November 2010

Ross Fisher 10/1

ross A poor final round saw Ross Fisher drop down to 13th on the leaderboard at the season ending Dubai World Championship. It was his first outing in three weeks since his 16th at the HSBC Champions. Capable of great golf as his 64 on Friday on the Earth course proved. Ross gave five shots away to winner Robert Allenby here in the first round last year and only lost out in the end by one so I fully expect him to contend this week, even with fellow Englishman Lee Westwood in the field.

Anders Hansen 30/1

Anders-Hansen-ninth-on-final-day_1764355 Another solid performance from our long odds shout last week saw a second consecutive finish of 11th for Anders. The Dane hit form in Singapore early in November finishing second and followed up with good display in Hong Kong. A good showing here would cap a lucrative end to the season.


Tim Clark 15/1

clark_299x270 It’s a case of dust the clubs and come out for a bat for tiny Tim this week. Finished 25th at the HSBC Champions event but can be content with his breakthrough PGA tour win this season at the Players Championship. Three rounds in the 60’s helped him to a share of third last year. Putting is the key.


Adam Scott 7/1

Adam-Scott It’s hard to see past Adam Scott at his home championship this week. Winner last year by five shots albeit on a different course, Scott comes to East Lake this week refreshed and brimming with confidence after his super win at the Barclays Singapore Open. That was Scott’s second win of the season after his Valero Texas Open victory on the PGA Tour and the bookies reckon on a Scott hat trick on a third Tour this week.


Stuart Appleby 15/1

appleby01 Appleby is notorious in betting circles as the hardest man to tip on Tour. Time and again his performances come from absolutely nowhere and good weeks are regularly followed by shockers. His JB Were Masters win a couple of weeks proved that as he came from well down the field to pip Adam Bland on the rails. Having said all that Appleby is also looking for a third win of the year having tasted victory on the PGA Tour in August at the Greenbrier Classic. Those with a long memory will know that Appleby gifted Adam Scott the event last year when he shot 75 in the final round. Payback time?

Marcus Fraser 42/1

frazser   Very impressive in Hong Kong a few weeks back with four rounds in the 60’s (including a 63 in the second round) to record a top ten finish. Qualified for the season ending Race To Dubai Championship but never really got it going on the Earth course and a final round 75 saw Marcus drop to 32nd. He’s playing much better than that result suggests and if tiredness is not a factor, he could be in the mix from 42/1 this week.


Never one to miss out on a marketing opportunity, Ian Poulter and the good folks at IJP have worked through the night to come up this new version of TiddlyWinks, just in time for the Christmas market. The disks or “winks” in the game have been replaced by ball markers which must be flipped by dropping a golf ball from three inches overhead.  The electronic version features the guest voice of European Tour referee Andy McFee who dishes out the penalties.  The game is set to retail at $400,000.

I had the pleasure of meeting Brett Waldman earlier this year at the JP McManus Pro-Am event in Adare whilst doing a “what’s in the bag” for Camilo and figured that he knew just a bit too much about his mans weaponry to be any ordinary looper.

It’s no surprise so to hear that Waldman shot a 68 in the final round in Dallas last week and made it through to next week's final stage at Orange County National in Orlando, where the top 25 earn their tour cards.

Waldman has caddied for his cousin, Tom Pernice Jr. and Ben Crane before joining Villegas. With zero practice all year and encouraged by his wife and friends, he waited until the last minute to pay the $5,000 Tour submission fee and taking his chances.

Waldman may now face a dilemma. With 25  PGA Tour cards, and 50 full Nationwide Tour cards on offer next week, he will have to decide between giving up the Villegas bags (and the money that goes with it) for the life of a Tour pro where absolutely nothing is guaranteed.

"I asked Camilo about it and he said, 'You've got to be kidding me. Play,'" Waldman said. "I think he's pretty fired up about it."


robert karlsson winner dubai world championship 2010 2008 order of merit winner Robert Karlsson has won the 2010 Dubai World Championship after a thrilling playoff with Ian Poulter.  Both men birdied the 18th during the first playoff hole and Karlsson repeated the dose second time around for the title.  As it transpired, Karlsson had two putts for the title after Poults suffered a bizarre rules infringement on the green when preparing for his birdie putt.  The Englishman’s ball slipped out of his grasp from three inches over the ball and fell on the front of his marker moving it a little.  Referee Andy McPhee immediately issued a one shot penalty for moving the ball which sucker punched Poulter.  Karlsson’s four foot birdie putt made Poulter’s foul irrelevant as he claimed the first prize of €910,348.

The pair tied on the 14 under after Karlsson, overcame a three shot overnight deficit then pitched to three feet for a birdie on the 620 yard last.

martin kaymer race to dubai winner2 Defending champion Lee Westwood missed out on his chance of a place in the playoff when he pulled his second to the last into the water. He produced a class chip to set up his par five, but it left him in a tie for third with Spain's Alvaro Quiros, while 21 year old Rory McIlroy was a shot further back after closing with an eagle for a 67.

Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell tied for 13th, which made Kaymer The European Tour's youngest Number One since Ronan Rafferty in 1989.

martin kaymer race to dubai winner Martin Kaymer sealed the 2010 Race To Dubai with a level par final round to finish on six under for a tied 13th finish.  Ironically the USPGA Champ finished on the same score as the US Open Champ, his nearest challenger. Gmac finished with a smashing 68 on the course that “frustrates the hell out of him” to get some satisfaction from the final round of his amazing season.

Kaymer becomes the second German to finish The European Tour season as Number One, following Bernhard Langer (1981 and 1984).  At 25 years and 335 days he is the youngest player to be crowned Number One since Ireland’s Ronan Rafferty in 1989, who was 25 years and 289 days.

A devastating missed tiddler on the 10th looked to have finished Rory McIlroy but two birdies and a stunning eagle to finish saw him climb to 12 under for a respectable top five finish. Pic: Rory McIlroy’s Scorecard

rory mcilroy dubai world championship 2010 scorecard 

Extracts from the European Tour website

The Race to Dubai on The 2011 European Tour International Schedule, featuring a minimum of 50 tournaments in 29 different destinations, including  new events in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Malaysia and Sicily,  will conclude with the Dubai World Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from December 8-11.

Three new events   - the Volvo Golf Champions at The Royal Golf Club, Kingdom of Bahrain, from January 27-30, the Sicilian Open from March 17-20 and the Iskandar Johor Open from November 17-20  -  appear on a schedule further enhanced by the return of the Volvo World Match Play Championship in addition to the biennial team events, The Vivendi Trophy with Seve Ballesteros and the Omega Mission Hills World Cup.
The sixth edition of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on January 20-23 will launch a month-long “Gulf Swing” taking in the Volvo Golf Champions – one of three Volvo-sponsored tournaments – and the established Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. This will be the 14th Qatar Masters and the 22nd Dubai Desert Classic.

Wentworth Club will, for the 31st time and the 28th in succession, host The European Tour’s flagship event – the BMW PGA Championship - from May 26-29, one of three tournaments in six weeks organised by the German car manufacturer with the BMW Italian Open from June 9-12 and the BMW International Open from June 23-26.

Jul 7‐10 The Barclays Scottish Open TBA
14‐17 THE 140th OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP Royal St George's GC, Sandwich, Kent
21‐24 Nordea Scandinavian Masters Bro Hof Slott GC, Stockholm, Sweden
28‐31 Irish Open TBA
Aug 4‐7 WGC – Bridgestone Invitational Firestone CC, Akron, Ohio, USA
11‐14 US PGA CHAMPIONSHIP Atlanta Athletic Club, Johns Creek, Georgia, USA


robert-lee Robert Lee of Sky Sports commenting on a Robert Karlsson missed putt down the stretch at the Dubai World Championship.  Bear in mind that Karlsson missed almost an entire season with a debilitating eye problem.



“Karlsson is normally such a dependable putter.  Eye test required!”

It’s unclear whether Rob needed the help of fellow commentator David Howell to remove his foot from his mouth.

It’s the final hole on the Earth Course in Dubai and its rapidly getting a reputation as a card wrecker.  A good drive almost forces you to go for it in two, but if you miss, the consequences can be disastrous.  The leaders of the Dubai World Championship will know they cannot afford a drop in concentration until this hole has been negotiated.

dubai world championship 2010 Third Round Leaderboard Eight times he has lead going into the final round and seven wins have resulted but Ian Poulter wont have it all his own way tomorrow at the 2010 Dubai World Championship.  Its  a star studded leaderboard with Francesco Molinari, Lee Westwood, Ross Fisher, Robert Karlsson (a resurgent 67) and even Rory McIlroy (66 today) well positioned for a shot at the title on Sunday.

Poults leads the way by two after a 69 but he will be joined by Francesco Molinari in the final group tomorrow after the Italian was the first to post 10 under in the clubhouse.

Ian poulter round three dubai world championship 2010 Graeme McDowell’s Race is run as he conceded defeat in the Race To Dubai. GMac played better today to finish on 3 under, while Champion elect Kaymer lies on 6 under after dropping four shots on the way home, including a disastrous double bogey on the last.

Ian Poulter tees off the 18th at the Dubai World Championship 2010 Third Round Highlights

ian poulter dubai world championship second round highlights Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher are tied for the halfway lead on 9 under at the Dubai World Championship 2010 and Martin Kaymer has all but sewn up The Race to Dubai.

The Germans only rival GMac struggled again on a course that, as he says himself, “frustrates the life out of me” to  a 73 for 42nd place while Kaymer is tied fourth just two behind the  leaders on 7 under.

Round of the day came from Fisher who shot a course record-equalling 64 to reach 9 under before being joined on that mark by Poulter late in the day.

Other notable movers upwards were Paul Casey and Francesco Molinari while Robert Karlsson and Sergio Garcia slipped back down the leaderboard today.

Here’s what’s in the bag of world number one Lee Westwood at the Dubai World Championship 2010.  With thanks to our man on the Ping tour truck Dominic Griffiths.

ulster_says_no There’s no pleasing some. It seems today that Ulster,  the province that boasts US Open Champion and Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell and the best young player on the planet Rory McIlory, are turning their back on the duo in favour of Asian Order of Merit Winner Seung Yul Noh.

Golf fans representing the entire province of Ulster, including Donegal North, took the opportunity to proclaim the Korean as their new favourite on Tour , by unveiling an alternate version of the infamous provincial slogan “Ulster Says Noh” outside the clubhouse at the Dubai World Championships.  The flag also pokes fun at the ill fated Ping “G8” driver that was never released.

Apparently the move has not gone too well in Noh’s homeland where the government has urged Ulster to give Noh back.  A spokesman said earlier “We’re absolutely crappin’ ourselves already over this crazy guy  Kim Jong Un taking over in North Korea.  The last thing we want is to bring the wrath of Ian Paisley on our country.  We'll even swap ye YE Yang and KJ Choi if you give us back Noh”.  More as it emerges.

The moment when NORTH WEST Ireland wins the IAGTO European Golf Destination of the year 2011.  Well done everybody!

dubai world championship First Round Leaderboard It’s something of a blast from the past in Dubai with the likes of Robert Karlsson, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson at the summit of the leaderboard at the season finale in Dubai.  With one notable exception.  Martin Kaymer canned his second shot to the third on his way to five under, just two shots off the pace and more importantly five ahead of Graeme McDowell who struggled on the “grainy” and “shaggy” greens.  Lee Westwood also celebrated his return to action with a solid three under par 69.

I ’ve just spotted this offer on for the brilliant Portmarnock Hotel & Links.  It looks class and I’m definitely heading up. Bone dry course, no mud on your shoes and brilliant greens.  Might even toddle off down the road to Gibney’s in Malahide for a pint after. 

The Portmarnock Offer

1 night B&B & 1 Round of golf for €55 pps or €80 single occupancy, subject to availability.
Contact the team to book Portmarnock Links on - 085-7134444 or 087-6644344.  And here’s the link

golf 20 Why cant golf be as glamorous as this all the time?  Well it is if you are Barry Power.  He had none other than top model Georgia Salpa in to his golf academy the other day for a lesson.  Baz must have gotten wind she was coming though; he got the hairgel in and check out the shine on those shoes!

Pic: Barry takes up a risky position but it’s worth it for Georgia!

Barry gave Georgia a present for Christmas (steady on lads)– in the form of one of his expert golf lessons which are recorded onsite with his uber-Sony technology which allows the user to replay and relive the lesson over and over again.  Featuring Ireland’s only on the spot take-home DVD of the golf lesson with voice-over analysis, the Barry Power Golf Academy system makes it impossible to forget the most important points of the lesson.  I think Barry may have kept a sneaky copy for himself too!

Lessons vouchers priced from just €45 can either be on an individual or group basis and can be purchased from the academy in person or online at the academy’s website.

With multiple appearances on Sky Sports and TV3’s Ireland AM, providing golf tips to Ireland's morning viewers, Barry has featured regularly in golf sections in newspapers such as the Irish Independent and the Irish Times.  Appointed  Ireland AM’s Ryder Cup 2008 analyst, Barry created the much enjoyed video file that analyzes Tiger Woods’ swing, which has been viewed a massive 478,704 times on YouTube.  Check it out on

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major winners 2010 Lee Westwood’s presence in the field at the Dubai World Championship this week means it’s likely that he will remain No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the fifth consecutive week.

There is however a possibility that No. 3 Martin Kaymer could leapfrog Westwood into the top spot. For that to happen Kaymer must win or finish solo second and Westwood must finish worse than a tie for second with one other player.

Kaymer will also take the top spot if he finishes second on his own with Westwood outside the top 27.

The most likely scenario for Kaymer however is his moving up to No. 2 and relegating Tiger Woods to No. 3. To do so, Kaymer must finish tied for fourth (with no more than two others) or better.


west-coast-links-up Congrats to the good folks at North & West Coast Links Golf who had cause to clink their glasses of San Miguel together in Valencia, Spain last week as they accepted the award for “European Golf Destination of the Year 2011” from the International Golf Tour Operators. 350 international golf tour operators from 52 countries chose the North and West over competition from the world famous Old Course at St. Andrews aswell as Spanish and Portuguese venues.

North & West Coast Links Golf  comprises the 12 golf courses :Connemara Championship Links, Carne Golf Links, Enniscrone Golf Club,Co. Sligo Golf Club, Donegal Golf Club, Narin & Portnoo Golf Club,Rosapenna Golf Links, Portsalon Golf Club, Ballyliffin Golf Club (pictured), Portstewart Golf Club, Royal Portrush Golf Club and Ardglass Golf Club.


The Irish Open will appear on the European Tour’s 2011 Race To Dubai schedule when it is unveiled this evening.  The date pencilled in is July 28-31.  In the venue column on the Tour’s website will appear TBA, but after the enormous success of the 2010 staging and the fact that the infrastructure is already in place, it seems highly likely that Killarney will again be the venue.  The Kerry venue was unanimously judged by the players as being the best stop on this year’s Tour and adding in the fact that spectator numbers spiked in the region make it the obvious choice for a second staging. Watch this space.

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Winner Alright: Last week we tipped Ian Poulter at 15/1.  That’s two in a row. Can we make it three?  Here are my betting tips for the 2010 Dubai World Championship, the European Tour finale.

Dubai World Championship presented by DP World

Jumeirah Golf Estates

Dubai, United Arab Emirates 25 Nov 2010 - 28 Nov 2010

Lee Westwood 8/1

I would love nothing more than to give you a long odds winner to make it three in a row to finish off the season, but there is just no way you can ignore Lee Westwood from 8/1. The Race To Dubai may be between major winners Kaymer and GMac this season, but Westwood lies third even having missed a chunk of the season with injury. He showed no ill effects from his injured calf at the recent HSBC Champions where he finished second for his ninth top-10 of the season. The man from Worksop “bullied the field” here last year and his final round 64 saw him win by six after a legendary putting display. A similar dose would decimate the field this time around.

Rory McIlroy 15/1

Rors came into this event last year with a lot on his mind. The pressure from sponsors, and the weight of expectation to win The Race To Dubai (where he had four top fives in the build up to lead the rankings coming in) was too much to expect the young man to shoulder. The Earth course however suited McIlroy last year where he found the new putting surfaces very much to his liking; so much so that he canned his way to third. If you were to call anything a frailty with Rory, it’s his driving accuracy; his GIR stats belie the fact that he’s rarely inside the top-30 players off the tee. And tour rough makes it tough to get close to pins, even for the best. A good week with the Big Dog is the key to victory for McIlroy. The Holywood man comes into the event this year on the back of two decent finishes of sixth and fifth in Hong Kong and the WGC respectively.

Francesco Molinari: 24/1

Italian golf is on the up and up with brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari and now Matteo Manassero dominating the Tour. Francesco is my pick for this week as I think he possess all the attributes to contend. Okay he may have finished 30th here last year, but the Francesco who will tee it up this RCValentinaMolinariFRANCESCOweek is a vastly improved player than then. Straighter and longer off the tee (where he ceded the guts of 15 yards to Westwood last year), more accurate than ever with his irons, more confident on the greens with his new ghost putter and having shed that top weight of the winning monkey off his back at the WGC-HSBC recently it all makes for an irresistible concoction.

Pic: Francesco is’nt doin’ a line with Minister Mary Coughlan is he?

Long Odds Shout- Anders Hansen: 130/1

Even though Peter Hanson has had a cracking season and even top 10’d in Dubai last year, we’re plumping for Dane Anders Hansen to produce a podium finish this week. Hansen was impressive in Singapore two weeks back when he surged to finish second behind behind GMac and kept up his form in Hong Kong placing 11th. His form with the flat stick has been the difference of late and if he can bring his stroke to Dubai, where he lead the field in driving accuracy last year, a real sting at 130/1 is in prospect. A proven winter performer.

Irish Value- Gareth Maybin: 90/1

maybin Four top-10’s this season say Gareth Maybin is steadily improving. Shares the same problem of getting over the line with the Irish rugby pack but it will happen. A tough final round of 76 cost him a win at Valderrama and that destructive tendency resurfaced in Singapore when a Saturday 79 spoiled the week. However Maybster got some good advice on the range last week and finished with a storming 61 in Hong Kong for a top-10 finish. The difference on Sunday? Straight off the tee. If he can keep it going this week, a podium finish is not beyond the realms of possibility.


Betting tips 2010 Dubai World Championship

carol_vorderman_countdown_103 (1)  With just this week’s Dubai gold encrusted World Championship left on the European Tour’s 2010 calender we enlisted the help of our office cardboard Carol Vorderman (pre facelift) cutout to help us deciphor just who the hell can win the Race To Dubai in the final event.

For Martin Kaymer To Win The Race he needs to:race prize fund

Earn €291,000 more than GMac for the week.  If he wins, he’s guaranteed the Race win. If he comes second to anybody but GMac, he wins.

For Graeme McDowell To Win The Race he needs to:

Basically, win the event.  The 303 grand difference between first and second would be enough to overcome the 291 grand difference.Other than winning, it gets tougher for Graeme as the prize fund decreases rapidly from third down (it’s still sickly big but you get my drift).

For Lee Westwood to win The Race he needs to:

Wait until next year, play more events, mind his calf and win a bloody major!

Race To Dubai Rankings

race to dubai rankings

from Jay Busbee at Devil Ball Golf.

Early Thursday morning, Tiger Woods joined ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike for about 17 minutes of conversation. Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch reported that Woods' camp placed several restrictions on the interview, including no callers and no references to certain touchy events. But we at Devil Ball have discovered* an email which seems to indicate that there were far more restrictions than that. Now, for the first time, we can reveal just how much Tiger Woods controlled this interview:


ian poulter ubs hong kong open third round leaderboard  Ian Poulter won the Hong Kong Open today with a solid final round of 67 to win by one shot from a surging Matteo Mannasero and Simon Dyson.  Poulter was without a nervy moment, taking only his second bogey of the week on the last hole, but in truth he was always in charge.

Another winner from our weekly tips.  Make sure to check our Dubai tips next week.


Its tight at the top heading into the final round of the UBS Hong Kong Open hong kong open 2010 thid round leaderboard

Ian Poulter leads GMac by two as he recorded a six under par 64 to sit 19 under, thanks in no small part to two canned bombs of 17 and 18.

Asian specialist Simon Dyson and Rory McIlroy are also well in the hunt just two back.


 buddy darby road to recovery conferenceWe’ve spent the day (with the hard men) down the back of the The Golf Business “Road To Recovery” conference in the new Dublin Convention Centre.  Organized by Carr golf services the event brought together 250 frontline golf personnel from all around the country for the first time to discuss the ‘cause of’ and ‘solution to’ Irish Golf’s problems.

Pic: Charles P. “Buddy” Darby III; a close relative of Davis Love III and Charles Howell III

The conference heard first from Dermot Desmond; what he talked about, I still don’t know but it definitely had a low carbon footprint- it could be used again and again for a variety of purposes. That may be a bit unfair-  he did mention golf at the beginning and the end, which was nice! 

He was followed by Kiawah Island’s Buddy Darby who highlighted some of the ideas used in Doonbeg to return to profit. Buddy came up with the quote of the day, “You can lead a horse to water, but you cant make him ………..a duck!”.

Mark Nolan from Dromoland Castle did a brilliant Brian Lenihan impression on it and allowed delegates to roleplay being members of the IMF, inviting us to view his business books over the past 10 years and gave his projections “going forward”.

Amid the charts and arrows, doom and gloom, a couple of serious points arose from the conference.

  1. An all encompassing Irish Golfing Body is desperately needed.  Such a body would represent everyone in the Irish golfing business.  It could and would lobby the government with a unified voice.  It could grab the airline bosses, and wedgie them, until they agree to flying in the golfers again. 
  2. Golf clubs need to share in order to survive.  This could be anything from ideas, to staff, to machinery, but hey, we all just need to get on.

So well done Roddy and Marty Carr, good stuff.  Just make sure ye take Buddy’s advice and now that we’re all lead to water, help make us ducks!

ubs hong kong open 2010 second round highlightsHalloween may be over but there’s a Poultergeist on top of the leaderboard at the halfway point of the UBS Hong Kong Open. Poults shot a super round of 60, seven shots better than his opening salvo to set the target at 13 under.  The Englishman should have been joined at the top by Rory McIlroy but his round of 66 was blighted by a double bogey on the last which left him two shots behind.

Poulter’s round of 60 contained ten birdies - including five in succession from the seventhUBS hong kong open 2010 second round leaderboard

UBS Hong Kong Open 2010 Second Round Leaderboard