Tales of dominance, hope as Presidents Cup readies

By Rex HoggardOctober 7, 2015, 9:01 am

INCHEON, South Korea – The last time an International team celebrated a victory on a Sunday at a Presidents Cup Jason Day was 11 years old, two-time captain Nick Price led the way with a 2-1-2 record and the first vestiges of Europe’s dominance in the Ryder Cup were just taking root, with the Continent on a two-match winning streak in an event that had been largely dominated by the Americans.

While some things have changed dramatically (most notably Europe’s Ryder Cup fate), others have become far too familiar.

In the wake of that lone victory at the 1998 Presidents Cup is a legacy of loss during which the International side has found all manner of ways to fail.

Other than a surreal tie in the South African gloom in 2003, the Internationals have lost six of the last seven matches by an average score of more than five points, including the U.S. side’s three-point boat race two years ago at Muirfield Village.

With a monsoon of respect to the rest of the world, the simplest competitive comparison would be the American Globetrotters over the hapless International Generals. But then at least the exhibitions on the hardwood were entertaining.

The same can’t be said for the Presidents Cup in recent years.

With the lone exception of the ’05 matches – that began the final day knotted at 11 points apiece – Sundays have largely been a formality at what has become a biennial blowout.

“It would be nice to finally get that win against the Americans,” said Day, who begins this week as the International team’s on-course leader at No. 2 in the world. “Everyone's kind of fed up with it; that we have been losing for a while now. I think more so Adam Scott is fed up with it because he's been on his seventh team now and hasn't won one.”

That sense of competitive frustration is a key theme in this year’s International team room. While Captain Price has assorted pictures from that 1998 triumph hanging about, he’s clearly not shied away from full disclosure this week.

“We've seen in the past that the Presidents Cup needs more excitement. It needs to be more closely contested,” Price said. “Certainly most of us on the International team feel that that hasn't been the case the last five or six Presidents Cups.”

It’s why Price has spent the last two years working feverishly behind the scenes to change the International side’s fortunes. After months of give and take, the PGA Tour agreed to reduce the total number of points from 34 to 30 for this year’s event.

Price’s argument went that by reducing the number of matches – his pitch was actually for 28 points but that’s a battle for another day – it would allow the International team to field its best possible team.

“Some people think that you're hiding your weakest players, but in actual fact what you're doing is putting your strongest team forward,” Price said. “It's glass half-full or glass half-empty, depends which way you look at it.”

It’s actually a question of depth, which the International team has always lacked relative to the American side. Consider that three players from that 2005 International team – Mark Hensby, Peter Lonard and Nick O’Hern – currently have no status on the PGA Tour, and Price’s point appears valid, although if more points truly do favor the deeper team then the Ryder Cup task force should have started the conversation for change there.

But in practical terms this week, it’s led to a profound dichotomy in team room philosophy.

Price has made it clear to his dozen that this week’s event is pivotal to the future of the matches, while his counterpart Jay Haas has done his best Fred Couples impersonation in an attempt to keep things loose.

“Certainly it's not my way or the highway; I hope I haven't projected that,” Haas said when asked his captaining philosophy.

It’s a telling juxtaposition between captains considering that most U.S. players will tell you that the difference between the Presidents Cup, which the red, white and blue has owned, and the Ryder Cup, which the American side can’t even seem to sublet, is how things are much more relaxed in the odd-year duels.

“We make the Ryder Cup a bigger deal than it needs to be,” Zach Johnson said.

Even Jordan Spieth, who is playing his second Presidents Cup this week, has picked up on the not-so-subtle differences between the two matches.

“Last year's Ryder Cup there was just a little too much thought to go in the rounds ahead, the practice rounds ahead were almost tryouts, there weren't as many smiles in the practice leading up to it,” Spieth said.

That hasn’t been an issue at the Presidents Cup, where the United States has become adept at keeping things in perspective when it comes to the biennial bout with the rest of the world.

Although it started long before Couples took over the team in 2009, that seemingly detached demeanor was perfected by the three-time Presidents Cup captain, so much so that Mark McNulty, one of Price’s assistant captains, referred to it as the “Freddie vibe.”

“People like to be with Fred because he's cool. He doesn't wear an earpiece, never; he doesn't know what's going on because Fred's cool,” McNulty said.

 While the International team may be short their own version of Couples, they are aware that what’s not cool is losing. It’s a culture that’s been engrained into the rest of the world for the better part of a decade and a half and a trend Price has worked tirelessly to change.

Price was there, after all, in 1998 the last time the Internationals celebrated and watched as the Europeans began to change their fortunes in an event that had become equally as lopsided, so he knows it can be done.

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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 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)

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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