September 2011

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It was almost like the dark clouds over Knock airport were forming some kind of barrier to keep us in Ireland but when the nose of the Boeing 737 burst out through the grey our trip to the inaugural “” was one the highlights of the golfing year.
Now I don’t now about you but the daily grind of putting on base layers, doing school runs and bleeding radiators can take its toll. Thus landing in Reus just two hours later was a shock to the system. There’s that strange other worldly feel when a blast of hot air hits you as you step on the tarmac. It’s October for God Sake.  Base layers? They’ve never even heard of them in Barcelona!
The is the brainchild of Dubliner Dermot Synnott of and fellow director in Barcelona Golf Ian Denham. The festival showcases the delights of golfing in this proud region. From the mature trees on the Stadium Course at Irish owned , which is familiar to us all as the venue for European Tour School, to the tight and tricky , venue of the Open de Espana, the province is just teaming with top courses.
Visiting the vast region of Catalunya you have the choice of basing yourself in the North or South.  For its inaugural year the Catalonia International Golf Festival chose its base at the splendid Husa Masia Bach Hotel, situated in the countryside alongside the quant village of St Esteve de Sesrovires, and the town of Martorell  just a short hop from bustling Barcelona City.  The four star is an oasis of calm and boasts its own top quality golf course Golf de Barcelona. Tight and undulating, you will certainly earn to Barcelona-vs-Villarreal-285x280your trip to the pool and sauna after the round.
While most of the festival attendees arrived into Barcelona airport, we took a Ryanair flight a couple of days early from Ireland West Airport at Knock to Reus, an hour’s drive from Barcelona.  There we took the opportunity to shoot down to catch a La Liga game in Villarreal. What an experience! The whole town shuts down two hours before every home game to rush into the 25,000 seater El Madrigal Stadium to watch their heroes. Tickets are cheap, always available and the atmosphere is electric.
James HanbyThe kicked off on the 3rd of October with over 70 players from Italy, Britain and Ireland arriving into Barcelona. From low single figures to fair-weather players, the eclectic mix were acquainted in the 28 degree sunshine on the hotel terrace. Over the next five days the group tackled , and Golf de Barcelona at the . And you know something, it’s amazing to watch 16 odd fourballs sitting on the clubhouse balcony agonizing over missed putts in several languages! 
Pic: James Hanby tees off at PGA de Catalunya
The great thing about basing the Festival near Barcelona for its inaugural year was it allowed players to hop from the tee box into Barcelona and all its sights like Las Ramblas, or Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia or if you’re a sports fan like me, the Camp Nou. Unfortunately Messi, Iniesta and company were away from home last week but the Stadium Tour for just €22 is unmissable. The Camp Nou experience brings you around the fascinating 99,000 plus seater ground, from the pitch to the press boxes and just about everywhere in between. Would you believe that during the ’92 World Cup, the Camp Nou held 112,000 fans, all seated, but reduced its capacity after for safety reasons?
The final day of golf concluded with a four course Gala Dinner at the Husa Masia Bach Hotel which included an outdoor torchlit drinks reception complete with classical woodwind quartet and the prize giving ceremony. The dinner was attended by Festival particpants, event organizers Dermot Synnott and Ian Denham, Anna Carrera of the Catalan Tourist Board, the manager of the Husa Masia Hotel and a representation from Torres Wines. Click on the album opposite  to view Gala dinner photos

Left To Right: Ian Denham (Barcelona Golf), Anna Carrera (Catalan Tourist Board), Steve Gray (Overall Winner), Dermot Synnott (Destination Golf Media) 
Of course the key to a successful golf group trip is occupying people’s hours off the course and one of the highlights of the   included combining the transfer to the airport  with a trip to , a powerhouse in the wine making world, with a fascinating visitor’s centre. I guess you could say the guys at Destination Golf got the blend just right in every way for the first festival and plans are already underway for the 2012 event. For more information on the check out .
Video Highlights

rors and rickie Now I remember, it was in Korea.  Here’s the report as translated from the event website.

American Rickie Fowler emphatically claimed a first career victory at the Kolon Korea Open on Sunday after storming to a six shot win over US Open champion Rory McIlroy at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club.

korea open results World number 36 Fowler, 22, carded a three-under-par 68 final round to top the leaderboard at 16-under-par overall and complete a wire-to-wire win at the KRW1,000,000,000 OneAsia event despite finishing with back-to-back bogeys.

McIlroy produced a fourth round rally after playing his final 11 holes in seven-under-par to card a superb 64, but the 22-year-old was left to rue a third round 73 as the world number three was forced to settle for a second consecutive runner-up finish.

“It was a lot of fun. I played well early on in the final round and then I was comfortable over the last few holes. Overall, I enjoyed the whole week,” said Fowler.

"It feels great to have the first win. I played well all week, although I did have to hang in on Friday and post a score. But on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday I had good control of my ball, I drove well, and I made some putts.”

Tiger Woods Weiner Attack Tiger Woods is recovering at home this morning after a brutal wiener attack at the open.  Apparently a spectator, in a “Day of the Jackal” type scenario attempted to assassinate Woods when he was at his most vulnerable, i.e. attempting to putt.

The trained assassin disguised as an obese spectator had carefully planned the attack.  Knowing he would not breach security with a weapon, the elite killer was armed with a Hot Dog.  It is thought he intended to finish Tiger off by either ramming it down his throat or using it as a missile and precisely aiming at Tiger’s temple.

As it transpired our would-be hero was tackled by security mid-attempt and arrested. It later emerged the Hot Dog was also laced with Ballymalooloo Country Relish, a well known highly toxic substance produced and marketed as ‘food’ in Ireland but known to cause instant convulsions and often death.

Oh and Bryce Molder beat Briny Baird in a six hole playoff.  Here are the highlights from the final round of the 2011 Open including an interview with Tiger who describes the near death hot dog incident.

belen mozo  camilo-villegas-espn-body-issue I’m sure you heard about the ESPN bodies calender that comes out every year. It’s the one that had that disgusting picture of Camilo Villegas in his spiderman pose with nothing but his putter to hide his dangly bits.  The photographer is some of genius that works in nanomaters and just manages to just about hide the best bits.

Well it looks like ESPN are trying to redress the balance this year with the inclusion of Spanish LPGA Tour player Belen Mozo.  Mozo has only been on the Tour since last year but after this calender she’s going to be a household name in mens golf!  It’s probably purely coincidental that the former Women's British Amateur Champion decided to pose for ESPN after eeking out a living with only $85,000 earnings in 2011.  It’s not the first time LPGA players posed for ESPN. Two years ago, Christina Kim, Sandra Gal and Anna Grzebien were photographed together for the issue.

But hey, who is complaining now?  Would you rather it was Laura Davies??!!

jobsHe might not have ever even picked up a club but Steve Jobs had a huge impact on the world of golf. The range on Tour used to have a line of guys with heavy cameras filming swings. Now every caddie and instructor has an iphone app that does it all.
There are literally thousands of golf iphone apps out there today. So hats off to Steve Jobs. RIP

Here’s 10 of the best iphone golf apps as published by mygolfspy.

I’m still away but here’s what Geoff Shackleford has about Tiger..
Yet another Tiger press conference, another comeback and plenty of takes on his performance as he prepares to tee off in the Open (I'll be tweeting from the've been warned.)

My take on Wednesday's presser and what this week means in the Tiger era.'s slideshow of Tigerisms included a few that were repeated Wednesday.
Doug Ferguson noted this about one of Tiger's playing partners Thursday.
He will play the opening two rounds with UCLA sophomore Patrick Cantlay, the low amateur at the U.S. Open who shot a 60 at the Travelers Championship a week later and was leading going into the weekend.
Cantlay at least met Woods on Tuesday when they played together in an outing at The Institute, the course where Fry's Electronics wants to eventually take its tournament.
''He was real cordial and real nice, and we joked around a little bit out there and had a good time,'' Cantlay said.

In  Europe it’s a “fresh air”. In the USA, it’s a whiff!  Kevin Na denied whiffing this ball when questioned by the PGA Tour Officials.

He told officials and reporters he felt his weight transfer was amiss and would lead to a hooked tee shot, so he missed.
“I’ll take it back; it feels decent, and my transition is what I’m always working on,” Na said. “It’s always my bad habit is I get quick. And on the way down my transition doesn’t feel right, and I try to stop, and obviously it’s impossible for me to stop. The only way for me to stop is I have to come up and go over the ball.”

Pull the other one Kevin. Firstly the bit where you say “I get quick”. You’re the world’s slowest player for God’s sakes!

by Fran Jeffries in the Atlanta Journal

matt_bryant_scott_audetteA man who delivered Chinese food to Atlanta Falcons player Matt Bryant's Chateau Elan home walked away with the veteran placekicker's golf clubs, according to police.

Kristian Vail, 22, of Flowery Branch, was arrested and charged with stealing the bag of clubs, valued at more than $3,000, from the open garage at Bryant's home on Sept. 16.
"He went into the open garage, took the clubs, delivered the food and went on his way," said Braselton Police Assistant Chief Lou Solis. Vail, who was arrested on Sept. 22, faces felony burglary charges.

Investigators found the clubs on the Internet using their serial numbers, Solis said. Vail had traded the clubs and golf bag to Michael Gibson, 22, for 80 Ecstasy pills, Solis said. Gibson, also of Flowery Branch, was arrested on Sept. 21 on felony theft by receiving charges.

Both men have posted $5,700 bond and have been released from the Gwinnett County Jail.

All but three of the clubs have been recovered, Solis said. A Midtown jazz club owner returned one club that he said he bought from Gibson for $120, according to Solis. He won't be charged.
One of Bryant's prized clubs -- a Scotty Cameron putter -- has yet to be recovered. "Matt Bryant wasn't too happy about that," said Solis.


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.

  • aaaaaaaa, emm
  • Cant think of anything off hand
  • Nah, there’s nothing like this site in the whole wide world!!
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.

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?

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
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
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!



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.


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 Open in California in a couple of weeks time.

from 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.”

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.

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