Golf Channel Celebrates Golf's Return to the Olympics

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJuly 26, 2012, 2:00 pm
 

LONDON (July 26, 2012) – Timed to tomorrow’s Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, Golf Channel will launch a four-year 'Golf Returns to the Olympics' campaign celebrating golf’s return to the Olympics at the 2016 Rio Games after a 112-year absence. The campaign will feature 60-, 30- and 15-second spots with U.S. and international stars unveiling their own Olympic dreams. The initial phase of the campaign starts tomorrow and runs through the London Games. The announcement was made today by Mike McCarley, president, Golf Channel.

'In media, there is nothing as powerful as the Olympic Games and Golf Channel plans to follow the most compelling storylines as golf returns to the Olympics in 2016,' said Golf Channel President Mike McCarley.  'We'll tell the stories about which golfers will represent their countries and who will have to stay home.  We'll cover the construction of the Olympic golf course in Rio and the profound, positive effect that the Olympics will have on golf’s global growth.'

Golf Channel is joining other networks in the NBCUniversal family promoting the London Olympics, while also looking forward to the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, when golf will return after a 112-year absence.  Golf was last an Olympic sport at the 1904 Games in St. Louis. The vignettes also will air on NBC Sports Network.

'Golf Returns to the Olympics' features players who compete on the world’s top tours, including the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour and European Tour:

2010 U.S. Women’s Open Champion Paula Creamer (USA) – 'I thought holding the U.S. Open trophy or Solheim Cup was exciting, but wearing a medal would pretty much put the cherry on top of the sundae, that’s for sure.'

2011 PGA Championship Winner Keegan Bradley – 'It would be unbelievable to be able to say that I was an Olympian ... to be able to play for the USA. It would be amazing to compete to try to win a gold medal. It would be a great honor and I hope I get the chance to do it.'

2011 European Solheim Cup Team Member Sandra Gal (Germany) – 'The biggest thing that would go through my mind is that golf was finally an Olympic sport and that I'm able to bring home a bit of that excitement. I'm already trying to support women's and girls' golf in Germany and being able to promote our sport in the Olympic Games would just mean so much to me.'

2008 Masters Champion Trevor Immelman (South Africa) – 'It would be very exciting to have the opportunity to represent my country at the Olympics. Just to be there, the camaraderie with the other athletes … something that I would look forward to.'

Belen Mozo (Spain) – 'Bringing a medal to my country would mean the world to me.'

In addition to the player focused spots, the centerpiece of the initial phase of the Golf Channel campaign will be a 60-second spot celebrating Olympic golf:

What do you call an athlete...

Who works so hard to take a long slow walk?

Who wears a distinctive uniform?

Who knows practice doesn’t always make perfect?

One who stares down pressure just to play on Saturday

and looks to a face in the crowd for strength on Sunday.

What do you call these athletes…

Who swing in silence and land with a roar?

In 2016 …They will be called Olympians.

-NBC Sports Group-

 

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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”

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Harrington: Fiery Carnoustie evokes Hoylake in '06

By Ryan LavnerJuly 16, 2018, 3:45 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – One course came to mind when Padraig Harrington arrived on property and saw a firm, fast and yellow Carnoustie.

Hoylake in 2006.

That's when Tiger Woods avoided every bunker, bludgeoned the links with mid-irons and captured the last of his three Open titles.

So Harrington was asked: Given the similarity in firmness between Carnoustie and Hoylake, can Tiger stir the ghosts this week?


Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I really don’t know,” Harrington said Monday. “He’s good enough to win this championship, no doubt about it. I don’t think he could play golf like the way he did in 2006. Nobody else could have tried to play the golf course the way he did, and nobody else could have played the way he did. I suspect he couldn’t play that way now, either. But I don’t know if that’s the strategy this week, to lay up that far back.”

With three days until the start of this championship, that’s the biggest question mark for Harrington, the 2007 winner here. He doesn’t know what his strategy will be – but his game plan will need to be “fluid.” Do you attack the course with driver and try to fly the fairway bunkers? Or do you attempt to lay back with an iron, even though it’s difficult to control the amount of run-out on the baked-out fairways and bring the bunkers into play?

“The fairways at Hoylake are quite flat, even though they were very fast,” Harrington said. “There’s a lot of undulations in the fairways here, so if you are trying to lay up, you can get hit the back of a slope and kick forward an extra 20 or 30 yards more than you think. So it’s not as easy to eliminate all the risk by laying up.”