On Wednesday night ESPN hosts their yearly sports award show, the ESPYs, to celebrate the best of the last 365 days in sport.
One thing they will not be celebrating, or did not even consider celebrating, was Braden Holtby’s save in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
This year there were 16 plays nominated to be the “Best Play” and were seeded into a bracket. For the past month fans have been voting in each head-to-head matchup culminating in four pretty outstanding plays:
- Arike Ogunbowale’s National Championship buzzer beater
- The Philly Special in the Super Bowl
- A double play off of a bunt in the WCWS
- An 80 ft buzzer beater in a high school game
All of those plays can be viewed here.
Three of those four were in a championship game, the other was a just a once in a lifetime play from a teenager.
But the ESPYs are saying that there are 16 plays from this past year that were better than Holtby’s save… Can we really believe that? Everyone loves buzzer beaters, but they accounted for six of the 16 plays. One of them could have easily gotten bumped.
And aside from the three listed above there were only two that were in the championship event for each sport. Holtby could have rounded it out for six.
We’re not saying that Holtby’s play was the best in the past year, or even in the top four. Heck, there should be no one that tops Ogunbowale’s incredible heroics. But arguably the best play in D.C. sports history not making the top-16 for best plays in a 365 day period?
It must have been one heck of a sports year.
It's wide Open.
This week's 147th Open Championship in eastern Scotland at treacherous Carnoustie Golf Links boasts as deep a field of stars as we've seen in this championship since 2015 at St. Andrews.
Of course, it certainly helps to have three-time champ Tiger Woods back for his first start in The Open since he missed the cut at St. Andrews, a course he had won at in 2005 and 2010.
But this appears to be a different Tiger. He's healthier and he's coming in hot off a top 4 at Quicken Loans National a couple weeks back.
Make no mistake, Tiger Woods in a major championship is always must-watch material.
Even his former swing coach Hank Haney said on his SiriusXM Radio show this week that he's expecting Woods to win.
If he does so it would be his first major in 10 years. No small task with the strength of this year's field.
Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, and Jordan Spieth figure to be some of the major challengers. U.S. Open runner-up Tommy Fleetwood also happens to own the course record at Carnoustie (63), which shouldn't surprise anyone considering his experience on links golf courses. There are a couple guys who aren't quite household names to watch out for just because of how in-form they are. Kevin Na, who just won in West Virginia and Francesco Molinari. Molinari won at Quicken Loans National in Bethesda convincingly and brings plenty of links golf experience to this week.
Remember the last time Carnoustie held The Open?
Sergio Garcia missed a 10-foot par putt on the 72nd hole and Padraig Harrington made a closing double bogey after finding the famous burn (water hazard) and both went to a 4-hole playoff.
People are quick to tell you Sergio whined after losing in that playoff, calling out the golfing gods as being against him, but let's remember that he hit the flagstick from 260 yards on the par 3 in that playoff.
How many players can say they did that in the history of Open playoffs?
Both are back this year along with the man who threw this championship away in 1999, Jean Van De Velde.
Should be another classic this year.
2018 Open Championship Information:
What: The 147th Open Championship
When: Thursday, July 19- Sunday, July 22, 2018
Where: Carnoustie Golf Links, Angus, Scotland
TV Channel: Golf Channel, NBC
2018 Open Championship Odds, Betting Information:
DraftKings and FanDuel have tournaments open for The Open Championship, as does GolfChannel.com's Fantasy Golf game.
World number 1 Dustin Johnson just barely clipped 2014 champ Rory McIlory as the betting favorite, with 11-1 odds.
Johnson comfortably led the U.S. Open by four through 36 last month before a 77 brought him back to reality.
Rory McIlroy, who is in the midst of a relatively strong season though still looking for his first major since the 2014 PGA, has 12-1 odds of winning.
Then you have defending champ Jordan Spieth at 16-1 who is a great pick because he plays well in this championship. Remember when he finished one stroke out of a playoff here in 2015? Justin Rose is a good pick at 16-1 as well, coming off yet another close call at the U.S. Open. He's got a second major in him. Lastly, Rickie Fowler played in the final group at The Open in 2014. Bad news, it was with Rory McIlroy who was on fire, but with the pressure on Fowler didn't miss a putt inside ten feet all day. Look for his steely nerves to help again this year.
2018 Open Championship Betting Favorites
Dustin Johnson: 11-1
Rory McIlroy: 12-1
Jordan Spieth: 16-1
Rickie Fowler: 16-1
Justin Rose: 16-1
Tommy Fleetwood: 16-1
Tiger Woods: 20-1
Brooks Koepka: 20-1
Justin Thomas: 20-1
Jon Rahm: 20-1