Lessons From Down Under

By Mercer BaggsJanuary 7, 2001, 5:00 pm
Once again the game has risen above its critics. The much-maligned WGC-Accenture World Match Play Championship this past weekend in Melbourne, Australia, proved to be entertaining, competitive and even informative - despite the absence of many of the world's top-ranked players.
So, what did we learn this week?
Well, first of all we learned that there are many talented players outside of the United States and Europe. For years we've known of the Ozaki brothers - Jumbo, Jet and Joe. A couple of years ago we were introduced to their Japanese compatriot, the affable Shigeki Maruyama. Late 2000 we discovered Hidemichi Tanaka, who challenged for the season-ending WGC-American Express Championship before tying for 11th. Now we've been made aware of yet another gifted Japanese golfer - Toru Taniguchi.
Taniguchi not only outshined his more famous countryman, Maruyama, defeating him in the quarterfinals, he also bettered third-seeded Vijay Singh along the way. For the week, Taniguchi earned a career-best $400,000, or roughly 47 million yen.
We also know there's more to the Australian golf scene than just Norman, Parry, Appleby and Allenby. There's also Nick O'Hern, a 29-year-old lefty, whose mechanical swing and meticulous manner carried him past an ailing Hal Sutton and into the quarterfinals.
Speaking of Sutton, we also learned this week that the burly Louisianan's every bit as tough as his reputation would have you believe. Despite injuring his back prior to arriving in Australia, Sutton honored his commitment and fought through the apparent pain to challenge a game O'Hern, before falling in 21 holes.
In terms of reputation, Ernie Els has always been known for his laid-back manner. The Big Easy, nicknamed for his attributes as well as his attitude, proved in his third-round match against Jean Van de Velde that he isn't without emotion.
In an exhaustive and tightly contest match, Els rolled in a match-saving birdie putt at the 18th hole, complete with fist pump and a meaningful glare directed toward his opponent. One hole later he emphatically finished the Frenchman. Of course, as is his nature, Els downplayed the incident post-match.
We've also learned that the beauty that is the Metropolitan Golf Club is quite deceptive. Sans water, only wind and sand protect the luscious layout, requiring a player to display patience and precision. Should he fail to master either of the two, bogeys abound. Though not as treacherous to the sense as are the pot bunkers encompassing St. Andrews, the traps at Metropolitan proved to be equally as perilous.
This week taught us how minute the line is between good and great professionals. How equally talented players are throughout the world.
Sixty-four matches were contested this week, including the consolation match. Of those 64, the lower-seeded player won 33. In addition, 10 matches went into extra holes; that's three more than the previous two years combined.
We know Pierre Fulke is one of the hottest golfers on the planet the last six months. After missing the first five months of the 2000 season due to a disc problem in his back, Fulke captured the Scottish PGA in August and the Volvo Masters in November. He now adds a half-million dollars to his bank account, which not only increases his position in the tax bracket, but also guarantees him a spot on the 2001 European Ryder Cup team.
We learned that life offers opportunities, and it's up for us to take advantage of them. Steve Stricker did that this past week. Ranked 90th in the world, Stricker made the daylong trip to Australia only after 26 higher-ranked players withdrew.
Stricker arrived in Melbourne just trying to 'win a couple of matches' and take it from there. But one win turned to two, and then three and four. By Sunday afternoon, Stricker had six victories under his belt, a million dollars in his pocket and enough confidence to carry him through the upcoming season.
After winning the Kemper and Western Opens in 1996, the 33-year-old Stricker fell on difficult times, slipping to 130th on the money list the following year, narrowly missing out on a major championship in '98; and in his words: 'Fall(ing) off the golf map,' the past two years.
What Stricker lacked in confidence he more than made up for in self-doubt. A devoted father and husband, he questioned the Tour life. He questioned his place in the game.
More than anything, this week has taught us that perseverance pays, and in this case it pays greatly. And every now and again, even nice guys finish first.
What do you think of Stricker's win at the Match Play?
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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 12:15 pm

Tiger Woods, in search of his 15th career major championship title, started the weekend six off the lead at Carnoustie. We're tracking him in Round 3 of The Open.

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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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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.