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MAJORS CONTINUE ACROSS THE POND

By Wes Reynolds  () 

While the PGA and European Tours have already completed their major championships schedule, the PGA Tour Champions, in a co-sanctioned event with the European Senior Tour, and the LPGA, in a co-sanctioned event with the Ladies European Tour, are both hosting majors this week across the pond with the Senior Open Championship and the Evian Championship respectively

SENIOR OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, an 11-time host of the Open Championship, will host the Senior Open for the first time since 1994. The man who would be the tournament favorite, Steve Stricker (two wins in majors this year), is not making the trip across the pond so the co-favorite role is shared by Retief Goosen and Jerry Kelly at 8/1. Goosen won the last major at the Senior Players Championship two weeks ago. Bernhard Langer (9/1), while not in his vintage form, is still a prime contender at age 61 and is a three-time Senior Open champion. Scott Parel, with three 2nds and seven Top 10s this season, checks in at 12/1. Defending Open champion Miguel Angel Jimenez, who defeated Langer by a stroke at St. Andrews last year, rounds out the top 5 favorites at 14/1.

The Course

Royal Lytham & St Annes is located in Lancashire, England in the northwest part of the country. It was redesigned by Harry Colt in 1919 and plays to a Par 70 at 7118 yards, but likely a bit shorter for the over 50s this week. Unlike last week’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush, this track is peppered with bunkers, 174 to be exact.

Recent History/Winners

2018: Miguel Angel Jimenez -12 (St. Andrews)

2017: Bernhard Langer -3 (Royal Porthcawl)

2016: Paul Broadhurst -11 (Carnoustie)

2015: Marco Dawson -16 (Sunningdale)

2014: Bernhard Langer -18 (Royal Porthcawl)

2013: Mark Wiebe -9 (Royal Birkdale)

2012: Fred Couples -9 (Turnberry)

2011: Russ Cochran -12 (Walton Heath)

2010: Bernhard Langer -5 (Carnoustie)

2009: Loren Roberts -12 (Sunningdale)

Selections

Retief Goosen 8/1

Goose was a winner his last time out when he won his first PGA Tour Champions major at the Senior Players Championship at Firestone two weeks ago. He never was able to win the Open Championship but finished in the Top 10 eight times and had two Top 5s. The last Open winner at Royal Lytham was his fellow South African countryman Ernie Els in 2012.

Scott Parel 12/1

Parel has done everything but win this season and has two Top 6 finishes in majors. Last year was his first time playing a Senior Open and he finished 43rd but comes in this year on much better form and with at least some links experience under his belt.

Phillip Price 30/1

The Welshman is worth a look here at a bit of a price (no pun intended) having logged four top 7 finishes in his last four events on the European Senior Tour.

EVIAN CHAMPIONSHIP

Phillip Price 30/1

The Welshman is worth a look here at a bit of a price (no pun intended) having logged four top 7 finishes in his last four events on the European Senior Tour.

EVIAN CHAMPIONSHIP

The LPGA and LET have a major championship of their own in France this week with the Evian Championship. This event became a major back in 2013 and moves back to its usual spot in the July calendar after being held for the last six years in September. This championship is absolutely wide open as parity has been the theme in ladies professional golf this season. Ten players are priced from 13/1 to 20/1.

The Course

The Evian Resort Golf Club in Haute-Savoie, France, which is about an hour drive from Geneva, Switzerland, has played host to this event since 1994. The track plays as a Par 71 of 6471 yards and the elevation is on average of around 1500 ft above sea level. The fairways are tree-lined and fairly narrow and the fast greens are protected by pot bunkers. Thick rough will be consistent throughout the course so driving accuracy and greens in regulation are even more important this week.

Recent History/Winners

2018: Angela Stanford (-12)

2017: Anna Nordqvist (-9) 54-hole event

2016: In-Gee Chun (-21)

2015: Lydia Ko (-16)

2014: Hyo-Joo Kim (-11)

2013: Suzann Pettersen (-12)

Selections

Sung Hyun Park 13/1

A two-time winner this season, Park has won a major in each of the last two seasons (2017 U.S. Women’s Open, 2018 Women’s PGA Championship). She ranks 3rd in GIR (76.3%), 3rd in Scoring Average (69.38) and 4th in Putts per GIR (1.75). No one comes into this week with better form either as Park has gone 6-1-2 in her last three events.

Hyo-Joo Kim 16/1

The 2014 Evian champion is still winless this season but ranks 2nd on tour in Scoring Average (69.32), 1st in Rounds Under Par (29), Putting Average (27.81) and Putts per GIR (1.72). She is also deadly accurate off the tee hitting fairways 80.58% of the time (9th). With her putting, fairways and greens should be the name of the game.

Jessica Korda 40/1

She comes in with five straight Top 20 finishes and finished a career-best 8th in her seven Evian starts last year. Younger sister Nelly has outshone here thus far this season. Perhaps this is big sister’s turn.

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