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Tom Weiskopf

Tom Weiskopf

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By Tim CarrollThe Journal provides minute-by-minute analysis of today's final round of the British Open from Turnberry, Scotland.

Journal staffer Tim Carroll offers commentary on the 138th Open Championship and the ABC telecast.

Feel free to email Tim questions or comments during the round.For more British Open coverage, including a live leaderboard, click here.AFP/Getty ImagesCan 59-year-old Tom Watson keep the lead to win his sixth British Open and become the oldest man to capture one of golf's majors? 12:20: Goggin and Watson both have very missable par putts on 14 (I'm a pessimist).

Westwood could be leading soon by himself.12:16: Goggin just got into the first bunker we've seen in a long time.

ABC did show us Goosen hitting into one, a ball that seemed to be right up against the back lip of the bunker.

I hope ABC shows us how Goosen got out, even though he's not really in the championship mix anymore.

That is the fun of Scottish golf.12:06: ABC hasn't mentioned the weather much today.

Westwood just teed off on 14 with a 23-24 mph wind in his face.

But didn't they tell us earlier that the weather was supposed to get much worse by now? Scotland weather normally can be forecast with a piece of rope: If it's wet, it's raining; if it's horizontal, it's windy.

But it seems to me they ought to be telling us if the weather is still expected to get much worse.Cink made birdie on 15.

The one par-five on the back, 17, is next.Goggin missed a birdie for the outright lead.And Tirico, sending the telecast to commercial, just called the upcoming holes "key," not the most important of anyone's life.

He really is a professional.11:56: Azinger nearly jumped across out of my TV across the Atlantic on Watson's short par putt on 12.

Watson's Achilles' heel has been those short putts.

He really shut the face, but the putt was short enough it wasn't enough off-line to miss the hole.If this was a Hollywood story, Watson will have about a four-footer on the 18th hole to win or tie.

If this is a comedy, he makes.

If this is a tragedy, he misses.Cink missed a par putt on 14.

He's two back, tied with Wood for fourth.

This might be a three-man race now.11:53: Chris Wood hit a so-so drive to start the most important hole of his life, a poor second shot for the most important shot in his life, chipped poorly on that shot of his life, then missed the putt of his life.

It all added up to a bogey on 18.

Minus-one is now the clubhouse lead.There are four men under par still on the course.

One of these four, or perhaps Wood, will win: Westwood, Goggin and Watson are minus-three.

Stewart Cink is at minus-two, although he has one of those throw-up putts to save par on 14.11:49: Azinger did just call Wood's chip on 18 "the shot of his life.

And then the putt of his life, if he doesn't hole it."11:44: Why hyperbole doesn't work: After Curtis Strange called 17 the most important hole of young Chris Woods's life, Paul Azinger just said the second shot into the 18th green was "the shot of his life." Wood put the ball over the green.

But then, I'm sure he's about to face the most important chip of his life.11:39: If Wood or Goggin wins the championship, will golfers start to not shave, a la hockey players, during championships?Watson just made a birdie.

It's a three-way tie, although Westwood is in the wispy stuff off the tee on 12.If this leaderboard, with all its momentum changes and stops and starts, was a flowchart, nothing much would get done, I'm thinking.

Wait, I think I've worked at places where the work was supposed to get done with arrows pointing everywhere.

Nothing did get done.11:34: Curtis Strange is almost taking this personally.

He said "I wouldn't mind being Chris Wood about now." Wood made birdie on 17, the most important hole of his life, and is now at minus two.

He is one back with just the 18th to play.

Posting minus two would add to the pressure considerably.Peter Alliss just left ABC-TV to head back to the BBC.

Now, I've watched golf on the BBC during my three years in Europe.

I'm not saying I want to do that, but I will miss Mr.

Alliss until next year.11:32: Watson, then Westwood both burned edges on their putts.Goggin birdied 10 and now is tied for the lead at minus three.11:22: ABC has done a good job of ignoring the missing Tiger.

NBC is awful when it has the telecast, using whatever footage it can use of Woods.

In the rain delays at Bethpage last month's U.S.

Open, NBC loved to show the previous year's Tiger-Rocco Mediate playoff.

Yes, it was epic, but it was a year old.ABC has some compelling golf to show, of course.

And the ABC golf way is very, very understated.

Not many electronic gizmos in their bag.

The early-morning comparison of Old Tom Watson's and New Tom Watson's swings was tough to follow.

I think I can understand swing theory, but I'm not sure I learned anything from that.Curtis Strange did have a strange comment when he said Chris Wood "could be about to play the most important hole of his life." He's 21.

That's a lot of life left to say something as strong as that.And Westwood bogeyed 10.

ABC was just talking to clubhouse leader Donald, who is not going anywhere.11:20: As the final group makes the turn, there are eight players still with a chance to be "The Champion Golfer of the Year." Westwood has a two-stroke lead at minus four, then Watson and Goggin are at minus two, while Wood, Cink, and Goosen are at minus one.

Luke Donald and Richard S.

Johnson are at even par and would need a considerable amount of help to get their hands on the Claret Jug.

Watson bogeyed nine.Donald missed his birdie putt on 18 and is the clubhouse leader at even-par.

Everyone over par can fuel up the jets and head out.11:09: ABC just showed us our first look at Luke Donald, who has a makeable putt on 18 for a birdie and the clubhouse lead of minus-one.

That would put a bit more pressure on the leaders still on the course.

11:02: Why Peter Allis is the best: He described the ninth hole "As a way to get from the eighth to the tenth." He's not a fan of the golf on the hole.

He does love the scenery.10:58: Westwood just made a very steady par at 8.

The drive at the ninth awaits.10:56: And Chris Wood just made a birdie to bring him back to minus one.

It can come back that fast.

He's three back.10:52: Westwood is on the green at eight at minus four.

Watson is at minus three.

Goggin is at minus two.

Stewart Cink and Retief Goosen are at minus one.

Chris Wood, leading about a half-hour ago, made two bogeys and is now at even par.

That's how quickly it can go.

Of course, one putt here, one chip there, and that's how fast it can come back, too.10:49: Lee Westwood has a two-stroke lead, after making his eagle putt on the seventh.Watson had an eagle putt on seven, but missed.

He's likely to make a birdie to get to only one back.Westwood now goes to three straight tough holes on eight, nine and 10.10:43: Lee Westwood has a two-stroke lead.

He birdied six, and has an eagle putt on No.

7, the only par-five on the front.

Azinger just said he has at least a couple of fingers on the Claret Jug.

It's a bit early, seeing as what happened to Fisher.

Links golf can jump up and bite you at any time.10:29: Lee Westwood poured in a birdie.

The leading group is back to three.

Wood (Chris), Watson and Westwood.10:26: And then there were only two.Tom Watson and Chris Wood are leading at minus-two.

Westwood bogeyed five, Goggin the fourth.10:25: Judy Rankin had to say it, but this might be the biggest understatement of the telecast.

As Fisher teed off on the par-three 6th, she said: "Lee Westwood obviously teed off first."If you don't have the honor on a hole after the other guy made an eight, you should consider taking up tennis.10:20: Words no one, other than maybe his family, ever expected to hear: "Chris Wood has this putt for the lead." He missed.And Fisher just made an 8 on the fifth hole.

Goosen just missed an eagle putt to tie; his birdie will put him one back.10:15: ABC is two hours and 15 minutes into the coverage.

TV can be so exasperating, but there really isn't much to complain about here.

Tom Weiskopf's commentary is terse and his monotone isn't easy to listen to.

Mike Tirico didn't know golf when started to play emcee for the shows, but he does a good job now.

Paul Azinger would be better with Nick Faldoâ€"who was listed on the leaderboard this week as Sir Nick Faldo.

He was recently knighted.

Judy Rankin always tells you something.I could see how the non-golfers in the audience, drawn in by the buzz about Watson's finding the fountain of youth, could find the commentary too sparse.

But ABC really lets the golf and the pictures tell the story.The commercials are, well, annoying, but they always are.10:10: Fisher is lying four and is seemingly thinking of taking a penalty stroke for an unplayable.

If his wife is watching, the stress of this might send her into labor.

I played golf the day my first son was born.

I quit after nine holes.

Fisher might want to quit after nine, too.

(And don't send emails; my wife was happy to let me go.

The oldest sonâ€"in fact all three sonsâ€"came early.)10:08: Fisher could be bringing everyone back into play.

He's deep into the stuff.

He's playing his second from the stuff.

He got out of the right stuff, but the ball went backward and is now in the stuff on the left side.

While I call it stuff, I'm thinking he's using another word.The group at minus-two could be leading in a minute or two.10:00: Fisher has a two-shot lead after the third hole.

He couldn't escape again from jail, bogeying the fourth.

He is at minus-four.There are four chasers at minus-two: Westwood, Goggin, Watson and Chris Wood, whose name is so similar to someone else who is supposed to be here, that I'm thinking we need to use both of his names.Retief Goosen is at minus-one.ABC is talking to Jack Nicklaus from Florida.

It's a good conversation about how to win these things.

Tom Weiskopf is providing commentary for ABC.

Terse commentary to be sure.

Weiskopf's most famous comment was at the Masters when Nicklaus was winning the 1986 Masters at age 46.

When Nicklaus got the 16th hole, another announcer asked Weiskopf what Jack was feeling.

The answer: If I knew what he was feeling, I might have won more of these things.Fisher in trouble off the tee on fifth.9:57: Watson's putting failed him.

His three-footer for par on the third hole never hit the hole.

Bogey.9:54: Watson's short game has never been in questionâ€"other than his putting.

Yes, I own his book; doesn't every golfer? He just chipped up to where he should make par on three.

Except that his putting, which did trouble him a decade back, hasn't been put under this much examination for a long time.9:50: Chris Wood of England has made the turn at 3-under for the day and 1-under for the championship.

He is one skinny dude.

But not sure Paul Azinger needed to ask if the wind whistles as it whips through his legs.Watson just hit another bad one at three.

If anyone in the field has the experience to right the ship, it's someone two months short of his 60th birthday with five of these Claret Jug replicas in his house, but he needs to do it fairly quickly.

(The winners of the Jug are allowed to make a slightly smaller replica of the Jug for themselves.

Two-time defending champion Padraig Harrington put "ladybirds"â€"what we call lady bugs on his first Jug replica.

It was basically his first son's suggestion.)9:44: American Jeff Overton and Argentina's Andres Romero posted 3-under-par 67s today.

What do you think the leaders would pay to have that score already posted? The weather is an hour or so away.9:40: Furyk makes his second consecutive bogey.

He could come back, but the pretenders are starting to fall away already.

Golf is played fast over there.Watson parred the second.Fisher is on the third hole with a longish birdie putt.9:36: I'm not sure, but I think if you look at the tape of Tiger Woods's final chip shot on the 18th hole on Friday, you can see some ABC executives trying to blow the ball into the hole.

Tiger, most times, is the story.TV got handed an acceptable substitute for a story when Tom Watson started doing his resurrection thing.

But if Watson gets off to the bad start and a relative unknown like Fisher takes control, TV can't be happy.

But that's golf.9:31: Fisher was in jail on the second hole.

He just played his "Get Out of Jail Free" card.

The announcers are talking he'll be lucky to get off the second hole with a bogey.

Instead, he just chipped in for birdie.

All of a sudden, he has a two-shot lead.9:30: Watson just bogeyed the easy first hole.

Fisher leads the championship.

This is not going to be an easy day…for anyone.9:25: The leaders are off.

Both Goggin and Watson are in good position off the tee for the right-hand hole on the first hole.Fisher, the expectant father, birdied the first hole and is now tied with Watson.

I couldn't help but watch Fisher and Westwood on the tee and think back to when Lee Trevino surprised Jack Nicklaus with a snake on the first tee in a U.S.

Open playoff.

If it was me, I might have a cellphone go off and see how Fisher's nerves are.

For those who don't know, Fisher's wife was due with their first child this past Tuesday.8:50: Before the leaders tee off (the last group is going at 9:20 a.m.

ET), Ernie Els and Matteo Manassero are making a move.

They're both even par.

Manassero is 16, 43 years Tom Watson's junior.Jack Nickalaus, who was part of the Dueled in the Sun with Watson in 1977, is said to have sent the very first text message of his life, to his former rival.

No word on what he wrote.

Maybe something like "Good 4 u, jack.

:-)"?7:55 a.m.

ET: If tennis has its "Breakfast at Wimbledon," the golf world can call this early Sunday morning "Metamucil at Turnberry."When, what we now call the British Open was the only thing going, it wasn't confusing to call it The Open Championship.

There were two men back then, father and son who won the earliest Opens, and to avoid confusion they were known as Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris.

I think we need to adopt that terminology nearly 150 years later: Young Tom Watson and Old Tom Watsonâ€"except in this case, it's the same man.There is a tendency to overdo things: If something is good, we in this day and age call it "the greatest ever." If we're happy, "we're ecstatic." Witness the recent Michael Jackson coverage.

It was a bit over the top, wouldn't you say?I'm going to try not to do that.

Let's try to keep this all in perspective, shall we? Yes, if Old Tomâ€"who's 59 years oldâ€" wins today, it will be an upset, a HUGE upset.

U.K.

bookmaker Ladbroke's had Old Tom at 1,000 to 1 when the week started.

But this won't be the U.S.

versus the U.S.S.R.

in the Miracle on Ice.

That was good against evil.

There are no bad guys on the leaderboard behind him.

Fisher, Googin, Goosen, Furyk all would all be deserving champions.

I suppose Old Age is playing the part of the old Soviet Union in this morality play.In the first two majors of this year, the people setting up the course have put hole locations in spots on Sunday where birdies can be made.

It makes for great viewing and loud cheering.

The R&A, who runs this championship, appears to have done that, too.

The golfers already out on the course today are making birdies.

But the weather is supposed to get nastyâ€"rain and wind.

So strap yourself on the couch and get ready for a roller-coaster of a ride.

This should be fun.As play gets started today: Tom Watson is 4-under-par, Ross Fisher and Matther Goggin are -3, Retief Goosen and Lee Westwood are -2, Stewart Cink and Jim Furyk are -1, and Thongchai Jaidee and Bryce Molder are even-par.



http://blogs.wsj.com/dailyfix/2009/07/19/british-open-final-round-diary-920-am-et/
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