Monday, August 3, 2009
The Irish Examiner SpinDoctor Donal Hughes 4 Aug 2009- What’s in Stuart Appleby’s Bag, The Rules Quiz, The Fore Golf Truck in Kinsale, WGC Bridgestone Tips, Catriona Matthew, Fred Funk, Gareth Maybin and more!!
Under The Microscope: Stuart Appleby
Born 1 May 1971 (age 38)
Birthplace: Cohuna, Australia
Height 6 ft 1 in
Weight 195 lb
Turned professional 1992
Professional wins 13
In 2008, Stuart posted a career-high seven top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour and finished 17th in the FedExCup Standings. He missed just two cuts in 23 starts and surpassed $2 million in earnings for the fifth time in his career. His eight career PGA Tour victories include three straight Mercedes Championships from 2004-2006, as well as a pair of wins at the Shell Houston Open (1999 and 2006). A four-time member of the Presidents Cup team, Stuart was raised on a dairy farm in Australia and first began practicing his golf game by hitting shots from paddock to paddock after his chores were done. He played Aussie Rules Football growing up before turning to professional golf. Early in his career, he became just the eighth player in the history of what is now called the Nationwide Tour to win his first start, the 1995 Monterey Open. He earned his PGA Tour Card for 1996 by finishing fifth on the Nationwide Tour Money List. Off the links, Stuart enjoys motor racing.
Appleby's first wife, Renay, was killed in an automobile accident outside London Waterloo station in 1998, shortly after he had missed the cut at The Open Championship. Appleby married his second wife, Ashley Saleet, in 2002, and currently lives with Ashley and his two daughters, Ella and Mia. Their first son was born 21 October 2008 and has been named Max. After the 1999 plane crash that killed his friend and next-door neighbour Payne Stewart, he has been one of the key father figures for Stewart's children Chelsea and Aaron.
What’s In Stuart’s Bag
Bloggy Underfoot: Seve Speaks
After all the written speculation and news reports about Seve’s health it was great to hear directly from the man himself last week. In an interview with Sky Sports, Seve spoke about his health, his game and his goals going forward.
Dressed in a black tee-shirt bearing the logo of his charitable foundation, at first glance Seve appeared quite hail and hearty, a trick of the swelling effects of the medication and the latest six rounds of chemo. Though strong of speech and quick of thought, one cant help but notice that the eyebrows have dropped a little, and Seve’s overall expression is a lot more strained than it used to be.
To hear the great man speak however is elevating. He regards his treatment as being at the tenth hole, the chemo is over, the radiation treatment is next. When all the surgeons have done their work, Seve fully expects them to say the tumour, which was once the size of two golf balls and lying there dormant for six years, is gone.
The onset of the problem came as a shock to Seve. Before his airport collapse, he remembers bumping into things with his left shoulder, missing steps when climbing stairs, being dizzy and finally losing much of his vision in his left eye and the feeling in his left leg. A car crash where he ploughed into five parked cars at the golf club, lead the members to conclude he was drinking or on drugs, but right then Seve knew the gravity of his situation. Although he says his treatment was more mentally debilitating than physically painful, during the past six months he went through periods of helplessness and paralysis requiring constant care. However by summoning up all that battling spirit that stood him so well on the golf course, Seve has reached the turn in his usual swashbuckling style.
In order to aid to recovery, Ballesteros has set out a number of goals including insuring his children’s welfare and raising charitable funds for research and treatment of brain cancer. His one and only golfing goal however is not to play at next years British Open at St Andrews, but to “compete” at the home of golf. Everything on the golfing side of his life is geared toward this final appearance to finally and properly thank all his supporters and bid them all farewell. To that end (when not in treatment) Seve is following a strict training regime; a morning stretching session, weights, a five mile walk followed by a cold water swim, lunch and siesta then onto the range to hit balls. He admits that his treatment has robbed him, most likely permanently, of some of his faculties including 25% of his left sided vision and his ability to judge distances, but he is confident that with the help of a good caddy, probably his son, he can successfully negotiate the Old Course.
In an interview full of memorable quotes, the one that really struck a chord was Seve’s message to all those out there suffering with and battling cancer. “You need to fight, fight and never stop, because in the end, when you win, it tastes sweeter.” St. Andrew’s Swilken burn is only twelve months away and I have no doubt Ballesteros has even planned what club to hit off the tee.
Dr. and The Medic: Aim Your Eyes
You need to improve on putting accuracy.
Remember to keep your head stationary and your eyes over the ball. This is because you want to keep your eyes aligned to the target line.
Allow your trailing arm to control the pendulum motion as you keep the putter moving without any wrist hinge. You want to putt as if the ball is simply getting in the way of your putter during your stroke. Regardless of your putting style, you want to avoid lifting or turning your head until you have completed your entire follow though stroke. If you move your head, you will also be moving your eyes and therefore changing your aim and control.
The Doc’s Rules Quiz
Question 1: True or False- A player must determine his nearest point of relief by using the club with which he expects to play his next stroke
Question 2: True or False- During a round a player may play a practice stroke from a hazard provided this does not unduly delay play
Question 3: True or False- A player is entitled to discontinue play if he believes there is danger from an electrical storm.
Last weeks answers
Question 1 - In stroke play, a competitor, in lifting a ball for the purpose of identification, cleans it more than necessary for identification. What is the penalty? A: no penalty, B: one stroke or C: two strokes Answer: B, one stroke.
Question 2 – True or False: Tony arrives at the first tee at 13:00 hrs, his start time being 12:57 hrs. Tony is penalised two strokes. Answer: False.
Question 3 - True or False: Stakes or lines used to define a lateral water hazard must be red. Answer: True
Congrats to last weeks winner Tony Keegan, Douglas, Cork who wins a classy Kartel shirt compliments of Golfstyle Galway.
I Want One Of Those: The ForeGolf Tour Truck
It’s the ultimate boy toy, your own Tour Truck. This 40 foot, fully fitted travelling workshop and club testing unit comes in at a shade under €400,000. And the great news is it’s coming to Cork. The truck will be visiting The Old Head on Sunday August 9th and Monday 10th You can book an appointment to be professionally assessed on the truck by calling (045) 430660 or emailing email@example.com. Spend an hour with tour clubmaker Derek Murray having your clubs assessed like the pro’s, then play the Old Head for a €125.00 all in deal! And say hello to The SpinDoctor if you see me there on Monday!
Bet Your Balls-
odds thanks to
WGC - Bridgestone Invitational
Akron, Ohio, USA
Stewart Cink 28/1
So lets get this straight. The recipe for success is downing pints in Doonbeg the week before the Open! Well it worked for Stewart Cink, who comes into this week refreshed and ready for another tilt at a WGC win. Despite the win at Turnberry, is hasn’t been the best ever year for Stewart, his lowest four round total in 2009 is eight under par. However Cink has won here in 2004 (with Tiger in the field) and lost in a playoff to Woods in 2006 and must be brimming with confidence as the newest major champion.
Lee Westwood 25/1
Lee Westwood must be wondering what he has got to do to win again. It’s been nearly two years since Lee lifted the now defunct Quinn British Masters trophy but he seems to be there or there abouts in all the big tournaments since. Its easy to forget that Westwood has 18 European Tour wins under his belt and many believe he is playing even better now. His third place at Turnberry made it three top-tens in his last three events. Tied for second in 2008 when Vijay won.
Paul Casey 28/1
At the start of the year Paul Casey looked unbeatable. A massive win in Abu Dhabi brought him up to third in the world rankings. Played the best golf of the week at the WGC Accenture matchplay only to tire against Geoff Ogilvy in the final. Bounced back to take the flagship BMW championship in May but has really struggled in every event since. That run of form usually means a trip to see coach Bob Kostis in the desert and that usually does the trick. Don’t count Casey out.
Nick Watney 60/1
The big man from Sacramento California showed a little bit of spark at Loch Lomond at finished with a respectable top-30 in The Open. The whispers on the US Tour is that Watney will come again with a late season surge. He won the Buick Invitational back in February and has good WGC memories finishing second to Mickelson in a great finish at Doral in March. One to watch.
Martin Kaymer 45/1
Let’s hope his tied 34th finish at The Open did not dent Martin Kaymer’s confidence because the German is the form European in this field. Highly impressive in winning the Open de France and Barclay’s at Loch Lomond on the two weeks leading up to Turnberry. The 2007 Rookie of the Year now has an impressive four European Tour wins under his belt and what better time to contend on the world stage that at Firestone.
Matthew Kicks Shin
Women’s golf got a much needed boost last week with the successful staging of The Ricoh Womens British Open at Royal Lytham. Scot Catriona Matthew, who is still technically on maternity leave, held off Karrie Web, “loudmouth” Christina Kim and an army of Korean’s for a deserved win. Perennial underachiever Michelle Wie finished in the top-20 and a couple of hours later sealed a US Team Captain’s pick for the upcoming Solheim Cup. Her Granny Juli Inkster received the other wild card. On a serious note 114 year old Laura Davies secured her 11th straight European team berth by finishing 46th last Sunday.
No Oskar for Maybin
Sweden's Oskar Henningsson made six fist-pumping birdies last Sunday to win the Moravia Silesia Open by two strokes, but hats off again to Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin who tied for seventh. Maybster looked the likely winner for most of the day until the par three 15th hole where a leaked tee shot into water lead to double bogey. Maybin’s strength is his accuracy off the tee which has helped him to 46th on the Race to Dubai with nearly €430,000 already in the Northern Bank.
Slam Dunk For Tiny Funk
“I may need help straightening up”
Being small of stature didn’t stand in the way of Freddie Funk as he tasted Senior Major glory on Sunday at Crooked Stick. Funk won by six strokes and broke the tournament record with a 20-under total. He shot a final round 7-under 65. Funk’s win is by no means the first recorded success for small people. Pint sized Ian Woosnam, himself no taller than a wheelie bin was probably the most successful golfing little’n securing a major win at Augusta in 1991. Other notable little people success stories include 80’s telly icon Jimmy Cranky and Mini Me from the highly successful Austin Powers movies.
Fred Funk with good friend Stephen Ames (aka The Krankies)
Daly Detox Taking Its Toll
John Daly’s new health regime in the aftermath of his gastric band surgery coupled with his punishing playing schedule is taking a heavy toll. Playing for the sixth straight week in five countries and two continents, John Daly felt as though he hit rock bottom in the second round of The Buick with his worst score ever in a regular PGA Tour event that left him wondering whether he should quit. (I would love to slot a “Have I got news for you” style joke based on rock bottom and Daly, booze, the law, Hooters and a PGA ban but in all good conscience I just couldnt.)
Rick Smith, Daly’s swing coach described Daly as being in a "toxic state" after a disastrous 88, which Smith attributed to the weight loss, not enough sleep and the wrong kind of diet. Many tour observers have commented that Daly has also lost some of his hitting power, over the last four months. "The last two weeks have been the first time in my career I didn't think I could win," Daly said. "I don't have the feel I used to have. I don't have the confidence. I just don't have it. I tried my [tail] off and shot 88. I've thrown in the towel and shot 82 when I quit. But I didn't quit this time. It was a weird feeling."
Sunday, August 2, 2009
1. Jiyai Shin
Ahhhhhhh no. Is she wearing a blouse or a "frock". I havent seen one of those since the "Calor Kosangas Housewife Of The Year" ended in 1935.
2. Ai Miyazato
I'm afraid not enough meat on the bones for the average Culchie, so it's a no from the Mayo jury. She wouldn't hold a candle to my favourite weathergirl Ursula Bracken; and Ursula's probably brilliant at golf too. On the other hand, I know loads of lads who go "backpacking" in Asia specificaly to meet the likes of Ai. Many have woken up minus a kidney.
3. Christina Kim
Jaysus Lads. No. Ah now, I didn't really mean that "meat on the bones" comment back there. I feel a bit caught out now. Here's Christina doing her "Pamela Anderson in Baywatch" stickin' the bust out pose from Baywatch. All she is missin' is that red flaoty bullet shaped thing they all carried. I bet when Christina jumps in, there's some serious testing of Archimedes principle of displacement.
4. Paul Creamer
Absolutely Yes. Now you're talking. The clue is the name. When I die I want to come back as a pink mini. Not the car type. The clothes type. That Paula Creamer wears.
5. Song Hee Kim
Sorry Song He, this game is strictly for women. Blokes dressed up as women should contact Miss Panty in The George.
6. Catriona Matthew
No Comment. I think we better wrap up the game here before things descend to Juli Inkster levels.