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Feb
19
2016

[Ed. note: To read about Royal Troon, the site of this week’s Open Championship, scroll down past where I open with Turnberry… Troon is the second course out of the five.]

Royal Troon

Royal Troon

In the southwest of Scotland–not far from Glasgow–is a historic country called Ayrshire, which is home to at least a handful of top-rate links courses.  I’ve traveled to Scotland at least half a dozen times, but somehow, my trips hadn’t taken me to this area for some particular reason. I found out quickly how rich in golf history Ayrshire is and all that it has to offer from five of the best links tracks in the world.

The region is home to two courses in the Open Championship rota, Turnberry (Alisa) and Royal Troon (Old), where next summer’s Open is taking place this July, along with the birthplace of the Open Championship, Prestwick Golf Club. We also played a newer course, Dundonald, which is the links course for the prestigious Loch Lomond Golf Club, and Western Gailes, an old school, classic links track that is a favorite, must-play on the western coast of the country.

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Jul
22
2016

Ed. note: In case you’re wondering where the heck I’ve been in a week and why there was no post after Henrik Stenson delivered the most epic final round performance in major championship history, here’s the answer: Minutes away from pressing “publish,” my Macbook, which had been acting up all day, froze and then after I tried to reboot it, but it wouldn’t let me past the page where you enter your username password (and I’ve tried *everything* as I’m generally good at troubleshooting). After three or four hours, I gave up and I couldn’t do anything but laugh because, well, sh*t happens and I wasn’t going to freak out over my first world problem, especially after the insane week of real tragedies around the world. I couldn’t do anything about it, so I’ve ignored the problem all week as I only returned to NYC from Glasgow today, and now I’m trying to post from my iPad. I have an appointment at the Apple Store tomorrow. My apologies. And my thumbs hurt. 

In case you’re already having withdrawals from watching major championship golf, good news! — you only have to wait a few more days as the PGA Championship kicks off next week at Baltsurol GC in Springfield, New Jersey (due to the scheduling changes to accommodate the Olympics). Not a fan of the schedule and I don’t even have to play, so think how the golfers feel — not that I feel too much sympathy for them. Just sayin’.

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Jul
17
2016
By Stephanie Wei under General

Henrik Stenson is 18 holes away from winning his first major championship– not to mention becoming the first Swede in history. Stenson, 40, is arguably the best player in the game without a major, and obviously you don’t secure such a distinguished tag without a number of close calls (including a runner-up finish in 2013 to Phil Mickelson).

(Stenson and Mickelson have separated themselves from the field as Stenson has a six-shot advantage over the next competitor. At this point, it is most likely too many shots to make up, especially at Royal Troon…)

For those who aren’t aware of what a legend Stenson is — which appears to be the case for the average American fan — ever wonder what’s he really like? Maybe not, but you should. And who better to ask the questions than Henrik himself? Yes, no joke. Just watch the above video from 2011. 

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Jul
15
2016

It’s Friday, so why not mix things up with a bit of fun and I promise you’ll get a good laugh (if you don’t, then get a sense of humor)? Plus, there was a request from a fellow media member to post the above video or make it available to share. On Wednesday morning I played Prestwick GC, the home of the Open Championship (yes, it’s where the first one was staged in 1860).

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Jul
13
2016
By Stephanie Wei under General


[Ed note: The sun is coming up and I haven’t slept (instead I’ve been meaning to write my epic rant in defense of Rory McIlroy’s comments during his presser at Royal Troon on Tuesday and the ensuing overreaction/misinterpreation/oversight, but instead I engaged in debates with people on Twitter for the last 3-4 hours (I really should know better at this point), and I have a very important engagement in three hours. In other words, I’m not going to be able to write my full takedown on why everyone needs to back off and shed some light on why perhaps McIlroy has developed a bit of disdain for Olympic golf Hint: How many other players have been asked regularly for the last five years (at least) which country they are going to represent in the Olympics? And if you don’t understand the implications and history, here is a detailed explanation and an excellent breakdown written by one of contributors who happens to be Irish back in 2012.]

First, I have just a few housekeeping notes to mention. I’m absolutely fed up with the topic of golf in the Olympics (I mean, I haven’t really been enthused since they announced the format–72-hole stroke play, making it an entirely individual competition), and the whole situation has gotten so absurd that I don’t even want to mention, talk or write about it, but I do feel strongly enough about my take on what’s turned into an absolute debacle, along with defending Rory McIlroy’s remarks in his Tuesday presser at Royal Troon ahead of the Open Championship this week.

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Jul
12
2016

There was a moment Tuesday evening at Royal Troon where it looked like world no. 1 Jason Day might have endured a rib injury. He was setting up to hit his approach shot on no. 18 in his practice round when he suddenly came out of his back swing and grabbed the left side of his ribs. Day appeared like he was in pain, but shook it off, regrouped and hit his shot.

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Jul
11
2016
By Stephanie Wei under Olympics

It was only a matter of time when it comes down to it — once one star drops out, it’s not a massive surprise when his peers end up following suit and doing the same. Well, at least it was rather predictable with regard to the top-ranked male golfers in the world and their decision to take a pass on competing in next month’s Olympics in Rio.

During the International Golf Federation press conference Monday at Royal Troon, where the Open Championship is being held this week, President Peter Dawson announced that Jordan Spieth, the world no. 3 and two-time major champion, withdrew from the participating in golf’s return to the Olympics, citing the Zika virus as part of the reason.

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Jul
9
2016

Ah, the good ol’ Friday night news dump! — at least Tiger Woods has the courtesy to do it at a *reasonable* hour, but hey, I guess that’s the benefit of being on the West Coast at the moment.

Dustin Johnson issued a statement late Friday night that he has withdrawn his name from the Olympics due to the threat of the Zika virus. Here is his full statement:

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Jun
22
2016

Rory McIlroy announced Wednesday morning that he has officially withdrawn his name from golf’s return to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, citing health risks over the Zika virus. The world no. 4 golfer would have been one of two golfers representing Ireland, but McIlroy and his fiancee, Erica Stoll, plan to start a family in the near future, and Zika has been linked to birth defects among newborns.

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Jun
21
2016

Dustin Johnson wasn’t just playing the hardest U.S. Open venue on the planet, Oakmont, but he also had forces gravitating against him. Again. At this point, he nearly expects to experience some type of outside forces working against him while he’s in contention at a major championship in the final round.

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