A stunning final round by Jon Rahm saw him win his second Irish Open at Lahinch golf club and all eyes will be on the American based Spaniard when he tees it up for the British Open in two weeks-time. He has two top ten finishes in the three majors so far this year and he will be one of the favourites in Northern Ireland next week.
This week’s event is The Scottish Open at North Berwick which is a new course for this tournament. It is a long course and a tough driving course with some extremely long carries, but those who hit it straight will come to the fore. A lot will depend on how strong the wind blows especially as the pins will be in some testing positions, rewarding solid iron play. Many of the players will use this week as a chance to hone their games for next week’s British Open, even though this is not a traditional links course like Royal Portrush. Those who played well in last week’s Irish Open could be worth considering, especially those who still need to qualify for next week’s Open. World number three Rory Mcilroy will be favourite to win a tournament that has seen victories in recent years for Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose, so it is not just a “warm-up” event. Justin Thomas and Matt Kuchar also travel over from the USA, but Tiger Woods is missing, as he prefers to practice in Ireland, getting ready for The Open next week. Local favourite Grant Forrest will receive huge support and is one of the few players in the field to have played this course a few times, living just a few miles away along the coast. Having finished in the top twenty in Ireland last week, he is no forlorn hope for a home victory.
Matthew Wolff won the 3M Open on only his third professional start, with an eagle on the final hole from 26 feet to beat DeChambeau and Morikawa by one stroke. One thing that this shows us is that nowadays, these youngsters straight out of college, have no fear about getting over the line and that they are no respecters of reputations, believing totally in their own ability.
This week’s event is The John Deere Classic at Deere Run Illinois. A course that produces low scores as a number of holes are set up as “risk reward”but are more reward than risk for those PGA players who are accurate. Last year’s winning score was -27 and an eight-shot victory for Michael Kim who since winning this tournament, has missed 22 cuts in the 27 events he has played! The big bonus for winning here is a place in the British Open so consider those who are not already qualified. Previous winners playing include Ryan Moore, Zach Johnson, Jonathan Byrd and John Senden and with the field containing just a couple of the top 50 ranked players, there is clearly a big chance for players with course form, and also the up and coming youngsters, to shine. The likes of Victor Hovland from Norway and American Collin Morikawa have played well in recent weeks and in a less than stellar field, have a great chance for a maiden tour victory.