Foley that didn’t yield terribly accurate results, despite the instructor’s client list including a pair of world-class ball-strikers in Justin Rose and Hunter Mahan.

When asked whether his work with Como was a return to an old swing or the introduction of a new one, Woods spoke in riddles. “Well,” he sighed, “it is new, but it’s old.”

Translation: It’s too complex to try and explain it to you. Other translation: Even if I could, I don’t really want to.

And so instead we’ll be left to our own observational devices this week, watching Woods’ return with a keen eye toward not only the current tournament, but how this progress will affect him going forward.

This tournament needed a hero to swoop in and save it with a title sponsorship – and it got one in Hero. As for that double-entendre this week, Woods might not be playing the role of hero, but one thing remains powerfully true throughout the early days of his latest return.

The golf world is a whole lot more interesting when he’s playing.

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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)