Golf

2018 Quicken Loans National: Expert picks, predictions, analysis, sleepers

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USA TODAY Sports

2018 Quicken Loans National: Expert picks, predictions, analysis, sleepers

The Quicken Loans National golf tournament returns to the nation's capital for the final time before moving to Detroit in 2019.

With Tiger Woods returning to TPC Potomac at Avenal  Farms in 2018, the anticipation is at an all-time high. Will Woods hoist the championship trophy for the first time since 2012 or will defending champion Kyle Stanley go back-to-back?

We asked out expert team of fantasy golf wizards to drop their analysis, predictions and picks for the 2018 National.

The panel of golf experts offering their predictions, picks and analysis are:
Chris Garosi, The Fantasy Fix
Geoff Feinberg, Fantasy Golf Expert
Garrett Johnston, NBC Sports Washington
Kenny Kim, Fantasy Golf Degenerates Podcast
Troy Machir, NBC Sports Washington
Doug McKinney, NBC Sports Washington/Sports Junkies
Matt "Valdez" Myers, 106.7 The Fan's Sports Junkies

Quickens National Picks to Win

Doug McKinney: Jimmy Walker
I’m going with someone who doesn’t get too high or too low; a perfect description of Jimmy Walker.  Listen, last year TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm played as the fourth toughest track on the PGA Tour.  The rough is stuff you would see at a U.S. Open course; in fact, Justin Thomas said last year “you could 100 percent host a U.S. Open here starting tomorrow.” 

Walker will stay on the fairways, is in good recent form and is definitely considered one of the fan favorites in this field.  Sure, the 2016 PGA Championship winner missed the cut here last season, but he wasn’t playing consistently.  I’m backing Jimmy Walker.

Geoff Fienberg: Francesco Molinari
In the best form of his career going to a course that suits his iron game. Recently won BMW over in Europe on a very tight course (Wentworth) with many comps. 

Kenny Kim: Francesco Molinari
This course seems well suited for Molinari’s game. He hits a lot of fairways, hits a lot of greens, and for the most part avoids the big number. He’s coming in hot with a win, a runner-up, and a solid 25th place finish at the US Open in his last three starts. I think him skipping the huge Euro Tour French Open speaks volumes about how he thinks he can do at this specific course. I don’t think he skips the French Open for the Quicken Loans unless he thinks TPC Potomac is a course well suited for him to possibly get his first PGA Tour win. 

Chris Garosi: Kevin Streelman
It’s tough to pass on Rickie Fowler at this tournament, but he just doesn’t seem to win as frequently as we think he should. I’m actually going to ignore most of the top of the board as I don’t see a lot of value. 

The pick for me this week is Kevin Streelman. I was on him last week and it looks like I might have been a week too early. He’s always played well at this even irrespective of the venue including his T17 last year.  He’s third in bogey avoidance this year (which will be key on a tough course) and is trending in the right direction. 

Matt Valdez: Tiger Woods 
I've had the luxury of playing TPC Avenel over 20 times.  It's an amazing course.  Fair but tough.  You are penalized for poor shots and if the rough is thick, you're playing for par if you're wayward off the tee.  

Why not?  His own tournament, weaker field. The course emphasizes strokes gained tee to green and surprisingly ranks 5th on tour.  Believe it or not, it's been Tiger's putter that has failed him.  Hoping the new TaylorMade mallet makes a difference and every weekend duffer will be racing to Golfdom to buy one. RIP Newport 2 :( 

Garrett Johnston: Tiger Woods
This guy threatened the course record last month at the straight and narrow TPC Sawgrass, he nearly won at another tough track at Tampa before that. This week against a non-strong field at another accuracy-first venue, it’s his to lose.

Troy Machir: Tiger Woods
It has to be Tiger, it just has to. With the tournament heading elsewhere after 2018, what better sendoff than having the tournament's host complete the hat trick with a victory?

Quicken Loans National Sleeper Picks

Doug McKinney: Chesson Hadley
I know he is coming off back-to-back missed cuts, but Hadley is going to be in one of the final groups come Sunday.  The 2014 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year has six Top 20’s since the final event in March and has course history here.  Playing on the Web.com Tour, Hadley placed second here in 2013.  I like his fit here so much; I contemplated having him as my pick to win this week.

Geoff Fienberg: Si Woo Kim 
The course also suits his game, the form is strong. Kyle Stanley won with negatives strokes gained-putting last year so that makes it easier to go to the well with Si Woo. (Call this a cheat but I was very tempted to pick Woodland here also)

Kenny Kim: Kevin Streelman
Streelman is having one of the best ball striking seasons of his career. In his last 50 rounds he’s 1st in the field in Good Drive % (combo of Driving Accuracy and greens in regulation from the rough), 4th in Fairways Gained, 8th in Green in Regulation, 9th in Strokes Gained: Approach, and 4th in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green. He’s also inside the Top 15 in the field in Bogey Avoidance and Double Bogey Avoidance in the last 50 rounds. He came in 17th here last year and I think he can do better this week.

Chris Garosi: Jason Gore
If it’s DC, the sleeper is always Jason Gore. He’s had serious success on this track (for him) over the years in the different tournaments held at TPC Potomac. 

Matt Valdez: Denny McCarthy 
Made 3 cuts in a row and coming back to his home course.  Really impressed with Denny's third round 66 and can’t neglect his comfort and familiarity with TPC Avenel.

Garrett Johnston: Beau Hossler
He’s been trending all season, nearly grabbed his first Tour win in Houston and just finished second last week at Travelers.

Troy Machir: Kevin Streelman
Streelman is making spectacular contact on the ball this season and has been hovering around Top 15 week in and week out. 

Quicken Loans National Longshot Picks

Doug McKinney: Denny McCarthy
The local native – along with Billy Hurley III – should get plenty of fanfare in the galleries the next four days.  The UVA product, ranks 42nd on Tour in bogey avoidance, a key attribute that will come handy playing at this type of venue.  Happy Homecoming, Denny. 

Geoff Fienberg: James Hahn 
An incredibly streaky player who can pop out of nowhere but to my surprise this difficult track could see him pop a T20 if he’s not flirting w first page of the leaderboard.

Kenny Kim: Denny McCarthy
McCarthy is a local kid that was raised in the DMV area. He won the Maryland Open three times and played with some of the biggest names in golf (Spieth, Thomas, Schniederjans) at the 2010 Junior Ryder Cup. He’s coming in with the best form of his PGA Tour career making six of his last seven cuts including three Top 20s. He’ll have a lot of support this week and has the game to surprise people.

Chris Garosi: Robert Garrigus 
Just seems to show up for certain tournaments and this is one of them as he’s made 10 of his last 11 cuts at the Quicken with four top 20s. He’s made just 7 of 15 cuts in 2018, but his seven weekends have led to four top 25 finishes. TPC Potomac seems to have a link (perhaps tenuous) to Torrey Pines where Garrigus had his best finish of 2018 (T8). 

Matt Valdez: Stewart Cink 
Hasn't played the course worries me.  He's so hot right now it's hard to ignore.  T4 at St. Jude and T2 in Connecticut makes you ride the hot streak. 

Garrett Johnston: Ricky Werenski
Coming off of good experience in a top 10 at Memphis and played in the US Open the week after, he’s got Keegan Bradley’s old caddie Steve Hale to keep him focused as well.

Troy Machir: Stewart Cink:
A strong finish (3rd) at The Travelers Championship has Cink primed for a big weekend at TPC Potomac. The reason he's a longshot is that this will be the first time he's played the course.

Quicken Loans National Fade Picks

Doug McKinney: Ryan Armour
Going a bit against the grain here because Armour is playing really well right now.  Currently ranked at 58 in the FedExCup Standings, Armour has made four straight cuts including placing inside the Top 25 twice.  He’s also missed the cut at this course, twice. 

Geoff Fienberg: Kevin Na
This could backfire but Na was in Korea last week playing on the Asian Tour, with many of the players with any kind of name value rested after the US Open Na could be a little weathered. 

Kenny Kim: Kevin Na
At first glance, it looks like TPC Potomac is well suited for Na’s game but he played the Korean Open last week. The time difference between Korea and DC is 13 hours. Jet lag could be a big factor for him. As a fellow Korean I have traveled to Korea and back and it took more than a week to get my internal clock back to normal. Jet lag affects people in different ways but with all the other great players near his price range, I’ll take the risk and fade him.

Chris Garosi: Joaquin Niemann
Is going to be a stud. But he’s still just 19 years old and in this field, I won’t pay up for a higher variance player on a tough course. 

Matt Valdez Fade: Marc Leishman 
Will be a popular DK and golf pool pick.  Been outside Top 40 last three tournaments.  Paired with Tiger the first two days and not sure if Marc is good enough to deal with the circus Woods brings.

Garrett Johnston: Rickie Fowler
We’ve seen him start well in DMV area events, including a deep run last year here, but figuring past history will repeat with a fade.

Troy Machir: Rickie Fowler
The fan-favorite had a strong finish in 2017, and his style is great for the course, but I just have a bad feeling about Rickie this weekend. It's nothing more than a hunch, tho. 
 

The Open Championship 2019: Tiger Woods is playing poorly and it's stressing us all out

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Golf Channel

The Open Championship 2019: Tiger Woods is playing poorly and it's stressing us all out

Tiger Woods carded a front-nine five-over-par 41 during his first round of the 2019 Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

It looked bad from the very beginning as he pulled an iron off the first tee into the fescue on the left and grimaced.

That's not just any "Aw shucks, I hit it in the rough" grimace. That's the grimace of a 43-year-old with a fused spine playing golf in cold, windy and rainy weather after not playing competitive golf since the U.S. Open about a month ago.

Woods said that the chilly, damp weather at Pebble Beach made it difficult for him to get loose during the U.S. Open, which would make it a fair assumption that the 15-time major winner is struggling with his back in similar weather at Royal Portrush.

But if there's anybody who can overcome physical issues on the course, it's Tiger Woods. He did, after all, win the 2008 U.S. Open on a broken leg. He seemed to weather the storm with a world-class par on the first after two poor shots. He had makeable birdie opportunities on the second and third holes, but missed both.

Then the squares on the scorecard came. Woods went bogey, double-bogey, bogey, par, bogey, bogey between the fifth and 10th holes. He hasn't looked particularly comfortable at any point during the round.

That reality has drawn reactions from just about everybody watching. 

It hasn't gone much better for Big Cat since. As somebody who moves the needle more than anybody else in the sport, nobody wants to watch him play like this. There's still some time left in Round 1, but things aren't looking good for Woods.

2019 Open Championship: How to watch, TV Channel, Tee Times, Groupings, Odds

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USA Today Sports Images

2019 Open Championship: How to watch, TV Channel, Tee Times, Groupings, Odds

For the first time in 68 years, the golfing world will convene in Northern Ireland for a major championship, as Royal Portrush Golf Club will host the 148th Open Championship.

The final major of the season will provide an unfamiliar test for players of all ranks, as many have never before played this links course nestled along the northern Irish coast.

Rory McIlroy will be competing for a major title in his home country for the first time. The world No. 3 is having one of his strongest seasons in recent memory, winning two tournaments and finishing inside the top-10 at the most recent two majors. McIlroy, looking for his first major title since 2014, is the betting favorite in Vegas (8-1). Why not win the next one on home soil?

As with any major, all eyes will be on Tiger Woods. He has never played Royal Portrush, but his three Open Championship titles illustrate that he knows how to win across the pond. Woods has not teed it up for a competitive round since last month's U.S. Open, but many will anticipate a strong showing this weekend.

World No. 1 Brooks Koepka will continue to be a favorite in every major until he proves otherwise. The bomber has won four major titles since June of 2017 and has finished no worse than runner-up in this year's three previous major championships. Although his results have fallen off since his runner-up finish at the U.S. Open last month, Koepka can never be counted out on the big stage.

With many other tantalizing storylines and plenty of golfers with a realistic chance to win this week, sit back, relax and watch as many hours of golf as you can:

2019 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP HOW TO WATCH:

What: The 148th Open Championship

When: Thursday, July 18th – Sunday, 21st

Where: Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush, Northern Ireland

DAY 1 COVERAGE (Thursday, July 18):

Time (ET)/TV Channel: 1:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Golf Channel)

DAY 2 COVERAGE (Friday, July 19):

Time (ET)/TV Channel: 1:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Golf Channel)

DAY 3 COVERAGE (Saturday, July 20):

Time (ET)/TV Channel: 5 a.m. - 7 a.m. (Golf Channel), 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. (NBC)

DAY 4 COVERAGE (Sunday, July 21):

Time (ET)/TV Channel: 4 a.m. - 7 a.m. (Golf Channel), 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. (NBC)

All four rounds of the tournament can also be streamed online at GolfChannel.com, TheOpen.com and NBCSports.com.

2019 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP FIRST ROUND TEE TIMES (ET), GROUPINGS (ALL OFF No. 1):

1:35 a.m. -- Darren Clarke, James Sugrue (a), Charley Hoffman
1:46 a.m. -- Emiliano Grillo, Sung Kang, Thomas Thurloway (a)
1:57 a.m. -- Andy Sullivan, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Alexander Levy
2:08 a.m. -- Chan Kim, Zander Lombard, Brandon Wu (a)
2:19 a.m. -- Richard Sterne, Romain Langasque, Matthias Schmid (a)
2:30 a.m. -- Padraig Harrington, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Andrew Putnam
2:41 a.m. -- Bubba Watson, Eddie Pepperell, Rafa Cabrera-Bello
2:52 a.m. -- Phil Mickelson, Shane Lowry, Branden Grace
3:03 a.m. -- Alex Noren, Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Sam Locke
3:14 a.m. -- Webb Simpson, C.T. Pan, Sergio Garcia
3:25 a.m. -- Ryan Palmer, Andrea Pavan, Dylan Frittelli
3:36 a.m. -- Kyle Stanley, Andrew Johnston, Robert Macintyre
3:47 a.m. -- Mikko Korhonen, Oliver Wilson, Curtis Knipes (a)
4:03 a.m. -- Ian Poulter, Sungjae Im, Kiradech Aphibarnrat
4:14 a.m. -- Henrik Stenson, Xander Schauffele, Graeme McDowell
4:25 a.m. -- Haotong Li, Russell Knox, Bernd Wiesberger
4:36 a.m. -- Jason Kokrak, Connor Syme, Austin Connelly
4:47 a.m. -- Zach Johnson, David Duval, Corey Conners
4:58 a.m. -- Francesco Molinari, Bryson DeChambeau, Adam Scott
5:09 a.m. -- Rory McIlroy, Gary Woodland, Paul Casey
5:20 a.m. -- Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Kevin Kisner
5:31 a.m. -- Jim Furyk, Si Woo Kim, Jimmy Walker
5:42 a.m. -- Luke List, Alexander Bjork, Paul Waring
5:53 a.m. -- Shugi Imahira, Nate Lashley, Benjamin Hebert
6:04 a.m. -- Mikumu Horikawa, Callum Shinkwin, Garrick Porteous
6:15 a.m. -- Prom Meesawat, Matthew Baldwin, Jack Senior
6:36 a.m. -- Tom Lehman, Joaquin Niemann, Miguel Angel Jimenez
6:47 a.m. -- Ben An, Jorge Campillo, Chris Wood
6:58 a.m. -- Joel Dahmen, Adri Arnaus, Dimitrios Papadatos
7:09 a.m. -- Stewart Cink, Rory Sabbatini, Innchoon Hwang
7:20 a.m. -- Erik Van Rooyen, Kurt Kitayama, Jake McLeod
7:31 a.m. -- Ryan Fox, Shaun Norris, Dongkyu Jang
7:42 a.m. -- Tyrrell Hatton, Keith Mitchell, Thomas Pieters
7:53 a.m. -- Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Thorbjorn Olesen
8:04 a.m. -- Brooks Koepka, Louis Oosthuizen, Shubhankar Sharma
8:15 a.m. -- Billy Horschel, Aaron Wise, Jazz Janewattananond
8:26 a.m. -- Jordan Spieth, Danny Willett, Marc Leishman
8:37 a.m. -- Cameron Smith, Adam Hadwin, David Lipsky
8:48 a.m. -- Paul Lawrie, Chez Reavie, Justin Harding
9:04 a.m. -- Takumi Kanaya (a), Tom Lewis, Brandon Stone
9:15 a.m. -- Lucas Glover, Joost Luiten, Nino Bertasio
9:26 a.m. -- Ernie Els, J.B. Holmes, Abraham Ancer
9:37 a.m. -- Brandt Snedeker, Lee Westwood, Brian Harman
9:48 a.m. -- Justin Rose, Tony Finau, Lucas Bjerregaard
9:59 a.m. -- Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley
10:10 a.m. -- Tiger Woods, Matt Wallace, Patrick Reed
10:21 a.m. -- Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, Matt Kuchar
10:32 a.m. -- Kevin Streelman, Doc Redman, Robert Rock
10:43 a.m. -- Adrian Otaegui, Yuta Ikeda, Isidro Benitez
10:54 a.m. -- Patton Kizzire, Sang Hyun Park, Yuki Inamori
11:05 a.m. -- Yoshinori Fujimoto, Doyeob Mun, Andrew Wilson
11:16 a.m. -- Gunn Charoenjul, Yosuke Asaji, Ashton Turner

2019 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP TOP-10 ODDS & NOTABLES (as of July 16th):

Rory McIlroy: 8-1
Brooks Koepka: 10-1
Dustin Johnson: 16-1
John Rahm: 16-1
Tiger Woods: 16-1
Justin Rose: 20-1
Francesco Molinari: 25-1
Xander Schauffele: 25-1
Henrik Stenson: 28-1
Tommy Fleetwood: 28-1
Justin Thomas: 30-1
Matt Kuchar: 30-1
Rickie Fowler: 30-1
Jordan Spieth: 35-1
Phil Mickelson: 100-1