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The final round of the 2012 British Open chewed up and spit out many of the PGA's brightest stars on Sunday. Tiger Woods shot a +3, Brandt Snedeker shot a +4 and Graeme McDowell shot a +5 on Sunday, all losing their chance to win the third major title of the year.
Of course, the biggest fall of grace was the tourney's leader coming into Sunday, as his +5 over in the final round opened the door for someone else to hoist that Claret jug. That somebody was Ernie Els.
Ernie Els holds the Claret Jug for the 2nd time— Paul Azinger (@PaulAzinger) July 22, 2012
Els won his second British Open on Sunday, as his final round score of -2 gave him a four-round score of -7 gave Els the victory. Scott's collapse will be a tough one to shake, but Els strong play will be remembered just as strongly.
The final round of the 2012 British Open gets underway very early Sunday morning at 2:30 a.m. ET, but the television and online coverage does not get started until 6 a.m. ET when ESPN begins their all out coverage on television with ESPN and also online at ESPN3.
ESPN3 has multiple viewing options starting with the same coverage that is shown on ESPN. ESPN3 also has a channel feed dedicate to hole Nos. 9, 10 and 11, as well as hole Nos. 1 and 18 and there is a Spanish language feed as another option. This same coverage can also be seen via WatchESPN on one's mobile or tablet device.
In addition to all of the ESPN coverage there is even more British Open on their website at TheOpen.com which has the same feed as ESPN3, but one main difference is a different broadcasting crew with Dominik Holyer and Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes calling the coverage.
TheOpen.com also has hourly updates, video of players press conferences as well as the ESPN Radio broadcast coverage. That same content is available through their Android, iPhone and iPad app and can be watched on one's phone or tablet device.
The leaders do not get underway until 9:30 a.m. ET when Adam Scott and Graeme McDowell take to their first tee.
The third round of the 2012 British Open Championship is completed and Australian Adam Scott is once again atop the leaderboard. Scott shot a 3-under round of 68 which included three birdies with back-to-back on the seventh and eighth holes. He did have on bogey on the 13th hole which is a par four.
Scott's leads is four strokes and he is looking to be on his way to winning his first ever Major championship; his closest coming to win a Major came when he finished in a tie for second place at the 2011 Masters. Brandt Snedeker and Graeme McDowell are lurking behind Scott in second place and are four strokes back. In fourth place is Tiger Woods who is five strokes back.
Former Georgia Bulldog Bubba Watson rebounded from a very poor second round by shooting a 2-under par 68 for his third round, and that shot him back up to a tie for 10th place. Watson is still nine strokes back of Scott, and could have been even closer if not for two bogies and a double-bogie during Saturday's round.
The leaders are teeing off on Saturday at the 2012 British Open, and it hasn't been the start that Tiger Woods was hoping for. Woods bogeyed twice in his first four holes, putting him at 2-over on the day so far and dropping him into a tie for fifth place.
A strong outing for Zach Johnson has rocketed him into a tie for third place, with the American shooting 4-under through 13 holes to jump 12 spots. He stands at 5-under on the tournament.
Bubba Watson looked like he might be making a move to challenge the leaders earlier in the day, but a double bogey on the 15th put him behind, and he wasn't able to make up ground on the final three holes. He finished in a tie for 12th, shooting 2-under on the day for a tournament total of 2-under.
For a total look at the leaderboard, please click here.
The third round of the 2012 British Open has an early start once again for those of us in the United States as the first set of golfers tee off at 3:20 a.m. ET time. The television coverage on ESPN begins at 7 a.m. ET, but their online coverage on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app begin at 5 a.m. ET.
ESPN's online coverage not only begins earlier, it has a dedicated feed for the holes No. 9, 10, 11 and there is an exclusive spanish-language feed as well.
Then there is alternate online coverage at TheOpen.com which begins at 5 a.m. ET as well, but there is a different set of commentators if you want a different style in Dominik Holyer and Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes. Plus, they also have an Android and iTunes app for phones and tablets so that golfing enthusiasts never miss any coverage. There is also press conference coverage, hourly updates and radio coverage too.
The first two rounds of the 2012 British Open are in the books with American Brandt Snedeker in the lead after shooting a 64 on Friday to put him at 10-under par for the tournament. Right behind Snedeker is Adam Scott who is one stroke back and 9-under for the tournament.
Right behind those two is Tigers Woods who is alone in third place at 6-under par, and then Thorbjorn is at 5-under par through two rounds.
Bubba Watson had a tough second round and shot a 3-over par and now is even for the tournament and is tied for 28th.
Here are some of the more notable tee times and pairings for Saturday's third round:
3:20 a.m. ET - Tom Watson, Lee Westwood
3:30 a.m. ET - Chad Campbell, John Daly
3:40 a.m. ET - Adilson Da Silva, Rickie Fowler
5:15 a.m. ET - Frederik Jacobson, Jim Furyk
7:10 a.m. ET - Bubba Watson, Ian Poulter
6:50 a.m. ET - Hunter Mahan, Lee Slattery
9:20 a.m. ET - James Morrison, Steve Stricker
9:40 a.m. ET - Ernie Els, Thomas Aiken
9:50 a.m. ET - Jason Duffner, Graeme McDowell
10:00 a.m. ET - Matt Kuchar, Paul Lawrie
10:10 a.m. ET - Thorbjorn Olesen, Tiger Woods
10:20 a.m. ET - Adam Scott, Brandt Snedeker
Just one day after Adam Scott made history with a round of 64 at Royal Lytham and St. Anne's, Brandt Snedeker tied the mark to vault himself into the lead on Friday.
Snedeker has the outright lead in the 2012 British Open with a score of 10-under, leading the aforementioned Scott by one shot while Tiger Woods trails by only four strokes at 6-under.
Americans Matt Kuchar and Jason Dufner are very much in the thick of the race as well after having great second rounds.
Kuchar took care of business with a 67 to give himself a share of fourth place at 4-under par with Dufner and others. Dufner made a huge move, coming all the way up from 37th after Thursday by shooting a 66.
As for the main disappointment of the morning, Rory McIlroy struggled mightily to be kind. McIlroy was inaccurate and ended the round with a 75. The day all but dashed his dreams of winning his first major in 2012, currently at 2-over for the week. The youngster is currently tied for 52nd.
For a total look at the leaderboard, please click here.
Friday is cut day at The Open Championship and as the second round begins to wind down it looks like the cut line is going to center on about 2-over par for the tournament. That leaves a number of golfers at 3-over that are currently in danger of not being around for the weekend.
Among those at 3-over are Charles Howell III who shot a 1-over, 71 on Friday. Other notables at 3-over for the tournament include Sergio Garcia, John Daly, Tom Watson and Lee Westwood.
The tournament turned into a lost weekend for Phil Mickelson who followed up an opening round 73 with a 78 on Friday and is 11-over. Former British Open winner David Duvall is 5-over for the tournament after a 1-over, 71 on Friday.
It will be a two golfer race heading into the weekend at The Open Championship but former champ Tiger Woods is still lurking. Brandt Snedeker currently leads the event at 10-under after a 6-under, 64 on Friday. Thursday's leader Adam Scott is one shot off the lead at 9-under after shooting 3-under for his second round.
Tiger Woods sits in third place at 5-under par through 16 holes of his second round. Six golfers all sit at 4-under par including Matt Kuchar. Jason Dufner, Paul Lawrie and Graeme McDowell are others that all currently sit at 4-under.
After opening with a first-round 67, Bubba Watson struggled somewhat on Friday shooting 3-over and falling to even par for the tournament. He is still currently below the projected cut line and should be safe heading into the weekend.
Brandt Snedeker has put the pressure on the rest of the field by firing a 6-under, 64 for his second round at The Open Championship and now has a four stroke lead over Adam Scott.
Scott was the leader after the first round and is even par halfway through the second. He remains 6-under for the tournament and in second place. Tiger Woods and Paul Lawrie are tied for third at 4-under and six shots back of Snedeker.
Bubba Watson began the second round at 3-under but has struggled through the first six holes of the second round where he is 2-over. Watson is not nine shots off the tournament lead at 1-under. Matt Kuchar sits at even par for the tournament and is currently 1-over on his second round.
Much of the field has yet to begin their second round at the British Open, but the top of the leaderboard has already seen a change. Brandt Snedeker of Nashville is currently 4-under through 10 holes, good enough to give him a tournament score of 8-under and a two-stroke lead over first round leader Adam Scott.
Scott is set to tee off at 8:43 a.m. ET. Tiger Woods, who shot 3-under in the first round of the tournament is scheduled to tee off at 9:43 a.m. ET. Bubba Watson, who also shot 3-under in the first round, is set to tee off at 9:21 a.m. ET. As of right now, the projected cut line is at 2-over, but that could change given other results for the day.
Georgia residents Charles Howell III and Harris English have both finished their rounds for the day. Howell shot a 1-over 71 and is in danger of missing the cut at 3-over for the tournament. English also shot a 1-over and is 2-over for the tournament, right on the cut line.
The opening round of The Open Championship is in the books and Adam Scott is your early leader at at 6-under. Scott has a one shot lead over Paul Lawrie, Zach Johnson and Nicolas Colsaerts who are all 5-under.
Brandt Snedeker is currently alone in fifth place at 4-under while Bubba Watson, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are among a group of eight golfers that are all 3-under. Watson got off to a great start with three birdies on the front nine and got to 4-under at one point before a bogey at 13 dropped him back a stroke.
Matt Kuchar survived two early bogeys and currently sits at 1-under par. David Duvall won the British Open the last time it was played at Royal Lythem but is 4-over after an opening round 74.
A bogey at 18 dropped Adam Scott to 6-under par but he still holds a one shot lead over Paul Lawrie and Zach Johnson at the opening round of the British Open.
Bubba Watson and Tiger Woods are among a group of five golfers that are three shots back at 3-under par. Watson got off to a good start this morning with three birdies in the first nine holes. He briefly moved to 4-under par with a birdie at 11 before a bogey at 13 dropped him back.
Like Watson Tiger Woods opened up sizzling this morning with four birdies in the first seven holes. A bogey at 15 dropped him back to 3-under but is well within striking distance.
Matt Kuchar got off to a tough start this morning with back-to-back bogeys on the second and third holes before righting the ship. Kuchar's birdie at 11 moved him to 1-under where he remains currently tied for 14th.
First round play at The Open Championship 2012 is underway and Adam Scott has jumped out to a big lead in the early going. Scott is currently 7-under through 16 holes and has a two shot lead over Zach Johnson.
Graeme McDowell, Paul Lawrie and Tiger Woods are all three shots back at 4-under. Bubba Watson is currently tied for sixth place at 3-under.
Watson was 3-under on the front nine after birdies at five, seven and eight. He got to 4-under with a birdie on the par-5 11th but his first bogey of the round at No. 13 dropped him back a stroke.
Matt Kuchar is currently tied for 12th place at 1-under. Kuchar saw his round get off to a tough start with back-to-back bogeys on the second and third holes. He has since responded with birdies at eight and then at 10 and 11 to get back under par for the round.
The Open Championship begins early Thursday morning and ESPN will be providing wall-to-wall television coverage for the event through Sunday's final round. The broadcast begins at 4:30 a.m. on Thursday and Friday and lasts through 3 p.m. ET. Saturday's coverage gets underway at 7 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. while Sunday's final round is from 6 a.m. through 1:30 p.m.
ESPN will also make available a live stream online via its WatchESPN site. Online coverage begins at 3:30 a.m. on Thursday. Those looking for a mobile option should download The Open Championship's official mobile app which will offer live streaming of three holes as well as live scoring updates.
Here is a look at the full TV Schedule for this week's British Open:
Thursday - 4:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. ESPN
Friday - 4:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. ESPN
Saturday - 7 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. ESPN
Sunday - 6 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. ESPN
One of the unique things about The Open Championship is that it doesn't split the field when a round starts and have half of the golfers begin their rounds on the 10th tee. Therefore the first golfer will tee off at 6:19 a.m. local time on Thursday and the last won't begin their round until 4:11 p.m.
That is a huge gap and when you combine the uncertainty of weather on Britain seaside and morning golfers could be playing a completely different course than those with an afternoon tee time. Many of the participants have endured rain during the practice rounds but the forecast says that it should be moving out and things could stay relatively dry through the weekend.
That would be a welcome sign for the field who will have their hands full as it is with navigating the some 200 bunkers that litter the course along with the unforgiving rough. Add rain and win to that equation and a daunting task suddenly becomes an impossible one.
First round play at The Open Championship begins in the early morning hours on Thursday. Fans will have a live streaming option via WatchESPN which will begin its coverage at 3:30 a.m. ET on Thursday. That is a couple hours earlier than the television broadcast.
The beginning coverage will start with just holes 9-11 but will quickly shift into BBC's coverage approximately 30 minutes later. A Spanish option will also be offered as well as a focus on the first and eighteenth holes.
For those seeking a mobile option, The Open Championship's official mobile app will offer live streaming of three holes as well as live scoring updates and video highlights. The app is currently available for both iOS and Android devices.
Tiger Woods is once again the favorite to win a major championship as he will enter Thursday's opening round as the favorite. Lee Westwood and Luke Donald are close behind at 12/1 each and are followed by Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy.
From a local perspective Matt Kuchar is slated at 40/1 to win while Masters champ Bubba Watson is 50/1.
Here's the latest odds to win at The Open Championship according to Oddshark.com:
Tiger Woods 13/2
Lee Westwood 12/1
Luke Donald 12/1
Padraig Harrington 16/1
Rory McIlroy 16/1
Justin Rose 25/1
Sergio Garcia 28/1
Dustin Johnson 33/1
Francesco Molinari 33/1
Graeme McDowell 33/1
Martin Kaymer 33/1
Phil Mickelson 33/1
Rickie Fowler 35/1
Adam Scott 40/1
Ernie Els 40/1
Hunter Mahan 40/1
Ian Poulter 40/1
Jason Dufner 40/1
Jim Furyk 40/1
Louis Oosthuizen 40/1
Matt Kuchar 40/1
Steve Stricker 40/1
Bubba Watson 50/1
Charl Schwartzel 50/1
Jason Day 50/1
Matteo Manassero 50/1
K.J. Choi 66/1
Nick Watney 66/1
Nicolas Colsaerts 66/1
Peter Hanson 66/1
Ross Fisher 66/1
Alexander Noren 80/1
Fredrik Jacobson 80/1
Henrik Stenson 80/1
Retief Goosen 80/1
Thomas Bjorn 80/1
Zach Johnson 80/1
2012 Masters champ Bubba Watson weighed in on Royal Lythem and confirmed that if all goes to plan this week you won't be seeing much of his signature pink driver.
"It looks like we're going to hit a lot of irons off of tees, try to play safer, smarter - whatever you want to call it - and just have a longer shot into some of these holes," Watson said. "The par-5 No. 7, I'm going to hit iron off that tee even though I could reach it if I hit it in the fairway with a driver. I have to figure out a way to lay back and just have a longer shot into some of these holes.
Of course that is the plan anyway and in typical Watson fashion he left himself a little wiggle room just in case things don't go according to plan.
"That doesn't mean I'm going to be able to do that," he added. "That's my goal."
For Watson and others this week it is about keeping the ball in the fairway and out of the some 200+ bunkers that inhabit the course at Royal Lythem. Also for Watson it is about being patient which hasn't always been his strongest suit.
The Open Championship at Royal Lythem & St. Annes figures to be much more about precision this week than power off the tee. The course occupies the smallest piece of property of any of the course in the British Open rotation but offers a variety of obstacles including over 200 bunkers. Bubba Watson earlier this week described the rough as hay earlier this week.
However, former champ Ernie Els describes the course as a fair test and one that is sure to be a challenge for the field when the tournament gets underway early Thursday morning.
"It's a course where there's a certain way you've got to play it," Els said, referring to tee shots having to be in the right spots in the fairway. "It's a lot like Hoylake. You'll have a lot of guys doing the same thing. So it's the guy with the best nerves, the best shotmaking, the guy with the best putter. It's going to come down to the final bit here. If you're not sure what you're doing, you're going to get yourself in trouble. You've got to be sure of yourself.
So the most important thing for golfers this week will be keeping the ball in the fairways and out of the bunkers or in the rough. The course will no doubt test the patience of many and should be fun to watch.
The Open Championship 2012 gets underway on Thursday at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in Lancaster, England. Bubba Watson will be paired with Lee Westwood and Yoshinori Fujimoto. They will hit the course at 9:30 local time which translates out to about 4:20 a.m. ET.
Matt Kuchar is paired with Adam Scott and amateur Alan Dunbar while 2001 champ David Duval will play with Raphael Jacquelin and Miguel Angel Jimenez.
Here is a look at the tee times and pairings for Thursday's opening round of The Open Championship 2012:
1:19 a.m. ET -- Barry Lane, James Driscoll
1:30 a.m. ET -- Richard Finch, Garth Mulroy
1:41 a.m. ET -- Matthew Baldwin, Adilson Da Silva, Tadahiro Takayama
1:52 a.m. ET -- Rafa Echenique, Kodai Ichihara, John Huh
2:03 a.m. ET -- Sandy Lyle, Todd Hamilton, Mark Calcavecchia
2:14 a.m. ET -- Alejandro Canizares, Jeev Milkha Singh, Greg Chalmers
2:25 a.m. ET -- John Daly, Chad Campbell, Michael Hoey
2:36 a.m. ET -- Thongchai Jaidee, Justin Leonard, Simon Khan
2:47 a.m. ET -- David Duval, Raphael Jacquelin, Miguel Angel Jimenez
2:58 a.m. ET -- Stephen Ames, Robert Rock, Kyle Stanley
3:09 a.m. ET -- Stewart Cink, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Johnson Wagner
3:20 a.m. ET -- Jamie Donaldson, Bill Haas, Ye Yang
3:31 a.m. ET -- Davis Love III, Tim Clark, Paul Lawrie
3:42 a.m. ET -- Adam Scott, Alan Dunbar (A), Matt Kuchar
3:58 a.m. ET -- Vijay Singh, Nick Watney, Ian Poulter
4:09 a.m. ET -- Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Zach Johnson
4:20 a.m. ET -- Lee Westwood, Yoshinori Fujimoto, Bubba Watson
4:31 a.m. ET -- Dustin Johnson, Graeme Mcdowell, Hiroyuki Fujita
4:42 a.m. ET -- Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia
4:53 a.m. ET -- Ryo Ishikawa, Martin Kaymer, Tom Watson
5:04 a.m. ET -- Thomas Bjorn, Aaron Baddeley, Charl Schwartzel
5:15 a.m. ET -- Jason Dufner, Martin Laird, Kevin Na
5:26 a.m. ET -- James Morrison, Daniel Chopra, Joost Luiten
5:37 a.m. ET -- Thorbjorn Olesen, Troy Matteson, Thomas Aiken
5:48 a.m. ET -- Brad Kennedy, Mardan Mamat, Steven Tiley
5:59 a.m. ET -- Warren Bennett, Aaron Townsend, Grant Veenstra
6:10 a.m. ET -- Dale Whitnell, Sam Walker, Elliot Saltman
6:31 a.m. ET -- Bob Estes, Steven O'Hara, Brendan Jones
6:42 a.m. ET -- Juvic Pagunsan, Scott Pinckney, Nicholas Cullen
6:53 a.m. ET -- Steven Alker, Lee Slattery, Russ Cochran
7:04 a.m. ET -- Tom Lehman, Pablo Larrazabal, Greg Owen
7:15 a.m. ET -- Marcel Siem, George Coetzee, Chez Reavie
7:26 a.m. ET -- Marcus Fraser, Lucas Glover, Gregory Havret
7:37 a.m. ET -- Charles Howell III, Paul Broadhurst, Richard Sterne
7:48 a.m. ET -- Carl Pettersson, K.T. Kim, Gary Woodland
7:59 a.m. ET -- Ben Curtis, Paul Casey, Trevor Immelman
8:10 a.m. ET -- Robert Karlsson, Mark Wilson, Branden Grace
8:21 a.m. ET -- Harris English, Simon Dyson, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
8:32 a.m. ET -- Angel Cabrera, K.J. Choi, Ross Fisher
8:43 a.m. ET -- Jonathan Byrd, Sang-Moon Bae, Alvaro Quiros
8:59 a.m. ET -- Nicolas Colsaerts, Hunter Mahan, John Senden
9:10 a.m. ET -- Bo Van Pelt, Francesco Molinari, Toshinori Muto
9:21 a.m. ET -- Rory McIlroy, Louis Oosthuizen, Keegan Bradley
9:32 a.m. ET -- Rickie Fowler, Padraig Harrington, Manuel Trappel (A)
9:43 a.m. ET -- Luke Donald, Phil Mickelson, Geoff Ogilvy
9:54 a.m. ET -- Steve Stricker, Toru Taniguchi, Anders Hansen
10:05 a.m. ET -- Peter Hanson, Retief Goosen, Robert Allenby
10:16 a.m. ET -- Jim Furyk, Koumei Oda, Fredrik Jacobson
10:27 a.m. ET -- Marc Leishman, Brandt Snedeker, Alexander Noren
10:38 a.m. ET -- Andres Romero, Jbe Kruger, Richie Ramsay
10:49 a.m. ET -- Ted Potter Jr, Ian Keenan, Andrew Georgiou
11:00 a.m. ET -- Troy Kelly, Morten Orum Madsen, Anirban Lahiri
11:11 a.m. ET -- Prayad Marksaeng, Justin Hicks, Ashley Hall
Bubba Watson hasn't had a lot of success since capturing the green jacket at The Masters earlier this summer. He will look to get back on track this week at The Open Championship at Royal Lytham.
Watson is already in England and has been playing some of the other links courses with his friends before turning his attention fully to Royal Lytham. Watson hasn't had a lot of success at the British Open. In three tries he has missed two cuts and finished 30th last year.
Still his game seems perfectly suited for the links game where creative shot making is required of players in a variety of weather conditions.
"You have to hit so many different shots and play it on the ground - it kind of brings the fun back into golf like when we were kids,"
While Watson enjoys playing the links courses he knows that putting has led to his struggles in The Open. That will be his most pressing challenge for the week as he tries to get his putter back on track.
Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar will be among the field competing in Golf's third major of the year.