Chopra Leads Tiger Makes Mini Move

By Sports NetworkJuly 7, 2006, 4:00 pm
Cialis Western OpenLEMONT, Ill. -- Born in Sweden and raised in India, Daniel Chopra is feeling at home in the Midwest.
'I might go out and watch a movie this afternoon,' Chopra said Friday after taking sole possession of the lead midway through the Western Open.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods got back into contention with a 4-under 67.
Chopra holed out from a bunker at the 18th hole to finish off his second consecutive 5-under 66 at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club's Dubsdread Course.
One of four overnight leaders, the unheralded pro now holds the lead alone at 10-under-par 132 -- two shots ahead of Vijay Singh, who fired a second straight 4-under 67 to move up from fifth place.
While attention-getters Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were busy trying to make the cut, Chopra found himself racing in front of the field for his first second-round lead on the PGA TOUR.
Although he said he would take in a movie, Chopra did admit he needed to work on his game before teeing off in the final pairing with world No. 3 Singh on Saturday.
'I'll still probably just chip and putt a little bit...just practice a couple of shots that I maybe wasn't quite as happy with today,' said Chopra, who is winless on the PGA TOUR.
Woods, meanwhile, followed up his opening-round 72 with a 4-under 67, climbing from a tie for 82nd place into a tie for 35th place at 3-under- par 139.
Playing for only the second time since the Masters -- and for the first time since missing the U.S. Open cut three weeks ago -- Woods spent 2 1/2 hours on the range after Thursday's round.
It was practice that paid off: Beginning his round on the back nine, Woods carded five birdies with one bogey over his first eight holes, then parred the next 10 straight.
'[I played] a lot better today, which was exciting,' said Woods, a three-time Western Open champion. 'I did some good work last night.'
On the first two par-5s, Woods reached the green in two to set up birdies.
'Overall I felt like I put myself in position off the tees to give myself some aggressive runs,' he said. 'I hit my irons all right today. It wasn't great, but I'll go do some work on that right now and get a little bit organized for tomorrow.'
Given the way his round began, Woods feels like he should be closer to the lead.
'I felt I could have taken advantage of my back nine and made a few more birdies and gotten this thing a little bit closer to the lead,' Woods said. 'It looks like I'm going to have to play have a really good weekend to have a chance.'
Mickelson almost had no chance at a weekend run.
Also playing for the first time since the U.S. Open, when a double-bogey on the 72nd hole cost him a third-straight major championship, Mickelson flirted with the cut line all day.
He bogeyed four straight holes on the front nine, then recovered with two birdies and a bogey on the back. His 3-over 74 put him at 1-under-par 141 -- good for a tie for 53rd place and two shots away from being cut.
One of Mickelson's tournament-saving shots came at the par-5 15th, where he knocked his third shot within tap-in distance to set up a birdie.
'It wasn't the greatest round today,' Mickelson admitted. 'I struggled on the greens, never really had any putts go in and was unable to get it back to even.'
The highlight of Chopra's round came at the par-4 18th, where his hole-out represented his seventh birdie on the back nine -- this after he had played the front nine at plus-1.
'Fortunately I was able to stay very patient, and I was actually quite proud of that,' Chopra said. 'When the floodgates did open, they really did.'
Chopra's only hiccup on the back nine was a bogey at the par-4 13th, where he drove it straight left off the tee. Calling it 'a good bogey,' Chopra nearly holed a par-saving bunker shot before putting for his five.
'My bunker play has been really good of late, so I felt really confident and I flopped it out and I almost made that one, too,' Chopra said. 'It was a good bogey in the end.'
Chopra nearly had eight birdies on the back nine, but he just missed a 16-foot putt at the 17th, settling instead for his first par since the ninth hole.
'I was kind of thinking to myself, 'Well, if I make this and I birdie the last, I've made eight birdies and a bogey,' Chopra said. 'That would have been kind of neat. I've never seen that done.'
Stewart Cink fired a 7-under 64 and shares third place with Trevor Immelman (66) and Joe Ogilvie (69) at 7-under-par 135. Defending champion Jim Furyk shot a 67 and leads a group of six players tied for sixth place at minus-6.
The cut line fell at even-par, and among those not moving on to the weekend were Chad Campbell, Mark O'Meara, Ben Curtis and Camilo Villegas.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Cialis Western Open
  • Full Coverage - Cialis Western Open
  • Getty Images

    McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

    McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

    But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

    Said Harmon:

    “Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

    “This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

    McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

    “Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

    McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

    Getty Images

    How The Open cut line is determined

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

    Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

    The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    • After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

    • There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

    • There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

    The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.

    Getty Images

    The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 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.

    Getty Images

    How to watch The Open on TV and online

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:30 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 (