Bunker Mentality

  • Thongchai Jaidee

    Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee was devastated to have missed the cut at The Open after finishing eight over par on Friday, and immediately flew to London to head back to his homeland.

    1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie was equally sad, and drove straight back up to Aberdeen and went out to walk his dog.

    Jaidee, one of Asia's finest ever professional golfers, thought his day had gone from bad to worse when he was told the flight he'd planned to catch at Heathrow was full.

    Then, however, mother nature stepped in. Blazing sunshine and strong winds saw The Open competitors blown off the course at

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  • Tiger Woods: The Good, The Bad, the putting off a green

    No wonder The Open Championship galleries still flock in their thousands to watch Tiger Woods prowl a links course.

    There is rarely a dull moment when the American 14-times major winner is going about his business and that proved the case again at Muirfield on Thursday as he went toe-to-toe with a sun-scorched course and came out just about on top.

    His two-under par 69, compiled during a scorching afternoon that made putting on the glass-fast greens a treacherous activity, left him three behind leader Zach Johnson.

    "There wasn't a lot of talking out there today because we're trying to grind

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  • I was in Dreamland, says the Indian who led The Open

    Shiv Kapur

    Unknown Indian journeyman Shiv Kapur was thrilled after the best nine holes of his life in the opening round at Muirfield.

    Kapur was the surprise package among the late starters on day one when he birdied six of his opening seven holes to turn in 30 and briefly hold a one-shot lead at the demanding Muirfield course.

    He slipped back later on the tough inward nine, but still finished with a three-under-par 68 to be tied fourth after the first day.

    He birdied the immensely challenging first hole followed by birdies on two and three. He then continued his electrifying momentum by marking three

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  • Old Boys rule on day one of The Open Championship

    Mark O'Meara

    One of the magical things about golf is that it is not irrevocably a young man's game.

    Unlike so many other sports, wrinkles and gray hair do not signal that your playing days are over. Folks in their 70s and 80s can occasionally shoot their age, or at least still enjoy a quality round well into their golden years.

    Even on the PGA Tour, the old guys can occasionally beat the young guys.

    But nowhere is youth less important than the ancient birthplace of golf. In recent years The Open has become a Gray Panther rally: five years ago, Greg Norman led after three rounds at age 53; four years ago,

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  • Why The Open is such a special week

    It would be downright silly to say that golf fans, writers, golfers and the like are not the most excited each year for the Masters. We have around eight months between the final major of one season and the start of the next, and the anticipation of Augusta National is something that will make any sports fans tune in for four days of the Masters.

    But the best major championship of the year? That one might be the one across the pond. The Masters is a tradition unlike any other, the US Open is the toughest of all the tests, and the PGA Championship is glory's last shot, but the British Open, or

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  • Tiger Woods plays a shot during a practice round at Muirfield before the British Open begins Thursday. (AP Photo)

    GULLANE, Scotland – A shot here and a shot there, that's how Tiger Woods, as he preps for yet another major championship, explained the difference between winning Major No. 15 and sitting on 14 for five years and counting.

    He specifically pointed to this year's Masters where bad luck turned a great shot into a killer. He hit a dead-on approach to 15 in Round 2 only to have it hit the pin, carom back into the water to spark Drop-gate that eventually led to an 8. Had his approached missed the pin, Tiger likely cards a birdie and there's a good chance he would have been wearing the green

    Read More »from Tiger’s Major obstacle: He’s good, but no longer dominant
  • Phil Mickelson, practicing Tuesday at Muirfield, is excited about his new putting stroke. (AP Photo)

    GULLANE, Scotland – Over the years, links golf and Phil Mickelson have gone together like haggis and jalapenos. They have been a perfectly dreadful combination.

    But now, Phil says he's come around. Like, all the way around. If you listen to him, it's now like haggis and … uh, whatever goes splendidly with sheep innards.

    "It's hate-love," Mickelson said Tuesday from Muirfield, site of this year's Open Championship. "I used to hate it and now I love it."

    What next, Rick Pitino and John Calipari playing member-member? Bubba Watson taking the driver out of his bag? Tiger and Sergio laughing it up

    Read More »from Phil Mickelson could finally have right recipe for Open win
  • Arnold Palmer: Tiger could still catch Jack

    The best golfer of his generation has been asked about the best golfer of this generation a thousand times. But even Arnold Palmer isn't quite sure what to make of Tiger Woods these days when it comes to closing the deal on major weekends.

    "The psychology of getting in position and then being able to carry it forward [to a win] ... when he was younger, that was pretty easy to do," Palmer says. "Now that he's older, it will be more difficult. He'll have to really struggle. I think he'll find it, I think he's still about as good as you can get, but it'll be difficult."

    Palmer is in his Latrobe

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  • Extra club gaffe costs Irish golfer Open spot

    There are plenty of crazy rules in the game of golf that makes one question why in the world it's in the rulebook to begin with, but one of those rare black and white requirements is how many clubs you're allowed to play with in a tournament.

    Fourteen is the number, with absolutely no exception the rule. Bring an extra club and you receive a two-stroke penalty per hole you've played with the additional stick, and David Higgins found that out the hardest of ways.

    Higgins, a 41-year-old professional golfer from Waterville, Ireland, was attempting to qualify for his third Open championship.

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  • Harrington thinks McIlroy is more Phil than Tiger

    It has been a pretty forgettable 2013 for Rory McIlroy, the No. 2 golfer in the world. After switching gear to start the season, Rory struggled to get going, and after a second place finish at the Valero Texas Open it seemed that things would start turning for the better, but that wasn't the case.

    Rory struggled at the Masters, finished T-57 at the Memorial and was never in the equation at the US Open. His play across the pond hasn't been much better, missing the cut at the BMW PGA Championship in late May and again missing the cut last week at the Irish Open.

    What's the deal

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