Saturday, July 16, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
2011 British Open Championship Second Round Highlights
Local man Patrick McCrudden overcame Harry Diamond on the first playoff hole of an epic 2011 North Of Ireland Amateur Championship final. In tough conditions, both men produced class golf, with McCrudden coming back from two down after 12 to tie the match with three holes to play. After watching a 15 foot putt from his opponent drop at the last, Harry from Belvoir Park canned from 9 foot to bring the match up the 19th. McCrudden was crowned champ on the first playoff hole. Well done to both men.
Charl Schwartzel declared "I'll be back" after his opening round of the 2011 British Open. And he was! Schwartzel shot a 67 to finish the day on day under. So impressed are we by the South African, we've decided to christen him Charl Schwarzenegger!
Thursday, July 14, 2011
"I think he needs to divert some money from that Japanese THING to buy a new hat".
That "THING" James was referring to is the Japanese earthquake where nearly 21,000 died. Ryo Ishikawa is to donate all his earnings in 2011 to the victims.
Some money should be diverted from James pay, the insensitive so and so.
2011 British Open Championship First Round Highlights
Waterford Crystal, one of the leading global brands in premium crystal, is announced as an Official Sponsor of the 2011 Irish Open, to be played at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, Co. Kerry, from July 28-31.
An iconic Irish brand, with strong connections to the game of golf over many decades, producing numerous trophies for top class tournaments around the world, Waterford Crystal are set to put their unique stamp on Ireland’s national Open.
As well as joining the family of event sponsors, a new bespoke Irish Open trophy has been commissioned and will be presented to the player who succeeds 2010 winner England’s Ross Fisher as the champion on Sunday July 31.
Dustin Johnson recreated the first ever live televised hole in one by Tony Jacklin in 1967 by holing his tee shot at the 16th during the first round of the 2011 British Open Championship.
Thomas Bjorn is five under at Royal St George's and was belting on about being on a joyride after. Tommy, who’s eyebrows had been on display in the Darwin Museum Of Evolution, banished bad memories of 2003 with a six-birdie card.
Bjorn only got into the field after Vijay Singh withdrew due to practice commitments.
"I've not had good form of late so it's a bit of a surprise to me how well I played. I just tried to enjoy being here, and I'm very, very delighted," said a very straight faced Bjorn.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Just days after a grunting debacle at Wimbledon a new controversy is bubbling up at Sandwich. Sky Sports Golf have this evening reported that “wind” could be a major factor again at this years British Open.
Peter Dawson, chief executive of the Royal and Ancient, has revealed that “wind” really bacame an issue when he was nearly swept off his feet by a Charl Schwartzel rasper on the par three 11th which sent spectators scurrying and clutching their noses 243 yards away on the green. “Wind is an issue every year, especially on links courses, where the stink is whipped by the seaside air” said Dawson who continued “Player diets are so full of vitamins, they are like methane factories out on the course.”
Notorious farters such as Angel Cabrera, Robert Garrigus (who shat himself at last years St Jude Classic) and pretty much all of the South African contingent, were this evening summoned to a meeting by R&A chief Peter Dawson.
Up to 30 players in the field are expected to arrive at the course with various degrees of wind that is expected to escape at some stage during the round. Today in practice, South African Charl Schwartzel upset playing partner Rory McIlroy by cutting the cheese on a foot bridge. “I had no escape said McIlroy after; he got me on a footbridge, it was like a methane inhaler”. “If this wind keeps up, the South Africans could blow away the field, quite literally” added Rors.
The R&A have introduced player “air biscuit” guidelines. Fart velocities must be under 30 metres per second and must be below 3 decibels. In an effort to counteract the effect of wind this years Open, each group is to accompanied by a gas guru from the British radiological protection institute.
So, good work Sky Sports, wind is indeed expected to be a Major factor again this year. I’m sure Brucie, if he were there cut it with the best of them.
Ian Poulter stunned spectators and media at Sandwich today by actually being noticed. With all the hype around Rors, Donald, Westwood and GMac, everyone forgot that Poults even existed.
“I have to admit I had erased all memory of Ian Poulter” said Mack The Hack O’Grady, the leader of the media corps. “He’s a bit like Michael Knight, the man who does not exist, he was pretty flashy too” added The Hack.
Poulter held a press conference earlier today attended briefly by a blind orphan named Joe, who wandered into the media tent whilst searching for his Granny, a cripple from Nashville, whose wheel had come off of her wheelchair.
Poults told the assembled empty space that he believes he is in the perfect frame of mind to launch a serious challenge on the Open championship. “Just as well, because you haven’t been playing so good”, shouted orphan Joe as he trundled off the edge of the cliff.
With the practice rounds almost complete and the spies on the course relaying the information back to the bookies, here’s what we can glean.
Luke Donald 13.5/1
Of the big three of Rors (10/1), Westwood (14/1) and Donald all the form from the course suggests the world number one. No Scottish Open winner ever went on to win The Open but the word from Sandwich is that Donald continued to play smooth golf, even if buffeted a bit by the gusting winds in practice. My source that watched Rors play last weekend told me he’s driving it great and hitting the greens but the putter wasn’t working as good as at Congressional. But hey, a long lay off, plenty of partying, and the weight of the world on his shoulders this week cannot be easy.
Graeme McDowell 34/1
Also up for the task and very bullish about his chances is GMac, who has proved to be darling of the punters in early betting who have jumped to get a piece of him at 34/1 on Betfair. He’s also in to 28/1 on paddypower and 30/1 on bet365. McDowell is benefitting greatly from the Rory-shield in the press, and he might be thanking his friend come Sunday for allowing him go back under the radar.
Born and reared on the links and hungry to be a “Mejor Chompion” all over again.
Charl Schwartzel 46/1
Is there a correlation between hard pan, baked to a crisp South African courses and Sandwich that gives the US Masters champion a squeak this week. There’s certainly a lot of buzz on the wires for Charl following the practice rounds. If the event was decided over the Tuesday and Wednesday many think he would have been the winner. But its not. 40/1 on paddypower and 45/1 on bet365.
What a fine touch by the R&A to honour Seve in this way. I’ve never seen it done before but then again, there was no-one ever like Seve before.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Molloy, who got kicked out of Australia for being, and I quote the police report, “too laid back”, is playing a bit of golf while he hatches a plan to get back Down Under.
First & Second Round Scores
After second round practice in wind gusts of 20 mph, the group of Hunter Mahan, Sean O’Hair, Steve Marino and Spencer Levin reported to swing coach Sean Foley that they were probably a combined 30 over par.
Steve Marino predicted plus nine would win, if the wind kept up, though the forecast is for calmer conditions at the weekend.
Sorry if you backed any of them!
Wins In Last 3 Seasons
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Rory has played in 11 Major Championships since 2007 with five top-10’s. After tying third three times during 2009 and 2010, Rory finally made his breakthrough at the US Open in Congressional in winning by a record margin.
Lee has played in 53 Major Championships since 1995, with 11 top-10’s. Though still without a win, Lee finished second in two of the three majors he played last season and was tied third at Congressional in June.
This will be McIlroy’s fourth Open Championship. He first appeared in 2007 at Carnoustie as an amateur winning the silver medal. Made more headlines at St Andrews last year following a first round 63 with an 80. Bounced back to tie third.
This will be Westwood’s 17th Open Championship and 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.
Rory’s hasn’t played competitively since winning the US Open on the 19th of June. He came into that event off a fifth at The Memorial on the PGA Tour. His last European appearance was at the PGA Championship at Wentworth where he finished 24th.
Lee warmed up last week at Castle Stuart with a 14th place finish. Winner of the Ballantine’s in May, then lost a playoff to Donald at the PGA. Finished 11th when defending at the St Jude and recovered from an opening 75 to tie third at the US Open.
Scoring Average Before Cut 69.25 1st
Approaches from > 200 yards 42' 1" 1st
Approaches from 75-100 yards 10' 8" 1st
Approaches from 225-250 yards 39' 4" 1st
Putting from - > 25' 10.91% 1st
Average Distance after Going for it Shot 18.1 1st
Scoring Average 69.45 2nd
Par 3 Birdie or Better Leaders 17.71% 2nd
GIR Percentage - 200+ yards 61.29% 1st
Approaches from 125-150 yards 17' 11" 1st
Putting from - 20-25' 34.78% 1st
Fairway Proximity 28' 9" 1st
In The Bag
Though Rory has a weight lifted off his shoulders after winning the US Open, his media commitments and lack of a warm up event, will make winning an extraordinary achievement. Then again, Rory McIlroy is an extraordinary person.
Every aspect of Westwood’s game is firing on all cylinders, but like a veteran boxer, there’s a lot of scar tissue to break through. Probably would be the most deserving of a Major given his achievements after all these years.
Yes Doc’s British Open Drinking Game iphone app is in the process of being created but my Indian designer in Bangalore who’s doing it for 30 quid says it might not make for Sandwich. It’s basically a Guess The US Tour Golfer App, who at no other time in his mortal life has played golf in anything other a T-shirt, then appears on a wet and windy Thursday morning at the Open pretty much unrecognizable in rain gear, under armour and a woolly hat. Get it wrong and you to gulp two fingers. If he’s wearing a hat with a bobble, you have to down the lot. I’m told it will go well! Remember: drink aware (of your PGA Tour stars!)
Last year Karl Morris helped Louis Oosthuizen win The British Open
We will all be glued to the happenings at Sandwich this weekend. The players, to a man, will look very impressive with their fashion, their equipment and their swings. But trust me when I say this ‘The object of the game of golf and every player at St. Georges is to SCORE as low as possible’. Nothing else.
Your own individual purpose for playing golf may differ from that, but it is unquestionable that the object of the game is to hit the ball as few a times as possible.
Often I will ask a player that I am working with what game of golf they are actually playing. You might have heard the term ‘exhibition golf’ in relation to the pro’s but as I see it many golfers actually play this game without actually being aware of it. Here’s why.
Your Views On Who Will Win The Jug
Robbie O Keeffe, Cork: Going to go with three solid links players, in GMac and Retief Goosen, both playing solid all year, and Harrington at last starting to show some form would nt be surprised to see him in contention.
Gareth McCausland, Pro Ballyliffin: Harrington to miss cut... GMac top 10 finish Westwood to win!
Sarah Vaughan, Limerick: Sergio starting to show some form...the open is his best chance to win a major. He is a Great driver and able to hit any shot in any wind. Putting has been improving in recent months too.
Karl Cummins, Waterford: Going to go against the grain here wit high winds on a tough links course my bet you will find the quality ball striking and selection of shots he can hit Darren Clarke will be there come Sunday afternoon
David Reilly, Dublin: Goosen is gonna do well. he was tied 10th there in 03 and has been playin well this summer. His form this week from scotland will give him even more confidence leading upto the open. Garcia also has to be a good shout as he was tied 10th wit goosen last time out in st. goerges and the open is his favourite event all year, so he will be gunning for this one after his us open result.
Declan Furlong, Florida: Going for Harrington as I think at last he is showing a bit of form and I'm also going for Manessaro who won the amateur there a few years back.
Ali Williams, Pro Bristol Jason day - great driver of the ball, very competitive, extremely talented and watch out if that putter gets hot!
Rob Kelly, Rosses Point: Sergio is the man, but for Harrington a few years ago, the smelly Spaniard would have two or three majors at this stage. I also think Stenson, hits it over his shoe most of the year but seems to patch himself up for the Open.
Greg Francis, Broadcaster: The real winner are the fans. .Jaysus I dunno who will win this one. It’s like the National out there. Guess who ever doesn't die of boredom around Sandwich will win.
Ciaran Shank-phobic Molloy, Ardee: I’m going with Harrison Frazar because as far as I know, no boxer has ever won The Open!
Tadhg Harrington, Podge’s brother: Wide open, Small Mac a horrible price if the wind blows, at least 10 to 15 guys could win including Paul Lawrie at a million to one!
Danny Brassil, Old Head: Well Doc I fancy Luke Donald to do the business at St Georges. His short game looks red hot and looking at his form so far this year I would be very surprised if he wasn’t in the mix come Sunday.
Robbie Cannon, TPI Instructor: Ernie will win another major before he is finished and has a great chance this week if the belly putter behaves. Somebody has to win a major with a long putter someday! Chubbys stranglehold on the majors to continue!
Sam Leech ,Dunlo Year of the young guns: Rory will win, Matteo Manassero will contend and Tom Lewis has won there and will win the silver medal and finish top ten.
David Rankin, Tour Caddie: There ‘aint any rough at Sandwich. Young Mannaserro will win.
Tom Kennedy, mygolfsociety.ie:Must agree with my learned colleague Mr Danny Brassil, LUUUUUKE to be in contention once again and I fancy him to win this time around! Would not be surprised to see Westwood or Rory in the shake up but the month off could still have something to do how the 2011 US Open champ will get on. Usually a few Yanks in the mix as well but tough to see past a European based winner again.
Carl Strom, Pennsylvania: Harrington followed by Donald. Both excellent players in their own right. Best dressed? Ian Poulter if he can borrow an outfit from Jedward.
Monday, July 11, 2011
2011 British Open Championship Betting Preview and Tips Video
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.
It’s not really The Open until you see the big yellow scoreboard. This year the scoreboard is set to manned by dyslexic boys and girls from Frimley Bottom and Chuzzlewick House. And I for one cant wait to see the parting message after last years “Well played Louis, Shaggy Woods”.
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 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
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!
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?
Click below to view highlights from the 2011 Barclays Scottish Open Final Round on the European Tour site.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
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 be 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”.