Tuesday, July 25

2017 Open: Jordan Spieth's Final Round Clubs, Yardages, Putts and Scoring

JORDAN SPIETH PLAYED A ROLLER COASTER final round at the 2017 Open Championship that is among the most memorable in the British Isles, where golf has reigned for centuries.

Spieth's 69 was a dramatic tale of losing his game, and then finding it again on the incoming nine of Royal Birkdale Golf Club. His 5-under surge on the last five holes is unrivaled in the history of closing out majors.

With 11 PGA Tour wins including three major championships within three days of his 24th birthday, Spieth is in the conversation with all-time greats Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. He will try to deflect those comparisons. Good luck with that.

(H/T Geoff Shackelford)

Sunday, July 23

Jordan Spieth 'Flipped Switch' for Stunning Finish and Victory at 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale Golf Club



JORDAN SPIETH IS THE CHAMPION GOLFER of the year. But how Spieth closed out his first Open Championship to get his named etched on the Claret Jug almost defies explanation.

Spieth fired a 69 on Sunday to win by 3 strokes over runner-up Matt Kuchar, who also put together a 69 and played well enough to grab his first major championship had it not been for Spieth's late heroics at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England.

"More difficult than it probably even looked," Spieth told Golf Channel's Steve Sands, "and it probably looked pretty difficult."

Spieth was 3 over for his round after 12 holes and not playing inspired golf. Tied with Kuchar at 8 under on the 13th tee, he launched his drive farther right than Steve Bannon.

"On that shot," Spieth said, "you are trying to miss the fairway to the right because if I hit the fairway it is most likely going to go in the bunker. It is just an unusual circumstance. It hit a guy in the head and went on the other side of the mound that I didn't even know was there. After I hit that tee ball I'm sitting there thinking I was making six."

Thus began a 30-minute odyssey to finish play on the par-4 13th hole.

"I took my time to figure out where the best location was when I very easily could have gone back and re-teed," Spieth continued. "I felt really bad about the amount of time that took, especially in this situation for Matt. I went up and apologized and said, 'Hey look, I was just trying to get to the location I thought was best for me to make the best score I could.' I sincerely apologized for the amount of time this just took because he was just sitting on the bag. There is nothing I could have done, and he told me that, but it is still tough in that situation. That [bogey] was massive. I was able to go on the driving range, be able to get it up near the green and make a five, when I was staring at six or seven in the throat and out of the tournament."

Golf Channel analyst Frank Nobilo may have summed up best what happened on that strange hole.

"He and Greller took the boat into the middle of the storm, and 20 minutes later they came out calm. And what happened after that was simply amazing. I've never seen a player turn it around in that situation that quick."

Actually, what happened after that was unlike any finish to a major championship in recent history, or probably ever.

Spieth played the next four holes in 5-under par: birdie at 14, eagle at 15, birdie at 16, birdie at 17. A par at the last and Spieth became the youngest player since Jack Nicklaus to win three legs of golf's Grand Slam.

"This was a completely flipped switch where I start just horribly and then all of a sudden you are playing a new tournament," Spieth added.

"Boy, I really don’t know how we got the job done. I credit [my caddie Michael Greller] a lot. I showed a lot of resilience myself to be able to get some of those putts to go in when I just didn't feel like it was working today."

Spieth, who has now won the Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship, will soon have a chance to complete the career Grand Slam. The PGA Championship tees off at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, on August 10.

Thursday, July 20

2017 Open Championship TV Schedule and Broadcast Notes

From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. (July 18, 2017) – The 146th Open began today, Thursday, and NBC Sports Group will provide 49.5 hours of live coverage from Royal Birkdale. NBC Sports additionally will offer several ancillary digital feeds to complement its linear broadcast, including: Marquee Group, Featured Holes (12, 13, 14) and The Open Spotlight, which will include coverage of the 1st and 18th holes, along with look-ins at players on the driving range, press center interviews and highlights. Golf Channel and NBC Sports digital platforms also will provide fans will full round replays, made available within the NBC Sports and Golf Channel Apps immediately following live coverage. NBC Universo will feature Spanish-Language coverage of The Open for the final round on Sunday, with coverage airing from Noon-2 p.m. ET.

THE R&A

The 146th Open
Dates: July 20-23
Venue: Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, England

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         1:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)
Friday              1:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)      
Saturday          4:30-7 a.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            4-7 a.m. (Live) / Midnight-4 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday          7 a.m.-3 p.m. (Live)
Sunday:           7 a.m.-2 p.m. (Live)

NBC Sports Group Broadcast Team:
Host: Mike Tirico (Saturday-Sunday)
Play by Play: Dan Hicks, Terry Gannon, Mike Tirico (Thursday-Friday)
Analyst: Johnny Miller, Nick Faldo, Justin Leonard, Colin Montgomerie
Tower: Gary Koch, Peter Jacobsen, Frank Nobilo, Steve Sands, Curt Byrum, Tom Abbott
On-Course: Jim Mackay, Roger Maltbie, David Feherty, Mark Rolfing, Notah Begay, Billy Ray Brown, Jerry Foltz
Interviews: Steve Sands, Todd Lewis, Jimmy Roberts

NBC Sports Digital Complementary Feeds to the Broadcast
NBC Sports Group will offer several ancillary digital feeds to complement its linear broadcast, including: Marquee Group, Featured Holes (12, 13, 14) and The Open Spotlight, which will include coverage of the 1st and 18th holes, along with look-ins at players on the driving range, press center interviews and highlights. Digital coverage will include Golf Channel hosts Ryan Burr, Cara Robinson and Damon Hack, along with analysts Justin Leonard, Colin Montgomerie, Curt Byrum, Tom Abbott, Billy Ray Brown, Jerry Foltz, John Cook, Trevor Immelman and Billy Kratzert.

Golf Channel and NBC Sports digital platforms also will provide fans will full round replays, made available within the NBC Sports and Golf Channel Apps immediately following live coverage.

DirecTV to Simulcast Live Broadcast, Ancillary Feeds
DirecTV will simulcast the live tournament broadcast on Golf Channel / NBC throughout the tournament via their Mosaic, which also will include the feed from the Marquee Group, Featured Holes and The Open Spotlight. Other offerings on the Mosaic include an expanded leaderboard function, detailed player scorecards, and an ability to create a “favorites” list top the Mosaic leaderboard. The Mosaic Channel and interactive menu will be available to DirecTV subscribers during broadcast hours all four days,Thursday-Sunday.

NBC Universo to Air Sunday’s Final Round with Spanish-Language Coverage
NBC Universo will feature Spanish-Language coverage of The Open for the final round on Sunday, with coverage airing from Noon-2 p.m. ET. Coverage will feature Edgar Lopez (play-by-play) and Miguel Gurwitz (analyst) during the closing stretch of the Championship.

Wednesday, July 19

VIDEO: Men in Blazers Meet Royal Birkdale's Stanley Matthews, 'the Michelangelo of Bunkers'



THERE ARE 123 BUNKERS AT ROYAL BIRKDALE, site of this week's Open Championship. And no one knows them better than Stanley Matthews, who is known as a "master bunker raker." Matthews has also been called "the Michelangelo of bunkers." Yes.

What is Stanley's advice to the youth of America, those who might want to follow in his footsteps (or rake marks)?

"Get up early. Work hard. And do your best."

Hear, hear!

Sponsored by GolfAvenue.com.

Tuesday, July 18

Open Championship Odds: Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth Favored at 14/1, Followed by Fowler, Rahm, Garcia, McIlroy, Matsuyama and Rose

HERE ARE THE CURRENT ODDS for the 2017 Open Championship that tees off on Thursday at Royal Birkdale. The odds are courtesy of Bovada.

(NOTE: Red means odds are now longer; blue means odds are now shorter. Black indicates no change.)

                                               6/19/17             Current Odds (7/18/17)
Dustin Johnson                         8/1                    14/1
Jordan Spieth                           12/1                  14/1
Rickie Fowler                            16/1                  16/1
Jon Rahm                                 22/1                  16/1
Sergio Garcia                            16/1                  18/1
Rory McIlroy                             10/1                  20/1
Hideki Matsuyama                     20/1                  20/1
Justin Rose                               22/1                  20/1
Tommy Fleetwood                     33/1                  22/1
Henrik Stenson                          18/1                  25/1
Adam Scott                              28/1                  28/1
Paul Casey                               40/1                  33/1
Jason Day                                14/1                  33/1
Brooks Koepka                         25/1                  33/1
Phil Mickelson                           33/1                  40/1
Alexander Noren                        33/1                  40/1
Branden Grace                          40/1                  45/1
Louis Oosthuizen                       50/1                  45/1
Matt Kuchar                              66/1                  50/1
Marc Leishman                          66/1                  50/1
Thomas Pieters                         33/1                  50/1
Justin Thomas                           33/1                  50/1
Rafael Cabrera Bello                  80/1                  55/1
Padraig Harrington                    150/1                55/1
Patrick Reed                             66/1                  55/1
Shane Lowry                             66/1                  66/1
Ian Poulter                                90/1                  66/1
Charl Schwartzel                        66/1                  66/1
Brandt Snedeker                       66/1                  66/1
Lee Westwood                          50/1                  66/1
Daniel Berger                            100/1                75/1
Matthew Fitzpatrick                    66/1                  75/1
Ross Fisher                              125/1                80/1
Tyrrell Hatton                             50/1                  80/1
Zach Johnson                           66/1                  80/1
Martin Kaymer                           66/1                  80/1
Francesco Molinari                    90/1                  80/1
Andy Sullivan                            100/1                80/1
Kevin Kisner                              125/1                100/1
Steve Stricker                           150/1                100/1
Bernd Wiesberger                      80/1                  100/1
Chris Wood                               80/1                  100/1
Byeong-Hun AN                        125/1                125/1
Bryson DeChambeau                 Off the Board    125/1
Jason Dufner                            150/1                125/1
Tony Finau                                150/1                125/1
Bill Haas                                   Off the Board    125/1
Brian Harman                            Off the Board    125/1
Russell Henley                          Off the Board    125/1
Charley Hoffman                       100/1                125/1
J.B. Holmes                              100/1                125/1
Soren Kjeldsen                          150/1                125/1
Thorbjorn Olesen                       175/1                125/1
Peter Uihlein                              Off the Board    125/1
Kevin Chappell                          150/1                150/1
Ryan Fox                                  Off the Board    150/1
Emiliano Grillo                           100/1                150/1
Charles Howell III                       Off the Board    150/1
Si Woo Kim                              Off the Board    150/1
Martin Laird                               Off the Board    150/1
Webb Simpson                         200/1                150/1
Kyle Stanley                              Off the Board    150/1
Brendan Steele                          Off the Board    150/1
Hideto Tanihara                         Off the Board    150/1
Jimmy Walker                           100/1                150/1
Bubba Watson                          80/1                  150/1
Adam Hadwin                            Off the Board    175/1
Billy Horschel                            Off the Board    175/1
Russell Knox                             Off the Board    175/1
Joost Luiten                              200/1                175/1
Richie Ramsay                          Off the Board    175/1
Xander Schauffele                     Off the Board    175/1
Anirban Lahiri                            Off the Board    200/1
Alexander Levy                         Off the Board    200/1
Jamie Lovemark                        Off the Board    200/1
Ryan Moore                              150/1                200/1
Pat Perez                                  Off the Board    200/1
Callum Shinkwin                        Off the Board    200/1
Cameron Smith                         200/1                200/1
Gary Woodland                         150/1                200/1

Monday, July 17

VIDEO: Euro Tour's Left-Handed Challenge and Surprise Winners at the U.S. Women's Open and John Deere Classic



IT'S OPEN WEEK AT ROYAL BIRKDALE, but I must say that last week served as a nice buildup to the world's oldest golf championship.

Rafe Cabrera-Bellow won the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in a playoff against Callum Shinkwin. Both players finished 13 under at Dundonald Links in Gailes.

"I'm obviously incredibly pleased with how I played today," Cabrera-Bellow told Golf Channel's Damon Hack. "I played my best golf of pretty much the entire year."

The creative minds of the European Tour staged "The Left-Handed Challenge" (see video) at the Scottish Open before the main event got underway. Perhaps not surprising that tour players, 99 percent of which are right-handed, look pretty good from the left side, even if their iron shots curve into the bleachers.

[To get the top Sports Mobile Livescore app for your Android and iOs, Download CBS Sports.]

Sung-Hyun Park won the U.S. Women's Open at Trump National Bedminster, a first on many levels: first LPGA win, first U.S. victory and first major. Park rallied to win by two shots over 17-year-old amateur Hye-Jin Choi.

Park said, "I wanted to believe in myself." 

It worked.

Bryson DeChambeau surprised a lot of people (including himself, I think) by coming home in 30 strokes for a final-round 65 to win the John Deere Classic. Now Bryson will tee it up at Royal Birkdale.

"I've just been working so hard my whole life to try to do this," DeChambeau told CBS. "And to finally have it happen at the John Deere, where I started pretty much a couple years ago, is pretty incredible."

There's a lot of Open programming this week. If you enjoy golf history like me, watch "Summer of '76" on Golf Channel. It airs at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

This post is sponsored by CBS.

Friday, July 14

Thursday, July 13

Golf on TV: Scottish Open, Senior Players Championship, John Deere Classic


From a Golf Channel press release.

EUROPEAN TOUR

Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open
Venue: Dundonald Links, Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland
Dates: July 13-16

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         5:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)
Friday              5:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)
Saturday          10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday          12:30-3 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            12:30-3 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Noren defendsWorld No. 9 Alex Noren looks to defend his title at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. It was his first of four wins on the European Tour in 2016, while Noren also was a winner earlier this season at the BMW PGA Championship.
Headlining the Field: Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler, Alex Noren, Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Patrick Reed, Jason Dufner, Martin Kaymer, Luke Donald and Ernie Els.

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship
Venue: Caves Valley Golf Club, Owings Mills, Md.
Dates: July 13-16

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday:        1:30-4 p.m. (Live) / 12:30-3 a.m. (Friday Replay)
Friday:             1:30-4 p.m. (Live) / 12:30-3 a.m. (Saturday Replay)
Saturday:         3-6 p.m. (Live) / 2-4 a.m. (Sunday Replay)
Sunday            3-6 p.m. (Live) / 2-4 a.m. (Monday Replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Langer defends: Bernhard Langer has claimed the last three Senior Players Championships, winning by one shot in 2016 over Joe Durant and Miguel Angel Jimenez. Langer has also won two of the first three majors this season.
Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Kenny Perry, Fred Couples, John Daly, Colin Montgomerie, Vijay Singh and Jose Maria Olazabal.

PGA TOUR

John Deere Classic
Dates: July 13-16
Venue:  TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Ill.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         4-7 p.m. (Live) / 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              4-7 p.m. (Live) / 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on CBS (Eastern):
Saturday:         3-6 p.m.
Sunday            3-6 p.m.

Broadcast Notes:
Moore defends: Ryan Moore won last year’s event by two shots over Ben Martin.
Headlining the field: Zach Johnson, Bubba Watson, Daniel Berger, Davis Love III, K.J. Choi, Wesley Bryan and Angel Cabrera.

Wednesday, July 12

2017 U.S. Women's Open TV Schedule and Tournament Notes

THE 72ND U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN begins tomorrow at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Brittany Lang is the defending champion. Following are the particulars.

Course Setup
The Old Course at Trump National Golf Club will be set up at 6,732 yards and will play to a par of 36-36–72. Based on the setup, the Course Rating™ is 80.4 and the Slope Rating® is 153.

About Trump National Golf Club
The Old Course was designed by Tom Fazio and opened for play in 2004. It is routed through more than 500 acres of rolling farmland and horse pastures with numerous water hazards and demanding green complexes. Approach shots call for careful strategy. Wetlands and restored farm buildings are found throughout the property.

Championship Field
The starting field of 156 golfers will be cut after 36 holes to the low 60 scorers and ties.

Television Coverage
The 2017 U.S. Women's Open will receive at least 20 hours of live network coverage. Fox will air 10 hours of coverage on the weekend. FS1 will air 10 hours over the first two days of play. All times EDT.

July 13, 2-7 p.m., First Round on FS1
July 14, 2-7 p.m., Second Round on FS1
July 15, 2-7 p.m., Third Round on Fox
July 16, 2-7 p.m., Fourth Round on Fox

Live Streaming Coverage
The 2017 U.S. Women's Open will receive at least 24 hours of live streaming coverage on usga.org.

July 13,10 a.m.-noon, First Round: streaming coverage
July 13, 2-7 p.m., First Round: featured group
July 14,10 a.m.-noon, Second Round: streaming coverage
July 14, 2-7 p.m., Second Round: featured group
July 15, 2-7 p.m., Third Round: featured group
July 16, 2-7 p.m., Fourth Round: featured group

What the Winner Receives
The champion will receive a gold medal, custody of the Harton S. Semple Trophy for the ensuing year and an exemption from qualifying for the next 10 U.S. Women’s Open Championships.

Purse
The 2017 purse is $5 million. The 2016 purse was $4.5 million, and the winner earned $810,000.

2016 Champion
Brittany Lang, 30, of McKinney, Texas, won the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open Championship at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif. Lang won the second three-hole aggregate playoff in Women’s Open history, taking the title over Anna Nordqvist, 29, of Sweden.

The USGA Fact Sheet for the U.S. Women's Open Championship was used for this report.

Tuesday, July 11

BBC Golf: 'Can Jon Rahm Go One Better Than Seve Ballesteros at Birkdale?'


SPANIARD JON RAHM IS LIGHTING UP the golf world. Last week Rahm won the Irish Open by six shots and has moved up to No. 8 in the Official World Golf Ranking. The 22-year-old has won twice in his first full year on tour.

BBC Golf's Iain Carter assessed Rahm's rise and his chances at Royal Birkdale in next week's Open Championship, including comparing him to Spain's greatest golf legend, Seve Ballesteros.

Carter offers a good preview of the Open, including this:
[I]t will be intriguing to see how [Rahm] fares on a more demanding course under the pressure of expectation generated by his success at the Irish Open, which he won by six shots after escaping a penalty in the last round. 
His temperament remains suspect, as was shown in rounds of 76 and 73 when he missed the cut at the recent US Open at Erin Hills. He also unravelled in the penal surroundings of Sawgrass during May's Players Championship. 
If a course gets on top of him, Rahm can struggle to fight his way out of trouble. Birkdale is a very fair golfing test but if the coastal winds blow and the elements close in, the young Spaniard could easily be rattled. 
Nevertheless, right now he looks at home among the favourites for the next men's major.

Monday, July 10

SWING VIDEO: In Search of More Distance, Padraig Harrington Adopts a New Unorthodox Move

PADRAIG HARRINGTON IS LOOKING FOR ANSWERS to a distance problem. What do you think?

Here's one view expressed at Geoff Shackelford's blog:

"I LOVE THIS!!! He's a mad genius. Many thought Karsten Solheim was nuts when he developed the Anser. Love Harrington's creativity and willingness to buck convention!"

VIDEO: Jim 'Bones' Mackay Talks About New Role as On-Course Reporter for Golf Channel and NBC



I THINK JIM "BONES" MACKAY will be great as an on-course reporter. Bones will still walk and talk the course, but he won't have to lug a bag or rake traps.

In a media conference call last week, Bones said:
I'm absolutely overjoyed to be joining the NBC Golf team. 
It's just something I could only ever dream of in the past, but to know everybody involved there at NBC Golf for so many years, especially Tommy [Roy], and how incredibly kind he's been to me over the years and fun to be around; and just to learn from, just to be with those guys, is something I just can't wait to get started with. 
To begin at The Open Championship here in a couple weeks, it's my favorite tournament. I can't wait to get my feet on the ground. I've got so much to learn, and I can't wait to get this whole process started and spend time with the team and learn as much as I can. And boy, July 20th can't get here fast enough.

Saturday, July 8

USGA, Bernhard Langer and Scott McCarron Issue Statements to Address Anchoring Controversy



THERE HAS BEEN CONTROVERSY in recent days as to whether Bernhard Langer and Scott McCarron are anchoring their long putters in violation of the Rules of Golf.

"During Fox's broadcast of the U.S. Senior Open last week," reported Steve Eubanks at GlobalGolfPost.com, "camera angles of Langer and McCarron, who uses a similar style, appeared to show the players touching their chests during the stroke, although it was unclear if the hands or clubs were anchored or simply in contact with the players' shirts."

I saw video clips of Langer, whose thumb appeared to be, at the least, creasing his golf shirt. It might not be anchoring, but it seems that only Langer knows for sure.

This is a problem. Langer might not be anchoring, but to some if not many observers it looks like anchoring. That perception is causing unease in the golf world.

And so the USGA and the players issued statements.

USGA Statement

"Over the last two years, the USGA has worked with the PGA Tour Champions and other professional tours to support education and adoption of Rule 14-1b. We are confident that Rule has been applied fairly and consistently and have seen no evidence of a player breaching the Rule, which does not prohibit a hand or club to touch a player's clothing in making a stroke. Integrity is at the heart of the Rules and how the game is played worldwide, and this essential value has made the game enjoyable for all golfers. We will continue to work with our partners at the R&A to listen and review all of golf's Rules, with an eye on making them easier to understand and apply."

Bernhard Langer Statement

"During my 45-year career as a professional golfer, I have called penalties on myself. I believe in honesty and integrity, and I could not live with myself if I broke a rule and did not incur the penalty. I'm certain that I am not anchoring the putter and that my putting stroke is not violating the Rules of Golf. On several occasions, I have been in contact with the USGA and rules officials on the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions, and each time I have been assured that my putting stroke is within the Rules of Golf. I will remain open and honest with rules officials and the governing bodies, and I will continue to play with the same integrity that I've displayed throughout my career."

Scott McCarron Statement

"I have putted with a long putter since 1991 – over half my life – and my putting stroke has not been anchored since the end of the 2015 season. I have logged more than 1,500 hours practicing without anchoring my putter, and the more I practice, the better I get. I'd like to emphatically say that I do not anchor my hand, arm or club against my body during my putting stroke. I have worked with the USGA and PGA Tour Champions rules officials to ensure that I am within the Rules of Golf, and I have extended many invitations to demonstrate and teach people how to use a long putter without anchoring. I have never competed dishonestly because I have the utmost respect for the game of golf, and I will continue to represent myself and the sport to the best of my ability."

Herein lies a problem with the Rules of Golf, including this anchoring rule, in particular. If you have to issue statements to explain your compliance and defend your integrity, there's a heap of trouble.

I'm not suggesting Langer and McCarron are in violation. I give them the benefit of the doubt. But anything that looks like it could be anchoring will continue to fester.

Thursday, July 6

New Film 'Summer of '76' Featuring Johnny Miller and Seve Ballesteros Is Coming to Golf Channel on July 18

JOHNNY MILLER. A KID NAMED SEVE. ROYAL BIRKDALE. If you love golf history, this will be good stuff. Made by Golf Channel, the "Summer of '76" will premiere on Tuesday, July 18, to coincide with Open week.

From Golf Channel (edited):
In July of 1976, America celebrated it's Bicentennial. At the same time, the golf world turned its attention to a sweltering Royal Birkdale along England's West Coast. Johnny Miller was the California golden boy, at one time appearing to be the heir apparent to Jack Nicklaus atop the sport. A fiery and charismatic Spaniard with an uncanny feel for the game, Seve Ballesteros was just 19-years-old, but well on his way to becoming the Arnold Palmer of European golf. 
In the end, Miller won the Open, Ballesteros won the hearts of fans, but the ultimate winner was professional golf.

"Winning The Open in '76 was one of fondest moments of my career," said Miller. "The course was totally burnt out. I hit 1-iron off the tee and don't remember missing one fairway the whole week with it, which was my key to winning. I hadn't heard about Seve at all, but that changed quickly when he led after the first round. He hit driver everywhere, slashing it out of places like Arnie used to do. I knew that he was going to be great, no doubt about it."

Through interviews with Miller, Tom Watson, Peter Alliss, and dozens of others, Summer of '76 recalls the excitement of seeing Ballesteros for the first time, and the brilliance summoned by Miller en route to winning the Claret Jug.

Monday, July 3

Kyle Stanley: 'It's Hard to Win Out Here, So Tough to Do It Again'



IT WAS A LONG WAY BACK for Kyle Stanley after a promising start to his pro career, which included his first PGA Tour victory at Phoenix in 2012. Five years removed from his only tour title was like an eternity for Stanley. Parts of his game and much of his confidence disappeared during that period.

However, the Clemson All-American and Ben Hogan Award winner has been playing well lately. His big moment came on Sunday.

Stanley beat Charles Howell III in a one-hole playoff to win the Quicken Loans National in Maryland. Both Stanley and Howell closed with 66s and were deadlocked at 7 under on tough TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. Stanley parred the 18th to claim the trophy.

"My ball-striking's been pretty solid for the most part this entire year," Stanley said. "My putting started to come around but everything's been kind of consistent. I knew that it was just a matter of time."

As USA TODAY reported, Stanley's game had cratered. After breaking into the top 50 in the world golf rankings, he fell to 352 in 2014 and 409 in 2015 before rising to 258 at the end of 2016.

Stanley added: "It's hard to win out here, so tough to do it again. It was a lot of work, but you know, it's been worth it, for sure."

He also sort of apologized for shedding tears, but who could blame him?

Danielle Kang won the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, her first major and LPGA Tour title. Kenny Perry won the U.S. Senior Open with a record-breaking performance at Salem Country Club. (That's four senior majors for Perry.) Tommy Fleetwood won the French Open and took the lead in the European Tour's Race to Dubai.