Golf Glance: Elite WGC field takes aim after major

Field Level Media’s Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.


Dustin Johnson
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

LAST TOURNAMENT: The Open Championship (Shane Lowry)

THIS WEEK: WGC-FedEx St. Jude, July 25-28
TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tenn. (Par 70, 7,238 yards)
Purse: $10.25 million (Winner: $1.742 million)
Defending champion: Justin Thomas
FedEx Cup leader: Brooks Koepka
Television: Thursday-Friday, 2-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, noon-1:45 p.m. (GC), 2-6 p.m. (CBS).

NOTES: The event moves to TPC Southwind from Akron’s Firestone Country Club. … Tiger Woods holds the 72-hole event scoring record of 259 set in 2000 at Firestone. He is not in the field this week. … Dustin Johnson’s six WGC victories are second only to Woods. He is a two-time winner at TPC Southwind, including last year’s finale of a 30-year run as a regular PGA Tour stop…. Lowry withdrew on Tuesday. … Woods and Italy’s sixth-ranked Francesco Molinari are the top players skipping this week’s event. … Recent winners Nate Lashley and Matthew Wolff will compete in their first career WGC events.

BEST BETS: Koepka (10/1 by PointsBet) owns a scoring average of 68.70 at TPC Southwind, if he can regain focus for a non-major. … Johnson (9/1) hasn’t been in top form this summer, but he does own a career scoring average of 67.75 in 20 rounds at TPC Southwind. … Justin Rose (20/1) will get his first look at the course in competition, but it’s a scorable track that should suit his tee-to-green game. … Danny Willett (70/1) is a solid under-the-radar pick who has T15s in three of his past four events, including the past two majors.

THIS WEEK: Barracuda Championship, July 25-28
Mantreux Golf & Country Club, Reno, Nev. (Par 72, 7,472 yards)
Purse: $3.5 million (Winner: $612,000 – based on 2018)
Defending champion: Andrew Putnam
Television: Thursday-Friday, 7-9:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 5-8 p.m. (GC).

NOTES: The opposite-field event is the only one on the PGA Tour to use the Modified Stableford scoring format, which awards eight points for a double eagle, five points for an eagle and two points for a birdie. No points are awarded for par, with a bogey costing a player one point and a double bogey or worse earning a minus-3 score. … The Montreux G&CC is a Jack Nicklaus design that sits approximately 5,500 feet above sea level between Lake Tahoe and Reno. … Putnam is not competing after qualifying for the WGC-FedEx St. Jude. … Korean pro Ho Sung Choi, who is known for his “fisherman” swing, will make his third PGA Tour start of the year.

NEXT WEEK: The Northern Trust, Jersey City, N.J.


Angela Stanford
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

LAST TOURNAMENT: Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (Jasmine Suwannapura, Cydney Clanton)

THIS WEEK: The Evian Championship, July 25-28
Evian Resort Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains, France (Par 71, 6,527 yards)
Purse: $4.1 million (Winner: $615,000)
Defending champion: Angela Stanford
CME Race to the Globe leader: Jin Young Ko
Television: Thursday-Friday: 5-7 a.m., 9:30-11:30 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday: 6-9 a.m. (GC), 9-11:30 a.m. (CNBC)

NOTES: This is the seventh year of the event being a major on the LPGA Tour. … Thirty-seven of the top 40 players in the Rolex Rankings – including each of the top 10 – are in the 120-player field. … This is the first of two consecutive weeks of women’s majors. … Stanford earned her first career major at last year’s Evian in her 436th career LPGA start when Amy Olson double-bogeyed the 72nd hole. … Top-ranked Sung Hyun Park missed the cut last year. … The par-4 18th hole has been changed to a drivable par-5. … After being plagued by poor weather each of the past five years, The Evian was moved to July from mid-September. …

NEXT TOURNAMENT: AIG Women’s British Open, Milton Keynes, England


Darren Clarke
Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

LAST TOURNAMENT: Senior Players Championship (Retief Goosen)

THIS WEEK: The Senior Open Championship, July 25-28
Royal Lytham & St. Annes, Lytham, United Kingdom (Par 70, 6,948 yards)
Purse: $2 million (Winner: $314,330)
Defending champion: Miguel Angel Jimenez
Charles Schwab Cup leader: Scott McCarron
Television: Thursday-Friday: 7-9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday: 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. (GC), 12 p.m.-2 p.m. (NBC)

NOTES: This is the fifth and final Champions major of the year. … Royal Lytham & St. Annes will play host to its fifth Senior Open and first since 1994. The five past Open Championship winners in the field include Darren Clarke and Paul Lawrie, who will make their Senior Open debuts. … Jimenez became the first Spaniard to win the Senior Open when he edged Bernhard Langer at St. Andrews for his first career Seniors major. … Gary Nicklaus and Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee are among the 49 players who qualified on Monday. Esteban Toledo is the top-ranked player among the group at No. 50.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: DICK’S Sporting Goods Open, Endicott, N.Y., Aug. 16-18.

–Derek Harper (@DerekAHarper), Field Level Media

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