The Killeen Castle Fourball Quiz
Fancy a fourball in the brand spankin’ new Killeen Castle, venue of the Solheim Cup 2011? Have a go at our rules quiz and text your answers (with name and address) to 087-3140467 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q1. True or False? A player may have one person carrying his clubs and another person giving him advice on his play at the same time.
Q2. True or False? In stroke play, a player may not move aside a large weed growing next to his ball.
Q3. True or False? A player is entitled to hold his ball, to stop it moving, while moving aside a moveable obstruction under the rules.
Last weeks answers:
Q1. True or False? A player may test the condition of a bunker located 10 yards away from the bunker that his ball in lying in. Answer: False
Q2. True or False? In a four-ball or foursome competition, a player may ask advice from his partner’s caddie. Answer: True
Q3. True or False? On the day of the Captain’s Prize, a strokeplay competition, a player may practice on the course very early on the morning of the competition. Answer: False
Congratulations to last weeks winner Patrick Brennan, Kilcolgan, Galway who receives the Mount Juliet fourball voucher.
Born: June 16, 1970 (1970-06-16) (age 39)
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight 200 lb (91 kg; 14 st)
Residence Rancho Santa Fe, California, USA
Turned professional 1992
Professional wins 44
Phil Mickelson is already looking forward to 2010. Having decided to “shelve” his season to be with his wife Amy, who is battling breast cancer, Phil made a triumphant return to the Tour for the playoffs, claiming victory at The Tour Championship. The win was Lefty’s 37th on Tour.
Phil married Amy, a former Phoenix Suns cheerleader, in 1996. They have three children. Their first was due the week of the 1999 U.S. Open, where Mickelson carried a beeper and was ready to leave if Amy went into labour, even though he was in contention to win his first major. He finished second to Payne Stewart and the child was born the next day. As it transpired Mickelson was to remain major-less for another four years until he sought help from a former NASA physicist turned short game guru named Dave Pelz
When Phil phoned Dave Pelz for the first time seeking help in December 2003, he declared that he had saved a quarter a shot in each round in each of the majors he has played, he would have won several of them. He asked Pelz to help him achieve that by working on his short game. Pelz was somewhat daunted but intrigued by the request and suggested meeting Phil in Augusta in January to practise on the greens well in advance of the first major of 2004. An out and out family man, Mickelson was vehemently opposed to the idea, prompting Pelz to deliver an ultimatum, “You are 0 for 43 in the majors your way, lets try it my way”. Pelz recalled their first putting session. “Phil read a putt and lined up one ball right of the hole. He made his stroke and hit it three balls right of the hole. It came around beautifully and dropped into the cup. He looked over at Pelz for approval but the big guy just shook his head. “93% of players subconsciously aim it differently to where they want to aim it”, he says. If it drops, a player is lucky but statistically a player cant get lucky all the time. At the start of their time together Pelz says, “Phil was a poor reader of greens”. Their work together lead to Mickelson’s now famous around the clock putting routine which he has used ever since. And the proof is the putting; Mickelson now has three majors under his belt, two of them at Augusta.
Mickelson is well known for his sense of humour. In the lead to Annika Sorenstam’s debut on the men’s PGA Tour at the 2003 Colonial, Phil was asked by the press how he thought she would do. “I think she will come in the top 20” he said. “And how do you think you will do” continued the press-man. “I hoping for 19th or better”, laughed Phil.
What’s In Phil Mickelson’s Bag
Oceânico Victoria Golf Course
15 Oct 2009 - 18 Oct 2009
Padraig Harrington 12/1
There’s a star studded field headed to Portugal this week including Westwood, Garcia, McIlroy, Fisher and our pick, Padraig Harrington. Padraig has been in the news of late in relation to a difference of opinion with European Tour Player’s committee chairman Thomas Bjorn and with a player’s meeting planned for this week, let’s hope it doesn’t affect his performance. The Dunhill Links came after a hectic (if highly profitable) playoff season in the US, and a rested Harrington is sure to mount a serious challenge this week.
Charl Schwartzel 33/1
Disaster hit Charl last week as his clubs failed to arrive in Madrid in time for the first round of the tournament. Without a back-up set Charl was forced to borrow clubs. He battled bravely with irons which were much too flexible for him, but the wrong set-up ultimately caught up with him. A leaked bunker shot at the eighth lead to a triple bogey and scuppered his tournament chances. He’s back with his own sticks this week and knows how to go low on the Victoria course, he was right in the final round mix in 2007, eventually tying for seventh and has played well in Oceanico corporate events in the past.
Steve Webster 50/1
Steve Webster will always have an emotional attachment with the Victoria course in Villamoura. Shortly after the sad passing of his mother in 2007, Webster claimed an emphatic victory in the inaugural Portugal Masters, pointing to the Heavens on the 18th green as if to give thanks for divine inspiration. On that occasion he shot a final round 64, which included a brilliant risk-reward eagle at the par five 12th to eclipse the field. Made a wonderful defence last year, finishing tied third despite a cold putter in round one. One to keep your eye on.
Colin Montgomerie certainly is taking his role as Ryder Cup 2010 Captain seriously. A couple of weeks back he oversaw the jousting at the Vivendi Trophy a la Hitler at the 1936 Munich Games. He is said to already have a shortlist of probables and possibles. Monty’s Notebook might read thus……
Did you know that according to the 2008 Majors stats, Ross is the lowest scoring player across all of the majors. He seems to love to love the major arena and may just have the best mental game of all the players on our team. He was ready to leave the Open this year if his pregnant wife went into labour; I need to be ringing Ross all through next Christmas with birth control advice. With Rory McIlory and Martin Kaymer destined to be there, I don’t need any more baby blues! Verdict: Grab Your Clubs
Poor Sergio. A victim of unrequited love this year, I’m still not sure Sergio is over his break-up with Morgan Leigh Norman but time will heal him. Like myself he seems to save his best putting performances for the Ryder Cup stage. It’s hard to believe but Sergio is now a Ryder Cup veteran and if Miguel Angel Jimenez doesn’t make it, Sergio and Alvaro Quiros might become the new Ballesteros and Olazabal. Verdict: Dry your eyes mate and grab your clubs.
Simon Dyson is rapidly becoming a great player. With his win at the Dunhill Links, his second of the season, he has burst into the World’s top-50 and increases his chances of an automatic Ryder Cup spot by gaining automatic entry to all four majors. If he does make the team automatically I would have no qualms playing him, possibly alongside Ross. Verdict: Keep the clubs in the boot and check your messages.
Whenever I think of Henrik I get that mental image of him in his Y-fronts with Fanny trying not to look! Henrik won the Players Championship but followed it up with several missed cuts on the European Tour. With his length and strength I have no doubt that Henrik will win big in 2010 and make the team automatically. We will need his humour in the team room. Verdict: Keep your pants on and grab your clubs.
The personification of “class”. You don't win three Majors without having that X-Factor. At odds with the European Tour at the moment, I hope Padraig commits to play the requisite number of events in Europe next year; I really want to avoid a situation where a player of Padraig’s stature might soak up a Captain’s pick. Either way, A Ryder Cup without Padraig is unthinkable. If he plays next September like he did this September he will be untouchable. Verdict: Grab Your Clubs
I think Alvaro is going to be among five players from which I have to pick my three Captain’s selections. Alvaro may be streaky but when he hits form, he is simply sensational. Tiger called him “Stupid Long”, his booming drives would be a real asset in a cold wet Celtic Manor in September. Could do with some fine tuning of his short game, but he has time. Sure to be an intimidating opponent and a potential partner for Sergio. Verdict: Practice the wedges and check your messages
It’s official! Golf will return to the Olympics at the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Both golf and rugby, last featured in the games of 1924, were reinstated for the 2016 and 2020 Games after a vote last week by the International Olympic Committee. Golf’s pitch to be included in the Games was aided greatly by the participation of Tiger Woods, Padraig Harrington and Michelle Wie who addressed the IOC before the vote. Woods has indicated he would play in the Olympics if golf were accepted for 2016. "There are millions of young golfers worldwide who would be proud to represent their country," Woods said from the Presidents Cup. "It would be an honour for anyone who plays this game to become an Olympian." The gold medal will be decided by a 72-hole stroke-play tournament for men and women, with 60 players in each field. British bookmaker William Hill were quick off the mark quoting Tiger at 6-1 odds to win the gold medal. It gave the same odds for any player from Britain or Ireland winning.
According to news sources in South Carolina, an alligator bit off the lower half of a golfers arm at a private course in the region. The victim who is in his 70’s, had entered a water hazard at Ocean Creek Golf Course in Beaufort County in an attempt to retrieve his ball when a 10-foot alligator emerged and bit him. The gator pulled the golfer into the pond and ripped off his arm in the struggle. His playing partners managed to free him, preventing further injury. Wildlife workers killed the alligator. The man who has not been identified, underwent surgery to attempt to reattach his arm at the Medical University of South Carolina. The incident provides further evidence, if any were needed, of the importance of hitting the fairway.
The US Team unveiled their latest weapon at last week’s President’s Cup; basketball legend Michael Jordan. Jordan was given the official role as assistant Captain. In a US team room meeting prior to the event, Jordan addressed the young players on the U.S. team about believing in themselves. Rookie Sean O’Hair was said to be “in awe” of the ex-Chicago Bulls star following his words. It is as yet unclear if Jordan is to have a role at next year’s Ryder Cup. Hopefully the European Team will enlist the services of supermodel Jordan as a repost!
European Tour- Madrid Open
The ball keeps flying much lower than you would expect it to.
Make sure your head is not swaying excessively during your swing; which will cause a loss of loft.
Instead of just trying to keep your head still, simply focus on keeping your head behind the ball at setup and as you contact the ball. If you are noticing a loss of loft with your wedges and irons, make sure you are not trying to help the ball up. Remember that you need to hit down on the ball in order to get the loft you desire.
Dymo2 (which stands for "dynamic MOI") has a rear "PowerBow" that gets thicker as loft increases from 8.5° to 14.5°. This shifts more mass farther back and to the heel side for added draw bias. Higher lofts also have a shallower face height, a more closed face angle and more upright lie angle to help you square the face at impact. The innovative "Str8-Fit" adjustable fitting system features a specially designed shaft adapter and hosel that tilt 2 degrees off axis. The by-product is that you can choose among eight clubface and lie angles. Nike says the eight settings produce up to 45 yards of directional difference. The SQ Dymo Str8-Fit driver has a round head that's still plenty forgiving. But it's supposed to provide more "workability" than the SQ Dymo2.
Birthday: 10th August 1960
Birthplace: Elizabethtown, Kentucky
Turned Pro: 1980
Kenny Perry has won eight times on tour since 2003. Had he won at Augusta, Perry would have become the oldest champion at 48. He attributes his success that week to 20 hours spent on the putting green in the build up. “I wish I had discovered this method 20 years ago”, the ever gracious Perry said in the aftermath of the playoff defeat. Off the course Perry has been honoured for his contribution to social projects. He donates five percent of all his winnings to Lipscomb University in Nashville to provide scholarships for students. He also took out a loan to build Country Creek, a public course in his hometown of Franklin, Kentucky. In 1995, Perry bought 142 acres of land and borrowed more than $2.5 million to design and build the only public course in the town. He can often be found working behind the counter where visitors often ask him, "Do you know Kenny Perry?" He has shot 60 on the course twice himself.
TaylorMade R9 (9.5°) with Fujikura Motore shaft. Changed recently from the Tour Burner. “I've probably lost five to seven yards in distance," Perry said, "but it's given me a lot of confidence in its straightness. I think I can win a U.S. Open with this driver because I'm driving it so straight."
TaylorMade Burner (14.5°) with Fujikura Rombax TP75 shafts
Irons: TaylorMade r7 (3-PW) FST KBS Tour shafts, X-flex. Used to use blades but now prefers cavity-backs with more offset.
TaylorMade Rac Z TP (56°, 64°) Cleveland CG 14 (60°)
Putter: Ping G2i Craz-E. No longer available in the shops. A member of Perry’s club, gave him this putter saying it could help is game. How right he was.
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x 2005 version
Wears a blue bracelet in memory of Eric Baumgartner, who had cystic fibrosis. Perry got to know him through Make-A-Wish where they played together. He sadly died shortly after.
Height: 6ft 2 1/2in
Birthplace: Dungannon, Northern Ireland
Turned Pro: 1990
Darren co-owns a private jet with best friend Lee Westwood, but they only use it when both are playing in the same event. A long haul round trip would set the pair back £60,000 so they mainly use it for European Tour events. The pilot has arguably the best job in the world on a six figure retainer, even though the downturn in the economy means he has to now do charters a couple of times a month!
Driver: Taylormade R9 with Aldila Voodoo XPP8. New in the bag but already a trusted weapon. The adjustable R9 head is not so much designed for distance as for accuracy.
Fairway wood: R9 fairway 13º with Aldila Voodoo DCC shafts. Clarke sometimes interchanges this with a 15º version
Irons: 2-PW Taylormade Burner Tour Preferred, x flex shafts and Lamkin grips. Brand new in Darren’s bag, he is still working on setting the lofts and lies to suit his game. The 2 iron gets switched for a 5-wood when the course dictates.
Wedges: Bob Vokey customized 54º (14º bounce) and 58º (14º bounce) wedges.
Scotty Cameron customized Studio Select Newport 2. Fitted with dark anti-glare shaft and embossed with the green shamrock and initials “DC”.
Utility Bag: Darren’s ball bag used be a crocodile’s ball bag!
Ball: Taylormade Tour Black with shamrock logo.
F ancy a fourball in Mount Juliet, one of the best parkland courses in Ireland? Have a go at our rules quiz and text your answers to 087-3140467 or e-mail to email@example.com
Q1. True or False? A player may test the condition of a bunker located 10 yards away from the bunker that his ball in lying in.
Q2. True or False? In a four-ball or foursome competition, a player may ask advice from his partner’s caddie.
Q3. True or False? On the day of the Captain’s Prize, a strokeplay competition, a player may practice on the course very early on the morning of the competition.
Last weeks answers:
Q1. True or False? A player may not ask a fellow competitor the distance between his ball and the flagstick. False: This data regarding distance between two objects is public information not advice.
Q2. True or False? In stroke play, a ball that is played from outside a teeing ground by a player starting play of a hole is not in play. True: two shot penalty incurred and ball must be played from teeing ground.
Q3. True or False? A player may return a scorecard different from the one issued by the committee at the start of the round. True.
Questions from 999 Questions On the Rules Of Golf by Barry Rhodes
Dustin Hunter Johnson has become one of the leading players on the PGA Tour. Johnson was born in Columbia, South Carolina and played collegiate golf at Coastal Carolina University. As an amateur, he played on the winning 2007 USA Walker Cup team. Johnson and partner Colt Knost claimed a day one half against Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Jonathon Caldwell. Johnson turned professional following the Walker Cup and earned his 2008 PGA Tour card by finishing in a tie for 14th place in the 2007 qualifying school. Johnson won his first PGA Tour event, the Turning Stone Resort Championship in October 2008. Four months later, he won his second event at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, a tournament that was shortened to 54 holes when the final round was cancelled due to strong winds and heavy rain, leaving Johnson the winner by four strokes over Mike Weir.
Off the course controversy has courted Johnson. One month after his second tour win he was arrested in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and charged with Driving Under the Influence. "I made an error in judgment that I deeply regret," Johnson said in a statement released by the PGA Tour. "I have let myself down and others who support me. I am handling the matter privately, and rest assured, I will definitely learn from my mistake." That arrest wasn’t Johnson’s first brush with the law. In 2001 he found himself unwittingly linked to a murder charge. Johnson was among five teens involved in a burglary where somebody took a gun. According to court documents, Johnson was persuaded to buy bullets for the gun by a friend's menacing older brother. Later that month the brother, Steve Gillian, was charged with murder after shooting his victim multiple times in the head. Because of Johnson's connection to the crime, he had to pay restitution for the theft and agree to testify at the murder trail. Gillian is serving life without parole. "Eight years ago, I couldn't see myself being here,” Johnson said after his second Tour victory at Pebble Beach.
What’s In The Bag Dustin Johnson
Colin Montgomerie certainly is taking his role as Ryder Cup Captain seriously. A couple of weeks back he oversaw the jousting at the Vivendi Trophy a la Hitler at the 1936 Munich Games. He is said to already have a shortlist of probables and possibles for his Ryder Cup Team Selection. His notes might read thus……
This is the only guy in the World I would pay to see, the best young talent out there. He may need an experienced partner (possibly Darren) because Rors is still blinking in the morning sun of matchplay golf. Some say his chipping from heavy greenside rough is suspect, but whose isn’t? I might even send him out first in the singles, the perfect foil for Tiger Woods. And the way he dispatched Henrik two weeks ago, he may slay the Tiger. NB: We will have to do something about that mop on top though! Verdict: Grab your clubs Rory, after a trip to the hairdresser.
There comes a time when even the most experienced of the European Team members has to sit back with a nice glass of Rioja balanced on his belly whilst lighting up a nice Cuban cigar and reflect on what has been and still is, one hell of a career. Miguel, with Vijay Singh and Kenny Perry has taken a hammer to all the common logic of over forties winning on Tour. I know you’re a thoroughbred and not ready for the glue factory just yet. Verdict: Keep the clubs in the boot.
German means efficiency and Kaymer is the man, so far. I could never ignore a back to back winner on Tour. Martin will be another Rookie and added to Rory, that makes two. But hang on, wasn’t Martin at the last Ryder Cup? Ah yes I remember now, his mother sadly passed away in the lead up but he did travel as part of the extended European Team. He can be our new Langer; come to think of it, I might bring Bernhard too as his foursome partner. Give the US guys a bit of Vorsprung durch technik! Verdict: Grab your clubs
Casey reminds me of myself back in my heyday, charging around with that juggernaut brow. He loves matchplay as evidenced by his WGC and HSBC performances. I remember that 10 and 9 hammering he gave Shaun Micheel in the HSBC final in 2006 and the hole-in-one in the Ryder Cup at the K Club. Nick had to pick him as a wildcard last time but I think he will make an automatic spot this year. Was it eggs or the US Ryder Cup Team Casey was talking about when he reportedly said "Oh, we properly hate them. We wanted to beat them as badly as possible"? Verdict: Grab your clubs
Remember how poor Ian was powerhosed by the press after receiving Nick’s wildcard pick last time. It must have been tough for him but he really showed his mettle in the matches. Whether he deserved his pick last time is still up for debate, Darren Clarke did win twice on tour in the lead up but then again Nick and Darren aren’t exactly drinking buddies. If Ian doesn’t win next year or make the team automatically, I’m going to really have to think hard about bringing him. Verdict: Keep the clubs in the boot.
Lee is part of the fabric of the Ryder Cup. Since working with Mark Roe on his short game a couple of years back, Westwood has re-emerged as a force in World Golf. The perfect foursome partner for a rookie possibly. A couple of rolls of the ball could have landed Lee The Open and he also had a rattle at the PGA Championship. I think he will win a Major before Celtic Manor; you cant win 28 times worldwide and not win a Major unless you’re ….me! Verdict: Grab your clubs, you’re out first.
Centro Nacional de Golf
Charl Schwartzel 33/1:
Schwartzel was the winner of the inaugural Madrid Masters in 2008, his third European Tour title. The South African finished on 19 under, three shots clear of Ricard Gonzalez despite battling illness all week. The key to his win last year was imperious driving and amassing a score of 15 under for the par fives all week. That win enabled Schwartzel to end the season inside the Order of Merit Top 30 and he is on course to do again this season with a current rank of 27. This weeks venue, the Centro Nacional de Golf also staged the Open de Espana in April 2007, an event won by guess who? You got it, Charl Schwatzel! Expect strong performances from him this week and next at Villamoura.
Alvaro Quiros 28/1
Alvaro has the added pressure of being the poster boy for this event which is missing many of the European Tours big stars. The towering James Bond fanatic should be able to take it all in his stride as he performed brilliantly in last years staging. Tied 99th after a first round 74, Quiros produced rounds of 66,66 and 64 to claim a tie for fourth on 14 under par. The longest hitter on Tour eagled both par fives on the front nine during his final day charge.
Ricardo Gonzalez 50/1
Another massive hitter to watch this week is former caddie, Ricardo Gonzalez. The big Argentinian looks to continue his Spanish love affair this week have won twice previously here. Won the 2003 Open de Madrid on the Club Campo de Villa course and finished second last year. That performance included a third round 62 with a back nine of 27 shots, which would have tied the European Tour scoring record but for placing on the day. Claimed his first victory in five years at the SAS Masters in Barseback in the Summer and could repeat the dose this week.
No, he didn’t dump her by text but just 15 months after they were married, golf star Greg Norman and tennis great Chris Evert announced they have separated. The news came on the eve of the President’s Cup where player’s wives and partners are under the spotlight. They were married June 28, 2008, a month before Norman nearly won The Open. Norman was coming off an ugly divorce from Laura Andrassy, the mother of his two children, which ended in a settlement that paid her just over $100 million.
Evert was married twice previously, most recently to Olympic downhill skier Andy Mill, with whom she had three children. They were divorced in December 2006.
Kenny Perry's mother Mildred has died after a long battle with blood cancer. Even as Kevin Perry enjoyed one of his most successful years on Tour, he had been coping with the ever more saddening situation of his mother’s condition and recently had his son, Justin, caddie for him to keep close as a family. The 49-year-old American said he would play in the Presidents Cup next week in San Francisco at his family's request. ``While Kenny is deeply saddened by the loss of his mother, he and the entire Perry family are finding comfort in knowing that after a lengthy battle with cancer, her suffering has now ended'', his agent said.
According to Forbes, Tiger Woods is first athlete to reach the $1 billion career earnings mark, ahead of basketball legend Michael Jordan and Formula One’s Michael Schumacher. Woods had earned a cumulative $895 million going into 2009, through several channels including prize money, appearance fees, endorsements, bonuses and his golf course design business. This year he won $10.5 million in prize money, and his FedEx win of $10 million took him through $100 million mark in annual earnings and past $1 billion overall. Financial analysts say the 33 year old, through potential playing and course design earnings may earn further billions in years to come. Tiger is followed in this years earnings totals by Phil Mickelson ($53 million) and LeBron James $42.4 million).
The final senior major of the year, the Senior Players Championship turned into a battle royale between legend Tom Watson and Jay Haas. Haas birdied the 18th hole to match the course record with a 6-under 64 to edge Tom Watson by a stroke. The 60-year-old Watson was trying to become the oldest major winner on the 50-and-over Tour but struggled with three final round bogeys to shoot a 70. This was Haas’ second consecutive win after claiming the Greater Hickory Classic two weeks ago. It was also his third senior major and 14th Champions Tour win.
It's been a quiet year on the LPGA Tour by Lorena Ochoa’s standards. From 2006 to 2008 she averaged seven tour wins per year. On Sunday Ochoa bagged the Navistar LPGA Classic, her third win this season.
Finally, a Cinderella story. Jerod Turner a 34-year old, self-taught Texan had earned less than $8,000 on the Nationwide Tour and was contemplating giving up the game three weeks ago. Suddenly, having won the Nationwide Tour's $1M Soboba Classic, he's inches away from the PGA Tour. Turner’s win was worth $180,000 propelling him into an automatic qualifying spot with only three events left.
You jab or flick the putter.
Practice maintaining the same grip pressure throughout the entire stroke. Avoid regripping the putter after you set up to the ball. Pace your tempo to help focus on making a slow and smooth swing.
Golfers often jab their short putts because they feel they lose their timing that they have during a longer stroke. This will cause anxiety and an unwanted, unexpected rushed putt. Work on allowing your hands and the clubhead to move in a synchronized movement. A good key thought to allow this to happen is to wait for the clubhead before hitting through the ball. If you allow your hands to rush thought it, you will end up flicking the club. In contrast, other players push the putter though the stroke and their hands are trailing well behind the clubhead causing a flipping up motion. Even though the stroke is short, you can still have a shorter tempo. So work on moving the clubhead, hands, and arms all in a harmonious motion. You should soon see results using this game improvement tip.
I Want One Of Those: Footjoy Icons
FootJoy the largest seller of golf footwear in the world are about to unveil a new customizing option for its FJ Icon collection, the sort of premium calfskin golf shoes worn by the pros. Punters can now simply log on to Footjoy and personalize the colour scheme and monograms on their shoes. Footjoy is cranking their exisiting MyJoys customisation programme up a notch with a much greater range of variations including lizard and alligator style leathers and more. If you want to break the mould, these are right up your street. Must have golf gear for the 2010 season.
The Claret Jug, one of the most prized possessions in golf was the subject of a practical joke played by Padraig Harrington last Tuesday. Stewart Cink, this years Open winner had left the trophy in front of his locker at East Lake whilst waiting to attend an interview with PGA Tour productions. Recognizing the Jug’s case, Harrington quickly took it and hid it in his own locker. Cink assumed the interviewers had taken the Jug to the TV set. "I assumed they had gotten it and put it on their [interview] set, Cink said: 'So you guys already have the Claret Jug?' and they said: 'No'. Harrington was eventually rumbled by a locker room attendant who told Cink he saw him take the case. I guess you could say Cink got Punk’d!
With his mother suffering from blood cancer and his father also very ill, it has been a tough couple of months for Kenny Perry. He did however receive some respite last week after being honoured with the Payne Stewart Award, named after the three-time major champion who perished 10 years ago in a private plane crash. The award which is given for a player's commitment to charity, recognized Perry’s donation of 5% percent of his PGA Tour earnings to a scholarship fund for students from his home county in Kentucky. Perry's support stems from a deal made with a church elder, Ronnie Ferguson, who agreed to give Perry money for his third try at Q-school. No repayment was required if Perry failed to qualify, but Ferguson asked that Perry give 5% to Lipscomb if he made it on tour. Since then, Perry has earned more than $30 million and his honoured his vow. "Payne personified all the virtues the game of golf can teach us, so being recognized as a person who is worthy of an award created in his memory is incredibly humbling," Perry said. "This award is and will always be one of my greatest accomplishments."
Sophie Gustafson claimed her first LPGA Tour victory in six years, cruising to a four-stroke victory over Lorena Ochoa in the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge on Sunday. The 35-year-old Swede shot a four-under par final round at Blackhawk Country Club and finished at 20-under for her first title since the 2003 Samsung World Championship. A delighted Gustafson high fived officials on her victory walk to the 18th green.
It’s amazing how many Champions Tour debutants win first time out. Tom Pernice became the 15th player to win on his debut, holing a 35-foot birdie putt on the final hole Sunday for a one-stroke victory over Nick Price and David Frost in the SAS Championship. It sure brings added meaning to the phrase “50 years young”.
Ryder Cup Dreams
Watching the Vivendi Trophy last week got me thinking about next year’s Ryder Cup and who might be featuring on the European Team. First names on the team sheet have to be the seasoned campaigners Harrington, Westwood, Casey and Stenson. Then might come the young guns lead by Rory McIlroy and joined by Martin Kaymer and Ross Fisher. Also bidding to make it automatically will be the two Soren’s- Hansen and Kjeldsen. That leaves three Captain’s picks and all the hype that brings. Will Sergio make it, is Jimenez too old, can we afford to leave Darren out again and did Poulter’s heroics last time make him a cert this time? What about a newbie like Chris Wood? Whatever happens it’s going to be fun watching our European Team take shape.
Place of birth: Guadiaro, Spain
Residence: Cadiz, Spain
Attachment: Golf Elite Management SL
Height and weight: 6ft 3in 13st (191cm 83kgs)
Interests: Football, music, friends
Turned Pro: 2004 (plus 4)
Alvaro Quiros is definitely licensed to thrill, the self professed fan of James Bond films is the longest hitter on the European Tour. Quiros claimed his third European Tour title when he won the 2009 Commercial bank Qatar Masters. “I saw The World Is Not Enough before winning (in Qatar). My favourite bond is Sean Connery. I don’t like Daniel Craig. I think I look more like Bond than he does” Quiros joked.
The fact that his desert victory came against the strongest field ever assembled at a regular European Tour event underlined the enormous talent of this swashbuckling Spaniard and saw him climb into the top 30 of the Official World Golf Ranking. That victory came only four months after he captured the Portugal Masters. Made the perfect start to his European Tour career by winning the 2007 Alfred Dunhill Championship on his first appearance as a full European Tour Member but the rest of that season was interrupted by injury to the tendons and ligaments in his left wrist during the Open de España which saw him sidelined for five months. Quiros is coached by former Ryder Cup player and four-time European Tour champion, José Rivero, whom he cites as one of the biggest influences on his career. Golf writer Steve DiMeglio wrote the following about a typical Quiros' driving range show stopping moment:
Quiros, who averages 315.6 yards with his driver to lead the European Tour, was hitting 280-yard rockets into a net at the end of the range on Monday — with a 1954 MacGregor Tourney M85 persimmon driver. Contact sounded like a baseball bat hitting a golf ball. The size of the wood driver head was smaller than his metal 3-wood. Quiros said he was hitting the ball as far as he hits his metal 5-wood. "I like it," Quiros smiled. "It sounds different, but good. The ball takes off."
What’s In Alvaro Quiros’ Bag
I have to say I was quite sceptical prior to the Vivendi Seve Trophy. I feared it would be a case of the lesser lights of the tour going through the matchplay motions. How wrong I was. A fantastic atmosphere surrounded the event from start to finish. Slickly staged on the Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche layout, the scoring on the GB&I side was as hot as the weather. It was less a case of the prabables versus possibles on the back pitch of Landsdowne Road and more that of a full blooded Autumn international with all the trimmings. Even though the GB&I and European teams seemed to know each other a bit too well to cultivate any real needle, some fascinating cameo’s emerged. We didn’t know last week how good Paul McGinley would be as a captain, he fitted into the role so smoothly. More a Torrance than a Faldo in the leadership style department, McGinley has to now be a nailed on certainty for future Ryder Cup captaincy.
It would have been nice to have seen more Ryder Cup heroes like Westwood and Garcia get involved in what is in-effect a Ryder Cup training camp but their absence gave some of those on the periphery a chance to display their CV’s for the apprentice role at Celtic Manor. One of those was Chris Wood and what a revelation he was? The towering 21 year old who has already nearly walked away with two British Open’s seems bornfor matchplay winning a shed load of points and could be a good bet for a Ryder Cup cap. Good to see Monty present also, next years captain is taking his job as seriously as he handles spectators who dare to move during his shots. On the Saturday he found some time to visit the Sky Sports commentary booth, where he offered a valuable insight into how he was dispatching his role of captain. One of his little nuggets of wisdom concerned Rory McIlroy, the star of the show who blitzed Henrik Stenson in the singles. Monty revealed his admiration for the Irishman by stating that if he were an amateur, he would “pay money” to watch McIlroy play. High praise indeed, that’s the first time in my life I have heard any touring pro saying he would part with cash rather than make off with it. On a more sobering note, it was sad that Seve couldn’t make an appearance, his absence is very worrying and I fear the biggest battle in his fight against his brain tumour is on the horizon. However as long as hope exists, that dream of seeing Ballesteros cross the Swilken Bridge with a club in hand at next summer’s British Open is alive.
Sunday night brought the conclusion of the Fed-Ex Cup on the US Tour. Hats off to Phil Mickelson on his win, three over par after the first round, he looked right out of it but a short game masterclass blew the field away. An emotional Mickelson, whose wife Amy and mother Mary are battling cancer, attributed his win in part to having reverted to the putting stroke he had used at the beginning of his career after working with coach Dave Stockton in the build up. “It's like teaching a fish to swim. They kind of know how to do it," Stockston said after reaffirming the value of Phil’s old forward press putting stroke. Mickelson may have stolen Tiger’s thunder, but Woods pocketed the $10 million Fed-Ex Cup. "It certainly doesn't feel like it did a couple years ago when I won the tournament by seven or eight shots," Woods said. "That felt a little bit better than it did today. … I'm a little disappointed I didn't win the championship, because I was right there." There’s just pleasing some! Finally, it will be great to welcome Padraig Harrington and Ronan Flood back to the European Tour this week. With results of T2, T4, T6, T4 in their last four events in the States, they are sure to be hot to handle and a win at this weeks €5 million Dunhill Links must be on the cards.
Big Twitter fan and bigger twit Paul Casey recently visited Nike’s development facility in texas, known colloquially as “The Oven”. Whilst there he was shown the new Nike Victory Red Driver and quickly presented it on Twitter. He wrote:
11:29AM At the Oven today. Checking out 2010 product with the sales team.
1:05PM Pics coming after lunch. Food always comes first.
At 3:25pm, the pics duly arrived
The orange area behind the face, according to Casey's Tweets, is the Compression Channel. Nike say it expands the sweet spot of the driver. The driver appears to have STR8-Fit, Nike's adjustable clubhead system that is currently available in the SQ Dymo STR8-Fit driver.
Dr. and The Medic: Fast Arms
You have always had a nice release but suddenly you are not feeling a natural release.
You might be whipping your upper body through the shot too aggressively or allowing the upper body to initiate the downswing.
Relax and lighten your grip a little; this will allow you to release the club just a split second before impact for extra power. Focus on starting the downswing with your lower body. As you are shifting your body weight forward, remember to keep your trailing shoulder back. Avoid trying to swing your arms too fast; if you do, you will release your arms too early in the downswing and hook the ball.
The Doc’s Rules Quiz
Q1. True or False? A player may not ask a fellow competitor the distance between his ball and the flagstick
Q2. True or False? In stroke play, a ball that is played from outside a teeing ground by a player starting play of a hole is not in play.
Q3. True or False? A player may return a scorecard different from the one issued by the committee at the start of the round.
Last weeks answers:
Q1. True or False? A player may remove a divot that is still attached lying just in front of her ball on her line of play without penalty. False- a player may not improve her line of play by moving, bending or breaking anything growing or fixed.
Q2. True or False? A player whose ball lies within a ditch designated as a lateral water hazard may drop a ball within the Rules on either side of the ditch. True
Q3. True or False? If a player’s ball is on a putting green he may mop up casual water lying on his line of putt with a towel. False- this is not one of the exceptions to the rule that a player may not touch the line of his putt.