The third week of July is arguably the most important of the golfing year — depending on which side of the pond you reside. The Open Championship returns to Royal Birkdale for the first time since 2008 and while all eyes will be on the big names there are plenty of ancillary characters looking to make their mark on the history books over the next four days.

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It’s Wednesday! And that means it’s time to place your bets! Golfstradamus is back with your can’t-miss, sure-fire, mortal locks for the Zurich Classic! Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson come in as the favorites, but don’t count out some of the sleeper teams looking to make a big splash this week in New Orleans.

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2016 Ryder Cup Friday FoursomesChaska, Minnesota – 2016 Ryder Cup Friday Foursomes Predictions for September 30th:

2016 Ryder Cup Friday Foursomes – Match One

Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed (USA) vs. Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson (Europe)

Based on past Ryder Cup performance, this sets up well for the Europeans. Rose and Stenson are a combined 6-2-2 in Ryder Cup foursomes play, and were 3-0-0 as a team in 2014. The American duo of Spieth and Reed, meanwhile have never won a foursome’s match.

This edge is offset somewhat by form and health issues. Spieth and Reed were both relatively sharp in the PGA Tour playoffs, both reaching the Tour Championship in Atlanta. Neither Rose nor Stenson qualified for the final stage, Rose due to uninspired play and the big Swede due to injury.

Predicted result – Halve

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2016 BMW ChampionshipCarmel, Indiana – The top players on the PGA Tour travel to Crooked Stick in Carmel, Indiana for the 2016 BMW Championship, the penultimate leg of the 2016 PGA Tour playoffs.

American Patrick Reed and former world number one Rory McIlroy won the first two legs of the playoffs and have clinched their spots in the Tour Championship in two weeks at East Lake in Atlanta.

And while many players have all but clinched their spots for the season finale, those on the bubble will have to produce a good performance if they want a shot at the FedEx Cup and the $10 million bonus.

Here’s what you need to know to get ready for the 2016 BMW Championship.

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How each player can move onFarmingdale, New York – After 12 months that produced four first time winners in the majors and the first Olympic Gold Medalist in 104 years, the 2015-2016 PGA Tour season nears it’s conclusion, beginning this week with the playoffs’ first event, the 2016 Barclays Championship.

Three of those new major winners will be in the field that includes the Top 125 players in the FedEx Cup regular season point standings.

With a strong field and an amazing venue like Bethpage Black, it’s shaping up to be an interesting an exciting week. With just 100 players advancing to the second stage of the playoffs next week in Boston, competition for those final few spots will be intense.

Who will make it to the DeutscheBank? Who will come from far back in the rankings to move on to the next stage? Who will stamp themselves as the early favorite to hoist the 2016 FedEx Cup?

Here’s what you need to know heading into the 2016 Barclays Championship.

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The Razzball.com Fantasy Golf Rankings, August 18, 2106 edition reflects the current holding pattern in the world of professional golf.

Sandwiched between an unusually busy major season and the PGA Tour playoffs, most of the leading players are busy catching their breath before the next pressure-packed segment of the season unfolds.

That means the Top 20 of the Fantasy Golf Rankings, August 18, 2016 edition look a lot like last week’s rankings. The Top five contains the same five players, although the order has been shuffled slightly.

At the top, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson is number one for a third consecutive week, consolidating his position with a second place finish in the inaugural Olympic Golf tournament.

Australian Jason Day logs a 22nd consecutive week in the Top 10, moving up a spot to number two. PGA champion Jimmy Walker, who like Day was idle this week, moved up a spot to third in our weekly survey.

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Now that the 2016 Olympic Golf tournament is actually here, it’s time to focus on the players who actually made the commitment to represent their country and not those who chose to stay home.

The majority of coverage leading up to the event concerned the players, who, for various reasons, both legitimate and suspect, chose to forego the event. Included in the group are the so-called “Big Three” of World #1 Jason Day of Australia, Great Britain’s Rory McIlroy and American Jordan Spieth. U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson is also a no show, meaning the top 4 players in the world and six of the Top 10 will not be in Rio when the tournament starts today.

But several of the world’s best players will be in the field at the Gil Hanse designed Olympic Golf course. And one of them will be crowned the first Olympic golf champion in 112 years.

Here’s what you need to know to prepare for the 2016 Olympic Golf Tournament.

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Lower Springfield, New Jersey – As the 2016 PGA Championship begins, it’s amazing how much the golf landscape has changed in the past year.

Twelve months ago, when hype about golf’s so called big three was at it’s height, a 2016 without a major victory by Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy or Jason Day would have seemed impossible. But as the world’s best players arrive arrive at the Baltusrol Golf Club for the 2016 PGA Championship, that possibility seems more like a probability.

2016 PGA Championship Logo

All three have failed to get the job done for a variety of reasons. Spieth, never the tour’s best ball striker has struggled to hit fairways and greens, making his best weapon, his putter, all but irrelevant.  McIlroy has the opposite problem, leading the tour in strokes gained off the tee, but struggling mightily on the short grass. Day has been the best and most consistent of the three, but hasn’t been able to get the job done when it counts the most. Now struck by family and personal illness this week, his chances of defending his title seem remote.

To add insult to injury. the “Big Three” has been infiltrated by American Dustin Johnson, who not only has cracked the Top three in the Official World Golf Rankings, but can take over the number one spot this week with a victory at Baltusrol.

Here’s the 411 as you get ready for the 2016 PGA Championship.

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