March 2010

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Masters 2010 Betting Tips: odds from Paddypower

Phil Mickelson 11/1

phil mickelson masters 2004 Some say big Phil’s mind is elsewhere with his family’s health issues, but on the course he remains the most exciting and compelling Augusta performer. His record is phenomenal; a two time champion (in 2004 and 2006), four thirds and six other top 10’s. Was horrible off the tee last week, but such is the measure of the man he followed three final round double bogeys with six straight birdies on the back nine. Only three times in the last decade has the Masters winner finished outside the top 22 in driving accuracy so Phil has 72 hours of work to get it sorted on the practice tee. Mickelson is to the Masters what the Stig is to Top Gear.




Padraig Harrington 14/1

Padraig-Harrington masters

There’s a log jam of players stuck on three majors including Harrington, Els and Mickelson and Padraig makes no secret of his desire to be the first to four. Excellent run in too with a third in the CA Championship and top ten at the Transitions. Let’s hope the final round aberration in Houston on Sunday was just that. Harrington has the ideal short game for Augusta and plenty of course management experience. Two top-10’s at the Masters in 2007 and 2008. Winning a green jacket would make Paddy “Ah, ah, ah, ah, delighted!”


KJ Choi 60/1

80580430 kj choi masters Five foot eight and full of muscles! Former weightlifter KJ Choi represents great value for the Masters. Rescued a terrible ’09 with a good finish to the season and has maintained his form this season with consistent top 25 finishes in his last four PGA tour events. KJ chalked up a second at the Transitions and a third in Malaysia on the European Tour last month. His form line is very similar to 2004, when he finished third behind Ernie and Phil. Ranked 12th in greens in regulation, historically a vital stat to win at Augusta. If fellow countryman YE Yang can bag a major, why not KJ?




Hunter Mahan 50/1

hunter mahan masters Statistically the Masters winner dominates two statistics, driving accuracy and greens in regulation. Hunter ranks highly with approximately 70% in both and has already won on tour in Phoenix this year. Shot an impressive first round 66 last year on his way to finishing tied tenth. Proved a factor in three of last years majors finishing in the top 20. One to watch.

Charl Schwartzel 55/1

They say that Masters debutants are at a massive disadvantage but you have to like the chances of South African Charl Schwartzel. Already a two time winner on the European Tour this season Charl has taken his form to the USA finishing second at the WGC CA Championship and bagging a top 10 finish at Houston last week. Has the length, the swing, the putting stroke and the form to be the first debutant winner since Fuzzy on 1979.


Retief Goosen 25/1

Okay we all know Retief suffers a bit from white line fever but the forty something always provides value for money. Fifth and fourth in his last two outings, his resurgence this season has lead many to fancy him to add to his two majors. In the top three from 2005 to 2007, I expect him to figure each way come Sunday. Retief has an underrated short game and he’ll need the touch or a heart surgeon around the cryptic greens in Augusta. Goosen with a belly putter though is kind of like that surgeon with the back of a hammer!

I don’t fancy

Tiger Woods: Unless there was a module at the Clinic in Mississippi on dropping the hands inside causing a miss right off the tee, Tiger still won’t be able to hit the Augusta fairways.

Ernie Els: He’s only gone and gave caddy Ricci Roberts the flick in favour of his mate. Big Easy, big mistake.

Anthony Kim: Probably still plastered after winning in Houston, and has thumb is hanging off apparently.

-Louis Oosthuizen’s Bag Check following the Open de Andalucia 2010-

louis looking cool

Vital Stats

Residence: Pinnacle Point, South Africa & Manchester, England

Date of Birth: 19/10/1982

Place of Birth: Mossel Bay, South Africa

Height & Weight: 5ft 10in 11st 4lb (178cm 72kgs)

Family: Wife: Nel-Mare (m.2007), daughter Jana (2009)

Turned Pro 2003 (plus 6)






Longest Drive


Fairway Hit %


Putts per Round


Average Drive


Greens in Regulation


Putts per GIR




GIR Rank


Rank (ppr)



Lodewicus Theodorus "Louis" Oosthuizen travels to the Masters as the latest European Tour winner having secured his maiden victory at the Open de Andalucia. The win elevated Louis to 44th in the world golf rankings and guaranteed his Augusta ticket. It will be the South African’s second Masters, having missed the cut last year. Born in Mossel Bay, South Africa Oosthuizen won numerous amateur titles before turning professional in 2002 playing off plus six at the age of 19. He once shot a 57 on his home course Mossel Bay which he says happened 'by accident' as he was aiming for 59! Though the winner of five professional tournaments on the Sunshine Tour, Louis has had to endure a long wait to notch up his first European Tour success in Spain. There was a welcoming committee for Louis after the final putt disappeared - fellow countryman Thomas Aiken and a host of the South African caddies drenched Louis in Champagne to help him celebrate. He did, however, have to leave the Trophy behind at Malaga Airport as it was deemed a 'Dangerous Object' by Monarch Airlines!

Louis Oosthuizen What’s In The Bag 2010

whats in the bag louis oosthuizen 2010

He’s an Ogre

74930197 oosthuizen shrek Louis nickname on Tour is “Shrek”, due to his striking similarity to the green Ogre that lives in the swamp, even sporting the gap teeth. Far from being embarrassed by it however, Louis has embraced Shrek to the extent that he even uses him as his headcover!



Anyone For Tennis

louis family_portrait_1 The Oosthuizen family’s first love is tennis. Louis Dad and brother are accomplished provincial players in the homeland and while Louis himself played representative tennis at all youth levels, he opted for golf. Lucky for us!


Louis lists his passion as movies and hunting. We reckon he likes movies about hunting and wonder why it is that all South African golfers love to hunt. Fellow tour winner Charl Schwartzel would also rather be armed when not golfing!

natalie gulbis  stretching


Lack of shoulder mobility results in poor ball striking and loss of power because the club tends to get out of position during the backswing and results in a golfer trying to make compensations on the downswing with the body or hands to square the clubhead.


A common swing fault associated with poor shoulder mobility is a Flat Shoulder Plane. Statistics show that 45% of amateurs suffer from this swing characteristic. If the range of motion is poor golfers tend to lose their posture and the shoulders will turn on a flatter than normal plane to try to gain width and a full turn in the backswing.

Stretch: .

Hold a club in front of you at both ends keeping your arms straight. Without letting go of the club, and keeping your arms straight, move it over your head and behind you. You should only need to bend your elbows slightly. This stretch is carried out by most pros before they hit balls. Check out the TPI fitness page and type in Tom House Shoulders For Golf to see some more great exercises to increase your range of motion in the shoulders you could be as flexible as Natlie Gulbis pictured.

Pic: Natalie Gulbis: Stretching Is Important

Log on to PGA Pro and TPI fitness instructor for more info.


It’s Masters week and where better to give you a fourball than the Augusta of Ireland, Dromoland Castle. The Ron Kirby design has recently been transformed thanks to a €5 million course investment by the owners and is in magnificent shape. For details on the course and rates log on to To enter text your answer with name and address to 087-2029040 or e-mail to no later than Friday next.

This week’s question: Who Am I?

I’m 51 now and have four tour wins but am definitely best known for my Masters win in 1987. Faced with Seve and Greg Norman in a playoff, I chipped in from a seemingly impossible position right of the 11th for the win. I’m still pretty handy too, I finished tied for 30th last year!

Congrats to last weeks winner Seamus Walsh who answered Paul McGinley and wins a fabulous fourball on the Montgomerie Course in Carton House.

cabreras green jacket in the champions locker room Cornflakes. I’ve had them pretty much every morning of my life, but you know what, I still look forward to a bowl at brekkie time. It’s the same with the Masters. We spend 51 weeks of the year criticizing it and the other enthralled by it. If golf were food then the host course Augusta National would be like the good China, it spends the whole year in the dresser held down by blu-tack, but by God when it comes out the food upon it looks great.

Pic: Cabrera’s Green Jacket in the Champion’s Locker Room

To me, there’s something quite comforting about the quaintness of the Masters. To the non-golfer, it must just be plain weird. Here you have Augusta National which prides itself as being its own little socialist republic of golf, so to speak. The top guys wear green jackets, make up silly rules and generally potter around. The boss is called a Chairman, the key qualifying criteria for which seems to be having a funny name. Ex-chairman Hootie (and the Blowfish) Johnson has now been replaced by Billy Payne (in the ass). For one week of the year, Billy and the lads actually open the course and invite the world’s best to come and play; assuming of course they present the armed yellow hard hats at the gate with the correct credentials. Apparently it’s easier to get in to “Judean People’s Front” than the Masters but that’s what makes it all the more intriguing.

masters of the universe]

The lucky few who bought tickets in 1975, or badges as Billy calls them, get to be called ‘patrons’ and to watch the event. The chosen ones, i.e. who haven’t sold their badges to touts, get to look forward to a weekend of extreme hillwalking, disgustinginly cheap food (I’ve heard it described as both), being herded around like sheep and not being allowed to touch anything.

Pic: Billy Payne as Hee-Man

At the end of the event, Chairman Mao, er Billy sits in an incredibly small room, called the Butler Cabin beside an American football commentator called Jim and after some heavily scripted ad libbing makes the exact same speech year after year. He then congratulates the new champion, fakes surprise and says “and I think I hear him coming now!”. That’s the cue for the champ to be pushed in from behind the camera to undergo the initiation ceremony of getting to wear his very own green jacket that’s three sizes too big and doesn’t match his golf shirt. Why don’t the third round leaders ever wear something that goes well with green, I always ask myself? Where was I? Ah yes, the Butler Cabin. Did you know if was named after the Irish carpenter who spent a half day building it?

For all its careful choreography and staleness, the Masters has moved with the times in the one area you would have expected never to change. The course. Augusta is constantly undergoing tweaks, whenever Aldila bring out a new shaft, Billy shoves the tees back five yards. And the greens there are faster than anywhere. They kind of start off like like Olazabal’s stubble. The staff cut them at some ungodly hour like 4am and then give them another “freaky” at 7am just before play. To the unitiated, a “freaky” is another, tighter, cut, like shaving in the wrong direction, which makes them ultra slick. So if they start like Ollie, they end up like Camilo Villegas.

So bring it on I say, all one a half hours coverage per night on the BBC. I think I’ll watch it with a bowl of Cornflakes. China bowl, of course.

clip_image002There’s putting and then there’s putting at Augusta. It’s all about green placement around The Masters course where hitting the green is sometimes not enough. When they get there, one of the most critical aspects in the pro’s bag this week is how the putter is set up. With speeds on the green getting up to lightening pace and with massive drops and elevations it makes for a very interesting week of putting stats. Loft on the player’s putters is critical this week and setting the loft on most heads at 2 or 3º will be the norm. This low loft setting will help to start the ball rolling quickly and reduce the amount of “skid” or bobbling of the ball when it is hit especially as the greens get faster. Having good roll helps enormously with pace and can be the difference between in the hole or five foot past. I’ll be on the Cleveland Truck at the Masters and look forward to bringing you all the tour truck gossip stateside on my return.

with Derek Murray from

Ror’s At Augusta

Like all the top pro’s our man Rory McIlory made his own trip to Augusta a couple of weeks back to do some reconnaissance. He spent three days there with his lifelong friends Harry Diamond and Stephen Sweeney and played four practice rounds on the hallowed turf. The friends stayed in the Eisenhower Cabin which overlooks the course and got the grand tour of the Champions Locker Room, the Butler Cabin and the Crowe’s Nest. Michael Bannon, Rory’s coach spent last week getting his swing “back on track” in Houston and though a recent scan on Rory’s back revealed some lingering issues, let’s keep our fingers crossed for him at Augusta.

Argentinian Beef


Don’t tell the IFA but Argentinian Beef is on the Champion’s Dinner menu at the U.S Masters. Every year the menu is decided by the reigning champion and last years victor Angel Cabrera has decided on his country’s most famous meat. Cabrera warmed up for the event by hosting and cooking at a "preview dinner" for 100 guests in Houston to raise money for his foundation. El Pato is rumoured to have made a special dipping sauce for salad and bread. Whatever next we ask? Harrington getting a grilling on Masterchef?


Palmer on Tee


Arnold Palmer will again hit the first tee shot at the Masters this year as honorary starter. He is set to be joined this year by fellow legend Jack Nicklaus. It is also widely expected that Gary Player will re-unite the big three as starters in 2011. A long held tradition at the Masters, honorary starters have included legends of the game including Byron Nelson and Gene Sarazen who started in 1981, and were then joined by Sam Snead in 1984. This trio continued until 1999 when Sarazen died.



Ernie tells Ricky to “Puck” Off


Ricci Roberts won’t be on the bag of Ernie Els at the Masters. Roberts, who guided Ernie to two wins already this season will hand the bag over to Dan Quinn by pre-arrangement. Els had suggested to Roberts last year about a job sharing role on the bag with him and Els friend Quinn. Quinn is himself an accomplished amateur golfer and career sportsman having played NHL ice hockey with the Pittsburgh Penguins for 14 seasons. Quinn is also booked to take Ernie’s bag for the PGA Championship later this season.

only at augusta

How many Augusta staff does it take to change a light bulb? Lots, if this picture is anything to go by. Six staff get busy painting a 10 metre stretch of cerbing. After a quick dash off to trim Billy Payne’s nose hair and a spot of green jacket dry cleaning the gang then went for evening prayer at the Butler Cabin before being bussed back just in time for lights out at the Augusta State Penitentiary.








Rory Leonard (Banbridge)




Ben Best (Rathmore)



David Ruddy (Thurles)




Pat Murray (Limerick)



Martin Walsh (Styal, UK)




Thomas O’Flynn (Fota Island)



Jeffrey Hopkins (Skerries)




Jack Senior (Heysham, UK)



Rory McNamara (Headfort)




Luke Lennox (Moyola Park)



Ross McConnell (Belvoir Park)




Cian Curley (Newlands)



Desmond Morgan (Mullingar)




Barry Anderson (Co. Sligo)



Niall Gorey (Lee Valley)




Paul Cutler (Portstewart)



Daniel Coyle ( Co. Louth)




Eoin Arthurs (Forrest Little)



Tony Cleary (East Clare)




Richard Bridges (Stackstown)



Richard Carter (Lansdown,UK)




Michael Sinclair (Knock)



Michael McGinley Jnr (Grange)




Dermot McElroy (Ballymena)



Paul Dunne (Greystones)




Eddie McCormack (Galway)



Simon McConnell (Ballyclare)




Gareth Bohill ( Co. Louth)



Brian Casey (Headfort)




David Kernohan (GalgormCastle)



Jonathan Hurst (Shawhill,UK)




Ciaran Boggan (Co Meath)

2009 US Open sensation and former US Amateur Champion Ricky Barnes is set for the biggest role of his life when he takes to the screen in the ABC studios award winning show Desperate Housewives.  The hot and cold PGA tour golfer has been contracted to deputize as Lynette Scavo for six episodes later this year while actress Felicity Huffman finishes shooting her latest film in LA.  According to show creator Marc Cherry “We searched the world for a Lynette double and drew a blank.  Her looks are so ‘distinctive’.  Then I saw Ricky Barnes face on a box of washing powder and thought ‘Oh My God, that’s her’.  Barnes, who hasn’t had a prime time TV slot since his US Open cameo is said to be delighted with the development.  “I’m delighted with this development and thank God everyday for giving me the jaw of a Neanderthal”, said Barnes.

ricky barnes lynette

Here’s what the computer predicts for the Shell Houston Open


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Vital Stats

Residence: Bridgen97478908 daviesd, Wales

Attachment: none

Date of birth: 28/05/1985

Place of birth: Edinburgh, Scotland

Height and weight: 185cm 74kgs (6ft1in 11st 8lb)

Married: No

Interests: Cricket, all sports

Turned Pro: 2007

Qualifying School: (2007), (08)


The European Ryder Cup team could be headed to Celtic Manor in Wales with a home favourite in their ranks after Rhys Davies captured the Hassan II trophy in Morocco recently. Twenty four year old Davies, from Bridgend is in his first full year on the main Tour, having graduated from the Challenge Tour. Davies first played golf on a small nine hole course in Barry with his Dad but he did not join a club until he was 11 years old. The former Brynteg Comprehensive School pupil, enjoyed an outstanding amateur career in college golf in the USA. He combined his golf with a business degree at East Tennessee University, where local media called him "the best player to ever play" at the college. In his final year there in 2007 Davies extended his own ETSU record for career individual titles to 10 and became the first UK player to reach number one in America since Graeme McDowell achieved the feat in 2002 while at Alabama State. Davies also played twice in the Walker Cup (he won both his singles matches). He turned pro after the 2007 Walker Cup at Royal County Down. Davies would not be drawn on his chances of becoming a Ryder Cup player in Wales ahead of the October event. "That's way out of my equation at the moment. This is the first win, hopefully the first of a few, and it's really special." Davies currently lies 81st in the official world rankings and his aim is to climb into the top 50 in order to gain entry to the lucrative events where more Ryder Cup points are available.

whats in the bag rhys davies 2010


Secret Scot


Davies was welcomed into the winner's enclosure in Rabat to the strains of Flower of Scotland. Glasgow's Clarkston Pipe Band did the music and, as it turned out, the tune was highly appropriate. "I was actually born in Edinburgh as was my younger sister before we moved to Wales when I was two years old. I have lived there ever since,”said Davies. "My father worked for the Scottish Sports Council.”



Blade Runner


Davies putting hero is Phil Mickelson and like him uses a Ping blade putter. His original blade was a present from his parents while at a college at ETSU. According to former coach and head PGA pro at Royal Porthcawl, Peter Evans "His putting stroke is incredible and always has been. A blade is an old-fashioned style of putter where your putting stroke is absolutely critical and he's got wonderful technique and a wonderful feel to the putter. His speed putting is the best I have ever seen."



Just Not Cricket Old Boy

clip_image006Rhys was quite the sportsman in his formative years, excelling at cricket. Having represented Glamorgan and Wales at the crease, he had to choose between playing cricket or golf professionally as a teenager. Still a huge fan, Davies lists the Ashes as the one event he would pay money to see. One of his sporting heroes growing up was Darren Gough.




Longest Drive: 316

Average Drive: 283.8

Rank: 99


Fairway Hit %: 55.5 (136 th)

Greens in Regulation: 11.5 gir (145th)


Putts per round: 28.2 ppr

Putts per GIR: 1.714

Rank: 24th

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