Winner Alright: Last Week we tipped Fredrik Jacobsen who came second at 33/1 paying out €92.50 for a €10 each way bet.
Out of the last 20 events Lee has played he has finished in the top-10 a staggering 14 times including victories in Portugal and Dubai. Though winless in 2010 it seems every time Lee tees it up these days he’ll be right in the mix. Bound to be a nailed on favourite but a word of warning. Last year at Wentworth Lee shot 77,77 to miss the cut following a withdrawl the previous year. There’s no question that Westwood is a different man now, as is the course, but will his excellent recent showings at The Masters and The Players be enough to exorcise those Wentworth demons?
There’s a common misconception out there that all Touring pros use blades. The truth is just over half of all players on Tour prefer a cavity backed club. The extra reassurance of success of a miss off centre can be enough to settle a players mind during a poor swing. Most players prefer the feel of the softer, forged head but I find pros are more concerned about how the club looks behind the ball; what we call “framing”.
So why do some players still use blades? They may be unforgiving but pros favour their strong, neat shape and superior ball shaping qualities. On six iron tests with a swing machine and 100 balls, on dead centre hits blades produce about one quarter the spray pattern of a cavity back iron.
Thus a very popular combination on tour is where we build a split-set with a cavity head for the 3- 4 iron for more forgiveness and ease of flight and a bladed muscle-back design from 5-PW where more shot shaping and flight control is required.
with Derek Murray from www.foregolf.ie
No sooner had Paul Casey sunk the winning putt at the 2009 BMW PGA Championship but the diggers came rolling in to commence a £4 million modernization project of the West course at Wentworth. Under the watchful eye of Ernie Els all 18 greens and surrounds have been rebuilt to USGA specification. This coupled with its lengthening over the past few years, make this weeks host course a totally different proposition than in the past.
It all begs the question: what is the extent of the disconnect that exists nowadays between new and older courses? Everybody gets their handicap based on their performances on their home course right? So it really believable that a four handicapper from a 100 year nine hole track in Dublin is of the same standard as the four handicapper in, say Carton House? With respect, having played both kinds of track, I think not. Newer layouts take into account modern technology, are thus much longer, more tricky with deeper bunkers and more undulating greens than traditional layouts. Is there an argument to give every course a difficulty tariff to make the handicapping system more equitable?
What’s more, it is amazing to think that technological advances have brought us to the point that older classic layouts seem like pitch and putt tracks compared to the stadium courses of today. So how would today’s players fare if they could jump into some golfing tardice and travel back in time a half century? Last year PGA tour player Chad Campbell took part in such an experiment. He hit drives with a 1950’s persimmon driver and balata ball and then with his own modern equipment. The difference between the new and old clubs and balls was 44 yards. With the old steel shafted driver his swing speed was 106 mph, this jumped to 113 mph with graphite shaft, which could account for 15-20 yards by itself.
Pic: Sorry Chad, I could only find this pic of your sister.
So as you sit down to watch the cream of Europe’s professionals battle it out at the new Wentworth and marvel at the distance they hit the ball, spare a thought for the players of yesteryear who battled hard with what equipment they had. The “little” tracks we are now tearing up, were the monsters of the past and as Chad Campbell proved, they had that name for good reason
When all the TV cameras were packed way at the Valero Texas Open the real Ernie Els emerged surprising winner Adam Scott with a beer shower! Els was delighted to see Scott getting back in the winner’s circle, even though he himself was in the running down the stretch. Els has many reasons to be happy, he heads to this weeks PGA Championship (which he helped redesign) with a third on Sunday and two recent wins. Some insiders say only Icelandic ash can stop the Big Easy this week.
Legends of the game including Nick Faldo, last years runner up Tom Watson and now Seve Ballesteros have all signalled their intent to compete in The Open Champions’ Challenge, a four-hole event which will be contested over the first, second, 17th and 18th holes of the Old Course on the Wednesday evening before the Championship gets underway. Ballesteros, who returns to the scene of his 1984 Open triumph, said: "I will not be in 100 per cent condition to compete in the main tournament but I am happy and looking forward to playing the Champions Challenge, because I think I can do very well and say thank you to all my UK fans at St Andrews, where I have many great memories." Seve’s walk over the Swilken Bridge is set to eclipse Jack Nicklaus’ tearfull farewell in 2005.
The Spanish Golf Federation has submitted its bid to host the 2018 Ryder Cup. Federation president Gonzaga Escauriaza led the presentation before a delegation from Ryder Cup Europe. Seve Ballesteros, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Miguel Martin were joined by Spanish keeper to present the bid at an event in Madrid last Thursday. The cancer-stricken Ballesteros was given a standing ovation when he was introduced. Ballesteros captained the winning European team in 1997 and said that "to be the patron now of Madrid's candidacy means a lot." Escauriaza said hosting the competition would inspire a new generation of Spanish golfers through a $41.5 million development program and lead the way in environmentally friendly courses. The proposed course, yet to be built, will be located half an hour from Madrid at Tres Cantos. France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden are also bidding to hold the competition, the winner of which will be announced next year.
Ex NBA Michael Jordan may have started it but an increasing number of American sports stars are trying their hand at golf. Already this year we had former NHL star and scratch player Dan Quinn on Ernie Els bag at The Masters. Then we told you a few weeks back about former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice’s battles on the Nationwide Tour (incidently he hasn’t got much better in the interim). However, best of all is current Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (pictured), who, during his off season break, has only gone and qualified for next weeks Byron Nelson Classic on the PGA tour. Well nearly. Romo has reached final qualifying where he must finish in the top four to gain entry. Not bad for holiday golf!
A chicken wing is a loss of extension or breakdown of the lead arm through the impact area. This swing fault robs a golfer of power and tends to put excessive force on the outside of the elbow joint which can lead to developing tennis elbow. A common shot associated with chicken winging is a high shot going right with little power for a right handed golfer.
Physical causes that can lead to a chicken wing is joint or muscular restrictions around the shoulder or having a tight lat muscle. 36% of golfers suffer from chicken winging.
To improve your lat length start by kneeling on the ground while sitting on your heels. Place both arms on a Swiss ball and slowly roll the ball straight out in front of you. Roll until there is a big stretch in the body and stop if you feel any pain.
Log on to www.wayneocallaghangolf.com PGA Pro and TPI fitness instructor for more info.
Okay so Padraig Harrington is to have keyhole surgery on his right knee three weeks before the US Open at Pebble Beach but the good news is there’s no need to panic. The procedure is about as serious running out of milk at breakfast. There is a 14 day healing period advised but an athlete like Paddy will back beating balls within a week.
The operation coincides with the Celtic Manor Wales Open which Padraig is set to miss. Funny that, although Padraig said, “I had intended to play the Wales Open at Celtic Manor in a few weeks time, as I like the golf course …” He’s one of the few!
Pic: Athroscopic Surgery: Okay maybe a teeny weeny bit of panic might be more appropriate
I’ve uncovered an absolute gem of a website on which you can buy and sell used golf clubs. It’s called golfbidder.co.uk. Don’t let the “.co.uk” put you off if you are from Ireland or Europe though. They ship to Ireland and mainland Europe and have thousands of clubs. Better still, golfbidder will buy your old irons.
To satisfy our appetite for bargains, we did a sample test comparing 5 sets of (well known) used irons and 5 used drivers in both golf shops and online (including Ebay) and found golfbidder to be on average €133 cheaper per set of irons and €67 cheaper on the drivers. Our test was pretty small (and there is a bit of leeway needed when comparing used clubs) but it’s fairly clear that golfbidder is far cheaper than the others. Shipping does not seem to be an issue either, golfbidder ship any lot for £10 or €13 to Ireland and Europe. Wow, so far so good!
1. Simply log on to www.golfbidder.co.uk. Register. Simple. Even I could do it. The usual process you’ve done a million times.
2. Buying: This is the simplest option. Browse the categories, choose a club and add to your basket. The site adds on the delivery charge of £10 (around €13).
3. Wait for the delivery man. If you buy on a Monday, you’ll have your new weaponry for crushing the competition at the weekend!
1. Again register.
2. Golfbidder ask you to describe the clubs you want to sell. It has 4 steps, describing the club, the model, the condition and other fine points and finally you submit the request. The screens are organized brilliantly, every conceivable permutation of clubs, shafts and grips are on there. One thing to note here it that you must give the condition of the clubhead, shaft and grip on a scale of 5-10 (‘5’ being well used and ‘10’ being new), so being honest is always the best policy.
3. Golfbidder will send you a quote for your clubs.
4. If you don’t fancy buying anything, Golfbidder will send you a cheque. If however you want to buy a club(s), having received a quote for your old ones, it works thus. First of all you buy what you fancy from the website, then you send Golfbidder your old clubs and they refund you the difference. Here’s where the being honest with your club description really pays dividends.
Even if you’re not buying or selling the golfbidder.co.uk site is a treasure trove of information and pricing on used clubs. Oftentimes the search is the most fun and golfbidder is certainly a site I will be bookmarking.
Born December 13, 1988 (age 21)
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 150 lb (68 kg; 11 st)
Nationality United States
Residence Murrieta, California
College Oklahoma State University
Turned professional 2009
No sooner had the greatest player in living memory come along but the American’s are now talking about the ‘next Tiger’? Step onto the podium Rickie Fowler, step off the podium past pretenders like Colt Knost and Ty Tyron. Rickie has been playing golf since he was a little kid. His Dad used to collect him from Kintergarden and bring him either fishing or golfing and both stuck. He was also a competitive dirt bike racer until a broken foot and blown out knee aged 15 quenched his motocross ambitions. Motorcycling’s loss was golf’s gain as Fowler progressed to being the world’s number one amateur during 2007.
Fowler was born in Anaheim, California and attended Oklahoma State University. Whilst there he progressed his game to the point where he represented the United States in their victory at the 2007 Walker Cup and again in 2009. On his second appearance he won all four matches he played in as the U.S. won by a seven point margin.
Now twenty years of age, Rickie has become the only player in history to be the NCAA's Player of the Year as a freshman, and one of the fastest to make waves on the main PGA Tour. He may be easily identifiable on the course with his flashy Puma gear but off it Ricky is reported to be well grounded and approachable. Whether he really is the ‘next Tiger’ only time will tell but try to catch Rickie next time he’s on TV. If you can that is!
Whats that on your ball?
4:13 is a bible reference. "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." This could either be a reference to God or the Diamana White Board 73 X shaft of his driver.
So why does Rickie dress up like an inmate of Guantanamo Bay? The answer lies in his collegiate allegiance. He went to Oklahoma State where he picked up a love for his orange team colours. Kind of like a golfing version of Holland’s Raymond Van Barneveld. Fowler has even had his woods painted orange!
Any Nicknames: “There's a couple. One of the main ones is Steek. Not very many people know about it. It was started two years ago after I played well at a tournament down in South Carolina called the Players Amateur. Chris Kirk, he was the one that gave it to me. He said I stuck everyone, and that kind of turned to Steek. There were only a very few guys that called me that, and it was the mainly the guys on the '07 Walker Cup team. So every once in a while here someone calls me that, and I know it's someone that knows something about me if they call me Steek.”
Winner Alright: Last week our tip Ben Crane came fourth at 90/1 paying €235 for a €10 each way bet
Valero Texas Open 2010 Betting Tips
TPC San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
The 2007 US Masters Champion attempts this week to win the Texas Open for a third consecutive time. To do so he will have to defeat fellow Major winner Ernie Els who headlines the field. In the five events leading up to The Players Championship last week Johnson was a cumulative 19 over with a best finish of 42nd. However something seemed to click at TPC last week as he achieved his best finish of the season. Won last season with a stunning birdie on the first playoff hole against James Driscoll. Pic: Zach has the Big Man in his corner
It has been a strange old season for Charley Hoffman. He usually makes his money on the West Coast swing early in the year but this season it hasn’t gone to plan. Had to take the five weeks leading up to New Orleans off with a wrist injury but emerged last week with a good showing at The Players when paired with Tim Clark. Shot a 63 in his third round of the Texas Open last year and has top tenned in three of the last four stagings here. Have you noticed him in green this year? Hoffman has a deal with Waste Management where he wears green on Thursdays, green slacks, shirt and green shoes. Pic: Charley: Often Likened to Brad Pitt, or is that Arm Pit.
Leonard hails from Dallas Texas and is somewhat of a home state specialist. He has won the Texas Open three times, twice at La Cantera in 2000 and 2001 and again in 2007 here in San Antonio beating Jesper Parnevik in a playoff. Tied for fifth last year, failing to go low in the final round. Last week was his first appearance since the Masters, so I expect him to return to Texas fresh for a tilt at another title. He’s the JR Ewing of the Texas Open!
Pic: Is it just me or does Justin Leonard look remarkably like Robin from the original Batman TV Show?
Another one to catch the eye at Sawgrass last week was Swedish PGA Tour regular Freddie Jacobson. Very steady of late since finishing sixth at The Honda and following with two top-25’s at the Shell Houston Open and The Verizon Heritage. Another top-10 last week at Sawgrass sees Jacobson head for Texas, where he tied fifth last year, with his confidence high.
Pic: Fredrik: not so good at growing a beard. I’ve seen more hair on a gooseberry.
JJ Henry has only won once on Tour at the Buick in 2006 but if you are looking for some each way value this week, he’s well worth a euro at 80/1. Never quite kicked on since representing the US in the 2006 Ryder Cup but came back on the radar with creditable performances at Hilton Head and Houston before his first top ten since last August at Quail Hollow. Though born in Connecticut Henry attended college and now resides in Texas. His best finish of the season would not surprise me.
Pic: JJ Henry; his mother loves him
2009 Zach Johnson
2008 Zach Johnson
2007 Justin Leonard
2006 Eric Axley
2005 Robert Gamez
2004 Bart Bryant
This weeks prize is the ingenious “Time To Golf” training aid (also known as the “prointhebag”). Invented by Ashford Castle teaching pro Tom Deveraux you can use it to set you up like a pro to draw, fade, lob, play bunker shots and much more. Check out “prointhebag” on youtube to see it in action. To get your hands on one text your answer with name and address to 087-2029040 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday next. Make sure also to catch us next week when we will have a fourball in Doonbeg up for grabs!
During the eighties and nineties I was one of the world’s best. I won my sole major in 1995 at Shinnecock Hills. I have just turned 50 and am beginning to enjoy life on the Champions Tour. I’m small of stature but this year is one of the biggest of my life when I have the honour of bringing my U.S. team to Celtic Manor.
Last weeks answer: The 17th at Sawgrass. Congrats to our winner Mary O’Brien from Limerick who wins a fourball in Ballyliffin Golf Club.
On The Tour Truck: Which Shaft?
On the tour truck we often get asked to rate the stiffness of shafts. Here is a handy little list of some of the most common shafts, starting from flexible for slow swingers to downright poker stiff for pro’s. Keep this handy to help you decipher which is best for you when buying new or used irons!
with Derek Murray from www.foregolf.ie
Slow play is infecting the golf world faster than the H1N1 virus. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a vaccine for it? One sharp jab in the bum cheek of the guy in front and whoosh, he disappears up the fairway faster than the Stig.
If you know someone who’s as slow as a tortoise with ABS do us a favour and give him a clipping of this article. Even better, club secretaries, enlarge this and post it beside the first tee next weekend.
If you hit the ball more than seven times on any hole, do yourself and partners a service by picking up your ball and placing it snugly in your pocket. This will reduce further damage to the ball, your confidence and reduce depreciation on your clubs. And just like old Roy Walker said on Catchphrase you will be “back in the game” on the next tee.
Penalty Points: 2
The Bag Of Sweets Rule
If you suffer from stray scuds and have a propensity to go OB off the tee always have a spare ball at the ready in your pocket. This avoids the awkward 30 seconds of silence while your partners stare at your Olympic walker impression en route to your bag to get a provisional ball.
Penalty Points: 2
The Good Walk Spoiled Rule
Always park your caddy on the same side of the green as the next tee. It seems like the most obvious little thing, alas it isn’t so. You wouldn’t ask the courier company to drop your new sofa on the neighbour’s lawn, so why leave your clubs so far away?
Penalty Points: 4
Just because you see the pros going through their pre-short routine on Sky Sports doesn’t mean you need to take an age with one eye closed staring at your shoes before you swing. Maybe you don’t know how fast the pros actually move between shots; it’s pretty rapid. Let’s leave the elaborate routines to the likes of Ronan O’Gara and Jonny Wilkinson.
Penalty Points: 4
The Caring Parent Rule
What do you call a parent who brings their little kids to the beach then faces the other way as the little ones run towards the sand and water? Downright irresponsible perhaps? Think of the golf ball as your baby. Next time you hit it towards the sand, water or even rough, don’t turn away; keep watching it until it lands. That way it will be so much easier to find when you get to it, shaving minutes off the round.
Penalty Points: 6
The Desperate Housewives Rule
Perhaps the most unforgiveable of them all. Four men on the 18th green shaking hands and idly congratulating each other like they have just signed the Good Friday Agreement. The green is not the place to begin discussing the Greek austerity package while the fourball 160 yards back the fairway curse your mother. Don’t let the 18th hole become like the main runway at JFK.
Penalty Points: Automatic Disqualification
Golf TV analysts roundly criticised Tiger Woods swing coach Hank Haney for tinkering too much with his swing. Analysing Woods’ swing as he struggled at Sawgrass Ewen Murray of Sky Sports exposed the technical flaws that are blighting his performances. NBC analyst Johnny Miller concurred stating "It might be a little harsh, but I really believe he (Tiger) needs to, every night, watch the U.S. Open in the year 2000 at Pebble and just copy that swing and forget the [Hank] Haney stuff. I mean, that was the best golf anybody has ever played in history. That's something he can copy, the tempo, the position at the top of the backswing, the follow-through position -- he's in all these awkward follow through positions and the club is stressed at the top of the backswing and it used to be quiet. His tempo was much better then and he should literally say, I am turning back the clock and I am not going to think of anything and I can remember what I was working on then.''
Police at the Players Championship were busy last week thanks to a series of odd events. A 36-year-old man attending the second round of the event had be subdued by a Taser when he refused to stop yelling verbal abuse at players. Drunken Travis Parmelee resisted arrest and became combative when approached. One million volts later and Parmalee was duly subdued before being taken into custody. That followed another strange incident following the first round when course superintendent Tom Vlach discovered a running car with two men inside on the par-3 eighth hole shortly after dark. Driver John Rinaldi refused to turn the motor off and get out of the car, prompting Vlach to call 911. The two were issued a trespass warning after no damage was found on the green. "That was a strange one," the responding officer said.
Playing with a thumb ligament injury Anthony Kim won the Houston Open, finished third at the Masters and was in contention at Quail Hollow until the pain felt like a knife piercing the area between his left thumb and index finger. The reason he kept playing with the injury? To pile up as many Ryder Cup points as possible before the inevitable surgery. Two days after surgery to repair the ligament, Kim said he would miss the U.S. Open and the British Open and reckons he will have one month to impress Corey Pavin. Within two hours after surgery, he was on the phone to the US captain. "I told him, 'Listen to this and I'm done, I won't bother you again. I want to play on your team so bad that the reason I played hurt is to make the team. I promise you if you put me on the team, I'm going to have a good attitude going over there. I'm the kind of player you want.", said Kim. In other news Pavin has named his four Ryder Cup assistants as Tom Lehman, Davis Love III, Jeff Sluman and Paul Goydos. A surprised Goydos said that his only Ryder Cup experience “was watching it on TV.”
Reverse Spine Angle
A Reverse Spine Angle is best described as an excessive upper body backward bend towards the target in the backswing. This swing characteristic makes it very difficult to start the downswing in the proper sequence. This swing fault is also one of the prime causes of lower back pain as there is excessive tension on the lower back.
Golfers usually struggle to get any width in their swing if there is tightness in the Lat muscle. Limited Thorax (chest) to pelvis separation is caused by reduced spinal mobility and shortened lat flexibility normally resulting in the spine going into a reverse spine angle. Other common faults related to this physical limitation would be loss of posture anytime the arms are elevated such as in the backswing and it can also limit a player’s ability to rotate their shoulders in the backswing and follow through. The Lat muscle spans the entire back and inserts onto the arm. Only 43% of golfers have good Lat length.
To stretch the lat muscle, place a pole at a full arms length from the body and assume golf posture. Place the right hand on top with your left hand below, then push with the right hand and pull will the left hand and feel the stretch in the lat muscle. Repeat on the other and place left hand on top with right hand below.
Log on to www.wayneocallaghangolf.com PGA Pro and TPI fitness instructor for more info.
Breaking News: TPC 2010 Champion Tim Clark’s so called “long putter” is really a 34 inch standard length blade. It turns out that it’s Tim who is incredibly short. Tour analysts say the diminutive South African may even be as short as actor Tom Cruise but this is yet to be confirmed. Our camera pictured Tim during the final round of the Players trying to get the attention of playing partner Charley Hoffman. Clark’s tiny voice is said to be barely audible to the normal human ear.
Only pulling your tiny leg Tim, we love you and well done in Sawgrass!
Mike McAllister of PGAtour.com reports on Tim Clark’s breakthrough victory at the Players Championship in Sawgrass.
“As he stood over his par putt on the 18th green at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday, his Srixon Z-Star ball 7 feet, 9 inches away from the pin, his long putter firmly tucked against his chest, his heart pounding and his nerves dancing, Tim Clark did his best to suppress the enormity of the situation.
While there was no guarantee this would be the putt to finally give him, in his 206th PGA TOUR start, that long-awaited first win, the South African knew. He knew this was a putt that could ultimately seal THE PLAYERS Championship. He knew this was a putt that could put to rest -- finally -- all those questions about whether he was made of championship material or was simply the perennial runner-up, the best player on TOUR without a victory, the feisty lovable undersized "pit bull," as Greg Norman called him last year at the Presidents Cup.
He knew that all the times he had battled self-doubt, feeling he didn't belong with the big boys, could very well be wiped away with this putt.
Clark knew all this, he knew that his closest pursuers were still more than 30 minutes away from finishing and that he would have to sweat out the possible career-changing moment. He knew this putt was huge ... and he knew he couldn't think about any of that.
Clark had to stay in the moment. Focus on the task at hand. Concentrate on the crispy patch of Bermuda grass between his ball and the pin, and think of nothing else.
Bo Van Pelt. You would be forgiven for thinking that with a name like that, he must be some kind of Dutch Pornstar. Alas there’s no such drama, the only “money shot” for Bo is holing a six footer for birdie on the last in Sawgrass. You keep on doin’ your “thang” Bo or as the crowds call him, “BVP, BVP, BVP.”
Notoriously irritable on the course (and utterly charming off it) Colin Montgomerie has unveiled his very own draconian crowd control measures to be implemented at the Ryder Cup in Celtic Manor this October.
Under Monty’s stewardship players will themselves act as marshals, carrying their own customized signs to control the crowds. Monty unveiled his crowd control sign at a recent media day at Celtic Manor.
Sources close to the Scot say he has gotten even more sensitive to noise and vibration of late. Playing in Dubai recently Monty was distracted by a beeping taxi. In New York. Apparently even he stirs his tea, traffic outside his home has to be calmed so as not to startle Captain Fantastic.
Pic: Monty: Chuffed With His New Sign
My very religious Auntie thought that in the TV ad Rory was saying that Lough Erne “is a great place to pray”. Mind you she also thought the old eighties Maltesers ad where they sang “There’s a lighter brighter world today Maltesers” was “There’s a lighter brighter world today Lord Jesus”.
Lynn McCool from Lough Erne has been in touch with a McCool little ad (sorry Lynn couldn’t resist) so here you go Lynn and congrats on your new job. Click on the pic to start “praying”. I await the postman with the fourball guys, the rosary beads are in the bag.
Rory McIlory, Lough Erne is A Great Place to Play, A Great Place to Stay
Pic: Michelle Wie attempting to “get relief” last week
The LPGA have come under severe criticism for cutting budgets in order to save the tour. Last week the latest luxury to be “slashed” were on course portaloo’s. “Everybody knows it is not humanly possible for women to play a round of golf without peeing. Its alright for guys” said one LPGA member, “If they feel need to tinkle mid-round they can hide behind a tree, pretend nothing’s going on, and open the hose. We on the other hand have to drop a ball, squat down and pretend to be examining it closely in order to ‘get relief’”. This latest urinary controversy looks likely to dribble on for some time yet.
Anthony Kim is out of the Players Championship. Kim says the ligament has become detached from his thumb, but didn’t go into details as to exactly what he was doing at the time.
"The injury has been well documented over the past month, and I've been doing everything I can to play through it, but it became more of an issue last week and needs to be looked at," Kim said holding a diamond encrusted Playstation Controller in one hand and a copy of Playboy in the other.
I had a chance to tackle the Monty Course at Carton House yesterday. The golf course is in fantastic nick in the build up to the 2010 Irish Seniors Open Golf (on June 11-13) where Ian Woosnam defends. I did notice the good folks at Carton are filling in some of Monty’s bunkers- I wonder if this was one of Woosie’s conditions of playing; he won’t need to abseil down into them now! Read the press release below for all the details
Woosnam to defend Irish Seniors Open title at Carton house
Ian Woosnam is hoping for more success on Irish soil next month when he defends the Handa Irish Seniors Open presented by Fáilte Ireland, which moves to Carton House in Killarney from June 11-13. The Welshman has enjoyed some of the best moments of his career on the Emerald Isle, winning back-to-back Irish Open titles in 1988 and 1989 before leading Europe to Ryder Cup glory at The K Club in 2006. He added the Irish Seniors Open title to that impressive list last year when he overturned a six shot deficit going into the final round to join American Bob Boyd in a play-off, eventually capturing the title on the third extra hole. That was his third European Senior Tour victory and helped him to finish runner up on the Order of Merit behind another former Ryder Cup Captain, Sam Torrance. The pair will battle it out again over Carton House’s Montgomerie Course – designed by the current Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie – along with Sandy Lyle and Irish stars including Eamonn Darcy and Des Smyth. Woosnam is targeting a victory in the €250,000 event as he attempts to reclaim the John Jacobs Trophy he won as leading Senior Tour player in his rookie season in 2008. “I’ve had some great success in Ireland over the years, winning the Irish Open twice and of course with The Ryder Cup in 2006, so it is always special to return,” he said. “I played in the Irish Open on the regular Tour on both of the occasions it was hosted at Carton House – in 2005 and 2006 – and it will be a tough test for us, just as Ballybunion was last year. “After the start I had last year I didn’t expect to win but it was great to overturn a six shot deficit on the final day. “My other two Senior Tour titles were in Poland and Russia and unfortunately I did not get chance to defend them so this is the first time I will play a Senior Tour event as a defending champion. “I’m still searching for a bit of form at the moment but with the run of tournaments we have coming up I’m hopeful I will be ready to defend my crown by the time we head to Carton House.”
THE PLAYERS Championship 2010
TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Tiger Woods 9/1
The odds are ever lengthening and Tiger Woods seems down but he’s never out. A missed cut last week will only embolden his resolve to win again early. The 2001 Champion top tenned last year but in truth struggled throughout. Much has been made of Tiger’s most recent comeback and poor form but I am still seeing the physically strongest player on tour and with flashbulbs finally fizzling out, TPC could be the stage for a victory. He doesn’t go “zero for three” often and he’s probably on the range in Sawgrass with driver in hand as we speak. I rarely tip up Tiger but these odds are ridiculous. Would you bet against him?
Phil Mickelson 10/1
Rather than talking about his own game, Masters champion Phil Mickelson paid a glowing tribute to Rory McIlroy both as a golfer and gentleman in his post round interview at Quail Hollow. Mickelson suffered from a stomach bug early in the week and admitted to still having “kinks” in his game but still contended finishing second. You get the sense that last week was only a tune up for Phil, assessing where his game was at, having not started since the Masters. He is spending today working with Butch Harmon in Jacksonville and I expect him to be on fire this week. Mickelson won at Sawgrass in 2007 and a showdown with Tiger at TPC is a real possibility.
Ian Poulter 30/1
A more measured Ian Poulter has emerged this season and he returns this week harbouring ambitions of victory. It’s Poults first outing since his tenth at the Masters after which he suffered a knee injury. A serial tweeter Poulter reported “its an old injury, flares up every now and then, especially when you play basketball, wont be doing that again for a while, be fit for TPC”. The WGC Accenture Champion will be hoping to pick up right where he left off this week as he makes the short journey to Sawgrass. Last year Poulter put in an excellent week at TPC finishing second. Beware the injured golfer.
Ben Crane 90/1
Another American who is somewhat of a TPC specialist is Ben Crane. Crane skipped last weeks Quail Hollow event to prepare for the “fifth major” where he opened with a 65 in 2009 and eventually tied for fifth. He also top tenned in 2008, finishing tied sixth behind Sergio Garcia in incredibly tough scoring conditions. Crane is one of the most consistent players on tour and a three time winner including this year Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. One to watch each way as most bookies will pay out for fifth this week.
Kevin Na 130/1
Kevin (Sangwook) Na is another Korean on form coming into this weeks TPC and represents real long odds value. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Na’s family emigrated to the United States when he was eight years old and he is now an American citizen. Known as an excellent tough course player Na top played well last week in Quail Hollow carding a final round 69 to tie for 14th. Na tied for third at last years Players Championship with a hot blade on the greens. Form plus course history equals value.
2009 Henrik Stenson
2008 Sergio García
2007 Phil Mickelson
2006 Stephen Ames
2005 Fred Funk
The Players Championship 2010 Betting Tips