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5 men who need to win this week’s Open Championship for their season to be viewed as a success

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The year’s final major championship is upon us, with 156 players ready to battle it out at Royal Portrush for the Claret Jug. The oldest tournament in the sport presents the last opportunity for players to achieve major glory for nine months, and while some players will look back at this year’s majors and view them as a success, others will see them as a missed opportunity.

Here are five players who will tee it up at The Open, needing a win to transform their season, and in doing so, their career.

Adam Scott

Adam Scott has looked revived in 2019 with four top-10 finishes, including a T7 at the U.S. Open and a T8 at the PGA Championship. The Australian hasn’t won since 2016, and at 39-years-old, Scott knows better than anyone that the final narrative over his career comes down to whether or not he can add to his lone major championship victory he achieved at the 2013 Masters.

Speaking following his final round at Pebble Beach last month, Scott stated

“I’m angry; I want to win one of these so badly. I play so much consistent golf. But that’s kind of annoying; I’d almost rather miss every cut and win one tournament for the year if that win was a major.” 

A gut-wrenching finish cost Scott the Claret Jug at Royal Lytham and St. Annes seven years ago, and the 39-year-old has held at least a share of the back-nine lead on Sunday on three occasions at the event since 2012. The Australian’s statement following the U.S. Open says it all; a successful 2019 depends on whether or not he can finally put his Open Championship demons to bed.

Dustin Johnson

With a win in Mexico earlier this year, Dustin Johnson has now made it 11 straight seasons with at least one victory on the PGA Tour. However, Johnson continues to be judged, rightly or wrongly, on his struggles to capture major championships. The 35-year-old remains on one major victory for his career, which is a hugely disappointing total for a player of his talent.

Should the American remain stuck on one major for another nine months following this week’s event, it’s hard to imagine the 35-year-old feeling satisfied. Johnson came to Pebble Beach last month as the prohibitive favorite and failed to fire, but it’s what occurred at the PGA Championship which will leave a sour taste. With Brooks Koepka feeling the heat, Johnson had the opportunity to step up and reverse his major championship fortune, but two bogeys in his final three holes just added to his ‘nearly man’ tag at the most significant events.

A win in Northern Ireland removes both the ‘nearly man’ and ‘one major wonder’ tags, and turns his least successful season, victory wise, into one of his best.

Rory McIlroy

Whatever happens this week at Royal Portrush, Rory McIlroy’s season has been impressive, but it’s missing something big. That something is a win at a major championship, and it’s been missing since 2014. To avoid a five-year drought at the majors, McIlroy must win the 148th Open Championship at home, and with it, claim the greatest victory of his career.

Speaking prior to this week’s tournament, McIlroy stated

“I want to win for me. It’s not about trying to do something in front of friends and family.”

The home-town hero is currently in the midst of one of the greatest ball-striking seasons of all time. But without a win at a major to show for it, there’s undoubtedly going to be frustration and regret in the aftermath. On the flip side, should the Ulsterman triumph this week then it would likely eclipse his double major season success of 2014, and according to the man himself, it would also eclipse anything that he could ever go on to achieve in the game thereafter.

Rickie Fowler

Without getting his hands on a major, the narrative behind Rickie Fowler is not going to change. ‘The best player without a major’ tag has been there for a while now with Fowler – who hasn’t been close to shaking it off in 2019. Victory at the Phoenix Open back in February snapped a 24-month streak without a win on the PGA Tour, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone considering the 30-year-old’s season a success without him finally getting the monkey off his back and entering the winner’s circle at a major.

Justin Rose

Justin Rose turns 39-years-old this year, and each season from now to the house, he will be judged on his success at the majors. With  wins at the U.S. Open and Olympics already achieved in his career, a successful season for the Englishman now depends on whether he can become a multiple major champion.

Talking ahead of his bid to win his first Open Championship, Rose said

“People don’t come up to me and say, ‘Hey, you won the FedEx!’. It’s the US Open, the Olympic gold, the Ryder Cup. I’m 40 next year and yes, the clock is ticking.

I’ve had three top threes in the majors in the last three seasons, with two seconds, so I know I’m right there doing the right things. It’s just a case of making it happen again, because the chances won’t keep coming forever.”

Rose’s sense of urgency may stem from tough losses at the 2017 Masters, 2018 Open Championship and more recently at the 2019 U.S. Open. In Rose’s favor is that the average age of winners of The Open since 2011 is almost five years higher than the average age of those who won the Masters, and over eight years older than those who won the U.S. Open. To elevate his 2019 to elite levels, Rose is relying on victory at Royal Portrush.

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at gianni@golfwrx.com. Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

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19th Hole

National Golf Foundation’s nationwide course surveys show human and business impacts Coronavirus has had on golf

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National Golf Foundation

The National Golf Foundation has conducted multiple surveys to study both the human and business impacts that the Coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to have on the game of golf.

Amongst their findings, the NGF found that based on phone surveys for over 1,000 golf facilities, 74% of in-season golf courses remain open despite the current Coronavirus pandemic. (As of March 27)

National Golf Foundation

The organization also revealed that there is a temporary golf course closure in the following states – Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusettes, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

National Golf Foundation

From a golf business standpoint, the NGF asked the ‘Top 100 businesses in golf’ how the ongoing spread of the Coronavirus had affected their business – with 23% saying severely, and 42% saying significantly.

National Golf Foundation

The consumer perspective has also changed dramatically due to the pandemic. The NGF’s findings show that while previously the situation had not had an impact on consumer’s golf equipment purchase decisions, the research now shows that the vast majority are now delaying any golf equipment spending.

Check out all the findings from the NGF’s research here at thengfq.com/covid-19.

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (4.2.20)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Beautiful looking creation from Tyson Lamb.

Dropping tomorrow from American Flatsticks.

Frosted head with a mirror polished bumper from MackMade Workshop.

Don’t miss out on all the action today over at The Hive.

Pro Am Customs showing off their wedge stamping skills.

Our Ryan Barath’s grip station set up.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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19th Hole

Check out the betting markets for the potential Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson “The Match” Part 2

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“The Match” Part 2 may have only just been teased by Phil Mickelson this week on his social media account, but that hasn’t stopped bookmakers from pricing up some exciting betting markets for the potential showdown.

BetOnline.ag have chalked up Woods as favorite to exact revenge on Lefty, but the company have also priced up markets on the total curse words used between the two, the number of Tiger twirls we will potentially see, and much more.

Here’s a full list of the betting markets BetOnline.ag have created ahead of the potential Woods-Mickelson “The Match” Part 2:

How many holes will be conceded?

  • Under 2½ holes 4/11
  • Over 2½ holes 2/1

Match Winner

  • Tiger Woods 20/33
  • Phil Mickelson 5/4

Number of 3-putts recorded by Tiger and Phil

  • Under ½ 3-putts 5/12
  • Over ½ 3-putts 33/20

Which pairing will win Tiger vs Phil II?

  • Tiger Woods / Peyton Manning 5/9
  • Tiger Woods / Tom Brady 2/3
  • Phil Mickelson / Peyton Manning 11/10
  • Phil Mickelson / Tom Brady 7/5

Which player will make the most birdies?

  • Tiger Woods 10/13
  • Phil Mickelson 10/11

Will a Play Off be needed to decide the winner?

  • No 1/3
  • Yes 5/2

Will Hole No. 18 be played?

  • Yes 10/13
  • No 10/11

Will there be a Hole In One?

  • No 2/55
  • Yes 17/2

Will Tiger Woods wear a red shirt?

  • Yes 2/5
  • No 17/10
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