The 147th Open Championship will commence a week from tomorrow, July, 19th, and promises to be spectacular at Carnoustie Golf Club in Scotland. I've looked at the course, it's a beast. Should be another riveting Open across the pond.
In preparation, the players who want to hone their games up for this season's 3rd major are competing in the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois, and the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open in East Lothian, Scotland. There are not as many big names at the Deere, but a solid field nonetheless with many possibilities for a victor. Several big names are competing at the Scottish with many marquee Americans in the field including Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar. Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell, 2 tour winners, are also in the field. So should be pretty electric in the birthplace of the game.
Last week's winners
Russell Knox shot a final round 66 and finished in a tie with Ryan Fox after sinking a 40 foot birdie putt on 18. In the first playoff hole, No.18, Knox did it again, this time from 45 feet to capture the championship as Fox missed from 10 feet for the tying birdie in overtime. It was a tremendous display of putting by Knox.
Military Tribute at the Greenbriar
Kevin Na ran away with the title with a final round 64 finishing at -19 to best second place finisher Kelly Kraft by 5 shots. Na, who's been close many times but hadn't closed the deal until last Sunday, answered the bell with a highly clutch performance at the Greenbriar.
Here's a look at this week's events.
John Deere Classic
TPC Deere Run, 7,268 yards, par 71
2017 Champion: Bryson DeChambeau, -18, 65 on the final day to outlast Patrick Rodgers by a shot. DeChambeau birdied 4 of his last 6 holes including converting a 14 footer on the 72nd hole to take home the title.
Weather: Pretty good overall. 89-92 throughout the weekend. Winds 7-10. Chance of t storms late Saturday and maybe Sunday. Saturday's could be strong though.
TV: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 PM CT, Golf Channel, Saturday-Sunday, Golf Channel, 12-1:45 PM CT, CBS 2-5 PM CT.
I'm going to take sort of a reach here, but if you look at what he's done in his 5 starts, 3 top 10's, and last week at the Greenbriar with a final round 64 and a tie for fifth, this isn't such a gamble. He was the number one ranked golfer in the World Amateur Golf Rankings from May 2017 to April 2018 when he turned professional. I believe in this guy, the 19 year old native of Chile.
Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open
Gullane Golf Club, 7,133 yards, par 70
Last year's winner: Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Dundonald Links, -13. Won in a playoff over Callum Shinkwin of Scotland.
Weather, 64-68 all weekend, pretty pleasant. Maybe some showers Sunday. Wind a factor on Saturday and Sunday, 12-18 MPH both days. Thursday and Friday 7-10 MPH.
Thursday-Friday, Golf Channel, 4:30 AM-12:30 PM CT;
Saturday- Sunday, Golf Channel 9-11:30 AM. NBC 11:30 AM-2 PM CT.
What a day for sports on Sunday with the men's final at Wimbledon (8 AM CT, ESPN), the World Cup final (10 AM CT, FOX, and the Scottish Open all that morning. Summer sports are just as spectacular as other times of the year. Roger Federer lost today to Kevin Anderson in the quarters at Wimbledon, 13-11, in the 5th set, in an epic battle. Anderson was pounding first serves at 130. The average is 115-120. It was a stellar display by the South African. Wimbledon just got even more interesting. Nadal and Del Potro split their first 2 sets and 4-4 in the 3rd on ESPN. Djoker has already moved on to the semis where he'll face the Nadal-Del Potro winner. the Milos Raonic-John Isner winner will play Anderson in the other semifinal. Isner is an American. Raonic won the first set, 7-6 and it's 2-1 Isner in the second.
Update, Del Potro won the third set 6-4, so he's up 2 sets to 1.
The France-Belgium game was a war yesterday in the semis of the World Cup with the Frenchmen prevailing 1-0. England plays Croatia today at 1 PM CT on Fox at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The final on Sunday will also be played at Luzhniki Stadium.
I'm going to take the 33 year old from Inverness Scotland, by way of Jacksonville University (FL). He's won twice on the PGA Tour at the WGC-HSBC Championship in 2015 (Shanghai, China), and the Travelers Championship in 2016. He's also won twice on the European Tour with the WGC-HSBC also on the European circuit and the Irish Open last week. I like him to go back to back winning on his home turf this week and be locked and loaded for the Open Championship next week also on his home turf at Carnoustie.