Friday, August 7

China's Haotong Li Is as Surprised as Anyone That He Leads PGA Championship

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HAOTONG LI COULD BE THE FIRST Chinese player to lead a major championship at the end of a round. Li fired an early 65 on Friday at TPC Harding Park to finish at 8-under 132 after 36 holes. There were no bogeys on his card.

Ranked 114th in the world, Li, 25, didn't expect much in San Francisco.

"I didn't even think I could play like this this week," he said.

Li added, "[H]ad no confidence."

The man with no confidence started his second round with five birdies in his first 10 holes and then reeled off eight straight pars. He only hit four fairways.

In his two previous starts, Li missed the cut at the Memorial Tournament and finished 75th in the 78-man field at last week's WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

At this moment, he leads the PGA Championship at the halfway point. Now what?

"I've got no expectation, actually," Li said.

Thursday, August 6

MORNING READ: 'Greatest Stretch of Golf in the History of the Game'

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IN MORNING READ, VETERAN GOLF SCRIBE Gary Van Sickle wrote about the beginning of an unprecedented stretch of major events in the men's game.

Beginning with the PGA Championship that started today in San Francisco, seven majors will be played in the next 11 months. It has been more than a year since the last major. That was the Open Championship won by Irishman Shane Lowry.

Now, as Van Sickle wrote, "[T]he majors are stacked up like so many Pringles chips in the familiar tall red container."

He turned to Jim "Hello Friends" Nantz for context:
CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz put it into perspective in a pre-PGA teleconference: "We are about to enter, starting Thursday, the greatest stretch of golf in the history of the game. In an 11-month stretch, we are going to have seven major championships. We are going to have the playoffs. That includes two Masters, two PGA Championships, the Players Championship. And if you're hot … you have a chance to make your career in the next 11 months." 
Nantz put just the right amount of polish on this bannister. It's not hype; it's just fact.
But is it hype?

Yeah, at least some. That's to be expected.

After the "gold rush" of majors, there will also be golf in the Olympics and the Ryder Cup. So, yes, it will be quite a stretch.

And as Van Sickle and Nantz opined, it will be an opportune time for a player to play the best golf of his life.

Wednesday, August 5

The PGA Championship: Complete Broadcast Schedule

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THE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP STARTS TOMORROW at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. Below is the broadcast schedule, plucked from my email inbox. All times Eastern.

For more informaion, visit PGAChampionship.com.


Major Championship golf is back, as San Francisco's TPC Harding Park hosts the first major of the year, the 102nd PGA Championship, August 6-9.

This year's PGA Championship will deliver unprecedented live, wire-to-wire 72-hole coverage to viewers via CBS, ESPN, ESPN+ and PGAChampionship.com.


HOW TO WATCH

THURSAUGUST 6LIVE COVERAGEESPN+  •  10:00AM - 4:00PMESPN  •  4:00PM - 10:00PMFEATURED GROUPS 1 & 2(Morning, Afternoon)ESPN+  • 10:00AM - 10:00PM
FRIAUGUST 7LIVE COVERAGEESPN+  •  10:00AM - 4:00PMESPN  •  4:00PM - 10:00PMFEATURED GROUPS 1 & 2(Morning, Afternoon)ESPN+  • 10:00AM - 10:00PM
SATAUGUST 8LIVE COVERAGEESPN+  •  11:00AM - 1:00PMESPN  •  1:00PM - 4:00PMCBS  •  4:00PM - 10:00PMFEATURED GROUPS 1 & 2(Morning, Afternoon)ESPN+  • 11:00AM - 10:00PMFEATURED HOLE (NO. 18)ESPN+  •  4:00PM - 10:00PM
SUNAUGUST 9LIVE COVERAGEESPN+  •  10:00AM - 12:00PMESPN  •  12:00PM - 3:00PMCBS  •  3:00PM - 9:00PMFEATURED GROUPS 1 & 2(Morning, Afternoon)ESPN+  • 10:00AM - 9:00PMFEATURED HOLE (NO. 18)ESPN+  •  3:00PM - 9:00PM

Tuesday, August 4

ICYMI: European Tour's Joel Sjöholm Uses a Small Boat to Reach Henderson Island and Play His Next Shot, He Salvages a Bogey


Joel Sjoholm, from Sweden, finished the Hero Open at Forest of Arden in a tie for 22nd. He shot rounds of 70, 68, 68 and 73 for a 9-under total.

Monday, August 3

PGA TOUR VIDEO: Justin Thomas Is on Top of the World After Comeback Victory in Memphis



HEADING INTO THE YEAR'S FIRST MAJOR, Justin Thomas is the new No. 1.

Thomas captured his third victory this season and 13th of his PGA Tour career at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis. He shot rounds of 66-67-66-65 to finish 13-under-par at TPC Southwind.

Every victory is special, but this one was probably a little sweeter.

"It means a lot," Thomas said, "especially with how I felt like I did it.

"In the past, I struggled with coming from behind. I got wrapped up in how far I was behind and how many people."

Defending champion Brooks Koepka made a run but came up short. He finished in a tie for second with three others: Daniel Berger, Tom Lewis and Phil Mickelson.

The PGA Championship begins on Thursday at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

Saturday, August 1

707 and Counting: Miguel Angel Jimenez Sets New Appearance Record on European Tour


MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ IS THE NEW KING of longevity on the European Tour.

The 56-year-old Spaniard is playing in his 707th event on tour this week, the Hero Open at the Forest of Arden in England. Jimenez, who joined the circuit in 1983, moved ahead of previous record-holder Sam Torrance.

The player nicknamed "The Mechanic" celebrated by putting together an 8-under 64 on Thursday.

"It's been a wonderful day," Jimenez said at BBC Sport. "Eight under par with a beautiful summer day and especially on the 18th with all my colleagues clapping for me, it's emotional."

Friday, July 31

Strong Field Set for PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park



THE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP, THIS YEAR'S FIRST MAJOR, will begin next Thursday at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

According to the PGA of America, the field is expected to include 95 of the top 100 players in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Here's the list:

An, Byeong Hun – REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Ancer, Abraham - MEXICO
Auterson, Mike - Milford, Ohio (cp)
Balin, Danny - White Plains, N.Y. (cp)
Beach, Alex - Stillwater, Minn. (cp)
Beem, Rich - Austin, Texas
Berberian, Jr., Rich - Hooksett, N.H. (cp)
Berger, Daniel - Jupiter, Fla.
Bertsch, Justin - Naples, Fla. (cp)
Bezuidenhout, Christiaan - SOUTH AFRICA
Bradley, Keegan – Woodstock, Vt.
Cabrera Bello, Rafa - SPAIN
Campillo, Jorge - SPAIN
Cantlay, Patrick – Jupiter, Fla.
Caron, Jason - Greenlawn, N.Y. (cp)
Casey, Paul - ENGLAND
Champ, Cameron – Sacramento, Calif.
Conners, Corey - CANADA
Cook, Benny - Caledonia, Mich. (cp)
Dahmen, Joel – Clarkston, Wash.
Daly, John – Dardanelle, Ark.
Day, Jason - AUSTRALIA
DeChambeau, Bryson – Clovis, Calif.
Dufner, Jason – Auburn, Ala.
Duncan, Tyler - Columbus, Ind.
English, Harris – Sea Island, Ga.
Finau, Tony - Salt Lake City, Utah
Fitzpatrick, Matt – ENGLAND
Fleetwood, Tommy – ENGLAND
Fowler, Rickie – Murrieta, Calif.
Frittelli, Dylan – SOUTH AFRICA
Furyk, Jim - Jacksonville, Fla.
Garcia, Sergio - SPAIN
Gibb, Judd - Fort Dodge, Iowa (cp)
Glover, Lucas - Jupiter, Fla.
Gooch, Taylor - Edmond, Okla.
Grace, Branden - SOUTH AFRICA
Griffin, Lanto - Jacksonville Beach, Fla.
Hadwin, Adam – CANADA
Harman, Brian – Sea Island, Ga.
Hart, Jeff - Solana Beach, Calif. (cp)
Hatton, Tyrrell – ENGLAND
Hebert, Benjamin - FRANCE
Henley, Russell - Columbia, Ga.
Herbert, Lucas - AUSTRALIA
Herman, Jim – Palm City, Fla.
Hoge, Tom – Fargo, N.D.
Holmes, J.B. - Campbellsville, Ky.
Homa, Max - Valencia, Calif.
Horschel, Billy – Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Hovland, Viktor – NORWAY
Howell III, Charles - Orlando, Fla.
Hubbard, Mark – Denver, Colo.
Hughes, Mackenzie - CANADA
Im, Sungjae - REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Ishikawa, Ryo - JAPAN
Janewattananond, Jazz – THAILAND
Jertson, Marty - Phoenix, Ariz. (cp)
Johnson, Dustin – Jupiter, Fla.
Johnson, Zach - Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Johnson, Zach. J. - Farmington, Utah (cp)
Jones, Matt - AUSTRALIA
Kang, Sung – REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Kaymer, Martin - GERMANY
Kim, Chan - Gilbert, Ariz.
Kim,  Joohyung - REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Kim, Si Woo - REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Kinhult, Marcus – SWEDEN
Kisner, Kevin – Aiken. S.C.
Kitayama, Kurt - Chico, Calif.
Knoll, Alex - Jim Thorpe, Pa. (cp)
Koepka, Brooks – West Palm Beach, Fla.
Kokrak, Jason - Hudson, Ohio
Kuchar, Matt - Sea Island, Ga.
Labritz, Rob - Pound Ridge, N.Y. (cp)
Landry, Andrew – Dripping Springs, Texas
Lashley, Nate - Scottsdale, Ariz.
Lee, Danny – NEW ZEALAND
Leishman, Marc - AUSTRALIA
Lewis, Tom – ENGLAND
Li, Haotong - CHINA
List, Luke – Augusta, Ga.
Long, Adam – St. Louis, Mo.
Lorenzo-Vera, Mike – FRANCE
Love III, Davis - St. Simons Island, Ga.
Lowry, Shane – IRELAND
Luiten, Joost - The NETHERLANDS
MacIntyre, Robert – SCOTLAND
Matsuyama, Hideki - JAPAN
McDowell, Graeme - N. IRELAND
McIlroy, Rory – N. IRELAND
Merritt, Troy - Meridian, Idaho
Micheel, Shaun – Memphis, Tenn.
Mickelson, Phil – Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
Mitchell, Keith - St. Simons Island, Ga.
Morikawa, Collin – La Canada, Calif.
Muñoz, Sebastián - COLOMBIA
Muttitt, David - Albuquerque, N.M (cp)
Na, Kevin - Las Vegas, Nev.
Niemann, Joaquin - CHILE
Norris, Shaun - SOUTH AFRICA
O’Leary, John - Sterling, Va. (cp)
Oosthuizen, Louis – SOUTH AFRICA
Ortiz, Carlos - MEXICO
Palmer, Ryan – Colleyville, Texas
Pan, C.T. - TAIWAN
Perez, Victor - FRANCE
Perry, Rod - Port Orange, Fla. (cp)
Piercy, Scott – Las Vegas, Nev.
Poston, J.T. - Sea Island, Ga.
Poulter, Ian – ENGLAND
Putnam, Andrew - Phoenix, Ariz.
Rahm, Jon – SPAIN
Reavie, Chez - Scottsdale, Ariz.
Redman, Doc – Raleigh, N.C.
Reed, Patrick - The Woodlands, Texas
Rose, Justin - ENGLAND
Roth, J.R. - Boyne Highlands, Mich. (cp)
Sabbatini, Rory – SOUTH AFRICA
Schauffele, Xander – San Diego, Calif.
Scheffler, Scottie - Dallas, Texas
Schwab, Matthias – AUSTRIA
Schwartzel, Charl – SOUTH AFRICA
Scott, Adam – AUSTRALIA
Simpson, Webb - Charlotte, N.C.
Singh, Vijay - FIJI
Smith, Cameron – AUSTRALIA
Snedeker, Brandt – Nashville, Tenn.
Sowards, Bob - Dublin, Ohio (cp)
Spieth, Jordan - Dallas, Texas
Steele, Brendan – Idyllwild, Calif.
Stenson, Henrik – SWEDEN
Straka, Sepp - AUSTRIA
Streelman, Kevin – Wheaton, Ill
Stricker, Steve – Madison, Wis.
Tanigawa, Ken – Scottsdale, Ariz.
Taylor, Nick – CANADA
Taylor, Vaughn – Augusta, Ga.
Thomas, Justin – Louisville, Ky.
Thompson, Michael – Sea Island, Ga.
Todd, Brendon – Athens, Ga.
Tringale, Cameron – Mission Viejo, Calif.
van Rooyen, Erik – SOUTH AFRICA
Varner III, Harold – Gastonia, N.C.
Vermeer, Ryan - Omaha, Neb. (cp)
Walker, Jimmy - Boerne, Texas
Wallace, Matt – ENGLAND
Warren, Shawn - Portland, Maine (cp)
Watson, Bubba – Bagdad, Fla.
Wiesberger, Bernd – AUSTRIA
Willett, Danny – ENGLAND
Winner, WGC-FedEx St. Jude
Winner, Barracuda
Wolff, Matthew - Agoura Hills, Calif.
Woodland, Gary – Topeka, Kan.
Woods, Tiger - Jupiter, Fla.

Thursday, July 30

USGA: The U.S. Open at Winged Foot Will Not Include Spectators

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LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. – In partnership with the state of New York, the USGA announced [Wednesday] that due to ongoing health and safety concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic, the 120th U.S. Open Championship, scheduled Sept. 14-20 at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., will be conducted without spectators on-site.

"Following months of consultation and scenario planning with local and state health officials, we have jointly decided that hosting the U.S. Open without spectators will provide the best opportunity to conduct the championship safely for all involved," said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. "We will miss the excitement of the fans and what their presence brings to the championship. We look forward to welcoming them again to future U.S. Opens."

The USGA announced on April 6 that the 120th U.S. Open, which was scheduled to be held June 18-21 on Winged Foot's West Course, had been postponed to Sept. 17-20, and it announced in June that the championship would be conducted without traditional qualifying.

"This will not be a typical U.S. Open in several respects," said John Bodenhamer, the USGA's senior managing director of Championships. "Would it have been easier to simply cancel or even move the 2020 championship rather than play it in what has been the epicenter of the virus in our country? Possibly. But all of us at the USGA know how much the U.S. Open matters, and we weren't willing to give up on playing it at Winged Foot Golf Club so easily. We are very proud to give our competitors and champions a platform to chase their dreams. Their perseverance motivates us, in a year when such tenacity means so much."

Tickets purchased directly through the USGA will be automatically refunded to the method of payment used to purchase the tickets. Additional information on U.S. Open ticket refunds can be found at USGA.org.