(British) Open Championship TV Schedule

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Categories: (British) Open ChampionshipEuropean TourPGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryTiger Woods
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British Open ChampionshipDVR ALERT! Below is the TV schedule for the Open Championship, know to some less informed as the “British” Open.

JULY 17 First Round 4 a.m. – 3 p.m. — ESPN
JULY 18 Second Round 4 a.m. – 3 p.m. — ESPN
JULY 19 Third Round 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. — ESPN
JULY 20 Final Round 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. — ESPN

All times eastern.


Will Tiger Woods Make the Cut at the Open Championship?

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
Categories: (British) Open ChampionshipEuropean TourPGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryTiger Woods
Tags:

British Open ChampionshipI just found the odds to win the (British) Open Championship.  No surprise that Rory McIlory and now Justin Rose (after the Scottish Open win last week) are the top favorites.  Tiger Woods is an 18-1 to win.  The bookies know people will bet on him regardless.  But I wonder, and please comment in your opinion on this, if Tiger Woods will make the cut at The Open.

Do you think Woods will make the cut?

Odds to win the Open Championship

Rory McIlroy: 14-1
Justin Rose: 14-1
Adam Scott: 16-1
Henrik Stenson: 16-1
Tiger Woods: 18-1
Martin Kaymer: 20-1
Phil Mickelson: 20-1
Graham McDowell: 25-1
Sergio Garcia: 25-1
Dustin Johnson: 33-1
Jason Day: 33-1
Rickie Fowler: 33-1
Jordan Spieth: 33-1
Bubba Watson: 40-1
Luke Donald: 40-1
Matt Kuchar: 40-1
Lee Westwood: 40-1
Angel Cabrera: 50-1
Brandt Snedeker: 50-1
Hideki Matsuyama: 50-1
Ian Poulter: 50-1
Paul Casey: 50-1
Thomas Bjorn: 50-1
Zach Johnson: 50-1


Review: Scotland’s Carnoustie Golf Links

Two days ago I had intended to write a great blog post and course review featuring Carnoustie Golf Links in Carnoustie, Angus, Scotland. At that point in time writing a single word became as difficult as this legendary golf links is to play. Where would I start? How could I possibly convey how special of place it is? I felt like my limited blogging/writing skills could not do justice to this golf course which is known by many as the toughest test of golf in the world, a place which has hosted seven Open Championships, a senior Open Championship, the British Amateur Championship, and Women’s British Open.

Carnoustie Golf Links - click for larger image

Carnoustie Golf Links – click for larger image

Getting There

Carnoustie is about an hour’s drive north of St. Andrews, but not as the crow flies. The North Sea is due north of St. Andrews, and you can actually see Carnoustie way off in the distance across the water. The drive to Carnoustie takes you northwest through the town of Dundee, Scotland, crossing the River Tay via the Tay Road Bridge.

From there the drive is somewhat down the coastline northeast, but not much of the coast can be seen. It is mostly residential and industrial areas.

Carmoustie Golf Course

18th Green and Carnoustie Golf Hotel

The Place

When arriving at Carnoustie the first thing you notice is the large white hotel, the Carnoustie Golf Hotel, an Oxford property. The pro shop used to be in the hotel, but was moved when a new clubhouse was built.

The new clubhouse is a unique structure architecturally. Inside is a nice open center area with many windows. The pro shop is very well appointed with a ton of fantastic Carnoustie apparel, accessories, and golf gear. As you walk in, there’s a display of showing the Claret Jug and a tribute to the seven Open Championships played there.

There are actually three golf courses on the property, the famous one being the Championship Course. The other two courses are the Burnside and the Buddon. Those two are fun to play as I’m told by my golf playing partners who were lucky enough to play them the day before I arrived.

History

There is so much history at Carnoustie. Nearly every Open Championship contested there had an amazing moment or story behind it.

Ben Hogan Plaque Carnoustie

Ben Hogan Plaque

Perhaps the most famous Carnoustie Open win, and that point could be a great argument to have, was Ben Hogan’s win in 1953. This was the ONLY Open Championship Ben Hogan ever played in. And did you know at that time the British Golf ball Hogan had to play with was smaller? The victory at the Open was Hogan’s third major championship in the calendar year 1953. There’s a plaque on the 6th hole at Carnoustie, a 578 yard par-5, denoting the hole’s name, “Hogan’s Alley.”

Tommy Armour won the first Open at Carnoustie with a score of +8 for four rounds in 1931. In 1937 Henry Cotton won the Open there with a score of +6.  Tom Watson won his first major championship at Carnoustie in 1975. Padraig Harrington won the Open there in 2007 after hitting two shots in the Barry Burn.

The most infamous Open at Carnoustie was in 1999 when French golfer Jean van de Velde only needed a double bogey on the final hole to win. He famously ended up in the Barry Burn and attempted to hit a shot out, to the astonishment of everyone on the planet except himself. He ended up carding a triple bogey and losing in a playoff to Paul Lawrie. Having stood near that spot, not IN the burn mind you, I cannot believe the thought even crossed his mind.

The Course

I’m not sure what I expected out of Carnoustie. I thought perhaps the course would have fangs, claws, and hurricane force winds. I thought a round in which I finished alive would be good. Two golf pals found out I was playing there. Both bet that as a two handicap, I could not break 100. That became my goal, break 100.  One of the two gents bet me $100 and the other $200.

There were certainly winds, but after being in Scotland for several days, I hardly noticed them. I started out very well with a solid par on the first hole. Fairway in regulation, green in regulation, 2-putt and move on.  One of my friends encountered trouble on the first hole. He was left of the dunes on the left side of the fairway. I don’t believe he ever found it.

Fantastic bunkering at Carnoustie - click to zoom

Fantastic bunkering at Carnoustie – click to zoom

On the 2nd hole I hit a fine drive and once again found the fairway. I then struck a pure 6-iron to about 12 feet short right of the pin. I made the putt. One under par after two on one of the world’s toughest courses. No complaints.

I made two more pars on the 3rd and 4th. The first five holes of the course are par-4’s. The 5th hole took a small bite out of my score. I made a bogey after missing the fairway and then missing the green in regulation.  The green on #5 is amazing, very deep with three large tiers.

So here I am, coming into the 578 yard par-5 6th hole, better known as Hogan’s Alley. Left of the hole is a road and left of that one of the other two courses out of bounds. To the right are some massive bunkers which Hogan made a point to avoid in the 1953 Open Championship. The bunkers got me psyched out so naturally I hooked by drive OB left. Ball on road. Double bogey here I come.

For my 3rd shot I hit a nice drive left of the big bunkers and right of the OB fence. In the wind I hit a 6-iron layup to the fairway. My approach wedge was held up by the wind and ended up on some crazy undulations left of the green just a few feet. Somehow my caddie and I read the putt right, only about 20 feet of break in a 15 foot putt. I made it for a bogey. Made a birdie on the 2nd ball.

Carnoustie Golf Links - click to enlarge

Carnoustie Golf Links – click to enlarge

Through six holes and after going OB on Hogan’s alley, I was quite happy to be only one over par.

I made a double on the par-4 7th because of finding an impossible bunker way right of the fairway.  Made bogey on the par-3 8th. Nine, a beautiful hole, was a par.

Four over on the front with an OB ball and a double. Not bad.

The back nine was a bit more of a blur. The winds were kicking up and I was finding it tougher and tougher to keep it going. I started out bogey-bogey-double. The double was the result of the one terrible shot I hit that day, a drive which went about 30 feet into gorse in front of the tee.

On the 459 yard par-4 15th my caddie told me to put the driver away and hit 4-iron. I listened and I’m glad I did. My iron kept the ball short of the bunkers on the right of this dogleg left. I was 256 out with a little wind at my back. The caddie handed me the 5-iron and told me to aim about 20 yards left of the flag. Once again I listened. Once again I’m glad I did. The ball hit hard and released to the right, finishing 10 feet past the pin. That was easily the best 5-iron I’ve ever hit. Unfortunately I didn’t make the birdie putt but had an easy tap-in par.

The next hole was the very tough par-3 16th, 245 yards. My caddie handed me the 4-iron. At this point I completely trusted his club selections. Glad I did. The solid iron shot ended up about five feet past the hole. My putter failed again, but once again had a tap-in par.

17 is a tough par-4 where the Barry Burn comes into play. I pulled my driver left, naturally on a line to the spot where the burn was closer. I lucked out and my ball ended up about three feet short. Missed approach shot, two-putt bogey.

The finishing 18th is a tough hole as well. Just ask Johnny Miller, who took two to get out of the bunkers on the right side of the fairway.  Those two strokes blew his shot at an Open Championship. I beat Johnny Miller then, because it only took me one shot. A solid 8-iron to the green and I two-putted for a bogey.  My friend Shane scored an amazing par on the 18th, never having hit any woods.  Iron-iron-two putt.

Back nine score: 42. Total score 82. Broke 100 with 18 shots to spare! Pay up pals.

After the round our car was not ready to pick us up, so we had a “wee pint” across the street at the Caledonia Golf Club bar, a pleasant experience with some local flavor.

Carnoustie 8th Tee - Click to zoom

Carnoustie 8th Tee – Click to zoom

Conclusion

Had I not gagged on a few shots I could have easily broken 80. But had I had a few more bad swings or the wind was stronger, I could have easily had a hard time breaking 90.

Carnoustie is a very unique course, not like any other course I’ve experienced. The bunkering there is neater, cooler, better, more strategic than any other course I’ve ever played. The dunes and landscape there are stunning.   Despite being a “links” course, no water can be seen from any hole.

My caddie was a young chap, probably 18-19 years old, and a member of the club. He was fantastic and I enjoyed the round that much more because of him and his solid skills.

Finally, the experience was special because I spent the round with three great golfing pals, a group of buddies who has now done two Scotland golf trips together. We are forming a unique scottish bond, we three chaps. The “four lads” plan to return to Scotland in 2015.

Can’t wait.  I hope to return to Carnoustie in 2015.


Open Championship Final Thoughts

British Open ChampionshipOn this Monday I’m once again watching the final round of the (British) Open Championship.  Great background media for golf blogging.

Congrats to Darren Clarke

This week’s Open was fantastic, and I’m so thrilled that I was wrong in my prediction that Clarke wouldn’t hold on and win.  Very happy for Darren Clarke, especially with the heartbreaks he’s gone through both on and off the course.  Well done and congratulations.  I really hope some day I run into Clarke in a pub somewhere.

Phil Mickelson

Perhaps Phil Mickelson has quieted the critics who say he can’t play links golf, myself included.  Looks like he may have finally figured it out after that super low 30 on the front nine yesterday and the T2 finish.  Strangely enough, Phil’s play actually improved as the conditions worsened.  Not sure he’ll ever win an Open, but it would be quite a story if he finally did.  He needs to do it soon though.  Not sure how many really good year’s he’ll have left with age and his physical condition with the psoriatic arthritis.

Dustin Johnson

For the 3rd time in what, the last six majors, Dustin Johnson is in the final group?  You’d have to think it is only a matter of time before DJ notches a win in a major.

Rory McIlroy

Despite being the favorite coming in to this Open, I wasn’t surprised that Rory McIlroy didn’t quite have it this past week.  This year has been huge, and I think he may have been a bit burned out.  I do think he’ll be fresh for the PGA Championship.

Miguel Angel Jimenez

Here’s another guy I’d love to hang out with in a pub somewhere.  Jimenez was in the mix for much of the week and you have to love this guy’s flare.  It almost seems like golf gives Miguel something to do during the day to kill time before he enjoys a fine wine and a cigar in the evening.  Jimenez got a ton of air time with his warm up routine.  Between his not so flat-belly body shape, his long hair and his cigar, the moves in his warmup were more entertaining than a Lady Gaga video.  His description of the routine included, “that’s me on the dance floor.”  Love it.

Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler is building up a wealth of experience in pressure situations and major championships.  Though he has yet to win a tournament as a PGA pro, hanging out in the top few spots on major championship leader boards will pay dividends in the future.

Fowler’s T5 this past week is his first top-5 in a major.

Tom Watson

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again…  If all major championships were played on links courses, Tom Watson would have won about 3x as many majors as Jack Nicklaus.  It was fantastic to watch Watson’s ace on the par-3 6th hole in the 2nd round.  Even more fantastic and amazing that Watson made the cut in the Open at the ripe young age of 61.  Final position for Watson, T22.

Bubba Watson

Speaking of Watsons… Bubba Watson’s (T30 at +9) skill level is sick.  He is an amazing talent who curves the ball more than anyone in golf right now.  But those high spin shots could make playing in windy “Open” conditions could make it more difficult to control the ball.  Bubba has the power for sure, but he’ll need to master low spin shots to contend in the Open in the future.

Top 10’s who missed the cut

It was quite amazing that though the Open was played in England, the top two ranked players in the world who happened to be English, missed the cut.  Perhaps #1 Luke Donald emptied his gun in winning the Scottish Open the week before?  And one of my picks to win this Open, Lee Westwood (#2 in the world) missed the cut too.  Very surprising.

Add to those two a pair of other top 10 players who missed the cut, Graeme McDowell and Matt Kuchar.

One major to go – Which Irishman will win the PGA Championship?

With the conclusion of the Open, the PGA Championship is coming up next.  Based on the fact that an Irish player has won three of the last six majors, which Irishman will win the PGA Champonship?  Perhaps Padraig Harrington?  His game hasn’t been at its best lately.  He has won it before.


2011 British Open Championship Final Leader Board

Written by: Tony Korologos | Sunday, July 17th, 2011
Categories: (British) Open ChampionshipEuropean TourPGA TourPro Golf
Tags:
POS Name Country R 1 R 2 R 3 R 4 Total To Par
1 CLARKE, Darren NIR 68 68 69 70 275 -5
T2 MICKELSON , Phil USA 70 69 71 68 278 -2
T2 JOHNSON, Dustin USA 70 68 68 72 278 -2
4 BJORN, Thomas DEN 65 72 71 71 279 -1
T5 CAMPBELL, Chad USA 69 68 74 69 280 Par
T5 KIM, Anthony USA 72 68 70 70 280 Par
T5 FOWLER, Rickie USA 70 70 68 72 280 Par
8 JACQUELIN, Raphael FRA 74 67 71 69 281 +1
T9 GARCIA, Sergio ESP 70 70 74 68 282 +2
T9 DYSON, Simon ENG 68 72 72 70 282 +2
T9 LOVE III, Davis USA 70 68 72 72 282 +2
T12 STRICKER, Steve USA 69 71 72 71 283 +3
T12 KAYMER, Martin GER 68 69 73 73 283 +3
T12 GLOVER, Lucas USA 66 70 73 74 283 +3
15 COETZEE, George RSA 69 69 72 74 284 +4
T16 GREEN, Richard AUS 70 71 73 71 285 +5
T16 SCHWARTZEL, Charl RSA 71 67 75 72 285 +5
T16 YANG, YE KOR 71 69 73 72 285 +5
T16 JACOBSON, Fredrik SWE 70 70 73 72 285 +5
T16 SIMPSON, Webb USA 66 74 72 73 285 +5
T16 JOHNSON, Zach USA 72 68 71 74 285 +5
T22 WATSON, Tom USA 72 70 72 72 286 +6
T22 LEHMAN, Tom USA 71 67 73 75 286 +6
T22 HANSEN, Anders DEN 69 69 72 76 286 +6
T25 MCILROY, Rory NIR 71 69 74 73 287 +7
T25 SCOTT, Adam AUS 69 70 73 75 287 +7
T25 JIMENEZ, Miguel Angel ESP 66 71 72 78 287 +7
T28 MOORE, Ryan USA 69 74 76 69 288 +8
T28 HOWELL III, Charles USA 71 70 73 74 288 +8
T30 CINK, Stewart USA 70 71 77 71 289 +9
T30 DAY, Jason AUS 71 70 76 72 289 +9
T30 WOODLAND, Gary USA 75 68 74 72 289 +9
T30 NOH, Seung-Yul KOR 69 72 75 73 289 +9
T30 LEWIS, Tom (A) ENG 65 74 76 74 289 +9
T30 WATSON, Bubba USA 69 72 74 74 289 +9
T30 LARRAZABAL, Pablo ESP 68 70 76 75 289 +9
T30 PALMER, Ryan USA 68 71 72 78 289 +9
T38 KHAN, Simon ENG 71 72 77 70 290 +10
T38 OVERTON, Jeff USA 68 71 78 73 290 +10
T38 BOYD, Gary ENG 71 70 76 73 290 +10
T38 IKEDA, Yuta JPN 69 71 75 75 290 +10
T38 ROCK, Robert ENG 69 71 74 76 290 +10
T38 IMMELMAN, Trevor RSA 70 72 72 76 290 +10
T44 LEVIN, Spencer USA 72 69 81 69 291 +11
T44 ROSE, Justin ENG 72 70 79 70 291 +11
T44 CHOI, KJ KOR 71 72 75 73 291 +11
T44 STANLEY, Kyle USA 68 72 77 74 291 +11
T48 BOURDY, Gregory FRA 73 70 77 72 292 +12
T48 DE VRIES, Floris NED 70 73 76 73 292 +12
T48 FURYK, Jim USA 72 70 76 74 292 +12
T48 UIHLEIN, Peter (A) USA 71 71 75 75 292 +12
T48 ALLENBY , Robert AUS 69 72 75 76 292 +12
T48 MCEVOY, Richard ENG 69 72 75 76 292 +12
T54 CASEY, Paul ENG 74 69 78 72 293 +13
T54 SABBATINI, Rory RSA 71 70 77 75 293 +13
T54 OOSTHUIZEN, Louis RSA 72 70 74 77 293 +13
T57 HAAS, Bill USA 72 70 79 73 294 +14
T57 HAVRET, Gregory FRA 72 71 78 73 294 +14
T57 BARNES , Ricky USA 68 74 78 74 294 +14
T57 ANDERSSON HED, Fredrik SWE 68 75 77 74 294 +14
T57 GALLACHER , Stephen SCO 70 71 77 76 294 +14
T57 VAN PELT, Bo USA 73 69 73 79 294 +14
T63 MILLAR, Matthew AUS 71 72 80 73 296 +16
T63 LUITEN, Joost NED 73 69 79 75 296 +16
T63 WILSON, Mark USA 74 68 75 79 296 +16
T66 LAWRIE, Paul SCO 73 70 81 73 297 +17
T66 MOLINARI , Edoardo ITA 69 74 76 78 297 +17
68 STENSON, Henrik SWE 72 71 75 80 298 +18
69 FRAZAR, Harrison USA 72 70 77 80 299 +19
70 FERRIE, Kenneth ENG 71 71 76 83 301 +21
71 HWANG, Jung-Gon KOR 68 74 83 79 304 +24

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