December 2010

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Well almost.  While the rest of the select field will be in a dogfight over the million plus bucks first prize our GMac will be using the event to figure out just how high his new srixon weaponry sends his new srixon ball.  The Srixon blog have today officially announced  what we reported weeks ago- that McDowell is in the Srixon stable.

Along with asking their new charge if he liked Jay Leno, tap ins and going to the beach the “fun” guys at Srixon also got around to asking GMac why he decided to change:-

Coming off the biggest year of your career, what made you switch to Cleveland Golf/Srixon?

I was a Cleveland Wedge player most of my amateur career and my college days.  I had a relationship with the guys on and off throughout the years, it was just the right time.  Obviously the Srixon golf ball was a ball that appealed to me, I had heard so many good things about it.  Let’s be honest, nowadays the golf ball is a huge part of the whole deal and it was a ball I wanted to try out.  Instantly I really loved the ball.  I was at a stage my career where it is great to come on with a company like Cleveland/Srixon and have input of energy into my career.  Obviously, I am trying to get to the next level and become one of the world’s best players.  I just think this equipment is what can get me there.

I’ve read the above a few times and it doesn’t mention money, dosh, wedge or moolah anywhere. Ha!  However our code cracking department tell us that if you substitute the word “cash” for “ball” in the above statement, it all makes perfect sense.

Well done Graeme, Conor and all concerned; cant wait to do a fresh “what’s in the bag”.

 

Hyundai Tournament of Champions, PGA Tour 2011

Plantation Course at Kapalua, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

Stuart Appleby 22/1

Appleby will be the happiest man to regain his place in the Hawaii field by virtue of his Greenbrier Classic win back in August. It must be Sun, the waves and the surf that endears Hawaii to the Aussie because he ruled here in the mid naughties with three consecutive victories in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Appleby also finished the season with an impressive win at the JB Were Masters back in November so at odds of 22/1 or so this looks like the bet of the week.

Geoff Ogilivy 10/1

geoff ogilvy funny Having just spoken about Stuart Appleby’s three wins here, if you throw Geoff Ogilvy into the mix you get five Aussie winners from the last seven stagings. Ogilvy has bagged $2.25 million bucks from winning this event for the past two seasons and having warmed up with an Australian Open win before Christmas it looks like being a battle of the Roos this week. The Ogilvy’s are sure to make it a family affair this week, having left his expectant wife at home while he defended last season.

Ernie Els 11/1

Ernie Els is fast getting back to his best and will be certainly one to watch going into the 2011 major season. Els won both the WGC-CA and Arnold Palmer Invitational in March last year to gain his place in Hawaii. The South African set the tournament record of 31 under when winning by eight shots at the Plantation Course in 2003. That was the first of Els three Hawaiian Island wins as he added two Sony Opens in January of 2003 and 2004. A brilliant recent victory over Retief Goosen in the South African Open in December makes Els a real contender this week.

Ian Poulter 17/1

Having made us all so jealous after tweeting so very frequently from his sundrenched Christmas break, Rodders, I mean Poults will absolutely love all the lavishness of this PGA season opener. The Kapalua resort course should be right up Poulter’s alley resembling as it does many of the Floridian courses where plenty of birdies are the order of the day. It wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Arsenal’s biggest fan emulate his team’s achievements and continue his climb up the world rankings with a good result this week.

Anthony Kim 30/1

anthony kim funny pic Although he won the Shell Houston Open in April, 2010 seemed to bypass Anthony Kim like a ship in the night. Hampered by a thumb injury and hurt by a Ryder Cup snub Kim will be keen to put last season firmly behind him and re-establish himself as one of the world’s best. Tied second here in 2009 even if Ogilivy won by six shots on that occasion. One to watch from decent odds, for me Kim is still the USA’s only realistic antidote to Rory McIlroy’s brilliance.

 

Africa Open Betting Tips

East London GC

East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa 06 Jan 2011 - 09 Jan 2011

Retief Goosen 7/1

the goose wines Goose chose to play the Tournament Of Champions in Hawaii this time last season so he returns to East London this week as a defending champion of sorts having won the event in 2009. Winless since the 2009 Transitions on the PGA Tour but Retief showed some really good form when coming close at the South African Open before the Christmas break. Not the type of guy to overdose on the mulled wine, even though he has his own label, expect Goosen to come out all guns blazing this week.

Charl Schwartzel 8/1

charl schwartzel stick insect Charl is the defending champion this week and the form South African in the field. Made a late charge at the South African to score a fourth place and will probably be the only player in the field to emerge from the Christmas thinner than when he went in. He won two in a row in the Sunshine last year and though he wont have it all his own this round with Goosen in the field, he’s still the man to beat. 

Thomas Aiken 20/1

thomas aiken funny Thomas Aiken is one of the most consistent players on the Tour making the most of his talents. The South African came so close last year but a double bogey early in his final round gave the advantage to Charl Schwartzel who pipped him to the title by one. Aiken impressed at the end of 2010 with three top 15’s in Dubai, the Alfred Dunhill and the South African Open. New greens were laid at the East London golf club following last years event and if Aiken can get up to speed on these to putt as well as did last year he’s a threat to the big boys.

Robert Rock 25/1

robert rock funny_thumb[1] I was very impressed with Robert Rock’s 64,64 at the weekend in the South African Open and that tied fifth result will evoke happy memories for the Englishman as he makes the flight back down to the Eastern Cape following the Christmas holidays. The East London Golf Club in January is inevitably a very windy place and demands shot making of the highest order which should be right up Rock’s street.

 

 

 

 

Darren Clarke 30/1

darren-clarke_28962g A new season, happy in his home life, fine wines, sunshine and lots of wind- sounds like the perfect ingredients for a Darren Clarke comeback. Came to East London with high hopes of gunning for a Ryder Cup place last year after working on his putting with Phil Kenyon and finishing tied second in 2009 but only managed to crack 70 once on his way to 28th. Hasn’t played since Dubai but I like Darren in the wind and would just love to see the big man get back to his best.  Write him off at your peril.

 

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Photos Of The Year: Jose Manuel Lara got a less than enthusiastic non-contact  kiss from the stubble-rash fearing Botarin models after winning the 2010 Austrian Open.  Apparently there was no hot water in Lara’s hotel room that morning and he didn't fancy the pain involved in trying to shave with cold water.  It has happened us all Jose.  Perfectly understandable.

Here, in my opinion, are the Top 5 Best Golf Shots Of 2010.

5. Rory McIlroy’s Final Putt At Quail Hollow

 

4. Miguel Angel Jimenez Wall Shot At British Open

 

3. Martin Kaymer Putt To Get Into USPGA Playoff (at 2 mins 10 sec of this vid)

 

2. Mickelson Tree Shot At Augusta (at 2 min 11 sec in this vid)

 

1. GMac Putt At Ryder Cup (at 1min 40 sec in this vid)

 

european golf tour5 Following hot on the heels of the successful 200 Yard Gong shot and the recent Clay Pigeon shot, European Tour bosses are now planning the third instalment of the everyshotimaginable series.  Sources close to the Tour have revealed they are planning to film the third episode in Kruger National Park during the Tour’s African swing following the Christmas break.
The new video will feature see our heroes David Howell, Marcel Siem, Simon Khan, Paul McGinley and is set to guest star Colin Montgomerie as they attempt their toughest challenge yet in the African plains.
This time Tour bosses have teamed up with the South African army and positioned their top sniper  275 yards away from the player aiming directly for the head.  The Tour star, using driver and ball will have only one attempt to deflect the course of the bullet as it speeds terminally towards their skull. It is thought however the players will have the luxury of being allowed to tee up the ball.
psl_sniper“Obviously missing the bullet with your first drive will mean certain death, which is a really great challenge for the guys” said European Tour boss George O’Grady adding “They’re all really up for it and will be excitedly preparing their wills over the Christmas break. The only question is who goes first?”
David Howell has been excused from the role of lead off man as his commentary skills have proven popular than his golf with fans and so it looks like Colin Montgomerie is set to kick off the challenge.  It’s thought that even if Monty misses the bullet with his drive he may have a fraction of a second to divert the bullet off course with one of his scowls.
More from the Tour as it emerges…..  Happy Christmas Everyone!

john-mcenroe I have absolutely no problem with Tony McCoy winning Sports Personality Of The Year even if JP McManus had the exact same knowing smile on his face as Roman Abramovich wore when Russia won the World Cup bid.  He truly deserved the accolade.  Jockeys are the trawlermen of the Sports world.

What absolutely baffles me is how Jessica Ennis (fit and all as she is) managed to poll higher than Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood.  Could it be that the presence of two golfers on the list of candidates divided the public vote and unwittingly served to scupper the chances of both?  So many unanswered questions.

And another thing that’s bugging me is the flamboyant three minute introduction and walk on to “I Got The Power” that was afforded to Phil Taylor while GMac and jessica-ennis-pic-getty-99449219Westy were simply plopped onto the screen for interview without so much as a clap.  The Power got a bloody standing ovation from the crowd the likes of which hasn’t been seen since 35 year old David Beckham got his “Lifetime” achievement award five minutes after.

Sorry guys but the Beeb have messed up royally here, both in the coverage and the voting process.  You cannot be serious.

Pic: Jessica Ennis: More popular than GMac and Westwood; I cant for the the life of me see why.  Oh wait, I can now

rory putting green Rory McIlory has been busy on twitter lately.  Followers receiving texts from Rory would have had their phones on fire Friday evening as Rors hosted a Q&A session with his fans.  Rory also posted a pic of himself in tee shirts and shorts on his snow covered home putting green.  He tweeted “Yes I was in t shirt and shorts! Was coming back from the gym so was feeling ok. That and I'm hard as nails!! NOT! Lol”

Rors also posted a pic of a snowman to remind us all to vote for GMac in tonights Sports Personality of The Year.

Probably the best tweet of Rory’s week was an RT of a pic from a follower who was present on the Monday night after Europe’s Ryder Cup win.  The pic shows Rory and the guys having a celebratory sing song with Poults in the background with the Ryder Cup

monday night at ryder cup

Rafael Cabrera-Bello walked off the course at the South African Open after 11 holes of his second round yesterday after losing all the balls he could use under tournament rules.

Unlike US PGA rules which allow you to carry or borrow an unlimited amount of balls the European Tour’s “one ball” rule in effect this week means a competitor can only borrow the same make and model of golf ball that they had been using all along. Cabrera-Bello lost 11 balls during his Tin Cup moment on his way to the DQ.

Viz-Comic-Fat-Slags-001 1. Golfers, improve your bunker play indoors this winter by removing your cats crap from its litter using nothing other than a 58 degree wedge.

2. Golfers, recreate the feel of Tiger Wood’s Nike blades by sellotaping a bread knife onto a garden rake before tensioning an elastic band around your scrotum and attempting to hit balls.

3. Golfers, experience the feeling of what it’s like to putt in Augusta by simply drilling a four and a quarter inch hole in the bonnet of your car before attempting to putt a ball into it whilst standing on the roof.

Lets hear yours!

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Betting has been suspended on Jose Maria Olazabal being named the captain of the 2012 European Ryder Cup captain in the coming days.

Olazabal had been favourite to lead Europe’s defence of the trophy at Medinah, after Colin Montgomerie declared his intention to try to play again at the Chicago venue. An announcement is expected from George O’Grady before Christmas.

Olazabal had previously stated he would take on the job if his health allowed, but stood aside following Nick Faldo’s captaincy to allow Monty to lead the team at Celtic Manor.

South African Open Championship Betting Tips and Preview

Durban Country Club

Durban, South Africa 16 Dec 2010 - 19 Dec 2010

Tim Clark 10/1

tim clark funny The Big Easy and a host of top Sith Ifricans might be jetting in for an appearance this week but of them all I fancy Tiny Tim Clark as the man for this one. He may not be able to roll his wrists, or even chip, but when you’re as good as he tee to green, those are just minor foibles. Clark was second to an on fire Lee Westwood (who is now back home roasting his chestnuts and tweeting) at the Nedbank Challenge two weeks back and a previous winner of the South Africa Open. Incidentally Clark clocked up that win during the 2005 season when the tournament was last staged in Durban.

 

Charl Schwartzel 10/1

charl schwartzel airplane_thumb[2] “The cream always comes to the top” as my old mother used to say when she was pouring sour milk on our Cornflakes. Amateur pilot Charl Shwartzel turned on the afterburners last week at the Alfred Dunhill but ran out of fuel at the end tying for second. The winner of the Africa and Joburg Opens last January looks a good bet for a pre Christmas win in Durban, tying as he did for second the last time the event was staged here.

James Kingston 34/1

james-kingston-september-13-2009_t640 If you’re after a bit of value in the betting market this week, try James Kingston at 34/1 or 4/1 to finish in the top 10. Tenth last week even with a nasty third round 77 and always a real workhorse during the annual South African swing. Generally a good man to string a few good weeks together, Kingston notched up two top-10’s this time last year also. He also clocked up his first Tour win at the South Africa (Airways as it was then) Open in December 2007 and has a string of other top-10’s as long as your arm in the event. Notably came tied fourth last time it was staged in Durban too. He might be 45, but like the lovely Monserrat, there’s a bit of Jimenez in him!

Thorbjorn Olesen 55/1

thorbjorn olesen Oh the joy of youth. This week will be the Dane’s fifth start on the big boy Tour and he’s not making a bad fist of it at all. Came to our attention back in May in Mallorca when he finished 13th on his second start. Olesen gained his card by coming third on last season’s Challenge Tour rankings where he won once (The Princess) and had a string of podiums. You just know he’s going to do well again this week!

 

 

Richie Ramsay 65/1

braveheart-3 The bookies are brave to stick the defending champion in at 65/1. It might be because the Scot hasn’t teed it up since the Dubai World Championship or that he’ll be defending on a different course but I still think those odds are generous. There is something about being a defending champion, some find it difficult to cope mentally, and others love the confidence boost it gives them to see their face on a poster or be asked to do a few interviews. Let’s hope Richie is the latter, he wasn’t too shabby when he tied third at the WGC HSBC Champions in China last month.

bus to killarneyGreat news for Maurice O’Meara and residents of the Kingdom!  No, Maurice Fitzgerald is not set for a county comeback but the Irish Open is.

I grabbed the best bits from the European Tour site. 

The European Tour and Fáilte Ireland have confirmed that the Irish Open will return to the Killeen Course at the Killarney Golf and Fishing Club from July 28-31, 2011.

The announcement was made last night by European Tour Chief Executive George O’Grady and Fáilte Ireland Chairman Redmond O’Donoghue at the Irish Links Society Dinner in the Burlington Hotel in Dublin and will be the fourth time in history that the tournament has been staged at the renowned County Kerry venue.

Maurice O’Meara, General Manager of Killarney Golf and Fishing Club said: “Killarney Golf and Fishing Club is delighted and welcomes the announcement that the 2011 Irish Open will return to Killarney to be played on the world-class Killeen Course. Following the amazing success of last year’s Irish Open, we hope that we can build on this success and add even more to this year’s event.

“We look forward to working closely with The European Tour, Fáilte Ireland and all of the  local businesses in Killarney to make the 2011 Irish Open one of the Irish sporting events of the year. Having welcomed the leading European Tour players in 2010 we hope that they and their families will return again in 2011 for a Bank Holiday festival of golf.”

Rumour 1:

Boom Baby! Team USA Ryder Cup man of the match Jeff Overton is set to be making a move from Mizuno to Cleveland Golf. And hey, now he might actually win!

Rumour 2:

JIm Octobaby Furyk is going to be using the new rocket propelled Taylormade Penta Ball.  Yawn.  And maybe a TaylorMade driver too.  Double yawn!

Rumour 3:

Its a sad rumour but we might not be seeing Davis Love’s face in close-up on those “trust my Titleist” adverts any longer.  It seems DL3 has now gotten far greater trust in his Bridgestone Ball.  Yep, “Aigh aigh aigh” as he is affectionately known, is set to join the tyre manufacturers stable and will be working in the pit lane alongside old pal Freddie “the spanner” Couples next season.

GMac flags The rumour mill is rife with whispers that Graeme McDowell has signed a deal with Srixon for 2011. G-Mac who took a year out from a club sponsorship deal to try several brands before signing with Callaway is now set to join fellow Irishman Shane Lowry in the Srixon stable.

The deal is said to involve GMac carrying the Srixon staff bag, wear a Srixon hat, and have a bag of clubs consisting of Srixon irons, Cleveland wedges, and of the Srixon Z-Star golf ball. Interestingly it looks like he might be keeping his trusty Cally FT-3 driver.

 

Treat the golfer in your life to a voucher for one of Ireland’s leading golf locations, Killeen Castle in County Meath. A host of stars have visited the much talked about Killeen Castle in recent months including former US President Bill Clinton and US Open Champions past and present, Nick Faldo and Graeme McDowell. Killeen Castle is home to the superb Jack Nicklaus Signature Course which will host The 2011 Solheim Cup in September 2011 along with the world renowned Dave Pelz Short Game Golf School and a range of lakes for fishing.

Killeen Castle vouchers are available for purchase at Dundrum Town Centre (Customer Service Desk) at www.killeencaste.com or order on 01-6893000.

Killeen Castle also the following packages available:

1.      Killeen Castle green fee voucher including the use of a golf buggy for two                                                    €199

2.      Dave Pelz Scoring Game School half-day golf clinic and a Killeen Castle green fee                                        €199

3.      Dave Pelz Scoring Game School full-day golf clinic and a Killeen Castle green fee                                         €299

pablo martin wall ball You can pretty much write the script of a Pablo Martin win these days.  It usually involves 63 holes of pure excellence followed by a roller coaster back nine on Sunday.  And he didn’t disappoint at the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club yesterday when he stumbled over the line in victory, successfully defending his 2010 title.

Martin started the final round on fire and had amassed a five shot lead standing on the tenth tee. He received an incredible piece of luck on the 13th where he walked away with par after his approach stopped inches short of serious trouble beside a wall.

The Spaniards troubles were not over yet though and more nerves lead to a disastrous triple bogey at the 17th which cut his lead cut to one and gave South Africans Charl Schwartzel and Anthony Michael and Danish Challenge Tour graduate Thorbjorn Olesen some hope.

However Martin managed to keep his nerve  for a birdie at the last for a round on 70, 11 under par and two shot victory.

shark shootout 2010 final round leaderboard The final round of the Shark Shootout saw a magical  round of 59 compiled by Dustin Johnson and Ian Poulter. Playing in scramble format the pair blitzed the Tiburon layout shooting 13 under to see off on fire Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell.

Pic: Shark Shootout 2010 Final Round Leaderboard

Poulter who had asked Johnson to partner him in the event at the Ryder Cup produced an exhibition of short game play which combined with Johnson’s length, reduced the Florida layout to little more than a pitch and putt course at times.

Shot of the day was Darren Clarke’s second to 15 which shaved the hole and set up an easy birdie.  Clarke looked like the player of old, free from the worries of hitting a poor shot in the scramble format and revelling in the almost matchplay format.

The winning score was 30 under and good enough to see Poulter and Johnson walk away with $375,000 for their three days work.

Shark Shootout 2010 Final Round Highlights: Poulter and Johnson Win.

tiger ryder cup funny guy pic

Documents released under the Welsh Freedom of Information Act have revealed that Lee Westwood was the mastermind behind the Tiger Woods Ryder Cup Cigar Man heckler.  Now with the release of this new wider angle view of the iconic photo it is clear to see Westwood standing to the left of Cigar Man.  Westwood appears to be wearing a Rory Wig as a disguise.  More as it emerges.

lee westwood upgrade

lee back Lee Westwood docked in to the headquarters of mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products for an essential software upgrade today.  Lee’s old program had developed a slight glitch resulting in the odd six foot putt being pulled 0.1 degrees to the left. The core was also considered to be becoming a little flabby.

Recognizing the flaw, OCP called Westwood in to run several diagnostic programs to his mainframe. The current version of his program, the ED-209, caused controversy when first introduced, after Westwood accidentally (character) assassinated a PGA Tour journalist.

However Westwood’s cyborg program has enjoyed widespread favour since after helping topple the rival Tiger Droid TW1.  Fears are growing however that the Tiger Droid TW2.0 is set to strike back in the new year.

It seems no topic is safe in the race to the bottom of Television’s shock-doc league.  Fresh from TV shows called Octoboy, Human Spider Sisters and Treeman….the USA’s Golf Channel have gotten in on the act with their new series which follows the life of down on his luck pro Mark Burk.  Burk, once a Pro to the Hollywood stars, and boyfriend of supermodel Beverly Johnson,  is now homeless and living in a construction pipe in California!

In his heyday Burk played on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa but of late was better known for allegedly smacking around his supermodel girlfriend before she booted him out and consigned him to the gutter, er pipe.  The show is set to follow Burk as  he tries to get his life back on track on and off the course and his court battle to clear his name against the Johnson charge.

No word yet on what the show is to be called.  The easy option might be “Pipe Dream” but we prefer “Smack My Pipe Up”, or “Beaten.  Within An Inch Of His Pipe”.

Andres Gonzales PGA TOUR Q School PT3um9Rmgr5l

Do not adjust your computer screen.  This is Andres Gonzales and, wait for it, he is going to be on the PGA Tour next season.

Tim Finchem is said to be delighted that the US Tour is getting their very own, if rather dodgy, Miguel Angel Jimenez lookalike.

Its has also been reported than Finchem plans to have Gonzales star with Charley Hoffman in a 2011 PGA Tour Commercial which is said to be loosely based on “Oh Brother Where Art Thou”.  Yeeee-hawwww!#

european tour Q School 2011 round 3 leaderboard

At the haflway point at Q school the leaders Saltman, Garcia and Lewis took advantage of an easy course layout on the Tour Course to reach 11 under par.  Indeed 49 of the top 50 players on the leaderboard played the Tour Course yesterday and although the rest of the field will play it today it does raise questions as to its suitability, contrasting greatly as it does with the tougher Stadium Course.

Best of the Irish are Niall Kearney and Simon Thornton on 4 and 3 under while Colm Moriarty needs a low one today from 1 over and Damien Mooney has it all to do from 6 over.

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