Thursday, July 18th, 2019


GOLF Channel Notable Quotes
Golf Central Live From The Open (Opening Round)
Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush, Northern Ireland
Thursday, July 18, 2019

**Live second round coverage of The 148TH Open begins at 1:30 a.m. ET Friday on GOLF Channel, and continues until 4 p.m. ET.**

148TH Open Leaderboard – Opening Round
J.B. Holmes -5
Shane Lowry -4
Brooks Koepka -3
Jon Rahm -3
Tony Finau -3

On Brooks Koepka (3-under, T-3rd)
Brandel Chamblee – “At some point we have to stop calling it a streak and start calling it a trend. At some point it’s not a streak, it’s a trend. How many times really did you have to see Tom Brady perform in the clutch before you thought, ‘It wasn’t a great game. It wasn’t a great streak. He’s a great player.’ Same is true of Mariano Rivera. How many times did he have to just absolutely shut them down at the end of a game before you went, ‘It wasn’t a great game. He’s a great player. This is who he is.’ [Koepka is] the opposite of Rory.”
Frank Nobilo – “He has a chance to really thin the herd tomorrow.”

On Tiger Woods (7-over, T-144th)
Chamblee – “There is a physical toll to hitting numerous shots out of the rough. Even for a younger man. But for an older man who was obviously is some form of pain, he was wincing out there. There’s a human toll for sure.”
Nobilo – “We can’t keep changing the narrative for the situation. If he comes out and shows part of a game once or twice a year, I think that’s great. The desire of his fans, the demand that they have, that is all unrealistic. He needs conditions that are conducive. He needs courses like Augusta and he needs warm conditions. And he needs to get out of bed every now and again and feel great. This is a hard game.”
Chamblee – “By any definition for a player sneaking up to their mid-40s, this was a great year. It’s not a great year for 40-somethings to play major championships with this new schedule. When he came in here this week he was noticeably slower. These majors are flying by. At some point he’ll play one where it’s warm. He’ll play where he’ll have a chance to have some semblance of a game. The stuff between the ears is never going to go away, it’s just that he cannot summon he physical strengths to do the things that he needs to do.”

On Rory McIlroy (8-over, T-150th)
Nobilo – “It had taken 68 years for this championship to get back here. And at the end of today the story should be that the course won. The people won. The town of Portrush won. The country of Northern Ireland won. But the papers tomorrow, it’s already been written. Northern Ireland’s favorite son lost today. Lost a bit of his psyche.”
Chamblee – “Has a sporting event ever had the wind knocked out of it quicker than this one today? This is nothing new what we saw today out of Rory McIlroy. He has had – historically – a bad run of first rounds. When someone plays poor golf in the beginning of a tournament and then great golf the rest of the way then it’s not something physical. It’s not something technical. That they’re not putting themselves in the right frame of mind to either begin a golf tournament or end a golf tournament. On paper coming in here, demonstrably, Rory McIlroy was the best player. I know what the world rankings say. But when someone consistently performs under expectations, the word is choking. We shy away from it. But now it’s five years [removed from winning a major]. And there was a reason why people shied away from picking him this week. And it was because everybody felt like the moment was going to be too big for him. You don’t like to be correct in these presumptions, but it played out exactly that way.”

-NBC Sports Group-