Change Happens Brace Yourself

By Kraig KannApril 20, 2007, 4:00 pm
This weeks PGA TOUR stop is the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where title sponsor Zurich proudly boasts because change happenz.
A fitting slogan in this world of professional golf thats hit us in 2007.
Think about it... an LPGA major championship where Annika didnt factor, a Masters where Tiger Woods failed to deliver and Phil Mickelson jumped ship as soon as Sunday began.
And now, Boo tosses Ernie Els aside to become the PGA TOURs newest folk hero.
So we head to the second majors of the respective tours with Morgan Pressel and Zach Johnson as the years biggest winners and we wait for Lorena Ochoa to get her first major title, Phil Mickelson to get over questions about Winged Foot and Tiger Woods to get over whatever ailed him at Augusta.
Since 1959 there have been 15 first-time winners at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans ' which has all the makings of another in the making.
David Toms is the most notable local boy in the field. But given wins this year by the 33-year old Boo Weekly whos just the latest to make the Nationwide Tour look so good, and Charlie Hoffman who broke through this year at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, notable is just a word. Give it four rounds and a tournament and we might just have ourselves another new pro to root for.
I had a writer from the New Orleans Times-Picayune ask Jerry Foltz and I this week about a field without the tours biggest names and how it might affect the tournament.
My quote in the paper: The story isnt about who isnt here, its about who is here. And theres a good chance theres going to be a life-changing experience for someone on Sunday.
Its true golf today is about focusing on those who play well, not those who dont choose to show up.
The folks in New Orleans are just glad they have a tournament to promote to its residents, and a course (the re-built TPC Louisiana) to showcase big league sports in its city.
Kyle Reifers opened with a round of 8-under on Thursday. Kyle who???? Maybe we need to focus on him.
The NCAA Runner-up in 2006 as a Wake Forest Demon Deacon, Reifers quickly won a mini-tour event on the Tar Heel Tour, then Monday qualified on the Nationwide Tour in Chattanooga, Tenn. And promptly won with a 61 on Sunday.
He went the rest of the year on the Nationwide Tour, ended up at the PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament where a bogey putt on the 108th hole (that he thought was irrelevant) gave him 8-under and the final PGA TOUR card.
Interestingly, 8-under was the number Mark Wilson landed on. And Wilson went on to beat a bunch of players more notable that him at the Honda Classic.
For those who scream that Tiger Woods gets too much publicity, this is our chance to root for new challengers.
Paul Goydos staked his claim to a newspaper headline. Mark Calcavecchia is back among the winners.
Brandt Snedeker making noise? Get used to it. Jeff Quinney in the hunt? Its okay.
No Tiger. No Phil. No Ernie. No Sergio.
The golden carrot dangles for everyone. Change happens and that doesnt make things bad just a bit different.
Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Masters Tournament
  • Getty Images

    'Hungover' Pepperell improbably in mix after 67

    By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 4:20 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eddie Pepperell’s 11:40 a.m. tee time on Sunday at The Open was a tad early, and not just because the Englishman was heading out more than three hours before the leaders.

    Following a third-round 71 that dropped him eight strokes off the lead, Pepperell did what many golfers do after a less-than-stellar round – he drank.

    “Honestly, I was a little hungover. I won't lie. I had too much to drink last night,” said Pepperell, who said he went to bed on Friday at around 11:30 p.m. “I was so frustrated yesterday, that today was really, I wouldn't say a write-off, but I didn't feel I was in the golf tournament. Whether I shot 69 or 73 today, it wouldn't have been heartbreaking.”

    Pepperell was much closer to the former on Sunday, posting a round-of-the-day 67 to move to within one stroke of the lead held by multiple players as the leaders made the turn.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Pepperell had just a single bogey on a blustery day at Carnoustie and closed his round with birdies at Nos. 14 and 17. It was one of just four rounds in the 60s on a course that had become increasingly difficult with each gust.

    With six players tied for the lead at 6 under par, including defending champion Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, Pepperell planned to wait and see how the afternoon progressed.

    “The only hope I have is that it's Carnoustie, and the last three, four holes, even though they're downwind, still anything can happen with obviously pressure and all that sort of stuff out here,” he said. “So I'll have to hang around.”

    Getty Images

    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 22, 2018, 4:00 pm

    Tiger Woods is stalking his 15th career major championship trophy. Follow the action with our tracker to see if he can get it done at Carnoustie.

    Getty Images

    Pros melting down on Twitter as they watch Tiger

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 3:42 pm

    Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.

    His fellow pros have been watching and tweeting like your average fans.

    We're compiling their missives below:

    Getty Images

    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.