By Rob Bolton, Fantasy Insider
Rapid-fire format for an expectedly busy week ...
Rob, I hope that all is well. Rose, Harrington, or McDowell this week? -- Les
Rose is No. 1 in my Power Rankings.
Rob, I think I've narrowed it down to McDowell, Els, and Dustin Johnson this week for my one-and-done, although I also have Sergio and Padraig available as well. I'm leaning McDowell a little, but what do you think? Thoughts? Thanks. -- Mike
You've essentially copied my short list. First, there's considerable reason to save DJ for the PGA Championship, and Els might come in handy during the FedExCup Playoffs. Now, the British is an event where you save the studs. I'm burning Garcia but I won't pretend to talk you out of McDowell or Harrington. If you toss in the dynamic of whom your competition might start, it's likely that Garcia and Harrington will lead the tote board as both are trending similarly. Obviously, Harrington is a two-time champ of this event, so perhaps that breaks your tie. When I strategize on one-and-dones, I aim for top 10s. Wins are bonuses.
Hey Rob, I have a lot of players qualified for the Open,
so I could use your help. My current thinking:
Definite: Dufner and Rose
Possible: Watson, Watney, Schwartzel, Els
I need 4 starters from the above. -- Erik
In order: Rose, Els, (Bubba) Watson and Schwartzel.
Question for you this week: I have not seen anyone pick Louis Oosthuizen for the Open. As a close second to Bubba at the Masters and an Open winner not that long ago is he hurt or is there something I am missing? Thank you. -- David
Not injured to my knowledge. Just a little off right now. Do not rule him out given his reputation as a ball-striker and his fearlessness in the biggest events.
Rob, there are legitimate and interesting storylines for 20-25 golfers to win the Open Championship. I need a winner excluding Woods, Westwood, Rose, Donald and McDowell). I was leaning towards Harrington but he seems too obvious. Now I’m committed to Mickelson but I’m thinking Hunter Mahan (similarly about Matt Kuchar) will make his personal statement in Europe and win his first Major. So the question Mickelson or Mahan, for me? Cheers. -- Chris
Can you rewind to Harrington? If not, Mahan's ball-striking over Mickelson's recent inconsistency sells me. However, expecting a win is unfair. Certainly, any of those guys could emerge with the Claret Jug, but it takes just one round on the wrong side of the draw to eliminate one's chances.
Hey Rob, I have Kuchar, Scott, Senden as my three guys going into the stretch run at the big four events coming up (Open, PGA and the two WGC events). Any guys from the other side of the pond that I may want to consider picking up? I think Lawrie, Dyson, Quiros are all available. -- TB
Paul Lawrie is on the bubble for a Ryder Cup berth. He's flashed quite a bit of swagger, which gamers love. Also logged six top 10s this year, including a win. He's eligible for four of those events, and has already stated that he'll play in the first three.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England -- A year ago, Darren Clarke was surprised to find himself with a locker in the champions area at Royal St. George's.
That is, until he realized Greg Norman had withdrawn and learned the real reason. Seems the R&A was looking for someone who might fit in with the previous winners and not make any waves.
Little did anyone know how prescient a choice Clarke would be as the enormously popular Northern Irishman went to beat Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson by three strokes later that week.
"I couldn't quite figure out, why am I in this locker, and it was due to the late withdrawal of Greg Norman that Mr. (Peter) Dawson decided, well, who (can) we put in there that won't offend anybody, that won't do anything," Clarke recalled. "... And this year I'm back in the same area, the champions' area, but having won it, I've earned my place in that part of the locker room this time."
Clarke returned the Claret Jug to Dawson as cameras flashed on Monday, albeit a wee tad worse for wear. The affable 43-year-old won't reveal exactly what happened -- except that he didn't drop it and the venerable trophy wasn't in his possession when whatever happened, happened.
"I shall say no more," he said mischievously.
Over the last 12 months, the Claret Jug has accompanied Clarke to many places, including a few countries where the small silver trophy had never been seen. He relished the opportunity to show it off, too.
"It's one of those iconic trophies that people see on television but never actually physically get to see it," Clarke said. "... A lot of people have pictures with it, and they all enjoyed it as much as I did."
And believe it or not, Clarke never joined generations of champions in taking a drink out of the Claret Jug. Its replica, yes, but the actual trophy, no.
"I just decided that the trophy was too special for me to put anything into it," Clarke said. "I was tempted on the Sunday evening and the Monday evening and the Tuesday evening and the Wednesday evening and for about two weeks afterwards. I never managed to put anything into it. But I just thought, no, I can't do it."
Clarke admitted he hasn't followed up his career-defining victory with the kind of golf he had hoped. Like so many other major winners, Clarke found himself in the trap of trying to play "like the Open champion instead of playing the way that I played up and down in the first place." So he is still looking for his first top-10 finish 10 starts into the 2012 season.
"That's something that I did struggle with for a while, you know, for me and my goals The Open Championship is the biggest and best tournament in the world, and from the day that I lifted a club and started playing, this is all I ever wanted to do was win The Open Championship," Clarke said. "It took me quite some time to reflect upon it and see where I wanted to go after I'd won it. I struggled with that for quite some time, and then when I did then start practicing every hour of the day, it wasn't quite clicking into place.
"Maybe now that I've given the Jug back for this week, maybe I'll get back to playing the way I can play."
LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England -- Don't forget your wellies, waterproofs and brolly if you are lucky enough to get to go to the British Open this week.
For the uninitiated, that’s boots, rain suit and umbrella -- which are always a plus at a British Open but apparently will needed more than usual at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
The rain has been heavy at times on Monday with gusts off the ocean at 15-20 mph. Tuesday's forecast calls for occasion rain and drizzle before the worst of the weather rolls in on Wednesday and early Thursday.
The forecast for Friday and Saturday is for dry conditions but more rain could arrive for the final round. According to the official forecast released by the R&Q, though, "confidence is lot on the timing of this rain."
Temperatures throughout the week will hover in the low 60s.
Great Britain has endured the wettest April to June in history, and the rain has continued to be heavy in July. Flood alerts and warnings have been issued across the country.
In fact, the weather has become such a story here in the UK that betting parlors -- with the London Olympics on the horizon -- are offering some unusual odds.
One is giving 2/1 odds on rain falling during the men's 100 meters final, as well as 25/1 on losing an entire day of competition to bad weather. Another puts the odds of rain during the July 27 opening ceremony at 6/4.
LYTHAM St. ANNES, England -- The draw for the first two rounds of the British Open has been released. All times are local (five hours ahead of ET) and all groups start off the first tee.
6:19 a.m. – Barry Lane, James Driscoll
6:30 a.m. -- Richard Finch, Garth Mulroy
6:41 a.m. -- Matthew Baldwin, Adilson Da Silva, Tadahiro Takayama
6:52 a.m. -- Rafael Echenique, Kodai Ichihara, John Huh
7:03 a.m. -- Sandy Lyle, Todd Hamilton, Mark Calcavecchia
7:14 a.m. -- Alejandro Canizares, Jeev Milka Singh, Greg Chalmers
7:25 a.m. -- John Daly, Chad Campbell, Michael Hoey
7:36 a.m. -- Thongchai Jaidee, Justin Leonard, Simon Khan
7:47 a.m. -- David Duval, Raphael Jacquelin, Miguel Angel Jimenez
7:58 a.m. -- Stephen Ames, Robert Rock, Kyle Stanley
8:09 a.m. -- Stewart Cink, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Johnson Wagner
8:20 a.m. -- Jamie Donaldson, Bill Haas, Y.E. Yang
8:31 a.m. -- Davis Love III, Tim Clark, Paul Lawrie
8:42 a.m. -- Adam Scott, Alan Dunbar (a), Matt Kuchar
8:58 a.m. -- Vijay Singh, Nick Watney, Ian Poulter
9:09 a.m. -- Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Zach Johnson
9:20 a.m. -- Lee Westwood, Yoshinori Fujimoto, Bubba Watson
9:31 a.m. -- Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Hiroyuki Fujita
9:42 a.m. -- Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia
9:53 a.m. -- Ryo Ishikawa, Martin Kaymer, Tom Watson
10:04 a.m. -- Thomas Bjorn, Aaron Baddeley, Charl Schwartzel
10:15 a.m. -- Jason Dufner, Martin Laird, Kevin Na
10:26 a.m. -- James Morrison, Daniel Chopra, Joost Luiten
10:37 a.m. -- Thorbjorn Olesen, Troy Matteson, Thomas Aiken
10:48 a.m. -- Brad Kennedy, Mardan Mamat, Steve Tiley
10:59 a.m. -- Warren Bennett, Aaron Townsend, Grant Beenstra
11:10 a.m. -- Dale Whitnell, Sam Walker, Elliot Saltman
11:31 a.m. -- Bob Estes, Steven O'Hara, Brendan Jones
11:42 a.m. -- Juvic Pagunsan, Scott Pinckney, Nicholas Cullen
11:53 a.m. -- Steven Alker, Lee Slattery, Russ Cochran
12:04 p.m. -- Tom Lehman, Pablo Larrazabal, Greg Owen
12:15 p.m. -- Marcel Siem, George Coetzee, Chez Reavie
12:26 p.m. -- Marcus Fraser, Lucas Glover, Gregory Havret
12:37 p.m. -- Charles Howell III, Paul Broadhurst, Richard Sterne
12:48 p.m. -- Carl Pettersson, K.T. Kim, Gary Woodland
12:59 p.m. -- Ben Curtis, Paul Casey, Trevor Immelman
1:10 p.m. -- Robert Karlsson, Mark Wilson, Branden Grace
1:21 p.m. -- Harris English, Simon Dyson, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
1:32 p.m. -- Angel Cabrera, K.J. Choi, Ross Fisher
1:43 p.m. -- Jonathan Byrd, Sang-Moon Bae, Alvaro QUiros
1:59 p.m. -- Nicholas Colsaerts, Hunter Mahan, John Senden
2:10 p.m. -- Bo Van Pelt, Francesco Molinari, Toshinoro Muto
2:21 p.m. -- Rory McIlroy, Louis Oosthuizen, Keegan Bradley
2:32 p.m. -- Rickie Fowler, Padraig Harrington, Manuel Trappel (a)
2:43 p.m. -- Luke Donald, Phil Mickelson, Geoff Ogilvy
2:54 p.m. -- Steve Stricker, Toru Taniguchi, Anders Hanson
3:05 p.m. -- Peter Hanson, Retief Goosen, Robert Allenby
3:16 p.m. -- Jim Furyk, Koumei Oda, Fredrik Jacobson
3:27 p.m. -- Marc Leishman, Brandt Snedeker, Alexander Noren
3:38 p.m. -- Andres Romero, Jbe Kruger, Richie Ramsey
3:49 p.m. -- Ted Potter Jr., Ian Keenan, Andrew Georgiou
4 p.m. -- Troy Kelly, Morten Orum Madsen, Anirban Lahiri
4:11 p.m. -- Prayad Marksaeng, Justin Hicks, Ashley Hall
Charlie Wi continues to stalk his first PGA TOUR victory –- and follow the instructions he has written on his pin sheet.
That’s where he has written "It's a marathon" and "play one hole at a time." Wi has certainly remained patient this week at Cog Hill, and he’s tied for the lead, as a result.
Wi showed he wasn’t going away when he rolled in a 22-foot birdie putt on the first hole to take the lead. Matt Kuchar overtook him with consecutive birdies at Nos. 3 and 4 but the South Korean, who has lived in California since he was 10, just made an 8-footer to tie at the fifth hole.
So far, Charlie Wi has had a pretty good run through the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. He's tied for 27th at The Barclays and 18th at the Deutsche Bank Championship, which was his 10th top-25 finish of a fourth straight $1 million season.
But if the 38-year-old is going to play in his first TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola, he needs to finish 11th or better this week at Cog Hill. Wi, who entered the week ranked 37th in the FedExCup, has made some headway toward that goal during the first round, too.
The South Korean, who now makes his home in California, is 3 under through 16 holes at the BMW Championship. He's four strokes off the lead held by Matt Kuchar and tied for fifth.