Who are the favourites for the PGA Championship?

They say golf majors are like buses and after waiting so long for the Masters to come around, we’ve already got the PGA Championship to look forward to.

The second major golf event of the year gets underway next weekend, with four days of world class action set to take place at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s the fourth time the course has hosted the tournament, with the last time coming back in 2014 when Rory McIlroy stormed to victory.

This time around, competition veteran Brooks Koepka is looking to defend his title after winning in New York last year. He knows exactly what it takes to go all the way but he’ll face stiff competition from world number one Scottie Scheffler, who was on fire as he secured his second win at the Masters earlier this year.

This year’s PGA Championship gets underway on Thursday 16th May, with the tournament culminating with the final day on Sunday 19th May. Ahead of the action, we’ve taken a look at the likely contenders, as well as a few dark horses that will fancy their chances of coming out on top.

Scheffler looks to build on Masters success

Following a stunning performance to win at the Masters last month, Scheffler is in red-hot form and is targeting a second successive major title. The 27-year-old claimed his second Augusta title in three years a few weeks ago and all eyes will be on him next weekend.

Scheffler tied for second at last year’s PGA Championship along with Viktor Hovland. The pair finished two strokes behind eventual winner Koepka, and Scheffler will be hoping momentum can help him go one better this time around.

Elsewhere, world number two McIlroy is looking to bounce back following a disappointing showing at the Masters that saw him tie for 22nd. The Northern Irishman’s last major title came at the PGA Championship way back in 2014 as he won the competition for the second time in three years. In fact, his 2012 win saw him set the record for the highest-ever winning margin, seeing off runner-up David Lynn by eight strokes.

It remains the only major he’s won more than once and he’ll be desperate to fly back into form by claiming a hat-trick. McIlroy hasn’t enjoyed the best of years so far, although he did start strongly as he followed up a second-place finish in the Dubai Invitational back in January by winning the Dubai Desert Classic a week later.

Jon Rahm is looking to add the PGA Championship to his majors collection having won the US Open in 2021 before claiming the green jacket at the Masters a year ago. His best PGA showing to date was a fourth-place finish back in 2018 where he was five strokes shy of Koepka. That result is made all the more impressive when you consider that Koepka set the record score in PGA Championship history that day, winning the tournament with just 264 in 72 holes.

Speaking of Koepka, the 34-year-old has made the PGA Championship his playground in recent years and he’s looking to continue his dominance by claiming a fourth title since 2018. A win at Valhalla would be his sixth major having also won the US Open twice but he’s yet to taste victory at the Masters or the Open Championship.

Last year, Koepka became just the third person to win the PGA Championship three or more times in the open era, following in the footsteps of Jack Niklaus and Tiger Woods. He goes into this year’s competition in strong form having claimed his first LIV Golf title of the year in Singapore at the weekend.

TROON, SCOTLAND - JULY 15: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland putts on the 7th green during the second round on day two of the 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon on July 15, 2016 in Troon, Scotland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

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Who are the dark horses?

It seems slightly disrespectful to label Ludvig Åberg a dark horse following his performance at the Masters, but he’ll have a tough job repeating the feat at Valhalla. The Swede made his major debut in Augusta and shocked the golfing world by finishing second, four strokes behind Scheffler.

At just 24 years old, Åberg clearly has a huge future ahead of him. He only turned professional last summer and was picked for the Ryder Cup just a few months later, helping Europe overcome Team USA.

Also looking to build on strong Masters performances are Max Homa, Tommy Fleetwood and 2020 PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa. The trio tied for third at the Masters, four strokes under and seven off the champion. They’re all outsiders based on the pre-tournament odds but form is everything going into these competitions.

Bryson DeChambeau is also slightly unfancied but the American finished sixth at the Masters and he has a decent history at the PGA Championship. He tied for fourth last year as well as back in 2020, which is the year he won his only major title at the US Open.

Scottie Scheffler dominates The Masters to claim second green jacket

Following four days of thrilling golf at Augusta, we have a new Masters champion. Scottie Scheffler was the clear favourite going into the tournament and he didn’t disappoint, winning by four strokes to reclaim his title from last year’s winner Jon Rahm.

Rookie Ludvig Aberg almost pulled off a shock as he secured second place, while Tommy Fleetwood was the UK’s finest performer. Rory McIlroy struggled to get going, while five-time winner Tiger Woods finished bottom of the pile.

Scheffler claims second green jacket

Having started the tournament as the clear runaway favourite, it was no surprise to see Scheffler being presented with the green jacket on the 18th hole at Augusta. The 27-year-old was clearly emotional and it was touch and go whether he would finish the competition with his wife due to give birth.

The world number one dazzled on the final day to finish 11 under, four strokes clear of second-placed Aberg. Scheffler won the competition for the second time in three years, having finished three clear of McIlroy back in 2022.

Scheffler led by just one stroke going into the final day and continued where he left off on Sunday as he eventually broke into a four-stroke lead. But it wasn’t all plain sailing as a disappointing bogey on the seventh saw Aberg and Collin Morikawa draw level.

But three consecutive birdies saw Scheffler edge ahead and after that there was no stopping the 27-year-old. Having already won the Arnold Palmer and Players Championship this year, he’s in the form of his life.

This year’s Masters was just the second major title of Scheffler’s career but the world number one will be targeting further success, starting with the PGA Championship next month, which he tied for second in last year.

TROON, SCOTLAND - JULY 15: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland putts on the 7th green during the second round on day two of the 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon on July 15, 2016 in Troon, Scotland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

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Aberg shines on major debut

Scheffler’s imperious performance in the final round made his victory an inevitability – but there was almost a shock winner. On his debut in a major tournament, Aberg finished seven under and was just four strokes behind the eventual champion.

The Swede was looking to become the first Masters debutant to win since 1979 and he’d have been the second successive underdog story following Brian Harman’s shock US Open glory last year,

Aberg is just 24 years old but he has excellent pedigree and was picked by Luke Donald for Team Europe in the Ryder Cup back in the autumn. He showed his class at Augusta and was putting pressure on Scheffler throughout but a double bogey on the 11th saw him drop back.

He finished just ahead of a third-placed trio that included Max Homa and surprise 2021 Masters winner Morikawa. The pair finished alongside Tommy Fleetwood, who made a late charge for the green jacket in his best ever Masters finish.

He’s yet to win a major title but has come second in the US Open and Open Championship previously. He’s now finished in the top 10 in three consecutive majors and will fancy his chances at finishing top of the pile before the season comes to a close.

McIlroy’s Grand Slam woes continue

Ahead of the Masters, McIlroy maintained hope of finally completing a career Grand Slam. The prestigious tournament is the fourth and final major he needs for his collection but he ultimately finished 22nd in this year’s edition, four shots over.

McIlroy has won all three of the other majors, although he’s not tasted victory in one since his PGA Championship and Open Championship double 10 years ago. The world number two never really got going at Augusta and ultimately finished 15 strokes behind Scheffler.

His 71 on the opening day was his lowest at the Masters since 2018 but he followed it up by failing to get a single birdie in the second round. McIlroy went into the final day with slim championship hopes as he needed to make up a 10-stroke deficit but Scheffler’s form made it an impossible task.

Following a disappointing showing, McIlroy is well aware of where he needs to improve as he looks ahead to the rest of the season. But while there are plenty more tournaments waiting to be won during the rest of 2024, he’ll already be dreaming of claiming the elusive green jacket in a year’s time.

Watch golf in style with Engage

If the Masters tickled your fancy, we’ve got plenty of opportunities to watch golf from the best seats in the house this year. Take advantage of our exclusive hospitality packages at the Open Championship, the Scottish Open and the PGA Championship.

And if you want to show off your skills, why not join us for one of our ICON Golf Days? Enquire today to book your place.

Can Rory McIlroy secure the Grand Slam at The Masters?

You know summer is just around the corner when the major golf championships come back. Luckily, we’re in for a treat because The Masters returns to Augusta next week for its 88th edition.

The world’s best golfers will flock to Georgia for four days of top-class sporting action, with one superstar set to receive the iconic green jacket. The Masters kicks off at Augusta National Golf Club next Thursday, with the final day taking place on Sunday 14th April.

The tournament features the smallest field of all four majors as it’s an invitational event, with strict conditions around who can compete across the four rounds of 18 holes. It kicks off a succession of major competitions each month, with the PGA Championship coming up in May before the US Open in June and the Open Championship in July.

Jon Rahm is looking to defend his title having come out on top last year, although he’ll face stiff competition from the likes of Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy. If you fancy seeing the best golfers on the planet up close, there’s still time to take advantage of Engage’s exclusive hospitality packages.

You can join us in The Foundry at Rae’s Creek or in Augusta Country Club, with both facilities located just minutes from the action. Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a premium bar and TV screens so you don’t miss a second of the action.

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Who are the favourites?

The runaway favourite ahead of the tournament is world number one Scheffler, who’s enjoyed a strong start to 2024. The American has already won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship and became the first ever player to win the latter in consecutive years.

Scheffler won The Masters back in 2022 – it remains his only major win and he’ll be hoping to continue his form and add another one to his collection. Standing in his way will be McIlroy, who is yet to claim the green jacket at Augusta.

McIlroy came second to Scheffler in the 2022 competition and The Masters remains the only major that he’s yet to win. Although he’s claimed the other three, he’s not won one since landing the PGA Championship and the Open double back in 2014. Can he end his drought in Georgia next week?

Meanwhile, reigning champion Rahm will fancy his chances at defending his crown. The Spaniard is ranked third in the world and finished four strokes ahead of runners-up Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson a year ago. It would be just his third major title having claimed the US Open three years ago.

Who are the dark horses?

Hideki Matsuyama is an outsider for this year’s Masters title but he’s got history, having come out on top back in 2021 despite being ranked 25th in the world. He became the first ever Japanese golfer to win a major championship as he finished one stroke clear of Will Zalatoris.

Elsewhere, the likes of Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele will be hoping to upset the odds and win The Masters for the first time. Both golfers finished just one stroke behind Tiger Woods as he shocked the world by claiming a fifth title back in 2019.

Is LIV Golf ruining the game?

Golf is a game filled with tradition and history. However, in the last few years a so-called ‘imposter’ version of the game has been sprouting and with it has brought fallouts, controversy and many questions. LIV Golf was launched last year as a new innovative format of the sport as an alternative to the PGA Tour and other big competitions.

Funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund it is designed to modernise the world of golf attracting the best players, with big paychecks as well as a team format. As a result of it’s Saudi Arabian links there is much controversy around the possible sportswashing nature of the format, making it not quite as popular as first predicted.

LIV Golf has been described as an innovative version of golf. A way to revitalise and reinvigorate the sport attracting new audiences while getting fans even closer to the action. With 14 events across the league season, the league will incorporate both an individual competition and a team competition.

For the individual competition, the best score on 54 holes will decide where you rank whereas for the team competition the scores for each team’s top three players for the round, all count towards the total team’s score. In a game where every shot counts, there is little margin for error.

With some of the best players in the world taking part such as Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Sergio Garcia to name a few you would think it would have plenty of attention. However, this has not been quite the case.

According to reported viewing figures for the first broadcast event, in Sunday’s final round it gained a disappointing 291,000 viewers. Compared to the Honda Classic on the same date which gained a reported 2.4 million viewers for the final round, it was a pretty poor showing. And according to further reports it has seen further dips in viewing figures as the season went on with the second event averaging almost 2 million viewers less than the PGA Tour average.

So what is the reason for this decrease in viewership? Well, many of the traditionalists are not keen on this new format of the sport. Coupled with the links to Saudi Arabia and sports washing, the bad press it has gained has been obvious.

Vast amounts of cash invested by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund does raise the question of sports washing and how LIV Golf is yet another possible way to cover up for the questionable human rights record. Many will have questioned the morality of players competing in the league for essentially the big paychecks, making golf fans less inclined to watch it.

According to GolfShake, viewers of LIV Golf tended to be younger, were more likely to have a lower handicap and watch golf on the TV every week; further reiterating the fact that the golf traditionalists do not like this newly imposed change.

So is LIV Golf a bad thing and what does the future hold for the competition? Well there are many divided opinions on LIV Golf amongst professionals with Rory McIlroy claiming he ‘would rather retire than play the format’.

After players such as Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson have made the move to LIV Golf it has cost them entry into Majors and team selection for the Ryder Cup. Should there be a way for LIV golfers to qualify for other events or once they have made the decision to move, should they be kept away?

With the first LIV Golf event of 2024 on the horizon in February, low viewing figures along with speculation around players not being picked for Major Championships, it’s hard to see how it can continue. With that said, the immense amount of wealth from investors will keep the new format going, money certainly won’t be a cause for concern.

A new era for golf but perhaps one that won’t affect the love for the Major Championship events anytime soon. More of a traditional golf fan? Watch some of the biggest golfing events the sport has to offer with Engage Hospitality.

Europe win Ryder Cup as the USA fail to impress

Europe have reclaimed the Ryder Cup after masterminding a remarkable victory over the USA at the weekend.

Luke Donald’s side won the prestigious competition at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in style, beating their American opponents 16 ½ – 11 ½. The hosts were in control from the outset and finished both of the first two days with a five-point lead.

With the points shared during Sunday’s singles matches, Europe got their hands on the iconic cup for the first time in five years. The result means that the last five Ryder Cups have been won by the home side and the USA are still without a win on European soil since 1993.

The 2023 Ryder Cup story

With the embarrassment of a 19-9 defeat two years ago still fresh in the memory, Europe were keen to make an impression. And whatever Donald said in his pre-match teamtalk certainly seemed to work.

Europe dominated the foursomes on the morning of day one, going in for lunch 4-0 ahead for the first time in history. In fact, it was the first time Europe had held a lead after the first morning session since 2006 and they had barely broken a sweat, with the USA not leading at any point in any match.

Jon Rahm and Tyrell Hatton set the standard with a 4&3 win over Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns and their team-mates followed suit. Rickie Fowler had a disappointing weekend and a missed putt from eight yards in the third match summed up his experience.

Team USA rallied for the afternoon fourballs and the points were shared in the first three matches. But Matt Fitzpatrick claimed his first Ryder Cup point alongside Rory McIlroy in a 5&3 win over Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele, giving Europe a 6 ½ – 1 ½ advantage.

It seems the USA didn’t learn from their day one mistakes as Europe once again started strongly in the foursomes. Only Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka didn’t claim a point in another dominant session that the hosts claimed 3-1.

But Donald’s side were pegged back after lunch. The USA came out on top in the Saturday fourballs, with Burns and Morikawa claiming the first point of the afternoon. A 3-1 win for the visitors levelled the day but still left them with a lot to do going into the final day, with Europe 10 ½ – 5 ½ ahead.

Sunday’s agenda was 12 singles matches and with Europe needing just four points to win, Rahm went head-to-head with world no.1 Scheffler in the first face-off of the day. It was a battle for the ages as the pair matched one another, continuously swapping the lead.

Scheffler had the chance to claim the point on the 17th but he failed to take it, missing the hole from 15 yards. And as Rahm pulled it back to claim a half point, Europe started to close in on a famous victory.

Viktor Hovland claimed the first win of the day against Morikawa and the points went back and forth for another four matches. With Europe needing just half a point to win, the USA held firm and claimed three consecutive wins through Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Schaffele.

But the stubborn Americans were unable to stop the inevitable and the Ryder Cup was eventually settled. Captain’s pick Tommy Fleetwood went two up against Fowler on the 16th, taking Europe over the magic 14 ½ points.

Fleetwood went on to win, as did Robert MacIntyre, and with Lowry sharing the spoils in his match, Europe eventually ran out 16 ½ – 11 ½ winners. They’ve now won eight of the last 11 Ryder Cups and with the competition heading to New York in two years’ time, they’ll have their sights on a first away victory since 2012.

PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Tommy Fleetwood of England plays a shot on the second hole during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Open Championships

Who shone for Team Europe?

The victory was very much a team effort, with almost everybody on top form. Hatton, MacIntyre and Rahm all finished unbeaten, claiming nine points between them.

McIlroy was Europe’s highest points scorer with four as he won four of his five matches, with his only defeat coming in the Saturday fourballs. Similarly, Hovland more than played his part. The Norwegian secured 3 ½ points in his five matches and set the tone by claiming Europe’s first singles victory on Sunday.

Nicolai Højgaard was a captain’s pick and will have been hoping for a better Ryder Cup debut. The Dane lost two of his three matches, claiming just half a point in Friday’s fourballs.

Where did it go wrong for the USA?

Having dominated the 2021 Ryder Cup, Team USA looked a shadow of their former selves in a limp showing in Italy. Nobody in their team went unbeaten and their main man Scheffler didn’t win any of his four matches. The 27-year-old earned just two half points and set the tone for a forgettable American showing.

In the same vein, Jordan Spieth lost two and halved two of his four matches. Fowler was drafted in as a captain’s pick but failed to justify his selection, losing both of his games and returning zero points.

America’s main bright spark was Max Homa, who secured 3 ½ points from his five matches. Meanwhile, Open champion Brian Harman won twice and lost twice on his Ryder Cup debut.

Watch golf in style with Engage

If you loved the Ryder Cup and fancy taking in some live action, we’re already taking bookings for exclusive hospitality packages at next year’s and 2025’s Open Championship.

And if you play yourself, why not join us at one of our ICON golf days in 2024? Get in touch for more information.

The Ryder Cup: Can Europe get the better of the USA?

After a gruelling season going toe-to-toe with one another, it’s almost time for the world’s best golfers to team up and battle for one of the most prestigious trophies in sport – the Ryder Cup.

The showpiece event gets underway on Friday 29th September, with three mouth-watering days of golf coming to a close on Sunday 1st October. This time around it’s Europe’s turn to host at the beautiful Marco Simone Golf and Country Club near Rome.

Team Europe are looking to get revenge having been comfortably beaten last time out. The USA side cruised to a 19-9 victory in Wisconsin two years ago, which was the biggest Ryder Cup winning score since 1967.

Who will win the Ryder Cup?

While Team USA haven’t won in Europe for 30 years, they go into the competition as slight favourites. Europe have won seven of the last 10 meetings but they face stiff competition this time around.

There are a total of 28 points up for grabs across a series of foursome, four-ball and singles matches. Either side needs 14.5 points to win but a tie would see holders Team USA retain their crown.

TROON, SCOTLAND - JULY 15: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits from a bunker on the 12th hole during the second round on day two of the 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon on July 15, 2016 in Troon, Scotland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Team Europe

World number two Rory McIlroy qualified for Team Europe automatically following a strong run of form this season. The 34-year-old won the Scottish Open back in July, finishing just one shot ahead of Ryder Cup team-mate Robert MacIntyre.

They’ll be joined by Masters winner Jon Rahm, while Viktor Hovland, Tyrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick also made the cut for captain Luke Donald’s side.

Tommy Fleetwood narrowly missed out on automatic qualification but he’ll still be part of the team as a captain’s pick alongside fellow Brit Justin Rose. Seppa Straka has also been chosen by Donald after tying for second at The Open.

The final three captain spots went to Ludvig Åberg, Nicolai Højgaard and Shane Lowry.

Team USA

Brian Harman is set to make his Ryder Cup debut after defying the odds to win The Open back in July. He was a 125-1 outsider prior to the tournament in Liverpool but he played like a champion throughout and he’ll be looking to continue his good form in Rome.

Harman will be joined by world number one Scottie Scheffler, who won this year’s Players Championship and was Team USA’s first automatic pick. US Open winner Wyndham Clark also qualified via the points system, alongside Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele and Max Homa.

Captain Zach Johnson has called on this year’s PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka, as well as Rocket Mortgage Classic champion Rickie Fowler. Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Sam Burns make up the rest of the captain’s picks.

Despite vice-captain Fred Couples announcing that Cameron Young would be part of the side, the 26-year-old has not been selected for the final team.

Watch golf in style with Engage

If you’re glued to the TV during the Ryder Cup and fancy taking in some live action, we’re already taking bookings for exclusive hospitality packages at next year’s Open Championship.

And if you play yourself, why not join us at one of our ICON golf days in 2024? Get in touch for more information.

ICON Golf Day: Everything you need to know

The ultimate golf day is just around the corner! We’re counting down the days to one of the biggest events in our calendar – the 2023 ICON Golf Day.

This year’s event takes place on Wednesday 20th September at The Grove, the iconic golf course situated in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside.

We’re looking forward to welcoming people from all over the country for a day that promises celebrity guests, mouth-watering food and, most importantly, a competitive round of golf.

What to expect on the day

The Grove is located just 18 miles from London and we’re delighted to bring our famous ICON Golf Day to its beautiful surroundings, which is the former home of the Earls of Clarendon.

Our guests will enjoy exclusive use of the clubhouse and golf facilities at The Grove, as well as a bespoke 18-hole menu from innovative chef Jimmy Garcia. There will be food and drink facilities on every hole, as well as an on-course DJ to keep the party going throughout the day. All you need to do is bring your golf clubs!

Golf professionals will be on hand to offer coaching tips to our guests, who will have access to the driving range and putting green to put their new skills into practice.

Keep your eyes peeled for celebrity appearances and ‘beat the ICON’ competitions, as well as plenty of other opportunities to win prizes. Including our hole-in-one hole.

On our ICON Golf Day at The Grove in May 2022, we saw an unbelievable hole-in-one which saw our guest pick up a brand new car. It was his first ever hole-in-one and what a time to do it, on our specifically designated prize hole.

It was a euphoric moment on the course and one that he and we will never forget. Fancy your chances at bagging an ace?

Golf Day Hole in One Winner with Car
Golf Day Hole in One Winner with Car

The Grove

The Grove is home to one of the world’s most scenic golf courses, situated within 300 acres of British countryside. It hosted the British Masters back in 2016 and was the scene of a 2006 World Golf Championship event, which was won by Tiger Woods.

Barack Obama has played at The Grove and he joins a long list of celebrities to have tried their hand on the course. The likes of Andy Cole, Chris Robshaw, Ryan Sidebottom, Danny Mills, Matt Prior, Mark Foster, Micky Hazard and DJ Spoony have all previously been guests at our ICON Golf Day.

As well as the championship golf course, The Grove is home to a luxury hotel, an award-winning spa, several state-of-the-art restaurants and a host of activities for guests of all ages.

The Grove is just a 20-minute train from London, followed by a short taxi ride from Watford Junction. It can also be accessed via mainline services from Birmingham New Street and Manchester Piccadilly.

Don’t miss out next year

Our ICON Golf Day is always one of the best and most popular days in the Engage calendar. If you’re joining us on the day we can’t wait to see you there but if you’re not, sadly all of the places for this year have been filled.

Luckily, our next event is just around the corner and there are still limited spaces for our ICON Golf Day in May. Plus, we’ll be hosting another one in September 2024.

It truly is an unforgettable day so if it sounds like something you’d like to be a part of, don’t hesitate to get in touch with bookings on 0207 048 4848 to reserve your place.

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Who Will Fire Their Team to Ryder Cup Glory?

The golf majors may be over for another year but don’t worry, there’s some good news on the horizon. The Ryder Cup swings into action next month and the world’s best players have been doing everything they can to be selected for the teams.

Brian Harman did his chances of making the USA team no harm as he shocked the world to win The Open last month. Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy is back to his best and he’ll be hoping to help captain Luke Donald bring the Ryder Cup back to Europe.

Ahead of the iconic competition getting underway in Italy, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know.

Brian Harman swings into Ryder Cup contention

A few weeks ago, Harman wouldn’t have been on USA captain Zach Johnson’s radar. But the American looks set to make his Ryder Cup debut next month after masterminding a fairytale win at The Open.

Harman won the Claret Jug back in July after finishing 13 under at a rain-soaked Royal Liverpool. The 36-year-old was a 125-1 shot before the tournament but being an outsider didn’t seem to faze him. Harman’s lead never dropped below three all weekend and he’s just the third ever left-handed Open champion.

McIlroy finished six under in a good showing as he continued his strong form having won the Scottish Open the week before. He beat Scotsman Robert MacIntyre by one after hitting an incredible 200-yarder to set up a crucial birdie on the 18th.

McIlroy is now second in the world rankings and is the first ever player to win The Open, the Scottish Open and the Irish Open.

All eyes are now on the Ryder Cup, with the four majors done and dusted for another year. Jon Rahm won the Masters while Brooks Koepka came out on top in the PGA Championship. McIlroy came close to winning the US Open in June but he lost out to Wyndham Clark by one shot.

AIG Women's Open - Day Four

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Everything you need to know about the Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup returns to Europe this summer and it’s the turn of the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club near Rome to host. The famous competition takes place from Friday 29th September to Sunday 1st October and Europe are looking to reclaim the cup from the USA, who won 19-9 in Wisconsin two years ago.

Each team will consist of 12 players, with slightly different selection criterias for each. Donald will captain Europe and his side will be made up of the top three players based on European points, the top three based on World points and six players of his own choice.

USA captain Johnson will lead the top six players based on qualification points and again will choose the other six.

The first two days of golf will consist of four foursome matches and four four-ball matches. The Ryder Cup will then conclude on the final day with 12 singles matches. Overall, there are 28 points on offer. Teams need 14.5 points to win the Ryder Cup but in the event of a tie, USA will retain the cup as holders.

Which players are likely to qualify for the Ryder Cup?

Two of the European spots are already secured. McIlroy’s impressive form of late puts him top of the rankings and he’ll be looking to be on the winning side for the fifth time. Rahm will also be in the team after tying for second with seven under at The Open.

As it stands MacIntyre is in pole position to make the cut. He sits third in the European points rankings following his fine showing at the Scottish Open. The front runners in the World points ranking are currently Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton, who were in the team last time out, as well as Tommy Fleetwood.

For the USA, world number one Scottie Scheffler is guaranteed to be on the plane. Elsewhere, Clark and Harman are expected to make their Ryder Cup debuts following their major wins this year.

Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay make up the rest of the top six and will be in the team as it stands. But both sides will not be named for a while (Europe on 3rd September and USA on 20th August) so there’s still time for the rankings to change.

Who could be the captain picks?

Adrian Meronk should make the cut for Europe after a strong season. The 30-year-old scored an impressive 67 in the final round at The Open and won the Italian Open earlier this year. He’s also had five top five finishes so will undoubtedly be on Donald’s radar.

Austrian Sepp Straka tied for second at The Open so should be a shoo-in, while Yannik Paul is currently fourth in the European points rankings. Elsewhere, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose and Matt Fitzpatrick could be considered.

While no captain picks have officially been announced for the USA, vice-captain Fred Couples has already let slip some of the names that will be on the team. During an interview last week, he revealed that Jordan Spieth, Max Homa and Cameron Young will all be included.

Rickie Fowler will be considered, having won the Rocket Mortgage Classic, as well as finishing in the top five at the US Open. Keegan Bradley and Collin Morikawa are also currently in the top 12 of the US rankings so will be looking to impress Johnson over the coming weeks.

The Open and Scottish Open: A memorable week of British Golf

Competitors and spectators from every corner of the globe braved the unpleasant UK weather conditions to take part in and experience two world class golf competitions as The Scottish Open and The Open played out. Two competitions that saw the best of the best battle out over four rounds to see who could be crowned the Scottish Open Champion and the 151st Open Champion.

The Scottish Open

Over a rain soaked few days in North Berwick it was Rory McIlroy who came out on top as The Renaissance Club was treated to a scintillating finish. The Northern Irishman birdied the last two holes in an exciting finish as he edged out fellow Brit Robert MacIntyre. His first win in Scotland, McIlroy set himself up well for the Open at Hoylake with a win that showed his class in typical Links course conditions.

In a field of high calibre, it was Scotsman Robert MacIntyre who set the pace as he finished his fourth round -14 shooting an impressive 64 in pretty treacherous conditions. With $9,000,000 worth of prize money up for grabs all MacIntyre could do was sit and wait for McIlroy to finish his round.

Unfortunately for MacIntyre, his excellent fourth round wasn’t enough as McIlroy’s brilliance shone through with a birdie putt on the 17th to draw level and another on the 18th to snatch the trophy out of the Scotsman’s hands in front of his home crowd.

It was the South Korean Byeong Hun An who got off to a flying start in his first round as he shot a course record equalling 61, finding himself with a three shot lead over McIlroy on the first day. However, after two level par rounds he found himself slip into joint third alongside Open favourite Scottie Scheffler and Swede David Lingmerth.

Other British high finishers included Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrell Hatton in 6th place as they both finished -9. Fleetwood looked to be closing the gap on McIlroy but faded in the last couple of holes as he also prepared for the Open at Royal Liverpool as one of the favourites. Fellow Open favourite, Viktor Hovland, found himself finishing -5 in a disappointing 25th place. The Norwegian had poor first and fourth rounds to see his hopes of a confidence booster ahead of the Liverpool challenge diminished.

Although Robert MacIntyre didn’t get the result he wanted in the end, he must be credited for some stunning golf on a day where conditions could have ruined anybody’s day. He proved that he could challenge and compete with the very best and will be a prospect to watch out for in years to come.

145th Open Championship - Day Two

The Open Championship 2024

The Open

So could McIlroy do it? Well it was another nail-biting four days of action as the players travelled to Merseyside to battle it out for the final major of the year and the 151st Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Course. Unfortunately, for McIlroy the wait for his first major since 2014 will have to wait as the weekend belonged to American Brian Harman as he won emphatically to secure his first major competition.

Another weekend where conditions were less than ideal, challenged players and was representative of more typical links course conditions. However, even the British wind and rain wasn’t enough to stop some of the world’s best to battle the elements and challenge for the Claret Jug.

Amateur Christo Lamprecht was a surprise leader after his first round when he shot a 66 to top the leaderboard for much of the day but Tommy Fleetwood and Emiliano Grillo quickly equalled that score. The South African was competing in his first major competition and at only 22, he looks to have an extremely promising career ahead of him. However, his lack of experience showed after day one as he finished +11.

A poor showing from Scottish Open runner up Robert MacIntyre also saw him well down the leaderboard at +10. Similarly, pre-Championship favourite Brooks Koepka also found himself finishing a disappointing +8. Perhaps the challenging conditions proving an obstacle for some?

But it didn’t seem to phase Brian Harman as he led from his second round to the finish with some superb golf played. There were times when others threatened with Jon Rahm shooting the best round of the competition at 63 in his third round as well as Sepp Straka looking promising.

But none could get close to the American, as Harman reigned supreme, 6 shots clear of his fellow competitors at -13. He left the rest of the competition to jostle for second as Rahm, Straka, Jason Day and Tom Kim all finished on -7.

In terms of British contingent, Rory McIlroy was the highest Briton with a joint sixth place finish alongside Argentinian Emiliano Grillo at -6. Not the result the Northern Irishman hoped for but a respectable finish nonetheless. Tommy Fleetwood, one of the favourites before play, finished a frustrating joint tenth -4 after a very good first round of 66 alongside local man Matthew Jordan in only his second ever Major.

So a new name held aloft the Claret Jug as Brian Harman was the comfortable winner of the final Major of the year. Despite Rory McIlroy’s heightened confidence after his win at The Renaissance Club earlier in the week, his good form wasn’t enough to carry him through to win his 5th Major as the favourites were blown away by Harman.

Summer in Full Swing: British Golf Takes Centre Stage

Back to back weeks of golf on home soil in July

A mouth-watering summer of sport is well and truly underway and if you’re a fan of golf, you’re in for a treat over the next few weeks. That’s because we’ve got not one but two huge tournaments on British soil to look forward to.

First up, the Scottish Open returns to the Renaissance Club from 13th to 16th July, with eight of the world’s top 10 players signed up to take part. And if that’s not enough to get you excited, the fourth and final major of the year gets underway the following weekend as the 151st Open Championship takes place in Liverpool.

Rory McIlroy will be looking to continue his strong form as he targets his first Open title since 2014, which was the last time it was held at Royal Liverpool. But he’ll face stiff competition in both tournaments as he targets his first PGA Tour win of 2023.

The Open Championship

Who are the contenders?

With the majority of the world’s top 10 players set to appear at the Scottish Open, the standard will be incredibly high as the field look to get into the swing of things ahead of The Open the following weekend.

Xander Schauffele came out on top this time last year but he’ll be taken all the way by fellow American Scottie Scheffler, who currently sits top of the world rankings. Wyndham Clarke is also in good shape having won the US Open in June, as well as the Wells Fargo Championship.

Norwegian star Viktor Hovland tied for second with Scheffler in the PGA Championship before going on to win the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village. Elsewhere, Patrick Cantlay, Max Homa and Jordan Spieth, who all sit in the top 10, will fancy their chances.

And with McIlroy expected to be among the frontrunners, a few other British golfers could make home advantage count. Matt Fitzpatrick won the RBC Heritage back in April, while Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose are all in line to play both tournaments.

Cameron Smith triumphed in The Open last year and while the Australian is expected to return again this year, he’s not scheduled to appear at the Scottish Open, as is the case with John Rahm.

Can Rory McIlroy win?

McIlroy has never won the Scottish Open so a maiden title north of the border will give him good momentum going into The Open a week later. The Northern Irishman remains one of the bookies’ favourites as he looks to improve on his third-place finish from last year.

Having come second to Clarke by just one shot in the US Open a few weeks ago, McIlroy is in strong form. He’s already triumphed in the Rolex Series this year, winning the Hero Dubai Desert Classic back in January, while he was also tied for second alongside Harris English in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

McIlroy is targeting his first major win since 2014, where he triumphed in the PGA Championship a month after his first win at The Open. And he’ll be keen to impress once again as he looks to cement a spot in Europe’s Ryder Cup team later this year.

Engage Hospitality

As the best golfers in the world jet to the UK for a blockbuster couple of weeks, you can enjoy the action in style with a range of hospitality experiences at the Scottish Open.

A week later, The Open Championship takes place from Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd July. Experience the best hospitality golf has to offer, with on-course locations offering unique access to the players and a world-class range of food and drinks packages.