Scott overcomes doubles, shank to win at Doral

By Rex HoggardMarch 7, 2016, 1:05 am

DORAL, Fla. – He doesn’t have the firepower to hang with Rory McIlroy, the touch to survive the ban on anchored putting or the moxie to overcome not one but two balls in the water on Sunday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

That would normally be the line on Adam Scott, but on a day when Donald Trump threatened to steal the spotlight at Doral, the Australian showed the Teflon tenacity of a politician on his way to his second win in as many weeks.

Forget everything you thought you knew about Adam Scott.

The reimagined 35-year-old version didn’t succumb to a pair of early double bogeys on Sunday that included two water balls – hit, rinse, repeat – a cold shank from a bunker on 16 and even a cameo by the Republican presidential candidate. Scott became the first player since Billy Horschel in 2014 to win back-to-back events on the PGA Tour.

“I don't think I've processed what's happened, especially today's round," Scott said. "It was ugly and good, all in 18 holes."

Scott started the final round three strokes behind Rory McIlroy, but he held on for a one-stroke victory over Bubba Watson.


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A player that once was considered too nice to win this type of slugfest showed a grit that hadn’t been seen since he survived extra holes to win the 2013 Masters.

This time there was no, “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie,” exclamation on the final green, just a grinding performance on the kind of gusty day in south Florida that makes his closing 3-under 69 something more than the sum of its parts.

A week after winning the Honda Classic with a quadruple bogey-7 on his card (on Saturday), Scott faded quickly on Sunday with double bogeys at the third and fifth holes, both the product of errant shots that found the water.

Walking off the fifth green, Scott was six strokes back and largely an afterthought to the larger narrative.

“I told him, ‘We gave four [strokes] to them last week and still won.’ I said, ‘Come on we can still do this,’” said Scott’s caddie David Clark as the two headed to the sixth tee. “We knew how tough the back nine could be.”

Slowly, Scott climbed back with birdies at Nos. 6 and 8, before adding three consecutive birdies starting at the 10th hole.

With his 5-footer for birdie at the 12th hole Scott moved to 11 under and tied for lead with McIlroy and Danny Willett. From six shots back to a share of the lead in just seven holes – only at Doral.

As Clark predicted, the Blue Monster’s closing loop proved to be particularly destructive for the world-class field assembled for the year’s first World Golf Championship.

McIlroy, who failed to convert a 54-hole outright lead for just the third time in his Tour career, bogeyed the 13th hole to drop two shots back and managed his first, and only, birdie of the day at the 16th hole.

It was far too little, far too late.

“I didn't make enough birdies,” said McIlroy, who was vying to become just the third player since World War II to win a dozen times on Tour before his 27th birthday. “I felt like my game was OK for the most part. I didn't take advantage of the holes I should have. I couldn't birdie any of the par 5s and that's really what killed me today.”

Phil Mickelson, whose reworked swing has led to one of the most productive springs in years for a player who some consider to be in the twilight of his career, bogeyed the par-5 10th hole after finding the water with his tee shot and made a mess of the 18th hole for a closing 70 and his third top-5 finish this year.

Danny Willett, an Englishman who has all the makings of a breakout Ryder Cup star, failed to convert a 10 footer for birdie at the 17th and bogeyed the last to finish tied for third with McIlroy.

But it was Watson who had the best chance to catch Scott.

The self-described “head case” birdied No. 17 to pull within one stroke of Scott, but at the demanding closing frame the voices in his head won.

“I had to back away and get the right thought patterns [on No. 18], and it worked out on that tee shot,” said Watson, who found the fairway at the last but couldn’t manage a birdie and finished alone in second place at 11 under par.

No one would call Scott’s victory pretty. In fact, equal parts “ugly and good” just about sum up his 13th Tour victory.

Scott was in contention for the third consecutive week, and he admitted to being fatigued on the weekend at Doral, where he shot rounds of 73-69. Even after charging back into the hunt there were still moments of uncertainty, like at the 16th hole where he tried to be too creative with a bunker shot from behind the green and shanked his next shot.

“I was so embarrassed to do that playing with Phil Mickelson,” Scott said. “I mean, he would be lipping it out or holing it, and I'm shanking it nearly into the next bunker. It shocked me a bit.”

Scott recovered, however, holing a 5 footer for par to maintain his advantage. But he needed even more magic at the demanding closing hole after his drive sailed into the right rough, about 4 feet behind a palm tree.

From 186 yards, Scott attempted to cut a 6-iron onto the green, but his approach caught the bank and rolled to within 4 feet of another water hazard.

“When you win after something like that, that's winner's luck, really,” said Scott, who chipped to 7 feet and converted the winning putt. “Those things even out over a long period of time where at some point, I would have hit that shot and it would bounce back in and you don't win, and other times it stays up and you do. To take advantage of it feels really good.”

There is certainly a degree of luck involved in any win, but there was nothing lucky about Scott’s victory at Doral.

After three impressive weeks that included two wins and a runner-up showing in Los Angeles, consider this Scott’s mandate for toughness.

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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)

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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.

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Four players vying for DJ's No. 1 ranking at Open

By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 8:41 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Four players have an opportunity to overtake Dustin Johnson for world No. 1 this week.

According to Golf Channel world-rankings guru Alan Robinson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm each can grab the top spot in the world ranking.

Thomas’ path is the easiest. He would return to No. 1 with either a win and Johnson finishing worse than solo third, or even a solo runner-up finish as long as Johnson finishes worse than 49th.


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Twenty years after his auspicious performance in The Open, Rose can get to No. 1 for the first time with a victory and Johnson finishing worse than a two-way tie for third.

Kopeka can rise to No. 1 if he wins consecutive majors, assuming that his good friend posts worse than a three-way tie for third.

And Rahm can claim the top spot with a win this week, a Johnson missed cut and a Thomas finish of worse than solo second.   

Johnson’s 15-month reign as world No. 1 ended after The Players. He wasn’t behind Thomas for long, however: After a tie for eighth at the Memorial, Johnson blew away the field in Memphis and then finished third at the U.S. Open to solidify his position at the top.