I am, for once, not speaking to you from the range at Royal St George’s, bur rather from my home. I left the venue at 1pm as soon as my last player — Brooks Koepka — teed off, I rarely see my players finish their rounds on the final day, and Sunday was no exception.
However, I got unlucky trying to get a head start on the road to return to sunny Rotherham. My homeward journey on Sunday took five-and-a-half hours. With the Blackwall Tunnel on the M25 blocked due to an accident it was a very long solo journey home as I listened to the climax to the golf on Radio 5 Live. I managed just 80 miles in my first 3 hours.
Here is a review my players’ final rounds and performances:
Brooks Koepka (-8/T6): Three birdies and an eagle in his final round was a strong finish by Brooks. Brooks said that he hit a decent putt on last hole that somehow missed. Brooks needs a challenge every time he plays which he can respond to and this is when he is at his best.
Matt Fitzpatrick (-3/T26): Three birdies and three bogeys was never going to move Matt up the leaderboard. This week once again proved what a great competitor Matt really is.
Ian Poulter (-3/T26): This week has done Ian’s Ryder Cup chances no harm at all, and he is hoping this strong performance will get him in the forthcoming WGC in Memphis in a couple of weeks. At the start of this week he was on the outside of the field looking in.
Danny Willett (-2/T33): A two over par 37 for the front nine, took Danny out of the running. Danny’s health and fitness is still not 100 per cent following his appendix operation just last month.
Jazz Janewattananond (E/T46): Four birdies and a bogey gave Jazz a pretty good finish for both the day and the week.
Rory McIlroy (E/T46): Four birdies and four bogeys. The good was good today and all week, but there was too much inconsistent golf and a few poor shots, which is not Rory at his best. His game is not far away. Watch this space.
Padraig Harrington (+4/72): A two-birdie 33 on the last nine of a 72-hole tournament from Padriag. An example of true grit and determination. The Ryder Cup skipper is hitting the ball as well as ever.
Congratulations to the 2021 Champion Golfer of the Year Collin Morikawa and a thoroughly well-deserved victory.
Not bad for a 24-year-old player on his Open debut and good thinking to come to Scotland last week to acclimatise to the UK conditions, even if neither week played like a traditional links style course. Where was the coastal breeze?
What is next for me and all my players? Rory, Thomas Pieters, Jazz and Adri Arnaus are in Japan for the Olympics, which I am skipping.
I will not be in Wales either for next week’s European Tour event but hope to be granted a visa exemption extension to allow me to travel to the US for the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational from August 5, in Memphis where we are playing for a $10.5 million prize fund and I will hopefully meet up with most of my players again.
I will in the meantime spend a week or so at home working on some ‘Research & Development’ at my Peter Cowen Rotherham Range on how players can improve hitting shots, especially from bunkers and the short game — I really enjoy this part of the game.
I will also be checking my players’ statistics to see where their games can be improved. However, the official published stats by the R&A and the Tours can be misleading: with a shot just an inch or so wide of a green counting as a missed GIR, but could still be just 10 feet from the flag.
I prefer to look at the distance players are from the flagstick with their approach shots, and distance for all birdie putts which I can obtain from both Shotlink and/or the players’ caddies.
See you all soon and thanks for staying with me for The Open week.