Monday, August 22

Remembering Tom Weiskopf: How Did That Final Putt at the 1975 Masters Miss? And More


I WILL REMEMBER TOM WEISKOPF like many others: supremely talented with a beautiful golf swing. A nearly great PGA Tour player and Open champion also seen as an underachiever.

Back in the 1970s it was unusual to see a man of Weiskopf's size (6 foot 3 inches) exhibit such an impressive combination of power and grace. In my memory, there was no one quite like him (tall, smooth and strong) until Ernie Els came along.

Weiskopf struggled with his temperament and putting. I remember the moniker "Terrible Tom."

As a teen, I liked Tom Weiskopf, although not as much as Johnny Miller. One of the best tournaments I ever watched on TV was the 1975 Masters, a duel between Weiskopf, Miller and Jack Nicklaus. I still have a hard time believing that Weiskopf's birdie putt at the last hole to tie Nicklaus burned the right edge. It still seems as if it should have broken slightly left and dropped into the cup.

But the golf gods apparently disagreed.

Weiskopf had a grumpy public persona, but, from what I've read, players and others who knew him liked or loved him. I'm sure I would have enjoyed his company, although I never had a chance or a reason to interview him.

Tony Jacklin, who I did get to know while writing my 1969 Ryder Cup book, was treated as a friend and practice partner by Weiskopf when Jacklin joined the PGA Tour in the late 1960s. It was a different time, when "foreign" players like Jacklin were not welcomed on the tour, as Frank Beard and others told me. But Weiskopf was not like the others.

As I wrote in Draw in the Dunes, "Jacklin became friends with U.S. players Tom Weiskopf and Bert Yancey, and the three young pros put in long hours working on their games. 'We were all trying to become better players,' [Jacklin said]. 'It started to pay off for me.'"

Finally, here's what Jacklin said the other day after Weiskopf passed away.


Monday, July 18

2022 Open Championship: Cameron Smith Races Past Rory McIlroy to Seize the Claret Jug

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CAMERON SMITH IS THE CHAMPION GOLFER OF THE YEAR, as they like to say at the Open Championship. Rory McIlroy, the 54-hole co-leader with Viktor Hovland, finished third. It's another in a long string of major disappointments for McIlroy, who was the clear fan and media favorite.

But what can you do when you play a smart, controlled final round of 70 (you finally get that part right) and still lose?

The only thing Rory is guilty of is not quite shooting low enough. In the 150 years of the Open Championship, 18 under puts your name on the Claret Jug on all but a few occasions, like yesterday.

Starting the final round with at least a four-shot lead on everyone except 54-hole co-leader Hovland, Rory needed a 67 and a record score of 21 under to win at St. Andrews yesterday. That's a big ask. I think he could do it. It's probably in him. But he didn't.

Instead -- and this is the story -- Mr. Smith of Australia played one of the greatest final rounds in majors history. Cam shot an 8-under 64, including a 30 on the final nine. His finish featured a nerveless up and down on the Road Hole for a par and a brilliant little birdie at the last to seal his first major victory by a stroke at the Home of Golf.

(That other Cameron named Young also came within an eyelash of golf immortality, posting a 65 alongside the winner that included an eagle 2 at the last hole, to finish runner-up.)

To use a track analogy, Rory McIlroy ran a very good race. But Cameron Smith finished like Usain Bolt. No one could have beaten the Aussie yesterday without stealing his putter.

Friday, July 15

Tiger Woods at St. Andrews: 'It Felt Like This Might Have Been My Last British Open Here'

THE RECORD WILL SHOW THAT TIGER WOODS missed the cut at the 150th Open Championship played at the Old Course in St. Andrews, the Home of Golf. His rounds of 78 and 75 put him near the bottom of the field, a humbling early finish for the three-time Open champion, two of them coming at St. Andrews.

But even for Tiger, the fierce competitor who expects so much of himself, this week was about more than the state of his golf game. He said as much.

"I have nothing, nothing planned," Tiger said after the walk up 18. "Zero. Maybe something next year. I don't know. But nothing in the near future. This is it. I was just hoping to play this one event this year."

I was just hoping to play this one event ... 

Tiger also commented, "It's hard just to walk and play 18 holes. People have no idea what I have to go through and the hours of the work on the body, pre and post, each and every single day to do what I just did. That's what people don’t understand."


Like other great champions before him, Tiger basked in the glow of the warm reception as he finished another loop at the Old Course, perhaps his last. 

"It's very emotional for me. I've been coming here since 1995, and I don't know when—I think the next one [here] comes around in what, 2030—and I don't know if I will be physically able to play by then. So to me it felt like this might have been my last British Open here at St. Andrews. And the fans, the ovation and the warmth, it was an unbelievable feeling.

"I understand what Jack and Arnold had gone through in the past. I was kind of feeling that way there at the end. And just the collective warmth and understanding. They understand what golf's all about and what it takes to be an Open champion. And I've been lucky enough and fortunate enough to have won this twice here. And it felt very emotional, just because I just don't know what my health is going to be like. And I feel like I will be able to play future British Opens, but I don’t know if I'll be able to play that long enough that when it comes back around here, will I still be playing?"

Wednesday, July 13

2022 Open Championship: Full Broadcast Schedule

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Following is broadcast information for the 2022 Open Championship, as provided by NBC Sports in a press release.

NBC Sports surrounds the 150th Open Championship at The Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland with comprehensive live coverage across NBC, USA Network and Peacock beginning Thursday, July 14 through Sunday, July 17.

In total, NBC Sports will present nearly 50 hours of live championship coverage Thursday-Sunday – and well over 100 hours of live coverage from St. Andrews including featured groups and featured holes.

Broadcast Team
Host: Mike Tirico
Play by Play: Dan Hicks / Mike Tirico / Terry Gannon
Analyst: Paul Azinger / Justin Leonard / Nick Faldo
Tower: David Feherty / Gary Koch / Peter Jacobsen / Steve Sands / Curt Byrum / Tom Abbott
On-Course: Notah Begay III / John Wood / Mark Rolfing / Karen Stupples
Essays: Jimmy Roberts
Interviews: Kathryn Tappen / Cara Banks / Todd Lewis

How To Watch – Thursday, July 14 – Sunday, July 17 (all times ET)
TV – NBC, USA Network
Streaming – Peacock, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app
 
DatePeacockUSA NetworkNBC/Peacock
Thursday, July 14*1:30-4 a.m./3-4 p.m.4 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Friday, July 15*1:30-4 a.m./3-4 p.m.4 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Saturday, July 165-7 a.m.7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sunday, July 174-7 a.m.7 a.m. – 2 p.m.
*coverage will begin shortly before the first scheduled tee time at 1:30 a.m. ET 

Thursday, June 30

WGA News: Madelyn 'Moochie' Taylor Inducted Into Caddie Hall of Fame

"Moochie is a trailblazer and embodies the gold standard of hard work and professionalism. From personifying the values she learned as a caddie to showing young women everywhere how far the game of golf can take you in life -- and now as the first female African American inducted into the Caddie Hall of Fame -- she is a true inspiration to us all."
Jeff Harrison, WGA senior vice president

WASHINGTON, DC – Madelyn "Moochie" Turner was inducted into the Caddie Hall of Fame on Monday, June 27, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the game of golf and society through caddying -- and using caddying as a steppingstone to professional success.

Moochie Turner (center), flanked by young caddies.
She is the first female African American to be inducted into the Caddie Hall of Fame (CHOF), which 
highlights the tradition and importance of caddying by celebrating individuals who have devoted their lives to the game of golf through caddying or by supporting the role of caddies, and those who have used their experience as a youth caddie for future professional success.

Past CHOF inductees include Jim Dent, Charles "Chick" Evans, Joe LaCava, Carl Jackson, Jack Nicklaus, Frances Ouimet, Charles Schwab, Peter Ueberroth, Tom Watson and Steve Williams.

Established in 1999 by the Professional Caddies Association, the Caddie Hall of Fame has been administered by the Western Golf Association since 2011. Turner was inducted during a reception at the Renee Powell Clearview Legacy Benefit at East Potomac Golf Course in Washington, D.C. The event included an LPGA pro meet and greet, presentations from the Mayor's Office and National Links Trust, as well as a diversity in golf panel. WGA leaders were on site at the event to present Turner her CHOF plaque.

A Lifetime in Golf

Since she was 7 years old, Moochie Turner has been involved in golf. She notably caddied as a youth for her mother, Vernice Turner, during the late 1950s and early 1960s, because it was difficult to find anyone who would carry a bag for a Black female golfer.

Together, they won numerous United Golfers Association (UGA) Championships around the country with Turner on the bag. They were inducted into the National Black Golf Hall of Fame in 2021 as the only mother-daughter duo to win a UGA Championship in the same year -- Turner won the girls' junior division, then later in the week caddied for her mother, who won the women's division.

Turner caddied for her mother until she went to college, then went on to have a distinguished 34-year career in the FBI as a physical instructor teaching self-defense tactics. Now retired, she spends her summers in East Canton, Ohio, at the historic Clearview Golf Club, helping give instruction to youth, women and veterans.

"Caddying was one of my greatest experiences.
I learned about honesty, sportsmanship, loyalty
and how to play the game.
I hope more females start to caddie
because of all the opportunities it offers."
Moochie Turner

In a letter nominating her friend Moochie for induction into the Caddie Hall of Fame, Renee Powell wrote: "Certainly, her induction will serve as a beacon of light for those who maybe did not realize that golf is for everyone and how being introduced to it through caddying can open many doors."

A special presentation also was made as part of the induction, with WGA leaders introducing Moochie Turner to four young female caddies who are working at Langston Golf Course this summer. The WGA and National Links Trust are overseeing a youth caddie program for underserved students who hope to one day earn a college scholarship.

"These young women will be able to follow in Moochie's footsteps and learn the game of golf through caddying," WGA senior vice president Jeff Harrison said. "This is the future of the game -- and it wouldn't have been possible without the path that Moochie created."

Tuesday, June 21

VIDEO: Conor Moore Takes Comedic Aim at LIV Golf and Its New Players

Monday, June 20

U.S. Open Champion Matt Fitzpatrick: 'The Feeling's Out of This World'

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If you watched on Sunday, then you probably agree that it was a great finish to the U.S. Open at The Country Club. Three young players battled down the stretch -- only one of them a major winner -- all hitting terrific shots under U.S. Open pressure and all having a chance to the end. Following is a portion of the USGA recap of the final round, provided to media via email.

MATT FITZPATRICK IS A CHAMPION once again at The Country Club.

The 27-year-old Englishman who triumphed nine years ago at this iconic venue when he claimed the U.S. Amateur, became just the 13th man and the first non-American to also add the U.S. Open Championship to his portfolio.

In winning the 122nd edition of the championship on a chilly New England Sunday by one stroke over past U.S. Junior Amateur champions Will Zalatoris and Scottie Scheffler, Fitzpatrick joined World Golf Hall of Famer and 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus as the only golfers to have won the USGA's two oldest championships at the same venue. Nicklaus accomplished his feat at Pebble Beach Golf Links in 1961 and 1972.

Now 50 years later, Fitzpatrick put himself in rarified company.

"The feeling's out of this world," said Fitzpatrick, who carded a final-round 68 for a 6-under total of 274. "It is so cliche, but it's stuff you dream of as a kid. I can retire a happy man tomorrow.

"Any time you're sharing a record with Jack Nicklaus, it's unbelievable. So for me to have that as well is incredible. He called me up down there just at the presentation to congratulate me. Coming from someone like that, it means the world."

Fitzpatrick put on a ball-striking clinic on Sunday, hitting 17 of 18 greens. The only miss was on the 503-yard 10th, a hole the members play as a par 5 that was statistically the championship's toughest (4.39). Trailing Zalatoris by one, Fitzpatrick's fortunes changed at the par-4 13th when he converted a 49-footer for birdie.

When Fitzpatrick won the 2013 U.S. Amateur title at this venerable venue – one of the five founding clubs of the USGA – he closed out Oliver Goss of Australia on the 15th hole, and he essentially won the U.S. Open on the same hole, making a 19-foot birdie after reaching the green with a 220-yard 5-iron from a spot in the right rough where spectators had matted the turf down.

"It was one of the best shots I hit all day," he said. "To do that and take advantage of the break I had was fantastic."

Zalatoris, whose tee shot on No. 15 landed in thick rough, failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker. That gave Fitzpatrick a two-stroke cushion with three to play, and the cool customer from Sheffield closed with three consecutive pars. On the par-4 18th, a hole he bogeyed on Saturday, Fitzpatrick reached the putting surface from a left fairway bunker, a play some thought was risky.

Zalatoris had one final chance to force a two-hole aggregate playoff, but his 15-foot putt on the 18th green burned the left edge of the hole. It was his second consecutive runner-up finish in a major, having lost a three-hole aggregate playoff to Justin Thomas at last month's PGA Championship.


"Matt's shot on 18 is going to be shown probably for the rest of U.S. Open history," said Zalatoris. "I walked by it, and I thought that going for [the green] was going to be [gutsy], but the fact that he pulled it off and even had a birdie look was just incredible. So hats off to him. He played great all week."

Once the championship was secured, Fitzpatrick first celebrated with his caddie, Billy Foster, and then his parents and younger brother, Alex, who was his caddie here nine years ago. Alex just completed his eligibility at Wake Forest, where Zalatoris played on an Arnold Palmer Scholarship. Fitzpatrick also was embraced by TCC member Will Fulton, with whom he stayed nine years ago and again this week. Fulton was the club’s general chairman for the U.S. Open.

Good karma?

"I love playing this golf course," said Fitzpatrick. "It suits me so well. It suits my game well. I've been playing well for a while, and I think it all just fell into place that this was the place it was going to happen."

Thursday, June 16

2022 U.S. Open: Full Broadcast Schedule

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TELEVISION COVERAGE

A full programming schedule for the 122nd U.S. Open can be found here.

 

Date

Time (EDT)

Network

Coverage

Thursday, June 16

6:45–9:30 a.m.

Peacock

First Round

Thursday, June 16

9:30 a.m.–2 p.m.

USA

First Round

Thursday, June 16

2-5 p.m.

NBC

First Round

Thursday, June 16

5-7 p.m.

USA

First Round

Thursday, June 16

7-8 p.m.

Peacock

First Round

Friday, June 17

6:45–9:30 a.m.

Peacock

Second Round

Friday, June 17

9:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

USA

Second Round

Friday, June 17

4-7 p.m.

NBC

Second Round

Friday, June 17

7-8 p.m.

Peacock

Second Round

Saturday, June 18

10 a.m.–noon

Peacock

Third Round

Saturday, June 18

Noon–8 p.m.

NBC

Third Round

Sunday, June 19

9-10 a.m.

Peacock

Final Round

Sunday, June 19

10 a.m.-noon

USA

Final Round

Sunday, June 19

Noon-7 p.m.

NBC

Final Round