Woods trying to tie PGA record of Nicklaus, Hagen

By Martin DavisAugust 6, 2012, 6:35 pm

One of the enduring verities in golf – an ultimate truth, if you will – is that greatness is defined by wins in major championships. And the corollary is perhaps even more valid – true greatness is defined by multiple wins in majors.

Once again Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship this week at Kiawah Island has a chance to take the next giant step in his quest to equal and eclipse Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major victories.

But first and foremost, Woods has an opportunity to achieve another significant milestone – matching the record of five wins in the PGA Championship jointly held by Nicklaus and Walter Hagen. He can thus take two giant steps this week – moving within three wins of the overall Nicklaus record for majors and simultaneously joining Hagen and Nicklaus as the only five-time winners of the Wanamaker Trophy, truly a major accomplishment.

Uniquely, the PGA Championship is a story of polar-opposite formats, the only one of the four majors to be conducted under different conditions of play. From 1916-1957, the PGA was match play, a grueling head-to-head format because of the number of holes that must be played in a single day; from 1958 on, it’s been played in the stroke-play format.

Hagen was the world’s first full-time tournament professional. He won so often and in such flamboyant style that he singlehandedly ushered in the era of the playing pro, elevating the status of playing professionals from little more than second-class citizens. In doing so, he became known as “Sir Walter” for his regal demeanor and lavish antics. When pros were not allowed in the clubhouse for the 1922 British Open at Royal St. George’s he ordered a limo to be parked in front of the clubhouse, changing his clothes in the car and having his chauffeur serve him his meals on a silver tray. He played often with his friend the Duke of Windsor, the future King of England, calling him Eddie and instructing him to hold the flagstick while he putted. Needless to say, Hagen was golf’s first great showman, perhaps the greatest. He was a larger-than-life figure who played with flair and panache, thus capturing the imagination and adulation of the public.

“The Haig” was not a picture-book swinger of the club, as he had a pronounced sway with his longer clubs, but with a deadly short game, especially on the greens, he could really play. He was known to say of his sometimes-loose play on par 4s – “three of these and one of those, still makes four.” He could break your spirit with his putter.

Hagen won his first PGA Championship in 1921 against “Long Jim” Barnes, 3 and 2, in the 36-hole final. In 1923 he lost to rival and good friend Gene Sarazen in a heartbreaker after 38 holes.

But then Hagen went on an incredible tear, capturing the Wanamaker Trophy in each of the next four years (1924-27) against elite players, all but one a current Hall of Famer. (The other, Jim Turnesa, won 14 times on Tour.)

Such was Hagen’s dominance that in the 15 years he played in the PGA, he won 80 percent of his matches, eclipsed only by a few percentage points by Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, and little-known Walter Burkemo. Deservedly, Hagen is considered the greatest match player of all time. He was, as Charlie Price wrote, “… like Hamlet, golf’s sweet prince.”

To this day, Hagen’s four straight wins in the PGA is the longest consecutive win streak in a major in the modern era. 

In 1958 the PGA Championship switched to stroke play, just in time for a big-hitter with a deft putting stroke to join the pro ranks in 1962.

And it didn’t take Nicklaus much time to indelibly make his mark at the PGA, winning the first of his five championships in 1963, joining Hogan, Nelson and Sarazen as the only men to ever win the PGA, the U.S. Open and the Masters. Nicklaus won again in 1971, this time over Billy Casper; in 1973 he won his third, thus eclipsing Bobby Jones’ 43-year-old record of 13 majors; and again in 1975, this time at Firestone. In 1980 he won his record-tying fifth PGA by seven strokes, the largest margin since the championship changed to stroke play. And, to round out his PGA Championship resume, he added four runner-up finishes to firmly establish himself as the top PGA champion of all time.

With this backdrop, can Woods win a fifth PGA to add to his titles from 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007?

If he can keep his tee shots down, out of the wind and in the fairway and also putt reasonably well, he has a solid shot. In the past, Woods has exhibited what the great sports writers call “strength of mind” – the ability to clearly set a well-conceived strategy, stick with it and think around the course. All of the great golfers have had it – Hagen, Jones, Nelson, Hogan, Nicklaus. Nicklaus did it over a tough Muirfield setup in heavy winds in his British Open victory in 1966, hitting driver only 17 times over four days. Hogan did it at Carnoustie in 1953, Nelson in his streak of 11 straight wins in 1945 and Jones at St. Andrews in 1930.

Call it mental toughness. Call it patience. Kiawah will require both.

Let’s see if Woods can vault into this rarefied air by equaling Hagen and Nicklaus’ record of five wins in the PGA Championship.

Martin Davis is the golf historian for Golf Channel and has written or edited more than 25 books on golf.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 9:00 am

Tiger Woods shot his second consecutive 70 on Friday at Carnoustie and enters weekend play at even par for the championship, still in contention for major No. 15.

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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)

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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson