Saturday, March 19, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
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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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.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
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.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
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.
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 selling 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?
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
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 been 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!
Monday, March 14, 2011
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?
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.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Innisbrook Resort - Copperhead, Palm Harbor, Florida
Odds subject to change
Jonathon Byrd 40/1
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
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
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
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
There 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
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.
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.
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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Irish eyes could be smiling tonight as both Rory McIlroy and Pagraig Harrington are in touch heading into the final round of the WGC Cadillac in Doral.
Rors may have been battling a swollen foot after dropping a weight on it during a gym session but he is just three shots behind leader Dustin Johnson having made six birdies and three bogeys in his third round, describing his performance as “workmanlike”. “I’m sure there’s a low one out there,” Rory said when asked if he was eyeing another Quail Hollow-like 63.
But the affable Irishman is anxious to see if he can win the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. He’ll start the final round at 9 under and four strokes off the lead held by Dustin Johnson after Saturday’s 68.
The round of 4 under marked the first time Harrington had broken 70 on the weekend in three stroke play events this year. In fact, it beat his best score in the final two rounds this year on the PGA TOUR by four shots.
“A lot of events over here last year, I was in the top‑10 going into the last round, three, four, back. It’s doable but it means a big day tomorrow and I had that a lot last year and I don’t want to press too hard or too quickly. Have to wait and see how we get on and keep playing the same way.”