An 'Oh my, oh!' week in Ohio

By Rex HoggardJune 1, 2014, 11:58 pm

DUBLIN, Ohio – The last time they needed extra holes to decide things at Jack’s place, the legendary host was still playing golf on the PGA Tour. To put it in more meaningful context, it also may have been the last time the Memorial Tournament enjoyed four days of chamber of commerce weather.

“Let me tell you something,” Ernie Els said with a smile earlier this week, “I’ve been coming here for 20 years, and we’ve never had four days like this.”

Or maybe a better measure of historical significance is to point out that your 2014 champion, 22-year-old Hideki Matsuyama, was 3 months old the last time the Memorial Tournament was decided in a playoff. But then that all seems to dovetail with what can only be considered a surreal week in central Ohio.

Consider that first-round leader Rory McIlroy scorched the course to the tune of 63 strokes on Thursday just two days after a transatlantic flight, a timely victory at the PGA BMW Championship on the European Tour and a very public split with his fiancée, Caroline Wozniacki.

It’s also worth pointing out that McIlroy scored that round on a bum wheel after straining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee Thursday.

But then no one could have been prepared for what Friday had on the agenda.


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Following his second-round 70, Phil Mickelson – mired in the worst start to a PGA Tour season in his career just a fortnight removed from the U.S. Open – paused for a brief Q&A with reporters before heading for the exit.

The gathered scribes were given more answers than federal agents, who approached Mickelson moments later to ask about an ongoing investigation of the five-time major champion.

Mickelson referred the agents to his attorney, who also advised the left-hander not to answer any questions from the media regarding the investigation, which was made public late Friday when the Wall Street Journal and New York Times published separate reports.

The reports revealed that Mickelson was a subject of an investigation by the FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission involving possible insider trading.

“I can’t really go into much right now, but as I said in my statement, I have done absolutely nothing wrong. And that's why I've been fully cooperating with the FBI agents, and I'm happy to do so in the future, too, until this gets resolved,” Mickelson said Saturday. “Hopefully it will be soon, but for right now I can't really talk much about it.”

Mickelson finished the week tied for 49th place, but his play on the course was well down the list of concerns for Lefty heading into the U.S. Open, where he will be vying to complete the career Grand Slam.

Another left-hander, Bubba Watson, had no such concerns, either on or off the golf course even after a sloppy back nine on Sunday dropped him out of the lead and into third place.

Watson, who led by a stroke to begin the final lap, was 3 under par and cruising through 13 holes before he bogeyed No. 14 after his drive sailed left, and followed that with a blast that appeared headed for Indiana at the 15th hole.

The Masters champion made a double-bogey 7 after hitting his tee shot out of bounds on the par 5, a stunning miscue considering that he’d played the par 5s in 11 under heading into the final round, but he struggled on Sunday to a 1-over total.

“I made one bad decision,” said Watson, who closed with an even-par 72. “If I hit the 4-wood off the tee instead of the driver (on the 15th), we make 5 and we win by one. But I made a double, so we lost by one.”

The solace for Watson was that his third-place finish beat his previous best at Muirfield Village by 20 places, and it was an indication he has no plans to suffer through another post-Masters slump like he did after winning his first green jacket in 2012.

Similarly, there were plenty of consolation prizes for Kevin Na following his runner-up finish.

Na had to wait more than two hours to learn his fate on Sunday. There’s a slow play joke in there somewhere, but considering Na’s gritty performance it’s best to focus on his flawless golf.

Na, who teed off two hours and nine minutes before and seven strokes behind Watson, raced ... um, make that carded a bogey-free 64 to move to 13 under par and seemed poised for the most compelling clubhouse rally since Jean Van de Velde found the burn at Carnoustie in 1999.

“I was at 4 under and I'm think at (No.) 9, I said I have to birdie this hole, make 5 under and I've got a chance to shoot 65 or better,” said Na, who moved inside the top 60 in the Official World Golf Ranking to secure a spot at the U.S. Open. “I almost felt like I could have got one more.”

He watched as first Watson fell away, followed in order by Matsuyama, who failed to make a par over his last six holes after climbing into the lead with a birdie at the 13th hole.

It seemed as if Matsuyama’s title chances were doomed on the 72nd tee when the 22-year-old flared his drive to the right and, in reaction to his miscue, broke his driver on the ground.

He scrambled for birdie to finish tied with Na at 13 under. His driver was not as fortunate.

The Rules of Golf allow for a player to replace a club for a playoff, but Matsuyama went with a 3-wood on the first playoff hole (No. 18) and found a fairway bunker. Na followed with a tee shot that found a creek left of the fairway and the up-and-coming Japanese star rolled in a 10-footer for par for his first Tour victory.

“To win my first Tour event is enough, but to win it here at Mr. Nicklaus’ course it really gives me a lot of confidence now,” said Matsuyama, who became the first player from Japan to win on Tour since 2008. “Hopefully I’ll be able to use this week as a stepping stone to further my career.”

For Matsuyama, his eventful final round provided a measure of poetic justice. Less than a year ago he spent the week playing the role as affable sidekick to Adam Scott – with whom he was paired again on Sunday – at a particularly soggy Presidents Cup.

Matsuyama and the International side lost that Presidents Cup in anticlimactic fashion, which makes this week’s memorable Memorial a victory to savor.

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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 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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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 22, 2018, 8:30 am

Tiger Woods begins the final round of the 147th Open Championship four shots off the lead. He's out at 9:25 a.m. ET on Sunday and we're tracking him.


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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.”

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Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Jordan Spieth: 7/4

Xander Schauffele: 5/1

Kevin Kisner: 11/2

Tiger Woods: 14/1

Francesco Molinari: 14/1

Rory McIlroy: 14/1

Kevin Chappell: 20/1

Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

Alex Noren: 25/1

Zach Johnson: 30/1

Justin Rose: 30/1

Matt Kuchar: 40/1

Webb Simpson: 50/1

Adam Scott: 80/1

Tony Finau: 80/1

Charley Hoffman: 100/1

Austin Cook: 100/1