Memorial stands as one of Jack's greatest accomplishments

By Rex HoggardMay 28, 2014, 7:21 pm

DUBLIN, Ohio – In the spring of 1974 Richard Nixon was president, the nationwide speed limit was set to 55 mph, Cannonade won the Kentucky Derby and Jack Nicklaus opened Muirfield Village Golf Club.

Within weeks Nixon was impeached, the speed limit has long since changed and Cannonade failed to convert his next two Triple Crown starts. But Muirfield Village and Nicklaus’ vision for the club that would host his own Memorial tournament endure.

This is the 38th playing of the Memorial, and in 40 years Nicklaus freely admits the layout that the world’s best players will set out on Thursday bears little resemblance to the version that Roger Maltbie won on in 1976.

“It’s kind of amazing, 40 years, it seems like a long time. And, frankly, it is,” Nicklaus said on Wednesday during his annual State of the Golden Bear press conference.

Everything about Muirfield Village and the Memorial has evolved, from the purse – Maltbie won $40,000 in ’76 compared to the $1.116 million that this week’s champion will pocket – to the golf course, which will play 365 yards longer than it did during that inaugural tournament.

Even the patriarch’s role has changed.

“Back in those days I was pretty much chief cook and bottle washer,” Nicklaus laughed. “I sort of was involved in everything.”

Memorial Tournament: Articles, videos and photos

Nicklaus then broke into the kind of anecdote that makes his annual spring Q&A a can’t-miss stop for those who carry notebooks.

He recalled filling caddie Angelo Argea’s bib with assorted trash he would pick up as he played his rounds and pleading with the superintendent to be careful with green speeds “in case something happens.”

Something happened in 1979, when a breezy and hot afternoon turned Sunday’s final round into a competitive pile up when Nicklaus closed with a 79 and greens speeds exceeded 17 on the Stimpmeter.

“Everybody squawked bloody murder,” he recalled.

Officially, Nicklaus has five children and 22 grandchildren, but Muirfield Village has been every bit his progeny. Throughout the years, the Golden Bear has tinkered and tweaked the layout to improve and change with the times.

Nicklaus will, with very little prodding, walk through every change as well as every challenge. The chief culprit throughout the years has been the ever-increasing distance that the game’s top players hit the ball.

“I certainly didn't expect the golf ball to go 50 yards further,” he said. “We've adapted and adjusted to that the best we can with what piece of property we had.”

Even this year’s event will feature a few changes, including a new tee at the 18th hole that will play 40 yards longer than it did at last year’s Memorial, and he’s not done.

“I'll probably take about half a dozen bunkers out of the right of 18 because I don't need them anymore,” he said.

The one thing that hasn’t changed throughout the decades is Nicklaus’ vision for his tournament, which ranks just below the majors and World Golf Championships on the Tour dance card.

Much like he did throughout his legendary career, Nicklaus has always had a good handle on what he wanted his tournament, and his golf course, to be – nothing more, nothing less.

“We positioned ourselves to try to be a service to the game of golf, no different than what Augusta started out to do,” Nicklaus said. “That was sort of my guiding light to what I wanted to do.”

Much like Augusta National, there is a reverence for the Memorial that transcends your normal PGA Tour stop. Among the Legend Slam events – the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Byron Nelson Championship and Colonial – the Memorial is the clear front-runner.

Much of that has to do with the tournament’s history, some with the golf course, but most of that devotion is vested in the tournament host.

“It’s exciting to be able to play here and have the opportunity to win in front of Jack,” said Jason Day, who now lives in the area. “That would be a great honor.”

Even Tiger Woods, who has been on the DL since having back surgery on March 31, called Nicklaus Wednesday morning. “He was saying that he felt bad about not being able to be here,” Nicklaus said.

It will be Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships, which Woods is forever tied to, that will always define his him; but the Memorial and Muirfield Village rank as a solid second on that historic resume.

“I think we've done very well. I'm certainly not unhappy with anything that's happened I'm very happy with where we are,” he said in his signature understated style.

Those in this week’s field would say he’s done much better than that.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 22, 2018, 2:30 pm

Tiger Woods is under par in the final round of the 147th Open Championship and stalking the lead. We're tracking him on Sunday at Carnoustie.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 22, 2018, 11:00 am

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:

Saturday, Day 3 (Times ET)

7AM-3PM (Watch): Jordan Spieth fired 65 to move into a three-way share of the 54-hole lead, while Tiger Woods (66) played his way into contention. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler and Thorbjorn Olesen.

4:30-7AM (Watch): Sunny skies and birdies were on the menu early in Round 3, as Justin Rose made his way around Carnoustie in 64 strokes. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Henrik Stenson and Bryson DeChambeau.

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.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 22, 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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Schauffele just fine being the underdog

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”