July 16, 2015 - 9:43am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Luke Donald
@TheOpen on Twitter
Luke Donald's impeccable short game was on display from the Road Hole Bunker at St. Andrews on Thursday, where he managed to salvage an impressive par.

One of the most famous "places you never want to be" in golf is the Road Hole Bunker on No. 17 at St. Andrews.

However, that's precisely where Luke Donald found himself on Thursday in the first round of the Open Championship.

RELATED: Open Championship leaderboard | Thursday's photos | Complete coverage

When you possess the short-game Donald does, however, the Road Hole Bunker isn't much of an issue:


What a terrific shot that was. Donald saved par on the hole and went on to shoot a 4-under 68.

Donald joked on Twitter about the shot after the round:




That was in reference to the view Donald has this week from the place he's staying:




How about that?

Donald's magical shot from Road Hole Bunker
July 16, 2015 - 8:03am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Miguel Angel Jimenez
@ETPI_Physiounit on Twitter
There's nobody in golf like Miguel Angel Jimenez -- and that includes his pre-round stretching routine.

Like most of the top players in the world of golf, Miguel Angel Jimenez likes to get in a good stretch before hitting the links.

RELATED: Open Championship leaderboard | Thursday's photos | Complete coverage

Here's a picture of Jimenez getting his stretch on before Round 1 of the Open Championship at St. Andrews on Thursday:


The guy even makes stretching look fun.

And, when he hits the range, of course there's this:


Jimenez loosens up for first round of the Open
July 15, 2015 - 10:57am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tiger Woods
USA Today Sports Images
Tiger Woods has won the Open Championship twice at St. Andrews. Can he make it three times this week?

One of the most exciting week's of the year is upon us -- Open Championship week.

Making it even more special this year? It'll be contested for the 29th time on the Old Course at St. Andrews. There's nothing better than that.

If recent history is any indication -- regardless of the weather -- scores will be really low on the Old Course. The last five winners at St. Andrews are a combined 73-under par. That includes the record-low 19-under mark Tiger Woods posted in his magical 2000 season -- the first of his two consecutive Open wins at St. Andrews.

RELATED: Open Championship tee times | Spieth talks Open Championship | Wednesday photos

Here are the five players you'll want to keep an eye on beginning Thursday.

5. Louis Oosthuizen
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T2 at the U.S. Open
Reason to watch: Were it not for a lousy opening round at Chambers Bay, Oosthuizen could have been the U.S. Open Champion running away. After shooting a 77 in Round 1, the 2010 Open Champion fired rounds of 66-66-67 to finish one shot out of a playoff. He has arguably the prettiest swing in the game and was the last player to win at St. Andrews. In that 2010 Open, Oosthuizen put on a weeklong clinic, lapping the field be a remarkable seven strokes. I'm not sure we'll see a repeat of that this time around, but he's certainly a man to watch.

4. Dustin Johnson
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won WGC-Cadillac Championship
Reason to watch: I'm interested in seeing how Johnson bounces back from the heart break at Chambers Bay, where he missed a short putt that would have earned him a playoff with Jordan Spieth. It was tough to watch as a fan. You never want to see a player give away a chance at winning a major in that fashion. Johnson has shown resiliency after major disappointment before and is a regular contender in the four biggest tournaments each year. But this latest episode in the U.S. Open looked to sting more than the others. Four times in the last five years, Johnson has recorded a top-15 finish at the Open Championship. The only thing this guy hasn't done in his career is win a major.

3. Rickie Fowler
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the Players Championship
Reason to watch: One year after he was the only player to finish in the top five at all four majors (he was T2 in the Open Championship), Fowler is having another monster year. Just last week, he rallied late to win the Scottish Open. There's no better Open Championship primer than that. Fowler is riding high n confidence. He has the game to win anywhere and a major seems just around the corner.

2. Tiger Woods
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T17 at the Masters
Reason to watch: Here's the pick that's either going to have me looking like an idiot or a genius come Sunday afternoon. St. Andrews is Tiger's favorite course in the world and he's won there twice. He seems confident. Here's a bold statement: I'd be shocked if he doesn't contend. Win it? That might be a bit too much to ask of the 241st-ranked player in the world, but it could happen. And if it did, that would be major No. 15 and the race to catch Jack Nicklaus would officially be back on.

1. Jordan Spieth
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the Valspar Championship, the Masters, the U.S. Open and the John Deere Classic
Reason to watch: I have to chuckle. Less than a year ago, many were wondering why Jordan Spieth couldn't close out tournaments. Now, not only is he the only player on the PGA Tour with four wins this season, but he's also chasing his third consecutive major championship. So much for not being a closer. Fresh of his victory in a playoff at the John Deere Classic on Sunday, Spieth has a chance to become just the second player in history to win the first three majors in a calendar year (Ben Hogan did it in 1953). Since missing the cut at the Players Championship, Spieth has teed it up five times. The results look like this: T2-T30-T3-Win-Win. And that's why he's the favorite. 

5 to watch at the Open Championship
July 15, 2015 - 7:10am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Kelly Mitchum
PGA Professional Kelly Mitchum, one of the lead instructors at the Pinehurst Golf Academy, will blow your mind with this three-putt trick.

OK, I know that the Open Championship tees off this Thursday at St. Andrews, but -- if you don't mind -- I'd like to take you over to Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, N.C., just for a minute, the place that has hosted many major championships, including the 2014 U.S. Open.

That's where we find PGA Professional Kelly Mitchum, one of the lead instructors at the Pinehurst Golf Academy and a four-time PGA Championship participant.

RELATED: Open Championship tee times | Spieth & Fowler's equipment | Open photos

The beauty of any type of trick is when the magician performing it makes it look so easy.

Well, that's what Mitchum did here. Check out this video where Mitchum putts three golf balls one after the other. He takes a different line with each and effortlessly holes each one in the order opposite of which they were struck:


Color me impressed.

Pinehurst PGA Professional wows with putting trick
July 12, 2015 - 4:45pm
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Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie reacts after her drive on the par-4 16th hits the flagstick for a near ace.

Tournament officials for the U.S. Women's Open moved up the tees on No. 16 Sunday, making it a reachable par-4. And Michelle Wie wowed the crowd with this drive that ricocheted off the flagstick:



Wie wound up with an eagle.

And despite being in obvious distress from an aching hip that's been bothering her nearly all season, Wie didn't let that bother her on that shot.

Watch: Wie nearly aces par-4
Jordan Spieth
PGA Tour | Twitter
Jordan Spieth takes aim at the flagstick on the eighth hole Saturday.

When Jordan Spieth's game is on, look out.

He notched his second eagle of the day -- and third of the tournament -- at the 17th hole Saturday during the third round of the John Deere Classic. You have to see this shot to appreciate how good it is:



Spieth almost did the same thing earlier in the round on the eighth hole. Instead, he got a very unfortunate bounce off the flagstick:



A PGA Tour official had to help repair the ballmark that was right next to the hole. No matter -- Spieth calmly sank the putt anyway for his second birdie of the day, to go along with an eagle on No. 2.

Watch: Spieth takes aim at flag -- twice