Spending the Day With Hootie

By Kelly TilghmanFebruary 20, 2004, 5:00 pm
Editor's Note: The Golf Channel's special presentation of 'Hootie &
The Blowfish: Mic'd For Play' premieres Tuesday Feb. 24 at 8:30 P.M. ET.

August 6, 1994. I remember my 25th birthday like it was yesterday. I was teaching golf in Stratton Mountain, Vermont and one of my best friends from high school flew all the way in from our home state of South Carolina so that we could celebrate our birthdays together.
We weren't rich so our gifts to each other were modest but heartfelt. He knew I had a passion for music so he bought me a Hootie and the Blowfish CD titled Cracked Rear View. At the time I had no idea who this band was but he assured me they were 'the next big thing'. He was especially proud to give it to me because they were a South Carolina band. 'We need to support our hometown boys' he said.
I popped it into the stereo that afternoon and enjoyed every single song. Little did I know Hootie and the Blowfish would eventually win two Grammy awards for the hit song Let Her Cry and would go on to sell more than 16 million copies of the multi-platinum album..
Darius Rucker and Kelly TilghmanSince those days, Hootie and the Blowfish have become a household name in the music industry and it's no secret that the four band members (Darius Rucker, Jim 'Soni' Sonefeld, Mark Bryan and Dean Felber) have an insatiable passion for the game of golf. They even have their own fundraising tournament called Monday After the Masters. It's a star-studded celebrity pro-am that raises money for the South Carolina Junior Golf Association and its 10th event will be held this April in Myrtle Beach.
To help promote the wildly successful pro-am, The Golf Channel invited Hootie and the Blowfish into its studios to perform a concert for our worldwide audience and the band graciously accepted. A proud South Carolinian was asked to host the festivities called Hootie and the Blowfish: Mic'd for Play. That fortunate and excited person was ME! Ten years ago I was unwrapping their breakthrough CD asking 'Who are these guys?' This time around, I had a front row seat mixed with a backstage and onstage pass. It was truly an honor.
I had briefly met the band the year before while co-hosting the Monday After the Masters show that aired on The Golf Channel. Seeing the guys for the first time since then, it was refreshingly obvious that none of them had changed a bit. Darius (lead vocals) still had amazing star power. Soni (drums) still had his trademark long hair and Mark (lead guitar) still had his boyish curly locks. Dean (bass guitar) was still the quiet one armed with that ever-charming smile.
They arrived approximately three hours before taping was scheduled to begin and meandered through the hallways of TGC, comfortably mixing with the employees as if they'd been there a hundred times. The band only needed an hour to rehearse. Shortly thereafter we began to tape the show that includes six of their greatest hits of all time. I can't tell you which songs they were but I can tell you three things about them. They nailed every one. The crowd was thoroughly entertained and several can be heard on their soon to be released Best of Hootie and the Blowfish album slated to hit the stores this spring.
Between songs, the guys shared personal stories about each other, a touching recollection of the 'trip of a lifetime' for the band and their most memorable moments on the golf course (one involving Tiger Woods and an unbelievable shot).
After the show, the guys kindly stuck around and took pictures with dozens of admirers, of course, I was one of them. Hosting this concert was a personal highlight in all of my time at The Golf Channel and I promise that it will be one of yours if you tune in to the premiere on February 24th.
Related links:
  • TGC Airtimes - Hootie & The Blowfish: Mic'd For Play
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    Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

    The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

    The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.

    This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

    After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

    “I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

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    Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

    Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

    “I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

    To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

    “More punishment,” he said.

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    DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

    Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

    Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

    It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

    With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

    Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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    TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

    • Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

    • This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

    • Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    • In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

    • At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

    • Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

    • My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.