Okay we’ve all dyed our hair at some stage. It’s what you do when you’re in your twenties. Rory McIlroy unveiled his new Wurzel Gummidge meets Bon Jovi hairstyle in Hong Kong today during a press conference alongside stylist Graeme McDowell.
Okay we’ve all dyed our hair at some stage. It’s what you do when you’re in your twenties. Rory McIlroy unveiled his new Wurzel Gummidge meets Bon Jovi hairstyle in Hong Kong today during a press conference alongside stylist Graeme McDowell.
Last week we brought home Adam Scott in Singapore at an impressive 21/1. It may be our 12th cash in of the season but we still await a betting partner. Here are our UBS Hong Kong Open 2010 Betting Preview and Tips. Odds quoted are early and may improve closer to start of event. We’d love say where the odds came from and put their logo and link here for thousands to see, but hey, the brilliant marketing minds that work for betting companies must think their money is better spent throwing it at Sky Sports for TV ads!
UBS Hong Kong Open
Hong Kong GC
Fanling, Hong Kong 18 Nov 2010 - 21 Nov 2010
GMac is grinding so hard right now because he knows a win in Hong Kong this week would see him overtake the absent Martin Kaymer in the Race To Dubai heading into the Tour Finale. What a season he has had with a US Open sandwiched in between a win in Wales and Valderrama, not to mention holing the winning Ryder Cup putt. McDowell has, like Jimenez, a chance to win a fourth title of 2010 but for him the stakes are much higher. I believe GMac deserves to win the Race To Dubai and even if this course is a hell of a lot easier than some he has won on of late his form last week is too good to ignore. Among the top five best players in the world just now? And has destiny on his side?
The straightest driver pretty much all week in Singapore, Poults paid the price for a bad tee shot on the 15th in the final round leading to a double bogey that sent him sliding down the leaderboard. After winning in Singapore last year Poulter came to Hong Kong and tied fifth so has to be worth another fiver given that the press commitments will be fewer this week. Notwithstanding his slip to tied sixth last Sunday, Poults has still managed to finish in the top-15 in four of the last five events and is to be written off at your peril for the title again this week.
A stunning five under par closing round in Singapore last week saw Miguel bag another top 10 finish and with it fire a shot over the bows of the rest of the field heading to Hong Kong this week. With wins in Dubai, France and Switzerland already under his belt, the vino swilling Spaniard has the unique chance to go truly global with a another win on a course he has tasted victory on twice in the last six seasons. Can he do it all over again? A pint of San Miguel says he can.
Its showtime for ex-paratrooper Thongchai Jaidee as his season kicks off around this time. The Thai who never sleeps in a bed was unlucky not to win in 2008 when he tied second behind Jimenez. Add to that two other top tens albeit before 2008 and his record here is impressive. Caught the eye in Portugal recently with a top-10 and hasn’t been outside the top-30 in his last two events. Best run-in since 2008, now can Jaidee swoop in for his fifth tour win?
Torn between Peter Lawrie and Soren Kjeldsen for this tip but I’m going with the stealthy Dubliner. Lawrie lies an impressive 35th in the Race To Dubai and is set to tee it up in the big money event next week. However the Castleknock pro likes to line up the smaller events and with the extra emphasis on putting in Hong Kong, this could be a big week. Seventh last season and a good bet to finish in the top 10 again.
With thanks to Rick Veitch, Titleist Fairhaven
The Australian plotted his way to a closing round of 68 to finish 17 under par, three ahead of Anders Hansen.
Scott’s nearest challenger looked to be defending champion Ian Poulter but the Englishman’s title defence effectively ended at the 15th when he pushed his drive right leading to double bogey while Scott birdied.
Graeme McDowell claimed a tie for third and cut further Martin Kaymer’s lead in The Race to Dubai, living on his wits at times on his way to a courageous 70.
Robert Garrigus put his St Jude Classic disappointment firmly behind him as he claimed the Childrens Miracle Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Network Cinderella Classic yesterday. Garrigus pants were bone dry this time as he shot an 8-under 64 to win the event and keep his Tour card.
Garrigus finished three shots clear of Roland Thatcher who squandered a four shot lead bogeying two of the last three holes. One grain of solace for was the news that a clutch par on the last from five feet secured second place and a cheque jumped him from 179th to 122nd to keep his playing privileges.
Thatcher joined Mark Wilson (123) and Michael Connell (115) as the only players to climb inside the top 125 after starting the week outside of it.
Troy Merritt also had reason to smile after he defeated Rickie Fowler and Aaron Baddeley in a playoff to win the $1 million Kodak Challenge.
Stuart Appleby emerged victorious in the JBWere Masters with two birdies on the closing holes, but Tiger Woods stole much of the limelight with a superb final round at the Victoria Golf Club yesterday.
Woods played the last six holes in six under including two eagles to surge up the leaderboard and finish fourth.
Following his round Woods committed to return next year, and hopes next time to bring some more top US players with him.
Childrens Miracle Network Classic 2010 Second Round Highlights from the PGA Tour
Report from European Tour website:
The Australian had started the day with a two shot lead but was dragged into an epic tussle with playing partner Poulter down the back nine of the Serapong Course, the 2005 and 2006 winner eventually emerging with the narrowest of leads.
The 30 year old signed for a round of 69 to sit 14 under par, while Poulter carded two birdies and an eagle in a round of 68.
World Number 567 Kang is also right in the frame having seemingly been out of the running when he ran up a double bogey seven at the seventh - only to respond with a brilliant back nine 30 which included five unanswered birdies.
Both Scott and Poulter opened their accounts with birdies at the par three second, the Englishman hitting his tee shot to within six feet.
Proud Chris Stroud had the crowd cheering aloud as he shot a 10-under 62 in the opening round of the Magical Children's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Kingdom Miracle Network and Pluto Too Classic in Orlando Florida.
Margaret Thatcher’s son Roland was three shots off the pace, with four others tied for third including Rickie Fowler.
Globetrotting Fowler made eight birdies and two bogeys after returning from the HSBC Champions in Shanghai and held the clubhouse lead for most of the day.
Pic: Fowler after his 8th birdie of the day. He’s a A-league legend
The Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard caught up with Tiger Wood’s swing coach Sean Foley this week at the 2010 Magical Miracle Children’s Wonderland of Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Classic, and quizzed him about Tiger’s swing.
“I don’t see this as a swing change. I just see that we can do some trimming. Take a minimalist approach to it,” said Foley, who spent the morning working with longtime client Sean O’Hair over at Disney. “It’s an ideal position to be in as a teacher to have that canvas.”
Although Woods is a renowned worker away from the PGA Tour spotlight, Foley said he hasn’t been closing the Isleworth practice tee with him.
Pic: Swing coach Foley. Takes no shit.
“People think intense and they think quantity,” Foley said. “The thing about Tiger is he’s obviously an expert at practicing. . . . He has an unbelievable ability to concentrate.”
Foley said his sessions with Woods are never longer than an hour and a half. “It’s not every day, seven hours a day,” he said.
Full golf channel article http://www.thegolfchannel.com/shag-bag/foley-dont-swing-change-40320/
Headline of the year??
The defending champion could only manage a one-over-par 72 to lie on one-under for the tournament, nine shots behind leader Adam Bland who added a 67 to his opening 65.
Woods battled his swing in the strong wind suffering four bogeys.
"It was tougher today when the wind blows hard... I was struggling a little bit today but I was trying to be as committed as I could be, and it was a little more difficult than it should have been but I got through it," he said after.
Surprise of the day was Sergio Garcia’s name near the top of the leaderboard. The Spaniard showed some sexy course management on his to compiling a 65 to climb to four-under. "We were making the right decisions at the time and (if you) put that with the way I hit the ball it was one of those rounds where everything was on.”
Like the Irish Open of two years back the field were affected by a four-hour delay caused by thunderstorms on the opening day, after which a section of the field were able to complete their second rounds in perfect conditions.
Scott had opened with a six under par round on the longer Serapong Course and started out with a 29 on the easier Tanjong set-up. He faltered somewhat on the back nine recovered late on to reach 12 under par at the halfway stage.
Ian Poulter produced a sizzling inward 29 on the Tanjong back nine to reduce a nine shot deficit to just two heading into the weekend. The highlight was a crowd pleasing 80 foot left-to-right putt on the last to reach ten under.
Best of the Irish is Graeme McDowell who lies third.
Woods was apparently so good at the art of tree felling that he preferred a 2-iron to a chainsaw. Little surprise then when Woods decided to chop down a tree at the HSBC Championship which he considered unstable. The crowd roared with delight as Wood’s took less than four seconds to fell the lumber.
The American was in for a shock later when angry club officials informed him that the tree was actually a sacred 10,000 year old specimen, supposedly carrying some of fidelity curse.
Daniel Gaunt and Nationwide Tour players Adam Bland and Alistair Presnell lead following their opening rounds of 6 under par 65.
Woods is well enough placed four shots off the pace after his opening round of 69.
Playing on the easier of the two host courses at Serapong, England’s Chris Wood fired a scorching first round of 63 to share the lead with Korean Kim Bi-o during the first round at the Barclays Singapore Masters.
Wood reeled off three consecutive birdies before adding an eagle at the sixth to make the turn in 31 on the Tanjong track. Three more in a row on the backside added up to 8 under.
Other notables include Shigeki Maruyama who bowed and gritted his teeth to a 64. Also at 7 under and burning it up after 10 holes at time of writing is Ignacio Garrido.
Bets of the Irish is Gareth Maybin, who lies on six under two shots better than Darren Clarke who is also handily placed at four under.
The leading player on the Serapong course was Kang Kyung-nam from Korea who shot five under. Depending on the weather this could turn out be significant as the tournament progresses.
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ENGLISH golf is going through a purple patch right now. It may have been 14 years since we last witnessed a home-grown major champion when Nick Faldo slipped on the green jacket at Augusta, but the wait for another is very nearly over. Lee Westwood has finally ended Tiger Woods’ 281-week reign as world number one and the likes of Paul Casey, Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Ross Fisher sit within a gimme’s length behind. But one of our hottest young talents on the European Tour right now is Gary Boyd.
A big future was predicted for him as an amateur in 2006 when he claimed multiple wins, including the Asia Pacific Championship. After turning pro at the end of 2007, Boyd headed to the 2008 Challenge Tour. He began the season with two runner-up finishes in Argentina and Poland but failed to capitalise on the good start, finishing nine places and £15,800 short of the automatic qualification to the European Tour.
But the youngster from Banbury proved what a difference a year can make in golf when he triumphed in the 2009 Kenya Open. He took control of the season-opener with a superb second round 64 and was never headed on the way to his first professional victory.
It was a slow start to his first full European Tour season, with just five top-20 finishes in the space of seven months, but fortunes changed at the Czech Open in August.
Boyd opened with steady rounds of 72 and 70 and then burst into life over the weekend with two rounds of 68. He closed his final round with an incredible birdie three at the 453 yards par 4 to get into a three man playoff with Swedish Ryder Cup star Peter Hanson and Irishman Peter Lawrie.
To his despair, the Swede rolled in an 18-foot putt on the second playoff hole to win, but the runners-up spot gave the Englishman a much-needed confidence to kick on.
“That was the highlight of my year so far,” reflected Boyd.
“I needed to make a birdie up the last to get into a playoff and I did it. Under that sort of pressure, the iron shot and the putt were the greatest two shots I hit this season,” he added.
Two weeks later, Boyd received his biggest-ever cheque with a fourth place finish at the hotly-contested Alfred Dunhill Links in Scotland, finishing five shots behind world number three and reigning US PGA Champion Martin Kaymer.
The streaky Englishman continued his impressive form in October with a ninth place at the Portugal Masters and a third at Spain’s Castello Masters.
He said: “Three top-five finishes in the space of four weeks proves I really do belong out here and it is great to see that the hard work is paying off.
“I am a lot more confident than I was at the start of the season and I believe in myself now.”
Much of that confidence has been installed by his close friend, Ian Poulter, who has mentored Boyd since he turned pro. Boyd, who wears the IJP (Ian Poulter apparel) logo on the collar of his shirts, could not speak highly enough of the world number 14.
“Poults has been fantastic to me – he bigs me up all the time,” chuckled Boyd.
“He is one of the most confident golfers on the planet and without doubt he has built that confidence into me with certain compliments and beliefs.
“The guy is absolute class. He has won all over the world, played in three Ryder Cups and has been there in the amateur world, so he knows what I have gone through.”
There is also plenty of camaraderie on the practice range between Manchester United fanatic Boyd and Arsenal-mad Poulter.
“There is always banter between us and some of the other guys, but it’s nice as it takes your mind off the golf every now and again,” he added.
Life on the European Tour is not easy, living out of a suitcase, but he explained he takes these things in his stride.
“The travelling is tiring, especially when there are plane delays, but I have been doing this for three years now and I am slowly getting used to it,” he said.
“This season, I played probably six more tournaments than in previous years but I try and play no more than three events in a row.
“It is important that when you finish your round, you head back to the hotel and just chill out with the guys.”
Boyd currently sits 49th in the Race to Dubai Standings but knows a big finish at the season-ending Dubai World Championship this week will reap rich rewards.
“I want to try and push into the top 30 in the Race to Dubai because that will give me more starts in the majors next year,” he said.
“With the confidence I have installed towards the end of this season, I am hopeful I will move into the world’s top 100 and win very soon.”
Boyd appears to be a man in control of his emotions and knows exactly what he wants out of the next four years.
“It would obviously be great to make the 2012 Ryder Cup side, but I laid out an eight-year plan four years ago to get a place in 2014. That is the goal I set and I will stick to it, but you never know in this game,” he said.
English golf has seen a significant resurgence of late with 17 Englishmen marching into the world’s top 140 and Westwood knocking Tiger off the top of the world.
The current pool of emerging English talent, includes his good friends John Parry and Danny Willett. “Yes, it really is fantastic, I have grown up with John and Danny and we seem to be the ones thriving this year,” he said.
But Boyd believes much of our current success is down to the support that comes from off the course.
“We are very fortunate to have funding from the English Golf Union – they continue to provide top class coaching around the country and it is credit to them when we look at the rankings today,” he confirmed.
Refreshed after a three-week break, Boyd has fine-tuned his game with coaches David Leadbetter and Sean Hogan in preparation for the season finale in Dubai. His confidence is sky high at the moment and it would come as no surprise if he produces another big finish against Europe’s elite at the Jumeirah Golf Estates Course this week.
It’s been a hectic month for singing Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez as he has had to divide his time over the last few weeks between playing on Tour and appearing on Saturday night entertainment show, The X Factor.
Pic: Jimenez disguised as alter ego “Wagner”
Jimenez, barely recognizable with his hair down and operating under the Alias ‘Wagner’ on the hit ITV show has increasingly found the strain tough as the Tour moves into its end of season Asian swing. After last Saturday’s third round, Jimenez boarded a lear jet bound for London and arrived just in time to sing Viva Las Vegas for Simon, Cheryl, Danni and Louis.
“I berry happy” said JImenez aka Wagner. “I love de music, de wines, de cigars. I sing on de range. Padraig Harrington, he no like it. He like Mary Byrne”.
Next Saturday, Jimenez will again jet in, this time from Singapore to sing Bonnie Tyler’s epic hit “Total Eclipse Of The Heart”. According to ITV sources he has at least another two weeks on the show, as Katie Waster and Aiden Lockjaw the guy who sings out of the corner of his mouth are due to be booted out first.
Its another big week on the European Tour’s Asian swing with the Barclay’s Singapore Open 2010. Here’s our betting preview and tips for the event.
The Tanjong & The Serapong, Sentosa GC
Singapore, Singapore 11 Nov 2010 - 14 Nov 2010
A poor third round of 63 did for Poults challenge last week but in truth Francesco and Lee were too far away regardless. However his tied 13th finish served as a good warm up for his defence of the title in Singapore this week. Its going to be tough for the Hitchin pro this week being as the event is to be be staged over two courses at Sentosa with a field of over 200. But something tells me he wont be too far off the pace.
Adam Scott has had a better year this time around even throwing in a win at the Valero Texas Open. Impressed with a fifth at the Deutsche Bank at the end of the US Tour regular season and has come back after a month off with decent showings at the Asia Pacific event and last week in China. Scott forgoes the Aussie Masters to play in Singapore this week and why not? The venue has been kind to him in the past with third place finishes in two of the last three stagings.
It’s one of those strange anomalies of golf but Pod’s tied 16th place last week in China in no reflected the way he played. Harrington’s driving stats were respectable and his distance, putting and sand saves numbers exemplary.Bar a couple of disasters the Dubliner would have had a podium finish without doubt. I’ve seen this phenomenon many times in the stats and its rare that the player in question does not feature in the following event. A winner at the Johor kebab- something open recently, watch out for Padraig next Sunday morning.
Fredrik Andersson-Hed is like a man with a new, well, head this year! After two years spent the wrong side of the Tour School cut off, the Swede is having his best season ever on Tour and can spend early December relaxing as opposed to slogging it out over eight tension filled rounds at the Q-school in Catalunya. Andersson-Hed lies 21st in the Race To Dubai thanks to some big cheques at the Italian Open where he won and at the PGA Championship where he tied second. Tied sixth again last again and sure to be high in confidence. Pic: “Eddie The Head”…..well its close enough
It’s sharpen the blades on his clubs and his cessna time for Charl as the South African contingent on Tour gear up for the most important stretch of their season. Charl has become a world player this year and it has taken its toll on his high-season results but those two wins in his homeland back in January still looks mighty impressive. I expect him to play every event from now through to next January and after a gentle reintroduction in China could challenge this week in Singapore where he tied fifth last season.
This young Korean seemingly has it in the technical department even if the experience side of his game still needs work. Noh leads the Asian Tour money list coming into this week and performed well last week before fading to 16th at the death. He’s only been out on Tour full time less than a year and has already clocked a win in Malaysia. The current pick of the Asian talent on Tour. Pic: Doctor No….also close enough!
Tiger Woods made a fleeting visit to his mother’s homeland in Thailand today supposedly to take part in the rather oddly titled “World Golf Salutes King Bhumibol Skins Tournament” at Amata Spring Country Club. However we have it on good authority that Woods was actually running an errand for his mother who needed to stock up on unfeasibly large sun hats for next years major season. Apparently Kultida noticed a worrying single beam of sunlight glaring through the visor of her old hat at the USPGA Championship. Good man Tiger, always look after your Mam!
It seems Francesco Molinari may have put the days of missed four footers firmly in his past as he won the WGC HSBC Champions Event yesterday with a centre shafted Taylormade Rossa Ghost Monte Carlo putter. The Italian made the switch from his old Odyssey White Ice IX9 following the Ryder Cup and had also toyed with the Nike Method 3 putter this year.
The Champions Tour's season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship was won by John Cook who beat Bay Area native Michael Allen by two strokes. With rain falling and crowds down, Cook shot a 4-under 67 and sealed the win in style with a 15-foot par putt on the 18th hole for his fifth career title.
Langer (69) tied for third with South African David Frost (71) and secured the Charles Schwab Cup from nearest rival Freddie Couple who tied for 10th at 9 under. Couples took home $500,000 and a pat on the back.
"Looking back it's been an unbelievable year," said Langer, who won the Senior British and U.S. Senior Opens in consecutive weeks. "The thing I (hadn't) done so far is winning the Schwab Cup, so this was a big deal for me. To come out on top is a great feeling and it's worth all the hard work over the years."
Pic: Yuk! Looks like someone’s barfed up last night’s stir-fry all over the Charles Schwab trophy!
South Korean Jiyai Shin won the Mizuno Classic yesterday claiming her second LPGA Tour victory of the season and eighth overall. Shin shot a closing 5-under 67 for 18 under and a two-stroke victory over Yani Tseng. The event was held on the Kintetsu Kashikojima course and co-sanctioned by the Japan LPGA. Shin season total is now $1,779,768 and just $3,535 short of leader Na Yeon Choi with two events left. Pic: Should’ve Gone To Specsavers?
Francesco Molinari has won the HSBC WGC Champions event in near darkness in China. Molinari could feel the breath of Lee Westwood on his back throughout but his final round but sublime iron play helped him compile a final round of 67 to finish on 19 under and better Westwood by one shot. It’s the Italian’s first win in over four years.
The key moment of the final round came on the short par four 16th. After Westwood went for the green, Molinari laid up. Ironically it was the Italian that emerged with birdie, while Westwood dumped his second in the bank of the bunker after attempting a delicate lob. That gave the Italian a two shot cushion with two to play.
Richie Ramsay and Luke Donald shared third, whilst a charging Rory McIlroy climbed to fifth.
Francesco was greeted on the 18th green by brother Edoardo and Matteo Manassero.
Both players shot five under par rounds of 67 to see the Italian move to 14 under for the week at Sheshan International and pull the leading duo clear of nearest challenger Luke Donald.
Padraig Harrington is tied eighth on six under after a 70 while expected moves from Mickelson, Woods and Poulter never materialised as all shot over par rounds.
WGC HSBC Champions 2011 Round Three Highlights Report from European Tour site