BuyCom Class of 2001 Holding Their Own

By Sports NetworkFebruary 19, 2002, 5:00 pm
The Tour's Class of 2001 has held their own in the early stages of the 2002 PGA Tour campaign. Several of the competitors, who either joined the tour through Q-School or finishing in the top-15 of the 2001 Tour money list, have already been in the hunt for a victory on golf's premiere stage.
Perhaps the most prominent instance of a Tour player making an impact is Pat Perez, who graduated to the big dance by earning medalist honors at the grueling Qualifying School.
Perez held a one-shot lead over Matt Gogel standing on the majestic 18th tee at Pebble Beach Golf Club in the National Pro-Am. His drive landed out of bounds, under a hedge and forced him to take the lonely walk back to the tee to hit his third shot. That found the fairway but his fourth found the Pacific Ocean and crashed his hopes for the title like the waves that crashed into the rocks where his ball splashed.
'I don't know what I'll learn out of it,' said Perez, immediately following the bitter defeat to Gogel at Pebble Beach.
Perez, now 12th on the tour's money list, may not have needed to learn anything out of the miscue at the 18th because the Tour has proved to be more than a minor league golfing tour.
Perez is not the only story so far in 2002. Rod Pampling, an Australian who played the Tour in 2001, has made four out of five cuts and is currently 38th on the money list. While that ranking may not sound high, consider it is higher than such names as Justin Leonard, Davis Love III, Mark Calcavecchia, Jesper Parnevik and perhaps the Tour's two most respected graduates: David Duval and Tom Lehman.
Two other players, Deane Pappas and John Rollins, who entered the tour through the top-15 on the 2001 money list, have also netted top-10 finishes on tour this year. Pappas tied for sixth at the Bob Hope Classic while Rollins shared eighth at the Buick Invitational.
With foreign players coming from all over the world to compete on the PGA Tour, there is not the same room in the fields for alternates and lesser talented players.

Fields that are now filled by Jose Maria Olazabal, Sergio Garcia, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Bernhard Langer and a laundry list of other top-notched international players mean that there is no place on the big tour for players with solid games but unrecognizable names. In years past, these players were content to play on the other side of the pond but now, thanks in part to Tiger Woods' dominance, the European Tour players know they have to compete on the best tour to best prepare themselves for major championships.
That is where the Tour comes in for the Pat Perezs of the world. It gives players who may not have exactly what it takes currently a venue to perfect their craft for the future. The level of competition is high because for every young player on the course, there is a former PGA Tour veteran who may have lost his card but certainly did not lose the experience he received on the PGA Tour.
Here is an indictment as to how the Tour has come along. David Sutherland missed several months on the PGA Tour last year due to a shoulder injury. When he was able to come back, he went to the Tour to get back into a competitive spirit, not right to the big tour.
In the end of August, Sutherland matched the tour's record for lowest opening 36-hole total with 127 and opened a six-shot lead halfway through the event, also tying a Tour record. When the tournament was over, Sutherland did win - by one shot over Danny Briggs.
A final factor that can not be overlooked when it comes to the rise to respectability is the determination factor. It is simple, if you win three times in one Tour season, you go to the PGA Tour and are exempt for one year. Your professional dreams are realized.
If you finish in the top-15 on the money list after the Tour Championship, you go to the show. If you succeed in the Tour, you will make it to the PGA Tour, golf's showcase.
Success on the Tour does not automatically translate into success at the highest level. For every Duval, Lehman or David Toms you see winning majors, there is Rob McKelvey, Andy Morse or any other player who wallows in obscurity, never making the grade.
Don't be surprised, however, if one day Chad Campbell or Heath Slocum is hoisting a PGA Tour trophy over his head.
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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 (

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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.

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

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.