Smith Drives Buick to First Win

By Sports NetworkJune 9, 2002, 4:00 pm
HARRISON, N.Y. -- Chris Smith carded a final-round 1-under 70 to earn his first career win on the PGA Tour at the Buick Classic Sunday. Smith finished at 12-under-par 272 for the tournament, two strokes clear of his closest competitors.
Pat Perez (70), David Gossett (71) and Loren Roberts (71) finished tied for second at 10-under-par 274.
'Honestly, I can't describe it,' said Smith. 'It's been unbelievable.'
Smith took the 36-hole lead for the first time in his career with a round of 67 Saturday. On Sunday, Smith had to hold off several challengers on the West Course at Westchester Country Club.
Smith had an up and down start and opened with a 10-foot birdie at the first to reach 12-under. At the very next hole, Smith three-putted for bogey but recovered with a birdie at No. 3.
Roberts stepped up and grabbed a share of the lead with a birdie at the sixth. However, Roberts made back-to-back bogeys from the seventh to see his chances at a comeback dwindle.
Smith bogeyed the fifth but kept plugging along and opened a two-shot edge over the rest of the field at the par-4 10th. He chipped up onto the green inside 18 feet of the cup after a long drive and then drained the putt to return to minus 12.
Smith saved par at the 11th after an errant drive nearly landed in a ditch. At the 12th, Smith continued to struggle off the tee and missed the fairway en route to a bogey.
'I had trouble all week,' said Smith. 'I had a hard time getting in the fairway and hit my drive in the left rough.'
Gossett was also in the middle of a roller coaster round and moved into a tie for first with a birdie at the 14th. At the very next hole, Gossett found the rough to the left of the green. He had an awkward lie and hit his third shot short into a bunker. The 23-year-old managed to get up and down for bogey to fall out of a share of the lead.
Perez, who squandered a late lead at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, was intent on making up for the early-season blunder. At the par-3 16th, Perez chipped in for birdie from just off the green for a share of first.
Smith, who heard the roar of the gallery from the 15th, responded moments later. He hit a brilliant second shot onto the putting surface within 20 feet of the hole and then ran home the putt for birdie and the outright lead at 12-under.
Smith cruised at even par to finish the round. He had a long birdie try at the par-5 18th after he hit his third shot onto the green and watched as the ball skimmed the cup. Smith threw his hands in the air, but his win was already secure. He converted the short par putt for the title.
The 32-year-old collected $630,000 for the win but he will not be able to carry his momentum into next week's U.S. Open at Bethpage State Park's Black Course.
'Obviously you want to play in the Open,' said Smith. 'I've played six weeks in a row and I'll probably be teeing it up on Thursday and Friday with my two kids. There's probably not a better group than playing with them.'
Stewart Cink birdied three of the last four holes for a round of 3-under 68. Cink finished tied for fifth alongside Ian Leggatt at 9-under-par 275.
Tom Lehman also carded a 3-under-par 68. He was joined by Jerry Kelly at 8-under-par 276.
Jim Furyk, Peter Lonard and Stephen Ames were tied for ninth at 6-under-par 278.
A total of six players finished tied for 12th at 5-under-par 279, including last year's winner Sergio Garcia and Bryce Molder.
For Molder, the result was worth so much more. The 23-year-old earned $66,500 to become eligible to receive sponsor's exemptions for the rest of the season.
He was joined by Len Mattiace, Mike Weir, Brad Faxon and David Toms seven shots off the lead
Final results from the Buick Classic
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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 146th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Royal Birkdale, broken down into daily segments:

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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Knox relishes round with 'mythical figure' Woods

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:48 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Russell Knox was expecting the worst and hoping for the best Thursday at The Open.

Playing with Tiger Woods tends to have that effect.

The native Scot received a treat earlier this week when he saw his name on the tee sheet alongside his boyhood idol, Woods.

“Felt good out there, but obviously my swing, it was just like I had too much tension,” Knox said after an opening 73. “I just wasn’t letting it go as normal. First round with Tiger, I expected to feel a little bit different. The way I felt was better than the way I swung.”

Knox said that he was nervous playing alongside Woods, a player he’d only encountered on the range. “He’s almost like a mythical figure,” he said.

But after a while, he settled into the rhythm of the round at Carnoustie.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I thought it would be worse,” he said, “I feel like I should know what I’m doing. It’s cool playing with Tiger, but I’ve got to get over that. I’m here to win, not just enjoy my walk around the course.”

Knox probably had more interaction with Woods than he anticipated, if only because the third member of the group, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, keeps to himself because of the language barrier.

“It’s kind of a blur,” Knox said. “It’s like, Oh, I’m chatting away with Tiger here like normal. I don’t even remember what I was saying.”

There have been countless stories from this year as the next generation of players – guys who grew up watching Woods dominate the sport – get paired with Woods for the first time.

It was no less special for Knox on Thursday.

“It’s nice for him to say things like that,” Woods said, “and we enjoyed playing with each other. Hopefully we’ll play a little bit better tomorrow.”

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Rain expected to shower Carnoustie Friday morning

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:43 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – By the end of the day Friday, we’ll be able to determine which side of The Open draw ended the first two rounds at Carnoustie with more favorable conditions. With rain expected for most of Friday morning, it seems those who played early/late may be more pleased.

According to, there is a 75 percent chance of rain beginning at 2 a.m. local time Friday here in Scotland. That percentage vaults up to 95 percent by 7 a.m., with the first tee time scheduled for 6:35. At 11, the number drops to 55 percent. After 2 p.m., the percentage chances of rain are 25 percent and below for the remainder of the day.

Temperatures during the day are expected to be from the low 50s to the low 60s and winds will vary between 14-18 mph, again per

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

This is The Open’s official weather report for the weekend:

Saturday: A dull start with some drizzle possible. Staying cloudy for much of the day but gradually becoming brighter with a chance of some sunny intervals during the afternoon and evening. Winds light and variable in direction but should predominantly settle in to a SSE 8-12mph during the afternoon. Max temp 20C (68F).

Sunday: Often cloudy but mainly dry. A better chance of some decent sunny spells compared to Saturday. Most likely the windiest day of the Championship; SW 12-18mph with gusts 20-25mph. Feeling warm, especially in any sunshine with a max temp of 23C (73F).

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Bandaged Woods 5 back after even-par 71

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 8:38 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods arrived Thursday with therapeutic tape on the back of his neck.

Carnoustie’s back nine inflicted even more pain.

Playing in the most difficult conditions of the day, Woods’ progress was stalled by two late bogeys as he settled for an even-par 71 that left him five shots off the lead at The Open.

“I played better than what the score indicates,” he said. “It certainly could have been a little bit better.”

Woods created a stir when he showed up with black kinesiology tape on his neck. Afterward, he said that his neck has been bugging him “for a while” and that Thursday was merely the first time that the tape was visible.

“Everyone acts like this is the first time I’ve been bandaged up,” he said, smiling. “I’ve been doing this for years.”

Woods said that the discomfort didn’t really affect his swing, other than a few shots “here and there.” It didn’t seem to affect his score, either, as he went out in 2 under before a few stumbles on the back nine.

On the fast, baked-out turf, he played conservatively off the tee, using driver only once and 3-wood just twice. Apparently he didn’t need the added distance, not with his 6-iron traveling 240 yards. He tried to play to his spots, even if it routinely left him more than 200 yards for his approach.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

That’s the strategy he employed at Hoylake in 2006, where he hit driver just once and captured the third of his Open titles. Despite some of the similarities in firmness, Woods said that Carnoustie presents a different challenge off the tee.

“These fairways are very small,” he said. “They’re hard to hit right now. They’re so fast, and they’re so moundy.”

Finding the fairway wasn’t the chief problem for Woods on Day 1, however. He missed just four fairways but found only 11 greens.

More damaging to his score was his play on the par 5s. Despite having only an 8-iron in, he failed to birdie each of the two par 5s and then bogeyed Nos. 10, 13 and 15 to squander his early momentum.

Though the draw here won’t be a significant factor – or at least not like in recent years, with a wide range in scores from morning to afternoon – it’s clear that Woods (in game 47 of 52) encountered the most difficult of the conditions Thursday, with the wind gusting to 20 mph and the fairways running even faster after another sun-splashed afternoon.

Still, his opening 71 was one of the better scores in the late wave.

“He hit it good,” said playing partner Russell Knox. “He plotted his way around, which I expected him to do, and he was very conservative off the tee. It’s kind of fun to watch him do that, to be honest.”

Even more fun would be a major with Woods in contention.

He hasn’t broken par in the opening round of his last eight majors. Indeed, for Woods, these slow starts have been the real pain in the neck.