Bunker Shots Out of the Fog

By Randall MellJanuary 5, 2010, 11:15 pm
It won’t arrive with the electric crackle that comes with Major League Baseball’s opening day, but the start of a new PGA Tour season brings something that might be just as welcome.

It approaches with the hope of a freshening breeze.

Golf sorely needs some new storylines to help move the fog off the game.

Twenty-eight players will be aiming to deliver something hopeful when the 2010 PGA Tour season begins Thursday at the SBS Championship in Kapalua in Hawaii.

The game could use something medicinal right now, maybe history-making, like a round of 59 to match the PGA Tour record shared by Al Geiberger (1977), Chip Beck (1991) and David Duval (1999). Or a closing run of seven consecutive birdies to win on Sunday, a feat that would break Mike Souchak’s 54-year-old PGA Tour record six closing birdies to win. Or a Craig Parry-like hole out to win from long distance, some unforgettable final shot like the one the Aussie sank from 176 yards with a 6-iron to win at Doral six years ago.

Golf could use some magic this week if only to remind us that Tiger Woods didn’t take it all with him when he announced he was leaving on an indefinite break.

The PGA Tour could use a good beginning to help soothe the pain from last year’s lousy ending.

Not so long ago, PGA Tour veterans used to say the new season didn’t begin until the Florida Swing. After Woods came along, it didn’t feel like the season was fully launched until he teed it up for the first time. That didn’t happen until the Accenture Match Play Championship last year, with Woods delaying his start after rehabilitating from reconstructive knee surgery. He started the three previous seasons at the Buick Invitational in San Diego, winning all three times. The last time he started the season in Hawaii was 2005, when he won the Mercedes Championship.

Nobody outside the Woods’ camp – and maybe inside of it – is quite sure when Woods will return, whether it will come sooner than expected in San Diego at the end of this month, though that seems unlikely, or at the CA Championship at Doral or Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando in March. Or perhaps the Masters in April. Or if he’ll take the entire year off to rebound from his fall from grace.

Whenever he comes back, it’s certain to be an epic event, the nature of the comeback’s storyline almost overshadowing the competition itself.

In that respect, the SBS Championship and all the events that will come before Woods’ return will offer a respite.

Or so we hope.

Stance: Just two of the top-10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking are in the field, No. 3 Steve Stricker and No. 10 Kenny Perry. All four major championship winners are scheduled to compete (Masters’ winner Angel Cabrera, U.S. Open winner Lucas Glover, British Open winner Stewart Cink and PGA Championship winner Y.E. Yang). Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy is also back.

The only player who can come close to Woods’ star power is Phil Mickelson, but he’s skipping the season-opening event for winners yet again. Henrik Stenson, winner of last year’s Players Championship, also is skipping the opener.

Bunker shot:
Combine his significantly improved driving with his formidable wedge game and putting prowess and Stricker appears poised to be a larger factor in golf’s biggest events this year. Stricker turns 43 in February, but he’s building the kind of game late in his career that could give him a chance to break through and win his first major. Stricker won three times in ’09 while finishing on a roll. He won the FedEx Cup playoff event at the Deutsche Bank Championship, closing hard under pressure. He played well while paired with Woods a bunch of times during the FedEx Cup playoffs, then teamed with Woods in a dominant Presidents Cup pairing. The way he performed in Woods’ presence says something about the rising level of his confidence. It makes you wonder if Stricker might be following the path of Mark O’Meara, who won his two majors at 41 after beneficially matching his game against Woods in countless rounds together and pairings in team events. Stricker’s late-blooming development makes him a man worth watching this new year.
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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 22, 2018, 8:30 am

Tiger Woods begins the final round of the 147th Open Championship four shots off the lead. He's out at 9:25 a.m. ET on Sunday and we're tracking him.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 22, 2018, 8:30 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 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)

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Schauffele just fine being the underdog

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

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Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Jordan Spieth: 7/4

Xander Schauffele: 5/1

Kevin Kisner: 11/2

Tiger Woods: 14/1

Francesco Molinari: 14/1

Rory McIlroy: 14/1

Kevin Chappell: 20/1

Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

Alex Noren: 25/1

Zach Johnson: 30/1

Justin Rose: 30/1

Matt Kuchar: 40/1

Webb Simpson: 50/1

Adam Scott: 80/1

Tony Finau: 80/1

Charley Hoffman: 100/1

Austin Cook: 100/1