Every retools game, takes back API title

By Ryan LavnerMarch 23, 2015, 12:41 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Matt Every was so confident that he’d win the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday, he shaved for his close-up and opted for a pair of red-and-blue plaid pants.

He thought they’d nicely match the winner’s blue blazer.

Keep in mind this is the same player who four months ago was playing so poorly that he was embarrassed to be on the golf course. Looking around at the star-studded field at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, he wondered what his fellow playing competitors must have been thinking.

“Probably like, ‘This guy sucks! How is here?’” he said.

Things didn’t get any smoother once Every returned to the mainland, either; in five full-field starts this year, he had collected about $40,000.

Every’s ongoing work with swing coach Sean Foley may not have offered instant gratification, but that only made another success story that much sweeter.

In contention for the first time since early June, Every buried a 17-foot birdie putt on 18 to cap a 6-under 66 that lifted him to a one-shot title defense.

An upside-down year became even more so Sunday at Bay Hill.

The last nine 54-hole leaders on the PGA Tour have coughed up the lead on the final day. Leave it to the guy without a top-45 finish this season to close out the tournament.

No, even that stat isn’t sufficient.

Consider: This was a player who had a scoring average north of 72, who had one top 25 since May, who entered this week ranked outside the top 200 in ball-striking. He is the 19th winner in 19 events this season.


Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, videos and photos


When Every won this tournament a year ago, even his caddie, Derek Mason, described his boss as a “flash in the pan,” a player who relied on a swing based too much on timing and his comfort level at that particular venue.

The next few months proved that.

Playing in his first Masters just three weeks after his first win, Every got exposed. He shot rounds of 77-78 and, worse, didn’t feel like he belonged.

“I got my butt kicked,” he said. “I said I’ve got to get better because I don’t want to be a guy who can’t compete there.”

The missed cuts mounted, six in all, by the time he reached the FedEx Cup playoffs. He was tired, worn down, frustrated.

The first step was his decision to transform his body, to shed some weight, to ensure that his 30s were the prime of his career like so many of his peers.

Revamping his swing was next. Every has been friends with Sean Foley for years, and the renowned swing coach had an opening in his stable last fall when a certain former No. 1 decided that Foley’s services were no longer needed. Every jumped at the opportunity.

They made a rather drastic adjustment in Every’s swing – moving his eye line over the ball – but more than the technical aspects, Every says that the uber-positive Foley has provided him clarity, or a better understanding of how and why the swing works.

“It was like he had a Ferrari but the wheels weren’t aligned,” says Mason, the caddie. “Now, he’s got the alignment and the GPS units on it, so he’s not taking wrong turns.”

Oh, but there were several in the last few months. Several until this past week, really.

“It’s easy to get down on yourself out here,” Every said. “It’s the biggest waste of time, because nobody really cares.”

He was striping it on the range, for two hours at a time under the watchful eye of Foley. He sensed a turnaround was imminent. And besides, why couldn’t he win again at Arnie’s Place, a tournament he’s been attending since he was a boy, when his dad would let a 12-year-old Matt follow Mark Calcavecchia, walk the entire course and meet up four hours later?

Last year Every chased down a soon-to-be-No. 1 in Adam Scott. This time, he needed seven final-round birdies to hold off world No. 3 Stenson.

The Swedish ball-striking savant had a one-shot lead midway through the back nine, but his group was put on the clock for a second time on 15. Worried about the stopwatch-wielding official, Stenson rushed through his routine on the green and three-putted from 45 feet, including a 5-foot miss. The next hole, he three-jacked from the same distance.

“That’s really what cost me the tournament,” Stenson said, adding that he made a gesture toward the rules official after the second three-putt on 16. Let's just say it wasn’t a thumbs up.

Up ahead, Every delivered the finishing blow.

As Every approached his final birdie putt at the back of the 18th green, a fan in the grandstand purposely coughed and blurted, “Straight putt! ... Ahem. ... Straight putt!”

“I was like, this guy is a real d--- if he’s lying to me, because it’s a pretty important moment,” Every said.

But sure enough, Every surveyed the downhill putt and couldn’t find much break. The fan was right. Every’s putt snuck in the side door.

That final birdie lifted Every to 19-under 269, one shot clear of Stenson, who missed a hard-swinging 20-footer on the last.

Every, who erased a three-shot deficit, joined Loren Roberts (1994-95) and Tiger Woods (five times) as the only back-to-back winners at Bay Hill. At the trophy presentation, Every leaned into the microphone and cracked, “I told Tiger I’d hold it down for him until he gets back.”

An embarrassment no longer.

Getty Images

Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 9:33 am

Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.

Everything before that, however, was far from routine.



Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.

He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and TaylorMade got him his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.

"I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.

Getty Images

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)

Getty Images

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.