September 2010

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The Dodgy Behaviour Award


Goes to Bubba Watson who took a real shine to patting partner Jeff Overton on the backside. To each their own I suppose but someone should have stepped in when the pair held hands during the parade for the opening ceremony!

Best Vice Captain Award

olazabal vice captain Goes to Jose Maria Olazabal. The Spanish Ryder Cup legend was in Wales for a corporate engagement and just popped down to Celtic Manor on Friday morning to wish Monty and his pals luck. No sooner had he appeared but Olazabal was bustled into the Team room and after giving a hugely motivational speech was conferred with the title “Fifth Vice-Captain”. Sweet!



Worst Dressed Player Award

ricky fowler grandfather

Whoever designed the USA team outfits this year needed to be brought “down a back alley and lynched”! The Saturday violet cardigans were particularly stylish, back in 1952. The garb was never going to work on Rickie Fowler, he looked like he had raided his Grandad’s wardrobe. Apparently the cardies came with mothballs in the pockets!

Worst Commentator Award

Has to go to Paul Lawrie. The 1999 British Open champ was drafted into the Sky Sports commentary team and his boring monotone drawl made the likes of Alan Shearer look a polished pro. One of the theories surrounding Lawrie is that Sky put all the best analysts on their 3D coverage. Dour, Dull, Disaster: there’s 3D’s for Lawrie. Should be P45!

Funniest Moment Award

ryderjenkins_2509598  Miguel Angel Jimenez’s face when Catherine Jenkins took to the stage at the opening ceremony. To the Spaniard’s pure delight the Welsh beauty stopped in front of him to perform “In the arms of an Angel” and his grin was priceless. He was with that Angel in heaven!


Best Pointless Celebration Award

overton eagle Goes to Jeff Overton after holing his second shot for eagle in the Saturday fourballs. “Booya” kicked off 30 seconds of wild yelping between Overton and Bubba Watson. It didn’t manage to rattle Jimenez and Hanson though; they won two up.


Worst and Best Shot Award

Stewart cink sinking puttCink’s boned bunker shot on the 15th Saturday nearly decapitated two spectators and handed the Irish duo of GMac and Rory the lead with three to play. The big American quickly put it behind him though as he rifled in a clutch birdie on the 17th which ultimately won he a Matt Kuchar a most unexpected point.


Ingenious Course Design Award

water hazard It may have cost over €50 million to develop the Celtic Manor resort and they’ve come with some ingenious innovations in course design. Check out the moveable water hazards that be created and removed on the 18th fairway by simply turning on and off the tap.

Best Bonding Award

team wigs rory ryder cup practice Goes to the European Team who took all the fizz out of a brewing Rory versus Tiger handbags story by donning Rory wigs at the start of their practice round. What I want to know is where did they manage to get a dozen Rory wigs in Newport!



Best Wag Award

allison micheletti Goes to Martin Kaymer’s squeeze Allison Micheletti who looked pretty good trudging through the mud in white trousers and designer wellies. Heard she’s going to join the ICA next week!

Best Chant Award


The 2000 strong crowd who gathered in the stands around the first tee sung their heart’s out making it more like Croke Park than a golf tournament. The best chant had to be the revised version of the “There’s only one” song to accommodate Francesco and Edoardo. “There’s only two Molinari’s, there’s only two Moliari’s, two Molinariiiiis!”


just another manic monday

First pic of victory at the 2010 Ryder Cup.   Report below from Ryder

Europe have won The Ryder Cup by 14 ½ - 13 ½ after a day of tension and drama before Colin Montgomerie’s team came through at the death.
Ultimately it was Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell who secured the winning point after a dramatic win over Hunter Mahan on the 17th  but it came right to the wire.
In the top match, Europe’s talisman Lee Westwood was defeated 2 and 1 by Steve Stricker and the US immediately put another point on the board when Dustin Johnson comfortably beat US PGA Champion Martin Kaymer.
Ian Poulter put the first European point on the board with a win over Matt Kuchar by a 5 and 4 margin and then Rory McIlroy, in the second group out, secured a vital half with Stewart Cink.
Luke Donald then added another point with a final hole win over Jim Furyk and behind the tension was mounting. Miguel Angel Jiménez was magnificent in beating Bubba Watson but Ross Fisher struggled on the back nine to have his lead overturned and he was beaten by Jeff Overton 3 and 2.
Francesco Molinari came up against an inspired World Number One as Woods ran in five birdies and an eagle in a seven hole stretch from the ninth to win that match 5 and 3 to put the score at 13-11.
Four matches were left at that stage, Europe up in two and the US up in two with the target of 14 ½ points within reach.
But the drama was simply intensifying. Phil Mickelson added another point for the US and then Rickie Fowler somehow got a half from three down with three to play to get a half after birdieing each of the last four holes against Edoardo Molinari.
Harrington succumbed to Zach Johnson moments later and the scores were tied – 13 ½ - 13 ½ with just one match left on the course.
US Open Champion Graeme McDowell was the man charged with bringing the winning point home and he was sensational. The American’s battled so well but McDowell, in the very last match, held against Hunter Mahan to seal the victory and Europe had regained The Ryder Cup.
Golf, and sport, simply does not come any better.

Enjoy Rory McIlory’s 2010 swing on the practice ground in Biz Hub Swing Vision slow motion as he heads into the Ryder Cup opening day fourballs with Graeme McDowell.  Notice that Rory is working on keeping the face a little more shut during the takeaway.

Here’s a way to make an obscene amount of money from the Ryder Cup starting with a tenner accumulator bet. We will preface this by saying its unlikely but miracles do happen. And if it does don’t forget the SpinDoctor! Odds from Paddypower

Bet 1 : €10 on USA to win the Day One morning foursomes 3.5 to 0.5 at odds 22/1

The European guns out first are overwhelmed by the emotive scenes on the first tee and freeze. Only Rors and GMac grab a half but Woods, Johnson, Stricker and co with no expectations on them crank up the steamroller and whoop the Europeans.

Winnings €230

Bet 2 :€230 on USA to be Day One Foursomes winner at odds 7/4.

Winnings €632.50

Bet 3: €632.50 on Europe to win the afternoon fourballs 4 to 0 at odds 11/1.

With the pressure of the morning session off their shoulders and now playing their own balls Kaymer, Donald, Jimenez, Rors, Hanson and GMac set about doing what they’ve been doing all Summer- winning. Roars reverberate around the valleys like for a Shane Williams try at the Millenium Stadium. Winnings €7590

Bet 4: €7590 on Europe to be Day One Fourball winner at odds 6/5.

Winnings €16698

Bet 5: €16698 on Bubba Watson to be Top Rookie Points Scorer at odds 16/1

Bubba doesn’t do nerves. He beat Corey Pavin in a playoff this year for Gods sake by blasting a near 400 yard drive into a bottle neck fairway then pitching it inside the leather. And he went for broke at Whistling Straits only seeing glory in the playoff. A massive hitter and many peoples choice to be paired up with Tiger, its not beyond the realms of possibility that Bubba will play a stormer.

Winnings €283,866

Bet 6: €283,866 on Francesco Molinari to be Top European Rookie at odds 11/2

Francesco may even get to play three of the four matches on the opening two days depending on how Monty sees the partnership with Edoardo progressing. These boys are the World Champions at foursomes and fourballs and Francesco, the more experienced brother has the steely nerve to deal with anyone in the singles.

Winnings €1,845,129

Bet 7: €1,845,129 on The Correct Winning Score of 14.5 to 13.5 to Europe at odds 9/1

The most probable scoreline according to the bookies is a one point win for Europe. Scenes of sheer joy, the crowd singing “Bread Of Heaven” amidst a shower of champagne. And oh yeah you’ll never have to work again!

Winnings €18,451,290.  Easy!

 american response to wigs

shreddies granniesThe USA Team, green with envy after watching their European opponents all having fun with Rory wigs decided to come up with a team bonding idea of their own.  They all posed yesterday in white woolly sweaters with the Ryder Cup crocheted on the centre.  The brainwave of Hunter Mahan, the jumpers were knitted for the Team by the Grannies from the Shreddies adverts in a sweatshop just outside Newport.

team wigs rory ryder cup practice In an effort to diffuse the whole Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy shootout at dawn affair the European Team and caddies donned Rory wigs to show they’re all part of Team Europe.  At least so says Monty at today’s press conference.  The whole Tiger V Rory individual scenario was getting a bit out of hand for Captain Colin.   Monty also revealed the team had motivational speeches from Sam Torrance, Ian Woosnam and rugby legend Gareth gmac wig rory practice round Edwards among others.  At 6.45pm the most special of guest made an appearance when Ryder Cup hero Seve Ballesteros made an impassioned speech over the conference line.  Every member of the team got to speak with Seve in a call that lasted almost an hour.  Monty said the call made him feel proud and “sad” given Seve’s current condition.  That call focussed the minds of the team for some time after said Monty but it was lightened later in the evening when Sky Sports laid on a “Question Of Sport” style quiz for the team.


from the official Ryder Cup Site

mcilroy-mcdowell_2390167 Colin Montgomerie played things very much as expected with his pairings for the first official practice session for the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor yesterday.

To nobody's surprise, Ulstermen Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy were partners and so were Italians Edoardo and Francesco Molinari, the first brothers to play in the match since 1963.
Behind them Lee Westwood, returning from seven weeks off with a torn calf muscle, was with US PGA champion Martin Kaymer - the two highest ranked players in the European line-up. They were in a group with Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez and Swede Peter Hanson.
The last group comprised Luke Donald, Ross Fisher, Padraig Harrington and Ian Poulter.
Montgomerie plans to get all 12 of his team into action as quickly as he can.
Poulter and Fisher finished fourth in the Omega Mission Hills World Cup last November - the Molinari brothers won it with McDowell and McIlroy second - while Donald was second at the Tour Championship on Sunday and Harrington showed a return to form on the same day with a 64 in Paris.
As for the Americans, Tiger Woods was in the same group as Steve Stricker, with whom he won all four games in last year's Presidents Cup.
But, officially at least, Woods was paired with Hunter Mahan and Stricker with Zach Johnson.
Behind them it was Matt Kuchar with Stewart Cink and Jim Furyk - the new £7million man after beating Donald by a shot on Sunday and in the process the FedEx Cup - with Jeff Overton.
And in the last group Phil Mickelson with Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson with Bubba Watson.
That appeared to be the experienced Mickelson, who this week equals the American record by making his eighth appearance, showing three newcomers the ropes.
There was some rain to contend with and some of the hills nearby were shrouded in fog, but the 24 players were able to get on the course on schedule.

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monty ryder cup press Padraig Harrington took his Vivendi form into Tuesday's opening practice session at Celtic Manor.  "He's like a rookie today and has had three eagles already," Colin Montgomerie said. "He's playing the best golf of my team out there and I feel the criticism has been very unjustified.  He's a world player, he's won three major championships and the stature of the guy is second to none within our team.  He walked into Celtic Manor on Sunday as if he was a rookie, it was fantastic, and he was really up about the whole thing. There are reasons why he was picked and judge me on that selection on October 4 and not on September 28."

Montgomerie also had a word for Lee Westwood "For him to start off so confidently with three birdies in the first four holes, it's always good for one's self esteem... when you have not played in a while and you come in and start ripping the ball like he is," said Montgomerie.

locker room christy o'connor The European Ryder Cup Team will be able to draw from iconic images of past glories as Captain Monty has several posted on the locker’s of the team room. Rory McIlroy may have been only four months old when Christy O’Connor hit his famous two iron on the 18th in the Belfry in 1989 but the portrait of Christy looking towards the Heavens has transcended generations. There’s also Seve and Olazabal demonstrating how a successful Ryder Cup partnership is built on friendship and trust. All designed to have the hairs standing on the back of the player’s necks as they board the first tee.

locker room image seve olazabal

To Lift The Cup: Europe 4/6

jimenez nicks ryder cupLets look at the stats. Since the 29th July when Ross Fisher won the Irish Open, European team members Martin Kaymer (US PGA), Peter Hanson (Czech Open), Edoardo Molinari (Johnnie Walker), Miguel Angel Jimenez (Omega Masters) and Kaymer (KLM Open) again have won in successive weeks. Throw into the mix Luke Donald’s win in Madrid in May and his performance at the Celtic Manor Wales Open where GMac won and the ingredients seem irrestible. Of course like every champion boxer who steps into the ring, there is a chance of an upset but at 4/6 the odds seem almost generous for what should on paper be a comfortable European win.

Day One Winner: Europe 5/6

At the last Ryder Cup USA had amassed five and a half points after day one and the match was as good as settled. The only possible European pairing from then that could be recreated next Friday is Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington and with that partnership disbanded immediately after in Valhalla the chances of them being paired again are slim to none. Indeed I expect McDowell and McIlroy to emerge first from the clubhouse on Friday morning followed by the Molinari brothers. All going to script the momentum the opening matches create will feed back to those behind. Monty aims to create the same atmosphere as at the K Club in 2006, where Europe gained the opening day advantage. He’s even okayed a massive spectator cauldron around the first tee to give the Yanks the hee-bee gee-bees. Hope it works!

Top European Points Scorer: Luke Donald 9/1

luke donald ryder cupThe case for Luke Donald as top European points scorer is strong. The Englishman is arguably the form dog of the European team having contended at The Tour Championship in Atlanta last week. Donald answered Monty’s call in coming to the Wales Open on the 2010 course and showed that he can manage the venue when he finished third in the event. There’s also the little detail that Luke has never been on a losing Ryder Cup Team having won in 2004 and 2006. In his two matches Donald has only tasted defeat once. That was in the singles in 2004 where he lost to Chad Campbell, a defeat he avenged when again drawn against Campbell in the 2006 singles. There is one proviso, Donald had Garcia as a partner for four of his Ryder Cup points and with the Spaniard on the sidelines with his soother this time around, a new wingman will be needed. Luckily there are plenty of suitable candidates.

Top US Points Scorer: Dustin Johnson 9/1

dustin johnson ryder cup 2010 Tiger Woods at 4/1 in this category is very tempting but I feel Dustin Johnson is irresistible at 10/1. Johnson is untainted by any memories of defeat in a USA shirt and his game should be well suited to the Celtic Manor layout. Johnson proved (with no sleep) in Adare during the Summer that his length and accuracy off the tee can bring long courses to their knees. DJ also has an amiable personality and will be crowd favourite on both sides. He proved this year that he can handle adversity and learn from it. His crumbling at the US Open could have had a psychological impact on lesser men, but to get right into contention again at the US PGA and then win the BMW show his strength of character. I expect him to play all five matches and if Corey gets his pairings right, Johnson could be the US man of the match.

ryder cup poulter Ian Poulter was the first European to arrive at Celtic Manor, a day before his team.   The 2008 Man of the Match and this years WGC-Accenture Match Play Champion told Sky "I've been excited since February.”

Commenting on the event Poulter added "There's nothing else like the Ryder Cup. It doesn't come close to a major. We're out here playing for Europe and that means everything. In a major you're just playing for yourself, so there's lots of added weight to your shoulders this week."

Relive Poulter’s Highlights From the 2008 Ryder Cup below

Rory McIlroy


Rickie Fowler



Born 4 May 1989 (age 21)

Holywood, Northern Ireland

Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)

Weight 160 lb (73 kg)

College: University Of Life!

Turned professional 2007

Professional wins 2


Born December 13, 1988 (age 21)

Anaheim, California

Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)

Weight 150 lb (68 kg)

College: Oklahoma State University

Turned professional 2009

Professional wins 0

Current World Ranking: 9

Current World Ranking: 33

Career Earnings: :$7,922,693

Career Earnings: $2,909,781

whats in the bag rory mcilroy july 2010

whats in the bag Rickie Fowler 2010

On The Tour Truck with Derek Murray Foregolf

ross fisher baby putter cover_thumb[2] The standard length for a putter in the shops is 35" and even 36". However we have never made a putter on the truck longer than 34". It is very important that your putter length allows your right arm(if you're R/H) to hang long or stretched out. Your eyes should also be over the ball. A great simple way to check the length of your putter is to put a piece of thin masking tape on the floor at home about 9 inches long. Scrunch up a sheet of paper and put it in your pocket. Take your putter and get into your normal putting position with the putter on the tape. Now take the piece of paper and drop it from your right eye as you hold your position. If it hits the top of the putter head then the length is good and if not move the tape to where the paper hit the ground. This is where your eyeline is and you need to adjust the length of your putter so it allows your eyes to be over the top of the ball. Your hands will now follow your eyes and you will hole more putts. Just remember if you shorten your putter you have to add lead tape to the head to rebalance it.

With Derek Murray,


Phil Mickleson’s caddy Jim “Bones” Mackay is an altogether decent chap, so much so that he gave his business class seat on the American Team’s Ryder Cup charter to a fellow caddy. Joe Skovron who caddies for Ryder Cup rookie Rickie Fowler had been told by the PGA that the plane that they had booked could not accommodate him and two other caddies. On hearing the news, Bones immediately offered to give up his seat. “I knew how excited I was for my first one in ’95,” Mackay said. “I would have been bummed if I couldn’t have ridden with the rest of the team and I wanted him to have the full experience.” As it transpired Bones got his seat back when Steve Stricker’s wife pulled out of the trip which flew in to Wales today!

prodger It was difficult to tell how by watching on TV how hot it was at East Lake in Atlanta for the Tour Championship last Saturday. Suffice to say the heat was so stifling that high flying KJ Choi’s caddy, Andy Prodger decided to don a pair of shorts for the first time in his 30 year career. Prodger, a cult hero in Korea, and who was voted the European Tour's "best-dressed" caddie in 2008 attempted to avoid ridicule from fellow caddies by wearing trousers on the range then nipping into a port-a-loo to pop on the shorts on his way to the first tee. "He needs SPF 4,000 for those (legs)," said Choi’s manager. Luckily rain on Sunday meant ‘Prodge’s Pins’ were covered again but not before strains of Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire” rang out from the caddies tent!


With the intense pressure that faces the Ryder Cup players on the first tee, in order to produce a straight powerful opening drive it is vital that they shift their weight to the back foot as they swing back. Nerves often produce a reverse pivot which is a swing fault characteristic where the weight remains on the front side in the backswing. From here it is very difficult to achieve a solid or consistent contact with the ball and is a real power leak. A good body motion involves the upper body turning away from the ball as the lower body resists. I must stress however that the hips still turn don’t try to hold them totally still. A good powerful backswing would have a 90 degree shoulder turn with the hips turning 45 degrees.

Physically it’s important that there is good mobility in both the thoracic spine and pelvis to perform a powerful backswing that turns correctly.

A swing drill I would recommend practising the next time you are on the range is to turn against an alignment rod or umbrella. Stick an alignment rod on the ground slightly angled towards the body. Get into golf posture with the rod against your hips and if you turn back correctly your hips will be against the rod at the top of the backswing. If a gap appears you would have reverse pivoted.

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Connemara man mountain  David Mortimer won thdavid mortimere PGA Irish Championship in dramatic fashion by canning a monster 40 footer on the final hole at Seapoint. 

Mortimer’s eagle brought him to 11 under par, one shot clear of Tour Damien McGrane who fully expected to be in a playoff before the Connemara man’s wonder putt.

It’s Mortimer’s second win at the Irish PGA showpiece event having first claimed it in 2006 and stands him in good stead as he faces the next stage of the gruelling Q-School in his bid to gain a European Tour card.

Congrats to David, Hughie and all at Ballyconnelly for producing yet another champion.

ross fisher phil morbey Fair play to Ross Fisher. He and caddy Phil Wobbly Morbey have been giving The Ryder Cup their full attention by spending the week at Celtic Manor in preparation for the showpiece.  Ross likened the stands erected around the first tee to like “walking into a football stadium” and cannot wait to hear the European fans chants.  Last time in Ireland the pair recollected their favourite crowd song “We’ve got Montgomerie, you’ve got Walt Disney”!  Wobbly predicted the score as 16-12 and Ross 15-13 in favour of Europe.

GMac killeen castle A recharged Graeme McDowell has spent the past few days practicing on the range at the superb Killeen Castle in preparation for next week’s Ryder Cup.  GMac has hooked up with coach Pete Cowan at the superb Killeen Castle facilities and even a visiting Annika Sorenstam dropped in to offer her best wishes.  With six rookies in the team this year, Celtic Manor Wales Open winner McDowell knows that he’s going to be relied upon as one of Europe’s key men. GMac is desperate to shake off the good humoured if slightly hurtful banter line that “anyone could win with Rory” and if reports from our Killeen Castle spies are true, McDowell is set to be To The Manor Born next week.

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