Can Phil Win the Other Open?

As the wacky, wild weather subsides from southwest Virginia, it’s time to shed light on what’s been happening over the past week in golf and look forward to the British Open Championship weekend across the pond.

First things first: Shout-out to NCCGA golfer and University of Virginia Club Golf president Christian Dolan for his efforts in the U.S. Am Public Links Championship. He finished T-67, failing to qualify for the match play stage by one shot. Although it seems disappointing, keep your head up there, Christian! Myself, the Virginia Tech Club Team and the rest of the NCCGA will forever be rooting for you and your success.

Elsewhere in the golfing world, players on all four major golfing tours took it deep this weekend. LPGA: Hee Young Park, who shot a 10-under 61 on Saturday, outlasted Angela Stanford in a playoff as both players posted a four-day score of 26-under par. Steven Alker won in a playoff over Ashley Hall as both were 22-under par. Chad Collins was on 59-watch as he posted an 11-under 60 on Friday. Alker followed with a 61 on Saturday, but it was Will Wilcox who pulled through, posting 59 on Sunday. One thing is for sure; Kenny Perry still has some serious game. Don’t expect to see too many more U.S. Opens in which a player posts rounds of 64 and 63 on the weekend. I don’t care even if it is the Senior Open…some real good playing right there! And as fellow blogger Chase Russell highlighted, 19-year-old Jordan Spieth became the first teenager to win on Tour since 1931. With his win, Spieth became eligible to compete in this week’s Open Championship, the PGA Championship and next year’s Masters. He also gained his Tour Card for the remainder of the season and is eligible to compete in the race for the FedEx Cup and the Tour Championship. So Jordan, no more sponsor exemptions for you, big guy. Don’t worry…no need!

As the week begins at Muirfield, players are gearing up for potentially the greatest Championship venue on the planet—past eight at Muirfield have been won by current members of the World Golf Hall of Fame—as weather conditions are forecasted to be utterly perfect through Sunday. Players have been chatting about the firm and windy condition, which always set up for a fun-packed, entertaining weekend of links golf.

Philly-Phil is looking to keep his momentum going after his win in the Scottish Open on Sunday. Phil presented a few flaws in his game and several signs of frustration, but contrary to what many believe, Phil has had some solid Open Championships with two runner-up finishes (2004, 2011). With the driver out of the bag this week, I like the way Phil is playing and think his ability to shape shots and control his trajectory as well as his creativity around the greens gives him a strong advantage this week. He will be grouped with Rory and Hideki Matsuyama at 4:44 EST for the first two rounds of the Championship.