Serial first round leader Steve Marino does not look too happy with what the designers of his personalised headcover came up with but we love it. Marino’s headcover was inspired by 80’s TV hero Grizzly Adams. Marino only plays with a “Number Seven” ball and when not on the course enjoys nothing more than rescuing trapped bears from deep ravines.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
- Louis Oosthuizen held his nerve and putted like an ogre to lead going into the final day.
- Paul Casey is lurking in second.
- Martin Kaymer was the model of German efficiency, He’s 8 under in third.
- Best shot of the Miguel Angel Jimenez’s off the road hole wall lob shot. Worst shot of the day was the one preceding it.
- Tiger’s on –3, Rors is one better, GMac is toast, and Darren is brown bread.
- Shane Lowry played nicely again, finishing on –4.
- Its Casey and Oosthuizen in the final group tomorrow.
Friday, July 16, 2010
- Those who feared the draw would favour yesterdays early starters need no longer worry. Probably the opposite is the case. It’s blowing a gale this afternoon. So much so that play had to be halted for over an hour.
- South African Louis Oosthuizen snuck into the clubhouse this morning on 12 under par. With everyone else going backwards Oosthuizen could lead by several shots tonight.
- Miguel Angel Jimenez holed everything he looked at today to shoot 67 and finish at 5 under.
- Rory McIlroy who has never shot worse than 70 around St Andrews may just about lose that record. It’s been a struggle in the early stages for Rory. Whether he can score on the down wind holes later remains to be seen.
- Veteran Mark Calcavecchia with his wife on the bag is in at 7 under.
- GMac played superbly also and sits at 5 under.
- Tiger three putted twice in his first three holes. Should never have changed the putter!
- The cut currently stands at par but there exists a slight chance of it coming back to 1 over. As it stands several big players are outide the cutline including Luke Donald, Angel Cabrera and Padraig Harrington who at time of writing is still in the early stages of the round.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
- The wind picked up for the afternoon starters. The forecast is that they may also have the worst of the conditions tomorrow. Ouch!
- Louis Oosthuizen shot a 65 in a major and still doesn’t lead. How mad is that.
- Three under today would get you a tie for 30th.
- Two broadcasters Nick Faldo (72) and Andrew Coltart (66) did pretty good.
- As predicted Lee Westwood’s calf is just fine. He on –5 with Tiger. Lee even hit a cheeky little stinger into 17.
- Tom Watson said of the benign course conditions, “she hadn’t got her clothes on today”, but Tom still found the going pretty hairy!
- Rory McIlory on fire. Shoots 63 even with a missed four footer on 17.
- Harrington struggling badly. Double on the first and struggling to even match par.
- Tiger: A few poor swings but lurking ominously. Finished five under with a couple of really poor short putt misses on 17 and 18.
- The weather: Flat calm for the morning starters. A huge advantage. Will have a big bearing given the wind is set to build this afternoon.
- Anyone not making four under or better today will feel there is a huge amount to do.
- John Daly shot a 66, six under to roll back the years.
- Tom Watson couldn’t recreate last years magic. Hovering around par, Tom will need to play well to make the cut.
And they’re off. The British Open has kicked off this morning and the foals are already galloping. Marcel Siem was first out of the blocks, carding 5 under after just 10 holes. If this Open is going to be dictated by the weather and what side if the draw the players are on, going low while the conditions are calm is going to be vital.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
From the official Open Website
Be under no illusion — Rory McIlroy is a serious contender this week. So says the Ulsterman who, since winning the Silver Medal for the low amateur three years ago at Carnoustie, has enjoyed a meteoric rise to become one to the world’s top-ten players by the age of 21. But despite the expectation that accompanies him, expectation that has made him second-favourite to win the 150th Anniversary Open behind a certain Mr Woods, McIlroy is anything but overawed.
“I knew I’d come in here as one of the favourites, but it doesn’t put any extra pressure on me because I know if I go out and play this golf course the way that I know I can, I should have a good chance,” said the 2010 Quail Hollow Champion.
“The Open at St Andrews is probably the biggest championship that we play, and it only comes around every five years. There’s a great atmosphere and a great buzz about the place and I’m pretty confident around this golf course.
“I feel as if I’ve played well here before, so hopefully it’ll be a good week for me, and if I can go into Thursday playing the way I have been the last couple weeks, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to contend come the weekend.”
Such assertions inevitably raised eyebrows at McIlroy’s pre-event press conference today [Tuesday], leading one journalist to question why the Northern Irishman was submitting himself to unnecessary pressure. McIlroy’s response was categorical:
“I’m not putting myself under pressure to perform,” he answered. “I’m just quite confident. I’ve played well on this golf course before, and you know, I feel as if I’m hitting it well coming in.
“It just feels like it’s the right time to go out and play well and win one of these big events.”
And his final preparation?
“I actually played County Down last night with my dad at about five o’clock in the evening before I came over here, which was great.
“County Down is in great condition, and there’s a lot of shots around there that I’ll probably need for this week, so hopefully that was good preparation.”
So brimming with confidence, but with his feet firmly on the ground, Rory McIlroy heads into his third Open Championship.
“It’s going to be a very special week,” he promised.
The Scotty Cameron that gave him 63 PGA TOUR victories and 13 of his majors was forced to stand down in the face of overwhelming product placement pressures. In an effort to make it sound in some way like it had nothing to do with Nike, Woods said he made the decision because he struggles on slower greens like the relatively flat putting surfaces at St. Andrews. The greens are large, too, so lag putting will be key and having a comfort zone with the speed is essential. Hmmm really.
"It's one of those things where I've always struggled on slower greens," Woods said. "I've always putted well on faster greens. This putter does come off faster with the new groove technology. It rolls the ball better and rolls it faster. "So these greens, I've had to make very little adjustment in how hard I'm hitting it compared to if I had my older putter.”
Cue the TV advert on Thursday morning.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Last week: Winner alright, we tipped Raphael Jacquelin 66/1 and Francesco Molinari 28/1 who paid out each way.
Luke Donald 35/1
Some analysts argue that the only thing stopping Luke Donald from winning majors is his nerve. With a win, a second and third place in his last five events however the Englishman’s confidence must be sky high. Played excellent in Adare in very tough conditions. Tied fifth in last years Open at Turnberry. With bookies paying out to seven places, Donald is well worth an each way look.
Now injury free, Ernie Els is having his best season in years. Winner of the WGC-CA Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Els dearly wants another Major win. Came close at the US Open, finishing third at Pebble Beach and hasn’t been outside the top eight in the last four stagings of the Open. After impressing the crowds at Adare, he missed the cut in Loch Lomond but that may just prove to be a blessing in disguise given the conditions. Ernie’s going to win a major this year; it may well be at St. Andrews where he tied second in 2000.
Rory McIlroy 16/1
Rors will take a lot from GMac’s win at Pebble and will be out to emulate his great friend’s achievement. “I know this place like the back of my hand,” says McIlroy of St. Andrews, a course on which he has never taken more than 70 as an amateur or professional in competition. The home of golf features in the Dunhill Links Championship every October and McIlroy has finished second, tied eighth, and third in the past three stagings.
Padraig Harrington 16/1
The nay-sayers are so preoccupied with Padraig Harrington’s so called slump it’s easy to loose sight of his two wins in the last three Open Championship stagings. The Dubliner is also twice a winner of the Dunhill Links Championship (2002 and 2006) which features two rounds on the Old Course. Few would also argue that Harrington has the best links land short game in the field. What a way a win here would answer the critics.
Lee Westwood 16/1
Westwood’s US Open tilt was hindered by the physical and emotional toll winning the St Jude Classic the previous week took. Reports are mixed regarding Westwood’s calf injury and it may just be that the whole scenario is acting as the perfect subterfuge in the build up to the Open. The most consistent European around this year and hungry for the Claret Jug after having had one hand on it at Turnberry last year. If Tiger could win on one leg then surely Lee can too. Beware the injured golfer and all that!
Best of the Rest
Maybe this season hasn’t hit the same heights as 2009 when he won three times, but Steve Stricker (33/1) did bag the Northern Trust Open back in February and returned for the first time since the US Open at the John Deere classic where he shot a first round 60 and blew away the field. You have to go all the way back to the 1998 for Stricker’s best major finish, second behind Vijay. Justin Rose (22/1) is another form player in the field having won The Memorial and the AT&T National, Rose took part in the JP McManus Pro-Am having had practically no sleep. A well rested Rose will be at The Open with the equivalent form as Graeme McDowell going into the US Open. Not beyond the realms of possibility.
Long Odds Glory
If you’re looking to have some fun with some of the longer odds players in the field, take a look at Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher at 125/1. The Scot has finished in the top six in four of his last six events including fourth last week in Loch Lomond. High in confidence, an excellent links player and a man high in confidence Gallacher could produce a dividend with the likes of Paddypower paying out up to seventh. Another Irishman that thrives on confidence is Shane Lowry at 100/1. A great Open qualifying round and a cheque for 100k last week have the Esker Hills man up to high dough for St. Andrews. Is the home of golf all that dissimilar to Baltray?
Player Profile and What’s In the Bag at the British Open 2010: Ernie Els
Born 17th October 1969
Residence George, South Africa; Wentworth, England
Height 6ft 3in
Weight 220 lbs
Parents Hettie & Neels
Children Samantha Leigh (26th May 1999),
Tour Wins: 62
(PGA Tour 18
European Tour 25 (7th all time)
Japan Golf Tour 1
Sunshine Tour 15
Ernie Els is one of the most successful golfers in the history of the game, having won more than 60 professional tournaments, including two US Opens, an Open Championship, and a record seven World Matchplay titles. The international scope of his victories is second to none. He is one of golf’s truly global players.
Ernie was born in South Africa on 17th October 1969. As a youngster, he was outstanding in soccer, cricket, rugby and tennis. At the age of 13 he won a significant regional tennis event, the Eastern Transvaal Junior Championships. A year later aged 14 and playing off a scratch handicap, Ernie won the world junior golf championship in San Diego, California. Ernie was awarded his Junior Springbok colours in 1984, the State President Sports Award in 1987, and in 1988 his full Springbok colours.
His classic, powerful golf swing is universally admired, and aspired to, from both sides of the ropes. And while his easy-going nature masks a fierce competitive drive, it is all of these qualities, along with an engaging on-course persona, that have helped make Ernie one of the most popular golfers in the game today.
What’s In The Bag 2010 Ernie Els
It’s British Open time again folks and we’re heading back to the home of golf, St. Andrews in Scotland. It could be argued that this Open is wide open as no clear favourite has emerged in the run up. The winner could be young or experienced, a bomber or a tactician; it really is that open.
There are no tricks to St. Andrews, the course has not essentially changed during the lifetime of the field, save the lengthening of the 17th “Road Hole”, which probably will prove to be inconsequential in terms of scoring in any case. Nine out, nine home, what you see is what you get. There is no rough, a consequence of having to cater for the busloads of visitors to the course every day who have to be conveyor-belted through the 18 holes. Rough would slow down pace of play and take away from the enjoyment of the golfers; neither an option for the cash register in Bonnie Scotland.
St. Andrews however does have its defences and whoever is going to win will have to possess someone vital attributes. The first is course management and experience. Although wide open, the fairways are dotted with pot bunkers in all the right places and landing in one costs one stroke, to hack back out. When Tiger won in 2000, he didn’t hit a bunker all week. Padraig Harrington who played two practice rounds over the weekend reported the fairways to be like concrete and though recent rains will have softened them somewhat, shot placement whilst taking into account where the ball will run to when it lands will be vital. Harrington thinks the course sets up well for the golfer with a high ball flight who can control his ball-spin. One player with that skillset comes to mind immediately, but he’s off in Florida, on his wife’s doorstep, staring at the ground. Taking that into account, it’s wide open.
The wonderful thing about St. Andrews is that it is not ageist. That “run” that we mentioned removes most any advantage the big batters have and brings players like Tom Watson, who came so close at Turnberry last year into the frame with realistic chances. I recently saw Tom Watson’s instructional DVD “Lessons Of A Lifetime”, and was simply stopped in my tracks with the ability and knowledge of the now 60 year old player. On a side note, that DVD is by far and away the best I have seen and trust me, I have seen thousands! Veteran and past winner John Daly also seems to be reborn, his beer days behind him and his tummy permanently tucked in. He has a wonderful short game touch, another of the ingredients needed at the home of golf.
Of the Irish raiders, nobody knows the course better than Harrington. It hasn’t happened for Padraig yet this year but he knows how to bring home Majors. Another of that ilk is Graeme McDowell, who is still the form Irishman in the field. Two wins in three events and McDowell is a links expert. Whether he can put his Pebble Beach success aside and just say “no” to some media requests this week will determine how he fares. Spare a thought too for Rory McIlory, he has seen his mate GMac do the business and get this, McIlroy has never shot more than 70 in St. Andrews. If he keeps that record intact, we may be on the way to same class of a “Paddy Slam”. Enjoy!
There are quite a few pieces of new kit floating about on Tour at the moment. Quietly moving through the hands of the top players in the world these prototypes are being rigorously tested to see if they will make it, first on Tour and then perhaps also in the general market place. Every now and then I would catch a glimpse of a very special wedge design or a shaft that is a one of a kind, made specifically for a professionals requirements. It is very rare to see this kind of thing and usually it is reserved for the top 10 players in the world. However last week while the Tour Truck was stationed at The JP McManus Pro-Am I came across this very tasty Taylor Made Rossa Daytona by Kia Ma fully pimped up. The white "ghost" paint job and custom pressed shamrocks was specially made for the man himself. On the back of the head the three tungsten weight ports were paint filled in the green, white and orange Irish flag colours. Kia Ma is a Vietnamese putter specialist who looks after all the top end putters for Taylor Made. His design work is recognised as some of the finest craftsmanship currently available. He hand builds the custom putters in use at the top levels on Tour and his team spends countless hours in the pursuit of perfection for his Tour players. This one of a kind priceless putter for JP McManus proves you don't have to be one the best golfers in the world you just need to be one of the most generous.
with Derek Murray, Foregolf.ie
The X Factor is the difference in the number of degrees of rotation the shoulders turn in relation to the hips. The bigger the difference the more powerful your swing is likely to be. For example if your shoulders turn 95 degrees and the hips turn 45 degrees you will have an X Factor of 50 degrees.
Any restriction in thoracic spinal mobility will make it very difficult to g
et a big X Factor. Limited thorax to hip separation is another prime cause of golfers not achieving a big X Factor which leads to shots lacking power.
Torso turns on one leg is a great exercise to achieve a bigger X Factor. Stand on one leg, cross the arms over the chest and get into golf posture. Try to rotate the torso back and forth for up to 25 seconds without moving the lower body. Repeat on the other side.
Jim McLean Demonstrates The X-Factor During The Downswing
Log on to www.wayneocallaghangolf.com for more info.
Click on pic to view Final Round Highlights from the 2010 Barclays Scottish Open.