Welcome to my daily Open blog from Royal St George’s all the way through to Sunday night, when perhaps they could be announcing another major champion for the Cowen stable!
Just three sleeps to go until the 2021 Open tees off on Thursday at 6.30am here in England, which is 9.30am in the UAE.
- Peter Cowen: So close for Matt Fitzpatrick, but big things around the corner as The Open looms
- Scottish Open: Peter Cowen’s Fitzpatrick in pole position for seventh European Tour win with Detry and Rahm lurking
- Golf coach Peter Cowen’s take on the Scottish Open first round
- Scottish Open: Good, bad and ugly from my boys - Peter Cowen
I am still trying to get my head around the fact that this is the final major of the year and we are not yet in mid-July.
Today I am highlighting my four-time major winner Brooks Koepka from the US.
Brooks arrived here on Saturday and I have spent a lot of time with him on and around the range along with nine of my 10 players — all except Ian Poulter who has not arrived yet.
It has been cold, wet and miserable all day with waterproofs the dress regulations for the day. Car parks are full of mud and I am just glad I have a top of the range 4-wheel drive rather than a sports car which others drive, the latter would be stuck there for a couple of days before being able to extract it.
Brooks has had a few days’ rest with his mates in the US, not hitting many balls, and has arrived in England fit and healthy and energised for this week. He has no signs of the knee issues that have plagued his play over the last year or so.
He played nine-holes today and hopes to play all 18 on Tuesday. It looks like from Thursday it will be dry, which is good news for us all.
Brooks is staying close by in a rented house and can almost walk to the golf course. I am staying about 12 miles away from the golf course which is taking me 45 minutes to get here and travel home each day.
It is still a tough drive in and out of Sandwich with just one road, especially if the 32,000 promised fans by the R&A attend on each day. There were only a few fans attending today, just the hardy ‘anorak’ golf fans, the correct phrase for the weather today.
My full list of players this week are (in no particular order):
Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Gary Woodland, DP World Ambassador Ian Poulter, Danny Willett, Branden Grace, Padraig Harrington, Henrik Stenson, Victor Perez, Jazz Janewattananond, and along with co-coach Mike Walker, last week’s Scottish Open play-off loser, Matt Fitzpatrick.
It is good to see Dubai Golf’s Stephen Deane (Head of Academies, Dubai Golf: Emirates Golf Club, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club and Jumeirah Golf Estates) on the range, who has come over to help us with Jazz. However, as Stephen has come from a current Red Zone in the UAE, he has to have a daily COVID-19 test under R&A Covid tournament bubble regulations and he cannot go anywhere indoors at the venue all week.
There have been a remarkable 17 withdrawals to date by players, most through positive tests for COVID. We all cannot wait for Thursday to come around and for us all to get started.
A busy couple of days ahead for me on the range to keep all my guys positive and ready for the unique challenge that is The Open Championship. Good luck to all for a safe and healthy week in Kent.