March 2011

Here is the draw and timesheet for the 2011 West Of Ireland Amateur Open Championship.  Click on the image to open in full page.

It promises to be a fantastic battle with top amateurs including Paul Cutler, Paul Dunne and our own TPI fitness expert Robbie Cannon among the 150 players with a handicap of 0.4 or lower teeing it up.

Trophée Hassan II

Golf du Palais Royal and Golf de L’Océan,Agadir,Morocco

Raphael Jacquelin 16/1

raf jack There’s no arguing who the form dog in Rabat this week but will Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin conquer again? Winner in Sicily two weeks back and tied fourth in Andalucia with four rounds in the 60’s. Finished down in 56th last year but hadn’t been playing for over a month. Big Chance.

Rafa Cabrero Bello 24/1

Rafael Cabrera Bello[4] Rafa is rapidly becoming one of my favourite players. His consistency is quite astonishing; even when he doesn’t contend; he’s never far away. The Spaniard hasn’t been outside the top 30 in his last eight events (discounting the DQ in South Africa). Played his first event back in five last week and finished 11th.

Tetsuji Hiratsuka 80/1

Japans-Tetsuji-Hiratsuka Forty year old HIratsuka has plied his trade mainly in Japan and on the Asian Tour but made a rare appearence over this side of the world last week in Andalucia where he finished 18th.  Has a best European Tour finish of third at last years Avanatha Masters in India.  A winner three times on the Asian Tour last season and one to watch at super odds.

Mikko Ilonen 110/1

mikko Former West Of Ireland Champion Mikko made his comeback after two months out last week and failed to make the cut. The Flying Finn with the broken wing made a super run through the field in the final round last season to finish tied third.

 

Christian Nilsson 60/1

nilsson Steady improvement for the Swede from 34th in Sicily to a very respectable seventh at the nudist beach in Malaga last week. Also finished seventh in the first staging of this event last year. The 2009 Saint Omer winner will eye this week as a big chance to get some credit on his card.

Jeppe Huldahl 90/1

JeppeHuldahl060809 Who’s that with the fangs? Yep its Jeppe, the 2009 Wales Open winner. Scored his first top ten in over a year tying fourth last week. Started poorly here last year with a 73 but found the measure of the place thereafter to finish 15th. He can be got at 11/1 to score a top 10 finish. Let’s hope Jeppe can get the bit between his dodgy teeth!

Computer Predictions

Predicted Finish

Name

Season Average Finish

Last 5 events finish

Average result in similar weather in last 5 years

Season Scoring Average

Cuts Made In a Row

Overall % Chance of winning

1

Thomas Bjorn

40.67

32.40

67.00

71.09

1

84.062

2

Raphael Jacquelin

31.57

30.80

15.00

70.34

4

82.706

3

Rafael Cabrera Bello

14.57

16.00

40.00

70.01

9

77.637

4

Tetsuji Hiratsuka

37.50

37.50

0.00

70.31

5

76.494

5

Joost Luiten

53.67

59.80

17.00

70.93

3

72.605

6

Simon Dyson

68.33

64.00

22.33

72.10

0

72.420

7

Gregory Bourdy

43.83

46.40

61.00

71.20

4

71.863

8

Darren Clarke

39.43

46.00

30.67

70.82

0

71.102

9

Bradley Dredge

37.60

37.60

79.50

70.96

0

69.665

10

David Horsey

68.00

50.40

27.00

71.81

5

69.492

2011 Trophee Hassan II Betting Preview and Tips

Mind Funk with Karl Morris

Why your Current Practice MAY be making you’re a WORSE golfer!!

Is the practice you are currently doing making you a better golfer? Can you honestly say you have continued to improve at your game? If you can truly say ‘Yes’ then you are almost unique!

However, I think if you are honest you would probably have to say your game has stagnated, it may not have got much worse, but chances are your improvement is now fairly minimal.

Kevin O’Brien’s recent exploits at the cricket World Cup reminded me of a wonderful story about Sir Donald Bradman, the legendary Aussie cricketer who averaged 99.94 and would have finished his career averaging 100 if he hadn’t been out for a duck in his final test innings. Part of Bradman’s practice ritual was to work on his batting with a golf ball and a cricket stump. He would throw the golf ball at a wall then defend it with his cricket stump. Just imagine the speed the ball would come off the

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wall and the difficulty in defending himself with a stump which was not much bigger than the ball itself.

Hour after hour Bradman would practice in this way. It was also said he would try to find a wall that was completely uneven just to make the exercise even more difficult. Seve Ballesteros learnt to play golf with just a three iron. I can still remember standing open mouthed at a clinic he gave when he stood hitting high lob shots over a trap with just a 3 iron. Do you think playing pitches with a sand wedge would seem fairly simple after that?

The key point in sport is, if you want to train your brain at the same time as your body and build mental toughness, you need to MAKE A PORTION OF PRACTICE MORE DIFFICULT THAN THE REAL GAME.

Examples of ‘Harder Practice’

Putt to a tee not the hole. Just from short range 6ft and in by putting to a tee your PERCEPTION of the size of the hole changes

Play 9 holes of ‘Worst Ball’ Hit two shots off the tee and you have to take the worst shot all the way into the hole. This shows you how bad your ‘bad’ is.

About Karl

Karl Morris is one of Europe’s leading MIND COACHES, delivering cutting edge methods of peak performance and goal achievement to a range of clients across sports and business.  From the world of golf, he has worked with players such as 2010 US Open Champion Graeme McDowell, 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen, Darren Clarke, David Howell, Lee Westwood, Paul McGinley, Richard Finch, Phil Archer, US Open Champion Alison Nicholas and Trish Johnson.

Betting Preview And Tips

Shell Houston Open

Monday Mar 28 – Sunday Apr 3, 2011

Redstone Golf Club Tournament Course · Humble, Texas

Odds on the exchanges

Aaron Baddeley 42/1

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Could bible bashing Baddeley be coming into another run of form heading into the major season? Shot a very impressive 69 in the final round at Bay Hill and seems a rejuvenated character this season with his new swing. A very impressive winner at the Northern Trust Open and has the putting game to contend at Redstone.

Fred Couples 55/1

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Coming into Augusta last year much of the talk was whether Fred Couples, who was dominating the Champions Tour at the time, could contend. And he did, finishing sixth. This year Fred hasn’t been quite as hot, but still drives it 300 yards and tops the putting stats. Couples last win on the regular tour came at the Shell Houston Open in 2003 and he still poses a threat as evidenced by his seventh place finish at the Northern Trust Open just over a month ago.  Look for a “to finish in the top 10” bet on Freddie.

Matt Kuchar 18/1

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Matt Kuchar is using this event as a tune up for Augusta and with a host of top names opting to stay away this week, he just might contend. Kuch has continued his good form from last season which culminated in a win at The Barclays with five top 10’s this season already. Returns fresh after a couple of weeks off and having tied eighth here last year should be given serious consideration. Tied for fifth last time out at the WGC Cadillac.

Steve Marino 55/1

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I’m going to give Steve Marino the nod this week because I think last Sunday represented a watershed moment for him. After taking double bogey on the 17th at Bay Hill when right in contention, Marino bounced back with a stunning birdie on the last. Granted it wasn’t enough to win the event, but going for that tight pin showed a new confidence and battling spirit that may have been lacking previously.

Charl Schwartzel 24/1

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Schwartzel struggled to recover from an opening round of 76 last week but should find Redstone more to his liking. After a run of four top four finishes in South Africa early in the season, Charl has found the going stateside a little trickier, clocking up a best finish of 14th in his last three starts. Two fine 67’s last season saw him climb into a tie for third and he will relish the opportunity to have another crack this week.

Shell Houston Open 2011 Betting Preview and Tips

Check out seven year old Rickie Fowler taken way way back in 1995 !!!  Still likes to wear extremely large hats but has ditched the green sweater these days for guantanamo orange.

 

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.

Click on pic below to view first round highlights from the Open de Andalucia de Golf 2011

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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.