Parnevik Breezes to First-Round Lead in Honda
Jesper Parnevik fired a bogey-free 7-under-par 65 on a day when the wind barely qualified as a breeze. He's tied with Australian rookies Ben Ferguson and Geoff Ogilvy for the 18-hole lead in Coral Springs, Fla.
The Swede, who turned 36 on Wednesday, may feel like a kid again when he looks a little further down the leaderboard. Forty-three-year-old Fulton Allem and 45-year-old Scott Simpson are just one shot off the day one lead after opening in 6-under-par 66.
Simpson, the 1987 U.S. Open champion, missed the entire 2000 season due to a broken ankle. He and Allem are in a six-way tie for fourth place along with 24-year-old former Public Links champion Hunter Haas, J.P. Hayes, Jim Gallagher, Jr., and Bernhard Langer.
Mark Calcavecchia is two back following a 5-under-par 67. He's tied with 11 others, including Joe Durant, who's in search of his third straight PGA Tour victory, and 16-year-old amateur Ty Tryon.
Tryon, a sophomore from Lake Highland High School in Orlando, Monday qualified for this week's event. Thursday, he birdied his final three holes for a 67 in his first career PGA Tour start.
'I'm just incredibly happy to be here, just to play a PGA tournament,' said Tryon, who plays on the same golf team with the sons of John Cook and David Leadbetter. 'Playing well is definitely a plus, but it is awesome.'
Calcavecchia is just two weeks removed from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Fortunately, as a two-time winner of this event, he didn't need a practice round to regain his comfort on the course.
Arriving just 15 minutes before his 7:27am tee time, this year's Phoenix Open champion birdied six of his first 16 holes, before fatigue set in over the final stretch. He bogeyed the par-4 17th and two-putted for par on the par-4 finishing hole.
'I did hit the wall on the 17th tee, it felt like someone just hit me over the head with a hammer,' he said. 'I almost fell asleep out there on 17, but if someone would have told me I was going to shoot 5-under today, I'd be real happy.'
Under normal circumstances, Calcavecchia said he would have skipped this week's Tour stop. But, living just 45 minutes away in West Palm Beach, he considers this a home event. And well he should. He not only lives nearby, but he won the tournament in 1987 when it was played on the TPC at Eagle Trace, and again in 1999 at Heron Bay.
Calcavecchia first noticed the pain in his left knee in the third round of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. And, having already gone through two prior surgeries - one on each knee - he was able to diagnosis the injury himself.
In his first competitive round since going under the knife, Calcavecchia sported a brace and a slight hitch in his gait. He also had to tailor his swing a bit.
'I open my left foot a little bit more and I'm probably hands-ing it out there a little more,' said Calcavecchia, who hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation. 'I can't quite clear my left knee and snap it straight shut like I'm used to. But it's alright.'
Much like Calcavecchia, Parnevik is commuting to and from work this week. Jesper resides in Jupiter, just about an hour north of Coral Springs.
He had to wake up at 4 o'clock in the morning to make his tee time. But with a newborn in the next room, it didn't prove to be a problem.
Sans sleep, Parnevik needed only 22 putts in his 65 strokes. He gave credit to a device called the Zen Oracle Training System.
'It's like a putter with a doughnut hole in it,' described Parnevik. 'And you put the ball in this hole (in the face) and then you make a normal stroke and then you kind of release the ball towards the hole.
'It's amazing, the feel you get with it. It's helped me a lot.'
Allem was fine with his putter on Thursday; it was his driver that nearly killed him. Allem, who is still riding a 10-year exemption for winning the 1993 NEC World Series of Golf, saw every bit of the Heron Bay layout in the first round. But thanks to a new set of Mizuno blade irons, which he put in his bag on Wednesday, the South African was able to salvage his best round of the season.
The last time Allem warranted a visit to the Tour pressroom, he was the 36-hole leader in the 2000 PLAYERS Championship. He subsequently shot 82-77 over the weekend to tie for 66th.
'Never saw me in the press room again, did you,' joked Allem, who chipped in for an eagle on the par-5 14th on Thursday. 'It's the first round, so I can't tell you (how it feels to be near the lead). It will feel great if I'm sitting over here come Sunday afternoon.'
Following his round, Allem went to the practice range, where he tried out a handful of drivers; one of which will be in use in Round Two.
News, Notes and Numbers
*Dudley Hart opened his title defense in 2-under-par 70. He's tied for 56th place.
*94 players broke par in the first round.
*Geoff Ogilvy and Ben Ferguson are two of 12 Australians in this week's field, which also includes Aaron Baddeley and Adam Scott. Baddeley shot a first-round 4-over-par 76. Scott carded a 2-under-par 70.
*Jim Furyk is using a mid-length Bullseye putter, similar to the ones used by Vijay Singh and Paul Azinger. Furyk said he put the club in his bag this week to try and keep him from turning his entire body when he putts. With the putter lodged to his navel, Furyk believes it will help him stroke the ball better by just rotating his shoulders. He needed 27 putts in his first-round 70.
*Chris Tidland withdrew after playing only eight holes on Thursday due to ulcers in his eyes. His doctor advised him to stop wearing his contact lenses.
*16 Eagles were made in the first round of the 2001 Honda Classic. Last year, 16 eagles were recorded in all four rounds combined.
Click here for full-field scores from the Honda Classic
Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs
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.
That face when you realized you visa to the UK is expired the same day you were supposed to travel. La cara cuando te das cuenta que tu visa al Reino Unido está vencida el mismo días que viajas.pic.twitter.com/lztAcLUNN0— Jhonattan Vegas (@JhonattanVegas) July 12, 2018
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.
How to watch The Open on TV and online
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)
Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship
Tiger Woods is competing in his first Open Championship since 2015. We're tracking him this week at Carnoustie.
Tweets by GCTigerTracker
The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major
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.