Troon, Scotland - As the 2016 Open Championship begins this week at Royal Troon, the question on everyone's mind is who can beat Dustin Johnson? The 32-year old American will be looking to extend a career-defining stretch that has seen him win his first major at the U.S. Open and add a third career World Golf Championships title at the Bridgestone Invitational, in his last two starts. His main challengers will include the usual suspects led by the so called "Big Three" a description that seems more to do with potential than actual results after the year's first two majors. Of the threesome, only World number one Jason Day has looked worthy of the designation with wins at both the Players Championship and WGC-Cadillac Championships. Both Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy have victories this year, but other than Spieth's Amen Corner meltdown at the Masters, neither has really been a factor in any of golf's biggest events in 2016. Here's what you need to know to prepare for the 2016 Open Championship.
Bethesda, Maryland - The PGA Tour returns to the nation's capital this week for the 2016 Quicken Loans National. It's the 10th playing of the event and the seventh time it's been played at the classic Congressional Country Club layout. Unfortunately, the star attraction will not be in the field. Tournament host and two-time champion Tiger Woods continues to recover from back surgery and will devote his time to off the course activities, much to the chagrin of his legion of fans. Here's what you need to know to prepare for the 2016 Quicken Loans National.
Last YearAmerican Troy Merritt followed up a sensational 10-under par 61 on Saturday at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, with a final round 67, to record his first PGA Tour title. The 29-year old finished three shots ahead of Rickie Fowler and four up on Sweden's David Lingmerth. Merritt's 61 on Saturday and 266, 72-hole total were both course and tournament records.
Pebble Beach, Ca - Time for our 2016 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am picks, as the PGA Tour returns to one of the World's greatest Golf Courses. Defending champion Brandt Snedeker, one of the hottest players on tour this season, will be looking for his 3rd victory in four years in this event. Pebble Beach has also attracted six of the top nine players in the world, including the number one player in the Official World Golf Ranking, Jordan Spieth. Other top ranked players include third-ranked Jason Day, Bubba Watson (6th), Justin Rose (7th), Patrick Reed (9th) and Dustin Johnson (8th). Johnson will also be looking for his third AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am title, after wins in 2009 and 2010. Other past champions in the field include Jimmy Walker (2014), three-time winner Phil Mickelson (2012, 2005 and 1998), D.A. Points (2011), Vijay Singh (2004) and Davis Love III (2001 and 2003).
Here's a few things we noticed as we present our weekly Razzball Moving Day Fantasy Golf Report, February 6, 2016 edition.
Rickie Looking for 2nd win of 2016After a win in Abu Dhabi, and a disappointing jet-lagged induced missed cut at San Diego, Rickie Fowler is back in contention. After opening with rounds of 65 and 68, Fowler looks poised for another victory this week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The fourth ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking sits one shot back of 36-hole leader and fellow American James Hahn, who sits at -10 through two rounds. Fowler has left no doubt that his goal this year is to turn the big three of Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy into a Big Four, and based on early results he just might have a chance to do it. With Spieth running around the world getting rich, McIlroy getting everything he can out of life and Day seemingly in the midst of a career-year hangover, Fowler might be the best player in the world right now. Of course, it will all come down to how he performs in the four majors.
Kapalua, Hawaii - Okay, so maybe his amazing 2015 season won't be that hard for Jordan Spieth to follow up, afterall. The reigning FedEx Cup champion is starting the new year firing on all cylinders, after a second round 9-under par 64 gave him a four-shot lead, after 36 holes at the 2016 Hyundai Tournament of Champions. The number one player in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) went out in 31, going five-under par on the last 5 holes of the opening nine that included three birdies and an eagle on the Par 5 ninth. He completed the bogey-free round with four more birdies on the backside, including three-in-a-row at holes 13, 14 and 15 and closing birdie on the Par 5 18th. The hot start surprised even Spieth. "Did I see 16 under? Probably not to start the season," Spieth said.
In this three part series, Razzball.com's golf editor, Joe MacDonald, will give you his selections of the Top 30 players at the end of the 2015-2016 FedEx Cup season. In installment number one on Sunday, we looked at the guys who will rank in the Top 10 at the end of the year. On Tuesday, the erstwhile editor made his selections for positions 11 through 20. Today, in the final article in the series, MacDonald chooses the players who will round out the field at the 2016 Tour Championship. The whole process of picking the Top 30 in the 2015-2016 FedEx Cup is a challenge, but this final article, is without doubt, the most difficult piece in the series. The top 10 was easy, and barring injury or other natural disaster, all of the players listed in our Top 10 should be at East Lake for the Tour finale. Positions 11-20 was a little more challenging, and we did go out on the limb on a couple of players, but again, we are pretty confident that most of the players we chose for the middle ten will at least have a spot in the field for the Tour Championship. But now it gets hard. We considered more than 60 players in trying to determine our final ten. Major champions were snubbed. Players with a history of playoff success were completely ignored. So for better, or worse, here are our picks for positions 21 through 30 in the 2015-2016 FedEx Cup final standings. As in the first two installments in the series, OWGR indicates a player's current placing in the Official World Golf Rankings and FEC indicates where he finished in the final 2014-2015 FedEx Cup Standings.