Another Chance for Love

By Mercer BaggsAugust 18, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 PGA ChampionshipMEDINAH, Ill. -- Davis Love III has always been honest, even to a fault, when it comes to self assessment. Hes always said that he has expected more out of his career than what he has already accomplished. And he has always said that winning one major championship is just not enough for a player of his ilk.
So it shouldnt have come as much of a surprise when Love responded candidly to a question posed to him after his second round in the 88th PGA Championship.
Davis Love III
Davis Love III is in search of his second PGA Championship victory (1997).
The question was, basically: If you were Tom Lehman, would you select yourself with a captains pick.
The answer was: To be honest with you, no, not right now. I think Id need to give him a reason to pick me.
Lehman might not need a reason, as Love might just take care of business himself.
Love followed his opening 4-under 68 with a 3-under 69 Friday to move within one of second-round leaders Henrik Stenson, Billy Andrade, Luke Donald and Tim Herron at Medinah Country Club.
Hes currently 15th on the U.S. points list, 115 points behind No. 10 Brett Wetterich. A victory this week is worth 675 points. He needs to finish no worse than solo eighth to have any chance of qualifying for the team ' not that finishing eighth is on his agenda.
Ive backed myself into a corner. Sometimes you start doing the things youre supposed to be doing a little bit better when youre backed into a corner, he said.
Id love to go ahead and win this tournament and let him go pick somebody else.
Lehman would like that as well.
His current team, which will be finalized after this event, is lacking for experience, with four possible first-timers currently inside the top 10. Love has played in every Ryder Cup since 1993.
The closest he came to missing one was in 1997, when he entered the PGA Championship outside the cut line. He then went out and won the PGA at Winged Foot.
Love is on the verge of a repeat performance this week; though, it didnt look good early Friday.
Unlike in the first round, when he was 7 under through 10 holes, Love got off to a horrible start in round 2. Despite a birdie at the 10th, his first hole of the day, he bogeyed his next three.
It took me a little longer to get 3 over par, Love said, referencing his triple-bogey on the par-3 11th Thursday. It took me three holes rather than one hole.
Its unfortunate, but Im playing very well and making a lot of birdies.
That was evident over the remainder of his round, as he made five birdies and no bogeys. He has totaled 13 birdies through 36 holes.
Love hasnt won on TOUR since doing so three times in 2003. His best finish this year is a finals loss to Geoff Ogilvy in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, which ranks as his only top-10 of the season.
After missing the cut last week at The International, he played a practice round here Monday. He was supposed to play just nine holes, but he was hitting the ball so poorly that nine turned into 13, and 13 turned into a full 18.
Somewhere between here and there, he found something ' relaxation.
Im trying too hard to make the Ryder Cup team and its been disappointing, Love explained. I came out this year trying to play well and win tournaments and make points, and I think Ive gotten pretty much the same results all year. I just havent been as free-wheeling and as loose as I usually am when I play.
Carrying over this newly rediscovered freedom to the weekend won't be easy. Thanks to an increased work-out routine, his body, which has been prone to breakdown, is in great shape, ready for this major test. Its his mind and his emotions that hell have to control.
I think to win a major, to win any tournament, you have to be doing everything well, said Love. Plus, the mental game has to be very, very sharp.
When Ive played well, Ive not necessarily been hitting the ball perfectly going in or feeling 100 percent confident with my swing, but Ive done the right things mentally.
Such was the case through three rounds of last years PGA. He shot three straight 68s to share the 54-hole lead with Phil Mickelson. A closing 4-over 74, however, dropped him into a very disappointing tie for fourth.
Love said that he can feel similar vibes to a year ago at Baltusrol. But that he wants to have a different feeling at tournaments end.
I think its very similar, he said. When I do hit a good iron shot at the green, it seems like its right at it or real close, so that tells me if Im concentrating good and focused on what Im doing, Im going to hit a pretty good shot into the green. Ive just got to hit some fairways and stay relaxed and stay patient. Ill be fine if I can do this.
If he can do this, hell be more than fine. Hell be a two-time PGA champion. He'll be a TOUR winner for the first time in over three years. Hell be one giant step closer to the Hall of Fame. And hell most certainly be in Dublin, Ireland in four weeks.
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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  

    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 (

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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.