May 2011

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Well its crunch time and here is my betting slip for the 2011 US Open.  If you have read my post you wont be surprised to see I’ve gone with Hunter Mahan at 23/1.  I just cant get that 62 he shot at Congressional out of my head.

The best odds I could get for KJ Choi, the 2007 winner of the AT&T at Congressional were 34/1.

I’m going with the “players that have a new caddy always do well” theory with Adam Scott who is borrowing Stevie Williams for the week.

Brandt Snedeker won at The Heritage, top tenned twice in US Open’s and has played great at Congressional in the past.

I just think the odds on Sergio at 61/1 and Ernie at 76/1 are just too long.  I will probably lay them on betfair so there’s no real gamble there.

Camilo Villegas is a shock, to even me.  I got a sneaky email that said he had turned his game around somewhat, and the guy was right, he tied third last week; that’s the only reason I’m on board with spiderman.

Alex and Shane are bets purely out of personal interest.  Alex Noren has the best blog of any Tour player, its a great insight into the behind the scenes of a players life.  Shane Lowry is a fellow Irishman and hugely talented player.  Both have massive character and I’ll have my fingers and toes crossed for them!

Reader’s Prize: Golf and Dine in Bantry Bay

Our prize this week is a fourball followed by a meal and drink in Bantry Bay golf club, the best value for money golf course in the South. Check out all Bantry’s special offers on or call 027 50579 for details of special offers.

To enter answer the question below with your name and address to

Question: Where did GMac win his US Open?

Congrats to last weeks winner Ronan Cullinane, Douglas, Cork who wins a My Golf Major exemption from mygolfsociety.

With top Irish PGA pro John Kelly of Harrington Golf and St Margerets. To book a session call John on 086-8155248.

back One of the key shots you will see this week at Congressional is the 200 plus yard long iron. Many amateurs nowadays are afraid to hit long irons and trust hybrids instead. They look at face of, say, a three iron and the lack of loft does not inspire confidence.

Instead of committing to the shot and hitting down onto the ball, many people hang back and try to compensate for the lack of loft by scooping the ball into the air. Two outcomes are likely with this swing, a high weak shot that drifts to the right, or failure to get the ball airborne at all, aptly termed the “scutter”.

To hit a long iron you need to trust the club and sweep the ball of the turf. The key to doing this is good timing and tempo in moving the weight onto the right side during the takeaway and through onto the left side and a full balanced finish. When you have hit the ball, your right toe will be the only point of contact with the ground on that side, with all the weight on a strong straight left leg.

Karl Morris: The Red Dot Major Key

I will be watching this week’s US Open with great interest, but I’ll be especially interested in Louis Oosthuizen. If you remember his win at The Open last year, you might also recall the red dot on his glove, that I was responsible for. Now I know you are asking ‘could a little RED DOT on a golfers glove help him win the ultimate Major’. Well possibly it did and I feel that a seemingly insignificant dot COULD have an impact on YOUR game.
Before we get into that though let me ask you all a question: Did you ever get told to ‘just concentrate’ when you where at school? I am sure that the answer to the above is a resounding YES. It is almost a universal human experience to be told to concentrate or to tell others to concentrate. Yet have any of us ever been told HOW to concentrate, or what concentration actually is? ‘I just lost my concentration on that one!’

Here’s a link to a really excellent shotlink stats feature for every hole at Congressional Country Club from the Washington Post. The data was compiled from the 2007-2009 AT&T National events staged at the venue. You can view a before and after graphic for every hole to see the changes made for the 2011 US Open.  Just cick on the pic of follow the link below.

Steve Williams was busy dusting off his sideburns and sticking them back on for a trip to Washington where he is set to caddy for Australian Adam Scott. Mark Steinberg, Tiger Woods  agent said Williams’s job with Scott doesn’t mean Woods is looking for a new caddie.

“When Adam found out Tiger couldn’t play, Adam called Steve, Steve called Tiger, Tiger called me, I called Adam and Steve called me. Then I got cut off, so Steve called back, but Tiger was already on the line so Adam texted Steve and confirmed the gig via facebook.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s just for the U.S. Open.”

Scott and Williams, 47, completed an 18-hole practice round at Congressional at 5 p.m. Saturday; Scott practised the course and Williams practised staring down spectators and having heavy breathers ejected.  

2011 US Open Betting Preview and Tips: Congressional Country Club

Betting Preview And Tips: Early odds from paddypower

Ernie Els 66/1

Though his form shows absolutely nothing of note since his win at the South African Open back in January you just cannot write off Ernie Els when it comes to a US Open. Els always had that southern hemisphere knack of being able to handle tough course set ups and fast greens. Came third last year at Pebble having missed the cut at Memorial and won the last US Open to be staged at Congressional in 1997. It would be a shock, but then again the US Open is always full of shocks. The biggest shock is his price at 66/1.

Hunter Mahan 22/1

I’ve log been of the opinion that the US Open is the Major most suited to Hunter Mahan. He has played in five, missed the cut last year and finished in the top 20 in every other. His best finish was tied sixth in Bethpage in 2009. When Congressional was on the regular season roster Mahan tied eighth at the 2007 AT&T and narrowly lost out to Tiger in 2009 after a final round 62. Hunter has been in the top 16 in each of his last four events and I believe a top 10 or better is on the cards this week.

Brandt Snedeker 50/1

Brandt Snedeker is having his best ever year on Tour. A fourth in Texas was quickly followed by a playoff win over Luke Donald at The Heritage. After a solid return at the St Jude last week, he returns to an event and a venue that have been kind to him in the past. Snedeker tied eighth in last years US Open to add to his tied ninth at Torrey Pines in 2008. In 2007 he top tenned at the AT&T and tied fifth at Congressional in 2009. Look for odds to finish in the top 10.

Sergio Garcia 50/1

Sergio went 78, 69 last week at the St. Jude to miss his very first cut of the season. Could it be a blessing in disguise for the Spaniard who can now head to Congressional before the rest of the field to get acclimatized? Before last week Garcia had played 11 times, made 11 cuts and had a worst finish of 35th. Without a win since the HSBC Champions in 2009, Congressional could play to his accuracy and long iron strengths whilst masking his weakness on the greens. El Nino has been at the business end of Majors in the past but the wind has always contrived against him.

Luke Donald 10/1

This is less a tip than an infomercial on Luke Donald. Including the Tour Championship at the end of September, Donald has played 15 times, finishing in the top 10 in all but one event. That staggering run of results still didn’t satisfy his knockers who pointed to his lack of wins, another stat Luke but right at Wentworth a couple of weeks back. The Englishman has an abysmal US Open record but with a report card as glowing as the one he has, you just cannot rule him out.

Dustin Johnson 22/1

The record shows that Dustin Johnson tied eighth last year at Pebble Beach, including that horrific final round of 82. That might have broken lesser men but DJ bounced back to win the BMW Championship at Cog Hill later in the year. At six foot four inches Johnson is prodigiously long off the tee, an invaluable asset in this event over any other, his approaches will be shorter than others to Congressional tough new greens. A year older and wiser and coming off improving form with a fourth place finish at The Memorial, you get the feeling this event owes him something.

KJ Choi 28/1

choi KJ Choi has fared well in the past at The Masters, but hasn’t ever really featured in the US Open form book. Until now? The winner of the 2007 AT&T National at Congressional is having a vintage year having already racked up five top 10’s including golf’s “Fifth Major”, winning a playoff against David Toms. They reckon Congressional demands a “special” winner and they don’t come more special than a Korean power lifter turned golfer and all round nice guy.


The USGA guy who decides the groups outdid himself this year, even finding time to put three guys whose names rhyme together.
He’s even gone all ‘racialistic’ on us with Y.E. Yang, Ryo Ishikawa and Anthony Kim in the same grouping. Other groups include
The ranking Group: Donald, Westwood and Kaymer
The Godfather Group: Edoardo, Francesco  and Matteo.
The green jacket brigade: Schwartzel, Immelman and Zach Johnson.
The Long Drive Group: Mickelson, McIlroy and Dustin Johnson 
The Not Quite Done Yet Group:  Els, Love III and Furyk.
The Paella Chef: Garcia, Jimenez and Quiros
The Once Were Warriors Group: Harrington, Cink and  Cabrera.
Full tee times click below

Mad for road Ryo Ishikawa has been banished from Japan and told never again to come back; until he gets his drivers license.

Road hog Ryo said “me so solly” to fans and sponsors for driving with an international driver's license that wasn't valid in Japan.

"There is no excuse for this" he said commenting on fact that he has been avoiding Japans notorious driving test. “I am unable to reverse and it has brought great shame to my family.” 

The 19-year-old was issued with a license in the United States, which has a different testing structure.  To pass you basically you have to show up with a car.  More as it emerges.


Among the 50 or so players to have played practice rounds in the last fortnight at Congressional is Graeme McDowell, the defending champion. After a practice ground last week GMac had to be wrapped in a warm blanket and hugged by one of the USGA’s 30 shrinks specially drafted in for the event.

The “Nuts Truck” is located just behind the 18th green at Congressional, for the use of players suffering from a range of disorders including anxiety, dementia, anger management and incontinence after playing the US Open course.

The USGA commissioned the truck after a horrible incident fryo-ishikawaollowing a practice ground last week involving Ryo Ishikawa, a pair of white trousers and the contents of his large intestine.  An eyewitness reported the Japanese teenager emerged from trees, soiled, surrounded by flies and three stray dogs.

Pic: A worried Ishikawa, taken just before he shat himself

“We’ve seen everything in here in the last week” said chief USGA psychiatrist Benzo Diazepine who has been specially drafted in from Italy for the event. “We were called out to the 13th tee also to help Geoff Ogilvy, who was struck by all three kinds of retardation for a ten minute spell.  It got pretty ugly.”

Pic: Dr Benzo Diazepine speaks to Stephen Ames, consultant to the USGA

doctor-horse Dr. Diazepine continued ”When Rory McIlroy came in to us, he couldn’t speak, just wanted to paint pretty pictures with crayons.  Ian Poulter was worse.  He had to be restrained and sedated with back to back episodes of Peppa Pig.”

A senior USGA official commented “The last thing we want is players crapping their pants on TV. We think the ‘nuts truck’ and a special local rule forcing players to ‘wear black rain trousers’ for the duration of the even should tackle the problem.


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tiger-woods-image Tiger Woods pulled out of the U.S. Open because his left leg, his knee and his achilles are really really really sore. Not even properly attached actually.

Woods says he’s aiming for a return at the AT&T and the British Open.

Woods announced his decision on Twitter: “Not playing in US Open. Very disappointed. Short-term frustration for long-term gain.”

“My man is hurting, He’s in a boot, he’s on crutches. Not doing good” said Arjun Atwal, Tiger’s only friend in the whole world.


The golf world is in shock at the new that Colin Montgomerie could miss the British Open for the first time in 122 years but after having a think about it the golf world say it doesn’t really mind.

Some people reading the list of Open qualifiers from Sunningdale on Monday would have seen Monty’s name on top of the leaderboard, but they would have been people standing on their head.  He actually came last.

Montgomerie’s total of  15 over  just missed out on qualification by 21 shots. Had he finished 21 shots better he would have entered a seven man playoff which he probably wouldn't have won anyway.

Lovable Monty could still make it into The Open by finishing in the top five at either the French or Scottish Opens, and there are also two spots available through a dodgy sounding “mini-money” list on the European Tour which continues at this week's Italian Open.

It’s easy to be railroaded into thinking the only quality irons are made by the likes of TaylorMade, Callaway, Titleist or one of the other heavyweights in golf. Nearly every player has a branded hat or shirt signalling his or her allegiance to a major manufacturer.

However just like with cars, there are production irons and then there are a small number of high quality specialist clubmakers that operate largely under the radar. Take Players Champion, KJ Choi for instance. Last year he was flapping around with Ping G15 irons with little success. He then started testing irons and wedges made by a comparatively small Japanese club manufacturer named Miura Golf.

Miura has never paid players to endorse the clubs, if a professional chooses to use their clubs, they simply supply the player with the clubheads and let them shaft them themselves. Miura golf, which is now based in Vancouver, is centered around elite Japanese club maker, Katsuhiro Miura who, now is in mid 60’s, still works every day in the company. Miura is a certified samurai-sword maker who has for the past 45 years been building some of the most exquisitely crafted golf clubs in the world.

Pic: Katsuhiro Miura, doesn’t look that happy but is. Might just have got him on a bad day!

Miura-san's work is so widely revered in the business that he has been described as having “God Hands”.

When KJ Choi won at Sawgrass it was the first time Mr. Miura's had his name stamped on the clubs. It’s a well known fact inside the ropes that Cleveland, Titleist, Callaway and TaylorMade have all had their branding on Miura golf clubs. Those companies often ask Miura to make clubs for their contracted Tour players for whom they fail to find suitable equipment of their own to please. While confidentiality clauses prevent the full details emerging, it is known that Miura irons were used by Jose Maria Olazabal when he won at Augusta in 1994, aswell as being in the bag of one other Masters and one U.S. Open winner. Several players who will tee it at the US Open in Congressional will be using Miura irons, disguised by the major manufacturers.

For the record Choi used the Miura CB-501 irons with frequency matched KBS shafts.

karl morris Karl Morris is one of the finest thinkers in the game of golf.  He is the only living Jedi Knight and has worked extensively with Yoda on his mental approach to light sabre battles.  Be sure to Check out Karl’s website
What do you think has been an outstanding Irish sporting victory of the last ten years? On the eve of the 2011 US Open at Congressional, I personally think that Graeme McDowell’s stunning victory in last years US Open is right up there with the best of of them and frankly the coverage and recognition of his achievement has been relatively muted.
Perhaps the fact that it was sandwiched between World Cup fever and Wimbledon that held the back pages made Graeme’s win slip somewhat under the radar. Yet just consider what an incredible effort it was.
Not since Tony Jacklin FORTY Graeme-McDowell-winner-of-US-Open-at-Peeble-Beachyears ago has there been a GB&I US Open champion. Even in the golden era of Faldo, Lyle and Woosnam none of those great players managed to capture perhaps the toughest of all Majors to win. Hopefully McDowell will in time get the due recognition for what he has achieved. On a personal level it has been great to see him develop into a top quality World player. I have been lucky enough to have worked personally with Graeme on his Mind Factor for over six years from the first time we met in 2003. It has been a fascinating journey not without the setbacks and slumps but one which I am proud to hopefully have played some small part in.
McDowell has always had a keen interest in Mind Coaching, I believe he spent some time with world renowned guru Bob Rotella just before his US Open win. It is this mindset that I believe has been one of the keys to the subsequent success. Not the greatest ball striker by any means but he seeks to make the best out of ALL departments of his game.

With top Irish PGA pro John Kelly of Harrington Golf and St Margerets. To book a session call John on 086-8155248.

stinger shot A great tee shot to have on a windy day, especially when hitting into it, is a low trajectory penetrating drive that will kick forward on landing. Tiger calls it his “stinger shot”. To play a stinger you firstly need to move the ball back in your stance. If for a normal drive the ball is just inside your left heel, for a stinger it should be almost in the middle of your stance. Your weight will automatically feel more on your left side.

During your takeaway, instead of your normal long backswing, reduce its length and take the wrists out of the swing. The backswing as a result will be a longer wider swing. The downswing is then initiated by rotating the body through the shot remembering to keep the wrists out the swing.

If you remember the keys of the stance, a shorter wider swing with the wrists prevented from cocking on the backswing or the throughswing, you can learn to perfect the low drilling “stinger” shot which is invaluable to have in your locker in windy conditions.

old head golf 2 Irish society golf specialists Mygolfsociety have come up with a cracking new concept which will give club golfers the chance to play in three “Majors” around Ireland this Summer. The events are titled to twin with real Major Championships, and will be hosted on top Irish courses including Old Head, Knightsbrook and Bunclody.

Major qualifiers from each event, will meet for the Playoff event to be staged at The Heritage where the My Golf Majors winner will walk away with a trip for two to La Manga in Spain.

The venues are set to be groomed and prepared to Tour standard with pins set and greens rolling to Major Championship specifications for the My Golf Major events. It all sets up to give amateur golfers a unique chance to play under Major conditions and live the pro dream, and win a Major. Wouldn’t that be something to tell the Grandkids.

The events are open to all. More details on or contact Tom on 087 6644344.

Our winner will have the choice of playing at any of the “Majors”. Enter through the widget on the top right


I’ve painstakingly waded through the mountains of crap describing US Open Qualifiers to bring you the abbreviated version.

 sergio garcia british open Vijah Singh: Out.  Everybody say “awww”.

Sergio Garcia: In after 7 man playoff.  Sigh.

Pic: Sergio fans can look forward to plenty of head scratching and looks of utter disbelief at Congressional

Sam Saunders: Ring grandad, he’s In.

David Duval: Growing out like James Wade these days. He’s Out.

Lee Janzen: If he is that good at putting he’d win sometimes. Out.

Steve Irwin: He may be deceased, but he’s In.

Tom Kite: Team America World Police Lookalike is Out

Funk: Bus pass to Congressional. The Funkster is In.

Ben Curtis & Justin Leonard: British Open king and Neanderthal Chin king are Out.

Brandt Jobe, Chez Reavie in.

People with funnyish names to get In are  Ty Tryon, three-time tour winner Kirk Triplettand former U.S. Amateur champion Bubba Dickerson.

Also in are Robert Garrigus, Marc Turnesa, John Senden, D.A. Points, Marc Leishman, Kevin Chappell, Adam Long, Justin Hicks, Nick O'Hern and Chris Wilson. Tim Petrovic, Scott Hend and Webb Simpson.  Todd Hamilton, Harrison Frazar and Greg Chalmers got in

Other out are J.J. Henry and Brett Wetterich, Rocco Mediate, Sean O'Hair and Jhonattan Vegas. Rich Beem, Stephen Ames, Chris DiMarco and Boo Weekley also Out.


Vijay-Singh Vijay Singh failed to show up for his tee time in a U.S. Open qualifier. Sources close to the miserable Fijian, who just acts happy, said he was just too busy practicing for the U.S Open to bother about qualifying for the U.S Open.

Singh is now likely to end his streak of playing in every major championship for the last 17 years.  Commenting on Singh’s non appearance a U.S Open official said nothing, but smiled a little bit out of the corner of his mouth

Singh shot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Memorial on Sunday, then went straight to the range for 14 hours practice.  Singh’s only other chance to make Congressional would be to win or finish second at this week’s St. Jude Classic. Considering he is not playing, that is going to be a tough ask.

Asked whether he will do anything to help Vijay, U.S. Golf Association executive director Mike Davis has said no special exemptions were likely to be awarded this year. 

Players in the locker room are said to have the champagne “on ice”.

International Final Qualifying

Sunningdale, Berkshire , England

10 places are available from IFQ Europe into The Open Championship.

Pos Player Country R1 R2 Total To Par Status
1 STORM, Graeme England 65 62 127 -12
2 NOREN, Alexander Sweden 66 64 130 -9
T3 BOYD, Gary England 65 66 131 -8
T3 LEVET, Thomas France 65 66 131 -8
T3 WHITEFORD, Peter Scotland 67 64 131 -8
T6 CANIZARES, Alejandro Spain 67 65 132 -7
T6 FERRIE, Kenneth England 68 64 132 -7
T6 BOURDY, Gregory France 67 65 132 -7
T6 MCEVOY, Richard England 64 68 132 -7
T10 COETZEE, George South Africa 68 65 133 -6
T10 RUMFORD, Brett Australia 67 66 133 -6
T10 KJELDSEN, Soren Denmark 67 66 133 -6
T10 LARRAZABAL, Pablo Spain 65 68 133 -6
T10 TULLO, Mark Chile 66 67 133 -6

Congrats to Richie O’Donovan whose final round of 66 saw him surge through the field to claim the crown.

Final Scores

286 R O Donovan (Lucan) 71 78 71 66
288 P Murray (Limerick) 75 69 75 69, G Bohill (Co. Louth) 71 72 70 75, D McElroy (Ballymena) 70 71 73 74
289 E Arthurs (Forrest Little) 72 70 74 73
290 C Campbell (Warrenpoint) 74 71 72 73, N Gorey (Muskerry) 73 76 71 70
291 E McCormack (Galway) 70 71 79 71
292 M Durcan (Co. Sligo) 70 77 71 74, A Dunbar (Rathmore) 68 72 78 74
293 J Hiluta (Chelmsford) 73 73 72 75, C Molloy (Ardee) 72 73 80 68, J Hopkins (Skerries) 70 74 75 74, C Martin (Kilkenny) 69 75 74 75

More scores below


FedEx St. Jude Classic, TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee

early odds on the exchanges

Lee Westwood 10/1

The defending champion here after a playoff last year with Robert ‘sweaty bum’ Garrigus. Westwood sees this as the ideal US Open preparation. He has played three times since finishing 11th at the Masters, winning the Ballantines in South Korea, making last 16 of the Volvo World Matchplay and losing a playoff to Luke Donald at the PGA in Wentworth. Maybe not as dominant as last year in some people’s eyes, but for me Westwood’s eyes are only on the Majors.


David Toms 20/1

What a year it has been for veteran David Toms. Good showings early in the season at the Mayakoba and Arnold Palmer Invitational culminated in an agonizing playoff loss to KJ Choi at The Players Championship. The tears had hardly enough time to dry however when he won the very next week at Colonial. Off since then, Toms returns to the St Jude and a course he loves. Winner here in 2003 and 2004, second in 2005, third in 2007 and tied second in 2009. If that is not the definition of happy memories in golf, I just don’t know what is!

John Senden 55/1

senden A solid Sunday 68 at Muirfield Village last week saw John Senden tie for seventh and grab his second top 10 of the season. The big Aussie has shown good course form in the past, top 10ing in 2006 and tying fourth in 2009 after a blistering final round 64. A win may be beyond him, but you will still find excellent odds “to finish in the top 10” nearer the event.

Brain Gay 40/1

brain gay I’m surprised Brian Gay hasn’t kicked on since 2009 when he won the Heritage and this event in serious style. Gay has had a solid if unspectacular season to date with top 10’s at the Bob Hope and Mayakoba early in the year. He’s a much better player than his form suggests and finishing 14th at the Byron Nelson last time out, Gay will be eyeing this event on the eve of a Major to earn some cash and Fed Ex points.


Heath Slocum 90/1

0830_slocum If a 25/1 shot beat the Queen’s work into second in the Derby, then anything can happen. Our long odds punt this week is Heath Slocum. Although a four time winner on Tour including the 2010 McGladrey Classic, he has missed more cuts this season than a blind barber. Thus the odds of him contending at TPC Southwind are lengthening by the second. Those who believe in the ‘horses for courses’ theory wont discount Slocum however. He is something of a course specialist having tied fourth in 2005, 12th in 2007, tied 10th in 2009 and sixth last year.

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