Horschel believes way to Nelson win over Day

By Ryan Reiterman May 22, 2017, 1:14 am

IRVING, Texas – All Billy Horschel could do was shake his head.

Coming off four straight missed cuts, winless in two-and-a-half years and playing a course he initially didn’t like, Horschel found himself standing on the 18th green at the AT&T Byron Nelson Sunday preparing to go to a second playoff hole with world No. 4 Jason Day.

After a back-nine battle that featured Horschel holing the longest putt of his career and Day pitching in from an awkward lie for birdie, the tournament came down to the Aussie’s 4-foot par putt on the first playoff hole.

Day had just holed a similar putt in regulation, but this time he yanked the putt left for a shocking conclusion to the tournament.

“I had the first putt in regulation, and it did a little bit of left to right and just then it went right to left,” said Day, who was looking for his first win since the 2016 Players Championship. “So, overall it was a pretty good week but obviously disappointed didn't get the win.”

Just like that, Horschel went from competitor to champion as he secured his fourth career PGA Tour title and first since the 2014 Tour Championship.

“He's such a world class player,” Horschel said of Day. “I didn't expect him to miss it. I was expecting to go back to the tee and play the hole again.”

All it took to rekindle Horschel’s game was two simple changes.

Horschel’s coach, Todd Anderson, had been imploring his pupil to switch to a face-balanced putter. Anderson also wanted Horschel to slow his tempo during tournaments. He would hit the ball great at home and during practice rounds, but Horschel’s already speedy swing would get even quicker in the heat of competition.


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He added the new putter to his bag last week at TPC Sawgrass, and when he got to Las Colinas for the first time since missing back-to-back cuts in 2011 and 2012, everything clicked for the 30-year-old Floridian.

“It finally got through my thick skull,” said Horschel on Saturday after finishing the third round one stroke behind James Hahn. “That's been great.”

Horschel felt his swing coming together at The Players, but he said a couple bad breaks led to his fourth missed cut in a row.

“I battled all day to try to make that cut and just didn't happen,” Horschel said. “But I walked off that course with a sense of I didn't feel like compared to the previous, the three other missed cuts I had.”

Initially scheduled to go off in twosomes, the final round was delayed by early morning thunderstorms. Officials were forced to send players off Nos. 1 and 10 in threesomes. That meant Day joined Hahn and Horschel in the final group.

The trio delivered an exciting finale at the TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas. After 35 years, the event will move next year to Trinity Forest, a Bill Coore-Ben Crenshaw design south of downtown Dallas.

All three players were tied at 11 under heading into the back nine. Hahn took the lead with birdies at Nos. 10 and 11, but he quickly faded with three straight deflating bogeys.

“Made too many bad decisions on the back nine, led to three straight bogies and that kind of determined the tournament for me,” said Hahn, who finished with a 1-over 71 for third place after nearly holing his approach on 18 that would have gotten him into the playoff.

That left Horschel and Day to battle for the title.

Horschel had just three-jacked 12 and 13, but then he stepped up to a 60-foot birdie putt at the par-4 14th and dropped a bomb.

“It gave me the little kick in the butt to say, ‘Hey, let's not give up on this. Keep grinding it out and see what happens.’”

Day answered on the very next hole by holing a pitch shot from a downhill lie 26 yards off the green. He took a one-shot lead over Horschel heading to the reachable par-5 16th.

But instead of Day extending his lead, Horschel counter-punched with a clutch two-putt birdie from 44 feet, while Day’s birdie try from 8 feet came up short.

They exchanged pars on 17 and 18, and Horschel nearly won the tournament with a birdie on the first playoff hole, but his attempt ran out of gas.

When Day missed his par putt, Horschel shook his head in disbelief. After all, he lost in a similar fashion in November at the RSM Classic. Horschel was part of a five-man playoff, but he was eliminated when he shoved a 2-foot putt to the right.

Now, he’s a champion again.

“I knew the stuff I was doing at home was the right stuff,” Horschel said. “I knew the stuff I was doing in early weeks of tournaments was the right stuff. I just had to keep believing in it and keep believing that, you know, in tournament golf that I've done this stuff I needed to do that week to play well. Sometimes I just didn't have that belief I needed.”

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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.