Weekend Pro Watch 30 June30 Jun 2016
The European Tour has a significant event this week: the 100th French Open, being played at Le Golf National near Paris. This is the venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup, so could be well worth a look to see how Rory McIlroy & Co cope with one of the most terrifying finishing stretches in world golf. There’s plenty of water on the last few holes, which can lead to huge swings in stroke and match play alike.
Ryan Fox was unable to get a start in this: he plays instead in the European Challenge Tour event in Aalborg, Denmark. The Aalborg GC is relatively short, and wind can be a major factor so Ryan’s driver may not see much action this week. Ryan is currently 15th on the Challenge Tour, and the top 15 at the end of the season will get full European Tour cards for 2017.
Danny Lee tees it up in another WGC event: the Bridgestone Invitational at the iconic Firestone GC in Akron, Ohio. There is no cut in this tournament, so Danny will play all four rounds. Potentially he will then have a week off and won’t be able to defend his Greenbrier title, as the devastating floods in West Virginia have already caused the cancellation of this event, leaving a gap in the PGA Tour schedule.
Tim Wilkinson plays in the Barracuda Championship in Reno, Nevada, featuring a mix of PGA Tour and Web.Com players. This is a modified stableford points tournament, which rewards aggressive play, and Tim has shown his ability to go deep in recent weeks, so could well be prominent here.
There is no Web.Com event this week, and the Champions Tour also has a week’s break.
Michael Hendry and David Smail are both in the Shigeo Nagashima Invitational SEGA Sammy Cup (tournament logos must look interesting….), starting today in the northern island of Hokkaido. Defending champion is Hiroshi Iwata, who has played in the last two NZ Opens.
Sean Riordan (pictured above) plays this week in one of the premium events on this Tour, the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship, a $US 500,000 tournament in Taiwan.
Lydia gets a deserved week off, as she now looks towards the US Women’s Open on July 7th.
Danny remains our top ranked played in 45th spot. Ryan Fox jumped 36 spots to 186# after his 2nd in the Scottish Hydro Challenge, and although Michael Hendry won more money than Ryan with his 5th in the ISPS Handa Global Cup, he advanced only 6 spots to 226#, thanks to the quirky points system used to determine official world rankings. Michael would virtually need to win this week to stand a chance of making the Olympic team.