Third Win for Webb Would Be Charming

By Martha BrendleJuly 1, 2002, 4:00 pm
Defending champion Karrie Webb will have to reach deep within herself in order to successfully defend her title this week. For nestled in a historically strong field is Swedens female golfing icon - Annika Sorenstam.
 
Sorenstam is the sure bet going into the U.S. Womens Open, being played for the first time at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., July 4-7.
 
Everything is all going my way, the very confident Sorenstam said after her win at the ShopRite Classic Sunday.
 
The Swede is the obvious spoilsport to Webbs dream of winning three consecutive USGA championships.
 
Confidence is something that Webb, No. 6 on the money list, currently struggles with as she battles the residuals of a swing change that has left her with a left-to-right fade.
 
Efforts to get the club in front of her have, thus far, left her behind this season. Yet Webb has a good Open track record on her side. In her six appearances, she has never missed a cut, has recorded two top-10 finishes (fourth in 1997 and seventh in 1999) and has two victories to her credit.

Sorenstams 2001 season performance (she set or tied 30 records) was a tough act to follow, and yet somehow the soft-spoken Swede has not disappointed. Armed with Kai Fusser, her latest and greatest personal trainer, and 'Vision 54' (18 birdies in a single round), Sorenstam has stormed through the first half of the year recording five victories and 10 top-five finishes in 11 starts. Sunday, she recorded a bogey-free final round 5-under-par 66, resulting in a three-stroke victory at the ShopRite LPGA Classic ' her second victory in as many starts.
 
Her recent success is no accident. It is, in fact, part of a well-oiled plan - the culmination of fierce determination and relentless focus. I definitely feel that I am hitting better this year and what I mean by that is that I am more solid, and especially with my long irons, the No. 1 player in the world said. My drives, according to the stats, are 10 to 12 yards longer and the accuracy is good and I am up there in greens in regulations and I am also putting better. My scoring average is lower and I am better than last year so far this year.
 
Sorenstam has been working with Fusser for a mere seven months and is already seeing progress - although she thinks it will be more like a year-and-a-half until the full benefits of her new regime come to fruition.
 
Ive won a lot, and I love to win. I think with the more Ive won, I realize how much winning means to me. It never gets old. Actually, it makes me want more of it ' its an addictive feeling,' she said.
 
'I know there are more records I can break and I want to see how good I can be and I feel like all my hard work that Ive put in, Im now seeing the results and I know I have not reached my peak yet so Im going to push and push, and see how far I can go.'
 
The USGA will do its best to create perfect conditions for this years U.S. Womens Open. The worlds top 150 female players, professionals and amateurs alike, will face green speeds of 10 on the Stimpmeter, rough projected to be 3 inches deep and native tall grasses - all of which have the potential to wreak havoc with their games as they play the 6,293-yard, par-70 course. In addition, if wind at Prairie Dunes C.C. comes into play, errant shots will be severely penalized.
 
Prairie Dunes C.C. has an interesting history. The 18-hole course was built in two stages over a period of 20 years. Perry Maxwell designed the front nine which opened in 1937 and his son Press Maxwell designed the back nine, which opened in 1957.
 
Chip Shots:
 
There are two ways to tell the Wongluekiet twins apart this week. Naree has had her braces removed and will be watching golf from outside the ropes while Aree, still sporting her metallic smile, has qualified to play.
 
After finishing second at the ShopRite Classic Sunday, Julie Inkster made arrangements to spend Monday with her swing coach Mike McGetrick. Inkster, who won the 1999 Open at Old Waverly G.C., also won the first of three consecutive U.S. Women's Amateur titles at Prairie Dunes in 1980.
 
Amateur Stacy Prammanasudh of Tulsa, Okla., has Annika Sorenstam to thank for making it into the field. Prammanasudh qualified after Sorenstam won the ShopRite title.
 
Full Field for the U.S. Women's Open
 
Tee Times
Getty Images

Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.


Getty Images

McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

Said Harmon:

“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

Getty Images

How The Open cut line is determined

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


• After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

• There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

• There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.

Getty Images

How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:30 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)