Golf rail for Thursday

Player of the week

Graeme McDowell (above). The affable Ulsterman — by way of Alabama-Birmingham — picked up his third global victory of 2013, winning the French Open by four strokes. It’s his ninth career win on the European Tour, moving McDowell up to No. 6 in the latest world golf rankings, and should leave him as one of the favorites for next week’s British Open at Muirfield.

Nice ride

Remember the hovercraft golf cart we’ve mentioned in this space? If you’re in the vicinity of Springfield, Ohio, you’ll soon be able to drive one yourself. Windy Knoll Golf Club, a daily-fee course located between Dayton and Columbus, will become the first US course to offer the hovercraft carts — can we just call it a hovercart? — starting July 27. “We wanted to be able to offer something no other course could,” said Pete Duffey, the managing director at Windy Knoll. “When we saw them on YouTube, we said, ‘We’ve got to have those!’ ” Duffey said the plan is to make the hovercarts — which cost Windy Knoll $58,000 each, have a much lighter footprint, and can easily glide over water, sand, and putting greens — available for special group outings, and also in a VIP package for foursomes. The additional fee hasn’t been announced yet.

Down to two


Next week’s British Open has room for just two more players, with 18 securing their places in the season’s third major on Monday through some late exemption categories. Among those getting in, either through their place on the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup list, the European Tour’s Race to Dubai standings, or the official world golf rankings: Billy Horschel, Boo Weekley, Russell Henley, Thomas Bjorn, Kyle Stanley, Ken Duke, and Jonas Blixt, winner of last week’s Greenbrier Classic. The final two spots at Muirfield are held for the winners of the John Deere Classic and the Scottish Open, if those players are not already exempt. If they are, Worcester native Scott Stallings, who’s currently the first alternate, will get the nod.

Tour schedules

PGA: John Deere Classic, Silvis, Ill. Purse: $4.6 million (winner’s share $828,000). Defending champion: Zach Johnson. Number of top-10 players in the field: One (Louis Oosthuizen). TV: Thursday-Friday 3-6 p.m. (Golf Channel), Saturday-Sunday 1-2:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).

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Champions: US Senior Open, Omaha. Purse: $2.6 million (winner’s share $500,000). Defending champion: Roger Chapman. TV: Thursday-Friday 4-8 p.m. (ESPN2), Saturday-Sunday 3-6 p.m. (NBC).

LPGA: Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Purse: $1.3 million (winner’s share $195,000). Defending champion: Brittany Lang. TV: Thursday-Friday 12:30-2:30 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 2:30-5:30 p.m. (all on Golf Channel).

European: Scottish Open, Inverness, Scotland. Purse: 3 million pounds. Defending champion: Jeev Milkha Singh. TV: Thursday-Friday 5:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), Saturday-Sunday 9:30 a.m.-noon (Golf Channel), noon-2:30 p.m. (NBC).

Advertisement Utah Championship, Sandy, Utah. Purse: $625,000 (winner’s share $99,000). Defending champion: Doug LaBelle. TV: Thursday-Friday 6-8 p.m., Saturday 6:30-8:30 p.m., Sunday 7-9 p.m. (all on Golf Channel).

Tweet of the week

“Here in Inverness, Scotland for the Scottish Open. I’m excited, but I need @Delta to deliver my clubs first.” — Michael Thompson (@MSlickThompson).

Michael Whitmer

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