What does the rest of the year have in store for golf fans?July 14, 2017 Team
The summer is now in full swing which means the world’s biggest golf tournaments are coming thick and fast, with two of the four majors already complete
Sergio Garcia and Brooks Koepka claimed the Masters and US Open respectively and attention has now turned to Royal Birkdale and the Open Championship.
Henrik Stenson is the defending champion but will arrive at Southport after an up-and-down season to date.
The Swede has mixed a few top-ten finishes with four missed cuts and there is a sense that the big-name stars are all misfiring at present.
Rory McIlroy’s woes on the putting surface have been well-documented while Jordan Spieth has been struggling from the tee, although the American did win the Travelers last time out.
Jason Day seems a shadow of the player he was when number one in the world while Dustin Johnson has stuttered since winning three consecutive tournaments earlier in the year.
Therefore it looks a wide open event and it may well be another first-time major winner who triumphs on the Lancashire coast, with Rickie Fowler tipped by many to break his duck.
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Mid-August will see the final major as the players descend on Quail Hollow for the US PGA Championship and it could offer McIlroy a real chance to finally win something.
The Northern Irishman won his first PGA Tour title at the Charlotte venue back in 2010 and has happy memories of a final-round 62.
But it is not all about the majors, with many other prestigious tournaments on both side of the Atlantic.
The ever-popular WGC-Bridgestone Invitational is sandwiched in between the remaining majors and Johnson will defend his title at Firestone Country Club.
The European Tour’s inaugural Rolex Series has proved popular, with bigger purses attracting better fields and, with four events still to play in Italy, Turkey, South Africa and the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, the Race to Dubai is in full flow.
The Tour returns to Britain in the autumn when waterproofs and woolly hats will be the order of the day for the British Masters and Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, with Sweden’s Alex Noren and exciting Englishman Tyrrell Hatton defending respectively.
Across the pond, the FedEx Cup will be dominating the players’ thoughts as they jostle for position to reach the lucrative end-of-season showpiece.
The Northern Trust Open and Dell Technologies Championship have replaced The Barclays and Deutsche Bank Championship respectively, while the BMW Championship will precede the Tour Championship in Georgia.
Only the top 30 players stateside get to feature in the finale and, with a $10m bonus on offer for the overall winner of the FedEx Cup, it is obvious why there is so much emphasis on trying to make it all the way to East Lake Golf Club.
There is no Ryder Cup this year and so the Presidents Cup takes centre stage in early October as the best from around the world combine to take on the might of the US in New Jersey.
Steve Stricker and Nick Price will captain the US and International teams respectively and the hosts will be looking for a seventh straight win.
If the 2015 edition was anything to go by it should be a thrilling event as the US won by a single point in South Korea.
Current world number two Hideki Matsuyama will lead the International team’s charge, but will he have an elusive first major on his CV by the time battle lines are drawn at Liberty National Golf Club?