Howell Cruises to BMW Title in England

By Sports NetworkMay 28, 2006, 4:00 pm
European TourSURREY, England -- David Howell, the European Tour's Order of Merit leader, padded his lead in that race on Sunday as he cruised to victory at the BMW Championship at Wentworth.
He posted a 3-under 69, his fourth round in the 60s, to win the event by five shots at 17-under-par 271. The win was Howell's second of the season and his fourth on the European Tour.
Howell earned enough world ranking points that when the Official World Golf Rankings come out on Monday, he is expected to move into the top 10. He became the second multiple winner on the 2006 European Tour schedule and his five-shot win is the largest margin of victory on tour this season.
'It didn't feel easy, trust me,' said Howell. 'I had too big a lead and my play over the front nine gave me that little bit of comfort. This BMW Championship is our flagship event. It doesn't come any bigger than this in Europe. I never dreamed I get my name on this trophy. I'm very honored and humbled to join the fantastic list of winners.'
Simon Khan birdied his final two holes Sunday to shoot a 44-under 68. He finished alone in second place at minus-12, one shot better than Miguel Angel Jimenez, who carded an even-par 72 in the final round.
Brett Rumford fired a 7-under 65 on Sunday to take fourth place at 9-under-par 279. Richard Bland shot a 4-under 68 in round four to finish alone in fifth at minus-8.
Howell began the final round with a three-shot lead, but wasted little time in extending that cushion. He drained a 9-foot birdie putt at the second, then collected back-to-back birdies from the fourth, where he two-putted for birdie. The Englishman ran home a 35-foot birdie putt at five to get to 17 under par.
Jimenez, who played in the final group with Howell, never mounted a charge on the front nine. He mixed two bogeys and a birdie, but when an errant 6-iron from Howell at the 10th led to a bogey, Howell's lead fell to six.
'My plan was to play a solid round of golf from tee to green and try and put Miguel under pressure,' said Howell. 'I was able to do that on the front-nine holes.'
On the second nine, armed with a six-shot lead, Howell played conservatively. At the par-5 12th, Howell reclaimed the lost shot at 10 when he two-putted for birdie from 25 feet.
That would be Howell's last birdie, and through most of the remaining holes, Howell never found trouble. His best look at birdie came at the 14th when he had 12 feet from the back fringe. Howell came up short with that putt, but his drive at the par-5 17th served as a minor hiccup. He hit it in the right rough and received a free drop. Howell pitched into the fairway, then knocked his third to 18 feet. The Englishman missed the birdie try, but still had the par-5 18th.
He pulled a 3-iron out of the bag and laid up well short of the putting surface with his second. Howell pitched his third to 7 feet, but missed the meaningless putt. He tapped in for par, then visited the winner's circle for the first time since the season-opening HSBC Champions Tournament.
'I always seem to come back strong when I've had a rest,' said Howell, who missed close to a month earlier this year because of a back problem. 'I need to be big enough to take time off when I'm not injured. I'm delighted to come back so strong.'
Khan and Jimenez were battling for second throughout most of the round. Khan birdied the 17th to draw even with Jimenez at 11 under par, but Khan tapped in a short birdie putt at the closing hole to move one ahead.
Jimenez drove into a bunker at the 72nd hole and had an awful stance. He elected to just blast out, which left him with 180 yards for his third. The Spaniard played his third to 18 feet on the left fringe, but missed, dropping him to a solo third.
Padraig Harrington (71), Andrew Coltart (69), Trevor Immelman (65), Gary Orr (67) and Anthony Wall (66) tied for sixth place at 7-under-par 281.
Ernie Els (72) and Retief Goosen (70) were part of a group tied for 19th place at minus-4.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - BMW Championship
  • Full Coverage - BMW Championship
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 9:33 am

    Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.

    Everything before that, however, was far from routine.

    Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.

    He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and was able to cobble together his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.

    "I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.

    Getty Images

    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 (

    Getty Images

    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.