Jul 08, 2016 | 06:24 am

Recapturing The First Open

Next week, the 145th Open Championship will be conducted at Royal Troon on Scotland’s west coast. Four miles away and 156 years ago, the very first Open was played at Prestwick. Unfortunately, the opening shot from that inaugural Open—struck by Old Tom Morris on October 17, 1860—wasn’t photographed, but it is now being recreated in a painting by noted golf artist Peter Munro. We haven’t seen it, nor do we know where it will hang, but we do know that the artist went to great lengths to get the details correct, even asking the government’s Hydrographic Office for the height of the tide at the appointed hour. Meanwhile, the R&A has found another way to commemorate that first Open, introducing the 1st Prestwick Collection, which includes sweaters, jackets, polo shirts, and accessories such as ballmarkers and towels all bearing the special logo shown above. Which, we are pretty sure, Old Tom was not wearing on his tweed jacket when he took that historic swing with a long-nosed, wooden-headed “playclub” way back when.

Photo courtesy The New York Public Library


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Jul 07, 2016 | 09:37 am

Play Starts for the Women at CordeValle

The US Women’s Open begins today at CordeValle, a Robert Trent Jones II design in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is the first Women’s Open to be held in the Bay Area of California. Ben Kimball, the Director of the U.S. Women’s Open Championship, has tried to maintain the balance of challenge typical of a USGA Championship, with the challenges presented by a dry California course. The greens should be running 12-12.5 on the Stimpmeter, and the rough heights have been varied across the course. “They can miss it two feet over the green on one hole and be in five inches in the rough and miss it two feet over the green on the next hole and only be in two inch rough,” said Kimball in an interview with “As a player, mentally it would be difficult to figure out. But that’s part of all this. It’s a mental test as much as it is a physical test.”

Coverage begins today at 3PM EST on Fox Sports 1.


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Jul 06, 2016 | 08:30 am

Scottish Breakfast

The best two weeks of armchair links golf gets underway tomorrow with the start of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, especially for those of us dying to get across the pond for some links golf only to find another summer coming and going without the opportunity. The next best thing is waking up to a virtual vacation, first at Castle Stuart in the Scottish Highlands and then at Royal Troon southwest of Glasgow on the Firth of Clyde. With the addition of Patrick Reed, J.B. Holmes, and Steve Stricker after the cancellation of the Greenbrier Classic this week, the Scottish Open will have even more of the world's attention. The last time Castle Stuart hosted the event in 2013, Phil Mickelson won and used it as a springboard to capture The Open Championship at Muirfield in dramatic fashion. Next week, NBC and Golf Channel televise its first Open Championship and Golf Channel is televising its first major with close to 50 hours of play, including the final round in its entirety.

Scottish Open TV Times:

Thursday/Friday 5:30 AM-1:30 PM, Golf Channel

Saturday/Sunday 9:30 AM-Noon, Golf Channel/Noon-2:30 PM, NBC

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Jul 05, 2016 | 08:38 am


With one week to go before the final field is set, the list of Olympic withdrawals continues, with the latest, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, making it an even dozen of the game’s top players saying no to Rio. Curiously, Riophobia seems to strike the citizens of certain nations more virulently than others, notably members of the British Commonwealth, with Australia and South Africa each showing three sufferers, along with the early Fijian victim, Vijay Singh. The Irish (McIlroy, McDowell, Lowery) also seem strangely vulnerable to the condition. But there’s no hint of Brexit as Englishmen Danny Willett and Justin Rose stand with Europeans Garcia, Stenson, Molinari, Kaymer, Dubuisson, et al, ready to board the plane to Brazil, along with Americans Johnson, Spieth, Watson, and Fowler. The current field of 60 qualifiers, which shouldn’t change much this week, with the Greenbrier Classic cancelled because of floods, can be found at

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