MONDAY  | JULY 15, 2019
by Dave Seanor

The buildup to the 1951 British Open at Royal Portrush centered around Bobby Locke’s quest for an Open three-peat. At least that was the buzz in golf outside the United States. In America, no one much cared.

After all, there were only four Americans in the field at Portrush, and the most prominent among them was an amateur. This dearth of entries from the States was typical from 1946, when the Open resumed after a six-year absence during World War II, through 1960, when Arnold Palmer made his British debut. Palmer’s runner-up finish at St. Andrews that year, followed by back-to-back victories at Royal Birkdale and Royal Troon, reignited his compatriots’ interest in crossing the Atlantic. There will be 47 Americans competing at Portrush this week.

 


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by Adam Schupak

Keith Pelley, the executive director of the European Tour, remembers the first time he met Wilma Erskine at Royal Portrush, the site of this week’s 148th British Open. It was in the lead-up to the 2016 Ryder Cup, and Pelley was hoping to get European team captain Darren Clarke to do yet another promotional activity.

“She said, ‘I'll get Darren to do that. Don't worry; leave him to me,’ ” Pelley said. “I went, Who exactly are you? I met her, and then I realized. I went, Oh, I get it; you're running this place. There is no question. Yeah, I love her. She's great. But everybody does.”

Everybody loves Erskine, whom many consider to be the driving force in bringing the Open back to Portrush for the first time in 68 years.

 


by Len Ziehm

Dylan Frittelli was the surprise of the John Deere Classic on Sunday, and his victory in the PGA Tour event sent him on his way to this week’s British Open.

Frittelli was a relatively unknown player before securing his first U.S. pro victory, but he won’t need any introductions across the Atlantic when golf’s top stars gather at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

 


by Alex Miceli

Matthew Wolff might be the real deal in golf, and thankfully we should have plenty of time to see what comes of him.

Wolff, with his signature loopy swing, has taken the golfing world by storm with a victory recently at the PGA Tour’s inaugural 3M Open. The 20-year-old Californian by way of Oklahoma State is a golf celebrity, with his star only starting to rise.

 


Champions Tour’s unstoppable downward trend
Gary Van Sickle wrote an excellent article about Steve Stricker (“Stricker plays it cool in ‘Summer of Steve’,” July 12). And he’s correct that Stricker is “No. 1 in the senior circuit’s unofficial rankings.” Van Sickle refers to Stricker as “king of the hill,” something Stricker hasn't been since his amateur days in Wisconsin (even though he has won 12 times on the PGA Tour).

A couple of weeks ago, there were some Morning Read contributors writing about the blandness of the Champions Tour. A couple said they preferred the LPGA to the Champions Tour. While Van Sickle accurately describes Stricker’s excellence on that tour, he’s also supporting the position of those earlier contributors.

 


2

Number of consecutive birdies that Retief Goosen made on the final two holes to win the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship on Sunday in Akron, Ohio. Goosen, 50, of South Africa, shot 2-under 68 for a 6-under 274 total and two-stroke victory at Firestone Country Club’s South Course.

 


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RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

Hawk & Rude: Draft codgers
Veteran scribes John Hawkins and Jeff Rude size up the field for next week’s British Open by holding their first major-championship draft. Seven picks apiece, plus full analysis on what one might expect at Royal Portrush.


The Grill Room Golf Show
Co-hosts Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. interview Brian Keogh from the Irish Golf Desk for insight about the upcoming British Open at Royal Portrush.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Puma Golf introduced the X Collection, a head-to-toe line of apparel, accessories and footwear. Rickie Fowler will debut the line Thursday during the first round of the British Open at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

 

Short Par 4 announced a deal with the Texas Golf Association by which the subscription box service will provide apparel to the TGA’s competitors, staff and volunteers. Short Par 4 will be involved in marketing TGA events.

 


CALENDAR
July 15-20
Boys junior: U.S. Junior Amateur

Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio

July 16-19
Women’s amateur: Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur

Arrowhead GC, Molalla, Ore.

July 16-20
Women’s amateur: Women’s Western Amateur

Royal Melbourne CC, Long Grove, Ill.

July 17-20
Men’s amateur: Southern Amateur

Chenal CC, Little Rock, Ark.

LPGA: Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational

Midland (Mich.) CC

July 18-21
Korn Ferry: Pinnacle Bank Championship

Club at Indian Creek, Omaha, Neb.

PGA Tour: Barbasol Championship

Keene Trace GC, Nicholasville, Ky.

Symetra: Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic

Brook Lea CC, Rochester, N.Y.

PGA/Europe: British Open

Royal Portrush (Northern Ireland) GC


      
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