Continued rain could work in Internationals' favor

By Rex HoggardOctober 5, 2013, 1:21 am

DUBLIN, Ohio – It seems Mother Nature has had her fill of lopsided Presidents Cups.

Or maybe the old girl just has a soft spot for the Rest of the World. Either way, another weather delay and a foreboding forecast appears to be conspiring in the Internationals' favor at muddy Muirfield Village.

For the second consecutive day play was delayed, this time for two and a half hours, by a storm and eventually called because of darkness with four matches still to be determined.

On Thursday the green and yellow radar blob that inched its way through central Ohio actually resembled the International standard and proved to be a much-needed timeout. Friday’s intermission had a similar impact on the proceedings.


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With the Internationals down in five of six Day 1 matches, captain Nick Price’s crew rallied to finish the day down just 3 ½ to 2 ½, which felt to many in green and yellow like a victory, be it moral or otherwise.

When the horn echoed through Muirfield Village at 3:09 p.m. ET on Friday the U.S. was ahead in three and tied in one other match. By the time darkness descended on the property each team had won a match and the United States was leading in two and trailing two.

First-time captain Price figured it would be a format change – officials began this week’s matches with a fourball session, instead of the traditional foursome session that the Internationals have struggled in – and an infusion of fresh talent (there are seven rookies on the International side) that would be the tonic to wrest his team off a 1-7-1 drought in the biennial matches.

He didn’t count on the weatherman playing the role of the 13th man, but will take everything he can get.

If the forecast holds – there is a 30 percent chance of rain on Saturday and a 50 percent chance on Sunday – officials may be challenged to complete the matches on time.

The second session is scheduled to restart at 7:35 a.m. on Saturday, followed by the third fourball and fourth foursome session in the afternoon, leaving the 12 singles bouts for Sunday, weather permitting.

That schedule would allow officials to finish at roughly 10 minutes before 7 p.m. (sunset is 7:08 p.m.). “That’s in an ideal world, obviously,” said Tour official Steve Carman. And this week has been anything but ideal.

Otherwise, officials would have to consider finishing on Monday or reducing the number of matches. Regulations don’t allow for a reduction in matches like at the 2010 Ryder Cup in Wales when weather delays forced a reduction in the remaining number of foursome matches from eight to six, but if play is not completed by sundown on Monday the team with the most points would be declared a winner.

The latter option could be Price & Co.’s best option.

The Internationals haven’t won a foursome session since Day 1 in 2003, a reality which prompted Price, former International captain Greg Norman and future captain Ernie Els to ask PGA  Tour commissioner Tim Finchem to reduce the number of team matches from 24 to 16.

Finchem balked at the Internationals' request, but Mother Nature may well have the final say.

For the Internationals less is effectively more. The possibility of fewer matches means fewer opportunities for the deeper American squad to take advantage of the Internationals' perceived lack of depth.

“If we have more weather it might happen,” Els said of the possibility of an abbreviated schedule.

It’s not as though umbrellas and standing water spell doom for the Americans, not with Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley picking up where they left off last year at Medinah and Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar picking up a new tradition.

Mickelson, who is feeling so confident he put a driver back in play in competition for the first time in months on Day 2, and Bradley birdied seven of eight holes starting at No. 5, a phenomenal run considering the format, and steamrolled arguably the Internationals' best two-ball of Jason Day and Graham DeLaet, 4 and 3.

Woods and Kuchar were 6 under on the front nine and led Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, 3 up, through 12 holes in their quest to remain undefeated.

But for Price there is opportunity in his team as well as the gray October skies.

Els and rookie standout Brendon de Jonge rolled over Bill Haas and Hunter Mahan; and Adam Scott and his new best friend Hideki Matsuyama were 4 up over Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson through 11 holes.

Depending on the volatile Ohio skies, officials are hoping to get back on schedule on Saturday. If not, the weather could, in theory, help swing the cup in the Internationals' favor for the first time since 1998. Amid the gloom late Friday the possibilities were enough to brighten Price’s mood.

“We are up in (two)  matches, and I think if you consider what's happened in the past in alternate shot, we are certainly very happy to be in that situation,” he said. “I'm not ruling out the chances that we may get another halve or a full point somewhere. So if we can tie this thing up at the end of tomorrow morning's play, that would be absolutely perfect for us.”

And if it continues to storm, well, that would be just fine as well.


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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.

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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.”

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"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.

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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)