PGA Tour Report Cards

By Mercer BaggsDecember 3, 2002, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)
 
Birdies, Pars and Bogeys ' thats how were rating performances this year on the PGA Tour.
 

 
Birdies
 
Once again, Tiger Woods nearly did it all in 2002. He won five times, picked up two more majors and made nearly $7 million ' and thats just in 18 starts on the PGA Tour.
 
His Masters victory started a run where he finished outside the top-4 on only three occasions for the remainder of the season.
 
He also led the tour in scoring average, greens in regulation and birdies per round.
 
Ernie Els didnt have Tigers numbers, but he did officially stop his Grand Slam run. Els won the British Open for his first major championship since the 1997 U.S. Open.
 
The big South African also won the Genuity Championship for his first PGA Tour title in two years. He went on to finish fifth on the money list with over $3.2 million.
 
Rich Beem was the other major winner, having claimed the PGA Championship.
 
Since his maiden victory in the 1999 Kemper Open, Beem had finished 146th and 109th on the money list. He was known more for his off-course escapades, as documented in the book Bud, Sweat and Tees, which chronicled Beems career and 1999 campaign, than his on-course prowess.
 
But after salvaging his 2002 card, Beem collected his second career win, at the International, one start before his improbable triumph at Hazeltine. He earned $2,938,365 in finishing seventh on the money list, nearly triple his total over the previous three years.
 
There were 18 first-time winners on tour this season. And while all are deserving of Birdie status, none had a better campaign than Jerry Kelly.
 
The 36-year-old Wisconsin made his maiden trip to the winners circle at the Sony Open in Hawaii, and then re-entered at the Advil Western Open. He finished sixth in earnings with nearly $2.95 million.
 
Gene Sauers and Dan Forsman round out the Birdie category. Forsman hadnt won on the PGA Tour in a decade, Sauers since 1989. Both ended those skids in 2002. The 40-year-old Sauers won the Air Canada Championship, while the 44-year-old Forsman won two weeks later at the SEI Pennsylvania Classic.
 

Pars
 
He won his first start of the year ' after taking off four months. He won again five months later. He made over $4 million for the third consecutive season. He finished inside the top-3 in nearly one-third of the tournaments in which he played.
 
Sounds like a Birdie year, unless youre Phil Mickelson. The lefthander again went 0-4 in the four tournaments that mattered most, extending his career mark to 0-42.
 
He finished third in The Masters, second in the U.S. Open, tied for 66th at the British, and tied for 34th in the PGA Championship.
 
He also suffered that dubious singles defeat to Phillip Price in the Ryder Cup.
 
Mickelsons World Cup partner David Toms had a similar season ' prominent by most standards, but not by his own.
 
Toms finished runner-up three times, had 12 top-10s and made over $3.4 million. But he didnt record a single victory, which left the 2001 PGA Champion disappointed in the final tally.
 
There are good pars and there are bad pars, the former relates to Notah Begay III.
 
After a two-win 2000 season, Begay injured his lower back due to an over-exuberant conditioning program in the off-season. He made only four cuts in 12 starts in 2001, and missed his first 11 cuts this year.
 
It all started to change for the better in Memphis, Tenn. Begay, who won the FedEx St. Jude Classic in 2000, finished third at the TPC at Southwind in June. He added two more top-10s to his credit and finished 108th on the money list.
 
Unlike in 2001, Scott Hoch didnt record a pair of victories ' or even one, for that matter. He even finished in his worst position on the money list in a decade.
 
Nonetheless, Hoch posted seven top-10s, tied for second at the Michelob, competed on the Ryder Cup team and was 38th in earnings with nearly $1.5 million.
 
Not bad for a 46-year-old.
 

Bogeys
 
Bogeys were as plentiful as Birdies in 2002.
 
Jesper Parnevik said he would play in every tournament until he won one. He backed off from that statement after starting 0-11.
 
The former birdie machine treated putters like tissue paper, using and discarding them with little regard.
 
His streak of four years with at least one win on tour came to a halt. He made only two top-10s, and ended 63rd on the money list ' his worst finish since 1995.
 
David Duval also notched only a pair of top-10s in failing to win for the first time since 1996. His 80th place showing on the money list was his worst ever as a full-time player on tour. He missed eight cuts, matching his combined total over the previous four years.
 
And those were just his professional woes.
 
Duval publicly dealt with injuries and the demise of his eight-year relationship with his fiance.
 
Hal Sutton was selected 2004 U.S. Ryder Cup captain, and that was by far the highlight of his season.
 
The 44-year-old missed 15 cuts in 26 starts, finishing no better than a tie for 12th. He was also ranked 153rd in money, his worst showing since 1993.
 
Joe Durant, Garrett Willis and Robert Damron all won in 2001 ' and all struggled mightily in 2002.
 
Durant won twice a year ago, and was 14th in earnings. This year, he didnt make a single top-10, missed 12 cuts in 28 starts, and was 137th on the money list.
 
Damron, who earned his maiden tour victory in the 2001 Byron Nelson Classic, had one top-10 and was 141st in the cash department.
 
Willis, who was dismal after his Tucson triumph early last year, continued his slide this season. He withdrew mid-event from four tournaments; had 1 disqualification; made 13 cuts and missed 11; and dropped to 136th on the money list.
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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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The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 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.