Every Sunday night, Golf.com conducts an e-mail roundtable with writers from Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.
1. Golf fans had a feast Sunday, with Justin Rose winning his second-straight event at the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen, Mo Martin surprising the golf world with her win at the Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale, Colin Montgomerie -- who finished second at the U.S. Open three times -- winning the U.S. Senior Open in a playoff, and Brian Harman punching his ticket to the British Open with his win at John Deere Classic. Which was the most fun to watch and why?
Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I cannot remember a Sunday like it. I loved looking at the course at Aberdeen. I loved Mo's smiley manner. Brian Harman's gut-it-out win is what the Tour is all about. But the most compelling to me was Gene Sauers and what he almost did. Given where he's been, it is absolutely incredible and inspiring.
Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@GaryVanSickle): The women struggled at Birkdale, so the most fun had to be Justin Rose's impeccable round at Royal Aberdeen. Great golf in a great setting and how about that weird TV shot of a tanker out on the ocean? Due to an odd reflection, it appeared to be hanging in the sky. Way cool.
Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@AlanShipnuck): I had a blast switching back and forth between the Scottish Open and Women's British -- all that linksland left me with a stirring in my, uh, soul. Birkdale is awesome, and what a great Cinderella story Mo Martin turned out to be -- her near-albatross on the 72nd hole was a shot for the ages. And Royal Aberdeen looked great in HD. So it was a stellar Sunday morning here on the Best Coast.
Joe Passov, senior editor, Golf Magazine (@joepassov): The only telecast I watched in its entirety was the Women's British Open. Compelling characters, terrific course, actual classic links weather and a feel-good winner.
Mike Walker, assistant managing editor, Golf.com (@michaelwalkerjr): The Women’s British Open was the best because of the drama –-- Martin eagles 18 and then both Pettersen and Park have chances to force a playoff -- and the Royal Birkdale stage. But I got totally caught up in Monty’s playoff win in the U.S. Senior Open. The Champions Tour is at its best when it becomes the Second Chance Tour, and it was nice to see Monty get a U.S. Senior Open after so much U.S. Open heartbreak. But maybe we should save some of this great stuff for the week of the Wyndham Championship.
Josh Sens, contributing writer, Golf Magazine (@JoshSens): All due respect to the Centrum Silver set, but I can't get all that excited about a competition starring only golfers in their dotage. No dis intended toward the Scottish Open or the John Deere Classic, but they aren't majors. The biggest underdog on the biggest stage was Martin, and that made her win the most exciting to watch.
2. Justin Rose looks in great form, as does U.S. Open champ Martin Kaymer, while Phil Mickelson shot 65 and Rory McIlroy 67 in the final round of the Scottish Open. So who’s your favorite to win the British Open?
PASSOV: Tiger Woods. If he's in the field, I'm picking him. These greens are pretty benign, so he should fare nicely with the putter, and he remains the best course manager since Nicklaus, so he'll adapt where necessary. Plus, he can lay back off the tee, and not have to smash drivers out with the big boys, so that won't hurt him either. Easy enough to pick the great ball-strikers: Scott, Rose, McDowell and Kaymer. That will round out my top 5.
SHIPNUCK: My favorite was Rose even before this week. It's a big ask to win three starts in a row, but, hey, why not? Every other top player besides G-Mac seems to be just puttering along.
WALKER: Sergio Garcia. He’s been quietly having an excellent season, he’s putting well and the Open Championship has always been his best major. The fans will be totally behind him -- which matters a lot for an emotional player like Garcia. Feels like this is his year as long as he doesn’t wear yellow on Sunday.
VAN SICKLE: Phil's putting is not right, and McIlroy keeps throwing in a big number. With back-to-back wins and a U.S. Open already on his resume, Rose has to be the new favorite. It'll take a lot of mental stamina to win three events in a row, however. I don't think I'd bet on him because of that.
SENS: Henrik Stenson. He's been close before, his game is trending upward and being a first-time major winner is almost a requirement these days.
BAMBERGER: Tiger Woods. Nobody plays red-ass golf like him, and now he'll likely win just to prove Hank Haney wrong.