Woods not a lock to break Snead's record

By Will GrayJuly 1, 2015, 7:51 pm

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. – When walking around The Greenbrier, the imprint left by Sam Snead is unmistakable.

Heck, it starts even before arriving on property. The road leading to the resort’s white-brick perimeter? Sam Snead Boulevard.

Once inside the gates, resort guests are greeted by pictures of Snead after shooting a 59 on the Old White TPC in 1959. They can dine in “Sam Snead’s” restaurant near the course, or opt for lighter fare at “Slammin’ Sammy’s” sports bar.

Within these West Virginia mountains, Snead’s shadow still looms large. Which brings us to this week’s star attraction at The Greenbrier Classic, Tiger Woods.

Woods is teeing it up here for the second time in this event’s brief history. He returns to The Greenbrier at No. 220 in the world rankings, still searching for a spark to carry with him across the ocean to the Open Championship later this month.

There, of course, he will strive for major No. 15, a title that has eluded him for more than seven years. But after a career spent chasing Nicklaus’ mark of 18 majors, is Woods better-served to focus on Snead’s record of 82 career PGA Tour victories?

Such a notion seemed like an afterthought two years ago, with Woods in the midst of a five-win season that earned him Player of the Year honors. He captured the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational for win No. 79, and at that point it seemed like he would steamroll through Slammin’ Sammy’s record without much resistance.


Greenbrier Classic: Articles, photos and videos


But 23 months have passed, and Woods’ win total is stuck on 79. He has more rounds in the 80s this season (three) than in the 60s (two), and after missing the cut at the U.S. Open, Woods’ best shot at finding the winner’s circle this week might be to ask Jim Justice for a guided tour.

Woods’ pre-tournament interview was filled with his typical affirmations and buzz words, but he also pointed out that Snead’s mark remains on his radar.

“I would love to break his record,” Woods said. “I mean, that’s one of the hallowed records in our sport. To be in a position to be able to do that is something I’m proud of so far. Hopefully I can get that done in the near future.”

With Woods assured of only a handful of starts through the rest of the season, it appears that “near future” will almost certainly extend into 2016 and beyond Woods’ 40th birthday. While Snead remained a prolific winner well into his 50s, winning 17 times after the age of 40, his longevity was more the exception than the rule.

Guys like Vijay Singh (22 wins), Kenny Perry (11) and Steve Stricker (nine) have all flourished after age 40, but after that the list very quickly cuts to names like Gene Littler and Dutch Harrison, each with seven.

Winning on the highest level is never easy, and it certainly gets more difficult as the years begin to pile up. It could get tougher still for Woods, an aging champion whose powerful swing has already left his body with more than its fair share of scars.

Snead was the first pro emeritus at The Greenbrier, serving from 1993 until his death in 2002, and that position now belongs to six-time major winner Lee Trevino. Trevino’s uncertainty over whether Woods can surpass Snead’s win total speaks to the merit of the debate, especially given the current state of Woods’ game.

“It’s not going to be an easy task for him,” Trevino said. “I can’t say one way or the other. I will say this, that if he doesn’t do something quickly, it’ll get worse on him, and certainly I don’t think he’ll reach Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors.”

While Woods continues to speak of release patterns and baseline shifts, Trevino joined the chorus of voices proclaiming that the source of Woods’ struggle lies between his ears.

“I don’t think it’s a physical thing with his golf. I mean, he’s Tiger Woods. He’s won all these golf tournaments,” Trevino said. “I think right now it’s kind of mental. He has lost some confidence, and that’s the hardest thing in the world to get back, is confidence. Because once you start to lose it, there’s a tremendous amount of pressure on you because you haven’t won in so long, and you want to so bad.”

With ample fairways and manageable rough, the Old White TPC seems like the kind of course where Woods might be able to find solid footing before departing for St. Andrews. His return to form, according to Trevino, will be a quick one once victory No. 80 is in the books.

“As soon as he gets his next win, when he does, his confidence will come back and he’ll be a dangerous man again,” Trevino said. “No question in my mind.”

With a strong performance this week on a course synonymous with Snead, Woods can take a step toward a return to “dangerous.” But Slammin’ Sammy’s shadow will linger well after Woods leaves The Greenbrier, until that moment when – if? – he hoists his 83rd trophy.

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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.

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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.”

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"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.

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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 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)