January 2011

2011 Commercialbank Qatar Masters Presented by Dolphin Energy Betting Preview and Tips

Doha GC

Doha, Qatar 22 Jan 2009 - 25 Jan 2009

Robert Karlsson 15/1

The defending champion this week, Karlsson warmed up last week in Bahrain in some style. Four rounds in the 60’s, including a closing 66 gave him a fifth place finish on his maiden outing of 2011. The Swede won in some style last year with precision approach play and an obedient putter giving him a three stroke victory. Sure to contend again this time around though it wont be easy with the top two players in the world in the field along with the likes of Paul Casey and guesting Steve Stricker.

Pic: Karlsson “I must break you.”


Miguel Angel Jimenez 22/1

For those who didn’t catch last week’s event in Bahrain, Paul Casey won but was gifted the tournament by Miguel Angel Jimenez who missed putt after putt during the final round. Maybe his struggles were justified after Ian Poulter called the greens in Bahrain “the worst I’ve ever seen” and “embarrassing”. This week in Qatar the greens will be perfect and if Jimenez can reproduce that same brilliant iron play and find his form on the short stuff he could easily go one better.

Alvaro Quiros 15/1

Alvaro top tenned last week closing with an excellent 67 in Bahrain. The Spaniard won in Qatar in 2009 beating Louis Oosthuizen and Henrik Stenson by three shots. He also mounted a spirited defence last year and put on a final round putting masterclass to finish second behind Karlsson. His final round putt on the ninth then was one of the finest I’ve ever seen held.

Henrik Stenson 32/1

Where the hell has Henrik Stenson been? Well after finishing third at the British Open in St Andrews, the Swede embarked on a seven tournament US odyssey which was frankly, a failure. His first start of 2011 was in Abu Dhabi where he went largely under the radar down in 44th. However irrespective of form the Doha course has always been kind to Stenson since winning here in 2006. He top tenned the following year and finished second in 2008 and 2009 (tied). This will be Stenson’s 200th start so keep an eye out for a decent finish at good odds.

Brett Rumford 65/1

brett_rumford_1_lg Our long odds each way shot this week is Aussie Brett Rumford. The former Irish Open winner played really well here last year finishing tied third with Lee Westwood. That was even more impressive given that Rumford shot a third round 73. The greens in Doha seem to suit Rumford’s long putter and though not a prolific winner (though he has won three times in Europe) he does tend to come into a place on good greens with three top threes last season. Reasonable squeak at long odds.


Okay so I was away at the PGA show in Orlando for the week and when I returned my inbox was full of this photo.  Apparently something happened with Andy Gray in Sky Sports. I’m pleading ignorance but I think the photo gives it away.


With Bubba Watson leading and Phil Mickelson needing to hole out his third shot over water on the final hole, Phil scoped the green  and then sent caddy Bones forward to tend the pin. His incredible pitch landed just a foot left of the flag but failed to spin in. What an effort, what a shot. Our shot of the weekend.

bubbaclaus Bubba Watson drove it like it was stolen and was immense inside eight feet in the final round to win the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.  Bubba claimed the win with a fantastic 72nd hole sand save.  Highlights here in the morning!

Click pic below to view Volvo Golf Champions 2011 Final  Round Highlights on the European Tour website.

no image

Apologies everyone  for the wee break in posts for the past 24 hours. I’ve been in transit across the Atlantic from Orlando to Dublin, followed by a three hour drive back to the West, followed by a defeat on the soccer pitch!  What a day.  Now back to the golf.

After an exhausting hour signing autographs on the Srixon stand Ireland’s newest major champion Graeme McDowell broke free from his Srixon handlers at the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show to meet up with friends from the Irish Golfing Industry at the Golf Ireland stand.

GMac congratulated John McLaughlin and delegates from the North West Ireland group which won IAGTO’s prestigious European Golf Destination of the Year Award for 2011.  For more details check out http://www.northandwestcoastlinks.com/

It’s all go on the Bushnell stand at the PGA show but we caught up with the European Tour Rep Brian McConnell.  The “Silver Fox” as he is know on the ranges of Europe’s Tour stops demonstrated the new Bushnell Hybrid rangefinder which combines both laser and GPS technology.  The result is an incredibly accurate device with readings to the front, middle and back of the green.

Already in use in the USA, McConnell thinks the Hybrid will hit European shores around April.  The pricepoint for the Hybrid stateside is $499 which equates to €365.

Click on pic below to view highlights from the second round of the  Volvo Golf Champions 2011 on the European Tour website.


After an extensive search of the halls of the Orange County Convention Centre at the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show one product stood out head and shoulders above the rest and win the GolfCentralDaily Award for the best new product.

Dawgs are unlike any other golf shoe on the market and left us banging our heads and wondering “why didn’t we think of those!”

In Europe we may be familiar with Crocs, but according to brothers Steve and Barrie Mann “Crocs bite, but Dawgs are man’s best friend!”  Or a foots best friend to be more precise, as these Dawgs weigh less than 7 ounces per shoe and come complete with built in cleats.  Dawgs will be perfect for the practice ground, golf teachers, golf holidays or simply propping up the bar after a game.

Like Crocs, Dawgs are made of ultra cushioning EVA material to absorb shock when walking and are heaven on the feet. Retailing at €30 or $40, they’re certainly not expensive and come in a range of trendy colours.  There’s even a pair without holes in the upper inspired by our Irish and British weather.

So well done to all the guys in Dawgs.  For more information check out www.dawgsgolf.com

Click on pic below to view highlights from the first round of the  Volvo Golf Champions 2011 on the European Tour website.

Volvo Golf Champions

The Royal Golf Club

Kingdom of Bahrain, Bahrain 27 Jan 2011 - 30 Jan 2011

Francesco Molinari 13/1

francesco molinari funny_thumb[2] Shook the rust off the Italian paintwork last week in Abu Dhabi and impressed on Sunday with a 66 to climb into the top 10.  I spoke to his caddy last season about the way his man builds momentum and his read was that Francesco is most likely to win in the third or fourth week of his cycle.  Definitely one to watch with four top-5 finishes last season on courses that rank similar to Bahrain.


Miguel Angel Jimenez 26/1

miguel-angel-jimenez-funny4 The track in Bahrain this week is approximately 7200 yards and could be right up Miguel Angel Jimenez’ ally.  Comparable courses include Le Golf National in Paris and Crans sur Sierre in Switzerland.  And no prizes for guessing who won on both of those courses last year.  That’s right, the Mechanic! Found the formula last Sunday and if he’s still in the slot is sure to contend.


Noh Seung Yul 36/1

noh seung yul This kid is destined for greatness and is already regarded by fellow pros as having one of the best swings in the world.  And having filmed his swing on the slo-mo cam last season let me tell you, for a small guy Noh is crazy long. My feeling is that this, being a virgin venue for the Tour, should play into the Korean’s hands as he normally starts each event not knowing the course.  This week nobody does.

Robert Karlsson 13/1

Ivan_Drago_tif_big Expect a great season from Robert Karlsson.  The Swede showed he was right back to his best in winning the Dubai World Championship in November, the 11th victory of his career.  Certainly won to watch this week and next having also won in Qatar in January of last year.  With the turmoil of his depth perception problem in his eye now firmly behind, the 41 year is once again set to be major power in European golf.


no image

Venezuelan PGA Tour rookie Jhonathon Vegas pulled off an amazing playoff victory in the Bob Hope Classic despite finding the hazard with his tee shot.  Playing the 10th hole, the second of the playoff, Vegas drove into the water, but produced a stunning approach to 15 feet. When Gary Woodland  missed his par putt it left Vegas to can for victory.  All the highlights below.

Just days after being DQ’d for a spot of greenside Subbuteo, Irish golfing ace Padraig Harrington has today launched a special 2011 Pro Golf Edition of the famous board game.

Finger dinkin’ Pod comes from a family of Subbuteo champions with brother Tadhg having won the 1985 All Ireland table soccer crown before representing Ireland in the World Subbuteo Games in Wrexham in 1986.

The deluxe version of the Harrington Subbuteo game comes with 11 changes to the original which Pod hopes will make the game better, including realistic referee sounds featuring the voice of Andy McFee. 

“Ever since watching Tadhg in Wrex-ico ‘86 I’ve loved Subbuteo and I’m delighted, just delighted, absolutely delighted with the 11 changes in my new version”, said a clearly delighted Harrington at the launch.

It’s not the first time a professional golfer has launched his own board game with Ian Poulter unveiling his version of Tiddlywinks for the Christmas market.

Rumours are now circulating that Harrington may even get to stand alongside his longtime idol, broadcasting giant Ryan Tubridy, on the 2011 Late Late Toy Show, though RTE sources cannot confirm whether this will fit with Tubridy’s busy schedule.


Click on pic below to view highlights from the final round of the 2011 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on the European Tour website.

I knew the pic would grab you! Here’s the story reported by the Orlando Sentinel

A nurse who was fired for allegedly looking at golfer Tiger Woods' medical records is now suing the Florida hospital where he worked for defamation.

Officials said they fired registered nurse David M Rothenberg in December 2009 for using his computer to look at Woods' medical records three times in 10 minutes after he was admitted following the now famous incident outside his home.

Rothenberg has denied looking at the records and has now sued Health Central for US$400,000 in damages, reinstatement, and is asking for a letter from hospital officials explaining he was fired based on circumstantial evidence, The Orlando Sentinel newspaper reported.

Rothenberg may lose his nursing licence because of the allegations

harrington abu dhabi clinic dq Padraig Harrington showed the golfing world the measure of his character today by holding a clinic for kids including a demonstration of of how to correctly mark the ball.

Pod put the disqualification for signing an incorrect scorecard after Thursday's marking incident firmly behind him saying that the kids  "seemed to think marking your ball is all very easy, but obviously it isn't." 


Click on the pic below to view Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship third round highlights on the European Tour website.


diy-bat-goggles Never one to miss a trick, eyewear giant Oakley today unveiled their new “Podovision” shudder spotting high definition TV sunglasses designed specifically for European Tour golfers.  Inspired by Padraig Harrington the high tech headwear can spot  movement of a golf ball of up to 0.1 dimples when replaced on a green.  And that’s not all.  Podovision technology also includes a 24 hour videolink service directly to referee Andy McFee and a jamming device which not only prevents eagle eyed TV viewers for texting in but gives them a 100,000 volt jolt through their phone for their trouble.  Take up is said to be brisk, with most of the field set to wear Podovision tomorrow.

Click on pic below to view highlights form the second round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship 2011 from the European Tour site.

I know the quality is poor in the video below, but I, like Padraig Harrington, who viewed this in real time, cant see anything wrong.  When viewed in slow motion however, the ball moves a matter of dimples. You decide.

Padraig Harrington has been disqualified from the Padraig-Harrington-001Abu Dhabi Championship today.  After singing for a 65 yesterday Pod  was the subject of an investigation into whether his ball moved on the seventh green. 

After a protracted  review of the incident on the TV monitor with European Tour senior referee Andy McFee, Harrington was disqualified this morning.  More as it emerges.

Davis Love III will be the next American captain of the Ryder Cup.  At the announcement today DL3 promised not to get in the way of the 12 players on his US Team at Medinah Country Club, venue for the matches.

"I'm a players' captain. I'll try to get them what they need to be successful. I'm not going to tell the best players in the world how to play golf. I'm not going to read their putts. A good leader knows he's got a great team.”

Pic: Davis Love Relaxing Off The Course!

Lee Westwood today broke the news that he wont be playing in “The Fifth Major” aka The Players Championship in Sawgrass.

"I'd play if I could, but my schedule is based around the majors. And it's set now," Westwood said. "I don't want to go into The Players not having played for four weeks after the Masters. And I don't want to stay in the States to practice for three weeks so I'll play a couple of tournaments on the European Tour instead."

Click pic below to view Volvo Golf Champions 2011 Final  Round Highlights on the European Tour website.

Padraig Harrington opened his 2011 season with a stunning 65 at the 2011 HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship today.  Pod made five birdies and an eagle on the eighth on his way to a bogey free round of seven under, good enough for the outright lead of the morning starters.

Check out Rickie’s new Puma golf advert where he plays golf with his motocross bike.  Apparently it speeds up the game no end.

computerSaysNo We’ve had our resident computer wiz Carol  crunch the numbers and solve a few theorems to bring you our 2011 Bob Hope Classic Betting Tips.  After crashing and burning last week, the computer seems to be echoing public opinion and the bookies by installing Matt Kuchar as favourite at 9/1.  The stats have Kuchar calculated at almost 14% more chance of winning than any other player.

Predicted Finish




Average Result this season

Last 5 events

Scoring Average

Cuts In A Row Made

Overall % chance of winning


Matt Kuchar








Bubba Watson








Bill Haas








Bo Van Pelt








Jeff Overton








John Senden








Charley Hoffman








Heath Slocum
















Ryan Moore







In from BBC golf

Elliot Saltman given three-month European Tour golf ban

Saltman has 28 days to appeal against the European Tour's decision

Elliot Saltman has been banned from golf for three months after being found guilty of a "serious breach" of regulations at a Challenge Tour event.

side_column_mark_ballThe Scottish golfer is accused of marking his ball incorrectly during the first round of the Russian Challenge Cup in September.  The 28-year-old was disqualified from the event and attended a disciplinary hearing in Abu Dhabi on Monday.  Saltman has 28 days to appeal against the European Tour's suspension.

A statement from the European Tour read: "The committee unanimously found that Elliot Saltman had committed a serious breach of the 2010 Challenge Tour Members Regulations during the first round of the Russian Challenge Cup.

“I accepted what was said at the time [in Moscow] because I was in shock and I didn't want to be labelled a cheat. I am sorry now that I didn't stand up for myself” Elliot Saltman

from Rors on twitter: A present from bob vokey courtesy of @TitleistEurope ! Thanks guys! Too good to put in the bag I think!

Shaving giants Gillette and Bic were last night embroiled in a desperate battle to secure a sponsorship deal with Jose Maria Olazabal for the 2012 Ryder Cup. The stubbly Spaniard, set to be named to be named European Ryder Cup captain today, famously grows a full black thatch on his face every four minutes; that’s faster than a kettle can boil.

Gillette who dropped Tiger Woods from their stable last year look likely to succeed with their “Mach-Ilroy 10”, the 10 blade razor which looks like a Flymo, patented specifically to tame Ollie’s bristles.

Two years ago during a US Tour event Olazabal’s face was filmed on the Konica Minolta Biz Hub Swing Vision camera and stubble growth was clearly visible during his 0.9 second swing.  The video has since become a viral sensation on Youtube knocking fellow beardy Susan Boyle off the top viewer of all time spot with 50 million hits.

It’s thought Olazabal will employ his own personal barber as one of his vice captain’s to control his crumb catcher which could grow even more violently in the warm US conditions.  It has been reported in the US media that advice has been sought from the only other human to share the Ff (Face fuzz) chromosome, Robin Williams.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

Abu Dhabi Golf Club

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 20 Jan 2011 - 23 Jan 2011

2011 Abu Dhabi Championship Betting Preview and Tips

Martin Kaymer 11/1

Can Martin Kaymer emulate the glory of last season with its major and three other wins including here at the Abu Dhabi Championship? Damn right he can. Kaymer practically owns the hall en route to the locker room with pictures of his wins here in 2010 and 2008 not to mention being just pipped by Paul Casey in 2009. The German drove it as crooked as a Premiership football agent last year but needed just 50 putts at the weekend to set a record winning target. Bound to be up there.


Louis Oosthuizen 25/1

My nap off the week is Louis Oosthuizen. “Sith Ifricans” always figure in Abu Dhabi coming off their four tournament sunshine swing and I fully expect The Open champion to deliver this week. Third in the South African Open and winner of the Africa Open, Oosthuizen also brings a fine record in course form this week. Fifth last year after a final round 66 to add to his tied second in 2009 reads a CV and betting slip that’s definitely not going in the shredder.


Paul Casey 20/1

One word. Frightening! He even smiles with menacing intent. I felt bad for Paul during the Ryder Cup, it must have eaten away at him so hard, he even avoided watching it on TV preferring to go cycling. Coming into 2011 Casey will feel he has to prove himself all over again and where better to start than on a course where you’ve won. Twice! The 2007 and 2009 winner makes his first Tour start since November when he finished his PGA season with four top sixes. Like I said, frightening!

Peter Hanson 50/1

You have to love Peter Hanson. He’s often the forgotten one when naming the Ryder Cup team but goes about his business in workmanlike fashion. After warming up with his European teammates at the Royal Trophy, Hanson will be eager to keep his good Emirates record intact. Tied 11th last year and 10th in 2009, the Swede will be looking for that spark that nearly took him to the title in 2007 when he was edged out by Paul Casey. Look for a “to finish in the top 10 bet here”


Matteo Manassero 55/1

Now a Tour winner at the Castello Masters, Manassero will be keen to get his first full season on Tour off to a flier. Last years Rookie of the Year has been training hard for this event being as he has just signed a mega deal with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and desperately wants to prove he’s value for their money. At 17, he make lack experience but when it comes raw talent, few can match the prodigious Italian. Forza!


Seeing as how everyone else seems to be speculating so much about who Dustin Johnson is dating, I thought I would have a crack.  Sorry associated press but I think you deserve this:

Dustin Johnson says he hasn't been dating anyone for two months, not even Miss Piggy.

Johnson spoke out because he was tired of hearing gossip that he withdrew from the Sony Open because his girlfriend found out about a relationship with the fiesty sow.

He said he broke up with college girlfriend Amanda Caulder a few monthdustin johnson miss piggy funny pics back.

"For people to say I went home to repair the relationship is completely false," Johnson said. "We're not in a relationship. And yes, me and Miss Piggy have spent some time together, but we're not in a relationship. There's all kinds of stuff going on in the media. Actually, some of this stuff is comical."

The press tried to reach Kermit the Frog yesterday but he was busy singing on the foot of his stairs and was unavailable for comment.

Johnson competed with Miss Piggy in  a Pro-Swine event in Las Vegas in November. She was in his gallery last week at Kapalua on the weekend of the Tournament of Champions, and told golf.com they were dating. "I'll let Dustin handle our PR  Hiiiiiiiii-Yah," she told the Muppet Show website.

"We're not dating," Johnson said in a telephone interview. “At this stage of the season Swine Flu or a week punishing the porcelain with salmonella is just not an option.”

"As for me and my personal life," Johnson said, "I'm a single guy.  The only bacon I’ll be tasting is at my breakfast."

More as it emerges.