Monday, July 13, 2009
Donal Hughes- Examiner SpinDoctor 14th july, Under the microscope- Geoff Ogilvy, What’s In Geoff’s Bag, Who’s Afraid of Tiger, Feel The Rhythm, The Rules Quiz, Open Absentees, Ursula Bracken, Paula Creamer, Tailored Shorts, British Open Tips and much more…!
Under The Microscope: Geoff Ogilvy
Full name Geoff Charles Ogilvy
Birthplace: Adelaide, Australia
Residence Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.
Height 6 ft 2 in
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 13 st)
Turned professional 1998
Professional wins 8 (PGA Tour 6, European Tour 4, Other 2)
After two years in Europe, Geoff Ogilvy joined the US PGA Tour in 2001. Following four years of top 100 anonymity, Ogilvy claimed his first professional tournament win in 2005 at the PGA Tour's Chrysler Classic of Tucson. In February 2006 he beat Davis Love III in the final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Later that year Ogilvy won his first major championship at the 2006 U.S. Open, holing a 30-foot chip at the 17th, and then getting up-and-down for par at the 18th, while Monty and Mickelson imploded around him. He then finished runner-up to Henrik Stenson when defending his title at the 2007 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Ogilvy underlined his penchant for WGC events by winning the 2008 WGC-CA Championship and this years WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship defeating Paul Casey.
Married to Julie, a chef, in November 2004 in Scottsdale Arizona, the Ogilvy’s have two children, Pheobe and Jasper. Geoff is a keen cyclist, and dreamed as a kid of riding in the Tour de France. His sporting hero is Lance Armstrong, for his outstanding ability to overcome adversity and win. Geoff also reportedly picks out a nice version of "Stairway To Heaven" on a string guitar! His favourite film is The Usual Suspects and the favourite band on his ipod is Led Zeppelin.
What’s In Geoff’s Bag
Bloggy Underfoot: Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Tiger?
Those who know me know that I don’t want Tiger to win The Open. I know people say we are blessed to be in a generation witnessing greatness but I just don’t fancy another Tiger and Stevie love-in, throwin’ high-fives around the place and Tiger doing that incredibly annoying pointy finger thing when the ball rolls into the hole. At least I’m consistent in my views. Watching biactol boy Stephen Hendry winning his umpteenth Word Title at the Crucible drove me to dementia, as did the site of Schumacher acting like a conductor on the podium for the Italian national anthem after another Ferrari Formula One win and just last week I was actually cheering for the tennis player I hate most in the whole world, just because he was playing Roger Federer. Rotten Roddick as I call him, had his usual crazy stare going on and was positively wizzin’ out sweat through the peak of his cap yet there was I, roaring him on. Thus every time a major rolls around, I fear that Tiger will dominate, and the whole thing will peter out into a procession.
However, this time out, for the first time ever, I actually don’t think Tiger will win. After much research I can now confirm that there exists firm empirical evidence that Tiger wont be stealing the Claret Jug at least this year anyway. Why? Firstly Tiger has never ever been to Turnberry before. His record for majors on courses where he has never played a professional tournament before is four from 23, not exactly Tiger-esque. Then there’s the fact that the Ailsa course at Turnberry is far too easy. I know they wheeled back in designers Ebert and Mackenzie to toughen the place up, but by all accounts, they didn’t do very much except make the bunker faces a little more penal and stick 10-20 yards on to a couple of holes. What that does for the likes of Tiger Woods is bring the half of the field who never even get a sniff of the cut under normal circumstances, immediately back into the equation. Tiger thrives when the rough is fit for making round bales and par fours are 550 yards long. Commenting on the Turnberry’s rather tourist type links layout, Nick Faldo famously joked that 67 is the real par on The Ailsa. Many commentators are predicting a winning score of 13 to 16 under, and saying that the only defence the Ailsa course has is the wind, which brings me neatly to the second reason why Tiger will fail. All this year, Woods has been struggling with his driving. On the weeks he gets it right however, he wins. He won at Memorial, then last week at the AT&T. When he’s on his game, Tiger has rhythm and the tee shots go straight. Timing and tempo are to Tiger, what a sip of Lucozade Sport is to Ronan O’Gara. When Tiger falls out of his rhythm, even for one swing, he seems to veer drastically off line. And nowhere on Earth is it harder to maintain timing than on a windswept links in Scotland with Rory McIlroy biting at your ankles. To further prove my theory, I have actually looked back over all Tiger’s Open performances. During his two wins at St. Andrews in 2000 and 2005, Tiger was the best driver in the field and conditions were benign. In 2006 in Liverpool, with the sun beating down on him, Tiger only missed eight of 56 fairways on his cruise to victory. On all the other occasions since 1997, Tiger has had his windstopper on, struggled with his timing, failed to drive it well and came up short. So, sorry Tiger, I’m not scared of you anymore, but please please please don’t win!
Dr. and The Medic: Feel The Rhythm
You always hear about people talk about the rhythm and flow of their swing but you have never noticed it in your swing.
You might have a natural flowing swing and may not even need to worry about it. However, it would be useful to videotape your swing and watch to see if your swing is as fluid as you think it is. Watch to see if you are taking the club back too fast, pausing at the top for too long, or have a choppy swing. Finding simple rhythm errors in your swing can help you add extra yardage and accuracy to your drives.
Tee up several balls in a row so you can hit one and immediately move on to the next one. Try swinging the club with your legs together. Feel your timing and rhythm as you hit each ball. If you are over swinging the club, you are likely to lose your balance and fall down. Anytime you want to get a better feel for your natural rhythm out on the course, just make a couple of practice swings this way.
The Doc’s Rules Quiz
Question 1 – True or False: In a Stableford competition, at the par 5 2nd hole, Tony gets a gross 5, net 4, for 3 Stableford points. By mistake he records a gross 5 for 4 Stableford points. Tony is disqualified for recording more points than he is entitled to.
Question 2 - True or False: A player may only remove loose impediments on his line of putt by picking them up or by brushing them aside with his hand or a club
Question 3: True or False: A player may clean his ball whenever it is lifted under a Rule that requires its replacement.
Last weeks answers
Q1 True or False: In match play, a player’s ball is accidentally deflected by an opponent’s caddie. The opponent loses the hole. Answer: False, rule 19-3
Q2 True or False: A player must start a stipulated round with fourteen clubs. Answer: False, rule 4-4, maximum 14 clubs.
Q3 True or False: In stroke play, Tony returns a card with the correct scores for each hole but the total is incorrect. Tony is disqualified. Answer: False, rule 33-5
Congrats to the winner Garrett Martin, Bray, Co. Wicklow who wins a classy Kartel shirt compliments of Golfstyle Galway.
I Want One Of Those: Odyssey F7 Putter
The latest reincarnation of the two-ball putter from Odyssey features a modified, extended mallet head with weighted alignment wings, a double-bend shaft and full-shaft offset. The Odyssey White Hot XG 2-Ball F7 Putter combines the 2-Ball alignment system with a new fang design and White Hot XG technology. Inspired by proven, high-performance, multi-layer golf ball technology, White Hot XG utilizes a multi-layer insert for unrivalled on-green performance. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “cashmere insert”. Priced €199 in Golfstyle, Galway.
Bet Your Balls-British Open
with odds thanks to Boylesports
Paddy Pick: Graeme McDowell 40/1 -
I’m a firm believer that golf goes in annual cycles. G-Mac won in Loch Lomond the week before the Open in 2008. Though he found the going difficult last week, I know he will relish the Turnberry layout. Easy links, flat, birdies aplenty; sounds like Baltray where Graeme shot a 61 on the second day before retiring due to injury. The fact that his form of late has been poor has lengthened his odds but McDowell is a major champion in waiting and he wont ever get a better chance. An excellent driver, just needs one hot week with the putter. I like his preparation too, two days in Portrush before the off.
As Billy Joel says “You may be right, I may be crazy, but I just might me the lunatic you’re looking for”, because only a certified madman would back DL3 over the likes of Greg Norman or Kenny Perry. Okay Greg won in Turnberry before and has been practicing like hell, and Kenny Perry is on a roll but I know something about Davis that you don’t know. Okay, here’s the secret. Love loves Turnberry, he plays it at least once every year incognito and shot 62 socially a couple of years back. He’s been on a upward curve on the US tour, so don’t discount a long odds place!
Brit Pick: Ian Poulter 25/1 -
Since he pulled on that Munster jersey with me back in January, I have been a fan of the Poultergeist. We established recently that Poults is never going back to France, because the photographers don’t know when to take pictures, but sure what do you expect when you show up in pink trousers and a Peacock’s hair-do. Seriously though, second at Birkdale and second at Sawgrass and his form since crossing the pond is not be coiffed at, I mean scoffed at. Ignore the fashionista at your peril.
You Cannot be Serious Pick: Sergio Garcia 20/1-
It’s been a rotten old year for Sergio. Greg Norman beat him at the Open and Greg’s daughter beat him out of the bedroom. Even the one thing he has always had complete control over, namely the golf ball, just refused to go in the hole. Last year aside, Sergio has been the Open nearly man, with three top five finishes in as many years. Nobody has visited Turnberry on more occasions to practice then Sergio, surely the Open owes the hapless Spaniard just one title. Dry your eyes mate.
Nursery Pick: Matteo Manassero 500/1-
Remember when Rory McIlory burst on to the scene and we all thought he was young. Enter Italian Matteo Manassero, the 16 year old British Amateur champion. This kid has oodles of talent and his nerves ends haven’t even formed yet. Matteo proved he can mix with the big boys with a top-20 in the Italian Open, so I think he’s nailed on for that silver medal and maybe just maybe a little bit more. Ten years from now, this guy will be the lynch-pin of the European Ryder Cup team.
Some of the games top players will sadly be missing from this weeks Open. Phil Mickelson, currently on leave from the tour to care for his wife Amy in her battle with cancer, was further rocked last week by the news that his mother has also now been diagnosed with the same illness. Mickelson’s absence will bring to an end his record of 61 consecutive starts in majors, currently the longest active streak on tour. Kenny Perry however, who shunned the Open last year, has decided to travel to Scotland this week, though his mother is critically ill with blood cancer. After meeting with her doctors, Perry is confident that her condition stable enough to allow him leave for the week. Meanwhile Spanish legend Jose Maria Olazabal failed in his bid to qualify at Kilmarnock Barassie last week and joins Swede Robert Karlsson and former Augusta winner Trevor Immelman in the wings. Karlsson is suffering from a blister behind his retina and has not played since May while Immelman has not fully recovered from a wrist injury he picked up at The Memorial.
I for one will be tuning into my favourite weather girl Ursula Bracken this week, of course strictly to find out the forecast for Turnberry. With poor weather having played a huge part in both the Irish Open and the US Open, every one is praying for some respite this week. Except for Padraig Harrington that is, who is praying for a monsoon to aid his three-peat attempt. Rory McIlroy has expressed his desire for calmer conditions saying "I don't know whether I have my best chance of winning a major on a links because I have a high ball flight," in the wake of his top-10 finish at Bethpage. "Only if a links course is calm do I think I can do well. So hopefully Turnberry will be benign." Although the long term forecast is for it to be overcast with some wind and rain, Turnberry natives will tell you it can change at the drop of a hat. As the Turnberry lighthouse keepers used to say, things can change at a moment's notice. During the John Player Classic of 1973 held at Turnberry, on the second day, when the course was battered by the equinoctial gales, causing five of the seven tournament marquees to be ripped asunder and hurtle down the fairways. That day Tony Jacklin, carded a 74, which he would describe as "the best round I've ever played." In describing the conditions, Jacklin told how, when it came to the par-5 17th, now 559 yards, he needed a driver, a 1-iron and two 3-irons just to reach the green.
Pic of the week:
Paula Creamer brings new meaning to the phrase “Choking Down”!
Man’s Best Friend
Poor old Gonzalo Fernandez Castano failed in his bid to land the Scottish Open title last week because he had other more pressing things on his mind. The third-round leader revealed after his third round that in a phone conversation his wife told him their shar-pei dog named Petra had been missing for two days. "I got some bad news before my round and have to say I was thinking about something else than golf," Fernandez-Castano said in the post-round press conference "Unfortunately my dog got lost two days ago and when I called my wife before the round she was really sad." Asked if he had to choose between winning the tournament or getting his dog back, he replied, "Believe it or not I’m going to say, find the dog." It must be very rough rough on him!
Only In America
An American man who assaulted a fellow golfer with a 6-iron last summer was sentenced last week to 21 months in prison. Nicholas Shampine, 34, was found guilty of second-degree assault during a jury trial in May. Shampine attacked James Compton at the Auburn Golf Course last July 13 after Compton's fourball complained to the ranger that Shampine's party was taking too long at each hole, according to court charging paperwork. Members of Shampine's group were also upset at Compton's group for being too noisy, authorities said. A shoving match broke out and Shampine struck Compton in the left temple with the golf club, prosecutors said. Compton fell to the turf in convulsions, bleeding heavily and was taken to Harborview Medical Center. Shampine told Auburn police that he attacked Compton, 46, to protect his brother, who was golfing with him. The Prosecutor Dan Soukup said that Compton still suffers memory loss and confusion. Compton and his wife spoke at the sentencing and asked the judge to give Shampine the maximum sentence. Shampine is said to be over 20 stone in weight, and Compton, who was reportedly hitting everything fat all day, just figured…….!