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Royal Birkdale 2017 British Open - TV Schedule & Predictions

This page has U.S. TV schedule and predictions for the 2017 British Open at Royal Birkdale. This famed golf course has hosted 9 Open Championships with the last one being 2008. Notable past Royal Birkdale winners include Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Johnny Miller, Lee Trevino and Peter Thompson. The 2017 British Open at Royal Birkdale is set for July 20-23.

U.S. TV Schedule
*Subject to change, error

First Round - Thursday, July 20
TV - Golf Channel - Start 1:30 AM ET
Live Stream: golfchannel.com/TheOpen

Second Round - Friday, July 21
TV - Golf Channel - Start 1:30 AM ET
Live Stream: golfchannel.com/TheOpen

Third Round - Saturday, July 22
TV 1 - Golf Channel - 4:30 AM to 7 AM ET
TV 2 - NBC - 7 AM to 3 PM ET
Special - NBC - 4:30 PM to 6 PM ET
Live Stream: golfchannel.com/TheOpen

Final Round - Sunday, July 23
TV 1 - Golf Channel - 4 AM to 7 AM ET
TV 2 - NBC - 7 AM to 2 PM ET
Live Stream: golfchannel.com/TheOpen

⛳Trends
*Subject to change

Royal Birkdale has hosted nine Open Championships with winning scores ranging from -14 (1971) to +3 (2008). The average winning score is -6 and the median is -8. The winning scores for the last two Opens at Birkdale are Even and +3. If the winds will be a factor like they had been the last two times here, we could see higher scores again.

Top wind players: Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jordan Spieth

Royal Birkdale is a Par 70 course that features narrow fairways and a severe penalty for missing them. Driving accuracy is more important than distance. Scrambling is also key here.

Driving Accuracy: Steve Stricker, Francesco Molinari, William McGirt, Kevin Kisner, Soren Kjeldsen
Ball Striking: Kyle Stanley, Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey, Hideki Matsuyama, Rickie Fowler
Scrambling: Charles Howell III, Webb Simpson, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, Bill Haas

Unlike the PGA Championship and (recently) the U.S. Open which feature a variety of courses, all of the British Open's host venues are links courses. Although aesthetics and design may vary, the general philosophy is the same. Players who enjoyed previous success at the Open tend to continue to enjoy success. Also, scores go much higher in menacing winds.

Last five Open champions: Henrik Stenson, Zach Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els
Top non-champions in last five years: Sergio Garcia (three top-10s), Marc Leishman (two top-5s), Rickie Fowler (T2 in 2014), Dustin Johnson (two top-10s)

Form

Year: Dustin Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood, Jordan Spieth, Sergio Garcia, Jon Rahm
Last three major champions: Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia, Jimmy Walker
Top players at last four majors: Hideki Matsuyama (two top-5s and a T11), Justin Rose (three top-25s including a runner-up), Jason Day (three top-25s including a runner-up), Rory McIlroy (two top-10s), Steve Stricker (three top-25s)

Aggregates

1. Sergio Garcia
2. Rickie Fowler
3. Hideki Matsuyama
4. Jordan Spieth
5. Dustin Johnson
6. Rory McIlroy
7. Steve Stricker
8. Adam Scott

🏆Predictions

Winner: Sergio Garcia. The Augusta National may be the place of the Spaniard's maiden major title, but the Open is where he has played some of his best golf. In 17 career starts, Garcia finished in the top 10 a remarkable ten times for a 59% success rate! This consistency would make even former Open champions envious. Despite contending numerous times, the twice Open runner-up always seemed to stumble near the finish. This could change now that he has a major under his belt. Garcia is on the same trajectory as Padraig Harrington eight years ago. The Irish star won two majors in 2008 after his long-awaited breakthrough. We may see a similar run with Garcia.

Top 10 Finish: Hideki Matsuyama. The Japanese star is the type of player who does well on any kind of course. When his ball striking is on, Matsuyama is capable of producing a score even when the conditions are difficult. He showed it in the final round of the U.S. Open when he shot a superb 66 in the wind. His below-average putting is still a concern, as he currently ranks 174th in SG Putting. But if the conditions will be as difficult as the last two times here, ball striking and scrambling are way more important than putting.

Top 25 Finish: Steve Stricker. In an era where most courses are Par 72 and long, Par 70 courses like Royal Birkdale offer hope for older players to win one of golf's biggest prizes. 59-year-old Tom Watson nearly did it at Turnberry on a Par 70 course. At 50, Stricker is trying to emulate this feat and go one step further. The Wisconsin native has found some good form recently which includes a T16 at both the Masters and U.S. Open. Everyone likes to talk about how he is still one of the best putters on tour, but his ball striking has been equally impressive. He is one of the most accurate players off the tee this season, which should match well with Royal Birkdale's tight fairways. Stricker earned his best finish at the Open last year with a solo fourth.

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