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Golf

The Open Championship Preview

The tour moves across the pond to play in the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush Golf Club (Dunluce Course) in Portrush, Northern Ireland. With the new PGA schedule this is the last major of the year.

The tour moves across the pond to play in the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush Golf Club (Dunluce Course) in Portrush, Northern Ireland. With the new PGA schedule this is the last major of the year.

Purse: $10,500,000

Winner: $1,890,000

TV Schedule

  • Thursday July 18th: 12:30 AM – 3:00 PM CST on the Golf Channel
  • Friday July 19th: 12:30 AM – 3:00 PM CST on the Golf Channel
  • Saturday July 20th: 3:30 AM – 6:00 AM CST on Golf Channel
  • Saturday July 20th: 6:00 AM – 1:30 PM CST on NBC
  • Sunday July 21st: 3:30 AM – 6:00 AM CST on Golf Channel
  • Sunday July 21st: 6:00 AM – 1:00 PM CST on NBC

Weather

Whose Teeing Off

Tiger Woods walking a practice round at Royal Portrush via Getty Images

Every major player is teeing it up this weekend. This is the first time we’ll see Tiger Woods since the U.S. Open and many guys will be the first time we’ve seen play in a few weeks. Let’s take a look at the notable pairings and tee times for Thursday and Friday. The Open likes to space out their big names a big more, unlike the US Tournaments where there is like maybe six or seven big groupings, at The Open guys are spread around a bit more.

Notable Pairings and Tee Times (1st Round Tee Time/2nd Round Tee Time)

  • 1:52 AM/6:42 AM: Phil Mickelson, Shane Lowry, Branden Grace
  • 3:14 AM/8:15 AM: Henrik Stenson, Xander Schauffele, Graeme McDowell
  • 3:58 AM/8:59 AM: Francesco Molinari, Bryson DeChambeau, Adam Scott
  • 4:09 AM/9:10 AM: Rory McIlroy, Gary Woodland, Paul Casey
  • 4:20 AM/9:21 AM: Rickie Fowler, Kevin Kisner, Hideki Matsuyama
  • 6:53 AM/1:52 AM: Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Thorbjorn Olesen
  • 7:04 AM/2:03 AM: Brooks Koepka, Louis Oosthuizen, Shubhankar Sharma
  • 7:26 AM/2:25 AM: Jordan Spieth, Marc Leishman, Danny Willett
  • 8:48 AM/3:47 AM: Justin Rose, Tony Finau, Lucas Bjerregaard
  • 8:59 AM/3:48 AM: Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley
  • 9:10 AM/4:09 AM: Tiger Woods, Matthew Wallace, Patrick Reed
  • 9:21 AM/4:20 AM: Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, Matt Kuchar

Recent History

Franceso Molinari after winning the The Open in 2018 via Sports Illustrated

The Open hasn’t been played here since 1951 and the most recent major tournament played here was the Irish Open in 2012, so there is not much to go on as it pertains to this specific course. We can however take a look at recent performance at Opens. Of not, the past six winners here all had a win in the previous five starts besides Zach Johnson in 2015. Rory and Phil were the only two in 2014 adn 2013 to miss a cut in the previous four starts, and each guy at a top 10 finish or better in the previous five starts. So what does that tell us? The winner is likely going to be a guy who has played some good golf in the past month.

Past Open Winners

  • 2018: Francesco Molinari: (-12)
    • Runner Up: Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Kevin Kisner, Xander Schauffele (-10)
  • 2017: Jordan Spieth (-12)
    • Runner Up: Matt Kuchar (-9)
  • 2016: Henrik Stenson (-20)
    • Runner Up: Phil Mickelson (-17)
  • 2015: Zach Johnson (-15)
    • Runner Up: Mark Leishman, Louis Oosthuizen (Playoff)
  • 2014: Rory McIlroy (-17)
    • Runner Up: Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia (-15)

Recent Open and Tour Form

  • Rory, the favorite here, has three top 5’s the past three years, and a win in 2014. He also finished top 10 five weeks ago which fits the winners mold of the past 6 years.
  • Brooks Koepka as finished T39, T6, and T10 in 2015. He did not play in 2016. He also had a top 10 finish at the US Open.
  • Dustin Johnson missed the cut last year, and finished T9 in 2016. Other than that his best finish was T12 in 2014.
  • Jon Rahm has played bad in the Open, MC (2018), T44, then T59 in 2016. But he did win two weeks ago, and finished T2 and T3 in the past 5 weeks.
  • Tiger finished T6 last year. Before that he MC in 2015 and T69 in 2014 He has played three tournaments in the past 10 weeks.
  • Justin Rose finished 2 here last year, and T54, T22, T6, and T23. He finished 3rd at the US Open five weeks ago.
  • Molinari won last year, but put up a MC, T36, T40, and T15 in 2014.
  • Xander Schauffele as played in the Open twice going T2 last year and T20 in 2017.
  • Tommy Fleetwood finished T12 last year, T27 in 2017 but missed the cut at the Open the three years prior.
  • Justin Thomas missed the cut the past two years here, and finished T53 in 2016.
  • Adam Scott he previous three years has gone T17, T22, T43. From 2012 to 2015 he finished in the top 10. Scott was T7 just five weeks ago at the US Open.
  • Patrick Cantlay has played in the Open once, finishing T12 last year. Cantlay has finished T15 and T21 the past two tournaments he’s played in on Tour.
  • Rickie Fowler has finished T28, T22, T46, T30, and T2 the past five years. He’s going MC, T46, and T43 in his past three tournaments on tour.
  • Marc Leishman has three top 5’s in the past five years at The Open along with a T60 last year, and T53 in 2016.
  • Jordan Spieth has finished T9, WIN, T30, T4, and T36 the past five years. He went MC and T65 in his past two tournaments on tour.
  • Matt Kuchar has gone T9, T2, T46, T58, T54 his past five Open starts. He’s finished T20 and T16 his past two tour starts.
  • Jason Day has finished T17, T27, T22, T4, T58 his past five Open starts. He also has a T8 just four weeks ago.
  • Henrik Stenson has finished T35, T11, WON, T40, and T39 his past five Open starts. Stenson has three top 10’s in his last six starts.

The Course

Birds eye view of Royal Portrush via www.golfchannel.com

Royal Portrush is located on the northern coast of Ireland, about an hour from the major city of Belfast. It was designed in 1888 with a redesigned in 1932 by Harry Colt. In 2017 Martin Ebert was brought in a made some upgrades to the course. Royal Portrush has 36 holes (Dunlunce & Valley Course) and the players will be playing on the Dunlunce Course.

Just like most Open courses Royal Portrush is a rolling course, not a lot of trees, coastal links style course. Of note, there are fewer bunkers here than any other Open course. It is a 7,330 yards Par 71 course, and it’s best defense is wind, if there is any. If the wind doesn’t pick up here, this could be an easier course. It’s is not that long, fairways are average size with smaller bent-grass, fescue, meadow greens. This course did host the 2012 Irish Open where Jamie Donaldson won at -18. Let’s take a look at some holes here.

Hole #5 (White Rocks): 374 Yard Par 4

Short hole but its a sharp dog leg right, with the green sitting on a cliff over the Atlantic Ocean. There have been some new bunkers added but guys will go for the green here. This should be a birdie hole.

Hole #12 (Dhu Varren): 532 Yard Par 5

A shorter Par 5 that guys can get to in two shots. The green here is elevated and has a false front. There are a few fairway bunkers at 300 yards, and 330 yards on the right side that could come into play.

Hole #16 (Calamity Corner): 236 Yard Par 3

Real cool Par 3 here that plays longer than its yardage says. There are no bunkers at all on this hole, but it is an uphill shot that can be miserable if you miss the green. Hitting the ball short and you could be 50 ft below the green on your second shot. Aiming left will be popular this week as it’s the safe spot. Go right and you are in big trouble.

Here’s a longer video that gives you a general overview of the course.

Picks

One & Done: Justin Rose. Good recent form. Has finished T6 or better twice at The Open the past four years. Hasn’t missed a cut at an Open since 2013.

Betting Winner: Henrik Stenson (+3000), Adam Scott (+3300), Rafa Cabrera Bello (+6600), Keegan Bradley (+16000)

Top 10: Marc Leishman (+500), Sergio Garcia (+550), Eddie Pepperell (+650), Matt Kuchar (+275)

Daily Fantasy:

  • Zach Johnson
  • Adam Scott
  • Rafa Cabrera Bello
  • Eddie Pepperell
  • Brooks Koepka
  • Marc Leishman

One & Done Picks

  1. Waste Management Open: Matt Kuchar – $293,467 (T4)
  2. Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Shane Lowry – $0 (Missed Cut)
  3. Genesis Open: Hideki Matsuyama – $177,600 (T9)
  4. WGC-Mexico: Jon Rahm –$65,000 (T45)
  5. The Honda Classic: Sergio Garcia – $183,700 (T9)
  6. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Rickie Fowler – $35,000 (T40)
  7. The Players: Jason Day –$350,000 (T8)
  8. The Valspar Championship: Webb Simpson – $0 (Missed Cut)
  9. WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Brooks Koepka – $53,000 (T53)
  10. Valero Texas Open: Bud Cauley – $0 (Missed Cut)
  11. The Masters: Paul Casey – $0 (Missed Cut)
  12. RBC Heritage: Xander Schauffele – $15,559
  13. Zurich Classic: Patrick Reed –$0 (Missed Cut)
  14. Wells Fargo Championship: Tony Finau – $17,064 (T60)
  15. AT&T Byron Nelson: Keith Mitchell – $17,301
  16. The PGA Championship: Rory McIlroy – $264,395 (T8)
  17. Charles Schwab Challenge: Kevin Kisner – $0 (Missed Cut)
  18. The Memorial Tournament: Patrick Cantlay: $1,638,000 (WINNER)
  19. RBC Canadian Open: Henrik Stenson – $220,400 (T8)
  20. U.S. Open: Dustin Johnson –$57,853 (T35)
  21. Travelers Championship: Bryson Dechambeau – $194,400
  22. Rocket Mortgage Classic: Gary Woodland – $0 (MC)
  23. 3M Open: Joaquin Niemann – $49,105 (T23)
  24. John Deere Classic: Scott Brown – $0 (MC)
  25. British Open: Justin Rose –
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