Cut Line: Mid-term grades for Spieth, Day, Woods

By Rex HoggardApril 22, 2016, 5:23 pm

This may come as a surprise to those who don’t start paying attention to golf until the Masters, but this week’s Valero Texas Open is the official turn of the PGA Tour season.

San Antonio is the 24th of 47 Tour events, which means it’s time for mid-term grades with a nod to an exceedingly busy second half of the season – which will include three majors, a Ryder Cup, Olympics and FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Jordan Spieth (B-). Things started well enough with an eight-stroke romp at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, but they haven’t been the same since.

Spieth dropped out of the top spot in the World Golf Ranking last month, failed to post a top-5 finish on the Tour until Augusta National and blew a five-stroke lead with nine holes to play at the Masters.

Along the way Spieth made stops in Abu Dhabi and Singapore, which some believe has left the 22 year old in a perpetual state of jetlag. Spieth seemed to acknowledge as much before leaving Abu Dhabi in January.

“I'll get back to the [PGA] Tour schedule and reevaluate how next season will finish up into the New Year,” he said.

Still, Spieth came within nine holes of winning his second consecutive green jacket and he will have plenty of starts to change the narrative before the final putt drops.

Olympics (C). Vijay Singh seemed to open the door last week when he withdrew his name from the Olympic field, although given the Fijian’s history with the Tour (the two sides are currently locked in an extended legal battle) it wasn’t exactly a surprise.

Even this week’s news that Adam Scott would not make the trip to Rio was not a shocking revelation considering the Australian’s unwavering insistence that the Olympics has never been a top priority for him.

News on Thursday, however, that Louis Oosthuizen has also removed his name from Olympic consideration qualified as a genuine concern.

Like Singh and Scott, Oosthuizen cited scheduling issues for skipping the Games and the crowded late-season line up always promised to be a challenge (the last 12 weeks of the season include seven must-play events for top players).

“The IGF understands the challenges players face in terms of scheduling this summer and it is regrettable to see a few leading players withdraw,” International Golf Federation president Peter Dawson said in a statement. “Real history will be made at this year's Olympic competitions and it is our belief that the unique experience of competing will live forever with athletes that take part.”

Eventually the competition will decide the relative success of golf’s return to the Olympics and there’s no reason to doubt the event will be compelling, but more withdrawals could certainly become a distraction.

Tim Finchem (B). The commissioner’s current contract was schedule to expire this June and there has been a succession plan in place – deputy commissioner Jay Monahan is reportedly running the day-to-day operations of the circuit – for months, but late last month the Tour announced Finchem is going to hang around a bit longer.

Finchem has regularly referenced a few projects he wants to complete before stepping down, which likely include the next round of television contracts.

Opinions vary on Finchem, but it’s tough to look at his record and not acknowledge he’s made the Tour better and bigger; but it’s also tough to ignore the need to embrace change.

“In the years to come, you will see the Tour doing things that maybe right now you would be surprised that we would think in that context,” Finchem said earlier this year at Doral.

Finchem’s legacy has already been written, but on this front progress is paved down a different path.

Jason Day (A). Because you can’t dole out an “A+” without a major, but the Australian has otherwise been a model of production this season.

Highlighted by back-to-back victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and WGC-Dell Match Play, Day overtook Spieth atop the World Golf Ranking last month and doesn’t appear interested in giving it up any time soon.

Day’s play, and his story, is easy to overlook. He enjoys the relative anonymity of not being Spieth or Rory McIlroy and would much rather spend a quiet afternoon at home with his family than entertaining the world via social media.

But his play – in eight starts he has seven top-25 finishes – has lived up to even the most unrealistically lofty standards, which is saying something after the year he had in 2015.

European Ryder Cup team (A). This is not looking good for the U.S. team and captain Davis Love III.

Although anything that happens in April shouldn’t impact the outcome of the matches in October, there’s no denying that the Continent is building plenty of momentum.

While the normal cast of European characters has played solid this season – Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson – it’s the newcomers that may be the most concerning for Love.

Following his victory at the Masters, Danny Willett is starting to look like the kind of European that runs the tables on the Americans every two years; and Matthew Fitzpatrick is a name U.S. fans should get used to hearing.

Tiger Woods (Incomplete). It’s become a common assessment for the former world No. 1, but then what grade can you give a player who has made just eight Tour starts in the last year?

News on Friday that Woods may be planning a return to the Tour in two weeks at the Wells Fargo Championship is an encouraging sign from a player who sounded like he had more questions than answers last December.

But the real question is what can one expect from a 40 year old fresh off multiple back procedures?

If Woods follows his normal schedule, he would have around eight events remaining in the 2015-16 season (he’s currently not qualified for the World Golf Championships, FedEx Cup playoffs or Olympics).

That’s not exactly a lot of time to kick off the dust and make a statement.

Getty Images

Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 12:15 pm

Tiger Woods, in search of his 15th career major championship title, started the weekend six off the lead at Carnoustie. We're tracking him in Round 3 of The Open.

Getty Images

How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 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  

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 (

Getty Images

Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

Getty Images

Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.