Money Matters - But Not to All

By Mercer BaggsOctober 18, 2006, 4:00 pm
Does the name Brian Bateman mean anything to you? Probably not. You may have heard of him ' 33-year-old journeyman pro; Q-school regular; won a Nationwide Tour event back in 98.
Odds are, though, that even if you have heard the name, you wouldnt recognize him if he was sitting right in front of you ' which would have been the case had you been in the media center Tuesday at the Funai Classic at Walt Disney World.
Brian Bateman
Brian Bateman is 125th on the PGA TOUR money list by $648.
Brian Bateman. Media center. The two dont seem to go hand-in-hand, especially not prior to tournament play. Kind of like John Daly and practice.
The press center, leading up to an event, is usually reserved for notable players, local favorites and news makers ' basically, anybody whom a group of reporters would be willing interview.
So why would anyone want to Q&A Bateman, let alone more than one person? Well, it could do with the fact that hes currently in the 125th position on the PGA TOUR money list.
There are only two full-field events left on the 06 TOUR schedule, this weeks stop outside the Magic Kingdom and next weeks Chrysler Championship outside of Tampa.
And until Tiger Woods, who decided it wasnt worth his time to drive the 10 minutes from his home in Isleworth to Disney, returns to try and extend his winning streak at the TOUR Championship, money is not only the bottom line, but the only story line.
Money, they say, isn't everything. It is, however, about all there is to talk about right now in men's golf.
Tiger is taking off four weeks. Phil Mickelson is taking off four months. And there are no tournaments ' or even personalities ' compelling enough to grab ones viewing attention. Not when college football is in mid-season, the NFL is full of steam, and the World Series is near.
Golf, at best, has once again been relegated to a tertiary sport.
But thats the way it goes this time of year. And thats something that Tim Finchem and company are hoping to change in 2007. With the introduction of the FedEx Cup, the TOUR Championship will conclude Sept. 16, at the infancy of the football season and well before the start of the baseball playoffs.
Theres one caveat: the golf season isnt over after the TOUR Championship. There are still seven tournaments to be played as part of a Fall Series. Seven tournaments that most likely wont feature Tiger or Phil. Seven tournaments that will fight it out with football and baseball for the publics enthrallment. Seven tournaments that will miserably lose that fight.
Seven tournaments where money and the securing of playing privileges will be the only points of interest.
Sound like a familiar scenario?
This time of year is for the die-hard fan, the person who simply loves watching the game. Its for the golf addict, the person who actually watches a Golf Channel infomercial ' someone who could probably use an intervention (but, God love you; you help keep me employed).
For those of you who are actually interested, there are several money lines worth keeping an eye on over the next few weeks. The top 20 in earnings at seasons end qualify for next years Open Championship. The top 30 get into the U.S. Open. The top 40 make the Masters Tournament field.
The top 30 by the end of next weeks Chrysler Championship qualify for the TOUR Championship. The top 125 earn full exempt playing status on TOUR next season. And, perhaps the most important ' and most overlooked ' of them all is that those who finish between 126 and 150 retain partial playing status in 2007.
Finishing inside the top 150 is crucial. Last year, Briny Baird was 126th in earnings, about $2,500 shy of Nick Price for the 125th spot. But because he was inside the top 150, he retained partial status and has been able to play in 24 tournaments this year (hes not playing this week because he has already wrapped up his card for next season).
Meanwhile, Tom Gillis was 156th on last years money list, and because he lost his status hes been playing full time on the Nationwide Tour this year (hes currently 108th on their money list).
You want to be in the top 150, so at least you still have status and you still have the ability to get in tournaments, Bateman said in his press conference. But I want to make sure I keep my card.
Bateman is in the field this week trying to do just that, trying to add to his tenuous $648 lead over John Cook, who had to beg tournament officials for a spot in this weeks field. Cook is playing this year on his Past Champion status and is trying to finish inside the top 125 for the first time in four years.
Apparently, however, not everyone shares in the veterans urgency.
This time of year may be all about money, but, in this time of excess, when 88 players have already pocketed over $1 million in a single year, sometimes not even money can make people care ' even when theyre the beneficiaries.
Ernie Els and Tim Clark, Nos. 29 and 30 on the money list, are not in attendance trying to secure their spots in the TOUR Championship field. And Steve Stricker and Tim Herron, Nos. 32 and 33, are likewise MIA.
(Stricker has said that he is shutting it down for the season, forgoing any chance at qualifying for East Lake in order to spend some well-deserved time with his family.)
Others notably absent this week are Daly and David Duval. Duvals five-year exemption from winning the 2001 Open Championship runs out at the end of this year. Dalys two-year exemption from winning the 2004 Buick Invitational also expires.
Both men are currently outside the top 170 in earnings. And both are anywhere but Lake Buena Vista.
Duval, who won at Disney in 1997, can rely on a one-time exemption for being inside the top 25 on the TOURs career money list (he can use a one-time exemption for being inside the top 50 on that list next year, if needed).
Similarly, Bob Tway and Price, who are also outside the top 170 on the money list (but both in this week's field), can use top 50 exemptions next year, if necessary.
Daly doesnt have that option, as he is 76th in career earnings. Of course, Daly can always rely on his Past Champion status and his public appeal (he can receive seven sponsor's exemptions next year) to get into events. It's likely that is what he will have to do, since he hasn't played since withdrawing from last week's Las Vegas event due to a broken finger.
John Daly. Las Vegas. A broken appendage. Now there's an intriguing storyline ' even more so if it involves money.
Email your thoughts to Mercer Baggs
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McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

Said Harmon:

“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

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How The Open cut line is determined

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

• There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

• There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:30 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  

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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First-, second-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:30 am

Three-time champion Tiger Woods is playing in The Open for the first time since he missed the cut in 2015 at St. Andrews. Woods will begin his first round Thursday in the 147th edition at Carnoustie at 10:21 a.m. ET, playing alongside Hideki Matsuyama and Russell Knox.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth delivered the claret jug to the R&A on Monday at Carnoustie. He will begin his title defense at 4:58 a.m. ET on Thursday, playing with world No. 2 Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

Other notable groupings:

  • Rory McIlroy will look to capture his second claret jug at 7:53 a.m. Thursday. He goes off with Marc Leishman and Thorbjorn Olesen.
  • World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is playing with Alex Noren and Charley Hoffman. They will play at 8:04 a.m. ET in the first round.
  • World No. 2 Justin Thomas goes at 8:26 a.m. with Francesco Molinari and Branden Grace.
  • Masters champion Patrick Reed will play with Louis Oosthuizen and Paul Casey at 5:20 a.m. ET.
  • U.S. Open champion and world No. 4 Brooks Koepka is grouped with Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith (9:59 a.m. ET).
  • Phil Mickelson, the 2013 Open champion, will begin at 3:03 a.m. ET with Satoshi Kodaira and Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Here's a look at the full list of times for Rounds 1 and 2 (all times ET):

1:35AM/6:36AM: Sandy Lyle, Martin Kaymer, Andy Sulliva

1:46AM/6:47AM: Erik Van Rooyen, Brady Schnell, Matthew Southgate

1:57AM/6:58AM: Danny Willett, Emiliano Grillo, Luke List

2:08AM/7:09AM: Mark Calcavecchia, Danthai Boonma, Shaun Nooris

2:19AM/7:20AM: Kevin Chappell, Oliver Wilson, Eddie Pepperell

2:30AM/7:31AM: Ross Fisher, Paul Dunne, Austin Cook

2:41AM/7:42AM: Tyrrell Hatton, Patrick Cantlay, Shane Lowry

2:52AM/7:53AM: Thomas Pieters, Kevin Kisner, Marcus Kinhult

3:03AM/8:04AM: Phil Mickelson, Satoshi Kodaira, Rafa Cabrera Bello

3:14AM/8:15AM: Brian Harman, Yuta Ikeda, Andrew Landry

3:25AM/8:26AM: Si Woo Kim, Webb Simpson, Nicolai Hojgaard (a)

3:36AM/8:37AM: Stewart Cink, Brandon Stone, Hideto Tanihara

3:47AM/8:48AM: Gary Woodland, Yusaku Miyazato, Sung Kang

4:03AM/9:04AM: Ernie Els, Adam Hadwin, Chesson Hadley

4:14AM/9:15AM: Pat Perez, Julian Suri, George Coetzee

4:25AM/9:26AM: David Duval, Scott Jamieson, Kevin Na

4:36AM/9:37AM: Darren Clarke, Bernhard Langer, Retief Goosen

4:47AM/9:48AM: Matt Kuchar, Anirban Lahiri, Peter Uihlein

4:58AM/9:59AM: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Kiradech Aphibarnrat

5:09AM/10:10AM: Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Chris Wood

5:20AM/10:21AM: Louis Oosthuizen, Paul Casey, Patrick Reed

5:31AM/10:32AM: Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Jhonattan Vegas

5:42AM/10:43AM: Yuxin Lin (a), Alexander Bjork, Sang Hyun Park

5:53AM/10:54AM: James Robinson, Haraldur Magnus, Zander Lombard

6:04AM/11:05AM: Kodai Ichihara, Rhys Enoch, Marcus Armitage

6:15AM/11:16AM: Sean Crocker, Gavin Green, Ash Turner

6:36AM/1:35AM: Brandt Snedeker, Sam Locke (a), Cameron Davis

6:47AM/1:46AM: Patton Kizzire, Jonas Blixt, Charles Howell III

6:58AM/1:57AM: Charl Schwartzel, Daniel Berger, Tom Lewis

7:09AM/2:08AM: Alex Levy, Ryan Moore, Byeong Hun An

7:20AM/2:19AM: Michael Hendry, Kelly Kraft, Lee Westwood

7:31AM/2:30AM: Henrik Stenson, Tommy Fleetwood, Jimmy Walker

7:42AM/2:41AM: Matthew Fitzpatrick, Russell Henley, Jovan Rebula (a)

7:53AM/2:52AM: Rory McIlroy, Marc Leishman, Thorbjorn Olesen

8:04AM/3:03AM: Dustin Johnson, Alex Noren, Charley Hoffman

8:15AM/3:14AM: Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Brendan Steele

8:26AM/3:25AM: Justin Thomas, Francesco Molinari, Branden Grace

8:37AM/3:36AM: Jason Day, Shota Akiyoshi, Haotong Li

8:48AM/3:47AM: Todd Hamilton, Beau Hossler, Jorge Campillo

9:04AM/4:03AM: Ryuko Tokimatsu, Chez Reavie, Michael Kim

9:15AM/4:14AM: Kyle Stanley, Nicolas Colsaerts, Jens Dantorp

9:26AM/4:25AM: Tom Lehman, Dylan Frittelli, Grant Forrest

9:37AM/4:36AM: Lucas Herbert, Min Chel Choi, Jason Kokrak

9:48AM/4:47AM: Padraig Harrington, Bubba Watson, Matt Wallace

9:59AM/4:58AM: Ian Poulter, Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka

10:10AM/5:09AM: Sergio Garcia, Bryson DeChambeau, Shubhankar Sharma

10:21AM/5:20AM: Tiger Woods, Hideki Matsuyama, Russell Knox

10:32AM/5:31AM: Jason Dufner, Ryan Fox, Keegan Bradley

10:43AM/5:42AM: Ryan Armour, Abraham Ander, Masahiro Kawamura

10:54AM/5:53AM: Jazz Janewattananond, Fabrizio Zanotti, Jordan Smith

11:05AM/6:04AM: Brett Rumford, Masanori Kobayashi, Jack Senior

11:16AM/6:15AM: Matt Jones, Thomas Curtis, Bronson Burgoon