Betting Preview: USPGA Championship
Odds From Betfair
Winner alright: Last week we tipped Hunter Mahan who was available at 56/1 and better on Betfair. This week betfair has a whole host of categories to choose from so here are some of the guys I feel will contend this week.
Let’s keep faith with Padraig Harrington again this week because I still feel he has a big week in him. Drove the ball poorly again during the opening rounds at the WGC last week but the event finished on a bright note with a final round 66. Harrington seems to expending so much energy and concentration extricating himself from all sorts of golfing predicaments these past two weeks. I think it would be nice if Monty just came out and publicly declared that Harrington is one of his picks for the Ryder Cup as it would take that tightening noose from around his neck. Padraig will like the links layout of this course and won the big Wannamaker Trophy in 2008.
Germany’s Martin Kaymer is nicely nestled into Colin Montgomerie’s nine automatic qualifiers. In winning the Abu Dhabi Championship in January, the German claimed his fifth European Tour title and aside from the USMasters (where he never made the cut), Kaymer has never been outside the top 10 in his other major appearances. He also seems very fond of links type layouts having contended at St. Andrews this year, lost a playoff in the 2008 Dunhill links and won on the linksy Golf National in Paris in 2009.
“Shrek’s” win at St. Andrews is to many of his South African fans just the tip of the iceberg. Before his reappearance at last week’s WGC, Louis’ only post Open appearance was at the Scandinavian Masters where he tied fourth. The progression of his performance at last weeks WGC event in Akron was also very impressive. After an opening 72, Oosthuizen went 70, 68, 65 in the next three rounds and he has the temperament to continue that form this week and contend again on a course not that dissimilar to the home of golf.
Former Open Champion Justin Leonard is one of those longer odds hopefuls to consider this week. Leonard played solid last week at Firestone, his second round 66 was vintage. He hit on average 75% of all fairways and he also scrambled brilliantly. Leonard loves Whistling Straits and he may feel it owes him one, having lost a playoff here in 2004 to Vijay Singh. Leonard hasn’t really contended since January so an each way gamble may be more prudent.
It looks like Rory has a little work to do between now and Thursday to get his swing back “in the slot” but if there is to be a major in this young man’s trophy cabinet, the USPGA might just be his best opportunity. Rory will have learned from his Friday 80 at St Andrews the value of hanging in there and even then he finished tied third. Rors also had a great USPGA last year where he again tied third behind YE Yang.
Defending champion YE Yang will undoubtedly get a huge amount of press attention this week but it’s countryman KJ Choi that we fancy for a good performance this week. Choi is winless this season, but he has managed two second place finishes and had a good run at the Masters. He caught my eye again at the Scandinavian Masters and closed with a solid 68 last week. Top tenned in the USPGA at Whistling Straits in 2004.
Ernie Els seems to be bang in form before this, the last major of the golfing year, having warmed up nicely at the WGC last week. The USPGA hasn’t been Ernie’s best major, he hasn’t won one, but I do recall he came very close the last time the USPGA was held in Whistling Straits. On that occasion, he came up just one shot short of a playoff from where Vijay was victorious. Els also finished third in 2007. If he gets his putting shoes on this could be Big Easy major with many of the other top players struggling.
When Danny Brassil first picked up a golf bag as a caddy some 13 years ago, little did he imagine that he would climb all the way up the ladder to the rung entitled “Director of Golf” at one of the most prestigious and just a little bit controversial clubs, The Old Head of Kinsale. Under Danny’s direction, the Old Head has been reinvented, revitalized and reintroduced to the Irish golfing public.
Pic: Danny with Luke Donald at Old Head prior to the 2010 British Open
The Old Head is essentially a private club, a function of the fact that the vast majority of the membership are American high rollers who pay a hefty dowry to play on average twice a year. The business model is based on the member and visitor having a wonderful experience both on and off the course. In order to provide this in general the club only permit golfers in the gates. That policy may not be to everyone’s taste, but it does make sense when you actually see the product. It’s a true hideaway where the likes Arnold Palmer and his missus can pop in for a week and go under the radar. And hey, if Sergio Garcia and his Dad want to shoot down from their room nestled beneath the clubhouse and out on the course at eight o’ clock on a Summer’s evening with three irons and a bucket of balls, then off they go. In peace!
The course over which Danny Brassil presides is laid out in a headland setting the equal of which I have never seen. No words in my limited vocabulary could describe the terrain but I think my initial cry of “Holy Sh*t!” whilst standing on a cliff-top tee summed it up quite nicely. The ferocious cliffs are used at every opportunity as fairways and greens teeter on the brink of vast chasms. Of course not every hole can be a cliff-top white knuckle ride and the course does take the odd inland detour but even then there’s absolutely nothing straightforward. This is the real deal, a roller coaster of a golf course and let me tell you, it’s tough. Vinny Jones tough. I normally walk off a golf course saying “If I played it again, I would not make the same mistakes”, but that’s hardly applicable in this case. Firstly I’ll be lucky to play it again and even then I’ll probably make a whole bunch of new errors. The course record around Old Head is 68 and with the likes of Luke Donald and Sergio (when he was good) Garcia unable to better it, you know it’s a test.
My excuse was that I found it so hard to concentrate on my golf with all that was going on around. More than just a golf course, this place is also a geography and history lesson combined; and with Danny doing a passable impression of a leaving cert teacher I learned about everything from blow-holes formed by millions of years of battering waves to incredible sea stacks to the French smuggler’s steps of the 18th century and even a little about lighthouses. There’s even bird sanctuary where hundreds of species flourish in the cliffs whilst birdies of a golfing kind prove elusive on the green carpet up above.
Danny Brassil and The Old Head welcome green fees and societies and if you get the chance to tee it up there, jump at it. And if the man himself offers to play you for money, politely decline. There’s more than one shark basking beneath the lighthouse!
Log on to www.oldhead.com for more info.
Warming up and stretching will increase the ability of the muscles to create more power and speed in your golf swing and prevent potential injuries. Warming up is essential to quality performance. Athletes of every sport prepare for their game with progressive loosening exercises. Golf is a sport that requires careful physical preparation and warming up properly stretches out any stiffness and discomfort and helps prevent injury and the frustration of a slow start by building rhythm and timing before you start your round.
A great warm up that can be done in the car park or first tee is the two club swing. Begin by taking your normal stance. Slowly swing two clubs back and forth in a slow rhythmic fashion and be sure to inhale on the backswing and exhale on the downswing and follow through. In the process you will gradually increase your body temperature.
Log on to www.wayneocallaghangolf.com for more info.
Typically on Tour heavy and stiff shafts are the order of the day. However in the past few months there has been a move by a few of the players to a lighter weight very stiff (XX flex) shaft specification. This has largely been as a result of more successful manufacturing processes that allow for the materials that are used to make the shaft being made very strong but very light. In the past the weight of a graphite shaft on Tour would need to be 80-90 grams in order to make it strong enough for the speeds of the Tour players. The shafts you would use as club golfers are normally 55-65 grams. But if the shaft is lighter the head goes faster and the ball goes further. A couple of Tour players moved to a very lightweight XX flex shaft that was 46” long in a quest for more distance. The problem was though that the accuracy was very poor and keeping the ball straight was a massive problem. Most of the Tour players have since moved back to a heavy shaft for better balance and strength and shortened the length to 44.5” and are now happily hitting more fairways. Long and light was also creating problems for the players with their individual swing rhythm.
with Derek Murray from www.foregolf.ie
“I've been saying for years that it's only a matter of time before Tiger Woods breaks Jack Nicklaus' vaunted record of 18 career major championship titles.
Tiger Woods clearly needs help with something. Might a putting guru like Dave Stockton be able to lend a hand?
I've been saying since Woods' personal scandal broke that as a player with greater mental fortitude than his competition, he would successfully be able to separate his private issues from his professional exploits.
I've been saying all season that even if Woods loses the No. 1 spot on the Official World Golf Ranking, he remains the most talented player and will prevail in this marathon, if not the sprint.
I've been saying in recent months that any struggles Woods is undergoing are simply temporary, that he will be able to fix his swing, make more putts and focus better, resulting in victory on any given week.
And now I'm saying this: I was wrong.”
After a quiet week at the Irish Open the tills are ringing again at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational where we once again brought home the winner. Hunter Mahan was 56/1 on Betfair when we tipped him on Monday morning. Here’s what we wrote:
“ If you’re after some long odds glory one man to consider is Hunter Mahan. He’s streaky at best but on his day can do the business as he showed at the Waste Management Phoenix Open back in February when he won. Much improved form playing solidly in St. Andrews followed by 17th at the Canadian Open. This will be Mahan’s third Bridgestone appearance, he top tenned in 2009.”
WGC Bridgestone Invitational 2010 Third Round Highlights
Acushnet Company, manufacturer of Titleist and FootJoy, have filed a lawsuit against Camilo Villegas and Taylor Made. Acushnet are seeking to block Villegas and TaylorMade from speaking about any future contract between them. Pic: Villegas on his way to court
The Colombian is exclusively under contract with Acushnet to play the Titleist Pro V1 golf ball, and wear FootJoy golf shoes and gloves, and is prominently featured in Titleist ads. The suit claims Taylor Made interfered with Villegas’ current contract, which still have five months to run when its CEO announced “that Villegas will join the TaylorMade tour staff beginning in 2011”, He also said that Villegas will join “other members of the renowned TaylorMade Tour Staff,” including Kenny Perry and Mike Weir, both of whom are actually also under contract with Acushnet Company to play Titleist golf balls and wear Titleist or FootJoy golf gloves.
Golf professional these days, more like spoiled Hollywood actors if you ask me. I mean who does Lee Westwood think he is, pulling out of the USPGA Championship, just because his calf isn’t feeling too good. Since when is the welfare of Westwood’s farm animals directly related to his golf game? Surely he should just call the vet, and maybe stay with his little bovine pet until Monday before flying out to the USPGA. Whatever next? Rory McIlory to pull out out of the Ryder Cup because his pet dog has a slight cough?
Bridgestone Invitational Round two Highlights
WGC Bridgestone Invitational 2010 Round One Highlights
Tiger Woods 7/1
Woods is the King of the Firestone Country Club having won four of the last five stagings and slump or no slump, he remains the man to beat this week. Tiger is not one who takes losing lightly and the words from the States is that he has working feverishly on his putting since St. Andrews in readiness for this week. Everything is on the line here, including his world number one spot and he doesn’t intend to give that away lightly.
Luke Donald 38/1
Luke Donald is Atlantic hopping his way to his best season ever. Since his appearance at the Verizon Heritage in April where he tied third,Donald has clocked up 5 top tens in his nine starts since. On another two occasions in those nine he finished 11 th. Donald has some “previous” at Firestone too, in his four appearences he has finished in the top ten twice. A real contender.
Padraig Harrington 26/1
Whether he admits it or not last week’s performance in Killarney will have given Padraig Harrington a huge confidence boost. Granted he didn’t win but his scrambling prowess and ability to find birdies and an eagle down the stretch last Sunday were very positive. Firestone owes Harrington big time also as is final round collapse gifted Tiger Woods the title last year. Harrington ended up tied second.
Ross Fisher 36/1
Ross Fisher didn’t just putt well in Killarney he struck the ball better than he has in ages and the confidence gained from his Irish Open win will really give him an advantage coming into these two huge weeks. As he proved last year Fisher is a man for Major occasions as he contended on Sunday for all four and he proved in Ireland he has the calm temperament to close out any tournament. With new caddy Phil “Wobbly” Morbey on the bag, Fisher is one to watch this week and next.
Hunter Mahan 56/1
If you’re after some long odds glory one man to consider is Hunter Mahan. He’s streaky at best but on his day can do the business as he showed at the Waste Management Phoenix Open back in February when he won. Much improved form playing solidly in St. Andrews followed by 17th at the Canadian Open. This will be Mahan’s third Bridgestone appearance, he top tenned in 2009.
Every player on the PGA Tour has each shot tracked by a system called ShotLink. With Tiger due back on tee this week in Akron, we’ve had a look at his data from 2010 to assess just exactly what, in anything, has gone wrong with game.
Tiger's average driving distance this year is 297.3, good enough for 12th on tour and only a yard short of his 2009 average. His driving accuracy is 60 percent, meaning that he's hitting six out of 10 fairways. So, no real problem there.
Greens in Regulation
This stat essentially records how many birdie opportunities you're getting. Last year, Tiger's GIR (greens in regulation) was 68.46%, 16th on tour. In 2010, he's at 65.56%, slipping to 91st on tour. More telling is a related stat called "proximity to the hole," which is an average of how close to the pin a player has been landing the ball. In 2010, Tiger has been landing the ball, on average, 2.5 feet
farther from the hole. That does not seem like much, but it's enough to drop him from a 2009 ranking of 55th to a 2010 ranking of 141st. Being on average 2.5 feet farther from the hole, over the course of a season is an enormous disadvantage. That's because the statistics on putting are pretty simple: The closer you are to the hole, the more putts you make.
Approaches from 175-225 Yards
This is where Tiger excels. He’s ranked first on tour in this stat and it’s his remarkable ball striking from this range is what keeps him in tournaments when other departments of his game are lagging. It's Tiger's approach shots from closer in that have been dragging him down.
A successful scramble is when you get up-and-down after missing the green—you chip and then you sink the putt. This is where Tiger's game has deteriorated the most in 2010. Last year, Tiger was ranked first in scrambling—he got up-and-down 68 percent of the time. This year, he's at 53 percent, which would rank him 170th.
So is Tiger’s putter really the cause of his downfall. Last year, Tiger made 54% of his putts from eight feet—better than average but not amazing. What is incredible however is that he made 96% of putts from four feet. Of the limited stats that are available so far this year Tiger’s ranking has fallen to 129th on all putts less than 10 feet. The foundation of his great putting is in danger of eroding.
So it seems Tiger’s putting is indeed at the core of his problems. The kind of putting excellence under tournament conditions that Tiger has shown in years gone by requires incredible focus over the ball. Could it be that Tiger has been distracted lately?
Iain "Clarkie" Clarke the European Tour manager, Mike Moberg from Cleveland/Srixon USA and yours truly opened up the doors of the tour truck to service the range of players who play the Cleveland and Srixon clubs at The Irish Open. Along with the clubs we also store and distribute the gloves, balls, towels, wet-gear and umbrellas ahead of each and every tournament. Shane Lowrey dropped by for his balls, gloves and hats. David Howell is in much improved form and picked up his new golf bag and had some grips done along with a few tweaks to his iron settings. Looks like it helped too, David wet out and shot 64!
We put together some new wedges for Damien McGrane and Philip Walton to deal with the conditions at Killarney. Ganzalo Fernando Castano (Gonzo) stopped off for a chat and to get some new wetgear and hats. Top Irish amateur Paul Cutler gets a few clubs built and we checked on local pro Danny Sugrue to make sure his new conforming wedges are working well. I also picked up a few KBS black nickel wedge shafts for Glasson pro Colm Moriarity that look sweet. With the practice ground so far away from the trucks we couldn’t do a lot of range work this week but Mike spent a lot of time at the short game area with a bag of special wedges just in case any of the players need some help. I also had a lot of fun grinding some new wedge designs I've been working on and help Clarkie pack up the
truck ahead of it's trip back to the UK ahead of the next tournament. It's all go, go, go on Tour.
with Derek Murray from www.foregolf.ie
While we nearly got the first ever European Tour 59 when Ross Fisher was a roll last Friday, he came up just short and had to settle to 61. However stateside on Sunday night Aussie Stuart Appleby shot the magic 59 on his way to stealing the Greenbrier Classic from a fidgety Jeff Overton. These rounds pale into insignificance compared to that of a round of 55 by Homero Blancas. Blancas played on the PGA and later on the Champions Tour. He had 13 birdies and one eagle, and had only 20 putts!
If Ross Fisher was the villain of the piece in Killarney denying local hero Padraig Harrington, Bernhard Langer did likewise in winning the U.S. Senior Open. Langer was unruffled by the partisan crowd that was rooting hard for hometown hero Fred Couples as their final round played out more like a Ryder Cup singles match than a major championship. The German shot a bogey-free three-under 67 on Sunday, and completed a trans-Atlantic double by winning his second straight Champions Tour major.
Tseng finished on a total of 11 under to claim the trophy at Royal Birkdale and cement Asian dominance in the Women’s game. Last year Tseng bought Annika Sorenstam’s house in Lake Nona and marvelled at the Swede’s enormous trophy room. Now with three majors if her own and a handful of Tour titles, Tseng is beginning to fill it up fast!
A push slice is a shot that starts right of the target and curls further right in
the air. This is a shot that loses a lot of distance and is caused by an in to out swing path with a open clubface.
If the hips extend early or thrust towards the ball in the downswing it can cause the club to drop too much on an inside path which can cause the push slice. I see this fault time and time again at my academy. Lack of hip mobility can cause early extension or it could be just that the player simply does not know how the hips should rotate in the swing.
A great drill to help understand how the hips should rotate in the swing is to rest a Swiss ball on your rear end while holding it against a wall, then using a pitching wedge rotate the hips back and through making sure that the Swiss ball does not drop. This drill can be practiced at home and could add yards to your shots.
Pictured with the 3 Irish Open Winner Ross Fisher is manager Conor Ridge and caddy Phil “Wobbly” Morbey. Morbey has now won Irish Open’s with Fisher, Ian Woosnam and Thomas Bjorn (when he stood in for his regular caddy) at the 2006 Irish Open.
Padraig Harrington was fulsome in his praise for Ross Fisher following the climax of the 3 Irish Open.
Ross Fisher played an immaculate final round of 65 to hold off a charging Padraig Harrington in the final round of the 3 Irish Open in Killarney. A clutch par putt on 17 meant Ross could enjoy his walk up the final hole with a two shot lead. Fisher’s win also gets into the magic 9 for Monty’s European Ryder Cup and sets him up nicely for a crack at the WGC and USPGA events over the next two weeks.
Ross Fisher leads the Irish Open 2010 after the third round but not by as many shots as looked likely. Fisher got off to a flyer with four birdies in his first seven holes but a double and two bogeys brought him back to 12 under.
Fisher is one shot clear of our Tuesday’s “Hot on the Range” pick Chris Wood who carded a 66 alongside an increasingly dejected Rory McIlroy who ended the day on 2 under after a 76. Francesco Molinari is also just one behind Fisher and still looks dangerous.
Padraig Harrington is just three back on 9 under. He pulled his drive into the hazard on 18 and a after a drop out and long iron to the green he produced one of the highlights of this year’s Irish Open by draining a 30 footer for par. His playing partner Gonzo Castano took double on the hole to finish 10 under and though down, he like Harrington, is certainly not out. Pic: Padraig before his third round with some rubber tubing attached to his knee. Apparently it help ensure nobody nicks any of his clubs!
Is there a bit of slacking going on with the rules officials or were they busy doing doughnuts in their buggies, because yesterday Padraig Harrington was kept waiting 15 minutes for a ruling on the 17th. His partners had actually played the hole out before the rules official arrived. Also I came across an early morning player (high on the leaderboard) giving himself a drop off a walkway. No problem there. However the player in question measured his club length without taking off the headcover. I later asked a rules official (no names mentioned of course) was it a penalty? He told me it would be advisable for the player to take the headcover off, but it wasn’t a problem. So its okay to grab 6 inches extra to get an uphill lie next Sunday in the club championship? Sounds dodgy at best ref. Hardly decisive. He must have gone to the Martin Hansson school of refereeing.
Francesco Molinari canned his first ever five footer (it seems) this evening to climb to 9 under and into sole second behind Ross Fisher at the halfway stage of the Irish Open. Mama’s gonna be so prouda!
That’s the number of lives Padraig Harrington had as time and again he got himself out of trouble yesterday. The most exciting Houdini act came on 17 when Paddy sliced it into the ferns, looked at it for 15 minutes, hacked it out, pitched it up and chipped it in to raise yet another massive roar from the crowd.
The wait for a second made cut to add to his Open de France weekend will have to continue for former Irish Open winner Michael Campbell. Positioned at one over after his opening round and playing in the best of the Friday conditions, Cambo drove it as crooked as a New Delhi taxi driver as he racked up the blue numbers. France was his only weekend worked since October 2009.
The Killeen course in Killarney has staged the Irish Open on two previous ocassions, both won by Nick Faldo in 1991 and 1992. Halfway leader Ross Fisher cites Faldo as his role model.
The chances of having another amateur winner of the Irish Open this year have gone after the second round. Limerick’s Pat Murray just “woke up without a swing” this week after a hectic South of Ireland championship last week and was joined by Alan Dunbar and Cian Curley south of the cut line. Paul Cutler kept interest before slipping back around the turn to also miss out.
- The last time I saw Ross Fisher hit the ball this well was on the range at the 2008 European Open in the London Club. On that occasion “Fish” won by seven strokes. The greens in Killarney suit the Surrey man too and he’s enjoying being able to have a crack at his birdies putts for a change. He may even do an “Oosthuizen” and be out of sight come Sunday.
“Drive her like she’s stolen”, was the cry to Rory McIlroy as he jumped into his black 198 mph, Audi R8 V10 juice guzzler. Ror’s jammer has had a taste of the high life in Killarney this week, posing for pictures in the car park and just being downright gorgeous. Better not tell John Gormley though, he might wallop a carbon tax on Kilarney for the weekend.
“I had to stand there and watch chip-ins and bombs”, “I got a lesson these last two days on how to get up and down.” GMac discussing Padraig Harrington’s sometimes miracle escapes.
Rory McIlroy’s Swing in Konica Minolta Swing Vision Style Slow Motion at the 3 Irish Open
The caddies on the range say to watch the player who has a new caddy on his bag. There’s something about that fresh relationship that yields fruit. And so it turned out for David Howell team up with caddy John Mulrooney to shot an opening round of 64 to lead in the clubhouse on 7 under. Its been a tough number of years for the former Ryder cupper but he’s excited about his swing now being “better than it was in 2007”.
In a case of extreme hard luck Robert Rock has been disqualified from the Irish Open in Killarney. Rock’s “immoveable object” image at the Irish Open was set to continue when he compiled an opening round of 65. Rock who had been surrounded in alignment rods as he struggled with his swing on the practice range, chipped and putted like a magician. However, as I understand it, it was discovered after the round that Rock’s score on 14 and 15 had been entered in the wrong order and he was disqualified. Pic: A happy Rock in the media room after his 65, minutes before he learned of being DQ’d
Richard Green leads after the morning session of the first round of the Irish Open. The Aussie shot 65 and afterwards praised the “old style” nature of the Killarney course. “Here and the Emirates in Dubai are the only two courses of this type” said Green. “Its a shot makers course and it feels very much like the course (Huntingdale in Australia) I grew up on”. Until last week Green had been struggling with his driving, but after a phonecall to a friend in the UK from Sweden, Green was re-acquainted with his old driver at midnight on the Wednesday. That seemed to do the trick and a confident Green is excited about his prospects this week.
It’s what everybody is talking about on the range. The par on the Killeen course is 71 and if the weather stays fine, it may just be on. Five players have shot 62 this year on the tour including Rhys Davies, who’s in the field this week.
Just what has enticed Justin Rose back to the Irish Open for the first time since 2002? According to the Englishman “it’s the date, the venue, the vibe, the crowd and the world ranking points”. What about the dough Justin? Don’t you know it’s the only event on Tour where you can come second and still make off with all the loot!
The oldest winner of the Irish Open was Sam Torrance who was aged 41 years and 319 days when he won in Mount Juliet in 1995
He has the physique of a second row but Englishman Chris Wood’s swing is “right in the slot” in the lead up this weeks event.
Italian Francesco Molinari was burning the midnight (well late evening) oil on the practice green in Killarney. With brother Eduardo putting some daylight between them in the Race To Dubai, Francesco must getting a roasting when the family sit down to Mama’s pasta.
Fourteen year old local lad Peter McEnery became a pro for the day as part of the Make A Wish foundation. Peter got to play with Padraig Harrington, and says he has arranged to take him on in a chipping competition later in the week! When asked what was the highlight of his day Peter replied “watching my Dad carry my bag!”
It seems the entourage around Rors is growing with every passing day. On the range today his handlers and management were assembled around him like All Blacks doing the Haka. Pic: Guess Who?
Pretty much all the tour players are tied into club contracts but when it comes to shafts, every player is free to choose the ones he feels suit best. On the range at the Irish Open, there appears to be an overwhelming move from away from Project X towards KBS shafts in irons and players such as Peter Lawrie are using a KBS prototype in his driver. The shaft takes its name from its inventor Kim Braly and came onto the scene about three years ago. Since then it has grown into a worthy rival to Project X with stars such as Ernie Els gaming them to victory this year. After all Braly is the original inventor of the Rifle, Rifle Flighted and Project X shafts even if they were wrestled from his hands by the manufacturers who finally wielded them against him.
Its seems Braly may have the last laugh though as every major club manufacturer (except Nike) has made KBS shafts an option in their product line. They also are the stock shaft of Taylormade R9 irons.
KBS supremo on the European Tour Malcolm Clark is an extremely busy man with tour pro’s clamouring to get fitted up on the range. According to Malcolm, the KBS shaft feels slightly softer in the strike than the Project X without actually being so. However the real advantage of KBS are that they are “frequency matched”. In a set of irons, the frequency reading of the shafts (measured by clamping the grip end in a special device and twanging it) in the clubs will normally increase from longest to shortest club in the set. In KBS shafts that the increment of frequency increase from longest to shortest clubs in the set will be exactly the same from club to club.
Will the winner of the Irish Open be a KBS man? Whatever happens it’s a huge success story from a man who never spent one cent on advertising.
Peter Lawrie’s KBS Driver Shaft
Betting Preview: Irish Open
Rory McIlroy 8/1
Proved his Quail Hollow 62 was no flash in the pan with a stunning Tghursday 63 at St. Andrews. Perhaps a more experienced McIlroy would have hung on in there on Open Friday but his tied third finish was overall a satisfactory result. Fourth in France before the Open, Rory plays well on courses where accurate iron play is rewarded. Killarney may just suit him down to the ground and Rors is sure to have the following of the home support.
Robert Rock 50/1
Rock’s seventh place finish at The Open brought to four his top ten haul since the beginning of June and though he ran out of steam last week in Sweden missing the cut, he remains one to watch this week. Rock bagged all the swag last year though he lost the playoff with Shane Lowry and always seems to be there or there abouts in Irish events. Expect to see lots of caddy Jamie Lane painstakingly lining his putts again this week. So close in Estoril and Celtic Manor recently, a win may not be far away.
Justin Rose 15/1
The last time Rose played in Ireland, he had barely two hours sleep before he teed it up. That JP pro-am appearance was his last before missing the cut at the Open but expect a refreshed and focussed Rose to show at Killarney this week. Winner of The Memorial and the AT&T National Stateside, a win this week would cement Rose’s place in Monty’s European Team for Celtic Manor. Rose hasn’t played the Irish Open since 2002 and he’s not popping in this time to make up the numbers.
Jamie Donaldson 66/1
I was very impressed by Jamie Donaldson’s final round of 68 in Sweden last week. His tied eighth finish ended a run of three straight missed cuts for the Welshman and he heads to Killarney with renewed confidence. Indeed it was that very attribute that brought Donaldson on a run five top tens in six events from the end of March to the end of May. The SAS Masters in Sweden had the August bank holiday slot in the 2009 season and Donaldson finished second, so if you’re a believer that a golfers form goes in annual cycles, stick a fiver each way on Jamie.
Brett Rumford 100/1
Aussie Brett Rumford showed some serious bouncebackability tying fourth at the Scandinavian Masters last weekend after being disqualified at the Scottish Open. Rumford took a bogey four on the short 17th in his second round, but a three was put on his card by playing partner Sam Little, who was marking it. The 32-year-old from Perth made the cut with one shot to spare, only to be ejected shortly after. The 2004 Irish Open winner may not be the most consistent player week in week out but second and third places in Qatar and South Korea this season, proves he still has game.
Best Of The Rest
Peter Lawrie 66/1 missed the cut last week but remains one of the most consistent players on Tour. If ever he had a chance to add to his 2008 Open de Espana win, the more manageable Killen track may just provide it. Spain’s Alejandro Canizares 50/1 makes his first appearance since his final round 77 dropped him down the leaderboard at the Open having had a super tournament up to that. I’ve been impressed by Canizares since his Iberian second and third in May and he continued his form tying second at Paris National.
Irish Open 2010 Betting Tips