Category: U.S. Open

October 24, 2013

Mickelson to scale back schedule to prep for U.S. Open

Posted at 12:20 PM by Coleman McDowell
Mickelson walks off the second green during the final round of the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)


Phil Mickelson is tailoring his 2013-14 PGA Tour schedule for a run at completing the career Grand Slam with a victory at the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.

Speaking before the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, Mickelson reiterated fans might be seeing less of him in 2014. 

"There's no hiding the fact that winning the U.S. Open would be my career goal of completing the career Grand Slam, and that's the final leg that I have.  I'll be putting most of my focus into winning the U.S. Open, but I'm not going to skip the Masters and the importance that that event has because every green jacket is meaningful to me, as much as I love that tournament."

The five-time major champ played 22 events in '13 and tied for 54th at the Masters, claimed second-place at the U.S. Open, won the British Open and tied for 72nd at the PGA Championship.

"I'm not sure exactly how the schedule is going to play out this next year. I want to give myself opportunities to play and compete in the big tournaments, mainly saying the majors, and I'm putting less importance on other events.  So my whole purpose and focus will be gearing up, participating in certain tournaments that will help me play well in those majors."

Steve Stricker, who is only three years older than Mickelson, used a similiar strategy in 2013 and cut his event total down to 13 from 19. His first career major didn't come as a result, but Stricker finished the year with eight top-10 finishes and the lowest adjusted scoring average on tour.

"So a tournament that is taking place two months prior or after a major championship that has no impact on my ability to perform well in a major, those are tournaments that I won't put as much importance on. I know that I'm going to start cutting a certain percentage of events next year, and I'm not sure which ones those will be."

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September 04, 2013

Johnny Miller: ‘Sad’ to see NBC lose U.S. Open coverage to Fox

Posted at 5:56 PM by Scooby Axson


The lead analyst for NBC's U.S. Open coverage, Johnny Miller, said Wednesday he wished Fox Sports the best but was sad that NBC Sports won't be airing the tournament after next year. 

Fox Sports and the USGA agreed on a 12-year deal last month that awarded the rights to Fox to televise the tournament until 2026. NBC had aired the final rounds of the Open since 1995.

"The U.S. Open was always my championship. It’s what I was groomed to do, to play," Miller said during a teleconference on Wednesday. "I just always got up for the Open and loved it. You know, I’ll still love it. I just won’t be covering it."

Last month, Miller told the AP that saying that Fox "can't just fall out of a tree and do the U.S. Open."

Wednesday, he said he hopes the network does a good job with their coverage.

"It’s something that’s pretty sad for me," he said. "All of us at ... Golf channel, but especially NBC ... put their heart and soul into it," Miler said. "That was the focal point of everything we did and I just hope that Fox does ... I absolutely wish them absolutely the best. It’s such a great championship."

Miller also had a few thoughts on how he would rank the major tournaments and the FedExCup Championship in terms of importance. Miller won the U.S. Open in 1973 and the British Open in 1976, but never won the PGA or the Masters.

"As a player if I had a choice between the British Open/Open, or the U.S. Open or the Masters, it's about a dead time now to me. You know, the PGA is obviously a really good tournament, too...They are all about the three best flavors of Baskin Robbins; pretty hard to argue which one is better."

(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

August 15, 2013

Fox Sports plans on innovating U.S. Open broadcasts

Posted at 10:17 AM by Scooby Axson

When Fox Sports takes over the broadcasting for the U.S. Open in 2015, fans can expect something different when the tournament makes it way to Chambers Bay outside of Seattle.

Fox is expecting a lot as well, spending $1 billion to broadcast the tournament over 12 years.

What changes you will see on your television, no one knows just yet, but Fox brass are betting that fans will stay entertained. Look for more cameras on and around the golf and some technical innovation.

Viewers can expect "the Fox attitude, energy, enthusiasm and toughness," Eric Shanks, co-president of the Fox Sports Media Group told The Hollywood Reporter. "We'll work hand in hand with the USGA to tell the stories through technology and interesting on-air personalities."

Fox is known for doing things outside of the box, including its expanded score box in baseball and its fluorescent puck in hockey.

"Can we do things that maybe haven't been done before," adds Shanks, "things fans can appreciate that bring the sport into their living rooms in a way that is a bit more compelling?"

One question fans might have: Will the Fox mascot, Cleatus, make an appearance at the U.S. Open?

"We haven't spoken to Cleatus' agent or any of the other robots' agents," jokes Shanks, "about their ability to swing a golf club."

(Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

August 11, 2013

Greg Norman says Fox offered him U.S. Open analyst gig

Posted at 10:42 AM by Mike Walker

Greg_300Sorry, Discovery Channel, but "Shark Week" might soon refer to the U.S. Open.

According to Tim Rosaforte of Golf World/Golf Digest, Greg Norman says Fox Sports has offered him the lead analyst position when Fox takes over the U.S. Open broadcast in 2015 as part of a 12-year deal worth a reported $100 million a year. Johnny Miller, the acerbic voice of NBC Sports' U.S. Open coverage, has said he is unlikely to move to Fox for the broadcast. Here's Norman:

"David Hill has reached out to me, we have spoken and yes, they have offered me the job," Norman confirmed in an email sent from his home in Florida. "I am flattered to have been asked and I look forward to having discussions with my good friend (Hill) in the very near future."

Hill, senior vice president for News Corp., ran Fox Sports Media Group before moving over recently to manage "American Idol" and the "X Factor" for the network.

Photo: Greg Norman at Wimbledon in July (Getty Images).

June 19, 2013

Video: Watch Justin Rose on 'Letterman' and 'Morning Joe'

Posted at 9:39 AM by Mike Walker

U.S. Open champion Justin Rose took a victory lap in New York City on Monday, appearing on CBS' "The Late Show With David Letterman" and MSNBC's "Morning Joe." He also made a visit to the New York Stock Exchange.

Rose on "Letterman":

Rose on "Morning Joe":

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

June 18, 2013

NBC's Sunday television rating down more than 7 percent from 2012

Posted at 1:56 PM by

Phil Mickelson's quest for his first U.S. Open title was the Sunday story golf fans had their eyes on, but it turned there were fewer eyes than last year when the Open was played on the West Coast and finished during prime time on East Coast markets.

NBC and Golf Channel announced the ratings from Sunday's broadcast, and the final tally is a 7.5 percent drop from the 6.6 rating on Sunday in 2012, when Webb Simpson emerged as the winner on a hazy day at Olympic Golf Club outside San Francisco. The 2013 numbers were still strong for an East Coast venue. Here's the statement:

Golf Channel on NBC's Final Round coverage of the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club scored a best overnight (6.1) for an East Coast U.S. Open since 2007 at Oakmont Country Club (7.0).

Coverage peaked in the metered-market overnights at a 9.4 US Household Overnight Rating from 7-7:30 PM EST.

Golf Channel on NBC's Final Round coverage was up 20% from Rory McIlroy's win in 2011 at Congressional Country Club (5.1), which was the last East Coast U.S. Open.

June 17, 2013

Rory McIlroy punishes wedge for poor shot at Merion

Posted at 10:33 AM by Mike Walker

Rory McIlroy has a tough week at the U.S. Open, and his wedge paid the price.

McIlroy, the 2011 U.S. Open champion, has been in a slump for much of the season. En route to a 14-over finish for the tournament Sunday, McIlroy lost his second shot into the creek that protects the 11th green at Merion Golf Club. After the water ball, McIlroy's psyche wasn't the only thing bent out of shape.


June 16, 2013

U.S. Open 2013 Live Blog: Round 4

Posted at 2:39 PM by is live blogging the final round of the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion.

Mobile users can follow along here:

June 15, 2013

Sergio Garcia makes a 10, still getting heckled at Merion

Posted at 4:29 PM by Jeff Ritter

ARDMORE, Pa. -- In case you haven't noticed, Sergio Garcia isn't having a swell week here at Merion.

Garcia has apologized in press conferences, and he's left Tiger Woods a note and shaken his hand, but fans are not yet ready to let the Spaniard live down the offensive fried-chicken remark he directed at Woods at a dinner on May 21. On Saturday afternoon, the 33-year-old was heckled with "fried chicken" on his opening tee shot at the par-4 11th. You can see that one here:

He took the catcall in stride and plodded along, making a couple of bogeys in his first four holes, when disaster struck at the par-4 15th. That hole is tricky -- there's out-of-bounds just left of the fairway, along with a narrow path for spectators to line up along the ropes and get a good long look at the players. Garcia made a quadruple-bogey 8 there on Thursday. On Saturday, he snapped three straight tee shots O.B. and made a big, ugly 10.

This week the fans haven't been quite as rough as those who attended the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, when Garcia was fighting a bad case of the waggles and the crowd let him have it. I caught up with the member of the local police force who's tagging along with Garcia inside the ropes this week. It was reported Thursday that Garcia was given the chance to have hecklers ejected from the course, but Garcia declined. On Saturday afternoon, after the latest chicken-insult and the 10 that brought some more grief, I found the officer and asked if any fans had been booted for taunting Sergio. "No," he said flatly. It was a nice talk.

Things didn't get much easier for Garcia. After the 10, he appeared to mope for a bit, but two holes later he was smiling and chatting with his playing partners, Rickie Fowler and Robert Karlsson. On Merion's famed 18th hole, the one with Ben Hogan's plaque in the center of the fairway, fans can line the ropes from tee to green, and there's a big, bright concession stand just a few steps away. This week they're selling Budweiser for $6.50. (For the refined fan, there's Beringer wine for one extra dollar.) As Sergio trudged up the fairway, one fan clutching a cup of beer hollered, "Sergio! Como estas?" A few moments later, another cracked, "Sergio! You're nothing!" That guy had a beer in his hand, too. Sergio didn't break stride.

As Garcia lined up a long birdie putt on the 18th green, just a short chip shot away Phil Mickelson teed off on No. 1 in front a boisterous crowd that roared its adoration and support. Garcia glanced in Mickelson's direction before missing his putt. The throng of happy Mickelson fans were out of earshot by the time Garcia tapped in for par, dropped his head and marched on to his next shot.

Zach Johnson says USGA ‘manipulated’ Merion

Posted at 1:21 PM by Mike Walker

Zach_merionZach Johnson during a practice round at Merion on Wednesday (Getty Images).

After shooting 11-over in the first two rounds of the U.S. Open and missing the cut, Zach Johnson told the Golf Channel that the USGA’s Merion set-up was unfair.

The accurate, smooth-putting Zach Johnson was a popular dark horse at the U.S. Open at cozy Merion this week, but went home Saturday after shooting 77. His playing partners Graeme McDowell (13-over) and Jim Furyk (16-over) -- two other Open favorites – missed the cut as well.

“I would describe the whole golf course as manipulated,” Johnson told the Golf Channel. And there’s no question who’s to blame, he added. “It just enhances my disdain for the USGA and how it manipulates golf courses,” he said.

But Merion members should not take offense. Johnson said he still loves the course. “I think Merion is a great golf course, if you let Merion be, but that is not the agenda.”


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