World Cup Last Chance for Golf in 2002

By Sports NetworkDecember 12, 2002, 5:00 pm
PEURTA VALLARTA, Mexico -- This is it. This is the last tournament of 2002. It's the World Golf Championships final event of the season, the EMC World Cup, which has been part of the WGC quartet of tournaments for the last three years.

The field consists of two-man teams from 24 different countries with two days of foursomes and two days of four-ball action. The four-ball portion, or better ball as it's more commonly known, will tee off on Thursday and Saturday, while the foursomes are set to go on Friday and Sunday.
Eighteen of the teams are comprised of their top available players in the World Golf Rankings, five teams entered via a World Qualifying competition that took place in Asia in October and the final team, Mexico, entered because it's the host nation.
The top seed in the tournament is the United States and its tandem of Phil Mickelson and David Toms, who are ranked second and sixth in the world, respectively. This team came together as a result of a change in the selection process.
In the past, a country's top player, say Tiger Woods, could pick his own partner. He took Mark O'Meara and David Duval in '99 and '00 but this year, the rules were changed that the top-two eligible players in the World Rankings made up the team. That team would have been Woods and Mickelson but Woods decided to skip this year's event. That left the door open for Mickelson and the next highest player on the list, Toms.
These two made quite the pair at the Ryder Cup in September. They went 2-1-1 and were the only team that played all four sessions together for the Americans.
Mickelson normally takes off in the later part of the season but since his wife, Amy, is giving birth to the couple's third child early next year, he is trying to get in as much golf as he can. Lefty competed in the Skins Game two weeks ago and took place in the Target World Challenge last week. Get your fill of him this week because chances are the next time you'll see him is at the Masters or maybe the The Players Championship.
The second seed is Vijay Singh and Dinesh Chand of Fiji, followed by the Irish duo of Paul McGinley and Target World Challenge winner Padraig Harrington, both members of the European Ryder Cup team and 1997 World Cup champions.
The defending champion is South Africa, but the 2002 team looks very different than the 2001 winners. Tim Clark and Rory Sabbatini got the call this year instead of Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, who represented South Africa last year.
Els and Goosen, ranked third and fifth in the world, elected not to play this year but outlasted some of golf's best in victory in 2001. The title came down to a four-way playoff between South Africa (Els and Goosen), the U.S. (Woods and Duval), Denmark (Thomas Bjorn and Soren Hansen) and New Zealand (Michael Campbell and David Smail), but two of the teams needed heroics on 18 before making the extra session. Els drained an eight-foot eagle putt at the last to reach the playoff and Woods chipped in from 40 feet to put the Americans in the hunt. That would be short-lived as the U.S. and New Zealand were both knocked out after the first playoff hole and South Africa made par at the second extra hole to win the title for their country for the first time since 1996 when it was Els and Wayne Westner.
The U.S. has won six of the last 10 World Cups, including four in a row from 1992-95 by the tandem of Davis Love III and Fred Couples. Woods and his assorted playing partners captured the other two. Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer are the only other pair to win four titles. The previous three WGC events had one usual suspect and two surprises walk to the winner's circle.
Woods won the American Express Championship in September, Kevin Sutherland took home the Match Play Championship in February and Craig Parry earned his first PGA Tour title at the NEC Invitational in August. The winning team will split $1,000,000 and hoist the John J. Hopkins Trophy, named for the founder in 1953 of the International Golf Association.
The 2003 EMC World Cup will be held at Kiawah Island, S.C., and will be played the week of Nov. 12-16. USA has the first two rounds before ABC takes over on the weekend. That's all for 2002 but the Mercedes Championships will tee off Jan. 9-12 where Sergio Garcia is expected to defend his title.
Getty Images

Woods: New putter should help on slower greens

By Ryan LavnerJuly 17, 2018, 11:35 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods’ ice-cold putting showed at least a few signs of heating up earlier this month at The National, where he switched putters and ranked seventh in the field on the greens.

The mallet-style putter is still in the bag as Woods prepares for The Open, and he’s hoping the heavier model with grooves will prove valuable at Carnoustie.

Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“To be honest with you, I’ve struggled on slower greens throughout my entire career,” Woods said Tuesday. “So for me, it’s going to help on these greens, for sure.”

To combat the slower greens, Woods usually applied a strip of lead tape to his putter. But this heavier model of putter doesn’t need the extra weight, and the grooves on the putter face allow the ball to get rolling faster and hotter.

“You don’t necessarily have to do that with the grooves,” he said of the lead tape. “When I putted with the Nike putter, I didn’t have to put lead tape on the putter to get a little more weight to it. I could just leave it just the way it was. This is the same type.”  

For all of the talk about his putting woes this season, Woods still ranks 56th in strokes gained: putting. More crucial this week: He’s 102nd in approach putt performance, which quantifies how well a player lag putts.

Getty Images

Woods: Open best chance for long-term major success

By Ryan LavnerJuly 17, 2018, 11:26 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods is more than a decade removed from his last major title, but he said Tuesday that The Open is the major that gives him the best chance for long-term success.

“I would say yes, because of the fact that you don’t have to be long to play on a links-style golf course,” Woods said during his pre-tournament news conference. “It certainly can be done.”

Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Woods pointed to the late-career success for both Greg Norman (2008) and Tom Watson (2009), both of whom challenged for the claret jug deep into their 50s.

“Distance becomes a moot point on a links-style golf course,” he said.

That’s certainly not the case, however, at the Masters, where bombers long have thrived, or the U.S. Open, which places a premium on long and straight driving.

“You get to places like Augusta National, which is just a big ballpark, and the golf course outgrows you, unfortunately,” he said. “But links-style courses, you can roll the ball. I hit a 3-iron that went down there 330. Even if I get a little bit older, I can still chase some wood or long club down there and hit the ball the same distance.”

Getty Images

"Vantage Point with Mike Tirico" set to debut Tuesday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJuly 17, 2018, 10:15 am

Special Hour Complementing the Network’s Week-Long Golf Central Live From The Open News Coverage; Premiere Scheduled to Include Interview with 2014 Open Runner-Up Rickie Fowler On-Site from Carnoustie

Features Include Tirico and Curtis Strange Re-watching ’99 Open at Carnoustie & Jim “Bones” Mackay Facilitating Exclusive Conversation with Caddies Michael Greller, John Wood Recounting Final Round Pairing at 2017 Open

To help set the table ahead of The 147TH Open at Carnoustie, Golf Channel will premiere Vantage Point with Mike Tirico on Tuesday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET. An extension of the network’s week-long Golf Central Live From The Open comprehensive news coverage, Vantage Point will revisit landmark moments in The Open’s history, uncover personal stories relevant to the fabric of the week and feature a roundtable discussion with past “Champion Golfers of the Year” on golf’s original championship.

“It’s a thrill to be going back to The Open again this year, which is a fitting setting to launch this new opportunity,” said Tirico, NBC Sports host who this week will celebrate his 22nd consecutive year covering The Open. “I love being a part of the Golf Channel team during golf’s biggest weeks, and anticipate contributing to our commitment to great storytelling with Vantage Point.”

Kicking off the premiere of Vantage Point will be Tirico’s exclusive interview with 2014 Open runner-up and 2015 PLAYERS champion Rickie Fowler on-site from Carnoustie. One of Fowler’s favorite events, he has missed just one cut in eight previous appearances at The Open. Other highlights within the show include:

  • Jim “Bones” Mackay facilitating an exclusive conversation between caddies Michael Greller (Jordan Spieth) and John Wood (Matt Kuchar) recounting the final round pairing at The Open last July.
  • Tirico hosting a roundtable discussion with past “Champion Golfers of the Year”: David Duval, Tom Lehman and Justin Leonard.
  • A recollection of one of the most unforgettable collapses in major championship golf, when Jean van de Velde surrendered a three-shot lead on the 72nd hole in 1999 at The Open. Tirico and Curtis Strange – both on the live tournament broadcast that year for ABC/ESPN – recently re-watched the telecast together for the first time since calling it live.


“This is harder to watch than I thought it was going to be. I’ve never seen anything like

that in my life. I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like that again.” – Curtis Strange


“I think I got caught up in the whole deal and felt human for the guy.” – Mike Tirico


Vantage Point with Mike Tirico will complement the network’s Golf Central Live From The Open, which will feature nearly 60 hours of comprehensive news coverage from Carnoustie. In total, NBC Sports will dedicate more than 350 hours to showcasing the third men’s major championship of the year, including nearly 50 live hours of the network’s Emmy-nominated tournament coverage – annually the most live hours of coverage from any golf event – spanning from Thursday’s opening tee shot to Sunday’s final putt.

Getty Images

How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 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  

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 (