FRIDAY  | JULY 20, 2018
by Alex Miceli

By any measure, Carnoustie is a brute. It has a reputation of breaking the hearts of competitors who walk its fairways and punish those who can’t control their golf balls. Bunkers and burns are the defense of the most difficult course in the R&A’s rotation for the British Open.

But somehow, we thought that "Carnasty," as the east-coast links course is nicknamed, was going to lay down and let the pros with their hot equipment and athletic physiques overpower it. That was not the case during Thursday’s first round of the 147th Open. Carnoustie took some hits from the likes of Kevin Kisner, who made an eagle and four birdies to shoot 5-under 66 and take the lead. American Tony Finau shared second with South Africans Erik Van Rooyen and Zander Lombard at 67 (scores).


by John Hawkins

Waking up at 3 a.m. to watch a golf tournament might seem disturbing to some, but the British Open always has required a bit of extra effort, especially those held at Carnoustie. I’ve played the famed links course a couple of times and was on hand to cover Opens held there in 1999 and 2007, but Thursday morning’s telecast revealed something I’d never seen in all my trips to the old Scottish ballyard.

Sunshine. It was as if somebody flipped a switch and lit up the grounds, which made Carnoustie look much less menacing, at least until Ernie Els striped a 6-iron down the center of the first fairway and watched it roll 40 extra yards into the right bunker. Better safe than …?


by Alex Miceli

Jhonattan Vegas lives in Texas and has played on the PGA Tour since 2011, but as a Venezuelan national, he is required to have a visa to visit the United Kingdom.

It’s not that he was unaware of this fact. He read the dates wrong on the visa – in the U.K., dates typically are written in the order of date, month and year compared with the U.S., which lists them as month, date and year. Vegas didn’t realize that his visa had expired until last Thursday, when he was in New York and preparing to fly to Scotland.


by Jeff Babineau

Sandy Lyle was a revered presence at this week’s British Open at Carnoustie Golf Links. A Scotsman competing in Scotland in what most likely will be his final Open, Lyle, 60, was the recipient of a warm gesture by the R&A: Tournament organizers asked him if he’d like to strike the opening tee shot. At 6:30 a.m. Thursday, he obliged. The 147th Open (and Lyle's 43rd) was off and running.

Brits who turn out to the Open in droves and watch at home on their tellies will forever remember Lyle hoisting the champion’s Claret Jug in 1985, at Royal St. George’s in southern England. That’s the snapshot that lives on through history when one joins that special club as an Open champion. Frenchman Jean Van de Velde could have, and should have, mugged for one of those happy, career-defining photos, too. 


R&A: Righteous & Arrogant
So now the revered R&A has decided the golf ball goes too far (“R&A follows driver tests with a shrug,” July 19)Let's restrict drivers! Let's restrict the ball! I say let's restrict their condescending attitude toward those of us who play for recreation and fun.

Tournament golf is so different from recreational golf that it is silly to insist on a single set of rules. We pick and choose among them, anyway, and we hope there are no blue blazers hiding in the deep grass to assess penalty strokes.



Number of putts that American Kevin Kisner needed in shooting 5-under 66 for the first-round lead in the 147th British Open at Carnoustie (Scotland) Golf Links. In 14 previous major championships, Kisner, 34, owns one top-10 finish, a tie for seventh in last year’s PGA. He holds a one-stroke lead over countryman Tony Finau and South Africans Erik Van Rooyen and Zander Lombard. Tiger Woods shot 71, and defending champion Jordan Spieth posted a 72 (scores).



Ping has introduced its autumn/winter line of apparel for men and women, the company announced. The clothing and apparel are available in select golf shops.


July 16-21
Junior girls: U.S. Girls’ Junior

Poppy Hills GC, Pebble Beach, Calif.

Junior boys: U.S. Junior Amateur

Baltusrol GC, Springfield, N.J.

July 18-21
Men’s amateur: Southern Amateur

The Club at Olde Stone, Bowling Green, Ky.

Men’s amateur: Porter Cup

Niagara Falls (N.Y.) CC

July 19-22 Tour: Pinnacle Bank Championship

The Club at Indian Creek, Omaha, Neb.

PGA/European tours: British Open

Carnoustie (Scotland) GL

Symetra Tour: Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic

Brook Lea CC, Rochester, N.Y.

PGA Tour: Barbasol Championship

Keene Trace GC, Nicholasville, Ky.

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