June 2011

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bjorn_1502147c_thumb[2] Tommy Bjorn is headed to Sandwich. It’s official.  When Vijay Singh withdrew from the event citing back problems or not enough practice or whatever excuse he has these days, in stepped the Dane.  There’s no doubt that Bjorn will be hounded all week about blowing that two-shot lead playing the par-3 16th back in 2003.  His double bogey allowed Ben Curtis to inch closer and win the Jug.

''When I get there, I won't be thinking, 'This is a horror hole.' It's a good hole,'' Bjorn said. ''I just tried to erase it from my memory, but it might just creep into my mind on Sunday if I am playing well.'' ''You've really got a problem if you live eight years in the past, It was difficult for me when I played at Troon in 2004. I really didn't want be there. But these are the events you want to play in and I'm delighted. At the same time, though, there's some big names who have pulled out and you don't want to see that.''

Scott Verplank is now the first alternate followed by Ricky Barnes.

Rory McIlroy is paired with Ernie Els and Rickie Fowler for the first two rounds of the British Open. Defending champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa will play the first two rounds with American star Phil Mickelson and defending PGA champion Martin Kaymer. England's Luke Donald, is paired Thursday and Friday with Ryo Ishikawa and Sergio Garcia.


engraver2 Yes he may have slept on the beach, and yes he can do a million stomach crunches in a minute but Gary Player will forever be known in engraving circles as the man who ruined the Claret Jug.

In the latest edition of Engravers Digest it describes how, until the late 1960s, the Open winners would take the jug away and have it engraved themselves, but one year garry harvey Roberto De Vicenzo (Open Champion of 1967) brought it back without his name engraved. Then, when Gary Player’s name was engraved in huge letters that took up about two columns the R&A decided to do it themselves. The job is now done by Garry Harvey who took over from his father in 2006 when he retired after 32 years. Garry says his toughest moment as having to fit the name “Padraig Harrington” onto the trophy.

Pic: Garry Harvey, expect to see the back of his head next Sunday

Peter Alliss - wide Bad news for golf fans as it looks like 80 year old Peter Alliss may well miss the 170th British Open.  Mainly because it’s in 30 years time at that would make Peter 110 years old, and while we’re not saying its not possible, modern medical trends suggest it is highly unlikely.

The good news  is that Alliss is as we speak being hoisted by a crane into the BBC studio at Sandwich.  You can have your Murrays and your Critchleys but I just love the way Alliss fills the tension filled seconds as the leader approaches the green by saying “I received a lovely letter from an old friend Milly Wiggleybottom to tell me about wonderful Crail Golf Club celebrating its 225th anniversary.”  What a legend!

funny_tiger_woods_scandal_picture_RE_Tiger_Woods_caught_again-s551x416-95492 Tiger Woods  has booked the world’s media  to make a “special announcement” later today. I wonder what the hell he could want now?  It couldn’t be news of a pull out, because he’s already done that.  It couldn’t be news about women, he’s already done those. It couldn’t  be news of a sponsor, because he has lost all of those.

So what the hell could be so important to cause him to deflect media attention on British Open week?  A break for the rest of 2011? Retirement?


European Tour bosses are set to make a decision this morning on how to settle the monsoon affected Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Swimming Complex and Golf Club.  Should the venue be unplayable an alternative, and rather unusual method of concluding the event has been decided upon involving the lesser known pursuits of cheese rolling and bog snorkelling.

The Castle Stuart course  which doubles as an Olympic swimming pool when it rains is the site of the Scottish annual bog snorkelling and cheese rolling championships.

“Since all the facilities are in place, and the players are keen to get away today to start Open preparations, we feel the players will beimages happy to decide the tournament by tumbling down a cheese rolling hill followed by a  bog snorkelling race down the 18th fairway” George O’Grady said in his sleep. “If the rain persists, that’s how we will roll”, he added.

Pic: Paul Lawrie on the practice ground this morning

Bookies have rushed to install Paul Lawrie as co-favourite due to bog snorkelling like commentary on the Ryder Cup.  Joining him is Richard Finch, the only player in the field to have actually bog snorkelled at a Tour event in winning the Irish Open.

Luke Donald however has drifted to 1000/1 in the betting as bookies think “he wouldn’t like to get dirty”.

Sad to read this report from Jock McVicar about Sandy Lyle being snubbed from the Hall Of Fame and getting shag all invites.

SANDY LYLE, ignored for the Ryder Cup captaincy, is being ignored again - and this time it affects his playing career. For 15 years he has been on the shortlist to be inducted into the US Golf Hall of Fame, a prestigious assembly whose members include most of the great and the good in the game. However, for Lyle, at Castle Stuart this week for the Barclays Scottish Open, the door remains firmSandyLyleOpenChampionshiply shut. If players like Isao Aoki, Neil Coles, Larry Nelson and Christy O'Connor can be members - not to mention two golfing American presidents - why not Lyle? He has all the qualifications - two Majors, a winner six times on the US PGA Tour including the Players Championship, an 18-times winner in Europe and a frequent competitor in the Ryder Cup and World Cup. Lyle said: "If I could get into the Hall of Fame all my problems would be over. I'm pretty sure I'd have a free run in the States if I was in it. "I don't have any status in America at the moment. I'm waiting for the phone calls for invitations and it isn't ringing very much. I've played the odd tournament here and there. But it's a lot of sitting around. "There is a committee in the States that votes on the nominations, so whatever you can do to keep the name floating around, that would be great. "I am a little surprised I haven't got in. I won six times in America, and God knows how many times in Europe. You would think that would stand pretty strong. "I've been on the shortlist, I gather, for the last 15 years. Hopefully, one day it will happen, as long as it's not too late." Lyle, 53, has got into only four events on the senior Champions Tour in America this year. The Scot was eighth in the Legends in April, a month after winning the Handa Senior World Cup in China. The next three weeks, with the Scottish Open, The Open and the Senior Open at Walton Heath, are at the core of Lyle's year. He added: "Hopefully, I can do well here and get a bit of confidence."

From his site:

rory mcilroy funny[5] "Some people may have wondered why I chose to go from one major straight to another without anything in between and the answer is simple. "Because of what happened at Congressional and the way it became such a big deal (he was the youngest winner since Bobby Jones in 1923 and did it with a record score and by an eight-shot margin) I wanted to get everything out of the way and sorted so that when I did start playing again I could just concentrate on golf. "If I had gone to France (he pulled out of last week's French Open) I just would not have been able to practise or prepare properly. "Every time I play I want to go out there with a chance to win and that wouldn't have happened. "There were so many commitments and so much media to do that I would have not been able to give my best, so I decided to wait until I was absolutely ready. "I didn't touch a club for 10 days after the US Open and then after just hitting balls on the range at home it did feel good when I finally got out on the course again. "That was at Wentworth on Monday when I did a company day for Jumeirah and then I went down to Royal St George's on Tuesday and Wednesday so that I could get a good look before too many people were there. "The practice was great because we had one calm day and one when the wind got up so I got a great feel of what we can expect. "It wasn't my first visit because I remember playing the 2005 home internationals there and also the British Amateur the following year.And, more important, I like the course. "Some people think it's a bit quirky in places, but I believe it's a good test of golf. "I don't think the rough will be as heavy as they'd like it, but it will still be tough. "For me it's quite different to a lot of the other links courses because the greens at Sandwich are quite undulating with some pretty severe slopes in places. "In some cases you can't just run the ball up, you have to fly the ball all the way to the green and that's ok by me. "It's not that it suits any particular player because the standard is such that anybody teeing up these days has a chance. "Tiger Woods won't have a chance this year because unfortunately he has not recovered from his injuries. "It's always a disappointment when Tiger isn't in the field because people want to see him play and he brings so much to the game. "On the other hand, when he isn't there it increases my and everybody else's chances, but I'd certainly prefer him to be there."

The 140th Open Championship, Royal St George’s GC

Note: These are my early considerations as of 2pm 9th July and are subject to changes/additions pending the outcome of the Barclays Scottish Open and John Deere Classic. Odds from paddypower


Lee Westwood 9/1

lee westwood upgrade_thumb[4] Every time I consider typing links wizards like Rory McIlroy (6/1) or GMac (22/1) I find myself deleting the text and typing in Lee Westwood. This will be Westwood’s 17th Open Championship and he has four top 10 finishes. Finished tied third in 2009 at Turnberry, missing a chance to join the Cink/Watson playoff. Went one better at St. Andrews last year finishing second behind runaway winner Louis Oosthuizen. After coming 11th in Augusta and tied third at Congressional and with Rory deflecting much of the media glare, this could be Lee’s time. The best distance putter and approach player from 125 yard in the world, two stats that might just finally unlock a Claret Jug.

Sergio Garcia 22/1

sergio Another solid season has turned into a good season for Sergio with the return of his putting stroke. After tying seventh at Congressional, Garcia went straight to Munich where he only lost out in a playoff with Pablo Larrazabal. That gained him his Open spot, and secured his 49th consecutive Major appearance, the longest of any current player. The Spaniard has the game for The Open with six top 10’s in the noughties and suffered the cruellest break I have ever seen on a golf course in 2007 when his ball hit the pin and bounced away in the playoff with Harrington. Not many deserve it more.

Matteo Manaserro 40/1

masl01_matteo Many insiders had Matteo backed to win The Malaysia Open back in April because the Kuala Lumpur course was one of the very few short courses on the roster that suited his game. At 273 yards average Matteo is down at 198th in the distance rankings in stark contrast to his driving accuracy (8th) Greens in reg (12th) and Putting (14th) stats. Sandwich however is right up his street and if he reproduce his form in winning the British Amateur at Formby and low amateur in 2009, I predict another very big week for the Italian on the links.

Fredrik Jacobson 66/1

fredrik Back in 2003 when Freddie was at the heights of his powers he won in Hong Kong and Portugal before tying fifth at the US Open and sixth at The Open in Sandwich. Eight years on, and Freddie has won again, at The Travelers, had a great US Open even if it ended badly and is on his way back to The Open. You have to like his chances of a fist pumping top 10 if not better. The only worry is will Freddie be as dangerous now that his goatee is gone!

Tom Lewis 300/1

tom lewis 2 Tom Lewis is a 20 year old amateur from Nick Faldo’s club Welwyn Garden City and is set to be a prolific winner on Tour in years to come. Lewis qualified for the event at Rye, winning by three on the links there. He seems at home on links layouts having claimed the St Andrews Links Trophy a couple of months back and won the 2009 Boys Championship staged at Sandwich. Win lose or draw everybody is going to know who Tom Lewis is by next Sunday evening. Watch out for super odds to Finish In The Top 10.


The 2011 British Open Championship Betting Preview and Tips, golf, The 2011 Open Championship Betting Tips

dyson_vacuum England's Simon Dyson will get to go to the ball after all after David Toms announced he was not making the Open journey.  Toms’ hip blew a gasket at the John Deere. “If it’s not my friggin’ heart, it’s my friggin’ hip” said Toms after stalling his tractor after nine holes.

Pic: A happy Dyson pictured earlier today

Dyson can now definitely pack his lunch for Sandwich as Tommy Bjorn moves up to first reserve and may well get the call up as Robert Garrigus also pulled out of the John Deere reportedly suffering from a replase of the crotch rot that so badly affected him at last years St Jude Classic.


tim clark funny[4] Poor old Tiny Tim Clark finally admitted defeat in his tiny battle to be fit for the British Open.  It’s the second straight major Tiny Tim has missed because of an injury to his tiny elbow.

Tiny Tim will be replaced by normal sized, but a bit funny looking, Anthony Kim.

Simon Dyson, who surprisingly never loses suction moves up to first sub, followed by Tommy Bjorn, who spent all last week practicing bunker shots, at the 16th hole, at Sandwich.

Stateside Webb Simpson, J.B. Holmes and Steve Marino will also know on Sunday if they have a spot in the British Open. Five spots are available to alternates determined by this week's world ranking.  Simpson at No. 54 should make it. Behind him are Holmes, Vijay Singh, Marino and Yuta Ikeda of Japan.

tractor-cow-jack Winner Alright: Last week we tipped Nick Watney at 18/1.

John Deere Classic Betting Preview and Tips
TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Illinois. Odds from Betfair

Steve Stricker 8/1

Won the event the last two years running and set a record total of 26 under last year. As steady as ever this season finishing in the top 20 in his last six outings including that Stricker Special win at The Memorial. Hard to see past him.

David Toms 30/1

Keep an eye out for old David Toms this week and next. He’s been off since The Travelers but showed enough there in tying 17th that he still retains the form that brought to that playoff with Choi at Sawgrass and win at the Crowne Plaza. Toms is near the top of a whole heap of shotlink stats and won the Quad City Classic on this course before most you were born!

Jason Day 12/1

deere tips logo Will Day be going at this event full tilt in light of the fact that he’s travelling to Sandwich next week? Already installed among the favourites for The Open, Day has begged five top 10’s in his last six outings, including those seconds at the Masters and US Open. With the score likely to be in double figures under par, this event will need a birdie converter and of those in the field, Day is statistically among the best.

Louis Oosthuizen 60/1

When I see events where the winning score is 20 under or thereabouts, a handful of players spring to him as having the capability to accumulate that kind of score over four days. Louis Oosthuizen is one. At last years Open Louis was 16 under as was he when he won the Africa Open (he was 21under the previous week to that also!). It’s Louis’ first outing since Congressional when his Sunday 67 jumped him into the top 10. Will have big commitments next week so needs to make hay while the sun shines here.

Brett Quigley 400/1

I love these mental long odds chances. Brett Quigley gets less starts these days than John O’Shea and has missed more cuts than Lady Ga Ga’s hairdresser but at 400/1 he still represents a bit of value. Quigley’s last two top 10’s anywhere on Tour were where? Right here at Deere Run, he tied 10th last year and tied second in 2009. He loves this place and I think those offering those mental odds on betfair could be sorely stung.


With old age comes brittle bones, and if you bomb down a six foot drop into a one foot deep lake, in your socks, and land on a Lady Pinnacle with a pink ribbon, you just know you are going to break something.

That didn’t Thomas Levet whose eyes, according to witnesses, went all crazy for a second after winning the Open de France and he bolted straight for the water.  The result, a lovely dive with very little splash but with it a broken shin.  The possibility of further complications emerged today as doctors revealed the Frenchman now risks having to endure taunts and really bad leg break jokes from fellow pros on the range for years to come.

Whether Levet makes it to Sandwich on one good leg is in the balance!

decgolf logo This weeks readers prize comes courtesy of our friends in the East Coast Golf Alliance, and is a fourball on your choice of the O’Meara or Monty Course in beautiful Carton House, Maynooth. Find out more about Carton House and special golf offers on www.cartonhouse.com.

Enter the quiz through the widget on the right hand side

Dublin East Coast Golf Alliance Information

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The Dublin East Coast Golf Alliance makes it easy for you to stay and play in some of the top hotels and courses in Ireland, with each course having its own unique characteristics and memories of Irish Opens, Seve Trophies and a Ryder Cup. 

Within easy access of Dublin airport and with the buzz and atmosphere of Ireland’s capital on your doorstep the Dublin East Coast Golf Alliance promises you the best of
both worlds with the warmest of welcomes and “craic”.  For further information and bookings please contact: golf@ainemangan.com.  Click on the booklet cover to open the Dublin East Coast Golf Alliance Information Booklet.

Every day literally five or ten new golf inventions pop up on the email and to be honest most are terrible. Today however was a watershed moment for me. For some strange reason the phrase "Insta Golf Shoes" drew me in and (mostly for a laugh I admit) I clicked on the link www.instagolfshoes.com. After initially cringing at the mad prospect of what looked like a golfing version of the crampon, I quickly came around to the thinking that things are a little bit ingenious. I can see instagolfshoes being handy on holiday or on the practice ground where you slip these babies onto your runners and off you go. No need for hawking heavy golf shoes around or the threat of blisters or you hols. I havent seen a pair of these instagolfshoes in the flesh yet but the quality looks very decent from the photo gallery on the site. And the inventor Rick Hetzel test drove them on the links courses of the West Of Ireland, and they could manage that, they could manage anything. Instagolfshoes come in at about $35 or €24. Here's the link to the site

Genius or madness, I'll let youe decide!

insta shoes

2011 Betting Preview and Tips

Winner Alright: Last week we tipped Mark Foster who tied second in Paris at 65/1. A tenner each way bet paid out €172.50. We also tipped Nick Watney on the US Tour at 15/1.

The Barclays Scottish Open, Castle Stuart Golf Links, Inverness, Scotland 07 Jul 2011 - 10 Jul 2011

Early odds from betfair

Graeme McDowell 25/1

separated at birth GMac yasser arrafat[3] With Martin Kaymer now not participating, our next best of the big guns at Castle Stuart is Graeme McDowell.  With the burden of being a “Mejor Chompion” now lifted off his shoulders, we may just see a new GMac in Castle Stuart this week.  A links course set up for birdies and a player with a game designed exactly for that; this could be a match made in heaven.  And GMac won the week before the Open in Loch Lomond in 2008.

Richie Ramsay 85/1

ramsay Of the home players I like the form of Richie Ramsay at 85/1 on the exchanges. Tied fifth in Paris last week but he will know it could have been so much better but for a final round 76. Finished the week number one in the greens in regulation stats, possible the best indicator of form heading to Castle Stuart, a virgin Tour layout. Ramsay has a bit of pedigree on links in the past too, coming close at the Alfred Dunhill Links two years ago.

Gregory Havret 130/1

havret The French seem to have a knack of playing well in Scotland and one man I know who loves the place is Gregory Havret. Two of three wins on Tour have come in Scotland, at Loch Lomond in 2007 and at Gleneagles in 2008. Made his first appearance since the US Open last week finishing 21st but this week could be more fruitful. Second to GMac at Pebble Beach last year says there’s a bit of links in him too.

Darren Clarke 90/1

darren-clarke_28962t If the Barclays Scottish Open owes one player in the field some justice, it’s Darren Clarke. Some shennanigans involving raingear and hitting underwater balls resulted in a three shot swing in the final round at Loch Lomond last year, handing the crown to Edoardo Molinari. Big D, missed the cut in Paris finishing 84th but hey, he did the exact same thing last year! A links expert, this Castle Stuart layout may just given Darren his second win of the season. No one deserves it more.

Johan Edfors 110/1

Johan-Edfors-of-Sweden-te-001 I was very impressed with Johan’s final round of 67 at Congressional which earned him a much deserved top 20 finish. The stylish Swede is always on my shortlist for Scottish tournaments, he won in Loch Lomond in 2006, but not since. Five top 10’s on Tour already this season and a strong links player with solid Dunhill Links and Baltray performances in the past. May be a decent each way look.



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

Your glute muscle, or your backside muscle is the biggest muscle in your body and should be the strongest muscle. But because of our everyday lives we spend a lot of time sitting and develop poor posture resulting in the glute muscle being forgotten about or switched off. This exercise teaches you how to isolate and fire, or switch on, your glute muscles independently of other muscles in your lower body. Knowing how to do this will help you build strength and stability in the lower body.

Instructions: Lying flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground, place both hands on your glutes or backside. Try to contract your right glute without engaging any other muscles, especially the hamstring. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds trying to squeeze as hard as you can. Repeat this on the left side and then on both sides together. Doing this regularly will help you understand how to fire your glutes in the golf swing.

Here’s a good question for you: “What are the only TWO things in golf that you are trying to CONTROL?” Go on have a go! What do you think?
As far as I am aware the only TWO things that we are trying to control at golf are....THE BALL and...YOURSELF!
Now as obvious as that sounds it is amazing how most golfers don’t get the simple answer. They look for the complex. They look for the detail. Yet when you consider it that is all there is to the game. You need to control the ball and you need to control you. Within this very simple equation there is much confusion however. When people say that golf is ‘all in the mind’ it isn’t!!!

bubba watson fat funny[3] Kudos to Bubba Watson dressed up as BubbaClaus on youtube or expertly playing a country hick in the golf boys video but the word inside the ropes of the PGA Tour is that Bubba has gotten himself a bit of a rep for being “moody”, to say the least.

On his first overseas outing to Paris for a European Tour event, Bubba was being rubbed up the wrong way from the get go, having a pop at the fans over cameras and mobile phones on the course and the tournament organizers for their marshalling, or lack of it. The splendid sites of Paris seemed to be lost on Bubba too, he referred to the Arc de Triomphe as "the arch way" and the Palace of Versailles "the castle that we are staying next to."

I cant wait to see what Bubba makes of Royal St. George's next week, a place described as an “absolute dump” by a fellow Tour player on twitter.  Paris it aint.

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monica_cigar He’s not dead a wet week and his name is dropped from the golf tournament forever. How fickle is the PGA Tour? Actually Bob Hope is dead almost eight years and now The Bob Hope Classic which began in 1965 is to get a new name. The “Humana Challenge” has been announced as the new name of the event and its backed by none other than Bill Clinton.

New title sponsor Humana and the William J. Clinton Foundation had toyed with the name “The Big Willy Classic” but it was deemed too provocative. “The Clinton Classic” also made the shortlist, but a focus group declared they thought of a cigar rather than a golf tournament when they heard the name.

Hope springs eternal, but not on the PGA Tour.

tiger woods arse cream Tiger may not have played since Transgressional but the good news is he has got his first endorsement contract since riding half the grand national field.

Sure, the likes of Gillette and AT&T may be gone but Woods has incredibly hit the big time again with “Vantelin Kowa”, a Japanese pain relieving cream that works wonders on haemorrhoids.

Translated directly Vantelin Kowa stands for “Good Arse”,  a phrase not lost on the CEO of Kowa Company Ltd who said “Top jockeys have good arse, and Tiger Woods was one of the best. Vantolin Kowa also good for pain in the arse, and Tiger Woods is one of the biggest.  It’s a perfect fit!”

The deal is set to run for three years and be worth around $47 to Woods.

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