This Week in Golf -- July 25 through July 29

7/23/2012 11:28:00 AM

The event was in British Columbia last year, when Sean O'Hair beat Kris Blanks with a bogey on the first playoff hole. The tournament moves east to Ontario and the Hamilton Golf & Country Club this year.

The victory for O'Hair was his fourth on the PGA Tour, and helped him break out of a season-long funk. O'Hair entered the event last year having missed the cut in 10 of his previous 17 starts, including five in a row at one point.

O'Hair got his 2012 season off to a quick start with a 17th place finish at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and a tie for second the following week at the Sony Open.

Since then, O'Hair has as many missed cuts -- three -- as he's had top-25 finishes. His best finish in that time was a tie for seventh at The Greenbrier Classic.

Blanks is still searching for his elusive first PGA Tour win and is struggling this season. He has a withdraw and six missed cuts in his last 10 PGA Tour starts.

O'Hair and Blanks will be in the field this week along with 10 of this season's winners and 10 previous major champions as well. Heading those two groups are newly-minted British Open champ Ernie Els.

Els stunned Adam Scott at the British Open last weekend.

Golf Channel will have coverage of the first two rounds before handing off to CBS for the weekend.

The PGA Tour has two events next week. The best players in the world will be at Firestone for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where Scott won last year, while the remainder of the tour will be in Nevada for the Reno-Tahoe Open, where Scott Piercy claimed the title in 2011.


SENIOR BRITISH OPEN, Turnberry Resort (Ailsa Course), Ayrshire, Scotland - The Senior British Open kicks off at Turnberry on Thursday, but will be without its reigning champion.

Russ Cochran went 10-under par over the final two rounds to earn a 2-stroke win over Mark Calcavecchia last year. The victory was Cochran's first career major championship and third win on the Champions Tour.

Cochran won't be on hand to defend his title as he is battling a back injury that forced him to withdraw from the U.S. Senior Open two weeks ago. He has been battling the injury for some time now.

This week's host venue, Turnberry, hosted the first three Senior Opens from 1987-89. Turnberry also hosted four Open Championships, two of which Tom Watson had a starring roll in.

Watson won one his five British Open titles in 1977 at Turnberry as he beat Jack Nicklaus in the "Duel in the Sun." In 2009, Watson nearly made history as the oldest major champion ever.

Then 59, Watson was one back after an opening 65. After a brutal second round, Watson shared the lead with Steve Marino before shooting a 71 in round three to take the lead into the final round.

Watson, also a three-time Senior Open winner, birdied the 71st hole to take a 1-shot lead over Stewart Cink. However, Watson bogeyed the final hole of regulation to force a playoff, where things went all wrong for the Hall-of- Famer.

Watson had a double-bogey and two bogeys in the extra session as Cink beat him by six shots.

This week, Watson will look to become the first four-time Senior Open winner.

The field includes Roger Chapman, who has won two majors this season -- the Senior PGA Championship and the U.S. Senior Open Championship -- as well as Senior Players Championship winner Joe Daley, Fred Couples, Greg Norman and Calcavecchia.

Couples is playing the Senior British for the first time, while Norman won the claret jug at Turnberry in 1986, while Calcavecchia did the same in 1989.

ESPN and ESPN2 will have coverage of all four rounds.

The Champions Tour is in Minnesota next week for the 3M Championship, where Jay Haas won last year.


LYONESS OPEN, Diamond Country Club, Atzenbrugg, Austria - This week's European Tour event has a new name and a new date.

The Austrian Open has been renamed the Lyoness Open and is being played two months earlier than last year.

Kenneth Ferrie and Simon Wakefield both closed with 67s in 2011 to end at 12- under 276. Ferrie then birdied the first playoff hole to earn his third European Tour title.

Many of the biggest names are taking the week off following last week's British Open. Thomas Levet and Niclas Fasth will be among the top names playing this week in an event that runs from Wednesday to Saturday.

Golf Channel will cover all four rounds.

The European Tour won't back in Europe until the final week of August. Next week is the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where Scott is the reigning champion. The following week is the PGA Championship, then the European Tour is off for a week before the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.


EVIAN MASTERS, Evian Masters Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains, France - The LPGA Tour heads to France for the Evian Masters this week. This tournament will be a major in 2013, and has been the unofficial fifth major in many peoples eyes for years.

Last year, Ai Miyazato went 15-under par for four rounds to beat Stacy Lewis. The victory was Miyazato's second at the Evian Masters. The 27-year-old from Japan has won twice this season to give her nine LPGA Tour titles.

The top-39 players on the LPGA Tour money list are all in the field this week.

Golf Channel will have tape-delayed action the first three days, then live coverage of the final round on Sunday.

After a week off, the LPGA Tour heads to Ohio for the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic. Na Yeon Choi won the title in 2010 and will defend her title as the event was off the schedule last year.


NATIONWIDE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL INVITATIONAL, The OSU Golf Club (Scarlet Course), Columbus, Ohio - The Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational is played on a college course and celebrates the NCAA All Americans.

The event invites the first-team All American golfers, but only seven of the 11 for this year's first team will be competing this week -- Blayne Barber, Stephan Jaeger, Daniel Miernicki, Patrick Rodgers, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Chris Williams.

One of them could become the third amateur winner in the short history of this tournament.

Daniel Summerhays won by two strokes in 2007 and became the tour's first-ever amateur winner. Last year, Harris English duplicated that feat as he held off last year's NCAA Champion John Peterson and Kyle Reifers.

English has moved on to the PGA Tour so he won't be on hand to defend his title.

Golf Channel will have the action all four days.

The Nationwide Tour heads to Nebraska next week for the Cox Classic, where J.J. Killeen won last year.