The Barclays Scottish Open
On the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond many of the Worlds greatest players will congregate to compete for the prestigious Scottish Open. Frances Gregory Havret defends a title thats been won over the years by players like Colin Montgomerie, Retief Goosen and Ernie Els.
Its the 13th year in a row that the Scottish Open has visited Loch Lomond and its a venue the players love returning to, the crowds are fantastic and the golf course is always in great shape. Said 1999 champion Colin Montgomerie. Not only does the tournament hold special memories for me having held the trophy high nine years ago, but Loch Lomond was the setting for my wedding to Gaynor earlier this year so I’m very much looking forward to returning.”
The course, designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish is widely considered to be one of the finest inland layouts in the UK.
Venue: Loch Lomond, Scotland
Date: July 10-13
Course stats: 7,139 yards, par 71
Purse: £3,000,000 Winner: £500,000
Defending champion: Gregory Havret (-14)
TV coverage: Live on the BBC from 1pm on Thursday July 10.
Phil Mickelson The World Number Two will be looking for perfect Open preparation by securing a victory on the lochside.
Ernie Els The big South African has won this event on two previous occasions, hell be aiming to make it a Loch Lomond hat-trick.
Lee Westwood The Englishman won here back in 1998. Hes on solid form this season so expect him to see him in the mix come Sunday afternoon.
Key hole: 18th. A 435 yard par four to an amphitheatre of a green. The loch runs down the left side. Par here is by no means a given.
Skills required: Approach shots. The pros will have to be very accurate on both line and distance with their approaches. Anything slightly misjudged will run off the putting surface.
John Deere Classic
It may not be the most significant event on the PGA Tour schedule in terms of prize money or Fed-Ex Cup points, but theres a Major incentive on offer. The winner of the tournament will receive a spot in the Open Championship the following week. Last year Jonathan Byrd lifted the trophy and made the journey to Carnoustie where he finished in a tie for 23rd.
The course at TPC Deere Run was designed by DA Weibring in 1999, the PGA Tour remodelled it in 2007. It plays as one of the easier layouts on tour in 2007 it was ranked as the 13th easiest course the tour visited. Jay Haas holds the course record at 61.
Venue: TPC Deere Run, Illinois
Date: July 10-13
Course stats: 7,257 yards, par 71
Purse: $4,200,000 Winner: $756,000
Defending champion: Jonathan Byrd (-18)
Thursday 10 – Live on Setanta Golf from 8pm
Friday 11 – Live on Setanta Golf from 8pm
Saturday 12 – Live on Setanta Golf from 8pm
Sunday 13 – Live on Setanta Golf from 8pm
Aaron Baddeley The Australian is due a big finish and he, almost certainly, will be thinking about the opportunity to earn a place in the Open.
Nathan Green Another Aussie, Green finished tied for third here last year, he has good memories of the TPC Deere Run.
Kenny Perry The veteran is the hottest player on the PGA Tour right now. Hes confirmed he wont be travelling to the Open and is focussing his attentions on his home tour.
Key hole: 16th. A par three of just 158 yards its all carry to a bluff sitting 40 feet above the Rock River. The front of the putting surface is guarded by a shale outcropping and a large bunker.
Skills required: Accuracy. Keep it on the course here and low scoring is possible. Miss the narrow fairways and a big number can be racked up.