Cut Line: Woods, McIlroy in a Memorial Daze

By Rex HoggardMay 31, 2013, 9:14 pm

DUBLIN, Ohio – There will be no fifth title of 2013 for Tiger Woods, no excuses from Rory McIlroy at the Memorial and no easy answers to the anchoring conundrum for the PGA Tour. ‘Tis the season for May Sours.

Made Cut

It’s good to be Freddie. Tiger Woods asks for his autograph, President Barack Obama wants to know how he’s so cool under pressure and iconic Jack Nicklaus wants to hear his stories.

Freddie Couples is golf’s “Most Interesting Man” and the last week has been even better than normal for the crazy cool 53-year-old. On Wednesday, Couples visited the White House with Nick Price, who will captain the International Presidents Cup team later this year.

After a 20-minute rap session with the commander-in-chief Couples out-dueled Tiger Woods on Day 1 at the Memorial before heading to yet another engagement.

“And now I’m going to interview Jack (Nicklaus). So, la de da,” Couples smiled.

For good measure, Couples also rounded out his staff for this year’s Presidents Cup – which he will captain for a third time – with good friend Davis Love III. Michael Jordan must have been too busy to answer Boom Boom’s text.

A better tempo. Within minutes of each other the game’s two most influential people spoke out against slow play, both on the PGA Tour and at the grassroots level.

First it was Nicklaus who took a stand against the game’s languid pace.

“You really need to play the game in three hours or less – that's what we need,” he said Wednesday at Muirfield Village. “We need to have changes within the game of golf, not only for us and for the Tour. I think the Tour ultimately needs to shorten their time span. I don't think they would argue with that.”

Not long afterward, it was Woods who was asked what his biggest concern is with golf.

“We need to speed that up,” he said. “Who wants to go out there and play for six hours when the game of golf should be played a lot faster than that, three or four hours, and be enjoyable? You’re sitting on public courses when you've got two or three groups on the tee – that's just not fun.”

When Tiger and Jack speak, let’s hope the game listens.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Expectations. You can’t blame Woods for the hyperbole that surrounded his start this week at the Memorial, but if he’s going to start winning events again at a historic pace – in six stroke-play Tour events he’s won four times (that’s a .667 batting average for those scoring at home) – you can’t be surprised by the hype.

But Woods’ second-round 74 at Jack’s place, where he is the defending champion, certainly surprised the Memorial masses, who were going to be disappointed by anything short of a Friday TKO.

Through two rounds, Woods’ short game has come up short. He’s needed 30 putts each day and is even par on the par 5s (Where is Steve Stricker when you need him?)

“All in all it was a day hard fought, and that’s all I have,” Woods said.

Woods’ play through 36 holes may not be what we expected, but in fairness that’s not the world No. 1’s issue.

No short answers. This is why Tour commissioner Tim Finchem lobbied so vehemently, both in public and behind closed doors, to derail the USGA and R&A’s ban on anchoring.

Sure, the commish wanted to stand up for the 20 or so Tour types who anchor, but the bigger issue went beyond that minority. On Tuesday at Muirfield Village, Finchem outlined all of the devils in the anchoring details to the player advisory council.

If the Tour decides not to adhere to the ban – creating, essentially, the bifurcation of the Rules of Golf – the messy byproduct will be two majors (U.S. Open and British Open) and probably the Masters played under one set of rules and the other Tour events played under another set.

And what would the Tour do at the World Golf Championships, which are sanctioned by the globe’s other professional circuits, which support the ban?

If the Tour accepts the ban, which seems the likely option, there is sure to be legal action which would drain Tour coffers, not the USGA or R&A’s nest eggs.

The USGA and R&A have created a mess, and it is Finchem who now must clean it up.

Tweet of the week: @ColtKnost (Colt Knost) “USGA asking me to send something from my (U.S. Amateur) and (U.S. Public Links) wins for the museum today. Definitely sending them my belly putter I used to win.”

For the record, Cut Line recently did a walkthrough at the USGA museum and searched high and low for a long putter. None were found.

Missed Cut

Weak stomachs. We bemoan the pox that is slow play, and yet every time the slightest move is made to curb the game’s snail's pace we recoil and claim the policies, which widely don’t work, are too Draconian.

First it was Chinese teen Guan Tianlang at Augusta National in April, and now it’s Texas A&M sophomore Ty Dunlap, who was penalized a stroke for slow play during the final round of stroke-play qualifying at the NCAA Championship.

Although the timing of Dunlap’s penalty was unfortunate, dropping Texas A&M into a playoff which the team lost and failed to advance to the match-play portion of the championship, the fact is the policy had been violated.

There is no perfect system to stamp out slow play. But there has to be a system and it must be followed.

Missing Rors. Just when it seemed Rory McIlroy had rediscovered his winning ways, having finished inside the top 10 in three of his last four Tour starts, he meat-handed his way to an opening 78 at the Memorial and sent United Kingdom bookmakers scrambling to set new odds for the Ulsterman for next month’s U.S. Open.

For most of the season it has been McIlroy’s putting that has let him down – he ranks 100th in strokes gained-putting – but on Thursday at Muirfield Village it was the entire package that added up to a 6-over day.

While McIlroy wants to keep the conversation between the ropes, the fact is his wholesale equipment change to start the season and rumors of another management team change have become distractions.

“Once I'm here I'm focused on what I need to do,” he said Thursday. “Right at the moment it's not happening for me.”

It would be the acme of foolishness to think the world No. 2 doesn’t figure things out eventually, but it sure would be easier without the distractions.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 9:00 am

Tiger Woods shot his second consecutive 70 on Friday at Carnoustie and enters weekend play at even par for the championship, still in contention for major No. 15.

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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 (

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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.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson