Hjorth Races to Early Lead

By Sports NetworkAugust 31, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 State Farm ClassicSPRINGFIELD, Ill. ' Sweden's Maria Hjorth fired a 7-under-par 65 on Thursday to take the first-round lead at the State Farm Classic at The Rail Golf Course.
 
Dina Ammaccapane, Nina Reis and Brittany Lang are knotted in second place at 6-under-par 66.
 
Lorena Ochoa, the LPGA Tour's money leader, carded a 5-under-par 67 on Thursday and is part of a large group tied for fifth place.
 
Ochoa, who earned her third victory of the season last week, collected three birdies in her opening five holes, but then parred her final four holes on the front side.
 
The tour's leading money winner birdied the 10th, but dropped a shot on No. 13. Ochoa moved up the leaderboard with a pair of birdies at 16 and 18 and now is in a strong place to keep her lead on the money list.
 
'I played very good,' said Ochoa. 'I think I'm in a good position for the next few days and that is all that matters. My game is good and I'll be ready to go tomorrow.'
 
Annika Sorenstam, who played with Ochoa on Thursday, shot a 2-under 70 and is part of a group tied for 26th place.
 
Sorenstam birdied the first from 3 feet, and eagled the par-5 fourth. She bogeyed five, but got that shot back with a birdie at No. 8.
 
The Swede birdied the 14th hole, but she bogeyed 16 when her approach landed in the water. Sorenstam also bogeyed the last to fall down the leaderboard.
 
'I'm not really worried,' acknowledged Sorenstam, who has never won this title. 'I'm just disappointed obviously. It's no fun to finish the way I did.'
 
Sorenstam is looking up at her Solheim Cup teammate.
 
Hjorth began on the back nine Thursday and collected her first birdie at the par-5 12th when her 8-footer found the bottom of the cup. She tallied one other first-nine birdie, at the par-5 15th. Hjorth came up short of the green with her second, then chipped to 4 feet to make the turn at 2 under par.
 
The Swede parred her first three holes on the second nine, but caught fire.
 
At the par-5 fourth, Hjorth hit her rescue-club over the green, but chipped inside a foot. She made it back-to-back birdies when she hit a 7-iron to 20 feet at the par-3 fifth.
 
Hjorth kept her strong play going at six. She drove into a fairway bunker, but knocked an 8-iron to 15 feet to set up her third birdie in a row. She polished off her fourth birdie in a row at seven when she played a 6-iron inside 5 feet.
 
'I was hitting a few close and then also making the putts that I needed,' said Hjorth, referring to her birdie run on the second nine. 'It was fun.'
 
Hjorth parred the eighth, but closed in style. At the par-4 ninth, Hjorth knocked a 7-iron to 20 feet and converted the birdie putt to grab sole possession of the lead.
 
'I played pretty well,' said Hjorth, whose best finish this season was at her first event, a tie for 13th at the SBS Open at Turtle Bay. 'I played very solid all day. Hopefully I can keep going. I've had some good rounds, but not really four in a row. Hopefully this week will be the week to put it all together.'
 
Sophie Gustafson, Julieta Granada, Il Mi Chung, Young Kim, Seon-Hwa Lee, Kellie Kuehne and Catherine Cartwright joined Ochoa in fifth place at minus-5.
 
Defending champion Pat Hurst, who lost to Sorenstam in a playoff at the U.S. Women's Open, struggled to a 1-over-par 73 and is tied for 85th place.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - State Farm Classic
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    More sun, dry conditions expected early at Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 9:14 am

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – An atypically dry Scottish summer is expected to continue this week at The Open.

    There’s a possibility of a few showers Thursday and Friday, but otherwise conditions are expected to remain dry with temperatures around 70 degrees and winds in the 15-20 mph range.

    The forecast for the opening round at Carnoustie is sunshine with clouds developing later in the day. The high is expected to be around 70 degrees, with winds increasing throughout the day, maxing out at 18 mph.


    Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    There’s a chance of rain overnight Thursday and into Friday morning, but it’s not expected to slow down the fiery conditions.

    It’s been one of the driest summers in recent memory, leading to fairways that are baked out and fescue rough that is lighter and thinner than in previous years.

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    How to watch The Open on TV and online

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 8:40 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 18, 2018, 8:30 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.