October 2009

 

Westwood Pumping Iron

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Donal with Lee after his Portugal Masters win.

Following his recent win in the Portugal Masters at Oceânico Victoria Golf Course, Lee Westwood spoke about the importance his fitness had in bringing back that winning feeling. “I looked at the guys at the top of the game and every one of them seemed to have big arms, big shoulders and impressive core body strength,” Westwood said. “I thought, if I’m going to compete at this level, I need to develop that physical strength”, he added. Westwood joined the likes of Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh in embarking in a punishing training schedule when not in competition. His average driving distance for the tournament was 306 yards and that coupled with his legendary accuracy proved the difference in Vilamoura. Westwood hit 87.5% of greens in regulation and 10.3 fairways per rounds.

Gary Player Moves East

gary player thracian While golf development projects stall around us and courses struggle to stay afloat it’s seems there’s “no recession around here” in Bulgaria. The country whose only claim to fame used to be Dimitar Berbatov has unveiled the first of two new courses designed by Gary Player. Player, who still manages to squeeze out around 4,000 stomach crunches before breakfast was on hand recently to open Black Sea Rama and oversee the final stages of construction of Thracian Cliffs, both set to become premier European golf resorts. Thracian Cliffs, built along five kilometres of Cape Kaliakra Cliffs has already been compared to Pebble Beach. Player on the other hand, has been compared to Simon Cowell.

Immelman’s Latest Injury Woe

clip_image006Trevor Immelman’s injury woes continue but the former Masters champion now expects to be fit again for the 2009 PGA season. The former Masters Champion has suffered severe tendonitis all season and after exhausting the possibilities of natural healing finally underwent surgery on his left wrist last week in New York. The procedure was performed by the same doctor who successfully operated on Luke Donald and Jim Furyk. Immelman is expected to start strength exercises in six weeks, and hopes to begin chipping and putting after three months of rehabilitation. This is not the first injury to befall the amiable South African. In December 2007, doctors removed a calcified fibrosis tumour from his ribcage, which after tests was found to be benign. Nevertheless, treatment and recovery caused him to miss the first eight weeks of the 2008 PGA Tour season.

2010 Race To Dubai Fixtures

The European Tour will again feature the Race To Dubai in 2010. the new season will feature two new events, the Africa Open, pencilled in for the East London Club in Januray and the Hassan 11 trophy in Rabat to be held in March. The Hassan 11 trophy has been contested since 1971, but is now set to get European Tour status and will feature a pro-celebrity format. Three events to be dropped from next years schedule include the Johnnie Walker Classic, the Malaysian Open and the Indonesian Open. The European Tour has had to overcome serious financial difficulties this year with the collapse of its backer Leisurecorp. Nakheel Leisure who stepped in to, in effect save the Tour, negotiated a reduced prize fund for this years Race to Dubai.

apologies to our die hard fans for not updating last week.  We were at the Portugal Masters and just plain forgot to bring the files!  Here’s a double helping of vids to bring us back up to date.

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“I didn’t spit, I just let it go down. Anyway it’s no big deal”. If you missed it at the time, relive the gory of Sergio’s misdeamour that kicked it all off for poor Serg.

 

Briny Baird Hits An Unlikely Homer

Garcia Full name Sergio García

Nickname El Niño

Born 9 January 1980 (1980-01-09) (age 29)

Borriol, Castellón, Spain

Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)

Weight 160 lb (73 kg; 11 st)

Residence Borriol, Castellón, Spain

Turned professional 1999

Professional wins 19

Sergio Garcia was born on January 9, 1980. The second of three children, he grew up in the Spanish town of Borriol, a short distance from his country’s east coast and about an hour north of Valencia. At the time, his father, Victor Sr., was the pro at the Mediterraneo Golf Club, and his mother, Consuelo, ran the pro shop. In fact, she was working there when she went into labour with Sergio.

Golf was a passion enjoyed by the entire Garcia family. Sergio’s older brother by three years, Victor Jr., got the bug first. He eventually attended college on a golf scholarship. Mar, Sergio's younger sister by four years, would go on to play at the University of Arizona.

Sergio began mimicking his father’s swing at age two, with a broom or feather duster. Victor Sr. cut down a set of clubs for his son when he was three. From then on Sergio was hooked. As a child, he often worked on his game on his own. He’d walk the course at Mediterraneo Golf Club and practice hitting difficult shots between trees and from uneven lies. To that he added a few finishing touches courtesy of his idol Seve Ballesteros

García turned professional in 1999 after shooting the lowest amateur score in the 1999 Masters Tournament. His first title on the European Tour came in his sixth start as a professional at the Irish Open. He first achieved worldwide prominence with a duel against Tiger Woods in the 1999 PGA Championship, where he eventually finished second. He now has eight European Tour wins and seven PGA Tour wins to his credit. García was a member of the European Ryder Cup team in 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008 and holds an impressive career record at the Ryder Cup of 14-3-3. As three of his appearances have resulted in overall victories, his input in the team has proved invaluable.

Sergio is rated as one of the best drivers in the world. He normally works the ball from right to left with amazing control. Even on tight courses, he isn’t afraid to hit woods off the tee. This is partly why his performance in majors is so impressive. An emotional athlete Sergio battles his temper both on the course and in the press room. In 2007 he encountered criticism when he spat in the cup during the Doral Championship after three-putting. His heavily publicized break up in 2009 with Morgan Leigh Norman further added to his woes both on and off the course.

What’s In Sergio’s Bag

what's in the bag sergio garcia

Odds thanks to Boylesports

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Thongchai Jaidee 33/1

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An amazing character the Thai Thongchai Jaidee is one to watch this week. He discovered golf whilst recovering from a football injury when a wooden skewer was embedded in his foot. He didnt turn pro until ten years later, choosing to firstly serve as a paratrooper in the Royal Thai Army. On the golf course, in 2004 he made history as the first Thai golfer to win an event on The European Tour with victory in the Malaysian Open, and then successfully defended the title in 2005. Jaidee is seeking a hat-trick of titles for the first time in a season, and a win over The Serapong Course would see him climb back into the money-spinning top 15 in The Race to Dubai. “I’ve not won three tournaments in a year before, but this year I have a very good chance,” said Jaidee, who lifted the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open and the Ballantine’s Championship in Korea earlier in the year.

Miguel Angel Jimenez 50/1

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The ever popular Miguel Angel Jimenez takes his place in a star studded field this week which includes Padraig Harrington, Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson. Victory in the UBS Hong Kong Open at the start of The 2008 European Tour International Schedule ended two fruitless seasons and took his victory tally to 14. That was followed by one of the best wins of his career at the BMW PGA Championship. Although not the longest hitter on tour, Jimenez starts this week with the distinct advantage of having won four European Tour events played in Asia. Loves competing in the region and still has what it takes to win. When asked his requirements for The 2004 European Team Room at The Ryder Cup, he simply replied: “Rioja wine, an espresso machine and cigars,” all of which were provided.

Ernie Els 20/1

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He may have over 50 worldwide victories including three major’s, but the question on everyone’s lips is not when Ernie Els will win again, but if he can win again. His last victory was in March 2008 at the Honda Classic where he stuttered to victory over Luke Donald. There have been signs of improvement from Ernie of late however. Weekend rounds of 66, 66 in his last European appearance at the Dunhill Links were noteworthy. Els is also somewhat of a Sentosa specialist and will enter this weeks $5 million co-sanctioned event with high hopes. Tied for second with Padraig Harrington (who himself will have designs on this title) in 2008 behind Jeev Milkha Singh. Also came second in 2006, where he lost a bizarre three hole playoff with Adam Scott, when heavy rain reduced the event to 54 holes.

Phil Mickelson has starred in some of the best golf commercials. Here is my personal favourite where Phil meets his fans, people with advice, people he has hit and his look-alikes!

The Killeen Castle Fourball Quiz

Killeen_Castle 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 examinerspindoc@eircom.net

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.

phil mickFull name: Philip Alfred Mickelson

Nickname: Lefty

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

Spouse Amy

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

what's in the bag Phil Mickelson

odds with

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Portugal Masters

Oceânico Victoria Golf Course

Vilamoura, Portugal

15 Oct 2009 - 18 Oct 2009

Padraig Harrington 12/1

padraig harrington 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

charl_schwartzel_ 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

steveWebster 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.

monty 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……

Ross Fisher

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

Sergio Garcia

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

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.

Henrik Stenson

henrik stenson naked 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.

Padraig Harrington

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

Alvaro Quirosalvaro

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

Tailored Shorts

Going For Gold

clip_image002It’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.

 
Alligator Dismembers Golfer

alligator dismembers golfer 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.

Bulls Hit At President’s Cup

jordan president's cup 2009 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!

Paddy Watch

European Tour- Madrid Open

Finishing Position

Name

Score

Prize Money

T4

Gareth Maybin

-18

T4

Gary Murphy

-18

T17

Damien McGrane

-15

T43

Peter Lawrie

-10

T53

Shane Lowry

-9

T70

Michael Hoey

-4

Missed Cut

Darren Clarke

Problem

The ball keeps flying much lower than you would expect it to.

Cure

Make sure your head is not swaying excessively during your swing; which will cause a loss of loft.

Therapy

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.

 

Nike-SQDymo2-Str8-Fit-Driver_600  Nike SQ Dymo2 Str8-Fit Driver

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.

What’s In The Bag Kenny Perry

Birthday: 10th August 1960

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 15 stone 10 lbsmedium_kenny-perry-09

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.

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What’s In Kenny’s Bag

Driver

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."

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Fairway wood:

TaylorMade Burner (14.5°) with Fujikura Rombax TP75 shafts

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Irons: TaylorMade r7 (3-PW) FST KBS Tour shafts, X-flex. Used to use blades but now prefers cavity-backs with more offset.

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Wedges

TaylorMade Rac Z TP (56°, 64°) Cleveland CG 14 (60°)

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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.

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Ball: Titleist Pro V1x 2005 version

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Misc

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.

 

 

darr wrestle 2

Birthday: 14/08/1968

Height: 6ft 2 1/2in

Weight: 14st

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!

What’s In The Bag Darren Clarke

 dc bag close up

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.

 

Putter:

Scotty Cameron customized Studio Select Newport 2. Fitted with dark anti-glare shaft and embossed with the green shamrock and initials “DC”.

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Misc:

Utility Bag: Darren’s ball bag used be a crocodile’s ball bag!

Ball: Taylormade Tour Black with shamrock logo.

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dc full bag

Fmount juliet 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 examinerspindoc@eircom.net

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 johnson

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

what's in the bag Dustin Johnson

monty thinks Bloggy Underfoot: In Monty’s Ryder Cup Notebook (Part 1)

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……

Rory McIlroy

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.

Miguel Angel Jimenez

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.

Martin Kaymer

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

Paul Casey

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

Ian Poulter

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 Westwood

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.

odds by

boylesports

Madrid Masters

Centro Nacional de Golf

Madrid, Spain

Charl Schwartzel 33/1:

charl_schwartzel_ 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 quirosAlvaro 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

ricardo gonzalez 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.

Norman and Evert Split

norman-evert_299x358 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.

Grieving Perry To Play President’s

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.

Who Wants to be a Billionaire?

clip_image004According 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).

Tour Wrap

haas2_625 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.

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Problem

You jab or flick the putter.

Cure

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.

Therapy

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.

footjoy options

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.