Hunger Game: Garcia, Scott both aching for a win

By Randall MellFebruary 28, 2016, 1:01 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – You could call them kindred spirits.

Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott were both once phenoms saddled with great expectations, dashing young stars who were supposed to conquer the world. They’ve enjoyed their share of success, Garcia winning 28 times around the world, Scott winning 27 times, but they’ve also had their share of struggles as they’ve grown to middle-aged veterans. They’ve battled through slumps, fought balky putters and shouldered pressures to win more than they’ve won.

Garcia, the Spaniard, turned 36 last month, while Scott, the Aussie, will turn 36 in July. They both have homes in Switzerland.

“There are some similarities, and maybe things we feel connected by,” Garcia said. “We enjoy each other, and we’re friends.”

They share more than the lead here going into Sunday at the Honda Classic. They share a hunger to end winless spells.

“I think we're both pretty desperate to have a win tomorrow after putting ourselves in this position,” Scott said.

Garcia and Scott pushed each other Saturday to the top of the leaderboard at 9-under 201, with Garcia shooting 67 and Scott 66.  They pushed each other four shots clear of the field. They’ll be pushing each other again Sunday to get that trophy Scott says they’re both craving.

The Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Scott’s last victory came at the PGA Tour’s Colonial Invitational in 2014. Garcia’s last on a major tour was also two years ago, at the European Tour’s Qatar Masters.

Garcia was asked which of them will be more desperate to win if it comes down to them in the end.

“I think we both will want it badly, if it gets to that,” Garcia said. “And, hopefully, it will get to that.”

They are such similar players, supreme ball strikers who may have won so much more had they not battled their putters as much as they have over the years. The big difference between them is the green jacket Scott owns, the Masters title he claimed in 2013. Scott unloaded a lot of pressure on himself breaking through to win a major championship. Garcia’s still dealing with it.

“I guess every year that goes by, it feels another chance has kind of gone by,” Garcia told the BBC last month. “But if I get to 45, and I haven't won any, then I will probably feel a lot of pressure then. But I still feel like I'm young enough to be able to do it, hopefully several times. My appetite is the same.”

Neither is assuming this is a two-man duel.

They know what can happen at PGA National, even if the winds are down, like they were Saturday.

They know what can go wrong with all the water at the 15th, 16th and 17th holes.

As trilogies go, the Bear Trap is an epic tale of wonder and woe.

Scott experienced both Saturday in a dizzying 30 minutes on that trio of holes.

After taking control early in the third round, Scott reminded us how quickly a lead can disappear through that stretch.

Pulling away brilliantly, Scott stepped to the start of the Bear Trap with a three-shot lead and promptly hit a 6-iron into the water at the 15th. The fun wasn’t over for Scott. After taking a drop there, he swatted a wedge from 120 yards over the green and into the water. He had to take yet another drop before walking off the hole with a quadruple-bogey 7.

“It took me five goes to get a ball dry,” Scott said.

And just like that, Scott’s lead was gone.

In a staggering four-shot swing, Garcia left the green with the lead.

Scott left the hole laughing to himself.

“What else can you do?” he said.

Both these guys have their share of scar tissue. They’ve both bounced back from hard times to win.

“I’ve experienced things along those lines plenty of times,” Scott said.

After extricating himself from trouble to save par at the 16th, and then stiffing a 6-iron to 9 feet to set up birdie at the 17th, Scott walked out of the Bear Trap back atop the leaderboard, one shot ahead of Garcia, who evened the score back up with a closing birdie.

Neither player is comfortable with just a four-shot cushion.

“So much can happen, especially at a golf course like this,” Scott said. “There's trouble waiting on every misjudgment or poor swing. I'm just going to try and play that solid round of golf and give myself as many opportunities as I can.”

They know what perils leaders face. They saw what happened to Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker.

Fowler and Walker went out in the final pairing on Saturday, Fowler with a one-shot lead on Walker.

After playing the first 36 holes bogey free, Fowler made four of them and not a single birdie.

Walker shot 79.

Last year, Ian Poulter took a three-shot lead into the final round and hit five balls in the water.

“I expect some of the guys behind to shoot a number and make it tough on all of us,” Garcia said.

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Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 9:33 am

Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.

Everything before that, however, was far from routine.

Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.

He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and TaylorMade got him his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.

"I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:40 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 (

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The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 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.