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Woods has chance to prove himself on Sunday

By Rex HoggardJune 30, 2018, 10:42 pm

POTOMAC, Md. – Tiger Woods will begin Sunday’s final round at the Quicken Loans National within an Uber ride of the lead, poised just a half dozen notches out of the lead at an event that should have all the markings of low-hanging fruit.

However you slice up the complicated World Golf Ranking math, this week’s circus stop ranks just ahead of a rehab start for the 14-time major champion.

The field at TPC Potomac is the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent in the game and they’ve all celebrated varying degrees of success, but there’s no chance the guy who is one PGA Tour tilt away from winning his 80th event will be sitting around Saturday evening Googling Abraham Ancer’s name.

As Tiger plays his way back to something approaching his former glory, this stopover in suburbia qualifies as his best chance to end a victory drought that now stretches nearly five years. Consider that the average World Ranking strength of field (points to the winner) for Tiger’s first 10 starts this season was 68.8. The winner at the Soon-To-Be-Detroit-Open will collect 34 World Ranking points.

Winning on Tour is hard for anyone regardless of how many majors you have on the shelf, but this one is there for Tiger’s taking.

He didn’t do himself any favors on Saturday, playing his first three holes like a guy who was trying to figure out which end of the club to hold, but then something changed.

He made a momentum-saving par putt from 13 feet at No. 3 (remember when everyone was questioning his decision to switch to a mallet-headed putter this week? Yeah, that was fun.) and played his next four holes like it was 2005.

By the time he completed his torrid run of four consecutive birdies with an 8-footer at the seventh hole, the crowd had been stirred into a frenzy and darted around TPC Potomac chanting “Tiger . . . Tiger, Tiger Tiger” European style. He was one stroke off the lead and anybody this side of the Captial Beltway knew it.

It was happening. That kind of golf Tiger and those who track his every move had been waiting for, every iron crisp, every putt charged into the hole, every movement dripping with confidence and sweat.

Full-field scores from the Quicken Loans National

Quicken Loans National: Articles, photos and videos

The air came out of the celebration slowly, peeling away weaknesses that have become standard in this comeback from injury.

He missed birdie putts at Nos. 10 and 11, missed the fairway at the 13th hole and eventually missed a par putt. Everything that went so well on his outward loop now eluded him.

“It was frustrating because I played better than what my score indicates,” said Woods, who finished with a 2-under 68 that felt more like another 65 and was at 7 under. “To get it to 3 under par for the day by the turn and I had some birdie opportunities on the back nine, didn't make them and made a couple bogeys there, too, as well.

“So it was frustrating because I thought that 10 under would have been a good score for me to end up at for the day and I could have easily gotten that today on the back nine.”

Another round with so much potential, another missed opportunity. It’s been the story of Tiger’s season. It’s why Sunday will be greater than the sum of its parts.

For a moment on a steamy Saturday, the echoes were all too familiar, even for those who weren’t around when Tiger made his name on a leaderboard a reason to start taking deep, relaxing breaths.

“I just heard all the roars. [Woods] was making a lot of putts I think on the front nine, the roars were crazy,” said Ancer, who is tied for the lead with Francesco Molinari at 13 under.

Ancer was a senior in college the last time Tiger won a Tour event (2013) and Zac Blair, who is tied for second place, couldn’t vote when Woods hoisted his last major trophy (2008).

The consensus is that Tiger has lost that edge, the victim of time and age. Sunday is a chance for Woods to put that notion to the test. A chance to prove red and black on Sunday still means something.

Tiger hasn’t been his best on Sundays this season. His final-round scoring average (70.63) ranks 80th on Tour, and he clumsily pulled defeat from the jaws of victory earlier this year at the Valspar Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational.

On both occasions, he proved himself fallible at the buzzer. At Innisbrook it was the curious decision to hit iron off the 72nd tee when he was trailing by one stroke and he lost by a stroke, at Bay Hill it was a miss-played driver off the 16th hole on his way to a tie for fifth place.

He’ll need something special on Sunday at TPC Potomac, another front-nine change that isn’t wasted by a pedestrian finish. He’ll need to be better and there’s no better chance than now to prove to everyone, maybe even himself, that his name on a leaderboard is still worth noticing.

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More sun, dry conditions expected early at Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 9:14 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – An atypically dry Scottish summer is expected to continue this week at The Open.

There’s a possibility of a few showers Thursday and Friday, but otherwise conditions are expected to remain dry with temperatures around 70 degrees and winds in the 15-20 mph range.

The forecast for the opening round at Carnoustie is sunshine with clouds developing later in the day. The high is expected to be around 70 degrees, with winds increasing throughout the day, maxing out at 18 mph.

Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

There’s a chance of rain overnight Thursday and into Friday morning, but it’s not expected to slow down the fiery conditions.

It’s been one of the driest summers in recent memory, leading to fairways that are baked out and fescue rough that is lighter and thinner than in previous years.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 8:40 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  

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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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 18, 2018, 8:40 am

Tiger Woods is competing in his first Open Championship since 2015. We're tracking him this week at Carnoustie.

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The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 8:30 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.