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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: THE OPEN

Twofer Tuesday heads across the pond for a lonely stay in a hotel room at THE OPEN.

Defending champion Shane Lowry

We don't really need me to write a lot of intro, do we? THE OPEN is the oldest golf tournament in the world, this week it's making its 15th appearance at Royal St. George, and Shane Lowry is the defending champion from 2019.

Let's get on with making the picks.

This isn't as easy as you might think, at least not if you pay attention to past trends. For example, I think Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Matt Fitzpatrick are all in good form to win this one. However, THE OPEN hasn't been kind to Englishment lately -- the last to win was Nick Faldo back in 1993 -- and Royal St. George even less kind. The last Englishman to win here was Reg Whitcombe way back in 1938.

A number of players have had good showings in THE OPEN over the last few years. However, players like Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka haven't played as consistently as I would have liked going into a links event.

But I have made a couple of picks who I think just might pull this off.

  • Louis Oosthuizen is a previous OPEN Champion of course, having gotten his back in 2010 at St. Andrews. But he's been a runner-up twice in the last couple of months, at the Masters and the US Open. His game is in shape for the majors and, given the premium on driving this week, it's hard not to believe he'll put up another good run.
  • And then there's Jon Rahm. I admit that my feelings are a bit guarded concerning Rahmbo. Last week at the Scottish Open, I didn't worry that his putting was off; that happens to all players and it generally comes back soon enough if the player doesn't panic. But Jon seemed more shaken by the problem than he has shown recently, and he can't afford to run on a short fuse this week. Nevertheless, he came in T7 and he has two Irish Opens under his belt -- all links events. And let's not forget he just won that US Open where Louis ran second on a windy, linksy course. It's hard not to take him.

Coverage of THE OPEN moves around to different channels this week. On Thursday we get:

  • Peacock Premium: 1:30am-4am ET
  • GC: 4am-3pm ET
  • Peacock Premium: 3pm-4pm ET

Remember that Peacock Premium is the pay version. But if you have the pay version, you can also get some special channels with featured groups.

It's great to have THE OPEN back this year. And since Royal St. George is a course that tends to give players fits, we might see -- and hear -- some frustrated players!

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