Congratulations to Bryson DeChambeau.
Bryson DeChambeau rallied with a back-nine 30 at the John Deere Classic to edge Patrick Rodgers and notch his first career PGA Tour victory.
I found this article online this morning and thought to pass it along to my bloggers. Carolyn Sharp
The major season is halfway over, and this time next week, after The Open Championship is all wrapped up, we will be 75 percent done with just one major until the 2018 Masters. But first, Royal Birkdale will host its first Open since 2008 and just its second this century. The last one was won by Padraig Harrington who is (improbably) a contender again.
Every major has great storylines going in, but which are the easiest to root for this week? Who should the casual golf fan who maybe only watches on Sundays or only tunes into the major championships be pulling for this week at Royal Birkdale? I have some names of legitimate contenders for you to look at. We’re exlcuding the obvious ones like Mark O’Meara winning in what will probably be his last Open because, let’s be honest, Mark O’Meara has no chance of winning this week.
So here are nine golfers with a real chance to win and why they’re going to be so easy to root for in Southport, England, this weekend.
1. Rickie Fowler: The American is still looking for his first major, and this might be his best chance to grab it. Fowler finshed in the top 10 at the U.S. Open in June and played great last week at the Scottish Open. He’s likable, thrilling to watch and tough as haggis in bad weather. He’ll be a fan favorite on both sides of the pond this week.
2. Lee Westwood: Poor Westwood is nearing his 80th major start without ever notching a single win. This week’s would be particularly savory coming in his home country of England. He has contended so many times here over the years (three top-three finishes since 2009), it would be incredible if he could finally get it done at age 44.
3. Tommy Fleetwood: His story is almost too easy. Fleetwood grew up in Southport, is playing the best golf of his life and is coming off a win at the French Open. Can you imagine the emotion of winning an Open that close to your hometown? That’s the dream for every golf-playing child in the United Kingdom.
“It’s obviously going to be an amazing experience support-wise,” said Fleetwood. “I think looking at it and people wishing me good luck and people talking about it, it’s going to be an experience that I’ve never had in my life. I think very few people get the chance to have a home crowd that’s massively in your favor and play a tournament where, however many people will be watching me, will all want me to do well.
“So I mean, good or bad, whatever the draw is, however I play, it’s going to be an experience that I’ll never forget just for the sheer support I think that I’m going to have, which is exciting in itself to look forward to.”
4. Sergio Garcia: The Spaniard has come up close at this event so many times, it’s incredible (even for him). He has an incredible 10 top-10 finishes, including each of the last three years. The Masters was massive for him, but you get the feeling an Open would mean even more. As we’ve gone over innumerable times, Garcia has gone from being a petulant, sometimes-unlikable kid to a tragic hero as an adult. He’s actually fun to root for now.
5. Jordan Spieth: The 23-year-old comes into this event off one of the great shots of his career at the Travelers Championship. For those looking for a Tiger Woods replacement on the American side of things, Spieth is your best bet (although he won’t come close to touching Tiger’s career). But for him to get three-quarters of the way to the career Grand Slam at this age would be pretty amazing.
6. Rory McIlroy: The Ulsterman has missed three of four cuts, but he can still make history this week at Royal Birkdale. His sits T20 all-time with four major championships in his collection. He can move to T14 with a win this week and join Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Bobby Jones as the only golfers with five of them before age 30. Greatness is fun to root for, especially when it’s wrapped in a dynamic personality like McIlroy’s.
7. Matt Kuchar: After a solid Scottish Open, Kuchar returns to a tournament where he only has one top 10 ever. Kuchar is as likable as professional athletes get, though, and it would be spectacular to see him get major No. 1 this week at Birkdale. Especially if he dropped some language in the process.
8. Justin Rose: Another Englishman returns to the site of his first Open start way back in 1998 as a 17-year-old.he thought he was going to win the Open that week as a teenage amateur. It would be some nice symmetry if he was actually able to do so two decades later as one of the most accomplished Englishmen of his generation.
9. Padraig Harrington: The Irishman is the defending champ here; he’s also coming off neck surgery and played great at the Scottish Open last week. For him to win this week and get major No. 4 after a season of injuries and a constantly-tinkered-with swing would be spectacular. His would be an easy bandwagon to hop on this weekend if he’s in the thick of it.
LPGA star Lexi Thompson opens up about her efforts to sharpen up her short game, and teeing it up alongside President Trump and Bryson DeChambeau, and the benefits of team play both for building her own game and for the joy of the fans.
Helping a child prepare for becoming a NCAA college athlete takes time, patience and careful research. Regardless of the sport, proper guidance for your hopeful college athlete is necessary and often underestimated. You don’t want to over do it, or under do it either, and the timing of your actions is also important. Go Pac Golf has put together a list of advice for parents that might soon be navigating the college golf path.
First of all, it is important to note that NCAA rules allow prospective students to visit college campus at their own expense at any time. We would highly suggest doing so with your child in the 9th grade to learn more about a variety of schools, golf programs, coaches and so forth. Parents and students may call coaches in advance of their unofficial campus tours although the coach is not allowed to return calls and initiate contact with prospects until September of your child’s junior year. Basically you are politely calling to give the coach a head’s up that you and your child will be around on a particular day versus showing up unannounced. Keep it casual. It is often an important first introduction as the coach may now take note of the player and likely look into their Junior Golf career up to date and then follow the player over the next two years prior to making official contact with the player in September of their junior year of high school.
Encouraging your child to establish a Junior Golf career by playing in AJGA events is critical. This is by far the best place for junior golfers to be discovered by college coaches. Look into how your child can earn AJGA PBE status in your state. Players need to build their competitive golf resumes and set themselves up to gain exposure to prospective golf programs. As a parent, it is important to help set this up for your child without solely focusing on the scouts. We would suggest you focus on the fact that it will be helping your child gain experience in competitive golf to see if this is really what they want. It is also important to not feel that your child has to play for the top ranked schools. There are many great college golfers that have done well in college golf that have come from the lesser-ranked NCAA schools. Help your child choose a school that is the best fit for them based on academics, athletics, social needs, location, cost and so forth. If your child ends up in a great program that really suits them, their golf will surely benefit.
International Student-Athlete requirements.
Over 20% of NCAA Division 1 golfers are foreign students. The NCAA has specific guidelines for international athletes who wish to participate in NCAA programs. Although foreign students and US have the same recruiting guidelines, foreign students must meet certain additional eligibility criteria. The NCAA Clearinghouse is the governing body that reviews each student’s academic records. See www.ncaaclearinghouse.net for more details. Familiarize yourself with the requirements for your child. They are straightforward but important.
Generally, for the golf component, we would suggest helping your child establish a junior golf career in his or her country of origin at the highest possible level as would the American born applicant. NCAA golf coaches will be familiar with equivalent junior golf programs in your country as are used to having foreign golfers come to them. We would also suggest visiting the as many college campuses in the US as you can with your prospective NCAA golfer. Have your child play in some US tournaments. Try to connect with other foreign athletes on campus and ask them how they did it.
Most of all, good luck to you and your child in this wonderful pursuit. It is a long road but so exciting for you and your child. Enjoy each curve and turn!
Have a look at Phil’s bunker video. It’s worth the minute to watch.
World Golf Hall of Famer and 5-time major champion Phil Mickelson gives his best fluffy lie bunker instruction in this best lesson. For more great instruction like this, watch Best Lessons Ever on Tuesdays at 7PM ET.
Golf and Ethics
Even the world of golf has not been spared by this year’s Presidential race politics as a big question has arisen as to whether or not the USGA should reconsider its hosting of the LPGA’s 2017 U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National in Bedminster, N.J.?
We at Go Pac Golf feel strongly that playing such a huge tournament at Trump National should absolutely be reconsidered and, in that belief, we are not alone.
Earlier this week, 3 US senators wrote a letter to the USGA to do so and urged the committee to make a principled change on the matter.
“The decision that the USGA makes is more consequential than simply the geographic location of a golf tournament,” the letter read. “In declining future association with a brand that degrades women, the USGA and LPGA have an opportunity to make clear to the world, and most especially young Americans, that our nation will not tolerate nor do business with any company that condones or excuses action that constitutes sexual assault.”
‘Golfweek’ interviewed 12 LPGA players and only one player was steadfast that the tournament should be moved. The general consensus amongst the few that were questioned was that the tournament should stay where it is (this late in the game) and that politics should not interfere.
As an avid female golfer myself, I personally would experience a kind of ethical dilemma if I were to indirectly endorse a Trump golf course by playing in a huge tournament there. No, I would not forego a berth in the US Open but might rather take the opportunity to say something about my concerns and hopefully initiate a move towards making something good out of it.
We’d love to hear from all of you about what you think about the choice that the USGA now faces.
Canadian golf sensation Brooke Henderson defends her title for the second straight time at an LPGA event, the Portland Classic. Coming off her first ‘major’ win only 2 weeks ago, she is forging a hot trail en route to the Olympic games in Rio.
For reasons regarding the Zika virus and the safety of his wife’s future pregnancies, Jason Day has withdrawn from the 2016 Olympics. He is attending a press conference on the Golf Channel today at 10 am ET