Yes, there is golf news this week that doesn't involve who is and isn't too scared of Zika to play in the Olympics.
The British Open (or Open Championship) begins this week and for golf lovers who are early risers — or who don't go to sleep until the wee hours — coverage begins at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday and continues until noon Thursday.
All of golf's big names will be there, and after his back-to-back PGA Tour victories at the U.S. Open and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Dustin Johnson is the Vegas favorite to win at Royal Troon.
However, since 2006 (when Tiger Woods won) a betting favorite has not won the title. Last year, with Jordan Spieth in the mix on Sunday, Zach Johnson seemingly backed into a playoff win at St. Andrews.
This year the tournament makes its ninth appearance at Troon and first since 2004 when Todd Hamilton upset Ernie Els in a playoff. Hamilton's odds were as high as 750-1 that year.
In British Opens, tee-to-green play is emphasized with pot bunkers, fescue and harsh winds as feisty a foe as the fellow competition. Players like Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia and Bubba Watson are the kinds of ball-strikers who should be watched closely throughout the tournament.
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As should the Big 3 — Spieth, Jason Day and 2014 champion Rory McIlroy.
“You have to somehow adapt your game to the weather and the golf course and really plot yourself around these golf courses," Day told the media this week. "That's the most, I guess, most satisfying thing that you can get out of being able to beat the best in the world on some of the most challenging golf courses that we don't usually get to play. I'd be over the moon if I could hold the Claret Jug one day.”
If Spieth, who always is among PGA leaders in strokes gained putting, can keep the ball in play and give himself opportunities, he could also be in the hunt come Sunday. But he'll certainly have to play a links style of golf to succeed.
"Right now, I feel like I've got to do a little more work throughout my swing, to get it compact and ready for this style of golf," Spieth said. "But it’s not the same kind of feeling at this present moment. I'm working a lot on how to ‘gunsling’ it, which is what I did last year. You know — just step up, hit it, go to my natural movement and make some putts."