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'Wow me,' Reed said, and that's what Woods did

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 26, 2018, 1:31 am

SAN DIEGO – Never shy about needling his idol, Patrick Reed heard the glowing reports from Tiger Woods’ practice sessions and sent him a text message when he learned that they were paired together for the first two rounds at Torrey Pines.

“Hey, I expect you to wow me.”

And, all things considered, Woods did Thursday, shaking off a sluggish start to shoot an even-par 72 in his first PGA Tour start in a year.

“He looks good,” Reed said afterward. “It’s baby steps.”

Woods sits in a tie for 84th at the Farmers Insurance Open, but a dose of perspective is desperately needed here.

After all, Reed said, he played last week’s CareerBuilder Challenge after six weeks away and, “I didn’t know what the heck I was doing out there. There were a lot of mental errors that happened. You’re just not sharp mentally around the course.”

Woods’ last official worldwide round? It was 356 days ago, and he returned Thursday on one of the most difficult courses on the Tour schedule – Reed: “Starting on the South course, it doesn’t get any harder than that” – under the brightest spotlight imaginable, with sports fans everywhere tuned in to watch another train wreck, like the rest of these aborted comebacks.

That didn’t happen this time. Woods was solid, and occasionally spectacular.

Playing primarily a cut off the tee, he found eight fairways. After a nervy start, he hit nine of his last 10 greens. All three of his birdies were from inside 2 feet, after stuffed approach shots.

Full-field scores from the Farmers Insurance Open

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

“I’ve got to hit my irons a little better than I did today,” he said. “It’s hard to make a lot of birdies when you’re not giving yourself any looks.”

Reed was more impressed by the quality of Woods’ play.

He shaped shots both ways. He flighted them high and low. He hit them hard, and he hit them soft.

“It seemed like he had control,” Reed said.

And there were glimpses of greatness, perhaps the biggest difference between this comeback and the myriad ones that preceded it.

Start with the drives that bounded past his playing partners.

“Some of the cuts that he hit today were insanely long,” Reed said. “You’re thinking a cut is not supposed to go that far, and he hit that flat cut out there 30 past your driver and you’re like, All right.”

And then there was the 239-yard bullet on the par-5 sixth, which led to a two-putt birdie.

And, finally, the near-ace on 16.

“It felt good, looked good,” Woods said, “and then we listened for some noise.”

Forty-five minutes later, Reed was still in awe.

“I thought I hit a pretty good 6-iron (to 14 feet) and he hit the same club and it came out a completely different window,” he said. “His was 30 feet higher than mine. It was monstrous up in the air. It came out like a pitching wedge. That thing was vertical. … Into the wind, you wouldn’t think that a ball could carry that far, and he was able to penetrate it through the wind at that height and be able to land it that soft, to a foot.

“There were some things out there that were pretty cool to see.”

Of course there are areas to clean up. Woods found seven bunkers. He played the par 5s in even par. He made only 34 feet worth of putts.

All of that … and yet Woods shot even par, in his first Tour event in a year, on the more difficult South course.

“For a guy that’s played one tournament in 365 days, for him to come out and play the way he did today,” Reed said, “I was impressed.”

Reed challenged Woods to wow him at Torrey Pines, and that’s exactly what he did.    

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Van Rooyen continues links run with impressive 67

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:27 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For Erik van Rooyen familiarity has not bred contempt.

The South African, like many European Tour players, has been on a links golf odyssey the last three weeks, playing the Irish Open, Scottish Open and this week’s Open Championship in consecutive weeks, and the crash course paid off on Day 1 at Carnoustie when he opened with a 4-under 67 to assure himself a spot among the early leaders.

Although van Rooyen missed the cut last week just down the coast at Gullane Golf Club, he entered the final round in Ireland with a four-stroke lead.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I didn't pull it off the final day,” said van Rooyen, who closed with a 74 to tie for fourth place. “I still think I played pretty well. I was nervous. That's completely normal, and I'll learn how to deal with that. I'll take that experience into tournaments like this.”

Van Rooyen, who was alone in second place when he completed his round, began his round with back-to-back birdies and was bogey-free until the last hole. It was just what one would expect from a player who has immersed himself in links golf for the better part of a month.

“We've been playing nice golf now the last three weeks, so definitely used to the way this course is playing, definitely used to handling the wind,” he said. “So I'll be ready.”

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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.

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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  

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 (