Golf Shares Spotlight - Until Monday

By Mercer BaggsAugust 27, 2003, 4:00 pm
NORTON, Mass. -- Andrew Magee pulled into his hotel parking lot Tuesday and saw something a bit unusual, something a tad uncommon in proximity to a professional golf tournament.
I was checking in last night and theyre all just kind of sitting on the couches, smoking cigarettes on the curb, laying on the curb,' he said. 'Without a black t-shirt and a tattoo, youre not going to fit in.'
Magee was talking in reference to the roadies that had overrun his hotel.
Golf isnt the only show in town this week.
Though the PGA Tour has returned to the Boston/Providence area for a regular event for the first time since 1998 ' Brookline Country Club in Sutton, Mass., hosted the 1999 Ryder Cup ' locals will have several other entertainment options.
In addition to the Deutsche Bank Championship, which will commence Friday and conclude Labor Day Monday, there is a KISS and Aerosmith combo Wednesday night and Jimmy Buffet gigs Thursday and Saturday nights.
The concerts will be played at the Tweeter Center, which is less than a mile from the tournament site, the TPC of Boston.
That means players in this most silent of sports will have to deal with a little noise pollution as bands gear up ' and not to mention the congested traffic when trying to leave the course.
We cant control that, because we dont own that property, said PGA Tour tournament director Mark Russell. So theyre going to be able to do what they want to do. But well live with it; were going to play and see what happens.
Robert Gamez, for one, isnt too concerned with the possible distraction. In fact, Id love to see Buffet play, he said. Its neat to have options, have other stuff to do.
And that stuff isnt limited to the music scene.
The New England Patriots contest their final pre-season game at home, in nearby Foxboro, against the Chicago Bears Wednesday night. And the Boston Red Sox host the American League East-leading New York Yankees in a crucial three-game set starting Friday.
The Sox host the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday night, before playing another night game against New York Friday, and a couple of day games Saturday and Sunday.
Outside of a little game of golf this week, I want to get to a Yankees-Red Sox game, Paul Stankowski said. Ive never been to Fenway (Park).
Of course, with a $5-million purse up for grabs, and a $900,000 winners paycheck on the line, players wont be blinded by the nightlife.
What could be a cause for player concern, however, is routine. Most in the field didnt arrive onsite until Wednesday. And instead of officially keeping score Thursday, theyll be playing in a pro-am or practicing ' at an unfamiliar venue.
It throws you off, Gamez said of beginning and ending an event a day later than normal. Its a weird deal. But were all professionals and can handle it.
Its thrown everyones rhythm off a little bit, added Russell. But I think its good: a Labor Day, holiday finish. Well see what happens.
All involved are anxious to see how the course will play. The TPC of Boston was opened last June, and has been adjusted to meet tournament standards. Four new tee boxes have been built, and the eighth green has been reshaped.
Its new for everyone, including the players, the media and our guys, Russell said. Setting up the golf course, we dont know how the golf course is going to play, we dont know how long its going to play; we dont have any records from here, so were going to have to do the best we can do with that.
Fan support certainly isnt an official concern. Daily tickets, including for practice rounds, have been topped off to 25,000, and have been sold out throughout the week.
Obviously, the bevy of other attractions havent distracted people from wanting to witness the PGA Tour's first event in this region ' not including the Greater Hartford Open in Connecticut ' since the former CVS Charity Classic got the axe in 98 after a 34-year stint.
Yes, there will be Gene Simmons and his face-painted posse. Yes, the Parrotheads will flock. Yes, the NFL enthusiasm is palpable. And yes, the Evil Empire will invade Beantown.
But the area also has golf again. And they have Tiger, and the reigning U.S. and British Open champions. And 156 of the best players in the world. And come Monday, those left to entertain the masses wont have to share the spotlight with anyone else.
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    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.

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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.