Park earns the trophy she wanted most

By Randall MellAugust 2, 2015, 8:14 pm

TURNBERRY, Scotland – Inbee Park closed with a vengeance Sunday to win the Ricoh Women’s British Open. 

While revenge doesn’t seem like Park’s style, there was some of that fueling the fierce way she finished at Trump Turnberry.

Park wasn’t out there trying to obliterate the opposition as much as she was trying to obliterate the memory of last year’s loss at Royal Birkdale. She took a one-shot lead into the final round of last year’s Women’s British Open and even built on the lead before ultimately collapsing in the heavy winds on the back nine.

“The most disappointing tournament I’ve had,” Park said. “On the front nine, I was leading by two. I only needed to shoot like 2 or 3 over on the back nine to win, and I couldn’t even do that. I was disappointed, because it was something I really wanted. 

Park was left with such a deep ache because the Women’s British Open was the major championship she coveted most, and yet the one she believed was the most difficult to win. She shot 77 in the final round at Royal Birkdale. She also endured disappointment at St. Andrews two years ago. That’s where she went looking to win the fourth leg of the calendar year Grand Slam only to see her bid to sweep all the majors in a single season end.


Ricoh Women’s British Open: Articles, photos and videos


“I’ve set one goal this year, one and only one, and that’s winning the British Open,” Park said with a hand on the Women’s British Open trophy in the media center at Turnberry. “And being the only goal I’ve set, it feels great.”

Blitzing Turnberry on a ferocious run in the middle of the final round, playing 10 holes in 7 under, Park closed with a 7-under-par 65, coming from three shots behind Jin-Young Ko (71) to win by three.

Park’s dominance in the majors is becoming epic. She has won six of the last 14 majors played. If she wins Evian next month, she will join Mickey Wright as the only women to win seven majors in a three-year span.

Sunday’s victory was also historic because it makes Park just the seventh player to win four different majors in her career. She has now won three Women’s PGA Championships, two U.S. Women’s Opens, one ANA Inspiration and one Women’s British Open.

The LPGA is calling her feat a career Grand Slam, but the tour’s elevation of the Evian Championship to major status in 2013 complicates the designation. Golf Channel, based on its research department’s examination of the origins of how the “Grand Slam” concept was first applied to golf, is recognizing only a “sweep” of existing majors as a “Grand Slam.” The Associated Press also isn’t calling Park’s feat a career Grand Slam.

Park has won four of the five currently designated majors in women’s golf. Though she has won the Evian Championship, she won it in 2012.

“I won that the year before it became a major but I'm still an Evian Championship champion, and my name is still on that trophy,” Park said. “I feel like I've won all the majors in women's golf.”

Park, 27, now owns seven women’s major championships, equaling Juli Inkster and Karrie Webb in seventh place on the all-time list. Only the real legends of the game own more majors. Only Patty Berg (15), Mickey Wright (13), Louise Suggs (11), Babe Zaharias (10), Annika Sorenstam (10) and Betsy Rawls (8) have won more.

Park says winning the Women’s British Open felt like the most daunting task in her major quest. She says it was especially meaningful winning it in Scotland.

“Scotland is obviously the birthplace of golf,” Park said. “It feels like this is where they started golf and this feels like real golf. So, I definitely wanted to put my name on a British Open trophy because it just means so much, the golf course, the place. Everything just has so much history. This is definitely the golfer's most wanted trophy.

“It’s just much more special. Every time I come to the British Open, everything seems so hard, the wind, the rain, the tee times. There's so much that I had to overcome in the Women's British Open. It always felt so hard.”

Brad Beecher, Park’s long-time caddie, knows how satisfying Sunday’s triumph was. He was there in the loss at Royal Birkdale. He was there at St. Andrews two years ago. He was on Park’s bag in the four top-10 finishes she endured trying to win over the five-year span coming into this year.

“I remember losing last year,” Beecher said. “And afterward Inbee questioning, questioning, questioning: `What did I do wrong? What could I have done better?’ It was devastating.”

Park was at her best closing with a 65 at Turnberry. She hit just eight fairways in Sunday’s winds, but she hit 13 greens in regulation. Her famous putting, sometimes a frustration to her this year, was terrific. She took just 24 putts.

When Park’s at her best, her putter is the most feared club in women’s golf. She wielded it like a bludgeon winning those first three majors in 2013.

“It reminded me of a couple years ago when it was red hot,” Beecher said. “She just set up over the ball, and it felt like it was going to go in.”

Park used her best weapon to slay the memory of her worst losses in golf.

Getty Images

Woods: New putter should help on slower greens

By Ryan LavnerJuly 17, 2018, 11:35 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods’ ice-cold putting showed at least a few signs of heating up earlier this month at The National, where he switched putters and ranked seventh in the field on the greens.

The mallet-style putter is still in the bag as Woods prepares for The Open, and he’s hoping the heavier model with grooves will prove valuable at Carnoustie.


Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“To be honest with you, I’ve struggled on slower greens throughout my entire career,” Woods said Tuesday. “So for me, it’s going to help on these greens, for sure.”

To combat the slower greens, Woods usually applied a strip of lead tape to his putter. But this heavier model of putter doesn’t need the extra weight, and the grooves on the putter face allow the ball to get rolling faster and hotter.

“You don’t necessarily have to do that with the grooves,” he said of the lead tape. “When I putted with the Nike putter, I didn’t have to put lead tape on the putter to get a little more weight to it. I could just leave it just the way it was. This is the same type.”  

For all of the talk about his putting woes this season, Woods still ranks 56th in strokes gained: putting. More crucial this week: He’s 102nd in approach putt performance, which quantifies how well a player lag putts.

Getty Images

Woods: Open best chance for long-term major success

By Ryan LavnerJuly 17, 2018, 11:26 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods is more than a decade removed from his last major title, but he said Tuesday that The Open is the major that gives him the best chance for long-term success.

“I would say yes, because of the fact that you don’t have to be long to play on a links-style golf course,” Woods said during his pre-tournament news conference. “It certainly can be done.”


Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Woods pointed to the late-career success for both Greg Norman (2008) and Tom Watson (2009), both of whom challenged for the claret jug deep into their 50s.

“Distance becomes a moot point on a links-style golf course,” he said.

That’s certainly not the case, however, at the Masters, where bombers long have thrived, or the U.S. Open, which places a premium on long and straight driving.

“You get to places like Augusta National, which is just a big ballpark, and the golf course outgrows you, unfortunately,” he said. “But links-style courses, you can roll the ball. I hit a 3-iron that went down there 330. Even if I get a little bit older, I can still chase some wood or long club down there and hit the ball the same distance.”

Getty Images

"Vantage Point with Mike Tirico" set to debut Tuesday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJuly 17, 2018, 10:15 am

Special Hour Complementing the Network’s Week-Long Golf Central Live From The Open News Coverage; Premiere Scheduled to Include Interview with 2014 Open Runner-Up Rickie Fowler On-Site from Carnoustie

Features Include Tirico and Curtis Strange Re-watching ’99 Open at Carnoustie & Jim “Bones” Mackay Facilitating Exclusive Conversation with Caddies Michael Greller, John Wood Recounting Final Round Pairing at 2017 Open

To help set the table ahead of The 147TH Open at Carnoustie, Golf Channel will premiere Vantage Point with Mike Tirico on Tuesday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET. An extension of the network’s week-long Golf Central Live From The Open comprehensive news coverage, Vantage Point will revisit landmark moments in The Open’s history, uncover personal stories relevant to the fabric of the week and feature a roundtable discussion with past “Champion Golfers of the Year” on golf’s original championship.

“It’s a thrill to be going back to The Open again this year, which is a fitting setting to launch this new opportunity,” said Tirico, NBC Sports host who this week will celebrate his 22nd consecutive year covering The Open. “I love being a part of the Golf Channel team during golf’s biggest weeks, and anticipate contributing to our commitment to great storytelling with Vantage Point.”

Kicking off the premiere of Vantage Point will be Tirico’s exclusive interview with 2014 Open runner-up and 2015 PLAYERS champion Rickie Fowler on-site from Carnoustie. One of Fowler’s favorite events, he has missed just one cut in eight previous appearances at The Open. Other highlights within the show include:

  • Jim “Bones” Mackay facilitating an exclusive conversation between caddies Michael Greller (Jordan Spieth) and John Wood (Matt Kuchar) recounting the final round pairing at The Open last July.
  • Tirico hosting a roundtable discussion with past “Champion Golfers of the Year”: David Duval, Tom Lehman and Justin Leonard.
  • A recollection of one of the most unforgettable collapses in major championship golf, when Jean van de Velde surrendered a three-shot lead on the 72nd hole in 1999 at The Open. Tirico and Curtis Strange – both on the live tournament broadcast that year for ABC/ESPN – recently re-watched the telecast together for the first time since calling it live.

 

“This is harder to watch than I thought it was going to be. I’ve never seen anything like

that in my life. I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like that again.” – Curtis Strange

 

“I think I got caught up in the whole deal and felt human for the guy.” – Mike Tirico

 

Vantage Point with Mike Tirico will complement the network’s Golf Central Live From The Open, which will feature nearly 60 hours of comprehensive news coverage from Carnoustie. In total, NBC Sports will dedicate more than 350 hours to showcasing the third men’s major championship of the year, including nearly 50 live hours of the network’s Emmy-nominated tournament coverage – annually the most live hours of coverage from any golf event – spanning from Thursday’s opening tee shot to Sunday’s final putt.

Getty Images

How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2018, 8:40 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 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)