Williamsburg May Lose PGA Tour Event

By Sports NetworkJanuary 10, 2002, 5:00 pm
Anheuser-Busch may decide to end its sponsorship of the PGA Tour's Michelob Championship at Kingsmill in Williamsburg, VA, an event the company has sponsored for 25 years.
 
Bill Rammes, president of Busch Properties, Inc. and the tournament's chairman, said in a statement Wednesday, 'The Michelob Championship at Kingsmill's current contract with the PGA Tour expires after the 2002 tournament. As we do at the end of each contract, we are assessing our position and evaluating options for continuing our affiliation with professional golf.'
 
Although the tournament announced record charitable contributions following David Toms' repeat victory in October, the escalating purses on the PGA Tour, which are provided by the title sponsors, and the lack of network exposure has had a financial impact on the event.
 
The tournament's purse, just $350,000 back in 1981, when $54,000 went to winner John Mahaffey, climbed to a record-high $3.5 million this past year. Toms collected a first-place check for $630,000.
 
Due to impending purse increases, Canon (Greater Hartford Open) and Advil (Western Open) have pulled sponsorship from their events effective next year.
 
All four rounds of the 2001 Michelob Championship were broadcast on ESPN, while in the past the weekend play was carried by a leading, non-cable network that brought in larger television audiences.
 
Another problem has been top-ranked players skipping the event. World No. 1 Tiger Woods has never made the trip to Williamsburg, while Phil Mickelson, currently ranked second, played in the tournament once, in 1993. However, third-ranked David Duval, a back-to-back Michelob winner in 1997-98, has been in the field every year since '97.
 
After four years at Silverado Country Club from 1977-80, the Michelob Championship (known as the Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic from 1977-95) moved to the Pete Dye-designed River Course at Kingsmill-on-the-James, the brewing company's residential resort community near Williamsburg, in 1981.
 
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'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

“The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

“That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”

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Ball headed O.B., Stone (68) gets huge break

By Mercer BaggsJuly 19, 2018, 2:14 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Brandon Stone knew it when he hit it.

“I knew I hit it out of bounds,” the South African said following his opening round in the 147th Open Championship.

Stone’s second shot on the par-4 18th, from the left fescue, was pulled into the grandstands, which are marked as O.B. But instead of settling in with the crowd, the ball ricocheted back towards the green and nearly onto the putting surface.

Stone made his par and walked away with a 3-under 68, two shots off the early lead.

“I really didn’t put a good swing on it, bad contact and it just came out way left,” Stone said. “I feel so sorry for the person I managed to catch on the forehead there, but got a lucky break.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“When you get breaks like that you know you’re going to have good weeks.”

It’s been more than just good luck recently for Stone. He shot 60 in the final round – missing a 9-foot birdie putt for the first 59 in European Tour history – to win last week’s Scottish Open. It was his third career win on the circuit and first since 2016. It was also just his first top-10 of the season.

“A testament to a different mental approach and probably the change in putter,” said Stone, who added that he switched to a new Ping Anser blade model last week.

“I’ve been putting, probably, the best I have in my entire life.”

This marks Stone’s sixth start in a major championship, with his best finish a tie for 35th in last year’s U.S. Open. He has a missed cut and a T-70 in two prior Open Championships.