Pablo Larrazabal of Spain gets a quick forty winks during the fog-delayed opening round of the Ballantine's Championship at Pinx Golf Club in Jeju island, South Korea. Larrazabal shares the rare ability of being able to sleep at will whilst standing with the likes of Pope Benedict, Shane McGowan, Grandpa Simpson and horses.
Thursday Apr 29 – Sunday May 2, 2010
Quail Hollow Club · Charlotte, N.C.
What a line up for the Quail Hollow Championship this week with Tiger, Mickelson, Harrington and Westwood in the field. Our first tip however is the in-form Jim Furyk who is searching for a third win in his last five starts having been successful at The Transitions and The Verizon Heritage. Furyk has course form too with a win here in 2006 when it was the Wachovia Championship. The five weeks starting at Quail Hollow was a Furyk hot streak in 2009 and I expect big things from a rejuvenated Jim over the next month.
Kim’s trip back to his parent’s homeland did quite go as planned last week with the weather affected event being reduced to 54 holes. A 16th place finish was no disgrace and Kim remains one of the hottest players on tour with a win Houston, a second in Houston and a third in Augusta in his last five events. In 2008 Kim blitzed the field at Quail Hollow winning by five shots from Ben Curtis and that coupled with his current form make him an attractive proposition again this week.
Where does Bubba Watson generate that power? Lefty Watson is one of long hitters on tour but is prowess on the greens is what is impressing me of late. Caught my eye at the Transitions where he finished third and his form has continued to be solid since. Watson enjoyed his week at Quail Hollow last year where he shot a second round 65 on the notoriously tricky layout on his way to tying for second. The 16th, 17th and 18th in Quail Hollow are known as the “green mile” and Bubba will be hoping to negotiate them a little better than on Sunday last year to grab his second tour victory.
If you are looking for some long odds value this week, try US Open Champion Lucas Glover. He’s been in terrible form the last few weeks which is reflected in his odds at 80/1. However players tend to perform on their home patch and Carolina man Glover knows this course like the back of his hand. Put on a masterclass with the blade in last year’s staging to finish tied second. In truth he had the tournament all but wrapped up until a bogey on the 17th handed victory to Sean O’Hair. Don’t spend your last euro on him but surely some kind of return to form is due from Glover.
2009 Sean O'Hair United States
2008 Anthony Kim United States
2007 Tiger Woods United States
2006 Jim Furyk United States
2005 Vijay Singh Fiji
2004 Joey Sindelar United States
2003 David Toms United States
This week’s readers fourball is the ultimate Links challenge at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links where you can now stay and play for only €109. For full details of all the Portmarnock Hotel golf specials log on to www.portmarnock.com. To enter text your answer with name and address to 087-2029040 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday next.
I am the German who designed Portmarnock Hotel Links but I am more famous as having won two green jackets and 40 more European Tour wins. The Ryder Cup has both haunted and exhilarated me; in 1991 my missed in Kiawah could have earned Europe a draw but our win when I was Captain in 2004 made up for it. I now play on the US Champions Tour.
Last weeks answer: Caddie Billy Foster
The Taylor Made Tour truck looks like an army command vehicle with a dark green sinister looking outside that would scare the birdies from the trees. Fortunately Keith and Henry who run the show inside are much friendlier than the trucks exterior. The inside is like a surgeon’s operating room with more stainless steel than a ball bearing factory. I see a great apparatus that electrically heats up the new hosels on the shafts of the R9 drivers and makes them ready to play in 3 minutes flat. I also get a glimpse of the new Taylor Made SuperDeep drivers that are fresh out of the wrappers. This new deep faced driver looks superb and has two adjustable weights tucked underneath the deep pear shaped head. Perfect for the low spinning high launching shots required for Augusta. The truck is crazy busy with most of the field playing some sort of Taylor Made product so I find a spot on the sofa and sit back and let someone else do all the work for a change.
with Derek Murray from www.foregolf.ie
European Solheim Cup captain Alison Nicholas came to Killeen Castle last week to give it the once over ahead of next years battle with the USA. But here’s a question; could you name five of the European team that played in 2009? Well done if you have come up with Laura Davies straight away, top marks for Suzann Pettersen, Maria Hjorth or Catriona Matthew. But who is your fifth? I’m thinking of the Swede, you know her, she’s in the world’s top ten. It will come to me.
Now try it for the American ladies. There’s Natalie Gulbis with her TV show, larger than life Christina Kim, wrinkly Juli Inkster, “not quite set” Michelle Wie and pink panther loving Morgan Pressel. It’s somehow easier to remember team USA.
So why is it that the Amercian’s are better known than the Europeans? Is it because the European Ladies have barely a Tour to cling to and a life of relative obscurity on the now Asian dominated US Tour is their only option?
On the eve of the Ryder Cup, there are ominous signs that it is becoming the same way with the men’s European Tour. Why is it even called that anymore? The way it’s headed, it’s only a matter of time until it becomes the Pan-Global Tour. From Australia to South Africa and on to Asia, the tour seems to spend longer and longer away each year. Where next? Europe? Hell no, the weather is rubbish, there’s no money and nobody comes to watch. I may be over simplifying it a touch, but that’s the harsh reality. Yet again, last weeks event was over before we even woke up on Sunday morning.
Here’s a novel idea. Why don’t we have the European Tour in all the countries in Europe? We could start off in the dry ones and gravitate towards Ireland in the Summer, maybe just before the British Open. Even better still, let’s get all the European players to play on the European Tour. Imagine what that would be like? Harrington, McIlroy, Casey, Poulter, Garcia battling it out each week. We might even win the Ryder Cup again.
I personally think we lost the last Ryder Cup (staged in Valhalla) in part because the top Europeans now play on the US Tour. It may sound contradictory, but when Europe was winning, everybody talked about our team spirit and our unique bond forged on travels around Europe together. The American’s didn’t know us, but we knew everything about them. Where is all that now? With half the European Team in the States and the other half in somewhere like Korea the only thing bonding them is a facebook post from Monty. That sense of the unknown that the US Team once feared is gone forever; some of the Europeans have become more Amercian than the American’s themselves.
Unfortunately there’s no room for naivety in pro golf anymore, it’s a business first and a sport last. The European Tour may be coming home for the Summer but many of our players will not. Will it will never truly be European again? Who knows. And by the way, if you thought of Anna Nordqvist as the fifth European Lady, you’re an ace quizzer but I wish it was an easier exercise.
Former controversial PGA Tour player Ken Green returned to the Champions Tour at the weekend. Last year, Green lost his brother and girlfriend in a tragic road accident in which he himself also lost a leg, and then earlier this year, his son died from an accidental drug overdose. Though now only able to hit the ball 240 yards from the tee, Green is working Peter Kostis to attempt to become competitive on the Champion Tour. Partnered with Mike Reid in the Legends of Golf at Savannah Harbor Golf Resort Green met his goal of two birdies in the first round. The event was won by Mark O’Meara and Nick Price.
Just two years after the ladies golf world was rocked by the retirement came another bombshell last week when Lorena Ochoa announced that she too is to leave the game. Speaking at a press conference Ochoa said “I just want to live like everyday things and be home, and be back with my family all the time that we lost in the last few years. I’m ready to move on. You know, once you achieve your goals and you are at the top, it was good to me. But there are so many other things that I’d like to do. I’m really happy today, and I’m pleased. I’m 100% complete.”
After Marcus Fraser signed for a 70 on Saturday he asked to be given a couple of minutes for doing his press interview. During those few minutes he was seen nervously pacing back and forth outside the media tent whilst talking on his mobile phone. The reason? Fraser’s wife Carlie was in the middle of an auction to buy a new house back in Melbourne. As it transpired the Fraser’s were outbid but it looks like an upgrade could be on the cards as Marcus bagged €367,000 for ending his seven year winless streak at the Ballantine’s Championship
To strengthen the core muscles and create more power and stability in the lower body a great exercise is bridging with leg extension. Start by lying on your back, knees bend, feet flat, knees and feet together and arms crossed over your chest. From here lift your pelvis up off the ground then go ahead and extend your right leg from the knee and repeat with the left leg. Try and hold for 10 seconds.
Problem:. Casting is best described as a premature release of the wrist angles during the downswing and through impact (like how you would cast a fishing rod). The angle loss results in loss of power due to the scooping action it creates adding loft to the face of club at impact.
Cause:. As with most upper body swing characteristics, any dysfunction in the lower body can be the root cause. If the lower body does not initiate the sequence of power the upper body will try to compensate to make up for the missing lower body. Poor core stability can be a cause of this swing fault. Statistics show that 56% of golfers suffer from casting.
Stretch: . To strengthen the core muscles and create more power and stability in the lower body a great exercise is bridging with leg extension. Start by lying on your back, knees bent, feet flat, knees and feet together and arms crossed over your chest. From here lift your pelvis up off the ground then go ahead and extend your right leg from the knee and repeat with the left leg. Try and hold leg extensions for 10 seconds.
Log on to www.wayneocallaghangolf.com PGA Pro and TPI fitness instructor for more info.
Date Of Birth: 23/4/76
Rory’s Roll Of Honour:
West of Ireland Champion 2010.
Lee Valley Scratch Cup Winner 2010.
5 Inter-pro winners medals with Ulster.
Barton Shield winner with Banbridge.
Ireland cap in versus MGA (USA).
Inside Rory’s Mind
When you’re not golfing, you are…..
“Working as a Regional Development Officer with Junior Golf Ireland. It’s great fun and even better being involved with the stars of tomorrow. All the kids should check out the website www.juniorgolfireland.com”
Most famous person you have ever met
“Fred Couples in a shopping Mall in Orlando or Former Wales and Lions Rugby star Colin Charvis who gate crashed my wedding reception party!!!! The Newport-Gwent Dragons were playing Munster in Cork last September and were staying in the same hotel as the wedding and they gave us 10 free tickets for the game!!!”
Lowest 18 hole score and where
62 (-7) at Banbridge on a few occasions and 65 (-7) in Lee Valley this year.
The Express – true story of 1960’s American college football star Ernie Davis starring Dennis Quaid.
Pro you most admire
Ernie Els – “always so laid back and seems like a guy you could enjoy a few pints with!!!!”
Royal Portrush but Co Sligo runs it very close now!!!!!
What team do you support?
Best shot you ever hit when people were watching
4 iron to the 16th in the final of this year’s West at Co Sligo.
Worst shot you hit when people were watching
Tee shot on 17th in final of the 2004 North at Royal Portrush – quick hook!!!
What’s In Rory’s Bag
Jason Bohn was the wire to wire winner of the Zurich Classic reports the Golf Channel
“This is life changing,” said the 37-year-old Bohn, who admitted making his putt on 18 with tears in his eyes.
Bohn, who completed a third-round 71 in the morning in the weather-plagued tournament, finished at 18-under 270. He also won the 2005 B.C. Open.
Sunday’s victory, coming as it did after a variety of injuries and back surgery, was especially sweet, Bohn said. He told his caddie at the start of the final round he was planning on a quiet round.
“I just said I probably wouldn’t say much because I’m capturing all of this,” Bohn said. “I want to take this one to the grave. I want to remember every little detail that I missed on my first one.”
Bohn led since his 65 in the opening round, but admitted he felt the heat Sunday as several players moved into range.
Overton mounted a persistent challenge, twice tying Bohn on his way to a 66.
“Jeff was playing beautifully. He played beautiful golf today,” Bohn said. “I would say almost perfect.”
Overton birdied the 18th – after missing a long eagle putt, but Bohn, who made birdie putts of 5 1/2 feet on No. 15 and 22 feet on No. 16, had to only tap in on 18 for his fifth birdie of the round.
Overton said he played great Sunday, but Bohn was unbelievable.
“The final four holes, I maybe got a little quick with putts,” Overton said. “Maybe because I wanted it so much.”
Troy Merritt (67) was third at 14 under. He was 7 under during a seven-hole stretch that ended at No. 13, making five birdies and an eagle.
“It’s fun when you’re making a lot of red numbers,” Merritt said. “Especially when they’re back to back to back to back.”
Lee Janzen (69) was another stroke back, and Greg Chalmers (69) was 12 under.
Heavy rain and lightning Friday and again Saturday morning delayed the early rounds. Bohn, who led wire-to-wire, played 24 holes Saturday and 30 Sunday. He had seven birdies and one bogey in his 30 holes Sunday.
Bohn completed his third round on Sunday morning at 13 under, two shots ahead of Alex Cejka. Overton and Janzen went into the final round at 10 under.
Bohn earned $1,152,000 after making $395,321 in his previous eight starts this year. In 1992, he won $1 million in a hole-in-one contest while a student at the University of Alabama. He has received $50,000 a year since then.
Marcus Fraser cruised to a four shot victory at the weather affected Ballantines Championship in Korea. Ireland’s Gareth Maybin tied for second place. Here’s the report from the European Tour.
Australia's Marcus Fraser won the Ballantine's Championship by four shots as a battling three under par final round 69 secured a wire-to-wire victory - his first in seven years.
The 31 year old topped the leaderboard at 12 under par after dropping just two shots in three rounds of the weather-affected 54-hole tournament at Pinx Golf Club.
After erasing Fraser's one shot overnight lead at the turn Northern Ireland's Gareth Maybin faded down the stretch and lost out on sole possession of second place after a par putt at the last lipped out and a level par 72 dropped the 29 year old back alongside Australia's Brett Rumford (71).
Oliver Fisher (71) moved a step closer to reclaiming his card after posting a fifth consecutive top ten finish. Five shots off the pace, he tied for fourth alongside Maybank Malaysian Open champion Noh Seung-yul (68).
"It's unbelievable, I don't know how I did that today. It has blown me away," said an emotional Fraser, who lost in a play-off to Rod Pampling at the Australian Masters at the end of 2008.
"I have had so many chances to win in seven years and you just don't know if it is going to be your day, and it was. I just can't believe it.
"The second win is harder than the first one, it has just been so long. I have had so many chances to win over the last seven years and I haven't done it so to go out there and play how I did this week is a big lift.
"I led from day one and I don't think I would have enough in me for a fourth round, but I don't care. I have worked hard this week and over last few years to get back into a position where I should be winning golf tournaments and it is a big reward."
Last year's joint runner-up Robert-Jan Derksen (71), Welshman Jamie Donaldson (70), who finished fourth at last week's Volvo China Open, and Singapore's Mardan Mamat (72) finished tied for sixth at six under par.
Defending champion Thongchai Jaidee (75) and Argentina's Tano Goya (75), who sat one shot adrift of Fraser heading into the final round, slipped down into a tie for ninth alongside Mikko Ilonen (69), Niclas Fasth (71) and World Number Seven Ernie Els (74) a further shot off the pace.
Three-time Major winner Els had moved ominously within a shot of Fraser and Maybin at the turn with three birdies, but the World Golf Championships-CA Championship winner played his back nine in five over par including a double bogey.
Phil Hanlon’s been on to let us know about the last winter pro/am event at Galgorm Castle in Ballymena this weekend. Entry £20.00- to book ring 02825646161. It will be the last chance the pro’s have to play Galgorm under tournament conditions before this years EuroPro Tour event which takes place from June 21-25th, 2010.
Pic: Former Spurs goalkeeping legend Pat Jennings signing an autograph for a young Spurs fan at Galgorm Castle. When Pat is not watching Heurelho Gomes keeping nets for mighty Spurs, he can often be spotted at Galgorm.
Note for kids: Despite what wikipedia says Pat Jennings never played for Arsenal.
Good old Ian Poulter never forgets his favourite British films, even to the extent of recreating scenes as he walks on the fairways. Our camera captured Poults recreating the scene where King Arthur trots along minus a horse, to the sound of coconuts. Later, on the fifth hole, Poulter summoned referee John Parramor and requested a small shrubbery be installed around the green. The Poultergeist is now planning to recreate the famous “Knights Who Say Ni” scene at the TPC in a couple of weeks. It remains to be seen if Slugger will be as sympathetic as Parramor to the barking mad Englishman.
Golf Digest’s Ron Sirak reckons Lorena Ochoa's retirement is a reflection of her increasingly complicated personal life
“The first sign something was wrong came early last year. Lorena Ochoa missed a short putt, cleaned up the mess, plucked her ball from the hole and slammed it to the ground as hard as her muscular arms could throw, leaving a dent on the edge of the green, which she promptly fixed. It was an act of frustration and anger so completely out of character for a relentlessly friendly woman who began every media interview session with a cheery, "Hello." What was going on here?
Ochoa, who at one time played the game with an aggressive passion reminiscent of a young Arnold Palmer -- complete with the powerful, unorthodox swing -- was no longer having fun on the golf course. The presumed heir apparent to Annika Sorenstam's mantle as best in the world of women's golf was seemingly unraveling. And now she is walking away from the game. The question is for how long.
Newly married and with three stepchildren, Ochoa's life has become enormously complicated the last two years. The instant family combined with the impressive charity work she does in Mexico through her foundation have provided Ochoa with not so much off-course distractions as perhaps off-course obligations she takes very seriously. It has been clear for a while now that her mind was not completely engaged with golf when she was on the course.
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?
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: 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.
Nantz 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”?
Jeju Island, Korea Republic 22 Apr 2010 - 25 Apr 2010
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.
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.
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.
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
Full name Frederick Steven Couples
Born October 3, 1959 (age 50)
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
Fairway Hit %
Putts per Round
Greens in Regulation
Putts per GIR
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)
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 Tom 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.
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
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
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.
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
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 www.foregolf.ie
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.
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 www.wayneocallaghangolf.com PGA Pro and TPI fitness instructor for more info.
O2 Golf LIVE releases blockbusting event schedule
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.
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!
Verizon Heritage Classic, Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, South Carolina
2009 Brian Gay
2008 Boo Weekley
2007 Boo Weekley
2006 Aaron Baddeley
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.
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.
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.
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