October 2010

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Eagle eyed golfcentraldaily readers have today sent us in an exclusive pics of legendary Tour starter Ivor Robson guesting at last weeks Nationwide Tour event in the USA.  The pic has sparked worry all over this office abivor robson funnyout our man.  It appears that the lure of cash has not only attracted our best players across the pond, but now our starters also.

In the image, Ivor appears quite pale, is sporting a long beard and has ditched his dapper green suit in favour of a white gown favoured by the PGA Tour.  Well wishers warned Robson, who turned 154 last week, as to the dangers of working in the United States and the possibility that US TV cameras may not be able to portray his best side in the scorching heat.  On behalf of everyone in Golfcentraldaily, I would like to urge our American friends to give us our Ivor back.  Might I suggest taking Rob Lee as an exchange? And Bruce Critchley?

After coming in for some criticism for some over exuberant marshalling at this year’s Irish Open in Killarney, designers at golf clothing giant GCD have answered the brief of European Tour bosses by coming with a new ultra discreet design for volunteer marshals at the 2011 event.  62261054

A spokesman for GCD said “these new outfits are designed to have Irish Open marshals blending in seamlessly with fans whilst at the same time not catching the eye of players.  We have replaced “Quiet Please” on the marshals boards with “Hush” on one side and “Or We’ll Shoot” on the other which should go someway towards insuring the high levels of threat expected from a European Tour Marshal.

The new design which incorporates a variegated leaf themed hat and dodgy check shirt is loosely based on outfits worn successfully by Guerilla groups since the seventies.

 

 

The winter is the perfect time for weapons testing and from now until the new year I’m going to alert you to some of the best bargains available from trawling through the equipment rooms of Castle .

This week I’ve uncovered a cracking set of irons from TaylorMade. They are Burner XD irons which came out in 2008. You know the “click” sound the pro’s make when they hit the ball, well these irons are the boss when it comes to clickability. These babies are the Frank Bruno of irons; they look the part, pack a serious punch and yet are surprisingly easy to hit!

clip_image004On close inspection of the face you’ll notice a slightly different coloured insert. It’s a sliver of titanium fused seamlessly on the steel that delivers guaranteed extra distance. On test our average 7 iron carried 155 yards, with the Burner XD’s it’s a trampoline assisted 165 yards. Of course there’s the big cavity back and progressive offset that gives comfort and consistent strikes and if all you low handicappers aren’t too proud to be seen with them, you too will be rewarded.

If your swing speed is slowing down and your third lumbar vertebrae is niggling a little look out for the Burner XD’s with a stiff graphite shaft. They are an excellent set of irons for all handicaps. If I had any criticism I would argue that the Sand Wedge is possibly a bit clunky looking and actually tough to hit from the beach but since most people take those out now anyway in favour of custom wedges, it’s not an issue.

I’m not sure how long titanium inserts like these are going to be allowed in iron sets but for now I suggest taking advantage of the luxury of pulling out a 4 iron for a 200 yard approach over water while your mates turn to putty with a cutty hybrid. Grab a set now from £249 on . Here’s the link http://www.golfbidder.co.uk/models/3197/Taylor_Made_Iron_Set_Burner_XD.html

Know wha’ I mean Arry!

 

 

WGC - HSBC Champions Betting Preview and Tips- Early odds Betfair

Sheshan International GC

Shanghai, China PR 04 Nov 2010 - 07 Nov 2010

Tiger Woods 9/1

tiger Next season starts now for Tiger Woods. Jilted yet again, this time from the world number one spot, you sense there has to be a Tiger backlash. Signs were that Woods was beginning to trust his new “Mick Foley” swing in the Ryder Cup singles and if he has progressed at the same pace in the period since then wo betide his competitors. To give an indication of how dangerous Woods was even without a swing consider his last three results at the Barclays, Deutsche Bank and BMW. His worst finish? 15th. Odds of about 9/1 could come back to bite the bookies in the ass on a course he tied sixth on last year.

Rory McIlroy 21/1

rory mcilroy All the talk this week will be about Westwood, Kaymer and Woods so if there is to be any event where Rory McIlroy is to escape under the virtual radar, this would be it. Last season, the HSBC Champions event came in the middle of Rory’s incredible nine top-10’s in 10 events so his fourth place finish here has to be taken in that regard. This season Ror’s has been off since the Dunhill Links (or Ryder Cup hangover event) so there may be some halloween cobwebs. However such foibles are not something we associate with a 21 year old so watch out Asia there could well be a Mac attack of a different kind this week.

Nick Watney 34/1

Nick-Watney-round-pixel My value tip this week is Nick Watney. The California native has developed into one of the most consistent players on Tour this year. Since July 1st this year Watney’s worst finish is 36th and though he hasn’t won, he has clocked up four top-10’s. Two of those have come in his last two events, the Tour Championship and the recent Justin Timberlake event. Watney shot a 64 in his opening round in Sheshan last year on his way to sixth and another podium finish is on the cards for one of the most in-form players in the field.

 

Ian Poulter 55/1

ian poulter funny Ah yes, the pink one that tweets. A hero yet again at the Ryder Cup, this week marks the return of the Hitchin pro to the world’s stage. Poults won his comeback event (the Singapore Open) after taking September off last season, and if his tweets are anything to go by, he’s soooooooo excited about the next few weeks. Is sure to have his little say if questioned about the world number one spot this week!

Pic: IJP Autumn Winter Range to be unveiled at PGA Show 2011!

 

Y.E. Yang 85/1

yang The bookies have lost faith with former USPGA winner YE Yang after he suffered a horrid run of missed cuts between the US Open and USPGA majors this year. However I have it on good authority that YE has turned the corner and an encouraging 24th at the Asia Pacific event will help his confidence levels. Not forgetting too that Yang has won in China already this year at the Volvo event in April. He’s also a HSBC winner from November 2006 when he outpointed Tiger in England. Now when a cocktail of stats such as these are coughed up for a player at 85/1 I take notice. Do you?

62269411 Ultra slow American Ben Crane won the inaugural Asia Pacific Classic by canning an 8-foot birdie putt on the final hole to beat perennial  nearly-man Brian Davis (who finished birdie-eagle-birdie) by a stroke.

Pic: Happy Crane with His Lucky Dicky Bird Umpire Hat

Crane finished at 18 under and earned $1 million in the first experimental PGA Tour event in Southeast Asia.  The highlight of his round was a clutch eagle on the 15th where he holed for eagle after driving the green on the par four.

Luke Donald tied for third with Scotland's Martin Laird at 16 under.  It could have been so much better for Donald but for a Halloween triple bogey on the ninth.

The workings of the world golf rankings are about as complicated as Ireland’s NAMA but the upshot of it all is that Lee Westwood has ended Tiger Wood’s reign of 281 weeks at the top.  Martin Kaymer could have taken the top spot in Sotogrande but in truth he needed a miracle round in gale force conditions.

Pic: Objects in the mirror are World Number One’s.

Westwood, Kaymer and Woods now head to the HSBC Champions event in Shanghai China this week where the $7 million pot could catapult any of the three into the Number One Spot.  At least, that’s how I understand it.

 

Born 30 July 1979 (age 30)

Portrush, Northern Ireland

Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)

Weight 168 pounds (76 kg; 12.0 st)

Residence Portrush, Northern Ireland

College University of Alabama at Birmingham

Turned professional 2002

Current tour(s) European Tour

Professional wins 6

What’s In The Bag Graeme McDowell 2010 Andalucia Valderrama Masters Champion

graeme mcdowell andalucia valderrama masters 2010 Graeme McDowell took his third title of the season after emerging best off following a brutal final round on the legendary Valderrama track.  Until the last three holes it looked like anyone’s title with Damien McGrane, GMac and Gareth Maybin all in the hunt. 

As it transpired the pressure took a grip on McGrane who stumbled home and eventually emerged quite happy with a long range putt on the last for bogey to finish joint second with Gareth Maybin and former Volvo Masters winner Soren Kjeldson. Maybin’s challenge effectively ended on the 17th when a nervous chip found the water.

On a day where strong winds made low scoring extremely difficult, McDowell went round in 74 to finish on three under. His victory lifts him into the top ten of the Official World Golf Rankings and closes the gap on Race to Dubai leader Martin Kaymer, as the pair head for the HSBC Champions next week.

lorena-ochoa2 With all the tears now  dried away, and all talk of burnout, well burned out, former world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa is considering playing a handful of LPGA events next year, including perhaps a couple of majors.

"We want to start a family, my husband and I, (so) it depends on the timing. But I will play some tournaments for fun.  I don't think I will play full time but I would love to play maybe the Nabisco (Championship) or the Evian (Masters) or British Open," she said this week while preparing for this week's Mission Hills Star Trophy Pro-Celebrity tournament.

"Every day it appears more to me I've made the right decision at the right time. I'm at peace and enjoying the game in a different way. I play without pressure, practice a lot less hours a day and I have more free time.

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gareth maybin Graeme McDowell and Gareth Maybin are going at it hammer and tongs heading into the final round of the Andalucia Valderrama Masters in Sotogrande.  The European Tour’s site reported on Saturdays proceedings

“McDowell - currently second in the Race to Dubai - held a two-shot advantage over his fellow countryman overnight and saw that extended early on as Maybin recorded bogeys on the opening two holes.

However, the 30 year old showed great determination to get back to five under with birdies at the third and fourth and he then moved into a share of the lead as McDowell double bogeyed the seventh.

The US Open champion got back on track with a fine three at the par four eighth, but Maybin responded by knocking in a 15-footer for birdie at the ninth.

McDowell then bogeyed ten to hand Maybin sole possession of the lead, but the former quickly returned to six under with a birdie at 11.

Thomas Bjorn was at the front of the chasing pack, the veteran Dane picking up birdies at the first, sixth, eighth and ninth on his way to an outward nine of 33.

That put him three behind the leaders on three under, with Miguel Angel Jimenez, James Kingston and Damien McGrane a shot further back.

Sergio Garcia was at one under following an encouraging 69 on day three, but Niclas Fasth had dropped to level par after three straight bogeys on the back nine.”

Graeme McDowell claimed the halfway lead at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters with a classy 67 to move two shots clear of fellow Northern Irishman Gareth Maybin.

The US Open champion could close to within €400,000 of leader Martin Kaymer at the top of the Race to Dubai standings if he manages to scoop the €500,000 first prize in Sotogrande. 
GMac managed six birdies in his second round- four of those coming in the space of six holes on the back nine with only two bogeys.

Gareth Maybin, seeking his maiden European Tour victory, scored his third and fourth birds at the 15th and 17th holes to climb into second place with a resurgent Niclas Fasth looking menacing in third.

Leaderboard after Round Two

gmac valderrama Just back from a trip to Oceanico in Portugal where we got hammered on Captain Morgan in time to watch the pro’s get hammered by Valderrama. 

GMac and Jimenez arguably the best players of the Season are battling for top spot and proving beyond doubt that bellies rock.

Chatting to those inside the ropes, the winning score could be in the region of 8 under, or not much lower.

Sorry for no tips this week, but I’m sure everybody is happy with all the money I made you on Ignacio Garrido last week!  But hey, knowing Valderrama, It gives Gonzalo and the others guys who don’t put so well a better chance than usual. Here’s how we got when we tried to tackle the 18th a couple of years back.

 

sergio Sad to see Sergio Garcia pick up right where he left off with a poor putting display which dropped him below the cutline in his home Castello Masters.  A series of Sergio three putts during the second round were in marked contrast to playing partner Jose Maria Olazabal who battled bravely to a 68 to make the cut.

Why doesn’t Sergio just call up Paul Hurrion to get him sorted?  He did the trick with Rory McIlroy.

Gonzalo Fernandez Castano 22/1

gonzo Can anyone explain how Gonzo did not win last win last week in Vilamoura? I can. He missed putt after makeable putt after lording it tee to green. Ironically the only one of the leading players to have worse putting stats was Richard Green! Castano has kept the bank account topped up with top fives in Mallorca, Ireland, Austria and now Portugal and though he hasn’t managed to string two good weeks together this season, this week in Spain may be different. Stop moving Gonzo on your bloody putts!

Alex Noren 28/1

noren I’m going to keep the faith with Alex for one week because I still believe he has better in him and his results suggest. Came out of the blocks with a 65 last week but a destructive driver cost him dear in the second round when he shot a horrible 73. He finished tied 36th, his lowest finish in three, having tied third in Austria and top 20’d at the Dunhill Links. If Noren drives it straight this week, he has the game to repeat his Crans Sur Sierre victory in 2009. Came third here in 2008

Ignacio Garrido 60/1

garrido All eyes will be one Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal as they make their return this week but another one of the home contingent to watch out for is Ignacio Garrido. Garrido is to golf what Kevin McBride is to heavyweight boxing, a journeyman who occasionally punches above his weight. The Spaniard has had a better season this year, with a top 15 at the British Open providing a springboard to some good cheques. Very impressive last week in Portugal, he finished four shots back for tied ninth, topping the driving stats for the week.

Peter Lawrie 38/1

lawrie Just when you least expect it Peter Lawrie pops up and grabs the cash. I love to watch Lawrie play, he hits it no further than you or me, but his course management and short game are among the best on Tour. Tied sixth last week in Vilamoura and always very solid at the end of the season. Lawrie came close at the KLM Open, where Peter Hanson beat him in the playoff and also in Spain at the Open de Espana where he came third after defending his only Tour title won in Catalunya in 2008. A dark horse who goes quietly about his business. Wont know the course as good as some of the others but a dark horse.

Peter Hedblom 120/1

hedblom If you’re after some long odds glory this week consider a small wager on Peter Hedblom. Missed the cut last week in Portugal, exactly as he did in 2008 when Garcia pipped him to the title. It’s been over a year now since Hedblom won the Johnnie Walker at Gleneagles and he will be hoping to rediscover some good form in the Spanish sun this week.

 

The marvellous bronze of Seve Ballesteros greeted the 16 participants of the latest “” club testing morning at the fantastic in Killenard, Co Laois.  For this latest adventure supplied a shed load of michael buggy left cormac doyle right at the heritagedrivers, fairway woods and a selection of wedges for the 16 participants to test on the range at the Seve Natural Golf School.  Following the testing the lads were treated to a full Irish Brekkie before tackling the fabulous former Seve Trophy venue.

Pic: Mick Buggy and Cormac Doyle with Seve on front of the clubhouse at .

Among the stars of the day were plus one handicapper Mick Buggy from Kilkenny who treated the crowd to an exhibition of ball striking both on the range and out on the Championship Course.  Mick’s still on his way back after five years without touching a club and shot a one under par round in breezy conditions.  Cormac Doyle from showed he’s no slouch either (off 8) as he recovered from nearly tearing the driving range down (see the video!) to end the day with the coveted title of “bandit”!  Born entertainer Rory Murphy kept everyone laughing with stories of cheap green fees he’s managed to wangle off everywhere from St. Andrews to Bay Hill.

 

Among the weaponry that impressed was the driver and the was a favourite of the lower handicappers.  The unwieldy looking Driver proved as straight as the specs suggested and surprised everyone with its quality.

thumbs up for docs dawn raid

Thumbs Up From The Gang After The Round!

Watch out and sign up for the next Golfbidder Doc’s Dawn Raid coming your way soon!

Rob_Fitzpatrick1-230x173 Rob Fitzpatrick from Dunmurry Springs Golf Club became the inaugural TopGolfer Tour Champion after carding an impressive 1 under total after 36 holes on the Monty Course at Carton House.

Brainchild of Rob Hill, the TopGolfer events attracted 2400 Irish golfers to events all around the country, culminating in the Tour Championship at the Maynooth venue.

Winner Rob Fitzpatrick, off 4 handicap,  beat  22 other tour winners including Derek Basquille (3) of Enniscrone Golf Club who held the lead going in to the final round.  Third place went to David Kiely (3) of Tramore Golf Club.

Full leaderboard on the topgolfer site http://ireland.vpar-golf.com/live/topgolfer

47 year old Rocco Mediate, playing without a glove, in the pissings of rain has just recorded one of the most dramatic wins in PGA Tour history at the Frys.com Open.  Mediate lead by a million miles going into the final round but managed to throw it all away before hammering in birdie then eagle on 16 and 17 to right his listing ship and claim the win.

Rocco’s eagle on 17 was awesome. The rest of the field, torocco mediate frys.com winner a man, drove the green and two putted for bird, but Rocco with a bad back, laid up to 112 yards.  He then asked his playing partner (Alex Prugh who had driven the green) to mark his ball before wedging his Callaway three foot past the pin and zipping it back straight into the cup.

Mediate finished at 15 under, shooting a final-round 71. His eagle on 17 was his fourth hole-out from the fairway and fourth eagle of the week, meaning that eight of that 15-under total came in a span of four holes.

Bo Van Pelt and Alex Prugh each birdied the last in some style to put the skids on Mediate, who had a little over 4 feet left for his first win in 186 starts. Rocco canned for undoubtedly won of the most dramatic wins in PGA Tour history.

 

padraig harrington johor iskandar open Padraig Harrington closed with a three-under-par 69 at the US$1.25 million Iskandar Johor Open to end his two year winning drought

His winning score of 20-under-par  was three shots clear of second-placed Noh Seung-yul of Korea, and worth approx €100,000.  Chinese Taipei’s Lin Wen-tang finished third, four with Mardan Mamat  fourth.

“It’s somewhat a monkey off your back,” said a smiling Harrington after. Winning is a habit. Every time you win, it is important but when you haven’t won for a while it does add a bit more emphasis to it. It makes it all the more memorable.”

“There’s no doubt that it was my week to win. If you had followed me for the four days, I don’t think anyone would have questioned that my name was written on the trophy before the tournament started. I got the breaks all the way through. I hit some good shots and had a few breaks. Luck of the Irish? I’ll accept that,” added Harrington.

 

pod mind that lip Padraig Harrington is headed for a first win in two years after he opened up a five stroke lead heading into the final round of the Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia.

Pod played with a neck injury throughout the third round but still managed five birdies against just one bogey at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club.

"If I wasn't leading, I would have definitely pulled out. It's still a problem. It was a bit better at the end but it was a substantial problem," said Harrington after.  Pic: Mind that lip Pod!

"It eased up a little bit on 16 but I didn't finish very well. But maybe sometimes when you are injured, it makes you relax a bit more. You accept poor shots and get on with it. My attitude was good all the way through.

Harrington lies five ahead of second-placed Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei, and Singaporean Mardan Mamat is third, while South Korea's Noh Seung-yul and Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat are tied fourth.

brittany_lincicome Brittany Lincicome shot a toxic 11-under 61 on the first day of the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge. It was a case of “hit me baby one less time” for Brittany as she shot the  lowest round on the LPGA Tour this season and second-lowest under-par score in tour history.

Of course Briitany’s record also gives us an excuse, as if we needed one to post this rather fetching picture of her.  We’ll keep you posted on whether any Shins, Paks, or other Korean conveyor belt stars catch Brittany over the weekend,

Pic: Brittany- Oops I did it again!

 

steve-tiger Former world number one (oh I love saying that) Tiger Woods has announced the participants for his $5 million World Challenge in December.  Headline acts on the World No.2’s bill include US Open champion Graeme McDowell and USPGA winner Martin Kaymer.

Pic: Tiger reacts to the news that Lee Westwood is set to be World No. 1

The second best player in the world announced most of the field yesterday for the charity event from December 2-5 at Sherwood Golf Club, which has a first prize of $1.2m.

Jim Furyk (defending) will join Paul Casey, Luke Donald and Ian Poulter,Rory McIlroy and Americans Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar,Hunter Mahan, Anthony Kim, Zach Johnson, Sean O'Hair, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson will also play.

 

 

Francesco Molinari 21/1

francesco molinari funny Francesco over a five foot putt; Robbie Keane in front of open goal- both images that make me first wince, then cry. Francesco with his now binned belly putter nearly had the Portugal Masters in the bag last year only to see it slip from his grasp on the 17th. Although Lee Westwood won by three, the drop he got after being long and left in the trees in two was the luckiest of his life and his chip down to the hole was a serious hit and hope affair. Any other day Westwood might have doubled or worse. Playing with Francesco, Westwood tapped in for the poxiest of birdies while the Italian missed the five footer that would have brought the gap to one. He may be tired this week, but Victoria owes Molinari one after last year.

Alvaro Quiros 17/1

quiros Huge hitting Alvaro Quiros Garcia was right back in the mix last week in Scotland finishing tied fifth. The Spaniard showed he has the short game to match his booming drives and that prospect coupled with the fact that he cruised home at the Portugal Masters by three shots in 2008 make him an irresistible punt this week. Quiros has now clocked up six top-10’s this season with the high point coming at the Open de Espana in Seville in April where he notched up win number four. Only the weather can stop Quiros this week.

Simon Dyson 30/1

dyson Its an indisputable fact of punditry that the winner of last week’s tournament the previous year, if you know what I mean, performs really well the following week! Let me explain. Simon Dyson went into last week’s Dunhill as defending champion. As such he was under pressure from the media, sponsors etc. And he played well tying fifth. This week he head’s to Portugal with absolutely no media or sponsors obligations and will undoubtedly play better. Unlucky to fall short of automatic Ryder Cup qualification Dyson has form on the Victoria course with a top 10 in 2008 and with the three top tens in his last five starts remains one to watch this week.

Danny Willett 25/1

willett It’s only a matter of time and perhaps watching some Zen relaxation clips on YouTube before Danny Willett claims his first Tour title. I held off on tipping him last week because I felt Portugal would be his huckleberry and fingers crossed it works out. Played sensational golf to finish second last week and only a couple of Kaymer miracle shots denied him. That second added to his third in Austria see Willett on the plane to Vilamoura very much expectant of a huge one this week on a course where he tied sixth last year.

Alexander Noren 50/1

noren To the mere mortal the Oceanico Victoria course in Vilamoura is a tough tight test but to these boys it’s like shelling peas. With a predicted winning score of about 20 under it’s a case of “go low” or “go home”. One player who caught my eye on the course last year was Alex Noren as he compiled a flawless final round of 62 with tough pins to tie for sixth. The German tied third at the Diamond Club in Austria before the Ryder Cup and returned with a 17th last week. One to watch late in the season, Noren won in September last year.

 

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