• Record comeback gives Lawrie title

  • Sunday, Jul. 18
    Sunday notebook: No charge by Woods

    ESPN Golf Online news services

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland -- Tiger Woods hit his driver about a half dozen times in the British Open and went for 35 holes without a birdie.

    Need any more reasons why he has now gone 10 majors without winning one.

    Quote of the day: "There are worse things in life. You know, I read the newspaper like you all did this morning and some terrible things are happening to other people. And, as I say, it is a golf tournament, it is a game and I gave it my best shot. Next time, I hit a wedge, OK, and you all forgive me?" -- Jean Van de Velde, when asked how devastating his loss was in the British Open.

    Shot of the day: Paul Lawrie's 4-iron second shot at the 17th hole during the playoff. Tied with Justin Leonard at the time, the birdie gave him a one-shot lead going to the 18th, where he made another birdie to win.

    Shock of the day: Van de Velde's butchering of the 18th hole in regulation. With a three-shot lead, all he needed to do was make a double-bogey 6 to win. But Van de Velde was all over the hole, hitting a grandstand, chunking a shot into the water, barely able to make the triple-bogey 7 necessary to get in the playoff.

    Don't forget about: Tiger Woods. Although he played poorly on the weekend, managing just one birdie in 36 holes, he managed to stay in contention until the last few holes, earning his second consecutive top-10 finish in a major championship. Woods gets another run at winning his second major in three weeks at the PGA Championship at Medinah.

    "Unfortunately, for the week the driver was taken out of our hands, and that's probably the way they wanted to set it up," Woods said.

    He finished with a 3-over 74 and for a total of 10-over 294, four strokes short of reaching the playoff. He had six birdies, 12 bogeys and two double bogeys.

    Woods played this course in the Scottish Open in 1995 and 1996, but that was when the rough was ankle-high instead of knee-deep.

    "In the Scottish Open, we hit driver off No. 5 (411 yards)," he said. "This week you had to hit 6 or 7 irons to keep it short and in play."

    Like almost everyone else, Woods was critical of how the Royal and Ancient set up the course, with wheat field rough and narrow fairways. Still, he's ready to return.

    "I think that if they're going to make the rough this high, go ahead and give us some room to hit. ... We are fine with 20-yard fairways, but then don't have the rough so high. But if you want to have it knee-high, then give us some room, give us a chance to play."

    "I'd still love to play here again," he added. "I think this is the hardest on the rotation. It's also definitely the fairest because there's only one blind tee shot and that's on 14. On most links you don't see everything."

    Quiet times
    This may be remembered as the quietest British Open in history.

    There were few birdies to applaud with only 18 players breaking par in the four rounds. Until the astonishing playoff, the gallery on the 18th Sunday sat in long stretches of dead silence, broken only by polite applause -- the kind given when two-time champion Greg Norman finished his round with a 72 to finish three strokes out of the playoff.

    "We like to hear roars for birdies and eagles," Norman said. "At places like Augusta, it really spurs you on."

    Like Woods, Norman was not pleased with the set up.

    "I think they (R and A) got it a little wrong," he said. "The narrowest of the fairways became even more narrow with the height of the rough."

    "But I think when they sit back and analyze the way they set it up, having the fairways 11 to 12 yards wide in layup areas, and 15 yards where we get to hit drivers on 480 yards holes, it becomes a little much when you're playing with 30 mph winds."

    Getting it wrong
    Jean Van de Velde wanted relief from the rough on the 11th hole in the third round so he wouldn't kill the cameraman. It was granted -- by mistake.

    The Royal and Ancient said Sunday a rules official erred by allowing the Frenchman to take a drop from the rough because the immovable object -- a television crane -- was not between Van de Velde's ball and the hole.

    His lie was so bad that Van de Velde had no choice but to play back to the fairway, which is where the crane came into play.

    "It is regrettable that the ruling on the 11th hole was incorrect," said David Rickman, rules secretary for the R and A. "In the circumstances, the player's request was reasonable and understandable. But, in accordance with the local rule, relief should not have been granted."

    The ruling was similar to what happened to Larry Nelson in the 1989 U.S. Open at Oak Hill. Nelson's ball stopped directly in front of a tree. When he tried to play back into the fairway, he found an immovable television stand in front of him -- but was denied relief because it was not in the line of the flag.


  • Nick Faldo's chances of making the Ryder Cup team must be nearly zero after he missed his first British Open cut in 24 tries. Faldo, who turned 42 on Sunday and has won more Ryder points than any player in history, is so low on the Ryder standings that he must rely on a wild-card pick from captain Mark James. James seems more likely to pick Jesper Parnevik and Bernhard Langer. Other possibilities are Thomas Bjorn, Patrick Sjoland and Per-Ulrik Johansson.

  • The highest post-war winning scores at the British Open are Fred Daly, 1947 (293); Sam Snead, 1946 (290); Gary Player, 1968 (289); Bobby Locke, 1952 (287); Peter Thomson, 1958 (286). Player's round came at Carnoustie.

  • Phil Mickelson on playing Carnoustie and missing the cut: "I wish I hadn't come here. I would rather be at home with my wife and baby. ... I don't think there is an individual in the R and A who would break 100 around here."

  • Several players have taken to calling the course "Car-nasty."

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