February 2011

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Kenny Ferrie carded a European Tour record-equalling round of 60 in the third round of the Open de Andalucía de Golf by Turkish Airlines in Malaga to soar into contention and lie only one shot behind Sky Sports ace Ryder Cup commentator Paul Lawrie.

Having missed the fairway right on the last, Ferrie’s lash from behind the trees landed square on the green and amazingly tracked inches past the hole.  Had it dropped Ferrie would have shot the Tour’s first ever 59. 

The 1999 Open Champion Lawrie sits on 12 under but was as lucky as a cut cat on the short 13th when his wayward tee shot struck a spectator on the back and rebounded onto the green.

Watch out too for Worksop pro Mark Foster who is also tied for second on 11 under.

Click on the pic to view highlights from the third round.

from golf.com with the odd word in yellow added to spice it up!

Tiger Woods, who has been going through a highly publicized swing change screwathon recovery program, announced the release Wednesday of his new app “Tiger Woods: My Swing Swinger” for the iPhone and iPod Touch, which is available for $9.99 at the Apple App Store.

The app, created by software developer Money Shotzoom, allows users to video their swings swinger experiences and then compare them with Woods’s swing for analysis. Users can also compare swings with their friends and see how their swinging improves over time. Woods, who spent two days years with Money Shotzoom taking video of his swinging and recording instruction segments, got the idea for the app while using video (on countless high class hookers) to improve his own swinging, according to the Money Shotzoom president.

Woods often can be seen during practice rounds and range sessions looking at video with new coach Sean Foley. About six months ago, Woods approached Apple with an idea for an app that incorporated the video and line-overlay analysis getting laid analysis he has been using on his own swinging, according to the president. “Tiger’s been tremendous,” the developers said. “He’s been fully involved, starting with the concept and all the way through the design.”

The app’s release coincides with Woods’ own struggles with his golf swing, which some might consider unfortunate timing.

Tour pros, what do you do if you have a Paul Casey lookalike stalking you down every fairway?  Plodding 5 yards behind you, looking more than a little dodgy with a man bag?   If you’re Tiger Woods it’s okay, it’s just Sean Foley.  But all this trash talk about twitter wars with Hank Haney and swing changes and release points is doing my head in.  Now I hate giving 15 minutes of my life to write more stuff about Tiger’s game as much as the next man, but it’s about time somebody spoke a bit of common sense around here.

Woods problem has about as much to do with his swing as Ron Jeremy’s had to do with his willy.  I’ll make it as simple as possible for you Foley.  With all due respect to his record, lately your man cant putt the ball into the hole.  Get off the range where you are tying the poor tormented bastard in knots and get back onto the putting green.  Throw the blasted Nike putter in the bin and dust off the Scotty.  And another thing bring Jamie Lane in as a consultant, if that man cant line Woods up, no-one can.  Rumour has it that Lane was flown to Dubai when the first stones of the Burj Dubai were being laid.  He lay on his stomach and verified the foundation was straight.  Got millions apparently!

But enough chat, check out Tigers putting stats for the last four seasons and if I’m wrong I’ll eat my kaks.  When Woods starts putting again, though it pains me to say it, he’ll start winning again.

Tiger-Woods-GF Alyse Lahti Johnston is all over the golf news yet she doesn't play. She is 22 years old. She’s blonde and clever. She graduated from the University of Ohio. Her dad is Jeff Lahti, a former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher. Her stepdad is an executive of IMG, the sports agency that represents lots of Tour players. Alyse looks a bit like a former wife of a great player.  She’s all over the golf news. You figuring out the rest is about the same as what everyone else is doing right now!

98065435 kjeldsen naked man 

Who can forget this image of Soren Kjeldsen being watched by a naturist on the range at the 2010 Andalucia Open?  Apparently it wasn't the only incident that week as the Dane was also distracted by another naked man as he attempted to play a shot in Friday's second round. The kip that is the Parador club runs alongside a naturist beach in Torremolinos and while attempting to a play a shot Kjeldsen found himself confronted by a patron bearing all just 15 yards away. “It’s tough to keep your concentration with that going on,” Kjeldsen said of the horrific encounter.

dromoland castle1

To celebrate the return of The SpinDoctor page in next week’s Irish Examiner we have a smashing readers fourball prize at one of Ireland’s top parkland layouts Dromoland Castle. Hit balls on the state of the art range before tackling the JB Carr and Ron Kirby masterpiece.  The finishing stretch in Dromoland Castle is awesome from the index one 16th, to the treacherous par three 17th all leading up to how you negotiate the giant tree that protects the 18th green.

Make sure to check out www.dromoland.ie for details of the €35 Open Days from 20-22 April.

To enter email your answer plus your name and address to examinerspindoc@eircom.net. We will announce the winner in two weeks time.

Question: Who is the reigning US Masters Champion?

Open de Andalucía de Golf by Turkish Airlines

Parador de Málaga Golf

odds on the exchanges

Alvaro Quiros 12/1

quiros 64th in the WGC Cadillac, blip or worry? I’m going with the blip theory until I see more. Second in Qatar, winner in Dubai reigning Open de Espana champ and lightly raced. Likely to have huge media responsibilities promoting this week alongside Jimenez but still has all the armoury to contend.  The highest ranked player in the field, but not the longest hitter. Eh?

 

Soren Kjeldsen 42/1

Soren-Kjeldsen_2075073 First tour start since Dubai but what better event to return to than that of your last victory. The diminutive Dane won in 2009 on the Real Club in Seville but put up a stout defence last tying 6th at its new Malaga home. Likes Spanish golf, with success at Valderrama in the past. May be a tad early but one to watch in this, the first of seven, yes seven, European Tour events to be held in Spain this year.

Best not even mention the Tavistock Cup!

 

Jose Manuel Lara 65/1

lara Last seasons Austrian Open winner played three fine rounds in the 60’s last week in Sicily and would have contended were it not for a Friday 75. He eventually tied third, accumulating fantastic putting and GIR stats over the week. Like all Spaniards, if he’s in the mood, watch out.

 

Peter Whiteford 110/1

whiteford Bit of a march hare is Scotland’s Peter Whiteford. Recovered from a poor opening round in Sicily to climb into a tie for fifth at the finish. Four low rounds this time last year gained him a tie for second alongside Richard Finch, three shots back of Louis Oosthuizen who doesn’t defend this week. Crazy odds so for man with course form and a top five last week.

 

 

Carlos Del Moral 60/1

carlos-del-moral_blog Great putting last week (second in the stats) earned the Valencia man a tie for fifth. With the winning score last year at 17 under the winner needs to have a humming putter and the Spaniard has just that clocking up four consecutive top 25 finishes in his last four starts. Last week’s top 10 was a huge breakthrough for the Spaniard who starts just his 51st Tour event this week.

 

Betting Preview And Tips-2011 Arnold Palmer Invitational

Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Florida. Odds on the exchanges

 

Tiger Woods 10/1

clip_image002It’s been a long long time since I gave Woods a squeak in a Tour event but signs are that this week could see another big step in the rehabilitation of the former World No.1 and champion jockey off the course. A six time winner here at Bay Hill, but a word of caution, the tees and greens were completely revamped before last years staging, so Tiger wont necessarily know all the lines as he used to. A fine 66 on the Sunday at the WGC Cadillac and several happy TV appearances since indicate to me that Tiger’s game and his mind are somewhat back in order. This feline may be soon prowling again, on the course, of course!

Dustin Johnson 16/1

clip_image010I really believe Dustin Johnson is going to bag a major this season. DJ returns after a week off hoping to go one better than his second place finish last time out at the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral. Struggling to find form at this point last season Johnson seemed to give up in his final round but this time around expect an altogether different performance from the in his adopted home state. He’ll be keen to get that draw shot nailed down before heading for Augusta.

Sergio Garcia 48/1

clip_image004Another man that could be in the shakeup this week is Sergio Garcia. Top 20 finishes in his last three starts, the Spaniard’s ball striking is back to his imperious best with 77% driving accuracy and 72% greens in regulation stats at Innisbrook. The putting frailties do remain however but if there is one tournament where these may not be exposed it’s at Bay Hill. On average approximately ten under gets it done around here and with the new greens still flummoxing the field it represents a real opportunity of a good finish for Garcia.

Chris Couch 50/1

clip_image006The giant Floridian may be nearing 40, but he still has plenty of game. Three top tens already this year at the Bob Hope, The Phoenix Open and last Sunday at the Transitions where he tied fifth. Couch finished tied fourth here last year, finishing three shots off the pace. The Evel Knievel of the PGA Tour, Couch battled a sore back throughout that Sunday and has suffered several injuries over his career. If he stays fit and well this weekend, Couch could slip into a place.

Kevin Na 60/1

clip_image008Slowcoach on the course, super nice off it Kevin Na is still waiting for his first PGA Tour win. Came so close at the Northern Trust Open at Riviera but a run of four bogeys on the front nine handed the title to Aaron Baddeley. He did fight back to tie third on that occasion, his second top five of the season. The Korean who left for America aged eight, took Ernie Els all the way here last year and a solid 68 last Sunday at Innisbrook says he is in the mood to contend again.

 

tpi_certified_logo_1jn1 Robbie Cannon certified Titleist Performance Institute fitness instructor with Harrington Golf kicks off the season with an exercise to improve your ankle mobility.  Good golf begins from the ground up.

Part 1: Ankle Mobility

The importance of ankle mobility for your golf swing can not be overstressed. The ankle needs to be mobile enough to allow you to transfer your weight in both backswing and downswing. If your ankles are tight you wont be able to move your lower leg or rotate it during the swing. Furthermore your knees will not be properly loaded and wont be able to keep your hips stable during the swing! Your swing will suffer and will lead to faulty movement patterns which is the most common cause of injuries in golf. So it is vital that you keep your ankles nice and mobile as the golf swing really does start from the ground up.

Exercise: Ankle windshield wipers.

Grab a chair that allows the upper leg to be parallel to the ground. Place your two palms together and put these between your two knees. Keep your feet directly under your knees and lift them off the ground. Turn your feet to the left as far as possible and then to the right as far as possible. Just imagine it’s the motion of the windshield wipers of your car! It’s important there is no forward or backward movement and perform the movement controlled and slowly.

With top Irish amateur and TPI certified fitness instructor Robbie Cannon of Harrington Golf. To book a session call Robbie on 086-6002432.

2011 sicilian open raphael jacquelin Raphaël Jacquelin edged Anthony Wall and his iphone putting app to claim his third European Tour title at the Sicilian Open. The weather delayed event was concluded early this morning at Donnafugata Golf Resort & SPA, with one shot separating Jacquelin and Wall with six holes to play.

After twice reeling in the Frenchman Wall took a shuddering double bogey on the 17th to gift 36 year old Jacquelin the €166,660 first prize. Jacquelin 12 under par total, was good enough to finish one shot ahead Wall who birdied the last in a case of shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted.

“It feels great – as you would expect it to feel,” said Jacquelin adding “I actually felt a little bit tired this morning and my ball-striking wasn’t as good as it has been but I suppose with a 5am wake-up call then I was expecting that.

It is still unclear whether his fellow countrymen were on hand at the 18th green to douse with shaving foam instead of champagne!

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gary woodland smile Great to see the next generation of top US golfers are laugh a minute characters wearing their hearts on their sleeve with a smile on every green like Gary Woodland who took the 2011 Transitions Championship as Innisbrook.  Woodland joins dyslexic Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas and stableford loving DA Points as surprise winners on Tour in 2011.

As David Livingstone put it so well on Sky Sports “He takes a bit of liking”, but we will learn to like him.

Pic: An elated Woodland salutes his adoring crowds

2011 Transitions Championship Final Round Highlights

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The 26-year-old Kansas native won the Transitions Championship by a shot after Webb Simpson bogeyed the 72nd hole. The win moves Woodland, to third in the FedExCup standings.

The victory gives the two-time q-school graduate, a two-year TOUR exemption. He will also get one of the final spots in the Masters, as well as a spot in the THE PLAYERS Championship in May.

 

If Anthony Wall bridges the  12 year gap  since his last European Tour victory today he will have done so thanks to an  iPhone app.

After taking advice from his accountant big spending Wall figured it was worth spending 95 cents to buy short game guru Dave Stockton's iPhone putting app.

"That is the best 59 pence (95 cents) I have ever spent because his tips have really simplified a few things for me," Wall said on Friday

"It was a bargain, I have to say -- you don't get many valuable lessons for 59 pence these days! The thing about Dave Stockton is that he is and always was an amazing putter, and you tend to listen to those guys a bit more."

I wonder is there an iphone app for holding your nerve Sunday afternoon!

Pelle Edberg, “the man with the bandanna” is no longer err “the man with the bandanna”.  Commentators working at the Sicilian Open today actually failed to recognize the Swede without his trademark bandanna as he sported an all new look during the first round.

Edberg, voted the “Tour’s Top Model in 2005”, revealed a new Justin Timberlake-esqe flat cap in an effort to retake the title from Johan “Zoolander” Edfors who has blitzed all style comers for the past five seasons. Edberg also gave a nod to the jockeys at Cheltenham by wearing chevrons on one sleeve of his white sweater.  We salute you Pelle!

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From pgatour.com

Paul Casey played bogey-free on the tough Copperhead course at Innisbrook for a 7-under 64 to take the lead among the early starters at the Transitions Championship on Thursday. Casey made back-to-back birdies late in his round to surge past Nick Watney, who is coming off the biggest win of his career last week in the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Doral. Watney had seven birdies in 12 holes before missing a few greens toward the end of his round and settling for a 66. John Senden would have joined Watney except for his second hole of the day. The Australian opened with a birdie and was in position for another on the par-5 11th. But at the top of his swing with a 3-wood from the light rough, he noticed the ball move and couldn't keep from hitting it. Once he hit his third to the green, he mentioned the slight movement to his caddie and called a rules official. Senden called the one-shot penalty on himself and ended up with a 67.

 

Click on pic below to view highlights from the first round of the 2011 Sicilian Open on the European Tour website.

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José Manuel Lara overcame an early double bogey to finish day one of the Sicilian Open tied for the lead with Stephen Dodd.
The Spaniard produced nine birdies to finish with a six under par 65, matching Dodd’s earlier effort at Donnafugata Golf Resort & SPA.
He was joined by Welsh veteran Dodd, who mixed six birdies with two bogeys before a late eagle on the par five 16th.
The 44 year old has won three times on The European Tour, but not since 2006 and has not finished better than 40th in four events this season.

Damian McGrane was best of the Irish on day one on under but returning Shane Lowry and Peter Lawrie are well in touch on one over.

A layman and maybe a tad jealous man’s five good reasons to reform this weeks rather controversial Tavistock Cup.

1. The Tavistock Cup in its current format does nothing to promote the game of golf. Quite the opposite, it puts people off.  The event is more like Horse Polo or a Regatta than a golf tournament.

2. Being among the elite is one thing, but flaunting it on TV, while the world burns is a whole different thing.

poulter helicopter 3. The best defence of those involved is that the event raises millions for charity each year.  Yet there is absolutely no mention of charity anywhere on the homepage of the Tavistock Cup website.  There is however a very very expensive watch! Don’t you think charity might start by saving $5,000 a time by cutting out the luxury helicopters that pointlessly drop players back down the road.  We had that in Ireland once, it was called The Galway Races.

4. Isn’t it more likely that the event raises more for the property developers in the participating clubs and gated communities and those sellin2 pairs of shoesg the toys that the mega loaded surround themselves with? Outrageous product placement of super cars like the red Audi parked in the middle of the fairway that David Feherty spent five minutes trying to start kind of proves my point.

5. Watching ultra rich players and their invited spectators from gated communities snort and guffaw over prawn sandwiches doesn’t exactly warm people’s hearts as they struggle to pay the mortgage and healthcare.   Pic: Exactly how many pairs of shoes does Justin go through in two days?

The Lake Nona team hammered the rest at the Tavistock Cup at Islesworth. England’s Oliver Wilson won the individual honours on the day on 7 under, one shot clear of Robert Allenby with Adam Scott a shot further back. Tiger Woods shot 69, three -under par on his home course.

Wilson finished 3-3-3 including a chip in at the 17th hole for an eagle and picked up the Payne Stewart salver award for his low round.

Lake Nona was 43-under par as a team, 16 shots clear of team Albany at 27-under. Isleworth was 25-under followed by Queenwood at 18-under.

Newspapers listen up.  Reporting accuracy is the foundation on which broadsheet journalism is built.  Yesterday Rory McIlory branded reports that he had splashed out $2 million dollars on a Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 as "total bollocks".  How could you guys have mcilroy veyron veron funny picbeen so sloppy?  Luckily here at GolfCentralDaily we have our roots planted firmly in "imagination" and have absolutely no truth issues.

Thus we can now exclusively reveal the mix-up that lead reporters to jump all over the Bugatti Veyron story.  The truth is that although McIlroy did not buy a Veyron, he did snap up aging midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron  from Argentine club Estudiantes.  

Manchester United fan McIlroy is said to have been gutted when the former Old Trafford  general signed for Chelsea in 2003  and snapped him up for nothing on a free transfer.  "It's great to be in a position to purchase a Veron.  He will be very useful on Tour" Rors tweeted  "I was looking for some strength in depth in the luggage carrying department and I believe Veron can still play a very important role.  And don't worry, he will be wearing a Manchester United jersey everyday! Lol"

Journalists are said to have seen a large black and red object moving around McIlroy's garage and mistakenly confused Veron with the Veyron.  Sloppy lads, sloppy!

 

You would think that with some of the world’s best players on show on The Tavistock Cup, they would have a half decent website.  But no.  Following the first day of the new four team event the headlines on www.tavistockcup.com  include  “CONGRATULATIONS TO ERNIE ELS ON WINNING THE SOUTH AFRICAN OPEN” and “CONGRATULATIONS TO GRAEME MCDOWELL ON A SUCCESSFUL 2010”.  How shoddy is that?

tavistock crap headline Ian Poulter tweeted today about the money raised by the event for good causes, “How about the 8 million dollars that has been donated to charity from the Tavistock Cup. I think its a great event which donates generously”.  Yet there is absolutely no mention of charity, of causes or how to donate anywhere on the homepage.

 

Graeme McDowell and Retief Goosen were co-top scorers on day one of the Tavistock Cup, shooting a 12-under-par better-ball score of 60 for Lane Nona, a score also matched by Brian Davis and JB Holmes playing for Isleworth.

Top scorers for the Albany Club in the Bahamas were Justin Rose and Ian Poulter who shot 61 for while Tiger Woods and Indian Arjun Atwal combined for an eight under 64 for the .

Isleworth lead on a cumulative 30 under and with singles to come, Albany are two behind, three ahead of Lake Nona.

The other new club, Queenwood in Surrey - whose team comprises Darren Clarke, David Howell, Paul McGinley, Adam Scott, Soren Kjeldsen and Thomas Bjorn - stand 14 adrift.  They weren’t helped by an outrageous Darren Clarke shank, which the big Ulsterman took in good spirit.


Transitions Championship

Innisbrook Resort - Copperhead, Palm Harbor, Florida

Odds subject to change

Jonathon Byrd 40/1

jonathan_byrdA Jonathon Byrd finished last year with a hole in one playoff win at the Justin Timberlake Shriners event and then repeated the dose at the Tournament Of Champions that kicked off this season. Since then his form has been nothing to write home about, but the man from Georgia seemed to discover some form on the range Friday evening at Doral, where he shot 68, 68 at the weekend for a top 10 finish. That will see travelling to the copperhead course in good spirits which will be further lifted by having had three top 10’s in the last five years.

Nick Watney 12/1

nick watney Butch Harmon’s star pupil has only finished outside the top 10 once since last years Tour Championship. Played brilliantly again at Doral to win his first WGC event, even though he was saddled with the favourites tag from early on. Tied fourth here last year, the highlight a Saturday 65 on a devilishly tough track. Can he win two weeks in a row?

KJ Choi 45/1

KJ Choi  Watch for Choi over the next couple of weeks. Finished second here last year and went on to almost steal the Masters. Showed he still has game with a tied seventh at the Northern Trust Open. The last of his PGA Tour wins was the Sony Open in Hawaii in 2008 but don’t count out the elder lemon of the field this week.

 

Bubba Watson 20/1


Doral 

Furore 06 Bubba has been struggling with fitness lately having not played since the WGC matchplay. He suffered from a suspected torn stomach muscle two weeks ago and again cited illness last week. If he does make it back, it will be Watson’s third trip to Innisbrook. First time he hated it and missed the cut, but his 2010 performance included a 65 and yielded a third place finish. A fit Watson is a force to be reckoned with.

 

 

Retief Goosen 20/1

gooseThere was a time when Retief Goosen was one of the most feared guys every time he teed it up. Those 14 wins in Europe, five on the regular PGA Tour and two Majors haven’t been added to since March 2009 when he won this event. Finished second to Els at the South African Open and tied third at the HSBC in February. The experts will tell you that if Goosen is ever win again on the PGA Tour, it will be on a course like this.

Jason Day 80/1

jason day_thumb[2] If you’re looking for long odds shouts this week, consider the Aussies. Fellow “drongo” John Senden has tied twice at Doral in ’07 and ’08 but I like the chances of the new breed of “flamin’ gallahs” which includes Jason Day. Last years Byron Nelson champion has only carded one top 10 (at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions) but has the potential to contend.

nick watney Would you believe it? A European didn't win a big event for the first time in ages and Butch’s eye managed to stay wide open all weekend.  Wonders will never cease.

The running joke all week was Nick Watney’s caddy who is bound by some curse not to cut his hair until his boss finishes outside the top 10.  And it doesn't look that going to happen anytime soon as Watney was supreme on Sunday.

Having come so close two years ago in his duel with Phil Mickelson, Watney reckoned the course “owed me one” and so it proved as he held off Dustin Johnson down the stretch.  His final round of 67 included seven birdies, one of which was on the 18th, the first time he had managed a three there in his career.

Anders Hansen and Francesco Molinari tied third whilst McIlroy and Harrington slumped to tie tenth.  Luke Donald produced another workmanlike round of even par to tie for sixth.

Rounds of the day were from Rickie Fowler and Tiger Woods who both shot 66.  Could we be looking at these to contend at Augusta?

And what about Butch?  A clean bill of health, coach to the top two and eagle eyed. Wow!

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