Newlywed Leads in Canada

By Marty HenwoodJuly 4, 2002, 4:00 pm
Canadian Tour-LargeVICTORIA, BC -- Newlywed Scott Hend of Australia celebrated his first day married Thursday by grabbing a share of the lead after the opening round of the Canadian Tours Victoria Open.
The 27-year-old fired a 5-under 65 and is tied with Aaron Barber of Orlando, Fla., one shot in front of others, including Canadians Philip Jonas, Zoltan Veress, Doug McGuigan and Andrew Smeeth. Americans Mario Tiziani, Hank Kuehne and Jason Bohn, who played together Thursday, are also just one shot back, along with Michael Harris.
Hend married his longtime sweetheart Leanne in front of the British Columbia Parliament buildings Wednesday and, less than 24 hours later, began the honeymoon on the opening tee at Uplands Golf Club. With his new bride caddying Thursday, Hend played a bogey-free round (33-32) to get the early jump out of the gate.
We planned the wedding back in March, and weve been looking forward to it ever since, said Hend, adding this is Leannes first visit to Vancouver Island. The day after her wedding, and she is caddying for me. Hows that for a honeymoon? But I couldnt have found a better girlshe has been there every step of the way.
In seven events played this season, Hend has made six cuts and finished second to Canadian Derek Gillespie at the Myrtle Beach Barefoot Championship earlier this spring. Hend feels it will be a race to the wire right through Sundays final round, and if Thursday is any indication, his prediction seems like a safe bet. After the opening round, players were within three shots of Hend and Barber.
Its nice to get off to a good start - last week I shot 1-over on Thursday (in Vancouver) and was way behind right away. If you cant shoot even or better, all of a sudden you are seven or eight shots off the lead. Today I kept pace, lets hope we can do it right through Sunday.
Barber, 29, won two events last season on his way to the Order of Merit title but has struggled most of this campaign. Lately, he seems to be picking up steam, with three top-10 finishes in his past four events. Last weekend at the Greater Vancouver Classic, Barber wound up a season-high tie for third.
Its been very frustrating for me, but there are so many good players out here right now, it can be a fine line between being in contention and missing the cut, admitted Barber. But I am getting confident, and when you are playing with confidence, you seem to be more patient. And if this competition prepares me for (PGA Tour Qualifying in) October and November, Im all for it.
Jonas, a 13-year Tour veteran, also had his own bogey-free round Thursday and agrees that in order to have a chance on the weekend, a solid opening round is the key.
Any time you can make four birdies and no bogeys, you have to be happy, said the 2000 QuebecTel Open champion. Its a lot easier to play this game when you are under par. Golf can be tough at times, and I hope this will be a start for me. The guys on this Tour can take it low anywhere.
News, Notes and Numbers
*The hard-luck story of the day belonged to Darren Griff of Salt Spring Island, BC, who finished T3 last week at the Greater Vancouver Classic. Griff locked his keys in his car Thursday, with his golf clubs still in the trunk. After borrowing a putter, a 3-iron and an 8-iron from fellow golfer Jason Schultz, Griff played the first five holes with the same three clubs until his original sticks were retrieved.
*Calgary Flames goaltender Mike Vernon aced the par-3 fourth hole at the Victoria Open Pro-Am on Tuesday and won a new car. Vernon then took cash instead of the 2002 Toyota Echo and donated the money to three charities in Calgary.
Full coverage of the Victoria Open
Getty Images

Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 9:33 am

Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.

Everything before that, however, was far from routine.

Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.

He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and TaylorMade got him his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.

"I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.

Getty Images

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  

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; or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (

Getty Images

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.