Spieth shows brilliance on very difficult Augusta day

By Rex HoggardApril 7, 2016, 9:26 pm

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Jack Nicklaus once predicted Tiger Woods would win more green jackets than he and Arnold Palmer combined.

No one is claiming that Jordan Spieth will surpass the duo’s total (10) just yet, but it is starting to feel like the 22-year-old is playing a different Augusta National than the rest of the field.

Spieth carded his ninth consecutive round at Augusta National of even par or better, a 6-under 66 that lifted him to a two-stroke advantage.

That’s not to say Spieth’s title defense got off to a stellar start.

On the eve of Thursday’s first round Spieth cracked the face of his driver and he needed an 11th-hour tuning session to get a suitable backup in the bag for opening day of the major championship season.

Things started to look even more dicey when he teed off just before 10 a.m. (ET) and found himself in a precarious position after his approach shot at the first sailed wide right leaving him an unenviable chip.

But Spieth scrambled for a par that probably won’t be remembered come Sunday. But it certainly had the desired effect.

“That [Spieth’s par at No. 1] had to give him an emotional lift,” said two-time champion Ben Crenshaw, Spieth’s Masters mentor who walked with the defending champion early Thursday.

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It was two years ago when Crenshaw first saw the potential in Spieth. He had all the markings of not just a good PGA Tour player, but a major champion. A Masters champion.

Crenshaw first led his fellow Texan around Augusta National during a practice round two years ago. It was a Wednesday and in true hump-day fashion it was an intense study into the nuances of a course that never seems to give up all of its secrets.

“All the way around he would ask, ‘What are you doing on this shot here?’” Crenshaw recalled. “You just create situations and he liked that. He wanted to know the breaks and what I saw. I told him to keep matching your speed [on the greens], pace, pace, pace.”

He may have bolted the University of Texas early, but Spieth is nothing if not an impressive student.

In just his third Masters start, Spieth negotiated the swirling wind and rocking pine trees like, well, Crenshaw.

After setting the tone at the first, he birdied the third hole from 6 feet, the sixth from 12 feet, the eighth from 4 feet, the 10th from 10 feet and the 18th from 4 feet.

“I got a lot out of the round with what I felt like was kind of average‑ish ball‑striking,” Spieth said. “I just scored the ball extremely well, which is something I've been struggling with this season. ... Certainly made a lot of putts today. But I am extremely pleased with that round today. I felt like we stole a few.”

It was the grinding pars, however, that will likely give Spieth confidence heading into a cold weekend. Encounters like at the fourth hole on Day 1, where he missed the green well right with his 6-iron tee shot but played a brilliant chip under the trees for a stress-free par on a day that was outright stressful for the vast majority of the rest of the field.

“I gave a fist pump right there [at No. 4], because that was a really hard up‑and‑down, coming from that side of the green,” said Spieth, who beat the early field average by 8.9 strokes. “That was huge, it keeps momentum there and it allows me to be able to adjust kind of my swing on the next iron shots that I hit without losing strokes on my misses and that's very, very key.”

In his nine competitive rounds at Augusta National, Spieth’s position after each day reads like the number on an ATM card – T-12, T-3, T-1, T-2, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st and 1st.

Following his runner-up showing in 2014 and last year’s record-tying victory it would be easy to lapse into a misguided hot take replete with histrionics, but there is no denying Spieth’s current run in north Georgia.

Four solid rounds is a good week, nine rounds is starting to feel like a bona fide trend.

“I was impressed by everything he did today,” said Paul Casey, who was grouped with Spieth on Day 1. “That was a flawless round of golf on one of the toughest days I’ve ever seen at Augusta National.”

The cliché that the Masters doesn’t begin until the back nine on Sunday has never been more irrelevant, not with a forecast that is on the Open Championship side of awful.

If the weather continues down its current ominous path, Spieth’s front nine on Thursday may prove to be the difference between a series of legendary performances and what is starting to look like a true legend.

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Rose's Saturday 64 matches Carnoustie Open record

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 1:03 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose needed to sink a 14-foot putt on the final hole Friday just to make the cut on the number at The Open.

Freewheeling when he came to the course Saturday, Rose tied the lowest score ever recorded in an Open at Carnoustie.

Entering the weekend nine shots off the lead, the world No. 3 carded a bogey-free, 7-under 64 to at least make things interesting. It won’t be known for several hours how many shots Rose will be behind, but his back-nine 30 gives him an opportunity, if the wind blows 25 mph Sunday as forecast, to challenge the leaders.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

After all, Paul Lawrie was 10 shots back entering the final round here in 1999.

“I think the birdie on 18 last night freed me up, and I’m just very happy to be out on this golf course and not down the road somewhere else this morning,” said Rose, who is at 4-under 209. “So that might have been part of the shift in mindset today. I had nothing to lose from that point of view.”

Rose’s 64 matched Steve Stricker and Richard Green’s record score at Carnoustie (2007).

It also was Rose’s career-low round in a major.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 12:45 pm

Tiger Woods, in search of his 15th career major championship title, started the weekend six off the lead at Carnoustie. We're tracking him in Round 3 of The Open.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 12:20 pm

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)

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.

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 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)