How will Spieth heal? Players share tales of recovery

By Rex HoggardApril 13, 2016, 8:23 pm

"Don't let a win get to your head, or a loss to your heart.”

- Chuck D (Public Enemy)

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – The subtle nuances of competition can only lead to open-ended conclusions.

Did Jordan Spieth lose the Masters?

Did Danny Willett win the 80th edition?

For each, these types of esoteric debates are likely irrelevant. Willett has a green jacket, however he arrived at his major crossroads, and Spieth has a hole that will take some time to fill.

He said as much on Sunday following the most dramatic collapse in Masters history.

“This one will hurt,” said Spieth on Sunday, his face etched with emotion. “It’s going to take awhile.”

How long it will take Spieth to embrace a competitive and cognitive reset is up to the 22-year-old; history suggests the amount of time it takes a player to recover from collapse varies wildly.

“I forgot about it straight away,” said Jason Day when asked how long it took him to recover from his biggest loss (the 2013 Masters). “That night sitting around and thinking, ‘I just lost the Masters,’ was tough. But I also started thinking, what can I do to learn and get better and change that around the next time?”

Day tied for the lead briefly on Sunday back in ’13 at Augusta National thanks to three consecutive birdies starting at the 13th hole. The Australian stumbled, however, with back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 16 and 17 to finish two strokes out of a playoff that was won by Adam Scott.

That’s not to say there weren’t difficult moments for Day in the wake of his Masters loss.

“I was so angry that night, but the next week it was time to move on,” the world No. 1 said.

For Davis Love III, who turned 52 on Wednesday, reclamation was not so swift.

In 1996, Love began the final round of the U.S. Open at Oakland Hills two strokes back, but he charged into the lead with birdies at Nos. 11, 12 and 15 to move atop the leaderboard. The implosion was just as abrupt as Spieth’s on Sunday, with back-to-back bogeys to close his day and lose to Steve Jones by a stroke.


RBC Heritage: Articles, photos and videos


“I had a putt to win and then I had a putt to get in the playoff and then I made the putt to not be in the playoff. I'll never forget it,” Love said.

Twenty years after his brush with disaster Love still seems somehow stung by that loss, a likely byproduct of the harsh realities of age and rapidly diminishing opportunities.

“Maybe you think you're never going to have another chance,” Love said. “At 22, you're going to have a lot more chances. I'm sure [Spieth] is looking at it differently. [But] it doesn't matter if he wins five Masters, he's still going to look back and go, I could have won that one. He'll never get over it.”

Although it wasn’t on the glaring stage of a major, Kevin Kisner endured his fill of missed opportunities last year on the PGA Tour, a run that began at the 2015 RBC Heritage when he lost a birdie exchange to Jim Furyk in extra frames.

Kisner’s is a tale of perspective.

Some will say he lost the Heritage, Players Championship and Greenbrier Classic, which were all three playoff decisions that didn’t go the South Carolina native’s way.

“I wouldn't say any of them I left feeling probably the way Jordan felt on Sunday,” Kisner said. “I felt like I never really gave one away, I just didn't win. I hit good shots coming down the stretch here. The Players I really thought I had that thing won, even on 17, the fourth [playoff] hole.

“But I can't be upset over the way I played; he played better.”

It’s always a delicate distinction for those in defeat. With the line between winning and losing so fine, the internal dialogue a player encounters after such a defeat can be complicated.

History will likely remember the 2016 Masters as the one that got away from Spieth, just as the 1999 Open Championship will always be the claret jug that Jean Van de Velde lost.

That, of course, ignores Willett’s flawless Sunday 67 that included a clutch birdie at the 16th hole after he realized Spieth had made a quadruple-bogey-7 at the 12th hole.

It also brushes over Spieth’s unflinching comeback attempt that included birdies at Nos. 13 and 15 after he’d deposited two golf balls in Rae’s Creek at the 12th.

Did Spieth lose the Masters?

Did Willett win?

For a player like Kisner it’s best to simplify such abstract concepts down to a much more personal option.

“When it’s ‘could have won,’ it’s like, yeah, we need to improve on that and win. ‘Should have won,’ it’s a kick in the gut,” Kisner explained.

Which mindset Spieth chooses to cling to remains unknown, but given his penchant for self-improvement you would expect him to embrace the former. But it may take some time.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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 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)

Getty Images

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.