Open Not Yet Closed

By Mercer BaggsJune 15, 2002, 4:00 pm
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- Tiger Woods increased his lead to four in the 102nd U.S. Open, but now theres less a sense of impending doom for his pursuers.
Following a brilliant performance in brutal weather Friday, Woods made only two birdies under ideal scoring conditions in round three at Bethpage State Park.
That pair, however, came over Tigers final four holes on the Black Course. With his lead cut to two, Woods birdied 15 and 17 to shoot even-par 70 and remain at 5-under for the tournament.
'I hung around, that's what you have to do, you have to fight and grind it out. I pride myself in that,' Woods said.

Sergio Garcia shot 3-under 67 to reach 1-under-par. Phil Mickelson climbed into red numbers with a birdie at the 17th, but bogeyed the last for a 67. He shares third place, at even-par 210, with Jeff Maggert (68).
'Eighteen more holes tomorrow on a golf course that, if you hit good shots, you can maybe make birdies,' said Mickelson, who is competing in his 40th major championship. 'I think that opens the door for the opportunity for lots of players to maybe make a move.'
Bill Mayfair (68), Robert Allenby (67) and Padraig Harrington (73) are six back, at 1-over.
'I think I have a chance,' said Garcia, who will play alongside Woods in the final round.
History shows otherwise. This is the seventh time Woods has taken a 54-hole lead in a major championship. Hes won all seven times.
The rain finally subsided Saturday morning, after an unrelenting display the day before. The temperature even picked up a few degrees, into the lower 60s.
But Tiger seemed to be on the opposite end of nature's seesaw ' as it went up, he came down.
Woods entered the third round with a three-shot lead over Harrington, and actually increased his advantage even though he shot 1-over 36 on the front.
Harrington started his day with a couple of 15-foot par saves ' which brought a pair of relieved smiles to the affable Irishmans face ' but his errant attack soon caught up with him.
Still three down to Tiger, Harrington double bogeyed the fifth, but dropped only one shot, as Woods missed a five-footer for par. His savior through two rounds, Tigers putter turned turncoat. He missed a six-footer for par at the 11th to drop to minus 3.
'It wasn't necessarily that I didn't putt well. To be honest with you, I wasn't swinging the club anywhere near as I did the first two days. Because of that, I fired away from a lot of the flags and left myself 20- and 30-footers,' Woods said.
As Woods crept closer to the black, others started to make a move to the red. Garcia stiffed his tee shot at the par-3 14th to a foot; Maggert matched his playing partners birdie; Allenby birdied 15 from 25 feet; and Mickelson coaxed in a curler for birdie at 15, as well.
In just a span of minutes, four players were within three of Tiger, at even par.
Allenby dropped quickly from the fray with bogeys on 16 and 17, but Mickelson kept climbing. He became the first player since Harrington doubled the fifth to reach red figures, by birdieing the par-3 17th.
And before fans could finish applauding Leftys 2, Garcia dropped in a birdie at the par-4 16th to also get within two of Tiger, at 1-under-par.
'For a moment, it looked like it was going to be quite close,' Garcia said.
While putts rattled in from the groups in front of him, Tigers ball continued to dodge the hole. He reached the green in two at the par-5 13th, but blew his eagle effort well past the cup and three-putted for par.
'Even though I was 2-over for the day, I was still leading - they had to catch me,' Woods said. 'I just kept telling myself, 'Just hang in there. You have the lead.''
Woods finally got one to fall at the 15th, when he nailed a 12-footer to get back to 4-under. He then carried that momentum through to the 17th, where he stuck his tee ball to eight feet and converted birdie No. 2.
Woods failed to birdie 18, however; the first time he hasnt closed with a birdie this week.
Garcia, too, parred the last, but his putt earned him a berth in the final pairing. The two battled for the title at the 1999 PGA Championship in Medinah, but were not paired together.
'I've been driving to prove myself for a while,' said Garcia, who was one shot off the 54-hole lead last year at Southern Hills, but shot 77 in the final round. 'We'll see if we can give (Tiger) another nice run tomorrow and make it exciting.'
Full-field scores from the 102nd U.S. Open
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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.

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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 (