2019 Open Championship- Royal Portrush

cshea

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The Open is making a return to Northern Ireland, this will be the first Open played at Portrush since 1951. I have only read good things about then golf course, should be a fantastic week. I’ve slowly come around to the Open being my favorite major. Can’t wait for Thursday.

Home game for Rory so he comes in as the favorite:

Rory 8/1
Koepka 10/1
DJ 10/1
Rahm 16/1
Tiger 18/1
Rose 20/1
Molinari 20/1
Schauffele 20/1
Fowler 25/2
Cantlay 25/1
Fleetwood 25/1
JT 25/1
 

DrewDawg

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As for Woods’ game, little if anything can be gleaned from a practice round, but the 43-year-old’s game and body certainly looked to be just fine during the morning stroll. He seemed to be fresher than on Sunday, when he arrived on an overnight flight from Florida and was on the golf course within two hours of landing, and the mood was naturally light with Fowler and Johnson en tow.
 

thehitcat

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Sounds like an awful idea. Should be a fun walk for him on the back 9 of day 4.
Why would we think that someone who quick cut 15 pounds would still be around on the weekend. I can't imagine he makes the cut with that drastic a change.
 

cshea

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Rain and 10-15 mph winds in the forecast for tomorrow. Giddy up.

This thing starts at 1:30 am EST. Believe the golf channel has coverage from the first tee shot to the last putt. Some notable tee times:

2:52am- Lighter Lefty/Lowry/Grace
4:58am- Molinari/Bryson/Scott
5:09am- Rory/Woodland/Casey
7:53am- JT/Fleetwood/Olesen
8:04am- Brooks/Oosty/Sharma
9:59am- DJ/Day/Keegan
10:10am- Tiger/Reed/Wallace
10:21am- Rahm/Cantlay/Kuchar

Late start for Tiger could help the back loosen up. He hasn’t been great in colder weather. He admitted his game wasn’t in top form going into the week, but was out there practicing in the rain today.

Speaking of practice, Brooks said he only practices for majors and the only time he plays golf outside of majors is the regular events. Brooks’ caddie is a Portrush member, so he should have some insider knowledge of the course.

Then there’s Rory. Can he handle the pressure this week as the hometown hero?
 

Zomp

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Then there’s Rory. Can he handle the pressure this week as the hometown hero?
If I was betting, I say Rory finishes somewhere around 25th. The pressure he has on himself is amazing. In his home country, with all of the crowd behind him, and averaging a third place finish over the past 5 Opens. I just think he's set for a disappointing finish for himself.


Koepka fascinates me every time I hear him speak. He's always brutally honest and I find him surprisingly interesting.
Him talking about how little he practices was amazing.
At his press conference they asked if he had extra motivation to win this week for his caddy. I expected the generic "I try to win every tournament" speech but he gave a refreshingly honest answer. He said of course it added extra motivation and he'd love to win it for him. It was a nice moment.
 

Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat

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At his press conference they asked if he had extra motivation to win this week for his caddy. I expected the generic "I try to win every tournament" speech but he gave a refreshingly honest answer. He said of course it added extra motivation and he'd love to win it for him. It was a nice moment.
My favorite interview with him was when he was talking about how much he hated slow play. And when he gets paired with a slow player he plays even slower to make sure they get put on the clock.
 

patinorange

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Darren Clarke birdies the 1st - that’s pretty cool.
I had the privilege and thrill of playing Royal Portrush last June on a golf trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland. And like Clarke I birdied the first hole! ( from a much more forward tee of course) then I finished with a smooth , even 100 strokes. Darren Clarke was there practicing his chipping. We were excited to see him, so we were quizzing our caddies about him, as he is a hometown hero there. The four caddies in our group all agreed that when he shows up, they scatter. No one wants to carry his bag. A pain in the ass. Caddies there were great. Trump is a cheater and an a hole. Bill Clinton, cheater but good guy. Best guy my caddy ever carried for? Arnold Palmer.

What a beautiful place.
 

ernieshore

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I had the privilege and thrill of playing Royal Portrush last June on a golf trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland. And like Clarke I birdied the first hole! ( from a much more forward tee of course) then I finished with a smooth , even 100 strokes. Darren Clarke was there practicing his chipping. We were excited to see him, so we were quizzing our caddies about him, as he is a hometown hero there. The four caddies in our group all agreed that when he shows up, they scatter. No one wants to carry his bag. A pain in the ass. Caddies there were great. Trump is a cheater and an a hole. Bill Clinton, cheater but good guy. Best guy my caddy ever carried for? Arnold Palmer.

What a beautiful place.
That’s awesome. I just learned Clarke went to Wake Forest for a bit like myself. Somehow missed that all these years.

I drove by Portrush on a bus some years ago. But watching this and the Irish Open a couple weeks ago has me thinking about a trip like yours.
 

ConigliarosPotential

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If I was betting, I say Rory finishes somewhere around 25th. The pressure he has on himself is amazing. In his home country, with all of the crowd behind him, and averaging a third place finish over the past 5 Opens. I just think he's set for a disappointing finish for himself.
After his first hole - on which Rory hit his tee shot OB (with an iron) *and* took an unplayable lie penalty on his way to a quadruple bogey 8 - I think he might take 25th right now if you offered it to him.
 

ConigliarosPotential

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Rory now +5 through three holes. In terms of mental strength, Rory surely has to be the weakest great player we've seen in a long time. Probably the mentally weakest player to have ever won 4 or more majors, and possibly the weakest ever player to have won 3 or more majors. (It's a shame he and Wozniacki didn't stay together - they were a perfect match in this regard.)
 

CSteinhardt

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On the other hand, he didn't make a 15 on the 7th hole like David Duval...

Edit: It was posted incorrectly. He only made a 13.
 

ConigliarosPotential

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David Duval started with two birdies and then two pars. Then he had a snowman at the 5th and a bogey at the 6th...and he's just made a 15 at 7th. Yes, David Duval made a 15 on a par 5 at The Open.

(EDIT - actually, he didn't. The scoreboard has just been changed...he only made a 13 at the 7th.)
 

Comfortably Lomb

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Rory now +5 through three holes. In terms of mental strength, Rory surely has to be the weakest great player we've seen in a long time. Probably the mentally weakest player to have ever won 4 or more majors, and possibly the weakest ever player to have won 3 or more majors. (It's a shame he and Wozniacki didn't stay together - they were a perfect match in this regard.)
I don’t think this is the case at all. He plays a high risk, high reward style and gets burned a bit. He regularly stumbles then recovers and charges back when most other players would just collapse. I do think he peaked at just the right time several years ago when the tour talent was brutally weak at the top end.
 

Average Reds

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Bubba’s the kind of guy I think of as mentally weak, not Rory.
It’s silly to say that Rory is mentally weak. But his game is very fragile, in the sense that he features tremendous power and a gambling style that demands perfection. And when perfection is elusive, he often goes off the rails.

His style is really close to a modern-day Arnold Palmer.
 

ConigliarosPotential

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I don’t think this is the case at all. He plays a high risk, high reward style and gets burned a bit. He regularly stumbles then recovers and charges back when most other players would just collapse. I do think he peaked at just the right time several years ago when the tour talent was brutally weak at the top end.
Maybe "mentally weak" isn't the right terminology, but Rory has had an extraordinary number of strange episodes in his career (going back to the 10th hole at Augusta when he was leading with nine holes to play) in which he clearly seems to be off in the head as much as his body - episodes you just wouldn't see from someone like Tiger or, to pick a closer contemporary parallel, Koepka. And there's also the way he reacts with the media - the quotes he gives, and the ways he has to then backtrack from them, and the way that sometimes those interactions seem to mess with him thereafter on the course. Today is a perfect example: Rory has publicly taken credit for playing a part in bringing The Open to Portrush, and the way he played the first hole today, and the way he looked while playing it, was ample evidence to me that he'd let the fact he was in Northern Ireland get completely in his head. When Rory is on his game and out of his head, he's incredible...but the majors in general seem to be getting in his head, and I actually wouldn't be surprised if he never won another one at this point.

It’s silly to say that Rory is mentally weak. But his game is very fragile, in the sense that he features tremendous power and a gambling style that demands perfection. And when perfection is elusive, he often goes off the rails.

His style is really close to a modern-day Arnold Palmer.
I like the word "fragile" better than "weak", but I do think it's more about his head than his swing. I don't really see the Palmer comparison - Mickelson is the modern-day Palmer analogue to me, not McIlroy.
 

Zomp

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I don't blame Rory if this week gets in his head. I don't think I've seen pressure like this on a golfer since Tiger was going for the Tiger Slam. I can buy the argument that Koepka is mentally stronger than Rory, but then again he has 6 wins to Rory's 16 and is only a year younger.

I don't know. I don't think its fair to call him mentally weak. Maybe he's underachieved a little bit but only because of the standards we've set for players.

I think he almost certainly wins another major.
 

cshea

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He is open and honest with the media, which is refreshing, but sometimes may leads him to have to walk things back. After his meltdown at Augusta he won the next major by 8. He’s had 10 top 10’s in his last 18 major starts.

He is not mentally weak or fragile. He is human.
 

Average Reds

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When I described his game as “fragile” I was thinking in terms of a high performance auto or a fine watch.

His game is awe-inspiring. And I don’t for a second believe he is mentally fragile or weak. (Your example about the week after Augusta is on point.) However, when he’s off by even a small amount, he can go seriously sideways.

That’s all I was saying.

Edit: responding to cshea.
 

Zomp

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When I described his game as “fragile” I was thinking in terms of a high performance auto or a fine watch.

His game is awe-inspiring. And I don’t for a second believe he is mentally fragile or weak. (Your example about the week after Augusta is on point.) However, when he’s off by even a small amount, he can go seriously sideways.

That’s all I was saying.

Edit: responding to cshea.
This I'd agree with. He's feast or famine. Certainly not a grinder.
 

terrynever

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Scott just left one in the bunker on 17. Camera was so close, it got hit by the sand explosion, and then the ball came rolling back to Adam’s feet. I laughed.
 

cshea

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When I described his game as “fragile” I was thinking in terms of a high performance auto or a fine watch.

His game is awe-inspiring. And I don’t for a second believe he is mentally fragile or weak. (Your example about the week after Augusta is on point.) However, when he’s off by even a small amount, he can go seriously sideways.

That’s all I was saying.

Edit: responding to cshea.
Yeah this is a fair assessment.