Examine in each week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors as they break down the most well liked subjects within the sport, and be a part of the dialog by tweeting us @golf_com. This week, we’re discussing Solheim Cup week, Rory McIlroy’s Subpar interview, Dustin Johnson and the Ryder Cup, and extra.
1. The Solheim Cup begins this week at Finca Cortesin in Andalucia, Spain, and there’s no scarcity of storylines. Which one will you be watching most intently?
Zephyr Melton, assistant editor (@zephyrmelton): I’ll have an interest to see how Lexi Thompson’s week performs out. She’s been out of shape all season (to place it flippantly), however developing clutch in Spain may fully flip the narrative for her in 2023.
Claire Rogers, senior social media supervisor (@kclairerogers): Rose Zhang! I can’t wait to see what the Solheim Cup (and LPGA!) rookie brings to the matches and the way her recreation stacks up in a group setting.
Dylan Dethier, senior author (@dylan_dethier): Let’s keep huge image: Can the People win?! Group Europe is available in with two victories in a row and 4 of the previous six, together with some shockers. Group USA as soon as once more enters with the sting in on-paper expertise, world rating and so forth. Will it really matter? Extra particularly I’m intrigued to dive into the subgroup represented by Group Sweden; there are 4 Swedes on the European aspect, together with player-slash-assistant-captain Anna Nordqvist and future World No. 1 Linn Grant. The Swedes are stars! How will they carry out underneath the intense lights?
2. Who’s your MVP from the American aspect? The European aspect?
Melton: American MVP: Rose Zhang. European MVP: Leona Maguire.
Rogers: I’ve to agree with Zephyr on the U.S. aspect. Rose Zhang for the People, Linn Grant for the Europeans.
Dethier: Gimme Meghan Khang for the US; she’s been enjoying unbelievable golf and will mesh nicely with any enjoying accomplice — together with Nelly Korda? However when you’re an investor, it’s best to nonetheless discover her at some higher odds. For Group Europe, I’d go Charley Hull. Her summer season suggests she’ll embrace the second.
3. Rory McIlroy appeared on GOLF’s Subpar podcast this week and mentioned a number of topics, together with the Ryder Cup, the place he believes the People can have a bonus with wedges and brief irons; the Masters and what’s holding him again; Michael Block, whom he performed with throughout the last spherical of the PGA Championship; and whom he wish to punch extra: 2007 Walker Cup Billy Horschel or 2016 Ryder Cup Patrick Reed. With that, what was probably the most attention-grabbing nugget from McIlroy’s look?
Melton: I loved his tales about Michael Block. The membership professional was probably the greatest tales of the yr, and attending to relive a few of his finest moments from Oak Hill was a pleasure.
Rogers: I used to be stunned to learn the way a lot McIlroy hated going through Billy Horschel on the 2007 Walker Cup. It’s humorous to consider how lengthy these guys have all been going through one another, and to listen to that the 2 of them went from that to being good buddies makes me surprise what number of different guys had been junior and novice golf rivals.
Dethier: The interview had no lack of excellent nuggets, together with these two — however I used to be intrigued by what he didn’t say. McIlroy has develop into one thing of a lightning rod for the pro-LIV crowd and has even engendered blended feelings from some corners of the PGA Tour, too. That’s partly why, starting this summer season, he took a step again from being so vocal about the entire thing. He reiterated that time within the Subpar look; he identified that he didn’t wish to say an excessive amount of. That’s not precisely in his nature, so the truth that he was excited about it (and waited this lengthy to hitch the pod) suggests he’s well-attuned to his public notion.
4. Dustin Johnson, in an interview this week with the Palm Seashore Put up, mentioned that he “would like to be an element” of the U.S. Ryder Cup group, and that whereas his play wasn’t nice in 2023, he thinks it was sufficient to have earned a spot in Rome. Moreover, Johnson went on to say that if he hadn’t joined LIV Golf and as a substitute had plied his commerce on the PGA Tour, he can be heading to Marco Simone with the remainder of the American Ryder Cuppers, simply as he did in 2012, 2016, 2018 and 2021. Ought to Johnson have been extra strongly thought-about? What else may he have finished?
Melton: I’m undecided why DJ thinks he performed nicely sufficient to be on the group this yr. He’s obtained simply two main high 10s in his previous eight begins and has been largely irrelevant in golf’s greatest occasions since his 2020 Masters triumph. Certain, he’s gained a pair LIV occasions of late, however does that basically imply a lot? If he needs to be thought-about extra severely, he merely must play higher when lined up in opposition to the sport’s different high stars.
Rogers: Earlier than I even get into this, I simply must say that I completely love DJ’s confidence right here. “Yeah I didn’t play that nicely, nevertheless it was nonetheless adequate” is an superior take. Do I feel he’d be heading there if he didn’t go to LIV? Most likely. However once more, these guys knew what they had been entering into after they went over there to play. It makes a ton of sense for Koepka to be on the group after his win at Oak Hill, however and not using a main win, it’s arduous to make an argument for the fellows on LIV as a result of they’d been advised they wouldn’t be eligible.
Dethier: It’s type of an inconceivable hypothetical as a result of if Dustin Johnson had performed on the PGA Tour, we might have had a very totally different pattern to work with. That both would have been good for DJ (high finishes in opposition to higher competitors!), unhealthy for DJ (mediocre golf in deep fields!), or impartial for DJ (slightly little bit of every little thing — suppose Cameron Younger’s resume). His 5-0-0 report at Whistling Straits would give him an edge. So would the truth that he’s one among this era’s best golfers. Because of this, there’s a greater probability he would have made it … however that’s a distinct world than this one.
5. Justin Thomas, after a yr the place he missed the PGA Tour’s playoffs, completed fifth at this week’s Fortinet Championship, displaying a couple of modifications alongside the best way. Notably, he mentioned he’s taking extra possession of his recreation from an instruction standpoint — his coach is his dad, Mike — and he added an extended driver. What did you study from Thomas this week? How huge was the end for him and the U.S. Ryder Cup group?
Melton: Confidence is every little thing in golf, and all it takes is one week to get your mojo again. If the truth is this can be a turning level for JT, the People’ probabilities in Rome simply obtained a hell of rather a lot higher.
Rogers: I realized that these 80s within the spring most likely didn’t imply a lot! The robust end ought to assist construct confidence and momentum heading into Rome and hopefully silence the JT doubters a bit.
Dethier: This end didn’t do something for the Ryder Cup group within the sense that it’s nonetheless 0-0 heading to subsequent week. But it surely ought to shut up a number of the doubters arguing that Thomas is in poor type; as a substitute of being the man who missed the FedEx Cup Playoffs, he’s now the man coming off a T12 on the Wyndham and a fifth on the Fortinet. I’m certain U.S. captain Zach Johnson is completely happy to have some higher ammo for his choice.
6. Subsequent Saturday is the beginning of fall. And the beginning of fall means the beginning of fall golf. The place are you enjoying among the many cooler temps and colourful backgrounds?
Melton: Wherever and all over the place within the Northeast. When the leaves begin to flip colours within the fall, there are few locations with a extra picturesque setting. Fall golf within the Northeast is unmatched.
Rogers: Boston! There are a handful of programs proper close to me that I performed at for highschool matches many moons in the past, and I’m excited to return to them this fall. Granite Hyperlinks, Robert T. Lynch, George Wright, William Devine and Blue Hills are all on my record.
Dethier: I’ll be touring the Pacific Northwest; there’s some urgency to September and early October golf right here earlier than the rains come. Chambers Bay is terrific in each season …
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