Player of the Year still up for grabs

By Rex HoggardJuly 30, 2014, 4:05 pm

Beginning with this week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational the languid pace of the PGA Tour’s new wrap-around schedule – a lineup that began last October in California – transitions to professional golf’s version of the 2-minute drill.

Across the competitive spectrum players are quickly finding themselves on the clock, whether they are trying to secure a spot in the FedEx Cup playoffs, which begins in three weeks at The Barclays, or a place on what is already shaping up to be a crowded Player of the Year ballot.

With a World Golf Championship, the year’s final major and all four post-season events still remaining much can change in the PoY picture, but history suggests the main characters have likely already been identified.

While Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., tends to cede such arguments to its FedEx Cup champion, more times than not in the playoff era – four out of the last seven Player of the Year Awards didn’t go to the FedEx Cup champion – the Jack Nicklaus Award hasn’t dovetailed with that reality.

In fact, for the last three seasons the Player of the Year was not the FedEx Cup champion, with last year’s vote proving to be particularly close between Tiger Woods (a five-time winner in 2013), Adam Scott (the Masters champion), Phil Mickelson (the Open champion) and Henrik Stenson (the FedEx Cup winner).

Woods won last year’s POY hardware in what many players considered a polarizing vote, and this year’s race is shaping up to be an even more crowded field.

With seven big weeks remaining in the season, here’s your Player of the Year primer (players listed alphabetically):

Martin Kaymer
However you want to slice this, the German has two “major” titles on his resume this year (the U.S. Open and The Players) and one of those was an eight-stroke masterpiece at Pinehurst.

While Kaymer hasn’t exactly been the model of consistency away from TPC Sawgrass and the No. 2 course, he would likely be the leader in the clubhouse heading into the year’s final major for the POY award.

Rory McIlroy
The 2012 Player of the Year still has some work to do if he is going to complete the front end of the even-year POY slam. As impressive as his victory was at Royal Liverpool it is his only Tour title in 2014 and overseas victories (even the BMW PGA Championship, the European Tour’s flagship event, which the Northern Irishman won) don’t seem to hold much weight with the circuit’s rank-and-file come voting time.

Patrick Reed
To be accurate, “Mr. Top 5” would be considered a dark horse for the POY award, but he is the only other player with multiple victories in 2014 (two), and his triumph at the WGC-Cadillac Championship was impressive.

Still, he has more than three times as many missed cuts as victories and would need a big finish to secure his status as a true contender.

Adam Scott
While the Australian would also be considered a long-shot for the season-ending honor, he did ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking this year, and he punctuated that honor with a playoff victory at the Crowne Plaza Invitational.

Scott also has seven top-10 finishes in 11 Tour starts this season, a run that includes the last two majors (T-9 at the U.S. Open and T-5 at the Open Championship).

Jimmy Walker
He was the hottest player in golf through the first four months of the season, winning three times before March, and he has continued to be consistent through the dog days of summer with top-25 finishes in all but four of his last 14 events.

He’s also posted top-10 finishes in two of his three major starts in 2014, but his understated demeanor may prompt some to overlook him when it comes time to vote.

Bubba Watson
He's No. 2 on the FedEx Cup points list and No. 1 in many fans’ hearts following his second victory in April at the Masters.

His victory at the Northern Trust Open will also give him some street cred among those who say he is a one-trick player (Augusta National), but he missed the cut in the next two majors and hasn’t posted a top 10 since early June.

Rickie Fowler, the only player with top-5 finishes in the year’s first three majors, and Matt Kuchar, who has pieced together another stellar season, could also join the conversation with a few solid starts the next few weeks.

There is still plenty of time on the clock for someone to separate themselves from the Player of the Year pack, but if history, and the currently crowded field, holds the Tour electorate will face another tough decision this fall.

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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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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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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.”