Saturday, September 18, 2010
They’re just getting younger and younger on the European Tour and this week has seen another kid, barely out of nappies, contend for a title. Amateur Austrian Matthias Schwab asked his teachers for a week off to compete at the Austrian GolfOpen and at 15 years of age became the third youngest player ever to make the cut at a European Tour event. The youngster from Rohrmoos hasn’t disappointed either, as he delighted the home crowd with an excellent tied ninth place heading into the final round. Matthias’ younger brother Johannes is also a budding amateur. Below is Matthias’ card after round three
"In many ways the Ryder Cup could be the pinnacle of his year," Harrington said. "Definitely he'll be in a fighting mood for the week -- a mood to perform."
"He's coming into this Ryder Cup not having succeeded and achieved a lot of his goals this year. He's coming in thinking, 'I want to play well in this Ryder Cup to make me have a successful year.'”
Woods has won only 11 points from five Ryder Cup matches and lifted the trophy only once in 1999. He missed the last staging with a knee injury.
"He is the No.1 golfer in the world still by rankings," Harrington added. "He has a presence -- an intimidation factor. When you get picked, you are under the spotlight more, you have something to prove, in many ways you're trying to justify it. There's definitely more pressure, but pressure brings a bit more adrenaline, more nerves, more focus. I'm trying to hold myself back and I'm excited about getting into it."
Friday, September 17, 2010
With the country going down the pan what better to do for the man that Simon Coveney described as being “half way between drunk and hungover” than get together for a piss-up with his mates and take a swing at Ireland’s Ryder Cup hero Philip Walton.
It was widely reported in the media that Brian Cowen did an impersonation of Philip to guffaws from his fellow politicians. Walton released a statement yesterday saying he had written to the Taoiseach seeking an explanation for targeting him at the joke during an after dinner knees up at a so called “think in” at the Ardilaun Hotel in Galway. "From what I have heard and read so far, the stories are of concern to myself, my wife and also my children as they have seen reports on YouTube," Walton told Reuters news agency.
You’re bang out of order Brian, you stick to politics, we’ll do the golf.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Lee Westwood’s calf recuperation is "ahead of schedule" and he is set to be fit for the Ryder Cup next month, says his vet James Herriot.
The world number three suffered the calf injury at the French Open in July and has not played since early last month. Speaking from the window of his car yesterday Mr Herriot said "Don’t comdemn Lee’s calf to the abattoir just yet. He will be at the Ryder Cup. He is a few days ahead of schedule and everything is progressing very well. He is expecting to be through the bag at the weekend and on Friday week he will be playing 36 holes just to make sure he is capable of playing two rounds in one day if he is called to do so in the Ryder Cup”.
We last saw Westwood’s lame calf at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio in August where he pulled after two rounds because he was finding it vealy hard to put weight on his right leg. Westwood’s calf will get a run out next week at a charity event hosted by Ryder Cup vice-captain Darren Clarke and cricket legend Sir Ian Botham at Archerfield Golf Club in Scotland.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Nickname "J.D." or "Jaydee"
Born 12 November 1987 (age 22)
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)
Weight 75 kg (170 lb; 11.8 st)
Spouse Ellie Harvey
Turned professional 2006
Current tour(s) PGA Tour
PGA Tour Wins 1
One of the standout players of this year’s PGA Tour season has been Jason Day. The young Aussie goes into the Tour Championship in six place in the standings with a live chance of winning the FedEx Cup
Day was born in Beaudesert, Queensland. His father took him to Beaudesert Golf Club and joined him as a junior member just past his sixth birthday. “Jaydee” as he was known to his friends was allowed to play six holes a day as a kid. He got the golfing bug and rapidly rose through the ranks in the amateur game Down Under.
After borrowing a book about Tiger Woods from his roommate, the young Day was inspired, by it, to improve his golf by immersing himself in practice. He used the book's reports of Woods's scores as his benchmark for improvement and as a reachable standard. “Each morning I'd get up at 5am and practice until breakfast, then I'd take a half-hour break and go back out and practice until heading to school. I'd get home at 1 o'clock and eat lunch and then practice until 6:30pm. I practiced 32½ hours a week for three straight years. I was pretty obsessive about it!” says Day
He turned professional in July 2006 and won his first Nationwide Tour event exactly one year later at the Legend Financial Group Classic, becoming the youngest man to win on any of the PGA Tour's three tours. That win helped Day climb the money list and gain his main Tour card. After two non-descript years, in May 2010, Day became the youngest Australian to win a PGA Tour event, in winning the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
In that event, a jittery Day survived a ball in the water hazard on the final hole. He thought he might have blown his chance of victory but got a reprieve when his playing partner Blake Adams, having not noticed Days ball in the water, promptly knocked his ball into the water, too. Not believing his luck Day salvaged a bogey to win.
Touted as the next big thing from the Southern hemisphere, watch out for Jason Day come major time next season.
What’s In The Bag 2010 Jason Day
Charlie Wi misses a putt to make the field for the Tour Championship. The sign in the background says it all !
When Rory McIlroy visited Flushing Meadows to catch some of the US Open recently, he was quickly greeted by one of his biggest fans. Seven handicap golfer Rafa Nadal broke off a practice session to ensure he met up with Rors. ‘Rafa said one of his dreams was to play St Andrews,’ Rory said afterwards. ‘I told him that any time he wanted a partner, I’d be there.’ In a clear display of mutual love Nadal replied ‘I love golf and it was great to have a chance to meet Rory, as he is such a fun guy to watch play.’ Pic: No need to sprint Rafa, it’s golf.
presented by Botarin
Diamond Country Club,Atzenbrugg,Austria
Miguel Angel Jimenez 10/1
It’s hard to believe that Rory McIlroy was only three years old when Miguel Angel Jimenez won his first European Tour event. If Rors is still on his way up to the summit it seems that victories lie “over the hill” as Jimenez has bagged 11 since he turned 40. He has already made history this season winning three times in Dubai, France and Switzerland and after a weeks break he returns to take a shot at rewriting history. The “mechanic” as he is known is one of a kind and a vintage to be enjoyed every time he tees it up. Jimenez is to Europe right now what Kuchar is to the USA. What odds a singles match up in Wales?
Gonzalo Fernandez Castano 30/1
We’re keeping the faith with Gonzo after he tied fourth last week in Holland seemingly without getting a putt throughout. Analysis of his stats bore out those problems on the greens (he ranked 20th out of the field) but on the positive side it means his long game is in excellent shape. Castano now has four top-10’s this season including his third at the Irish Open and surely a fifth Tour victory cannot be far away. Not the prettiest to watch on the practice ground but a real grinder come game time.
Richard Green 40/1
One of my favourite players Richard Green made his comeback to the tour last week in Holland but unfortunately didn’t make the weekend. The Aussie, who had been a break since his appearance at the Irish Open, is about as laid back as they come and picks the events where he feels he can contend very carefully. Green tied fifth in Killarney and was unlucky not to win in Estoril earlier in the Summer. Austria has been kind to Green in the past, he won in Fontana in 2007 and tied sixth last year. This years event moves to a new venue, the Diamond Country Club but we’re sticking with Rich to continue the love affair.
Pelle Edberg 70/1
Pelle Edberg is one for the brave. Everybody knows Pelle, he’s the guy with bandana and a smile. He gets very few starts on Tour these days and as the season winds down these tournaments become almost like Majors for the lower order players. Edberg currently stands at 112 in the Race to Dubai and will be looking at this week as another opportunity to avoid the dreaded Q-school at the end of the season. Edberg tied second at the Saint Omer Open (on US Open weekend) and has played well in Austria in the past. He tied third at Fontana in 2008 and top tenned again last year.
Daniel Vancsik 100/1
Our ridiculously long odds shot this week is Daniel Vancsik. Last week marked a milestone for the Argentinean, it was his first under par tournament finish in eight attempts. While Vancsik is well known on Tour for being in the top five long drivers, it is his accuracy with the big stick that gives him problems. However last week he was one of the straightest drivers in Holland, a stat which in turn gave him a greens in regulation percentage similar to winner Kaymer and an 11th place finish. If he can keep that going on the longer Diamond course in Austria this week and get a few more putts, he could add to his Italian and Madeira Island wins.
The US Tour takes a break this week before the Tour Championship and along with the top 30 left standing came stories of agony and ecstacy. Because of a points “reset”, of the 30 players headed to Atlanta, only the top five in points are guaranteed the FedExCup should one of them win. Last Sundays big movers Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey join Matt Kuchar Charley Hoffman and Steve Stricker as the only players who can control their own destiny and claim the $10 million bonus. Players who produced the goods last week to get into the Atlanta filed included Kevin Na, KJ Choi, Camilo Villegas and the suitably attired Ryan Moore. The most notable dropouts were Ryder Cuppers Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler who join Tiger Woods outside the bubble.
The Tour rolled into The Netherlands last weekend for The KLM Open and all the talk on Tour was about the wildcard picks for the upcoming Ryder Cup. The inclusion of Padraig Harrington into the team was a surprise to everyone except the gang on Tour. Padraig is one of the best team players around and has one of the highest work ethics on the range. He is constantly working on ways to improve his ball flight and is currently working hard on a solution to improve his driver flight. He has his own launch monitor which is a Flightscope Kudo which he uses it to check his ball flight. This expensive bit of kit measures a multitude of different aspects of the ball flight including the speed, launch angle and spin rate of the ball. The player can then make changes to the club shaft and head and then check the “numbers” to make sure nothing is lost in distance, control or carry yardage. This instant feedback makes it an invaluable piece of technology for the players and one that Harrington will use to make the necessary positive changes to his driver in time for the Ryder Cup.
With Derek Murray, foregolf.ie
Tiger Woods unofficial new swing coach Sean Foley is a fan of the “stack and tilt” swing method and plans to incorporate aspects of it into his charges swing. Tour pro Charlie Wi revealed last week that his coaches Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett, aka “Stack and Tilt” because of the geometrical swing method they champion and are often contacted by Foley. Wi is a loyal follower of the method and others such as Mike Weir and Aaron Baddeley have had success with it. Woods was asked two weeks ago if his work with Foley involved the "Stack & Tilt" teachings. "There are some parts of it that do look like it," Woods said. "But there are other parts that are very, very different." Speaking of Charlie Wi, he suffered badly from nerves throughout the final round of the BMW Champioship to the extent that he needed a par on the last to secure his place at the FedEx final in Atlanta. After pulling his drive into the trees, Wi chipped out and then needing to get up and down, zipped his ball back past the flag and stop ten feet from glory. His pulled put meant he dropped three shots in the closing holes and slipped him to 32nd in the standings and out of the Tour Championship.
He may be number nine in the world and have the matchplay knockout ratio equivalent of Floyd Mayweather Jnr but that apparently wasn’t good enough for Captain Colin who passed him over for a pick. However it looks like Casey has recovered from the snub as he said a trip to Pine Valley after The Barclays with some of his buddies lifted his spirits. Commenting on the fact that only five of the 12 team members are PGA Tour members Casey said "I understand the European Tour wants to protect the European Tour, but we also want to get the best team possible, but I don't know what the solution is." Casey also revealed he has booked a cycling holiday for Ryder Cup week. "I'm in neutral ground that week," Casey said. "I'm going to Canada!"
If the body hangs back on the downswing it will generally result in a golfer hitting the ground behind the ball and kill any power. Poor technique in rotating the hips can be the underlying cause.
Other causes of having a hanging back swing characteristic can be:
- Not having enough loft on the driver and in a effort to get the ball in the air the body leans back.
- The ball can be too far back in the stance.
- The golfer has a reverse pivot or spine angle that can lead the upper body to be out of position. As a result the golfer sits back to try to get the body in position to create a powerful strike.
A great drill to get the correct feeling of how the body should rotate in the downswing is the Merry Go Round. Get into golf posture and place a club shaft across the shoulders. Rotate the hips and shoulders till the clubface returns to face to the target.
Log on to www.wayneocallaghangolf.ie for more info.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
No controversy, no rules officials but loads of drama for Dustin Johnson. The golfing Gods gave Johnson a break as he carded a 69 to edge out Paul Casey by one shot. The clutch shot came at the 17th where Johnson zipped it in to two feet for the birdie that was to ultimately give him his fourth Tour victory. Johnson now lies second behind Matt Kuchar in the FedEx Cup standings.
Click on pic to view highlights from the final round of the 2010 KLM Open as another one of Monty’s men, Martin Kaymer, claimed victory by four shots.
Martin Kaymer birdied the last two holes of his third round to lead by one at the KLM Open in the Netherlands. If Kaymer wins he will make it five wins in a row by members of Colin Montgomerie's Ryder Cup Team. The run began with Kaymer himself taking his first Major Championship last month and has included wins by Peter Hanson at the Czech Open, Edoardo Molinari in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles and Miguel Angel Jiménez at the Omega European Masters. A win in Holland would see Kaymer open up a lead of almost €500,000 over Graeme McDowell at the top of The Race to Dubai.
Meanwhile stateside Matt Kuchar may be as sick as a small puppy but his infection that has taken his voice luckily didn’t affect his swing. He goes into the final round only one behind Ryan Moore. Kuch is a nailed on favourite to win the playoffs but has battled illness all week. "I wanted so bad to just pull out of the tournament and go home," Kuchar said after Saturday's 1-under 70 moved him into a tie with Dustin Johnson and Charlie Wi at 7 under. "The last thing I wanted to do was be out here trying to play golf. "But I'm very pleased with the way I'm feeling at the moment."