Under The Microscope: Anders Hansen

anders and bag Born 16 September 1970 in Sønderborg, Denmark

Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)

Weight 165 lb (75 kg; 11.8 st)

Nationality: Danish

Residence Zürich, Switzerland

Anders is a winner on tour already in 2009 claiming the Joburg Open in South Africa. Won the BMW PGA Championship twice in 2007 and 2002. Went to University of Houston where he enjoyed success on the US collegiate scene and has finished in the top 60 on the Order of Merit every year from 2000 to 2008.

 

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Bloggy Underfoot: Back To Black

Tee minus two weeks to the US Open. This year the slug-fest returns to Bethpage Black, site of the “people’s open” of 2002. It is rare for a US Open to return to the same venue so soon but the last staging on the municipal course proved so popular that the US tour vowed to return as soon as possible. This will be the third US Open in the New York area in the last seven years with Shinnecock Hills hosting in 2004.

So here’s a quick recap of what happened in 2002. Tiger Woods, the bookies favourite at the time, duly obliged by up-and-downing from absolutely everywhere to clip_image008win at three under par but that wasn’t the real story. The big winner that week was Phil Mickelson who became the darling of the Bethpage crowd. The “cult of Phil” carried him on a wave of euphoria to a second place finish behind the all dominant Woods. Sergio Garcia who entered the final round in second place slipped to fourth after being heckled by the crowd for his grip, re-grip, re-grip pre-shot routine. As I recall however, the Black course, which was billed as an absolute monster, actually proved quite a tame test as US Open’s go with wily course managers like Jeff Maggert and Nick Faldo finishing in the top five.

furyk getty 88283330 The previous winners of the US Open read like a who’s who of the World’s elite players. With all due respect, names like Christian Cevaer and Steve Stricker just aren’t on there. Last year Tiger beat Rocco on one leg at Torrey Pines. In 2007 Angel Cabrera bullied it around Oakmont and held off Jim Furyk to win his first major. The year before, 2006, belonged to Geoff Ogilvy but was probably best remembered in Europe as the one Monty threw away. Remember he missed the green with an eight iron and handed it to the grateful Aussie? Michael Campbell won at Pinehurst in 2005, a pinnacle of performance so sadly followed by the huge troughs he has endured ever since. Retief Goosen won at Shinnecock in 2004 with an incredible birdie on 16 to edge Phil Mickelson who double bogeyed 17 to throw the title away . 2003 was a very low scoring affair with Jim Furyk winning at Olympia Fields on eight under. Which brings us neatly back to Tiger at Bethpage in 2002.

What will happen this year is anyone’s guess, but two of the usual suspects certainly seem to be clocking in right on time. Tiger is coming off his greatest driving week for six years (49 of 56 fairways hit.) After hitting a mountain of balls of the practise ground in Isleworth over the past couple of weeks, analyst Peter Kostis described how still the “bill of Tiger’s cap” remains throughout his swing; a subtle change that has done the trick. Jim Furyk, who always seems to there or there abouts, was giving those irons the one eyed stare-down treatment at the Memorial indicating he is in the mood. There are plenty of questions about the rest however? We know now that Phil Mickelson will be there, but will his mind be? Will world number three Paul Casey be able to muscle his way into contention and find his putting touch on the ultra slick US Open greens? Can Cabrera, now a proven multiple major winner, get in the mood again with his long lazy style? What about Geoff Ogilvy after his collapse when in contention at Muirfield Village? Or can a journeyman pull it off this year, like Rocco so nearly did last time?

The history book alas, does not list any journeymen on the recent victory list. Where do they seem to go at major time? They always seem to get close, to the playoff even before succumbing to a big gun. Wouldn’t it be great to see a new young European major winner? Somebody to bring focus back onto the European Tour, somebody like Rory McIlroy or Martin Kaymer would do nicely. They certainly have the game, but have they got the major temperament, the patience, the course management nouse? I want to hear who you think will win the US Open and next weeks “Bloggy” will be devoted to you and your tips. E-mail your name, your tip and the reason why to examinerspindoc@eircom.net or text me at 087-3140467.

Dr. and The Medic: Outside the Bunker

Problem

The ball landed just outside of a bunker, requiring you to stand in the bunker while the ball is higher than your feet lying on the grass.

Cure

Play this shot just as you normally would when the ball is above your feet. One vital adjustment is to make sure you have stable footing in the bunker.

Therapy

Look to see how much lower your feet are than the ball. Choke down on the shaft by this much. Swing more around your body. If you do not, you will end up digging the club into the soil with very little distance. It might help to think of this shot as if you are using a hurl with a flat, rounded swing.

The Who, What, When Quiz

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Thanks to all who entered our quiz last week. For those who don’t know, the good folks at Setanta have given us a free one year subscription to Setanta Sports (including Setanta Golf) to give away to a lucky SpinDoctor reader. We need two more winners over the next three weeks to go into a draw for the big prize. To win, just e mail examinerspindoc@eircom.net with the answers to the following questions. Clues are on www.golfspindoctor.blogspot.com

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Q1. Who is Phil Mickelson’s caddy (pictured)?

Q2. What brand of equipment does Jim Furyk use? Check out his hat pictured above

Q3. When did Tiger Woods win his first major. 1996, 1997 or 1998?

Congrats to last weeks winner Liz Crowley, Belgooly, Co Cork who goes into the final draw!

I Want One Of Those: MX-700 Hot Metal Fairway Wood

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Using Hot Metal Technology in its clubhead to increase ball speed, this MX-700 Hot Metal Fairway Wood from Mizuno is a genuine driver alternative from the tee. This forgiving driver has an understated design which hides the increased clubface size at address, as well as high COR and MOI to give you maximum distance and forgiveness. Around the €120 mark from Golfstyle Galway.

Bet Your Balls-

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Odds from bestbetting.com

St. Jude Classic

Thurs Jun 11 – Sunday Jun 14, 2009

TPC Southwind · Memphis, Tenn.

Purse: $5.6 million Winning Share: $1,008,000 FedExCup Points: 500

David Toms 22/1david toms

It’s called the St Jude Classic because staging a tournament the week before the US Open is a hopeless case. However I like the cut of David Toms’ jib this week. After his early season second in Hawaii, Toms has consolidated with five top tens in the months since. Won this event back to back in 2003 and 2004. Came second in 2005 when he shot a final round 63, only to be pipped by Justin Leonard who shot a 73. Also finished third in 2007 behind “aqua-man” Woody Austin.

Brian Gay 45/1

brian gay Between himself and Davis Love, the Gay-Love partnership have notched up an impressive five Verizon Heritage titles between them. With on form Love not entered this week, I’m plumping for Gay. It hasn’t been a happy time for him since his Hilton Head win, withdrawing from the Players Championship and missing the cut at the Byron Nelson but his last outing at The Crowne Plaza Invitational was an altogether more encouraging affair. This week sees a return to a happier hunting ground for Gay, who will recall a good fourth in 2007 and tied fifth in 2004.

Jerry Kelly 120/1

It’s a case of all or nothing for Jerry Kelly. Missed three straight cutjerry kellys after winning a million dollars at the end of April. Came back under my radar last week with a closing round 67 on the ultra difficult Muirfield Village layout to finish 14th. No discernable form to speak of at Southwind but any of you who know golf know that Kelly is streakier than a rasher and when he’s in the mood, he’s unstoppable. If this guy ever needs a heart transplant they only need to check his sleeve to find it.


Tailored Shorts

Ryder Cup Captains in Winners Enclosure

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Two Irish Opens, a Ryder Cup victory as captain and a European Seniors Tour title certainly make Ireland a happy hunting ground for Ian Woosnam. Woosie shot 67 in the final round to whiz through the field in Ballybunion, then triumphed in a playoff with American Bob Boyd. Rumours that the donned a tricolour, then climbed onto the roof of the clubhouse and down a pint of Guinness as are yet unconfirmed!

Meanwhile in the US, Bernhard Langer became the first three-time winner on the Champions Tour this season, shooting 67 in Triton Financial Classic for a six-stroke win over Mark O'Meara. Langer, now a seven time winner on the Seniors tour finished on 15-under at The Hills Country Club course in Austin Texas.

 

Daly Rehydrating

john daly quiet 88028356 This is a story about John Daly and drink, but hey, this time it’s all good news! As Daly prepares to return to the US Tour after his controversial six-month exile he has signed an endorsement deal with a sports drink company. He will display its Big Red brand of the All Sport company on his golf bag. "Corporate America believes in his comeback," said their rep.

Bear and Tiger in Woods

clip_image025Last Wednesday at a wet and windy Muirfield Village Golf Club, an unusual skins game drew huge crowds. With a combined 32 major championships and 139 PGA Tour titles between them, the great Jack Nicklaus teed it up with Tiger Woods. The two were joined by Kenny Perry and Stewart Cink in one foursome while Vijay Singh, Camilo Villegas, Jim Furyk and Padraig Harrington also played a skins game in the group ahead. Nicklaus who is now 69 joked, "They had me paired in the other group, and I said, uh-uh. I said, 'I haven't played with him for nine years. I'd like to play with Tiger.' So they said OK. I'm really looking forward to it. I told him I'd give him a couple of extra shots if he needed it. I'll throw my 98-mile-an-hour clubhead speed at him." Jack didn’t disgrace himself either, rolling back the clock at the par-5 11th to make a birdie and win two skins. Asked whether he expected to be the same way at age 69, Woods quipped: "I just hope I'm above ground." The game came down to a chip-off, where, you guessed it, Tiger chipped in. Talk about looking for signs and portents!

Celtic Manor Stuck In The Mud

Maybe it’s just me but I’m getting a really bad feeling about Celtic Manor as the venue for the Ryder Cup. It’s June now, yet the twenty ten course always seems to be sodden wet. What is it going to be like in September? I also the impression that the pro’s hate it. Last Sunday was the biggest bore-fest ever on the European Tour with previously unknown Dane Jeppe Huldahl (pronounced Yippee Roald Dahl) stealing victory. All the big names seemed absolutely disinterested as the tournament petered out without so much as a whimper. The European Tour takes a three week break before returning in Munich (we wont count the St Omer Open!)

Tiger for President?

Everyone has been talking about Tiger spending every waking hour on the driving range at Isleworth. He did however decide to ditch the divots for a couple of hours for a meeting with none other than Barrack Obama in the White House! Woods reported “I would love to be able to play golf with him and just talk. Maybe one day we can do that. He's got a lot on his plate, but is a very down-to-earth person, especially for someone who is the leader of the free world.” Instead of discussing the crisis in General Motors or the going hostilities in Afghanistan, Woods reported “What I especially enjoyed was learning about its (The White House) history and details about all the different rooms. It was pretty neat stepping back in time. I also enjoyed talking with the Secret Service agents.” I think that’s a no to a Tiger presidential campaign in the future!

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