September 2011

take_a_break

Barcelona-vs-Villarreal-285x280 Stock up on the crunchy granola bars because I’m heading away for a few days which means less posts than normal.

The trip kicks off in Reus Spain tomorrow, from where it’s a dash down to Villarreal to catch the bottom of the table six pointer with Zaragoza.  Sunday is a mountain bike trek up the hills of Benicassim (I swear to God) as part of our Sea2Summit training.

Then its up to Barcelona to the International Festival of Golf on Monday, for which we have packed “sports jackets and a shirt”.  Formal.

While I’m gone might I recommend the following sites below which are similar to golfcentraldaily.

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See you in a few days! Donal

castro and andres

Gigantic Neanderthal Italian front row forward Martin Castrogiovanni took time out from the Rugby World Cup  yesterday to play a round of golf in Las Vegas!  Castro, who lives in a doorway outside a stripclub in Rome, disappeared from the Italian camp who were busy preparing for their crunch clash with Ireland on Sunday.  Five hours later he was spotted at the J.T. Shriners Open in Las Vegas.

“This isn’t unusual for Castro” said coach Nick Mallet before adding “but he is a crazy hairy bastard, and we love him for it. I’m sure he’ll arrive back, drunk as a skunk, with chips in his beard, just in time for kickoff”, laughed Mallet.

Teammate Sergio Parisse said “Martin stinks most of the time. He only cleans himself up to go golfing, so we are all really happy for him.  He normally smells like an egg sandwich in an open sewer on a hot day.” 

Castrogiovanni, who plays his club rugby with Leicester Tigers, and Sergio Parisse  are the only two Italian players who are any good.

I have to say, I gained a new found respect for Justin Timberlake when I saw this.  It’s a holiday classic!

 

Click below to view 2011 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship First Round Highlights on the European Tour site. Opens in a new window.

Thanks Tiernan Byrne for this:
1large_Flint_Junior_Golf_07 The Inaugural year of the Junior Pro Am Series is drawing to its grand finale with the sixteen qualifying teams busy cleaning their clubs, polishing their shoes and packing their bags for the Final in St. Helens Bay Golf Resort on the 8th October.
Over the past eight months we’ve had four Regional Qualifiers, with over 250 Junior’s and over 60 Assistant Professional’s participating in the Series. The qualifiers took place in St. Helens Bay Golf Resort (27th April), Milltown Golf Club (6th July), Mitchelstown Golf Club (25th July) and Malahide Golf Club (26th August), where the top four teams in each event qualified for the Grand Final.

piglets shot golf club And the worse thing for all you animal lovers is that these two piglets were so evil, they might not get in to Animal Heaven.  The two wild boar piglets were finally felled on Tuesday after a Värmland golf club finally lost their patience as the pigs ripped up their fairways. 

The only thing that is surprising judging by the picture is that they didn’t do it sooner!

”We hope that we are rid of them now, and that the others were scared off for good,” said Malte Ottosson, chairman of the Dömle Golf Club referring to the wild sow who saw two of her eight golf mad piglets made into rashers on the front nine.

Pic: Domle Golf Club Pig Damage. Though John Daly did play there the day before!

”They just came out of nowhere and started ruining our fairways,” said Ottosson.  It turns out the peace loving Swedes first tried to co-exist with the piglets by organizing members into shifts to repair the nightly damage. It was only after realizing that this was never going to work a local hunter was brought in to speak the only language the pigs understood.

The unlucky piglets were shot on the approach to the fifth hole, a tough par four with a heavily bunkered green. The piglets were 165 yards from the green when taken out.  The whole thing ”took fifteen minutes” according to Ottoson.  We agree. That’s far too long to tolerate on a short par four.

All’s well that ends well, and with the golf course now protected by an electric fence, the members celebrated with an impromtu barbeque of rashers and sausages.  No sense in letting good meat go to waste now is there?

Click below to view the highlights from episode two of Big Break Ireland on the Golf Channel.  A new window will open with the video.

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According to good sources in Killeen Castle last week, the post mortem’s on the USA team side continued late into Sunday night.  Apparently it escalated into a shouting match between Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr. Creamer thought that Kerr, with her sore wrist, could have made more of an effort to play her match on Sunday. TV pictures of Kerr roaring in pain, collapsing in tears into her husband’s arms, then wearing a sling did nothing for Paula, who reckoned a one armed Kerr would have had a fair shot at Karen Stupples, who had never won a Solheim Point.

Is Kerr really the whinging princess of the LPGA Tour that so many say?  Should she not have pulled before letting all the other matches start, thereby sharing a half point? Should Rosie Jones not have put the foot down and played other Team members during the week besides using Kerr in every match?

So many questions.  The good news Team USA is you have two years to reflect on them.

police_shooting-3_medium I read this today.  Only in America.  I think the guy in the story below was actually trying to leave The Tour Championship!

A Georgia state trooper shot a motorist accused of forcing his way past a barricade at the PGA Tour Championship and dragging another officer.
Georgia State Patrol Capt. Paul Cosper says the shooting happened Sunday around 7 p.m. He says Gerald Williams tried driving into a barricaded area near the East Lake Golf Club.
Cosper says that when police told Williams that he couldn't drive through the lot, he became "irate." When a trooper opened the car's door, Williams hit the gas and dragged the officer a short distance.
Another trooper fired twice, wounding Williams. He was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital with injuries that did not appear to be serious.
The troopers have been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated, which is standard procedure.


The U.S. team hasn’t lost the Presidents Cup since 1998, coincidentally the last time the matches were played at Royal Melbourne. Since then, the Americans have gone 4-0-1, including a 19.5-14.5 victory over the International team two years ago at Harding Park in San Francisco.
Here is an in-depth look at this year’s team, captained by Fred Couples:
•••
1. Matt Kuchar
photo
By Associated Press
Scoring average on Tour: 69.55
Top-10 finishes on Tour this season: 9 (23 starts)
Major finishes this season: T-27, Masters; T-14, U.S. Open; MC, British Open; T-19, PGA Championship
Presidents Cup record: First appearance
Outlook: Affable, steady, solid – Kooch would be a good partner for just about anyone on the U.S. side. He went 1-1-2 at last year’s Ryder Cup, where he twice partnered with Stewart Cink (not on Presidents Cup roster).
•••
From GolfWeek
The International team hasn’t won the Presidents Cup since 1998, coincidentally the last time the matches were played at Royal Melbourne. Since then, the Internationals have gone 0-4-1, including a 19.5-14.5 loss in 2009 at Harding Park in San Francisco.
Here is an in-depth look at the team, captained by Greg Norman:
1. Jason Day
photo
By Getty Images
Scoring average on Tour: 69.94
Top-10 finishes on Tour this season: 10 (21 starts)
Major finishes this season: T-2, Masters; 2nd, U.S. Open; T-30, British Open; MC, PGA Championship.
Presidents Cup record: First appearance
Outlook: One of the more consistent players on Tour this year, Day has been in great form since a missed cut at the PGA Championship, putting up a pair of top 10s in the FedEx Cup playoffs (T-3, Deutsche Bank; T-6, Tour Championship).
• • •

Hank Haney has been sued by a kid from Pennsylvania and his mother after they claimed Hank Haney did not meet his contractual obligations at his South Carolina academy.

Matthew Teesdale’s mother Maureen alleged “consumer fraud” in a Philadelphia lawsuit filed last week.  The suit claims that Hank Haney gave Matthew a total of  seven minutes  instruction to Matthew, after he paid the $30,000 enrolment fee at the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy in Hilton Head Island two years ago.

Teesdale, now 20, is seeking damages in excess of $150,000 and a jury trial.

My own wife  probably summed it up best when she said, “$30,000 for seven minute?  Who does he think he is? Carlos Tevez?

Posh and Becks. Brangelina. You’re nobody now if you don't have a celebrity nickname.  And Caroline and Rory haven’t left anything to chance.  They’ve gone with “WOZZILROY” as stamped on Caroline’s gift to Rors, a new Titleist Vokey wedge.

Wozniacki apparently spent days working on name permutations and it’s believed Wozzilroy was chosen from a shortlist including McNiacki, Roroline.

My best effort is an anagram of Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki

Coy Kiwi Canonize Carol Rim Lorry!

 

Click below to view the highlights from episode one of Big Break Ireland on the Golf Channel.  A new window will open with the video.

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Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

Old Course St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns

Fife, Scotland 29 Sep 2011 - 02 Oct 2011

odds from paddypower

Winner Alright: Last week we scored a third with Joost Luiten in Austria at 18/1

Rory McIlroy 10/1

rory The favourite at pretty much every event he starts these days is Rory McIlroy at 10/1 and I’ll be having a fiver each way on that. Happy in his personal life and just one good putting week away from another win. Third in his last two starts, and three top 10’s in the last four years. Bombed out badly last year, but I don’t expect a repeat of that this time around. After all Rors will be keen to impress the bankers of Santander whose logo he will brandish this week.

 

Simon Dyson 20/1

Simon_Dyson_646111t A little break couldn’t have come at a better time for Dyson who took last week off after winning the KLM Open. He has been in stunning form since the end of July when he won the Irish Open in Killarney. Dyson has pedigree on the Links too, he won here in 2009 beating Rory McIlroy and carding a record 20 under for the event. Tied fifth last year and my nap of the week.

Thomas Bjorn 33/1

Fortunes-change-for-Thomas-Bjorn-C87MBMH-x-large Nobody knows what mood Tommy will be in this week in Scotland but I have a real feeling he is taking this one very seriously. With exactly a year to go to the Ryder Cup in Medinah Bjorn can almost secure a seat he wins here. He has won on his last two starts, the Johnnie Walker in Gleneagles and the Omega European Masters. Fourth at the British Open and Bjorn knows how to play links golf.

Ross Fisher 40/1

Ross-Fisher-001 One of my favourite players to watch but sadly Ross Fisher hasn’t had his best of seasons. There were signs of improvement at KLM Open a few weeks back though with two rounds of 66 and one of 67, the problem was the horrid 74 sandwiched in between. However he tied sixth there and will relish a return to the links where he came close in 2008 losing in a playoff to Robert Karlsson.

Robert Karlsson 30/1

robert-karlsson_1102552 We don’t see Robert playing in Europe very much these days as he has been playing his trade on the PGA Tour where had some good results at the Crowne Plaza Invitation, the St Jude Classic and not forgetting a top five finish at the US PGA. His last start this side of the pond was his home Nordea Masters. The Swede won the Dunhill Links at the height of his powers in 2008 and I think his character is so well suited to the pro-celebrity format.

Best Of The Rest

The caddies on Tour always say to watch out for a guy with a brand new looper so I will be very keen to see how Dustin Johnson 22/1, who was jilted by Joe LaCava does. Johnson is a powerhouse of a man and he will be out to show Joe, he left the wrong man. Watch out too for Newcastle’s Kennie Ferrie. He nearly won this event back in 2005 when Monty pipped him by a shot. Ferrie won last week in Austria and 80/1 are crazy odds on a man with that form. Another guy at long odds of 60/1 is homeboy Stephen Gallacher who has had a decent season on Tour. His only ever win came in this event in 2004 when it was just played on the St Andrews Links.

billy haas The funniest bit of the convoluted mathematical equation that is the Fed-Ex Cup is that Billy Haas had absolutely no idea he had won the $10 million until the award ceremony after the tournament. No PGA Tour official informed him of the result.

“We had some interviews on the 18th green and I noticed both trophies sitting there and there wasn’t another player there, so I asked my wife if I’d won both” Haas said after.

Priceless!

dustin johnson Joe LaCava who caddied for Fred Couples for the best part of 20 years and who in recent times has been on the bag of Dustin Johnson, has been named as Tiger Woods new Caddie.  Apparently Johnson had absolutely no idea about the arrangement until LaCava told him he was quitting after the Tour Championship yesterday.  Neither did Woods have communication with Johnson to discuss the move beforehand.

Apparently LaCava approached Woods agent Mark Steinberg about the job.

Dustin Johnson was said to be furious and embarrassed on hearing the news. The Woods camp have stated that LaCava is to be his new “full time” caddie. Their first tournament together will be the Frys.com Open in California in a couple of weeks time.

from pgatour.com or somewhere
107887773SH128_TOUR_Champio Bill Haas failed to win the first two playoffs he appeared in during the 2011 PGA TOUR season. But he won in his third attempt on Sunday – and the payoff was huge.
Haas beat Hunter Mahan with a par on the third extra hole to claim both the FedExCup and the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. With the $10 million bonus that comes with the FedExCup, Sunday’s win was worth $11.4 million.
Haas also hopes the win will be enough to convince U.S. Presidents Cup Captain Fred Couples to make him a Captain’s Pick. Couples will announce his last Captain’s Pick on Tuesday.
Haas came into this week with a longshot chance to win the FedExCup. He was ranked 25th in points and needed a handful of scenarios to play out in his favor.
Mahan was in a similar spot, having come into the week ranked 21st in points. Both players entered East Lake looking for their first win of the season.
With Webb Simpson, the FedExCup points leader, finishing in 22nd and Luke Donald, who ranked No. 4 in points, finishing in a tie for third – and the other three players in the top five not getting into contention – the scenarios worked out in their favor.
Haas shot a 2-under 68 to finish at 8 under in regulation. When Mahan parred the 18th hole to also finish at 8 under, the two had their playoff to decide both the tournament champion and the FedExCup champion.
Haas’ most important shot in the playoff came after his approach at the par-4 17th dribbled into the water to the right of the green. Most of the ball was above the water line – “an unbelievably fortunate break” Haas said later – and he hit a tremendous shot to within 3 feet to save his par and force another hole.
 
“I thought I had one on the second playoff hole and then he hits it out of the water to two feet,” Mahan said. “It seemed like he was destined to win this week.”
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Dead and buried with just a few holes to play, Europe staged one of the most dramatic victories ever seen in team golf.

Caroline Hedwall came back from two down with two play for a stunning half shortly after Suzanne Petterson defeated Michelle Wie in equally remarkable fashion. Christel Boeljon played the match of her life to beat Brittany Lincicome two up.

Then when Azahra Munoz turned her match around against Angela Stanford it became clear that Europe had made it to the magic score of 14.5.

Captain Alison Nicholls strategy of resting players reaped huge rewards, while Rosie Jones was left ashen faced after Christie Kerr was forced to withdraw with injury. It later emerged that Kerr had been on painkillers and anti inflammatories all week, yet was sent out by Jones to play in every match.

Well done Europe!

My sincerest apologies to all the people I had arranged to meet at the Solheim Cup in Killeen Castle.

I had to cancel my visit at the last minute, due to a much bigger issue involving my home beside Ashford Castle in Cong, County Mayo.  A greedy property developer called Gerry Barrett is attempting to block my and the residents of Cong travelling through the Castle grounds as we have always done.

Barrett, though owing millions in debt, and with his companies having been taken over by NAMA, still ‘owns’ and maintains control over Ashford Castle.

Ashford is a fantastic hotel with stunning scenery.  I have being playing golf there since I was a child, and its where many of our review videos are made. However three weeks ago, Mr Barrett closed two four tonne gates at the Castle blocking the centuries old public right of way used daily by the people of Cong and all residents on the Ashford Castle estate. I was asked to stay by the people of Cong to document a protest against Gerry Barrett and the blocking of the gates. Here is the video of the protest attended by residents, Cong people and Eamonn O’Cuiv TD.

Please take a look. Every view may help Mr Barrett change his mind.

Sky Sports may not have regular top jocks Ewan Murray and Bruce christie kerrCritchley on the job at the Solheim Cup this week but their replacement haven’t let the side down.

Commenting on Christie Kerr’s battle with an arm injury, which later forced her to pull out of her singles match with Karen Stupples the female Sky Sports commentator came out with the unfortunate line:

“They have ridden her all week, now she needs to sit back and ride them”. 

What a superb use of the double entendre! A sackable offence if it came from a male commentator but somehow perfectly acceptable coming from a woman. 

Rory McIlroy may be out on the road for a 10 week stretch but he really never needs to bother after signing an eight figure deal with Santander Bank. The new Santander logo, one of six, will appear on Rors shirt from now on, making him the new billboard of the golf world.

Santander also sponsors Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. Ana Botin from Santander, herself a former top junior golf, hammered out the deal.

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Laura Davies set a new record today as all timdaviesreid2e leading points scorer in the Solheim Cup. Davies reach 24.5 points today, beating Annika Sorenstam’s previous best.

Europe are tied 8-8 with the USA after todays matches.

to view report and scores

Singles draw (Europe names first)

10:10    Catriona Matthew v Paula Creamer

10:20    Sophie Gustafson v Stacy Lewis

10:30    Anna Nordqvist v Morgan Pressel

10:40    Laura Davies v Juli Inkster

10:50    Melissa Reid v Vicky Hurst

11:00    Christel Boeljon v Brittany Lincicome

11:10    Sandra Gal v Brittany Lang

11:20    Maria Hjorth v Christina Kim

11:30    Suzann Pettersen v Michelle Wie

11:40    Caroline Hedwall v Ryann O’Toole

11:50    Azahara Muñoz v Angela Stanford

12:00    Karen Stupples v Cristie Kerr

thomas norretThomas Nørret holds a two shot lead after three rounds of the Austrian GolfOpen presented by Lyoness, but plenty of players will fancy their chances going into the final round.
to watch third round highlights of the 2011 Austria GolfOpen on the European Tour site
The Danish Qualifying School graduate carded a two under par 70 at Diamond Country Club to move to nine under for the week.
That was two better than his halfway co-leaders Robert Coles and Joost Luiten, as well as English pair Simon Wakefield and Kenneth Ferrie.
Nørret was ahead from the first hole as he birdied and Coles, Luiten and Gaganjeet Bhullar all bogeyed.
A wild drive on the eighth forced him to take a drop and the 37 year old’s subsequent bogey allowed Coles, who birdied the third and eighth, to take over the lead.

The Saturday morning foursomes matches are known - and Team Europe skipper Ali Nicholas wants the home fans to make more noise to cheer on her ladies!

Suzann Pettersen earned two points for Europe on the first day

TEAM Europe skipper Alison Nicholas expressed her delight with Europe's 4.5-3.5 lead over the USA after the first day at The 2011 Soheim Cup.

"I'm really pleased.  The players played with passion and a purpose I can only say well done to them.  They absolutely entertained from start to finish, and I'm exhausted.

"We're a team.  It's never about one individual.  It's about matching those pairings and getting experienced players to play with rookies.

"All my players are up for it, and they're playing well. It was great but I love the European fans to scream a little bit more. 

"I do feel that they're a little bit shy, and I'd like them to really start being more vocal.  I think, I don't know, it's maybe our nature in Europe and in this country to be a little bit shy, and I want them to come out of themselves and shout and scream for Europe a little bit more because I'm not hearing enough of that.

"This is a home match.  So I want to encourage everyone to scream and shout for Europe and give us some more oomph in the voice.  We need some decibels out there to cheer on the girls."

Saturday Foursomes Matches:

7.40am Caroline Hedwall and Sophie Gustafson vs Angela Stanford and Stacy Lewis.

7.52am Karen Stupples and Christel Boeljon vs Morgan Pressel and Ryann O'Toole 

8.04am Maria Hjorth and Anna Nordqvist vs Brittany Lang and Juli Inkster.

8.16am Catriona Matthew and Azahara Munoz vs Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer.

A stunning 65 from English man Robert Coles catapulted him to the top of the leaderboard after day two of the 2011 Austria GolfOpen. Four players share the halfway lead, none of whom have won on Tour before.
Coles is joined by India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar, Dutchman Joost Luiten and Dane Thomas Nørret; all reached seven under par.  Coles, who came close to a maiden win in over 300 starts at the Avantha Masters carded a bogey free round.

Best of the Irish is Gary Murphy, handily placed in the top 10. Padraig Harrington carded a 70 today to make the cut. Unfortunately Paul Cutler’s first week as a pro ended in a M/C.  Tom Lewis fared better today, making the cut on level par.

Click below to watch second round highlights on the European Tour site.

Jeez I know we got our fair share of rain here in Ireland, but the US Solheim Cup ladies went a little over the top with their opening ceremony outfits.  Scarves, gloves, salopettes, Spyder jackets and Uvex goggles; they had more layers than an onion! solheim cup opening 

Ski Sunday indeed!  Here’s who is off first

7.40am: Maria Hjorth and Anna Nordqvist v Michelle Wie and Cristie Kerr

7.52am: Karen Stupples and Melissa Reid v Paula Creamer and Brittany Lincicome

8.04am: Catriona Matthew and Azahara Munoz v Stacy Lewis and Angela Stanford

8.16am: Suzann Pettersen and Sophie Gustafson v Brittany Lang and Juli Inkster

 

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Everybody knows GolfCentralDaily hasn’t got two red cents to rub together but the nearest thing we have to a Touring Pro is Aussie Daniel Gaunt.

Dan rattled in eight birds in Oz-tria on his way to a five under par round and tie for second.  Here’s link to our recent .

Watch out for the GolfCentralDaily logo on the inside of Dan’s back pocket tomorrow!

Poor old Padraig Harrington had yet another tough day today in Austria, made worse by the sudden death of his famous old 5-wood. Yep Podge had that old Wilson Fw5 for absolutely yonks. Now it’s toast after yesterday’s pro-am.

Harrington started well today and was two under on the front nine when it came time to hit the replacement 5-wood. He reckons it cost him four shots after finding the water twice. He finished three over.

Paul Cutler also had a baptism of fire posting a 77 in his first ever round on Tour as a pro.  Fingers crossed for good things from both tomorrow.

bees A swarm of bees forced the cancellation of a college golf tournament in Texas yesterday.  The “B” tournament had to bee abandoned after a limb from a tree fell and exposing a beehive. Officials said approximately 70,000 bees had swarmed on the 18th green, but until PGA officials arrived to count them properly they could not confirm the numbers.

UTA spokesman Gregg Elkin said neither a beekeeper nor a  photograph of Colin Montgomerie could be found at short notice to repel the insects. The event is to bee rescheduled for next week.

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The United States of American retained the PING Junior Solheim Cup in dramatic circumstances when they came from behind to earn a 12-12 draw against Europe in an intense match at Knightsbrook Hotel Spa & Golf Resort, Co. Meath, Ireland, which was not settled until the last putt dropped.
The visiting team trailed 7-5 after the first day’s foursomes and fourballs but won the singles by the same margin and retained the trophy on account of the fact they were holders having won the 2009 match at Aurora Golf Club in Illinois.

Here’s what’s in the bag of Graeme McDowell, updated August 2011 at the Irish Open.

PING Junior Solheim Cup Day 1
Europe opened up a slender 7-5 lead over the Americans after an engrossing opening day at the PING Junior Solheim Cup match played over the Jack Nicklaus course at Knightsbrook Hotel Spa & Golf Resort in Trim, Co. Meath, Ireland.
However, at one point the home side’s advantage looked liked being much more substantial before the visiting side mounted an impressive comeback late in the day.

2011 Tour Championship Tips, PGA Tour, Fed Ex Cup Final

Odds from Betfair

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Luke Donald 8/1

lukedonaldwine It’s just amazing how consistent Luke Donald has been this year. Fourth again last week and when you consider he opened with a 75, that wasn’t half bad! That made it four top-10’s in his last five events. Second behind Furyk last year and now gunning for his fourth title of the year, the Tour Championship trophy would look nice opposite the BMW PGA Championship on the mantelpiece.

Webb Simpson 13/1

webb Probably the most deserving of the title is Webb Simpson. Of an incredible 10 top-10’s this season, Simpson has bagged two wins in his last four events at Wyndham and the Deutsche Bank. Fifth last week after a tough weekend, but for me Simpson is the one to watch. It’s his first time at East Lake but the leader in greens in regulation should take to this course like a duck with Webb-ed feet!

Keegan Bradley 42/1

maar01_keegan_bradley Considering it’s only a 30 man field this week you can get really good odds on Keegan Bradley. Tied 16th last week but he almost gave up in his final round of 76 and could have finished much higher. Eight under won him the PGA Championship and in the last three stagings the Tour Championship hasn’t had a winning score lower than nine under. Considering he has also won the HP Byron Nelson, those odds are pretty generous.

Geoff Ogilvy 24/1

alf stewart geoff ogilvy[4] Squeezed into last week’s event by the back door but by God didn’t he make the most of it. Four rounds in the 60’s grabbed the Aussie a third place and his spot in the final. Tied 16th in 2009 and 13th last season, Geoff hasn’t quite managed to strings four good rounds together at the Tour Championship but if he continues to perform as he did last week, he could well do it this time around.

Nick Watney 18/1

nick-watney[5] Went berserk here last year on the weekend shooting a ridiculous 63 on the Saturday and 67 on Sunday to rocket into a tie for fourth. Solid if unspectacular of late but don’t forget Nickers has two wins this season at Aronimink in July and Doral early in the season. The shortened rough should help him too as his greens in regulation stats are not as sharp as they were last season. If he can hit the ground running this week, Watney could post a score that will be hard to beat.

Rory and Caroline with the Yale Football team.  Check out the guy over Caroline’s right shoulder.  I wonder what he’s looking at!

Paul McCanny, head pro at Killeen Castle runs through the top 10 shots to watch at this week’s Solheim Cup.
1. Tee shot on 2nd
Par 5’s will be vital during The 2011 Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle. The tee shot on 2 has been narrowed by Alison Nicholas, the European Solheim Cup Captain, to encourage the longer hitters to carry the fairway bunkers on the right. If the players can carry their drives 270 yards the hole will become reachable in two shots and create an outside eagle chance. This places a premium on long, straight hitting.
2. Holing Out On 4th Green
The 4th green at Killeen Castle is probably one of the most difficult to approach. The green is very undulating with a deep greenside bunker at the front left of the green. Many will shy away from the left side of the green but as a result run the risk of the ball running off the green and down a fairly steep slope off the right side of the green which then leaves an extremely tough up and down to save par and a possible half.

ollie bite down hard You just knew the Vivendi Seve Trophy wasn’t going to end without down to earth Jose Maria Olazabal speaking his mind on what was really the story last week.  Ollie has stepped into friend’s Seve’s shoes to oversee the event but was left disappointed after a whole host of stars opted out of the event.  Not one to give up though, Ollie has organized a new date for the events next staging in 2013, so that nobody can give a lame excuse to doss off.

Pic: Bite down hard Ollie until it’s over!

"In two years time we are hoping this event moves to the week of the Presidents Cup, and after the end of the FedEx Cup, and if that is the case there will be no excuse not to be present," Olazabal said before leaving Paris. He also said those who did come to Paris did so out of respect for Seve.

”Seve was the first man who was instrumental in turning things around on the European Tour for the better and the younger players now on the European Tour need to remember that,” Ollie said before putting the boot in with "They should make a little extra effort and make this event what it deserves to be. So that will be the idea of moving it so that there are no more excuses."