Jay Townsend - March 3, 2012

By Morning Drive TeamMarch 3, 2012, 5:11 pm

European Tour Analyst Jay Townsend is at PGA National this week for The Honda Classic. When Tiger Woods made bogey on the 2nd hole, it was because of distance control where he hit his second shot over the green and could not get up and down. The fact that he had 10 fewer putts on Friday than on Thursday does not suggest putting problems. Instead, it suggests putting inconsistency and Tiger simply needs more rounds in order to make his putting more consistent.

Lee Westwood is playing with Tiger for a third straight day and as a seasoned veteran, Jay doubts that Lee is bothered in the least by this. He actually enjoys playing with Tiger but Lee is probably more concerned with how badly he is putting this week. Tee to green he is playing very well at PGA National but he putting continues to hold him back. When he is putting well, it is hard to beat Westwood but he is not putting well right now and he has put in many hours with his swing coach to try to improve.

Paul Casey is making his 2012 worldwide debut next week at Doral after missing two months due to injury. Townsend thinks that it will be tough for Casey to make the Ryder Cup because there are fewer automatic berths and at #25, he will have to climb all the way to #12 or better to have a chance to qualify via the World Points List. He doubts that Casey will play on the European Tour enough to climb from 41st to 5th so the World Points is his main route to the team and to get on the team, he will have to win.

He doubts that possible 2013 Q-School changes will impact European players because if European Tour members perform well on the world stage, they will earn invites to Majors and WGC events in the U.S. which could lead to a few more sponsor’s invitations to PGA TOUR events. It will impact players in Australia and Asia much more. He does not think the system is broken but the PGA TOUR did not ask him when they designed the changes for Q-School.

It is all about putting with Justin Rose and he was hot with the putter when he won twice in 2010 in a Ryder Cup year. If his putter stays hot, he has a good chance to win but it is all about the putter for Rose. If he is not putting well, he does not have a chance.

It is obvious that Tom Gillis is the underdog on Saturday as he surrounded by Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy and while Gillis can play, he has a couple of daunting opponents in the two British players and it would be hard for anyone to say that Rory McIlroy is not the favorite today.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 12:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch.

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.

Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.

“We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.

Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.

“It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”

It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.

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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.