March 2010

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Come in Tony Q’aja and Louis Copeland.  Can you hear us?  We need your help.  It looks like Lee Westwood is going to need a suit pretty soon and if his last effort is anything to go by, he is facing summary execution by the fashion police.  Here is Lee suited and booted compared to Padraig  Harrington.  See what I mean?

westwood vs harrington suits

Harrington’s suit says: “I could devise policy with Obama, negotiate peace in the Middle East or take tea with Mandela.”

Westwood’s suit says: “I’m off to court for nicking a car stereo.  Bloody rubbish one ‘n all. Cum on Forest!”

nantz CBS Sports' lead golf broadcaster Jim Nantz  broke his silence on Tiger Woods when chatting to a New York radio station this week regarding Tiger’s ill-chosen language during the Masters.

Nantz: Is that A Comb Over? 

Nantz, who once shared a dorm with Freddie “Boom Boom” Couples, fired off a couple of rounds himself in Tiger’s direction, by taking great exception to Woods' expletive-laced reaction to his tee shot on the sixth hole Saturday, as well as a couple of other loose moments from Woods.
dizzee1Nantz not only frowned upon Tiger’s imaginative combination “cuss” phrases but also his "Did I? If I did then I'm sorry" response when asked about his use of language taken from the Oxford Cess-pit Dictionary.

Personally I don’t mind a few words from the hood myself, if it helps get the job done and no-one gets offended.  Somebody should give Jim Nantz a copy of Dizzee Rascal’s new album; see if he get’s a heart attack.

Would Dizzee Rascal drive Jim Nantz “Bonkers”?

Last week: Winner Alright-Jim Furyk 10/1, our fifth winner this season!

Pinx GC

Jeju Island, Korea Republic 22 Apr 2010 - 25 Apr 2010

Anthony Kim 12/1

anthony kim masters Anthony Ha-Jin Kim though born in LA and brought up in Dallas never forgets his roots and he returns to the Ballantine’s Championship this week in the Korean homeland of his parents. It’s Kim’s first outing since his stunning final round blitz at the Masters to finish third. That was his third top ten on the PGA tour this year and having won the Shell Houston Open in the build up to Augusta his confidence will be sky high. Whether he can maintain his form after a week off and a little bit of partying is another matter. Tied fifth here in 2008.


Johan Edfors 40/1

JohanEdfors Hard working Johan Edfors is worth an each way bet at long odds this week. I thought I saw a return to form from the Swede in Malaysia at the Maybank Open where he finished seventh but his Andulcia performance three weeks later was horrid. Now representing Black Mountain GC in Thailand, Edfors has an affinity for Asian golf, having won two of his three tour titles in Asian co-sanctioned events. With three rounds in the 60’s and a tie for fourth in China last week, he could go one better this time around. Missed the cut last year but tied for fifth in the inaugural staging of this event in 2008.

Thongchai Jaidee 20/1

thongchai jaidee With three order of merit titles, ex paratrooper Jaidee is an Asian Tour specialist and he enters this week as defending champion. Now in world’s top 50 and having qualified for the Masters Jaidee’s Augusta dream turned to nightmare as he withdrew after ten holes of the second round with an elbow injury. However after visiting a specialist attached with NBA outfit the Atlanta Hawks the injury improved enough for Jaidee to claim a top-10 place in last weeks Volvo China Open, his fourth top 10 of the season. Great in the wind and even better on the Pinx greens.


Graeme McDowell 25/1

graeme mcdowell GMac is to golf what a dodgy thermostat is to an electric shower. It’s either scalding hot or Baltic cold for the Portrush man. After recovering from a poor first round to finish sixth at the WGC-CA Championship in March, things were looking up for Graeme but his trip Stateside rapidly turned sour with missed cuts at Arnie’s place and Augusta. Recovered some form last week in China with a top ten and is showing glimpses of the form that brought him a playoff win against Jeev Singh in the inaugural Ballantine’s event in 2008. If the wind blows in Korea, don’t bet against GMac claiming his fifth tour title.

Early odds from Betfair

 fred couples memorial

Vital Stats

Full name Frederick Steven Couples

Born October 3, 1959 (age 50)

Seattle, Washington

Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)

Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)

Residence La Quinta, California

Spouse Thais Baker (died 2009)

College University of Houston

Turned professional 1980

Number of wins by tour

PGA Tour 15

European Tour 2

Champions Tour 3

Champions Tour Ratings




Longest Drive

321 yds

Fairway Hit %


Putts per Round


Average Drive

298.7 yds

Greens in Regulation


Putts per GIR




GIR Rank


Rank (ppr)



On the course nothing seems to phase Freddie Couples. Now 50 , Couples is ranked number one on The Champions Tour and his sixth place finish at The Masters served notice to the big boys that there is life in the old boy yet. With a smooth easy rhythm and a swing to die for on the course Freddie has it all, but his life of it couldn’t be more contrasting, clouded as it is by tragedy.

Couples was born in Seattle, Washington, to parents Tom and Violet Couples. Fred's paternal grandparents had emigrated from Italy, and changed the family name from "Copolla" to "Couples" to make it sound less Italian. His mother is of Croatian descent. Couples attended the University of Houston, where, as a member of the Houston Cougars men's golf team, he roomed with CBS television broadcaster Jim Nantz.

Despite being dubbed “King Of The Silly Season” for his dominance in skins and Winter events, Couples has 15 PGA Tour victories including one major in 1992 where he held off Ray Floyd to become Masters Champion. Many say Couples would have been a more prolific winner were it not for a debilitating back problem that continually affects his ability to play and practice.

Couples' met his first wife Deborah when they were students in Houston in 1979 but their marriage ended in 1992. In 2001 Deborah fell to her death which was ruled a suicide by the Los Angeles City coroner's office. Couples’ second marriage was to Thais Baker in 1998, but after she was diagnosed with breast cancer their union ended After a number of other relationships, he reunited with Thais before a recurrence of her illness occurred and she died from breast cancer in February of 2009.

From his first five starts in his rookie season on the Champions Tour, Couples has three wins, one second and one third which has earned him just shy of $1 million.

What’s In The Bag Fred Couples 2010

(at Cap Cana Championship on eve of US Masters 2010)

whats in the bag Fred Couples 2010

Fred Couples Shorts

Silly Season

Couples whose nickname is “Boom Boom” owing to his enormous drives is a multiple winner of the Skins Games, and has won 21 other off season events, earning him the monicker, "King of the Silly Season." From 1995 to 2004, Couples won five skins game accumulating $3,515,000.

World Number One


Though American legends like Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus went before him, Fred Couples became the first American player to reach the number one position in the “Official” World Golf Rankings after their introduction in 1992. He spent 16 weeks as number one after one of the hottest starts to a season by a PGA Tour player ever. From the Nissan Los Angeles Open, Fred won two tournaments and finished second in two before walking away with the Green Jacket at Augusta.

Pic: Couples with first wife Deborah in 1992


Only one thing threatened to overshadow the return of Tiger Woods at The Masters and that was Freddie’s shoes. Couples turned heads the second he walked out of the locker room wearing a pair of golf shoes that resembled a pair of street sneakers with no socks. He wears Ecco Golf Street Premiere shoes for whom he is a brand ambassador.


The 2010 Masters was like a delicious meal. Now that I have had time to digest it, I think my tummy is starting to rumble. Something that went in there wasn’t good, I wonder what could it have been?

Could it have been Tiger, who promised to be sweet but turned out to be more sour than ever? I hope he didn’t hand over any of his hard earned billion dollars for his ‘you know what’ treatment, it didn’t seem to change him in the least. His performance on the course coupled with the media disaster off it only served Tiger to reinvent himself as the bad boy of golf. If media reports are to be believed that ludicrous Nike advert literally drove Elin to the divorce lawyer! The likes of so called ‘angry men’ Rory Sabbatini and Anthony Kim must have had their champagne glasses tinkling with delight after Tiger in his post match interview said “I came fourth” and not “It’s great to be back- I did my best- thanks to the fans for their welcome- well done Phil- the Mickelson’s deserve this”.

Speaking of Anthony Kim, he really seems to be suddenly more palatable. Club in hand he couldn’t even live with Tiger, but with glass in hand Kim’s record leaves Tiger in the shade. Until recently that is. His new work ethic has yielded a second at the Honda, a win in Houston and very nearly a smash and grab job at the Masters. Best of all, he’s been doing all this with a broken thumb which requires surgery. Kim’s nemesis and President’s Cup supergrass Robert Allenby must be choking on his words now!

More news that went down well last week is that the USGA have granted Toclip_image002m Watson a special exemption to the US Open at Pebble Beach. Exemptions like these are like hens teeth so what did Tommy do to deserve it? Was it his brilliant British Open last season, or his 2010 Champions Tour win or maybe his Masters day one lead and tied 18th finish? Regardless, Watson will become the only player alive to have competed in all five Opens at Pebble Beach. He says it’s his favourite course in the world and why wouldn’t it, he played his first major there in 1972 and won his only US Open there in 1982.

Oh Oh I feel indigestion coming on. Tiger has announced he is to come back at Quail Hollow next week. It was probably the worst kept secret in golf, over a month ago the organizers ordered in a media tent double the size of the original one in anticipation of the Tiger. It looks like more carefully choreographed drama and viewer manipulation is on the cards. Someone pass the Milk Of Magnesia please.

Lucky Langer

langer getty 98529090 Bernhard Langer bagged his 10th Champions Tour victory thanks to a huge slice of luck from the flagstick and the weather. After leading by one shot from Mark O’Meara after 36 holes of the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, the pair managed to play only one hole of their round before rain caused the event to be reduced to two rounds. Ironically O'Meara had chipped in for a birdie on that hole that tied Langer at 9-under par but it ultimately didn’t count for the American who has finished second nine times in four seasons on the Champions Tour, but still has yet to win. The previous day Langer watched his pacey approach shot on the final hole hit the flag stick and drop near the cup from where he birdied to win.  Pic: Langer-Poxed Lucky

Rice Comes Unstuck on Tour

jerry rice 51684864

Former San Francisco wide receiver Jerry Rice, now 47, is now an aspiring tour golfer. On his Nationwide Tour debut, Rice shot rounds of 83 and 76 to miss the cut at the Fresh Express Classic. "I am going to continue to work on my game," Rice said. “Last night, I was so upset I couldn't sleep. I woke up at 2 a.m. and was just staring at the ceiling. I had my clothes picked out, over on a chair and I couldn't wait for the sun to rise”. At 17-over, he was 151st among the 152 players who finished both rounds. The cut was at 2-under.

Pic: Jerry Rice on the 15th

Ding Dong Battle in Argentina


Argentina's Andres Romero won the 79th Abierto VISA del Centro Championship at the Cordoba Golf Club after a ding dong battle with home favourite Angel Cabrera. Cabrera, aiming for a record equalling eighth win at the event, reeled his young compatriot in during the third round reduced the lead to one but Romero eventually ran out winner by four shots after a back nine run of double bogey, bogey from Cabrera. It was Romero's sixth title on the Tour de las Americas, the tour he has used to springboard his career to victories on the European Challenge Tour, The European Tour and the US PGA Tour since 2003.

Kelly’s Eye Number 1

98475353 jerry kelly US fan favourite Jerry Kelly aced the fourth hole at Harbour Town Golf Links, for the second time in four years at the Verizon Heritage! Kelly was among the early starters in the first round when he came to the 193-yard, par 3, fourth hole. He watched his 4-iron bounce 15 foot short and track straight into the cup. Amazingly did the did the exact same thing during the third round in 2007, even down to using the same 4-iron! Kelly now has three PGA Tour aces and a seriously hefty champagne bill!

Pic: Jerry Kelly Looking Upset

derek murray clevleand tour truck They say that everything is bigger and better in America and this stands true for the Cleveland Golf & Srixon Tour Truck which was parked just outside Augusta National for the biggest and best tournament in the world (in my opinion). There were a number of players who dropped by to get their supply of balls and gloves as well as special Cleveland and Srixon Masters hats with the date on the back and in the Augusta Green. Jim Furyk came on the truck and got a few tweaks on his wedges and picked up a new hybrid to try. Steve Flesch and David Toms also droped by for their Augusta Hats and supplies for the week.

There are a few hot items floating about at The Masters and one of them is the new Miyazaki shafts with a number of players deciding to test this revolutionary new technology. Each shaft has a unique numbering system which allows for an exact flex profile to be matched to the golfer. This shaft is the hottest thing on the PGA Tour at the moment and is set to be the next big thing in shafts.

with Derek Murray from


Thanks to everyone who entered our quiz last week by text and by e-mail. Congrats to the winner Dave Williams, Fethard, Co. Tipperary who answered Colin Montgomerie and wins a fourball at beautiful Mount Juliet. This week’s “Who Am I” question is just for fun but be sure to check in next week when we will be back with another batch of stunning fourball vouchers.

This week’s question: Who Am I?

As caddies go, they say I’m one of best. I certainly learned from the best having started out my career with the legendary Seve Ballesteros. I’ve carried the bag for many great players including Darren Clarke, Sergio Garcia and even Tiger Woods at the Presidents Cup. My current employer is Europe’s number one, the 2009 Race to Dubai winner and new main in Sunday red!


Problem:. C Posture is best described as a posture where the player will have the shoulders slumped forward and there is roundness to the upper back (Thoracic Spine). This can lead to severe loss of spinal rotation which will limit the ability to create a good backswing turn.

Cause:. C posture is generally caused by muscle and joint imbalances. Lifestyle can be a major factor such as sitting at a computer or driving a car for a living. Simply telling yourself to straighten the spine at address will generally not work, the only effective way to correct C Posture is targetted exercise.

Stretch: . A great way to stretch the upper back and create better posture for your golf is thoracic spine press ups. Keep your rib cage in contact with the grounds while lifting the upper back.

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

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O2 Golf LIVE releases blockbusting event schedule

 monty golf live April 14, 2010 – Thousands of ticket-holders have been anticipating the release of the O2 Golf LIVE event schedule as eagerly as they did the appearance of Tiger Woods at the US Masters. Taking place at Stoke Park, May 14-16, O2 Golf LIVE is delighted to release details of the three-day golfing extravaganza.

With an array of interactive clinics and performances involving Colin Montgomerie, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, Retief Goosen, Catriona Matthew, and world-renowned coaches David Leadbetter and Denis Pugh, O2 Golf LIVE promises golfers even more than close-up interaction with a bevy of the world’s very best golfers, because it is set to become the World’s best-value golf lesson.

clarke fuming

Dodgy mobile phone pic of the moment Clarke started to erupt

Fears were growing for Darren Clarke this morning after playing partners noticed steam billowing from the Ulsterman’s ears.  Clarke an avid Ulster rugby supporter and former flanker of note was said to be fuming over Ulster’s Magners League loss to the Ospreys.  Volcanic ash singed Clarke’s jumper as former Ulster star Tommy Bowe got in on the Osprey’s scoring act.  Doctor’s have advised Clarke not drive his “DC60” Porsche, until symptoms abate, for fear of explosion when he gets near petrol. Get dormant soon, big D!

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Winner Alright: Last week’s tips: Phil Mickelson winner 11/1; KJ Choi 4th 60/1

Verizon Heritage Classic, Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, South Carolina

Purse: $5,700,000

Past winners:

2009 Brian Gay

2008 Boo Weekley

2007 Boo Weekley

2006 Aaron Baddeley

Brian Gay 20/1

brian gay The Verizon Heritage has always been a horses for courses event with form lines being pretty much thrown out the window by the winners of past stagings. Brian Gay, the defending champion missed the cut at Augusta and headed straight down to Hilton Head to prepare for his defence. Gay’s win last year was stunning, his Sunday 64 steam-rollered the field and he romped home by a full ten shots. He may have struggled slightly of late but Gay has six top 30 finishes already this year and is the straightest hitter on tour. I expect a spirited defence.


Jim Furyk 10/1

jim furyk The Masters was horrible for Jim Furyk. Heavily backed beforehand Furyk left the bookies smiling as he missed the cut by nine shots. Ironically he had not missed a cut since last years staging of the Verizon Heritage Classic. Don’t let that dissuade you too much because Jim is still one of the straightest batters out there and also brings a recent win at the Transitions to the party. Furyk finished fourth in 2008 (when Boo Weekly went back to back at Hilton Head) and came second in 2005 and 2006.


Paul Casey 12/1

paul casey The word inside the ropes on tour is that Paul Casey could contend this week. You can immediately discount his Masters missed cut last week as Casey was never likely to contend after being out with yet another niggling injury. If he makes it to Thursday injury free, he will certainly be one to watch as he brings happy memories from his final round in 2009. One year ago Casey scraped into the weekend, but figured out the Harbour Town Links on Sunday, shooting a very impressive 66.


KJ Choi 15/1

kj choi What a run KJ gave us last week at the Masters. Starting the week at 60/1 he even lead for a time on the back nine Sunday until a duffed bunker shot on 13 stunted his progress. Driving the ball solidly and putting brilliantly, KJ has form in both of the categories needed to win here. Now with three top five finishes in his last four events, the question is whether KJ has the stamina to keep his form for one more week given his gruelling Masters where he played all four rounds with Tiger.

Early odds from Betfair

Chalk and Cheese

98400022 phil mickelson green jacket

What a stark contrast there was between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson following the final round on Sunday. Tiger was interviewed by Peter Kostis, the pair seemingly all alone behind some media building while Phil Mickelson was surrounded by his wife, kids, Bones, Butch and the army of genuine fans with whom Phil has genuinely engaged. With all the talk of Mickelson trying to eclipse Woods on the course, is the real question not “Is Phil the man that Tiger is striving to become”?

Tiger’s Week


How did Tiger Woods manage to shoot 68-70-70-69 at the Masters considering the following. Monday: Tiger faced the free media for the first time. Tuesday: Another salacious story breaks about a young neighbours visit to Tiger’s office. Wednesday: Billy Payne whips his ass about failing as a role model. Thursday: Nike airs a controversial advert featuring Tiger’s father seemingly speaking from beyond the grave. Friday: Tiger developed a “two way miss” on the range. All this and he still managed to finish fourth!

Quotes Of The Masters

"Going fishing." – Jack Nicklaus, after starting the Masters, when asked about his plans for the remainder of the week.

"Did I? If I did, I'm sorry." – Tiger Woods, after being asked about swearing during Saturday's round.

"He said, 'Dad, show me. Show me you can still play this golf course.’ You know what? I wanted to show him I can still play the golf course." – Tom Watson, after his first round 67 with son Michael on the bag.

"We liked the ad. It certainly got people talking." Phil Knight, Nike founder on the controversial Tiger advert aired on the eve of the tournament.

Magic Manassero

120093_m16 matteo manassero At 16 years old, Italian Matteo Manassero became not only the youngest player in Masters history, but achieved the best finish by a European amateur for 73 years. The young Italian came joint 36th on four over par, two places better than then British Amateur champion Sergio Garcia achieved in1999. Manassero, is not set to turn professional in time for next months BMW Italian Open in Turin. “Playing on a course like this obviously makes you understand that you can play on every course," Manassero said after his final round.


You struggle to hit the ball any great distance and lack upper body strength and core power.


Upper body strength in one of the main differences between top pro’s, men and women golfers. Upper body strength is an essential component if you are to generate power in your swing.

Exercise: .

A great exercise to improve upper body strength is to perform Push Ups on a Swiss Ball. This exercise targets the pectorals (chest) muscles and core stability. Roll out on a Swiss Ball with your head face down until the ball is under your thighs. Maintain a stable core with a neutral pelvis start to perform push ups. If you want to make this exercise harder try rolling farther out on the Swiss ball.


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

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This week’s readers fourball is a trip to Mount Juliet in Kilkenny. Renowned as being among the best parkland courses in the world, Mount Juliet Golf Club hosted the 2002 and 2004 American Express World Golf Championships, which were won by Tiger Woods and Ernie Els. For full details of all Mount Juliet’s golf specials 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 was born in 1963 in Scotland and am best known by my nickname. Although I have won eight European Tour Order Of Merit titles, I will always be known as the best player never to win a major. The Ryder Cup is my greatest achievement, I’ve played in eight, and never lost a singles match. I wont be playing in Wales but wont be far away!

Congrats to last weeks winner Gerard Fleming, Banteer, Cork who wins a fourball in Dromoland Castle.

On The Tour Truck: Get A Grip

grips pic The only part of the club you should have contact with when swinging is the grip and yet I see so many club golfers ignore the importance of the right size grip and when it is time to put on new ones. On Tour I have often put new grips on for some Tour players every 4 weeks. At The Masters none of the Tour Trucks are allowed on site so a lot of time is spent by the tech staff running back and forward to the trucks parked down the road with clubs to be gripped and delivered back to the players. A few simple things to be aware of; The grip should fit the hand and when you grip the club the fingers on your left hand ( for a right handed golfer) should just touch the soft fleshy part of your hand below the thumb. If your knuckles are white or your forearm muscle feels tight the grip is too small. Ask for some extra tape the next time you get new grips or get a Midsize. If the grips on your clubs looks shiny and the rubber feels hard and a little soap, water and a scrub doesn’t improve them then its time to replace them. New grips will feel like new clubs and your control will improve.

with Derek Murray from

clip_image002I take it all back. The Masters turned out to be one of the best ever even if the tricolour was not on the leaderboard. The last time no Irishman made the cut in a major championship was the USPGA in 1999. It was very interesting to see the contrasting reactions of Rory McIlory and Padraig Harrington on missing the cut. Rors looked a beaten man on Friday, shoulders slumped, back aching, mentally drained and in need of a break from the game. By contrast Padraig Harrington was very philosophical about his performance and accepted the weekend off with a smile. Amazingly Harrington spent Saturday on the range in Augusta, proclaiming himself very happy with his days work as he left Augusta.

374161 tiger press conf At this point I have to hold my hand up and say I was wrong about Tiger when I said that he could not contend after four months in the freezer. Perhaps my impression of a bearded Tiger pacing around an addiction clinic in pyjamas and a hoodie was a tad misplaced. He emerged like he had never been away. He looked lean and cut on the tee and didn’t seem in the slightest bit spooked by being back in the spotlight. Sporting a new driver, Tiger drove it straighter than ever before (until Sunday at least), and when the odd one did get away like on the ninth on Friday, he could produce the kind of miracle shot that no other pro could even dream of. Even Ian Poulter said he rushed back to his hotel 374338 tom watson to catch the replay of Tiger’s shot on TV and later said it was a shot he wouldn’t ever have dreamed of let one have the ability to play. Tiger did tell one little fib however. After one bad shot he dropped the club and shouted “God Dammit”, proving he’s not really a Buddhist.

The Augusta cameo’s were great this year too. Freddie “I’m just holin’ everything” Couples wasn’t been asked questions about his drive on ten or his putt on 18, rather he was busy nattering about playing in Ecco plimsoles. For a 50 year old guy who doesn’t use a glove or golf shoes to play the way Freddie played was just too cool for school. Then there Tom Watson with his son Michael on the bag. During a practice round Michael pulled his drive into the trees, supposedly by accident, as a ruse to get a little alone time in Augusta with his girlfriend. While in the wphil with family oods, Michael produced a sparkler and popped the question. That made 60 year old Tom so proud that he only went and shot the lights out in round one, even outdriving the likes of Ernie Els in the stats. Augusta was supposed to be “unplayable” by Watson’s own admission, he’s having a fairytale twilight to his career. As one commentator put it, “in any other sport, he'd be on a gurney. Here, he's on the leaderboard!”

And finally a word for Phil. He’s so good he doesn’t even need to drive it straight to win at Augusta. His second shot to the green on the par five 13th was the shot of the week. Stimyed behind trees with 204 yards to go, most of the field would have just chipped out but Phil but his six iron from its scabbard went for broke and the rest is history. When asked later about the gap in the trees through which he hit Phil set the media centre alight with laughter saying “It was big enough, certainly big enough for a ball to fit through.” Big Phil, big man, big heart. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Viva the Masters!

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1. The Divine Intervention at Amen Corner Award: Phil Mickelson

phil with family

Phil and Amy wearing Denis Taylor’s Sunglasses.

Phil Mickelson enjoyed the kind of lucky breaks during his final round that are normally reserved for ex-Taoisigh during raffles. Tackling the turn on Sunday Phil went:

Ninth Hole: Tee shot hammers off tree, bounces back into fairway. Par.

Tenth Hole: Tee shot hits tree, bounces back into the only playable place possible. Par.

Eleventh Hole: Ball hits fan, ricochets back onto short grass. Par

"He just had this peace to him that I haven't seen in awhile," said Bones. Is Phil God?

2. The Best Outlaw Award: Shingo Katayama

shingo the gringo

Shingo: Gringo

Shingo Katayama let us all down in round one when he had to remove his cowboy hat for “safety reasons” in the high winds. He didn’t disappoint the fashionistas for long though when he transformed into a Japanese Johnny Cash. You the man Shingo “The Gringo”!


The What The Hell Happened Us Award: Adam Scott and Sergio Garcia

sergio and adam scott

Adam and Sergio: We used be sh*t-hot, now we’re just sh*t!

Adam Scott to Sergio Garcia: “Didn’t we used to be young, dashing and good at golf?” Garcia and Scott have now slipped to 18th and 46th in the world rankings but they can console themselves in the knowledge that Tiger himself was once ranked outside the top 50. When he was three years old!

The “I’m Ken Brown” Award: Oliver Wilson

oliver wilson 5th hole in trees

Oliver Wilson as Ken On The Course

Is there anyone on the face of the Earth that actually enjoys Ken Brown’s “On the Course” clips for the BBC? Well we now have proof old Ken has at least one fan in Oliver Wilson. Wilson took time out during his first round at Augusta to recreate Ken’s famous ‘pine straw’ clip. Speaking from his home in the Seventies, Brown said “Wilson should stick to the golf, he clearly hasn’t mastered my crouch and camera stare”.

The Wrong Caddy Award: Padraig Harrington

ciaran harrington

Padraig Harrington with new caddy Ciaran. Ronan was Inconsolable

Little wonder that Padraig Harrington missed the cut at Augusta after his bizarre decision to replace his tried and trusted caddy Ronan Flood on the eve of the Masters. Flood was said to be “inconsolable” after receiving a text from his boss informing him he was to be replaced by Harrington’s two and a half year old son Ciaran. In an interview after missing the cut Harrington said, “In hindsight dropping Ronan may have been a mistake; I ended up carrying my bag and my caddy!”

The Worst Disguise Award: Kultida Woods

kultida woods

Tiger Woods mam Kultida came to Augusta disguised as one of the Jackson Five. Tida, or should that be Tito, had her sun-hat custom made from two decommissioned hot air balloons!

And Finally The Worst Dressed Award: Ryan Moore

ryan moore

Ryan Moore: Packin’ timber

Ryan Moore wanted to make at statement at Augusta. Unfortunately nobody could stop laughing long enough to hear it. Moore’s outfit says “I can rap like P. Diddy or sort out Quinn like the Financial Regulator. Sorry Ryan but we reckon you’re packing a bit too much timber to carry that outfit off.

Well done Phil on your awesome success at the Masters,  Here’s the text on our tips and how they fared:

US Masters Golf 2010 Betting Preview. “Bet Your Balls”

Phil Mickelson 11/1: Winner!

phil mickelson masters 2004Some 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.

KJ Choi 60/1: Tied 4th

80580430 kj choi mastersFive 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: Tied 8th

hunter mahan mastersStatistically 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.


BBC golf have reported on the par 3 contest at The Masters. Here’s the report

South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen won the traditional pre-Masters Par 3 Contest at Augusta, which Tiger Woods skipped.

No player who has ever won the event on Wednesday has gone on to win on Sunday.

World number one Woods, favourite for the Masters despite his long lay-off from golf, has not played the Par 3 since partnering Arnold Palmer in 2004.

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and Jim Furyk of the United States each achieved hole-in-ones, while some pros allowed their children to take shots.

Oosthuizen, who won in Spain two weeks ago to grab his Masters spot, became the third successive South African winner of the Par 3 Contest.

After Rory Sabbatini and Tim Clark took the nine-hole event with five- under-par 22s in 2008 and 2009 respectively, Oosthuizen went one better and was only one shot outside the all-time record.

He finished two ahead of 16-year-old Italian sensation Matteo Manassero, Korean KJ Choi - who partners Woods on Thursday - and Americans David Duval and Jerry Pate.

I fancy a number of golfers at odds of 30/1 or better at Augusta this week but also fear the great unknown which is just how Tiger Woods will fare after 5 months off? My solution is simply to structure my bets so as to take Tiger out of the equation.

I touched on some of the many betting markets available to punters in my Masters Overview and now that it is time to put my money down I am looking to take advantage of that range by making use of the “Without Woods” market available at a number of bookmakers but in particular Betxchange who have the best prices about my particular fancies.
First up a case can be made for all of the men at the top of the betting boards but you can also argue against them all as well.
Woods 5/1 has just emerged from a personal scandal and has not competed for 5 months, Els 14/1 would probably have been better off not playing in Houston and no longer has Ricci Roberts on his bag, Mickelson 14/1 has had a poor start to 2010, Harrington 20/1 has also not been in the greatest of form.

masters nicklaus press conferenceTHE MODERATOR: We welcome Jack Nicklaus, great to have you here. Like to remind us all of Jack's accomplishments in golf. Winner of 18 Majors, including six Masters, five PGAs, four U.S. Opens, three British Opens, winner of 73 PGA TOUR victories, six-time Ryder Cup Team member, including twice as captain, captained four Presidents Cup teams, has competed in 45 Masters Tournaments, tied for fourth all-time.
Jack, thank you for being with us.
JACK NICKLAUS: Fourth? (Laughter) Has to be Arnold and Gary. Who would be the fourth?

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.

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