With the exception of those living under the proverbial rock, the overwhelming majority of sports fans will know the 2018 FIFA World Cup begins on Thursday, June 14. Even those who don’t follow soccer will have struggled to escape the hype surrounding the tournament, despite the fact the U.S. won’t be represented this time out.
However, don’t worry if you find the prospect of chatting soccer for the next four weeks utterly disheartening—as there is a lot of other sports to watch on TV.
U.S. Open—June 14-17
The second major of the year returns to Shinnecock Hills, Long Island, with Tiger Woods making his first appearance at the tournament since 2015.
This year’s tournament will be the fifth U.S. Open held at the iconic course and the first since 2004, when Retief Goosen claimed his second major as he finished at four under par, two strokes ahead of Phil Mickelson.
Le Mans 24hrs—June 16-17
The 86th edition of the most famous endurance race in the world gets underway on June 16 in Le Mans, in France’s Pays de La Loire region.
Audi and Porsche have won a combined 11 of the last 12 editions but there’s plenty of U.S. interest in this year’s race. DragonSpeed will enter two cars, while United Autosports has a representative in the European Le Mans Series class.
Chip Ganassi and Corvette Racing will enter four and two cars respectively.
Royal Ascot—June 19-24
One of the biggest and most glamorous flat racing meetings in the world kicks off at Ascot, approximately 35 miles east of London. The course is six miles away from Windsor Castle and enjoys a strong connection with the British Royal Family.
NBA Draft—June 21
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn hosts the 2018 NBA Draft. For the first time in their history, the Phoenix Suns hold the number one pick, followed by the Sacramento Kings, Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies and the Dallas Mavericks.
Travelers Championship—June 21-24
The Travelers Championship gets underway at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. Jordan Spieth won the tournament last year, beating Daniel Berger in a playoff after both finished 12 under par following four rounds.
NHL Draft—June 22-23
The American Airlines Center in Dallas hosts the 2018 NHL Draft. The Buffalo Sabres hold the first overall pick, while the Carolina Hurricanes and the Montreal Canadiens will pick in second and third position respectively.
French F1 Grand Prix—June 24
The Formula 1 circus returns to France for the first time in a decade as the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet hosts the eighth Grand Prix of the season and its first since 1990. Sebastian Vettel leads Lewis Hamilton by one point in the drivers’ world championship standings after winning the Canadian GP and registering his third success of the season.
Quicken Loans National—June 28-July 1
The TPC Potomac at Avenei Farm in Potomac, Maryland, hosts the 2018 of the Quicken Loans National. Kyle Stanley won at the same venue last year, beating Charles Howell III in a playoff after both finished seven under par.
NBA free agency—July 1
One question will dominate the headlines as the NBA free agency begins: “What will LeBron James do?” The four-time MVP is widely expected to opt out of the final year of his deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers to explore his options.
His decision could change the NBA landscape for years to come.
Austrian F1 Grand Prix—July 1
Formula 1’s busy summer continues as the world championship moves onto the Red Bull ring in Spielberg, southeastern Austria, where Mercedes has won in each of the last four years.
The All England Club hosts the third grand slam tournament of the season as the race to dethrone Roger Federer and Garbine Muguruza begins. The Swiss maestro is looking to win an unprecedented ninth crown in southwest London, while home favorite Andy Murray is yet to confirm he will take part in the tournament as he continues to recover from hip surgery.
The Greenbier Classic—July 5-8
The Greenbier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia hosts the Greenbrier Classic. The American Xander Schauffele won here last year, finishing one stroke ahead of Robert Streb.
Tour de France—July 7-29
Road cycling’s most famous tour departs from Noirmoutier-en-l’Île in Western France and will finish three weeks later with the traditional Champs-Élysées stage in Paris. The Tour will start a week later than usual because of the FIFA World Cup and will see 176 riders across 22 teams entering the race.
Britain’s Chris Froome is aiming to win the race for the fourth consecutive year.
British F1 Grand Prix—July 8
One of the great venues of Formula 1 stages the British Grand Prix for the penultimate time, as unless a new contract is signed, 2019 will be the final year the GP takes place at Silverstone. Lewis Hamilton will aim to become the first driver in history to win the race five times in a row.
John Deere Classic—July 12-15
The TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois, is the stage for the 48th John Deere Classic. The tournament is the final chance for players not already exempt to earn entry into The Open, provided they finish in the top five.
Bryson DeChambeau is the defending champion after finishing at 18 under par last year, one stroke ahead of Patrick Rodgers.