Smith Adopts New Outlook

By Mercer BaggsOctober 19, 2001, 4:00 pm
Jerry Smith. The name, in its simplicity, says everything you need to know about the man.
Smith is as middle of the road as they come. Hes married, like movies and sports, was even born in Iowa.
Yet, one look at the electronic Disney leaderboard early Friday and you find that name ' in bright lights, at the top.
Smith shot his second straight 6-under-par 66 to move to 12-under and into the lead midway through the second round of the National Car Rental Classic at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
The last two days I have really had good control of my golf game out there, Smith said.
The conditions this morning were ideal. I got off to a great start. I birdied three of the first four holes. That helped settle me in for the day.
Smith was in the first group out Friday morning, teeing off on the Magnolia Course at 7:30 a.m. ET. He started the round one off the overnight lead; held by Shaun Micheel, Stewart Cink, Len Mattiace, Steve Lowery and Scott McCarron.
Micheel and Mattiace were the only players among the 18-hole leaders to play in the morning, both shot 70 and are three back of Smith at 9-under.
Tiger Woods is among those teeing off in the afternoon. Woods, the 1996 and 99 Disney champion, opened in 3-under 69.
With three events remaining on the PGA Tour schedule, Smith resides in 120th place on the money list. The top 125 at seasons end earn full exempt status in 2002.
Yet, Smith doesnt carry the demeanor of a man struggling to maintain his professional existence. And that can be attributed to an event that took place on May 20.
Five months ago, Smith and his wife, Jennifer, adopted a baby girl. They named her Olivia.
It has been a great experience, Smith said, fighting back tears. She has been a great baby.'
After years of trying to conceive a child, the Smiths decided to try adoption. They were helped along the way by Kirk and Cathi Triplett, who also with through the process.
They are the ones that really helped us get in with this agency (in California) and establish a good relationship, the 37-year-old Smith said. It happened very quickly. It just really happened, I guess, for the right reasons.
Olivia and Jennifer occasionally travel with Jerry. He finds it difficult to leave them; though, this week they are at home in Scottsdale, Ariz.
(Olivia) is just beginning to start to know whats going on around her, but shes still a little too young for Mickey, the proud papa said with a smile.
Smith is in his second season on the PGA Tour. He made 20 of 32 cuts a year ago to finish 118th in earnings. Most of his money was concentrated in a ninth-place finish at the Byron Nelson Classic - his best career finish on Tour until a tie for eighth at this year's Air Canada Championship.
Last year I sort of was inside that (top-125) bubble most of the year, he said. This year it has been totally opposite. I started off very slow.'
Smith has missed 14 cuts in 29 starts this season, including two in a row leading up to the NCR Classic. Still, theres no hint of desperation in his voice. No amount of frustration in his face.
There is no doubt I think I was sort of on edge early in the year, sort of short with people, and maybe short with myself, and impatient with myself out on the golf course, Smith said.
I have really tried to just say, hey, I dont care what happens, and I tried saying this several months ago. Its played out very well for me.
That approach ' simple as it is ' is working quite well thus far this week.
Full-field scores from the NCR Classic
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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 (