Tuesday, November 10, 2009
This week we have for you a fourball voucher at the magnificent Carton House in Maynooth. You even get to choose which course to play, the O’Meara or the Montgomerie, venue for the Irish Open’s of 2005 and 2006. E mail your name, address and answers to firstname.lastname@example.org or text to 087-3140467.
Q1: True or False: In match play, if a player plays from outside the teeing ground when starting play of a hole her opponent may require the stroke to be cancelled and replayed from within the teeing ground.
Q2: True or False: In stroke play, the maximum penalty a player may incur from playing a wrong ball is two strokes, no matter how many times he plays it.
Q3: True or False: Sand and loose soil are loose impediments that may be removed on the putting green and through the green.
Last weeks answers:
Q1. True or False: A fellow competitor or spectator, may not assist a competitor in removing a large loose impediment. Answer: False. Decision 23-1/3.
Note: The player may seek help from anyone to remove a loose impediment, providing that there is no undue delay in play.
Q2. True or False: Time spent in playing a wrong ball is not counted in the five minute period permitted for searching for a ball. Answer: True. Definition of Lost Ball.
Q3. True or False: A player who is naturally right-handed may carry a left-handed club to use for shots where she might otherwise have to turn a clubhead over, for example, where her ball is lying against a tree. Answer: True. Rule 4-4.
Here’s the scenario. The club competitions are over, your schedule is free and you’re itching to head off somewhere nice for a fourball. Maybe a Yank is coming home for Christmas and bringing the clubs and you want to impress by going to a spectacular location for a great days golf. Well before I go into hibernation for the Winter, I’ve been googling to find the best Winter deals out there and here’s the best of what I uncovered.
1. Mount Juliet:
Designed by Jack Nicklaus, Mount Juliet is still the only Irish course to host the World Golf Championships, twice! If they gave Michelin stars for golf courses, this place would have one. The Winter Special includes golf with breakfast or lunch for €85. My advice is to get there early and enjoy the practise ground and the tricky 18 hole putting green. Tiger tamed it but can you? Full details on www.mountjuliet.ie or call 056-7773071
2. Castleknock Golf Club:
Castleknock have come up with a novel event this Winter. On their website are listed loads of dates where you can play for €30. That’s not all though. On those dates, the winners qualify for a chance to get a years free golf! Ten minutes from the city centre and always dry in Winter, Castleknock is where I head for a few holes when I’m up for a match or a gig! Bring your autograph pen too. European Tour winner Peter Lawrie often makes an appearance to fine tune his silky smooth putting skills. Full details on www.castleknockgolfclub.ie or call 01 6408736
3. Carton House:
If its choice you’re after Carton House has it in spades. The O’Meara course is a superbly laid out test while the Montgomerie is the ultimate exercise in course management being as it is one giant bunker with the odd fairway and green dotted around to give you hope. Their Winter special includes golf (on either course) with brekkie for €65 or with lunch after the round for a fiver extra. There are loads more permutations and discounts on www.cartonhouse.com or call 01-6517720
4. Adare Manor:
The Big Lebowski of Irish golf, Adare Manor is the dude! Unimaginably massive, this course could host a major at a week’s notice. The big news is Tiger Woods is coming back to play in the JP MacManus Pro-Am in Adare in July next year. To celebrate that, Adare are including two day admissions to see the Tiger with every green fee of €80. Full details on www.adaregolfclub.com or call 061-605274.
5. Dromoland Castle:
Find me a course in a more beautiful setting or with a better stretch of finishing holes on this island and I will bow to your golfing knowledge. The guys at Dromoland have dreamed up another cocktail of Winter Specials for societies and groups. For a green fee of €55 you get treated to a steak after your round and societies (of 12 or more) paying €50 per person get to come back a second day absolutely free! More details on www.dromoland.ie or call David Foley on 061-368 444. The closing six at Dromoland are up there with the Alp d’Huez as one of the great sporting levellers!
Pic: The par-5 18th at Dromoland
odds by Boylesports
UBS Hong Kong Open
Hong Kong GC
Fanling, Hong Kong
12 Nov 2009 - 15 Nov 2009
While the other players are winding down, the South African contingent are gearing up for four European Tour events in their homeland. One to note in this category is Charl Schwartzel who makes a compelling case for an each way wager this week. An unfortunate airline cock-up a month ago resulted in Charl having to replace all his clubs, but since then his golf has improved. Tied for sixth at the Portugal Masters and followed that with a tied fifth in Singapore two weeks back. Unlucky to miss out on last week’s WGC event in China where he performed well in the past, Charl will be eager to get back in the groove this week. Schwartzel is still touted as the next big thing and on current form a top three finish is certainly a possibility.
We’re plumping for ex-paratrooper Thongchai Jaidee again this week. The Thai finished tied 14th in the Barclay’s Singapore Open two weeks back when heavily fancied. Already a winner this season at the Indonesia Open and the Ballantine’s Championship, Jaidee has one more live chance to win a hat trick of titles in one Season. Although outside the top 10 last year, Thongchai has an impressive record at the Serapong course. Tied second in the 2008 staging behind Miguel Angel Jimenez and tied third in 2007, when another Spaniard Jose Manuel Lara took the title.
Graeme is like a box of technical Lego; it looks fantastic on the cover and all the pieces are there but putting them together is impossible. In Singapore it seemed that McDowell was going to overhaul Ian Poulter until the wheels came off and he slipped to a closing 74 to finish tied fifth. Along with his top 10 at the USPGA, that was McDowells biggest payday of the season and a far cry from the two wins and fifth place in the order of merit in 2008. He brings his recent improved form to a venue he has played on in the past two stagings, finishing tied 11th and sixth.
The younger of the two Molinari brothers returned to action last week following his second place finish behind Lee Westwood at the Portugal Masters in October. Francesco will be looking to cap off his best ever season on Tour having had eight top ten finishes including the HSBC in Shanghai. He made the Cut in the three Majors he played – the US Open, The Open and The US PGA Championship where he finished tenth. He also finished second in this event last November. A closing 65 saw him get into a three man playoff with Rory McIlroy and Lin Wen-Tang which Lin won.
Born: 22 November 1980 in Ascot, Berkshire
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Residence: Cheam, London
Professional wins: 3
What a year it has been for Ross Fisher. The newly crowned World Matchplay Champion has contended for Majors, virtually cemented his Ryder Cup spot and became a Dad in an action packed 2009. And who knows there may be room for a Dubai World Championship to top it all off.
Ross Daniel Fisher was born in Ascot, Berkshire. His home course is the famous Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey, location of the European Tour administrative headquarters. . Fisher joined the European Tour in 2006. In 2007 he won the KLM Open by one stroke over Joost Luiten and subsequently finished the year ranked 43rd on the Order of Merit.
In July 2008, Fisher won the European Open on the Heritage Course at The London Club in Kent. Despite never having played the course either in competition or in practice, Fisher shot a first round 63 - the lowest round of his professional career - which featured a wind-assisted 413 yard drive on the 9th hole, his last of the day. Fisher finished 2008 sixth on the Order of Merit.
Fisher's progress continued in 2009 when he reached the semi-final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona and finished second at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. On both occasions he was defeated by countryman Paul Casey. He finished fifth in the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, New York. At this years Open Championship at Turnberry, he held a two stroke lead in the early stages of the final round before taking a quadruple bogey eight on the par four 5th hole, eventually finishing in a tie for 13th place.
With Fisher’s win over Anthony Kim at the Volvo World Matchplay at Finca Cortisan in Spain he climbed to 17th in the official world golf rankings and fourth in The Race To Dubai.
What’s In The Bag Ross Fisher
The Rory Show
What a great tournament the HSBC Champions turned out to be, even if the Tiger-Phil duel didn’t happen in the end. Apart from Mickelson’s win the big news was Rory McIlory’s closing sprint in the Race To Dubai. Rory’s final day 63 saw him jump 13 places to finish fourth. His earnings of €212,000 mean he climbs to second in the Race with only two events left. Rors is the only Race contender heading to Hong Kong this week and we reckon if he manages to scoop it of the first tee, he will earn enough cash to lead the race heading into the next week’s final event in Dubai. With Westwood, Fisher and Kaymer choosing to take the week off, or most probably head to Dubai to prepare, it remains to be seen whether Rors, or his Race opponents, have got their scheduling tactics right.
HSBC Champions Wrap
Ernie to Phil: “You got the trophy, I got the salad”
Ernie Els is back! Well sort of. His final round 63 in Shanghai earned him second spot and a cheque for €454,000, his best by a country mile this season. It wasn’t without its flaws however, as Ernie was hit yet again by the jitters on the 18th. Leading the tournament by one, he chose to go for the green with his second on the par five 18th when a three shotter would have seen him get into a playoff. He dumped his three wood second hopelessly into the water, 40 yards short of the carry, took six and ended up losing by a stroke. Elsewhere Paul Casey managed only two holes of his final round before having to pull out with a recurrence of his rib injury. He flew immediately to see a specialist in the USA and will miss this weeks event in Hong Kong. A decision is to be made about Casey’s participation in the Dubai World Championship. Of the rest of the Irish in Shanghai, Padraig Harrington shot a below the radar final round 67 to finish tied 25th, one shot better than first round leader, Shane Lowry.
Woods in Bush
A disappointed Tiger Woods arrived in Australia on his private plane yesterday, ahead of his first appearance in an Australian tournament for 11 years. Woods is to play at this weeks JBWere Australian Masters, at Melbourne's Kingston Heath. "Anything that could go wrong went wrong for me today," Woods said of his final round at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai. "Just one of those days." Woods has not visited Australia since competing on the U.S. team that lost the 1998 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne. However he is set to pocket a $3 million appearance fee to tee it up, a greater amount than the tournament prize fund. Woods is joined in the Bush by Geoff Ogilvy and Ireland’s Gary Murphy, a massive Home and Away fan!
Sam The Man, Again!
Sam Torrance has won the European Senior Tour Order of Merit for the third time. Torrance narrowly defeated fellow former Ryder Cup Captain Ian Woosnam to claim his third John Jacobs Trophy following the final event of the 2009 season. Torrance’s third place in the OKI Castellon Senior Tour Championship took him just €3,380 clear of 2008 order of merit Woosnam in the closest Order of Merit contest since 2000. Sam’s season earnings of €170,696 sealed his third Order of Merit victory following 2005 and 2006. Tommy Horton holds the most Senior order of merit titles with five.