Good evening to all in Dubai, UAE and the region.
We are all here in Scotland on the eve of two huge tournament weeks, this week at The Renaissance and next week the big one, The Open at Royal St Georges, Sandwich, Kent, England.
The venue is superb, but perhaps not the classic links originally planned for the week before The Open.
Over the fence is Muirfield and this side of the boundary they have cut down all the trees at The Renaissance, so it looks like a links, but the turf always has a parkland feel.
I am staying in Edinburgh, some 30 minutes or so from the golf course in an Official Bubble Hotel.
We are all tired of all the Covid-19 restrictions, let’s hope things are able to be changed very soon.
There is a fantastic field this week, it almost feels like a major, a week early with many Americans coming over for the two-week package.
Most of my players are playing both weeks and are looking at a 11-day plan for most players to include two x four tournament days, plus three practice days for The Open.
These next few days can be life-changing for all the players, even for Rory McIlroy.
This week is going to be special as a ROLEX Series event and a prize fund of $8 million. Rain fell this morning and I would say the golf course is ‘gettable’ with a light breeze forecast all week, with a few showers, but much more positive than the forecast looked a week ago. Fingers crossed for all.
There will be limited crowds and sponsors allowed to attend and all the players appreciated the Buzz at last week’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, let’s keep the momentum for this week.
The thoughts on my players are as below:
Rory McIlroy – He was obviously disappointed with his performance last week and is certainly searching for some form. But Rory is very special and can turn his game around with one decent swing that gets him going. It is that simple with Rory.
Ian Poulter – The DP World Ambassador is fairly happy with his game and is fully aware he needs a big two weeks to get into the mix for The 2021 Ryder Cup reckoning.
Henrik Stenson – Henrik has had a mixed year and certainly needs a decent week to get his season going.
Thomas Pieters – Following last week’s strong performance, I am hopeful Pieters can show his genuine talent. Eduardo Molinari, who looks after Pieters’ stats says that if Thomas only putted averagely he should still be in the Top 10 of the OWGR, he is that good tee to green. As I always say, I personally believe that putting is too important in the game and a putt should only count for ½ a shot. Now, that is something worth discussing another time.
Danny Willett – Danny showed good form last week, but is still struggling with his Appendix and Hernia recent surgery. Nature takes a lot of healing and perhaps he is a couple of weeks short, before he can play at 100%.
Jazz Janewattananond – Jazz is playing well but has slipped down the OWGR with limited playing opportunities due to the Covid-19 restrictions for those in and around his homeland in Thailand.
Branden Grace – Branden has had a very busy year travelling all around the world. He took a week off last week and rested in London, but it looks like he is still in need of a bit more of a rest but at certain times of the season, including around the majors, this is just not possible.
Victor Perez – Victor is on the cusp of making the European Ryder Cup team for September, he just needs a decent 11 days. The Pro-Am was held today (Wednesday) and the strength of filed is shown in that Perez was not needed in the Pro-Am and he currently lies 35th in the OWGR.
Graeme McDowell – Graeme has an injury in his right forearm and not being in next week’s Open field will take a six-week rest after this week and will return for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
Padraig Harrington – The Ryder Cup Captain is playing well and is due for a strong finish in the next couple of weeks, before the inevitable long build-up to the September event and all the related distractions.
My buddy coach, Mike Walker, has two key players this week:
Matt Fitzpatrick – He is hitting the ball well and living just down the road from my Peter Cowen Rotherham Range he came with his brother, Alex, to hit some balls. Alex is one of the next generation of amateur players to hopefully break through to the Pro ranks, is in the Top 10 of the World Amateur Rankings and plays out of Wake Forest, US, and has received an invite to play in the Wales Open just after The Open.
Adri Arnaus – Dubai/UAE resident always seems in good form and both Mike and myself are more impressed, the more we see of Adri.
For other players to watch this week, look no further than Jon Rahm. The OWGR Number One and 2021 US Open champion is likely to be the favourite to win at least one of the next two weeks.
This week will be a great watch. Enjoy this special week!
- Peter Cowen is the No. 1 coach in the world and had academies in the UAE and in England