Masters You Take Tiger Ill Take the Field

By Kraig KannApril 2, 2004, 5:00 pm
As I bang away on this keyboard, Tiger Woods is most likely on the back of the range just down the road from me at Isleworth Country Club. Hes tweaking, tuning and giving himself a talking to. Hes also probably punished his body with a five-mile run this morning while I was reading the paper over a bowl of cereal.
 
As long as he doesnt go out and shoot one of those pre-Masters Tournament 59s Ill feel safe in taking the field next week against the worlds No 1.
 
Now, before I continue, lets get one thing straight. Woods IS the worlds No. 1. Hes the most talented player, the best player, the smartest player and the most determined player.
 
Having said that, I just dont see how you can pick him to win when all signs point toward something not being right with his game and his frame (of mind). If he were to win come next Sunday at Augusta National Golf Club, the legend would add another amazing chapter and the storyline would carry straight to Shinecock Hills. It could very well happen (Im not dumb enough to suggest that the possibility doesnt exist.)
 
But as Ive thought about this, Ive conjured up thoughts about some dream scenarios that would make Sunday special without Woods throwing on another green jacket.
 
Heres my list of potential great stories:
 
Daly Makes Most of Late Entry
Gee, where have we seen this before? How about Crooked Stick as the last-minute alternate. Daly said his goal was Augusta. He made it by the thinnest of margins. And now, leading by one shot on Sunday, the biggest man in the field launches a monster drive on 18 that leaves him a flip sand wedge and a putt for the largest green jacket handed out since Billy Casper.
 
Bjorn Bunker Blast Seals Masters
Cmon, this guy deserves a break after what went down at Royal St. George. The goofiest of courses in the rotation provided us with a goofy finish. And poor Thomas hasnt done much since. This guy has a world of talent. I say, let him hole one from the bunker on Sunday that makes the difference in a victory for the Great Dane.
 
Not Going For It Gets it for Mickelson
Heres a crazy finish for you. Mickelson begins the second 9 on Sunday with a one-shot lead. He actually chooses to lay up at 13, trusting all the work he did in the off-season with Rick Smith and Dave Pelz. The result is a stiff wedge and birdie. Same story at 15. Then at 18, with a two-shot cushion, he hits 4-iron off the tee and plays for bogey at the worst. He makes par and tells the media hes not talking and were not invited to his party. (I wouldnt blame him.)
 
Another Auss(ie)-ome Finish
Two weeks after Adam Scott kept us on the edge of our nerves, this time its a Sunday battle between Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby and Craig Parry. Parrys made five of six cuts at Augusta and in the most ironic of finishes, hits driver at 18 to 176 yards. Upon arriving at his ball, he and his caddy look at each other, smile and both grab for the 6-iron. Parry stiffs it, makes birdie, wins the Masters and upon Hootie Johnson fitting him with Ian Woosnams old coat, Parry cries out, Too bad NBCs not televising this thing! I want a shot at Johnny Miller.
 
Mattiace Snowplows Way to a Green Jacket
Last year Mattiace broke down into tears after a dramatic playoff loss to Mike Weir. You can understand. Mattiace had a three-stroke lead on Weir as Mike reached the 13th fairway. Now, Mattiace returns after an off-season ski trip that resulted in even more injury. Barely two legs to stand on, Mattiace stands at 18 with a two-shot lead and keeps in it check. Talk about an emotional Sunday!
 
There are endless potentially great endings you could write:
 
  • Scott Hoch wins with a two-foot putt at the last.
     
  • Kenny Perry slips the green jacket over one of those dreadful Tabasco shirts he wears and talks about the major that got away at Valhalla.
     
  • Jay Haas ' whos always played well at Augusta - wins at 50 and cements a spot on the Ryder Cup team.
     
  • Charles Howell III wins in the town where he grew up and tells Jim Nantz that hes spent the last two weeks hitting nothing but half shots.
     
  • Colin Montgomerie somehow arrives at the 18th with a lead and holds on, then he retires and announces that hell become a television analyst.
     
  • Or how about perhaps the best of them all, Tom Watson finds magic ala Ben Crenshaw and wins one for his stricken caddy Bruce Edwards.
     
    All this conjecture is meant in the spirit of fun. The Masters is the best, if for no other reason than weve had some eight months to dream up the scenarios. Who are my favorites? Its one of these six: Davis Love III, David Toms, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington or Vijay Singh.
     
    Ill let you know the choice come Wednesday night on the two-hour Sprint Pre-Game. Dont miss it!
     
    Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
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    How to watch The Open on TV and online

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:40 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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    The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:30 am

    Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about The Open:

    What's all this "The Open" stuff? I thought it was the British Open.

    What you call it has historically depended on where you were. If you were in the U.S., you called it the British Open, just as Europeans refer to the PGA Championship as the U.S. PGA. Outside the U.S. it generally has been referred to as The Open Championship. The preferred name of the organizers is The Open.

    How old is it?

    It's the oldest golf championship, dating back to 1860.

    Where is it played?

    There is a rotation – or "rota" – of courses used. Currently there are 10: Royal Birkdale, Royal St. George's, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham and St. Annes, all in England; Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland and St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Turnberry and Muirfield, all in Scotland. Muirfield was removed from the rota in 2016 when members voted against allowing female members, but when the vote was reversed in 2017 it was allowed back in.

    Where will it be played this year?

    At Carnoustie, which is located on the south-eastern shore of Scotland.

    Who has won The Open on that course?

    Going back to the first time Carnoustie hosted, in 1931, winners there have been Tommy Armour, Henry Cotton (1937), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1968), Tom Watson (1975), Paul Lawrie (1999), Padraig Harrington (2007).

    Wasn't that the year Hogan nearly won the Slam?

    Yep. He had won the Masters and U.S. Open that season, then traveled to Carnoustie and won that as well. It was the only time he ever played The Open. He was unable to play the PGA Championship that season because the dates conflicted with those of The Open.

    Jean Van de Velde's name should be on that list, right?

    This is true. He had a three-shot lead on the final hole in 1999 and made triple bogey. He lost in a playoff to Lawrie, which also included Justin Leonard.

    Who has won this event the most?

    Harry Vardon, who was from the Channel Island of Jersey, won a record six times between 1896 and 1914. Australian Peter Thomson, American Watson, Scot James Braid and Englishman J.H. Taylor each won five times.

    What about the Morrises?

    Tom Sr. won four times between 1861 and 1867. His son, Tom Jr., also won four times, between 1868 and 1872.

    Have players from any particular country dominated?

    In the early days, Scots won the first 29 Opens – not a shocker since they were all played at one of three Scottish courses, Prestwick, St. Andrews and Musselburgh. In the current era, going back to 1999 (we'll explain why that year in a minute), the scoreboard is United States, nine wins; South Africa, three wins; Ireland, two wins; Northern Ireland, two wins; and Sweden, one win. The only Scot to win in that period was Lawrie, who took advantage of one of the biggest collapses in golf history.

    Who is this year's defending champion?

    That would be American Jordan Spieth, who survived an adventerous final round to defeat Matt Kuchar by three strokes and earn the third leg of the career Grand Slam.

    What is the trophy called?

    The claret jug. It's official name is the Golf Champion Trophy, but you rarely hear that used. The claret jug replaced the original Challenge Belt in 1872. The winner of the claret jug gets to keep it for a year, then must return it (each winner gets a replica to keep).

    Which Opens have been the most memorable?

    Well, there was Palmer in 1961and '62; Van de Velde's collapse in 1999; Hogan's win in 1953; Tiger Woods' eight-shot domination of the 2000 Open at St. Andrews; Watson almost winning at age 59 in 2009; Doug Sanders missing what would have been a winning 3-foot putt at St. Andrews in 1970; Tony Jacklin becoming the first Briton to win the championship in 18 years; and, of course, the Duel in the Sun at Turnberry in 1977, in which Watson and Jack Nicklaus dueled head-to-head over the final 36 holes, Watson winning by shooting 65-65 to Nicklaus' 65-66.

    When I watch this tournament on TV, I hear lots of unfamiliar terms, like "gorse" and "whin" and "burn." What do these terms mean?

    Gorse is a prickly shrub, which sometimes is referred to as whin. Heather is also a shrub. What the scots call a burn, would also be considered a creek or stream.

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    Four players vying for DJ's No. 1 ranking at Open

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 8:41 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Four players have an opportunity to overtake Dustin Johnson for world No. 1 this week.

    According to Golf Channel world-rankings guru Alan Robinson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm each can grab the top spot in the world ranking.

    Thomas’ path is the easiest. He would return to No. 1 with either a win and Johnson finishing worse than solo third, or even a solo runner-up finish as long as Johnson finishes worse than 49th.


    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Twenty years after his auspicious performance in The Open, Rose can get to No. 1 for the first time with a victory and Johnson finishing worse than a two-way tie for third.

    Kopeka can rise to No. 1 if he wins consecutive majors, assuming that his good friend posts worse than a three-way tie for third.

    And Rahm can claim the top spot with a win this week, a Johnson missed cut and a Thomas finish of worse than solo second.   

    Johnson’s 15-month reign as world No. 1 ended after The Players. He wasn’t behind Thomas for long, however: After a tie for eighth at the Memorial, Johnson blew away the field in Memphis and then finished third at the U.S. Open to solidify his position at the top.