Just for fun, I’m live blogging the 2007 Open Championship. The most recent posts are at the bottom.
9:18 – Sergio Garcia and Steve Stricker are approaching the first tee. Sergio is wearing a relatively conservative (for him) lime green shirt and white pants.
9:20 – Stricker’s first shot is a fairway wood. He’s going to try to leave it short of the bunkers. He’s wild left next to a pile of gorse. Garcia has an iron. It’s right down the middle of the fairway.
9:25: Sergio with 179 to the pin. He regrips four times. He’s really cut down on that. His shot is on the left side of the green. No birdie chance there. Stricker is trying to figure out his line. His lie is ok, but he has to clear a bush and a television tower. He takes a drop because the tower is in his line. Now he has a straight shot in. The bush is not even in play. His shot is on the green, inside Sergio’s
Ernie after a two birdies on the first three holes is now five under—four back. Tiger is not playing well by his standards.
9:31: Sergio with a long putt. He gets it within a couple of inches, short. Short is not a good sign. Under pressure, players tend to get cautious and leaving putts short is typical. Stricker misses right. Both putt out for par. Dimarco gets a birdie putt and moves one closer, five behind Garcia.
9:35: At the second, Stricker gets it in the fairway with a three wood. Garcia has a driver in his hand. It’s headed left, carrying the bunker and into the rough. You can see the ball, so its not that bad. Elsewhere, Richard Green has made an eagle putt and is now five under par.
9:41: Sticker’s second heads left and gets a members bounce off the rough back onto the green. Garcia has a tougher shot. It’s not a good lie. He powers it out and finds the green— along way from the hole. He’s going to have to make sure that his first putt gets to the hole.
Richard Green is seven under for the day. Wow. The rains surely have softened it all up, making a high flyers game possible.
9:47: Sergio’s putt is very long, and he misses right and a little long. It’s a good putt. He’s not being tentative. Stricker misses his long and left. He’ll tap out for par. Sergio pars the hole.
9:50 Stricker with fairway wood off the third. A good shot. Sergio with an iron also has a good placement. He outdrives Stricker.
We just got the first Tiger update I’ve seen since Garcia and Stricker teed off. Hopefully we won’t see much more of him. He’s seven shots off the lead and has no real chance.
9:54: Stricker’s second is in birdie distance. So is Garcia’s .
9:59: Garcia’s putt looks like its going to miss, but it drops in with a last second turn to the right. Stricker has to make it to stay within three. His putt hits inside the cup and then heads out. Now he’s four back. Garcia is at ten under. It’s his to lose.
10:06: At four, Stricker second puts an eight iron within a couple of feet. Garcia’s second is a long way from the hole. Stricker may get the shot back.
Back to Green, who is seven under for the day. Then Els, who is five back. His pitch is close enough. Tiger is eight back and misses a long birdie attempt. Green apparently got into the field when Woody Austin opted not to play. Green birdies and goes to eight under for the day. He’s on pace for the lowest round in a major.
Garcia misses his birdie putt and taps in. Stricker can get a shot back here with a one footer. It’s in.
Given the low rounds ahead of Garcia and Stricker, I think they have a chance to have a really good round.
10:11 Stricker at five hits has a good tee shot. Garcia hits a wood and his ball is left on the very edge of a bunker wall. The ball will be two feet above his feet.
Sergio takes the safe shot and pitches back onto the fairway. The announcers (and The GolfBlogger) are questioning his club choice. Why take a shot that brings the bunkers into play.
Sergio again. His shot to the green stays on the top shelf, where the flag is.
Meanwhile, Green’s second at the 18th is well short of the burn.
10:20 Stricker has 148 to the pin. He’s disappointed with the results immediately. He’s in the bunker short and left of the hole. It looks very wet in there.
Green is taking is third shot at the 18th. It looks good at first, but then backs up. It’ll be a relatively hard putt. If he pars, he’ll have a tie for lowest round in a major. Green’s putt just misses. Disappointing.
Stricker’s ball isn’t to bad. He gets it out and up on the hill behind the hole. It rolls around and to the right of the hole. Sergio’s par putt misses. Bogey. Stricker has a long putt for par. He misses also.
Looking at the leaderboard, Els is creeping back into contention. Keep an eye on him. Is there a playoff in the offing?
10:26 At the par five sixth, Stricker’s tee shot is in the fairway, just short of a bunker. Garcia has a driver and is going to try to carry the bunkers. Does he intend to reach the green in two? The ball is in the fairway.
Stricker’s second carries around the curve and is on the right. Garcia has a fairway wood and apparently is going of the green. His shot is right of the green.
Els as just missed a long birdie putt.
Garcia ha a lob to the green. The face of his club is wide open. It’s a very good shot, perhaps three feet from the hole. Stricker’s third was from the fairway and within a yard of the hole. Both have a birdie chance.
Hunter Mahan has finished with a 65.
10:40 Garcia has missed his birdie putt. He’s still away. He pars out. So does Stricker.
10:44 Stricker on the seventh finds the fairway again. Garcia finds the rough. His second goes through the green. Stricker is not happy with his shot immediately. Its on the green, but way right.
Garcia’s long putt for birdie doesn’t leave him close. Stricker will have a chance at par. Sergio misses and takes a bogie. Stricker pars.
Meanwhile Andreas Romero has climbed to within 2.
10:58 On the eighth, Stricker hits it long. Garcia’s shot is headed right and misses the green completely.
Harrington gets in with a birdie putt and is now two off the lead. Its turning into a wild one.
11:02 Stricker putts instead of chips and gets it close. Sergio’s chip is not long enough.
Elsewhere, Romero has put a fairway shot into the deep rough.
Sergio misses a medium length putt. He’s going to take a bogey. Stricker is putting for par. He’s in and is now one behind.
The pressure is clearly getting to Garcia.
Romero can’t find his ball in the gorse. Garcia may have gotten a break. This will break up his run at the top.
11:07 – Its a real horse race. Garcia, Els, Stricker, Romero and Harrington all are in it. The problem with holding a lead on this day is that so many are going low. Amazingly, though, none of the guys going low is named Tiger Woods.
11:08 Garcia’s tee shot at the ninth goes right, but gets a good bounce. Stricker is in the fairway.
Meanwhile, Els shot from the fairway gives him an outside chance at birdie. Romero’s ball has been declared unplayable. And Tiger has just missed a par putt.
Sergio and Stricker both get it in good position for a putt.
Harrington pars a long putt to stay in contention. Els has a long birdie putt to get to 7 under. He just misses.
11:20 Garcia on the tenth. He’s got to get it together. A massive drive and right down the middle. Stricker also desperately needs a good tee shot. He doesn’t get it. He’s left into the deep rough. He may be falling out of this one. Els is still there, as is Harrington.
Harrington makes a birdie putt and gets a share of the lead with Garcia at seven under.
Stricker pitches out. Garcia is all over the pin. He’s going to get a birdie here.
Romero makes a birdie putt and gets within one. Els shot at the green is short and right in the rough.
Garcia misses a very makable putt. He stays tied for first. Earlier, Stricker made a putt and got one back.
Harrington on 12 is just off the fairway. Momentum is with him. I still like Els, though. He’s been there before.
11:38: Garcia is fighting back. His shot at the green leaves him with a birdie chance.
Interestingly, Garcia speaks English on the golf course.
Garcia misses a long birdie putt. He’s going to tap in for par and maintain his share of the lead.
Els gets in the hole and is six under. Romero has joined Garcia and Harrington at seven under.
Richard Green may actually have a chance to get in this one. Sitting in the clubhouse, he’s now only two behind. That’s got to be a surreal feeling.
11:44 Harrington on the 12th has an opportunity to seize control. His putt hits the hole and lips out. It was a long shot, at best.
Els is deep in a bunker on 13. He pitches out beautifully and has about twelve feet. Tiger is trying to get to three under with a birdie on 18. He lips out and may miss a top ten finish. The look on his face is priceless. He’s pouting.
Garcia back on the twelfth tee. He finds the fairway, but gets no roll. The wet ground comes into play here.
Romero has just birdied and taken the lead. It could be a very big year for Argentina.
Harrington just misses a birdie putt, but again, it was really too far for him to have a chance.
11:55 Els at 14 gets on the green in two. He’s got a birdie chance.
Sergio had better get it together, or he’s going to be labeled as a choker.
On the par 3 16th, Romero has found the green. He’s looking for his fourth birdie in a row. He makes a long, unbelievable putt and goes to nine under.
12:01 – Romero at 17 with an iron finds the rough. The last two holes are playing toughest. It’s not a good sign.
Meanwhile, Garcia takes a stab at a birdie putt and misses. He’s not making up any ground. Els is putting for Eagle at 14, and misses.
12:02 – Garcia on the tee at 13. It’s 182 yards in. The ball checks up and he has a chance at birdie. Not a good one … but a chance.
The tv has abandoned coverage fo Stricker
Els on the tee at 15 hits the nasty rough.
Romero is deep in the rough. He could lose the Open here. His shot ricochets off the side fo the burn. There’s some confusion over where it is. Its out of bounds. He’s got to drop back in the rough and try again.
Garcia tries a birdie putt. I can make this one. He does, too. He’s going to get at least a shot back.
Romero takes another shot. It skips right up to the green. There’s still a long putt to be made.
Harrington at 15 takes his second at the par 5. he hits left of the green and gets a members bounce back on. Harrington makes a long putt and surges to the top of the leaderboard.
Romero’s long putt is short. He finishes a short putt and falls to seven under.
Garcia is at -8, Harrington at -9.
12:14 – Garcia on the tee at 14 with an iron. He hits fairway. Interesting club choice for a par 5. Will he try to make it in two? I doubt it. Maybe he plays for a wedge on the third and getting it close.
I wonder about strategy here. When you’re within one and in the final group, do you play it safe and wait for the guy ahead to falter, knowing that you have an extra hole or two to make it up? Garcia also has to know that the 17th and 18th can bring a player back to the crowd, as with Romero.
Harrington ont he 15th. His driver finds fairway. Romero on 18 just misses a couple of bunkers and runs in the fairway.
Garcia with his second has 250 yards. He’s hitting iron and is on the green. It runs to the back of the green. Unbelievable.
Harrington from the fairway is taking an iron at the 15th green. He’s on, but a ways from the hole.
Romero’s second at 18 is pulled badly. He’s off the green, but should be able to putt it up. Putt before you chip. Chip before you pitch. Pitch before you lob.
Sergio has a medium putt for birdie to get to nine under. He makes it and is back atop the leaderboard.
One hole ahead, Harrington pars and stays at nine under with Padraig.
Harrington on the 16th tee. Looks like a fairway wood. He lands about six feet from the hole.
Garcia on the 15th hits it a bit fat. He finds fairway, but it’s short.
Romero takes a bogey on the last finishes at -6. He replaces Green as the clubhouse leader. As predicted, 17 cost him the title.
Harrington with a putt for birdie at 16 and the lead. He misses by an inch. That could cost him the tournament. With seventeen and eighteen coming up, he may have needed a cushion.
Harrington on 17 takes a hybrid down the right side. These last two holes is where the 2007 Open Championship will be won or lost.
Garcia’s second falls short and rolls back down into a depression. He gets into position for a par putt. He has to make it and misses horribly. That leaves Harrington in first all alone.
Meanwhile, Harrington has his second at 212 yard. He gets on the green and likely will make par from there. The tv announcers reported that he hit a seven iron. From 212. Unbelievable.
12:48 – Garcia has got to hit the green here on sixteen. He doesn’t.
Harrington’s long putt at 17 is wide.
Garcia has to putt up a hill to the green. Its desperation time here. He’s up and very close. He should be able to salvage a par.
On 18, Harrington hits the bridge over the burn. For a moment it look as if its going to skip right across, but at the last moment it hops sideways into the burn. That’s it. There’s the break Garcia needs.
Garcia on 17 has an iron. He has to find the fairway. He does.
Like Van de Velde, if Harrington doesn’t make this shot, people are always going to question why he hit driver. Why would anyone hit a shot that could possibly go into that burn. When these guys are hitting seven irons two hundred yards, there’s no reason to hit a driver.
Harrington is trying to decide how to proceed.
Garcia from the fairway is taking an iron into the green. He finds it and is long. That’s going to be a par. It is.
Harrington just hit right back into the burn. His fifth shot finds the green.
Somewhere, Van de Velde is smiling.
Harrington barely puts it out.
Garcia is in first place by a shot.
Garcia on 18. If he has a driver, I’ll scream. Thank heavens. Its a long iron. he finds the middle off the fairway. No chance of hitting the burn.
Sergio has a very long shot to the green. He’s got to avoid the out of bounds close to the green.
They just showed a shot of the engraver working on the cup. Contrary to rumor, I’ve read that at this point, he is NOT engraving a name. He’s working on a date.
1:22 Garcia’s long shot at the green finds a bunker. At least its not OOB.
He’s quite a ways from the flag.
A playoff still could be in the offing. Harrington should start warming up.
Garcia easily gets up and over the steep walls of the bunker. He’s got about six feet to the hole. He can make this and avoid a playoff.
Stricker will putt first. He’s wide left. He’ll putt out to make way for Garcia. He’s in. Now its all up to Garcia.
Garcia can win it right here. He misses, but just barely. He now has to make this for a playoff. He’s got to feel horrible.
It’s a playoff: Four holes: 1, 16, 17, 18; In the Open Championship, playoffs are stroke play. So it’ll be the best score over those four holes.
Garcia’s tee shot on the first is in the light rough left. His second finds a bunker. Harrington from the fairway is six feet from the tee.
Garcia makes a heckuva shot from the trap. He misses the putt and makes a bogey five. Harrington has a putt for birdie. He makes it. He’s 2 up over Garcia.
On to hole sixteen.
Garcia’s shot ricochets off the pin. Harrington is just off.
Harrington has a very long putt here. He gets it very close. Garcia really need to get a birdie here, but its so long I don’t see how. He’s tentative and it doesn’t go in. Harrington pars. So does Garcia.
Harrington is still 2 up.
Harrington’s tee shot is in the fairway. Garcia is just beyond Harrington, also in the fairway. Harrington’s second is in putting distance. Sergio is in trouble. He’s run out of holes.
Garcia’s shot is a good one, but it’s too far for a birdie.
If he misses this birdie putt, it’s over. Its close, but its over.
Harrington also misses. Garcia now has to make up two shots on the final hole. His only hope is that Harrington goes all Van de Velde on the final hole again.
If I’m Harrington, I lay up off the tee and take a hybrid (he has them into the bag) into the green.
Harrington finds the fairway. Garcia goes left into the long grass. Azinger says that he has a perfect lie and perfect angle. He’s not going to make up two shots, though unless Harrington screws up.
Harrington’s second is well short of the burn. He’s taking no chances. Sergio is examining his lie closely. Sergio reaches the green in two. He’s a long way from the hole, though.
Harrington’s shot to the green is outside Garcia’s and then rolls away. Garcia actually has a chance.
If Harrington three putts … He won’t. The first gets there and slides six feet past.
Garcia could probably throw up right now. He’s a long way and needs a birdie. It’s probably 30 feet. Its on line and just misses.
He now has a four footer for par. He has to make this. He does. Now Harrington just has to make make his next.
He makes it and wins the Open.