This Week in Golf -- July 17-20

The Sports NetworkJuly 14, 2014 

Woods returns this year in search of his 15th major title, but first since the 2008 U.S. Open. He is climbing a bit of an uphill battle this year, as the Open will be just his second start since undergoing back surgery in March.

The reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year and former world No. 1 returned to action three weeks ago at the Quicken Loans National and failed to make the cut for just the 10th time as a professional.

Last year, Phil Mickelson fired a 5-under 66 on Sunday to come from behind and claim his first claret jug.

Mickelson's quest for his fifth major seemed out of reach following a bogey at the 10th, but he rallied with four birdies over his last six holes to race to the title.

His 66 matched the low round of the week and was his second-best score in a major.

Mickelson has not won since and will seek to change his fortunes against one of the strongest fields of the season.

Among those competing this week is 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose, who is coming off back-to-back wins in his last two starts at the Quicken Loans National and last week's Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

Another player coming into the championship on a roll is reigning U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer. The German is seeking his third huge title of the season after he also won the Players Championship.

The strong field also includes world No. 1 Adam Scott, who is making his first start since the U.S. Open, Masters champion Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, Matt Kuchar, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia among others.

ESPN will have full television coverage of the championship.

The European Tour travels to Russia next week for the M2M Russian Open, where Michael Hoey won in 2013. The PGA Tour, meanwhile, moves back to the United States next week for the RBC Canadian Open, which Brandt Snedeker won last season.

LPGA TOUR

MARATHON CLASSIC, Highland Meadows Golf Club, Sylvania, Ohio - The LPGA Tour shifts to Ohio this week for the Marathon Classic at Highland Meadows Golf Club.

Last year, Beatriz Recari shot 5-under 66 on Sunday as she held off 2008 champion Paula Creamer to collect her second win of the season and third of her career.

Recari and Creamer both return this week to compete against a field that also includes former winners So Yeon Ryu (2012), Na Yeon Choi (2010), Heather Bowie Young (2005) and 5-time champion Se Ri Pak. Pak won the title here in 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2007.

Also competing this week will be Mo Martin, who is coming off her first major victory at the RICOH Women's British Open, and fellow 2014 tournament winners Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie, Lydia Ko and Lexi Thompson.

Golf Channel will have television coverage of all four rounds.

The LPGA Tour moves to Maryland next week for the inaugural International Crown. The biannual event features 4-player teams from eight countries who will compete in a match-play format.

WEB.COM TOUR

BOISE OPEN, Hillcrest Country Club, Boise, Idaho - The Web.com Tour is in Idaho this week for the Albertsons Boise Open.

Kevin Tway birdied the first playoff hole last year to defeat Spencer Levin and collect his first win on tour. The duo finished at a tournament-record 23- under-par 261.

Tway returns this week in the hopes of becoming the first player in Web.com Tour history to successfully defend his title.

Also in the field this week is each of the winners this season, including 2- time winner Carlos Ortiz.

Golf Channel will have television coverage of all four rounds.

The Web.com Tour travels to Kansas next week for the Midwest Classic, which Jamie Lovemark won last year.

PGA TOUR CANADA

STAAL FOUNDATION OPEN, Whitewater Golf Club, Thunder Bay, Ontario - The PGA Tour Canada is also in action this week with the inaugural Staal Foundation Open.

The tournament is sponsored by the Staal Foundation, which was started by professional hockey-playing brothers Eric, Jordan, Marc and Jared Staal.

The field will include Joel Dahmen, a 2-time winner this season, as well as 2014 tournament champions Josh Persons, Matt Harmon and Timothy Madigan.

There will be no television coverage of this event.

The PGA Tour Canada will have next week off before returning to action at the ATB Financial Classic, which Joe Panzeri won in 2013.

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