April 2010

News from the European Tour

Johan Edfors carded an eight under par 64 to establish a two shot lead midway through the Open de España.

The Swede stormed out of the blocks with five birdies in his first seven holes and after a single bogey added four more on the way in to reach ten under at the halfway stage.johan edfors

That was enough to overhaul overnight leader Ricardo Gonzalez - who was amongst the day's later starters having shot a first round 67 - while England's Danny Willett returned to a happy hunting ground in Seville with a second successive 68.

The 22 year old vicar's son from Sheffield reached halfway on eight under par - two years after the then world number one amateur played at the Real Club de Golf course and in only his second European Tour start fired a third round 64.

"I think I got to about ten under that day, but the cameras then came and I got a bit scared," he said. "Now it's just a sign that you are doing well."

On his own admission the former Walker Cup player - he was a teammate of Rory McIlroy in 2007 - did not play well in Wednesday's pro-am.

But he now believes it was a blessing in disguise.

"I saw the brutality of the rough and realised you really can't go in it, so I'm not  hitting as many drivers as I usually do."

After only 11 putts in a back nine 35 he had four birdies and a bogey in his last six holes, hitting a nine iron to four feet on the eighth and two-putting the long ninth.

Edfors, whose three European Tour wins all came in 2006 as a Qualifying School graduate, was five adrift of Argentina's Gonzalez at only two under overnight.

Gonzalez, yet to resume, was down into a tie for fourth with Edfors' fellow countryman Mikael Lundberg and also Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts and Spaniard Carlos Del Moral.

Edfors doubled his lead to two when he struck a three iron to four feet on the short seventh and made his ninth birdie of the day.

Two closing pars for a best-of-the-week 64 made him ten under, with Willett joined in second place by Frenchman Raphaël Jacquelin when he birdied the last two for a 67.

"I probably aimed a little bit too high after my three wins in 2006," admitted the 34 year old Edfors, who had knee surgery at the start of February.

Paul McGinley and Mark Roe were not enamoured by Tiger Woods interview technique after his first round at Quail Hollow.  And who could blame them?  Tiger’s monosyllabic answers would be more at home in Court than in front of the Mike.  Tiger’s fans are desperately looking for any redeeming quality but their man isn’t cooperating just yet.

tiger woods interview technique

Report from the European Tour webiste

ricardo gonzalez Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzalez shot a seven under par 65 to take the clubhouse lead at the first round of the Open de España.

The 40 year old SAS Masters champion carded a hat-trick of birdies from the fourth - his 13th - and picked up another shot at the last to overhaul England’s Paul Waring.

The former English Amateur champion had moments earlier compiled a six under 66, but in contrast to Gonzalez the 25 year old bogeyed his final hole.

There was then a two shot gap back to Gonzalez’s compatriot Rafa Echenique on four under.

Waring had an eagle and six birdies on the Real Club de Golf course in Seville.

Gonzalez has happy memories of the venue - it was on the same lay-out that he won the 2004 Open de Sevilla.

Waring got off to a real flying start, grabbing birdies at the first three holes and then hitting a four iron to eight feet for an eagle on the fifth.

He was relieved to simply be playing in the tournament. Unable to get home from Dubai over a week ago because of the volcanic ash cloud, the Birkenhead golfer was originally given a new flight date of May 1.

"We managed to get out on Sunday night, though, and flew here yesterday," he said. "I'm really happy with that start."

He has yet to have a top-five finish since gaining a European Tour card at the 2007 Qualifying School.

Dane Søren Kjeldsen and Dubliner Peter Lawrie, winner of the last two events on the course, had to be content with 71 and 72 respectively.

sky plus box European Tour, PGA Tour, ETW, Inside the PGA Tour, Asian Tour Weekly- I watch them all on my antique Sky Box.  I have to, its my job.  Having heard all the ads, today I rang customer care to ask if it was possible to get my free Sky Plus box like George Hook (who is also in the sports journalism game). Just Sky Plus, no fancy HD required.  It didn’t matter that I had over 10 years loyal service to Sky, my rickety PACE box is having seizures and I pay 62 euro every month for the privilege; they want another 159 euro for the free box.  But hang on, if you’re new to Sky and never gave them a cent you do get the box for nothing.  What an absolute rip off, sky customer care is rubbish.

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Sky Sports report today on Lee Westwood’s advice to Rory McIlroy to get him back on track:

Rory-McIlroy-Lee-Westwood_2357151 Lee Westwood has urged Rory McIlroy to follow his head and heart as he looks to rediscover his best form.

After a stellar season last time around when he won his first professional event and he finished as European number two behind Westwood, the Northern Irish youngster has found the going tougher in 2010.

A recent mini-slump saw him miss his second consecutive halfway cut at the Masters earlier in the month and prompted McIlroy to announce that he could take an extended break from the game.

But he is back in action at the Quail Hollow Championship in North Carolina starting on Thursday, an event which also features Tiger Woods and the two players who finished first and second at Augusta - Phil Mickelson and Westwood.

"Rory should do whatever he wants," stated the Englishman when asked if McIlroy had spoken to him before taking up membership of the PGA Tour this year.

"That's something I've learnt over the last few years. If Rory wants to play on this Tour and be a member of this Tour then he should do it.

Rex Hoggard of the Golf Channel writes about Anthony Kim’s need for surgery and the fact that he doesnt seek refuge behind excuses.

“It’s going to happen, just a matter of when?” Anthony Kim reasoned with a dismissive shrug of his shoulders.
No, the young American wasn’t opining on when he’ll land that coveted f

Anthony Kim

irst major or his second title here at the Quail Hollow Club. Nor was AK talking about the Ryder Cup, although the biennial matches are never far from his mind, or the inevitable jetlag that is coming his way after an 18-hour journey on Monday from Korea to Charlotte.
The inevitable, at least in this case, is a surgical procedure to reattach a torn ligament in Kim’s left thumb, the byproduct doctors say of the wear and tear of the golf swing and a winching constant in his game for the better part of 16 months.

Anthony Kim won at Quail Hollow in 2008.

Not that Kim had any interest on a stormy afternoon of passing the buck for a driver that’s gone sideways. That’s not how things work in the Kim household.
“You don’t want to make excuses,” Kim said. “If there’s anything my parents taught me it’s don’t make excuses.”
Truth is there’s no need for AK to make excuses. Not when your spring card reads runner-up-T-22-first-third with an Augusta National high-wire high-card.
“I take a lot of Advil,” Kim said. “Feel like I should have their logo on my bag.”
His play should be giving his fraternity brothers angina, particularly considering that the strongest part of Kim’s game, his driving, has been turned into a liability in large part because of his injured left thumb.
Kim’s uber-cool swing coach Adam Schreiber toldGolfChannel.com that the problem comes with longer clubs. The extra lag causes the club to get stuck behind him and doesn’t allow Kim to fade the ball.
“When Anthony is playing well his strength is his driver,” Schreiber said. “He can drive it up the cart path. That’s what makes this so tough.”
For all those who have questioned Kim’s focus and dedication since he turned pro in 2006 consider this: for the past 16 months he’s been grinding away with a single-minded focus. Winning tournaments, majors? Sure, but what is driving Kim now from flinching swing to flinching swing is the chance to don his second U.S. Ryder Cup uniform later this year in Wales.

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tiger nike smaile ESPN reports on Tigers tee time

Tiger Woods will be paired with reigning British Open champ Stewart Cink and 2009 Masters champ Angel Cabrera for the first two rounds of this weekend's Quail Hollow Championship.

Woods, Cink and Cabrera will tee off Thursday at 11:40 pm GMT on the 10th tee. They have a 4.50 p.m. GMT  tee time off the first tee on Friday.

Woods is playing in his second tournament of the year at Quail Hollow after a 144-day layoff.

Associated Press also report that Tiger has not yet entered the British Open.

Tiger Woods has not yet entered the British Open, but organizers expect him to try to become the first player to win the title three times at St. Andrews on the tournament's 150th anniversary.


Woods is one of five players to have won the Open twice at the Old Course -- taking the last two majors played there in 2000 and 2005 -- and returned to competitive golf recently at the Masters after a long layoff following a sex scandal.

"Tiger Woods has not yet entered, but in a normal year he would not have done that anyway, so I am absolutely certain he will be with us," Royal and Ancient Club chief executive Peter Dawson said in a briefing Tuesday.

The deadline to enter is May 27. The British Open is July 15-18.


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.


Jim Furyk 20/1

bet jim furyk 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.

Anthony Kim 25/1

bet anthony kim 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.

Bubba Watson 60/1

bet bubba watson 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.

Lucas Glover 80/1

bet lucas gloverIf 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.


Past Winners

2009 Sean O'Hair United States

Wachovia Championship

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 examinerspindoc@eircom.net no later than Friday next.

This week’s question: Who Am I?

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

taylormade tour truck

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 inside taylormade tour truck 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

christna kim solheim cup 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?

paula creamer 340822 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.

Green Returns To Golf

clip_image002 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.

Ochoa Talks About Retirement


clip_image004Just 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.”

Cheap as Chips for Fraser

clip_image006After 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.clip_image002

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.

brighter rory leonard

Vital Stats   

Date Of Birth: 23/4/76

Residence: Banbridge

Club: Banbridge

Handicap: +1

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

clip_image002“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.

Favourite Film

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!!!!”

Favourite Course

Royal Portrush but Co Sligo runs it very close now!!!!!

What team do you support?

Manchester United

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

whats in the bag Rory Leonard 2010

Jason Bohn was the wire to wire winner of the Zurich Classic reports the Golf Channel

jason bohn Bohn won the Zurich Classic on Sunday for his second PGA Tour title, birdieing three of the final four holes at TPC Louisiana for a 5-under 67 and a two-stroke victory over Jeff Overton.

“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).marcus fraser

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.

pat jennings spurs 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.