Tiger Takes Early Lead in Boston

By Sports NetworkSeptember 2, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Deutsche Bank ChampionshipNORTON, Mass. -- Tiger Woods posted a 6-under-par 65 on Friday to take the first-round lead of the Deutsche Bank Championship at the TPC of Boston.
 
Carlos Franco, Briny Baird, Steve Lowery and Billy Andrade are knotted in second place at 5-under-par 66.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods fired an opening-round 6-under 65 to take a one stroke lead.
This is a rare event on the PGA Tour that starts on Friday and ends on Monday. The stop likes to take advantage of the Labor Day finish with Monday being a national holiday.
 
Unfortunately, one of the biggest draws, the defending champion Vijay Singh, had to withdraw on Tuesday. He contracted back spasms while playing table tennis with his son.
 
But officials have to be happy because of Woods, who is the unofficial tournament host. His charity is the main beneficiary and he has a relationship with Deutsche Bank.
 
Woods, who tied for second last year behind Singh, opened on the back nine Friday and parred his first five holes before collecting his first birdie at the 15th. He hit a sand wedge to 12 feet to set up birdie, then closed his first nine with a two-putt birdie from 40 feet at the par-5 18th.
 
The No. 1 player in the world parred Nos. 1 and 2, but hit a 6-iron 15 feet short of the hole at the par-3 third. He drained the birdie putt and made it two in a row with an 8-footer at the fourth.
 
Woods made a nice par save from 9 feet at the fifth to keep his momentum going. He then hit a driver and pitching wedge at the sixth and kicked in a 3-foot birdie putt.
 
Woods tallied his second birdie in a row at No. 7, a par-5 that measures 600 yards. He reached the front edge of the green and impressively two-putted from close to 90 feet for a birdie. That was enough to put Woods alone in first place.
 
'I played solid today,' said Woods, who lost his No. 1 ranking to Singh at last year's tournament. 'I hit good, quality golf shots all day and I hit a couple loose ones, but more than anything, I was happy with the way I putted today.'
 
Much has changed in the year since Woods lost his top billing in the world rankings. He's won five times this year, including the Masters and British Open, and reclaimed his perch atop the rankings.
 
A direct cause for these successes might be the changes he made to his swing, a move that was criticized by most.
 
'I feel like this is the way should I play every day. That's why I made the changes in my golf swing so I would be consistent day in and day out,' said Woods, who is the only top-10 player on the PGA Tour money list in the field this week. 'So it's not like I go out there and I hit the ball just unbelievable and putt unbelievable to shoot these scores. I'm just playing solid golf.'
 
Franco played with Woods on Friday and mixed eight birdies and three bogeys.
 
Franco is a player who does not practice a lot, and he had Woods laughing because Franco flew over to the Boston area from Paraguay on an 18-hour flight. Franco had not practiced and still managed a 66.
 
'I like to play the golf course because when I go to the range, I hit it, I hit it, I hit it, every shot is the same,' said Franco. 'He said, 'did you practice?' I said, 'yes, I practice fishing.''
 
Baird began on 10 and was 2 under when he reached the 18th. He birdied that hole, then the first three of the second nine and reached 6 under par for the championship.
 
He came up short with a 7-iron at the fifth and his birdie putt missed the hole by 10 feet. Baird's par try did not fall either and he dipped into a tie for second place.
 
Lowery played awesome golf early with four birdies in a five-hole span to start his round. He dropped shots at eight and nine, but made up for the miscues at the end of the opening nine with three birdies on his second side.
 
Andrade recorded three birdies on his round, but the highlight came at the par-4 13th. He had 165 yards to the flag and holed an 8-iron for an eagle.
 
'I haven't holed a shot, I can't remember the last time I did,' admitted Andrade. 'When it left the club, it never left the flag, it was going right at it. It was a beautiful shot.'
 
Dean Wilson, Steve Flesch, Mark Wilson, Scott Gutschewski, Will MacKenzie, Stephen Leaney, Joey Sindelar, Jonathan Byrd and Jeff Brehaut are tied for sixth place at 4-under-par 67.
 
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    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 TaylorMade got him 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.

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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 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 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.