Winner alright: Last week Francesco Molinari finished tied third paying out each way at 24/1
Simon did his very best over the past few weeks to play his way into the Ryder Cup team to the extent that a win last Sunday would have guaranteed him an automatic spot. The weather and the tension were all too much as a clearly agitated Dyson didn’t produce his best. His sixth place finish make it two top-10’s in successive weeks following his return to form at the US PGA Championship. Finished tied for seventh in the mountains last year with two rounds in the low 60’s.
Bradley’s best result of the season was tied third at the BMW in Munich back in June. Although he has tour wins Bradley is probably better known for squandering final round leads in dramatic fashion. However one of those victories came at Crans-Sur-Sierre in 2006 where he won by eight shots from Francesco Molinari. The following year Dredge put in a sterling defence in finishing third and almost claimed victory again last year only to come up against an unstoppable Alex Noren in the final round. Scored a top-10 again last Sunday at Gleneagles so watch out for an in form player on his favourite course this week.
Although still quite anonymous on the leaderboards German Marcel Siem is having his most consistent run of finishes for some time. His final round 70 in tough conditions saw him climb to a tied seventh finish in Scotland last week make it a fifth consecutive top-40 and sets him on course to contest the Race To Dubai final this season. Siem has a bit of Swiss history when he tied second in 2006.
Aussie Rumford seems to be really hitting some form and came from nowhere last week to almost steal the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. Having won The Omega Masters in 2007 after a playoff with Philip Archer a good performance this week will surprise nobody. Rumford seems to have knuckled down to some practice after missing the cut in the Czech Republic and his Scottish form was more in keeping with his top-10’s at the Irish Open and the Scandinavian Masters.
Even making the cut lately has been a battle for Phil Archer. At the start of last week he languished at 158th on the Race To Dubai list knowing that unless he started performing his Tour card was gone. A tied tenth finish in Gleneagles thanks to an excellent final round in tough conditions brought his earnings to just over the €100,000 mark and if he can squeeze another cheque this week might just survive the drop. Archer brings good form to a course on which he has bitter sweet experiences having lost a playoff to Brett Rumford in 2007. A long odds shot but worth looking at the odds of finishing in the top-10 on Wednesday night.
Full name Edoardo MolinariThe only hope Edoardo Molinari had to airmail his way past the “Fed-Ex Four” was to win at Gleneagles. And he did. Playing with brother Francesco in the final round Edoardo produced the arguably the most dramatic finish on the European Tour this or any year birdying the last three holes to claim victory.
Born 11 February 1981 (age 29)
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Residence Turin, Italy
Turned professional 2006
European Tour Wins 2
Hip mobility allows a golfer to efficiently execute the backswing, downswing, and follow through phases of the golf swing. Limitations in hip mobility due to a lack of flexibility in the muscular surrounding the hips or actual joint range of motion will limit the golfer in the execution of these phases within the golf swing. It is essential to exercise to address both the flexibility and range of motion requirements of the hip. One such exercise is hip circles and over time will improve hip mobility for the golf swing.
Lack of mobility in the hips can lead to faults in the swing such as swaying or sliding. Both faults are as a result of poor hip mobility and cause the hips to move more laterally and not rotationally due to this restriction. These faults result in loss of power and the player having to over rely on the timing of their hands to try square the clubface at impact.
To perform the hip circles exercise place both of your hands on the floor directly under the shoulders. Position both of your knees directly under the hips, eyes looking down, and back flat. Begin the exercise by lifting the right knee slightly off the floor with the knee bent at 90 degrees. Press the right knee backwards maintaining a bend in the knee. Continue the movement until the right knee is in line with the right hip. Slowly rotate the right knee outward in a circular motion completing the movement when the knee is returned to the starting position of the exercise. Perform 15-20 repetitions and repeat with the opposite leg. Think about drawing a circle with the knee during the execution of this exercise.
Log on to www.wayneocallaghangolf.com for more info.
There were plenty of cool things to see at The Barclays last week. The first is the practice balls. Unlike the European Tour where all the range balls are Titleist Pro-V1’s, on the US Tour every brand of ball used by the field is available on the range. The balls are handed out in colour coded bags and after use are collected washed and painstakingly resorted by tour staff. Another spot on the range was Ian Poulter’s bag which was stuffed with three different drivers and putters. Is this a sign that Poults is unhappy with his weaponry? Let’s hope he gets a setup he likes in time for Celtic Manor. Speaking of the Ryder Cup venue, a member contacted us last week to say the course has been battered by rain recently and has really suffered badly. The greens staff are going to have their work cut out for them to make it presentable before October’s matches. To finish this week we have the news that huge hitting US Ryder Cupper Bubba Watson is expected to trade in his pink Ping S59 irons for the new S56 model after Celtic Manor.
Looks like Rhys Davies is set to “drive off” at Celtic Manor but not in the way most think. Yes Davies is set for the most coveted non playing role at this year’s Ryder Cup as he to be Colin Motgomerie’s personal buggy driver. The Welsh putting wizard who lives a half hour from the Celtic Manor resort answered the call to be Monty’s personal cabbie on Sunday afternoon. It’s not the first time a future star has been invited to join the team as Martin Kaymer did so during the last matches in Valhalla. Rumour has it that Davies is to have a cashmere Chauffeur’s cap for his driving role.
The mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of 25 year old LPGA player Erica Blasberg went some way to being solved last week when a suicide note was finally found. Detectives investigating the golfer's death searched the car of Blasberg’s Doctor Thomas Hess, which was parked in Blasberg's driveway, and found a suicide note and Xanax pills obtained in Mexico. Hess, who found the body, told Nevada investigators he hid a suicide note and pills because he wanted to spare her family embarrassment. The doctor detailed time they spent together playing golf and watching TV in her home in the days before he found her dead on May 9th with a plastic bag over her head.
As if the drama in Europe couldn’t be topped Padraig Harrington and Paul Casey were paired together at the Barclay’s on Sunday when news of Captain Monty’s picks came through.
Casey: "Caroline’s (Harrington) a great friend, She would have said something to me if I had been picked. So at that point I kind of knew that I hadn’t."
Harrington: "It was an odd occasion, all right, in that sense," Harrington said. "You know, on one hand I’m happy for myself, but I did genuinely feel sorry for Paul. It’s not a great situation to be in … but as I said, once you’re not on the team automatically, you do leave yourself up to this. And it’s not a nice place to be, I can tell you that."
Casey: "I’m not going to stand here and sort of plead a case for why I should be on the team. It’s done and dusted. I tried my hardest and I didn’t make it."
Harrington: "I won’t normally play the age card but this time it obviously suits me. It’s amazing how it came down this year.”
Though Tiger Woods soared up the rankings with a good Sunday performance at Ridgewood spare a thought for the players who do not advance to the second stage of the Fed Ex Cup playoffs having dropped outside the top-100 after The Barclays. They include Robert Garrigus, he of the sweaty bum at the St Jude Classic where he crumbled in the playoff against Lee Westwood. Also chopped were German Alex Cejka and amiable Jerry Kelly. The remaining 100 players now advance to this week’s event, the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Colin Montgomerie, faced with arguably the most difficult decision any Captain has had regarding wild cards, has named Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald and Edoardo Molinari as the three men to complete his line-up.
They join automatic qualifiers Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Ross Fisher, Francesco Molinari, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Peter Hanson in Europe's Ryder Cup Team.
Montgomerie was left with five players in the Official World Golf Ranking Top 22 chasing a pick.
No brothers have played in the same match since Bernhard and Geoff Hunt in 1963 and Edoardo Molinari piled on the pressure with a three-birdie finish to win the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in dramatic fashion.
In Harrington's favour was that he was the only three-time Major winner amongst the candidates.
The biggest pluses for Donald, who missed the last match following wrist surgery, were that he has lost only one of seven Ryder Cup games, has a perfect four wins out of four in foursomes, was third at The Celtic Manor Resort in June's Celtic Manor Wales Open and was ranked tenth in the world.
Casey was one higher than that and his head-to-head record also strengthened his hand. He won the World Match Play at Wentworth in 2006 and was a finalist in the last two World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play in Arizona.
Rose scored three points out of four on his debut, partnering Poulter to two wins and beating Phil Mickelson in the singles. He also had two brilliant US PGA Tour victories earlier this summer.
And then there was Edoardo Molinari, whose brother clinched his debut on Thursday when England's Ross McGowan pulled out of the final counting event through injury.
They won the Omega Mission Hills World Cup together last November and Edoardo, winner of The Challenge Tour last season, also staked his claims by winning the Dunlop Phoenix title in Japan and the Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond - as well as coming second to Ernie Els in the US PGA Tour's Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Only eight of the American side are known at the moment. Captain Corey Pavin adds four wild cards on Tuesday week and Tiger Woods is among those waiting for a call.
After announcing that Sergio Garcia will join the team as a fourth Vice Captain, Montgomerie went on to explain the reasons behind his three picks.
He said: "Padraig Harrington has won three Major Championships in the last three years...the stature of Padraig...he is someone we feel that nobody in match play golf wants to play.
"He is a great competitor and someone that will bring everything to The Team that we know about European golf.
"Luke Donald has played seven times in Ryder Cup and has lost only once.
"And Edoardo Molinari, what can one say about his performance today?
"In my time on the European Tour, over 24 years, I have never seen a finish like that. All credit to him, having to win and doing just that."
Montgomerie suggested he already knew his three picks before the Gleneagles event but admitted this evening he may have been stretching the truth.
He said: "I was lying at that stage!
Its a big day for Simon Dyson at Gleneagles. He needs to win to gain a spot in Monty’s lineup. What chance of a Captain’s pick? Unfortunately none whatsoever. Started well yesterday with a four under round but a couple of dodgy drives down the stretch cost him two shots. Cometh the hour cometh the man?
“I have been through the stages of disbelief and shock, to anger and ultimately grief over the loss of the family I so badly wanted for my children.”
"I felt stupid as more things were revealed -- how could I not have known anything? The word 'betrayal' isn't strong enough. I felt embarrassed for having been so deceived. I felt betrayed by many people around me."
"I never suspected, not a one.” “For the last 3½ years, when all this was going on, I was home a lot more with pregnancies, then the children and my school.”
"Initially, I thought we had a chance, and we tried really hard.”
“I also feel stronger than I ever have. I have confidence in my beliefs, my decisions and myself."
Nordegren admitted that she found some of the parodies of her on Saturday Night Live, South Park and other shows “hysterical,” though inaccurate.
"There was never any violence inside or outside our home. The speculation that I would have used a golf club to hit him is just truly ridiculous. Tiger left the house that night, and after a while when he didn't return, I got worried and decided to look for him. That's when I found him in the car. I did everything I could to get him out of the locked car. To think anything else is absolutely wrong."
“I know he is going to go down as the best golfer that ever lived, and rightfully so. I feel privileged to have witnessed a part of his golfing career."Technorati Tags: elin people magazine quotes
The only one of the top ranked players who doesn’t have an injury, divorce, mental issue or crisis with his game? Winner in 2007 and tied second last year. Winner of the John Deere and Northern Trust this year and top 20 last time out at home in the USPGA, Stricker has to have a super chance again this week.
Pic: Stricks the kid
I know I know I know you think I’m crazy but just roll with me on this one. Fredrik comes into his own when its time for the kids to go back to school. Played great last year and just got pipped at the post when he failed to break par in the final round tying sixth. Shot a 62 in the final round of Wyndham last week so a top ten at 9/1 this week is not beyond the realms of possibility.
Jacobson: Some guys just dont grow beards. I’ve seen more hairs on a gooseberry!
The last time the Barclays was played at Ridgewood (this week’s venue) KJ Choi started off with a 74 giving the rest of the field a head start. He only finished three back after three rounds in the 60’s and I don’t expect an older and wiser Choi to gift those first round shots this time around. Playing solid if unspectacular recently with a lowest finish of 46th in his last three starts.
Pic: “I fillish top ten no ploblem!”
Pic: Leonard looks the slimey guy from “Mad Men”
Now we can exclusively reveal the terms of the divorce, specifically what Elin is set to get. According to court documents Elin Nordegren is to receive:
Filmed during the Irish Open 2010 at Killarney. Boy these guys are good! Could Paul McGinley, David Howell, Rhys Davies or Marcel Siem skim a ball across the lake in the Gap of Dunloe and hit a nine inch gong 200 yards away? Check out the 200 yard gong shot below.
Betting Preview: 2010 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles
Last Week Simon Dyson finished tied 5th at 25/1 paying out each way.
Usually the mental toll winning takes out of a player rules him out of contention the following week but Peter Hanson will be determined to cement his automatic Ryder Cup position with a good result again this week. Hanson’s win last week in Prague was his second of the season having also triumphed in Mallorca. Hanson’s consistency this season has been staggering; he has only missed one cut and only finished over par three times in 18 events. Performed excellently in Gleneagles in 2008 when he tied third behind winner Gregory Havret.
Pic:In his younger days Peter was quite the popstar. He is the one back left.
Nobody on the European Tour works as hard as Francesco Molinari; he’s our version of Vijay Singh. I have deliberated hard as whether this pick should go to the improving Simon Dyson but having weighed up the stats am sticking with the Italian. It’s Francesco’s first time back since the USPGA Championship and after a Summer which included a second, third and fourth place finish surely a win must be coming soon. Interesting too that brother Eduardo (also at 24/1) , who won already this season at Loch Lomond can conceivably join Francesco in the automatic Ryder Cup places with a win.
Pic: Francesco celebrating beating Jeff Overton in the singles at Celtic Manor?
Wall is the typical journeyman pro forever teetering on the brink of losing his card. He seems to have the knack however of avoiding the drop and the €100,000 cheque earned for finishing fourth at the Czech Open will help towards ensuring he again finishes in the top 90 on the Order of Merit as he has done for 12 consecutive seasons since he graduated to The European Tour through the 1997 Qualifying School. Wall has improved his finishing position in each of his last 5 events and having top tenned here in 2008 I expect Wall to contend again this week.
Pic: Anthony Wall aka Robo-pro
Havret hasn’t appeared on Tour since the Irish Open where he finished 39th. The high point of the Frenchman’s season was his second place finish at Pebble Beach when fate just didn’t fall on his favour. Havret won the Johnnie Walker in 2009 and made a spirited defence last year finishing tied third. It might be a stretch for Havret to contend having not played tournament golf for a month but his Gleneagles course form is just too good to ignore.
Pic: Gregory gets on the wrong side of another Sergio spitting incident.
The results just haven’t come lately for Soren. With four top-10’s from his first seven events of the season it looked like this was going to be his best year yet but the results dried up ever since. It’s very strange considering Hansen’s stats as regards putting, greens in regulation and driving accuracy are better this season than ever before. Perhaps good memories from Gleneagles will help this week as he recalls tying second in 2006, third in 2007 and tenth last season.
Pic: Yep Soren was the cute one front left who pretended to play the drums. Mmm Bop, please stop.
Early odds from betfair
Residence Dublin, IrelandPeter Lawrie’s excellent final round in Prague last Sunday brought him to a three man playoff with eventual winner Peter Hanson and Gary Boyd. The Dubliner’s performance earned him a cheque for €173,710 and cemented his standing as one of Ireland’s most consistent professional golfers. Lawrie turned professional in 1997 having completed a golf scholarship at UCD and was capped at every level for Ireland as an amateur. He has been an ever present on the European Tour since 2003 having earned his stripes on the Challenge Tour (where he won the grand final) and the Asian Tour. Indeed such was Lawrie’s impact on the European Tour in his debut year he received the prestigious Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award.
Attachment Castleknock GC
Date of Birth 22/03/1974
Place of Birth Dublin, Ireland
Height & Weight 6ft 11st (183cm 70kgs)
Family Wife: Philippa (m. 2003), Children: Jessica (2005), Amelia Jane (2007), Philippa (2009)
Turned Pro 1997 (plus 2)
European Tour Wins: 1
Note from Donal: GolfCentralDaily are delighted to welcome Tony Westwood, PGA Professional on board as our guest teacher. Tony is rapidly getting a name for his ability to convert the many technical aspects of the golf swing into fun and informative articles.
First, switch your computer on and “Google it”. Then work through the 31,600,000 options you have to find the best explanation for you.
I don´t think so. All the options will describe the perfect grip, not “YOUR” perfect grip. Having coached the game for over 25 years I have noticed that hands come in many shapes and sizes and finding the best fit is not always easy, it is however not impossible.
You will understand the difference between a strong or weak grip, if you do not find out, Google will help. Your next task is to explore what the two extremes have on your golf shots and the key is to be extreme. Turn both of your hands too far to the right and to the left and discover what happens to the ball. Learning in this way will help you to find the best position for your hands on the golf club.
Pic: Looking at the pictures from left to right you can see the options from the hands being too much to the right (strong) to the hands being too fat to the left (weak). “YOUR” perfect grip will be somewhere between the two extremes.
Creating an awareness of how the position of your hands will influence the shape of the shot is essential to understanding what options are available to you as a golfer. Your practice sessions will become much more FUN when you spend time exploring the possibilities.
Great golfers do not always have great grips. Here are some facts:
· Ben Hogan won nine major championships with a weak grip
· José Maria Olazabal won two majors and over €11.6 million in prize money with a weak grip
· Bernhard Langer won two majors and €12.6 million in prize money with a strong grip
· Paul Azinger won one major and $14.6 million in prize money with a strong grip
· David Duval won one major and $18.2 million in prize money with a strong grip
The interesting fact of the list above is that David Duval completely lost his game when he tried to change his grip and swing for a more orthodox method.
So, beware of the advice of golfers who say your grip is too strong or too weak, the key is understanding how your grip influences the ball flight.
On The Tour Truck: The Japanese Nippon Invasion
Nippon shafts have been around since 1995 and are experts in lightweight steel shafts and have cornered the market with stable steel shafts under 90 grams. The trouble with making a steel shaft lightweight is that it becomes too thin in its wall to handle swing-speed. Nippon are very succesful on the LPGA and Seniors Tours where a slower smoother swing exists. However this shaft maunfacturer is moving into the Tour grade shaft arena that is dominated by True Temper who own Dynamic Gold and Rifle/Project X. With the KBS Tour shaft making waves with the Tour players who are looking for a low flighted, soft feel product Nippon sent me through a new Tour Prototype steel shaft for testing. It is nameless for now and but has a really nice smooth feel through impact and has a much lower, more penetrative flight than the NS950 or 1150 Tour shaft that is in the range. There is also plans for a new screen printed graphic on the back of the shaft so it can be identified easier. Nippon is huge in Japan and looks like it could be about to get huge over here.
After a great Major season for Rory McIlroy, his attention is now divided between this week’s Barclay’s and the small matter of the Ryder Cup in October. Asked whether he would like to face Tiger Woods at Celtic Manor, McIlroy said "I would love to face him. Unless his game rapidly improves in the next month or so, I think anyone in the European team would fancy his chances against him." Rors also thinks Pavin will pick Woods stating that he didn’t think it “would go down too well in the States if he wasn't picked." When asked if Tiger deserved a place on team USA, McIlory was not convinced. “There are a lot of American players playing better than him at the minute but it's always an advantage to have Tiger Woods in your team," he told the Beeb. All will be revealed by Corey Pavin on September 7th.
Fred Funk won the fourth of the “Champions Tour Five” with victory at the Jeld-Wen Tradition on Sunday. The eight time PGA Tour winner, now 54, also has six Champions Tour victories the best of which came in winning the 2009 US Senior Open. Funk emerged from a tightly bunched field of which eight payers either had or tied the lead on the back nine at the Crosswater Golf Course in Sunriver Oregen with a birdie on the 16th and a clutch two putt for par on the final hole. He won by a shot from Michael Allen and Chien Soon Lu
Tiger Woods will play this week’s Barclay’s, the first of the four playoffs, but has indicated that his schedule thereafter depends on his performance at New Jersey’s Ridgewood Country Club. Woods currently lies 108th on the FedEx Cup points list but only the top 100 after this week advance to the second playoff event in Boston, a tournament which ironically benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation.
Former European Tour winner Arjun Atwal claimed his first PGA tour victory in a thrilling finish to the Wyndham Championship. The Indian had no PGA Tour status whatsoever having been injured last year and had covered thousands of miles driving to Tour stops and attempting to gain entry to tournaments via Monday qualifying. At the Wyndham it paid off as an exhausted Atwal showed huge bravery and heart throughout the final round culminating in his chipping and putting for par at the last to hold off David Toms by a single shot. The fairytale win doesn’t get Atwal a playoff spot but it does gain him a two year PGA Tour exemption and a place in the field for next year’s Masters.