British Open to Return to Turnberry in 2009
'I am thrilled for everyone on the Turnberry team who has worked on this,' said Turnberrys general manager Stewart Selbie. 'In my six years here, so many of the world's best golfers have told me that they enjoy coming to Turnberry as one of the best Open venues in the world.'
The 2009 British Open is scheduled for July 16-19. It will be the fourth time the British Open will be staged at the Westin Turnberry Resort, but it will be hard to top the first one.
In 1977, Tom Watson topped Jack Nicklaus in the 'Duel in the Sun,' considered one of golf's best battles in major championship history. Watson escaped with another victory at Turnberry in 2003 when he outlasted Carl Mason to win the Senior British Open, which returns to Turnberry next year.
Greg Norman earned his first major championship at the 1986 British Open at Turnberry. Norman's close friend Nick Price won the last Open Championship staged there in 1994, when he fought off Jesper Parnevik.
The reason Turnberry has not hosted a British Open in 11 years has more to do with off-the-course problems, namely traffic management, than Turnberry's links layout.
'There has never been any doubt that The Open would return to Turnberry, one of our very best links courses, but before reaching that decision we had to be convinced that every aspect of our forward planning process was in place to ensure a successful return to Turnberry in 2009,' said David Hill, Director of Championships for The R&A.
Kang on cheating allegation: 'I did the right thing'
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three weeks after his playing partner claimed that he “cheated” while taking an improper drop at the Quicken Loans National, Sung Kang insisted Thursday that he did nothing wrong.
Joel Dahmen tweeted that Kang cheated after a lengthy dispute about where his ball had last crossed the line of a hazard. A PGA Tour official ruled in Kang’s favor, he made par on the hole, shot 64 and earned one of the available spots in the Open Championship.
Kang didn’t learn of the controversy until the next day, when he received an email from a PGA Tour communications official seeking comment. He researched online what the furor was about, then issued a brief statement through the Tour (which added its own statement, saying that there was “no clear evidence” to suggest that Kang dropped incorrectly).
Kang said he tried to clear the air with Dahmen before the first round of last week’s John Deere Classic, but they never had the opportunity to discuss their differences.
“I followed the rules official and I think I did the right thing,” Kang told a handful of reporters Thursday following his opening round at Carnoustie, where he shot a 2-under 69 to sit three shots off the early lead.
Kang said he was hesitant to discuss the incident with reporters, because he said there clearly was a difference in opinions. He said he’d already told his side to South Korean news outlets but that “whatever I say, some people are going to trust it and some people are not going to trust it. Then I’ve got to think about it more and more when it’s not going to help my golf game.”
“I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened,” he added, “but I’m not going to say anything.”
Kang said that he wouldn’t alter his approach when dealing with rulings in the future.
“No. Why?” he said. “I did the right thing. There’s no point in changing.”
Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship
Tiger Woods is competing in his first Open Championship since 2015. We're tracking him this week at Carnoustie.
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Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.
Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.
“We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.
To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.
“I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”
Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.
“Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”
The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.
“We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.
Van Rooyen continues links run with impressive 67
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.
“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.”