Forward Press: What to look forward to this week in golf
Last week Rory McIlroy reclaimed his World No. 1 ranking by joining the war on pre-Halloween Christmas commercialization, but in celebration of Labor Day he must go back to work and use his clubs to fend off another dethroning by Jason Day and/or Jordan Spieth.
Here is all you need about the upcoming (light) week in golf.
Not On Tour
While much too much will be made of the tussle over World No. 1, the Deutsche Bank Championship isn’t even the most vital golf proceeding this week. That nod goes to the upcoming weekend’s Patriot Golf Day(s).
Launched in 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, Patriot Golf Day is open to golfers across the country willing to add an extra dollar to their green fees September 4-7. The money raised benefits families of fallen and diabled veterans. More than 5,000 golf facilities nationwide are registered to host Patriot Golf Day this year and you can find participating venues here.
The PGA Tour takes an extra day to get started this week, with the Deutsche Bank returning to TPC Boston for the thirteenth year and finishes again on Labor Day. Renovated over a few years by Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner, the course was Golf Digest’s Best New in 2007 and is perennially is one of the best maintained on tour thanks to Tom Brodeur and his team.
Chris Kirk defends his title coming off his return at The Barclays due to a broken right hand. He opened last year’s DBC with a two-over 73, one of only four players last year to open over par who still won.
McIlroy, hard off his ascension to No. 1, won here in 2012 and the list of champions reads like a who’s-who of power players, Stricker and Olin Browne exempted.
Coverages begins Friday on Golf Channel at 2:30 pm ET.
The European Tour heads to Moscow and the ninth annual M2MRussian Open. Skolkovo Golf Club is the host. The ultra-exclusive Jack Nicklaus design sits just outside the center of Moscow. You can take an interactive tour here. Or just wait until Golf Channel coverage begins Thursday at 9 a.m. ET.
The LPGA Tour is off this week before heading to the $3.25 million Evian Championship where Inbee Park tries to build on her career Grand Slam with the “Super Grand Slam” named so by the LPGA Tour when they added a fifth major designation to the Evian.
Keeping up the vacation theme, the Web.com Tour’s first playoff event starts September 10th with the Hotel Fitness Championship at Fort Wayne, Indiana’s Hotel Fitness Championship.
The Champions Tour is on an even longer hiatus until resuming play in the First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, Sept. 25-27.
The lack of golf this week means Golf Channel had to look to non-tournament action for programming and there are a couple of intriguing viewing options.
Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, Golf Channel’s Golf’s Greatest Rounds remembers the final day of 2013 Presidents Cup play. Get out your rain suit and remember the days when Lindsey Vonn was putting Sammy The Squirrel on Tiger’s shoulder.
I unsuccessfully tried to find Sammy six months later. Or he just wouldn’t answer the door.
Thursday at noon ET on Golf Channel, a mini Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf half marathon kicks off, starting with Nicklaus vs. Palmer at Pinehurst, Azinger vs. Ballesteros at 1:30 p.m. ET from St. Andrews. That must watch duel is followed by Nicklaus vs. Watson at Pebble Beach and Nicklaus vs. Miller at Olympic Club.
In the Azinger-Ballesteros match, you’ll be reminded that Ben Crenshaw played the Shell’s roving reporter role made famous by Jimmy Demaret and even better, Seve cursed the Virgin Mary (in Spanish, though the actual meaning is up for debate but it was funny either way!).
And finally, Thursday at 9 p.m. ET, Golf Channel offers the 1 millionth re-airing of of Tin Cup. Residual time, Cheech Marin!