September 2011

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Winning at Disney comes with its media commitments and if your name happens to be Donald you just know you wont be slipping away quietly.  And so it proved for the World Number One who stood and waved alongside $10 an hour Goofy and Pluto from the local state penitentiary over an eight hour period.  Highlights of the day include being dry humped by a dog, having his tail plucked by some brats and having to stand 24,000 times for Chinese tourist photos.

logo 2011 Andalucia Masters Betting Preview and Tips

Early Odds on Betfair

Andalucía Masters

Club de Golf Valderrama,Sotogrande,Spain

Thomas Bjorn 36/1

bjorn Three wins already this season and two of those in his last four events. Took a week off last week after a top 10 in Portugal and a rested Bjorn has all the armoury to get the job done on the gruelling Valderrama layout. It’s all about course management and greens in regulation here, something Bjorn on his day excels in. Tied fifth here last season.

Sergio Garcia 10/1

sergio Granted he won on his home course last week at the Castello Masters last week but he will be equally dangerous around Valderrama. Tied tenth last year after his putter failed to convert several chances. In the pre Race To Dubai days when the Volvo Masters at Valderrama was the season finale, Garcia finished second twice and tied fourth between 2005 and 2008.

Soren Kjeldsen 60/1

SorenKjeldsen033009 From the Great Dane to a diminutive Dane who simply loves this Andalucian test, where length for once can be your enemy. Kjeldsen tied second in the 2007 Volvo Masters before returning and winning it in 2008. He tied second in the inaugural Andalucia Masters last year too as Damien McGrane and Gareth Maybin flittered away shots at the death. Soren has had a wretched season so far but played solid after a poor opener last week.

Joost Luiten 27/1

Joost-Luiten Still winless on Tour and for the life of me I cannot understand why. Last week in Spain Joost finished tied 11th and has three top-10’s in his last five events. An exceptionally talented golfer and one of the few to card an under par final round last year in tough windy conditions. That gave him a tied fifth finish, something I think he can improve on this time around.

Graeme McDowell 18/1

gmac You just cannot write anyone off on the basis of form leading up to this event. Not on a course where anything under par after four days could win you the tournament. It’s been a tough season for an Atlantic hopping GMac, but he showed at the Dunhill Links where he came third that he still can produce on the big stage. Graeme was flawless in winning here in 2010, capping off a truly remarkable season. A win here would finally shake off that hangover.

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Rory McIlroy today announced he will leave Chubby Chandler’s ISM management stable and join GMac, Michael Hoey, Paul Cutler, Ross Fisher and co at Horizon Sports Management.

Rors was with ISM for four years with Stuart Cage as his ISM handler. He leaves good friends Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke aswell as Major Champions Charl Schwartzel and Ernie Els.

McIlroy said: “I would like to sincerely thank Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler and his team for their guidance, representation, and management over the past four years, since turning pro.I am now keen to move onto the next stage of my career and I feel this will be facilitated by a fresh view and a new structure around me. Therefore I am delighted to be joining Horizon and I look forward to working with my new team.”

Chandler was glowing in his trubute to Rors, saying: The statement also said: “It has been an honour representing Rory and we take great pride in the role ISM has played in guiding him successfully through his formative years as a professional golfer.”

Horizon is fronted up by Conor Ridge and Colin Morrissey.

Rory McIlroy Horizon sports management pic

You have to check out this video. Its a Sky News report about a shark infested golf course in Australia.  It’s easy to miss but the funniest bit is the greenkeeper at 1 minute and 19 seconds in.  The Sky News guys have made him sit on the edge of the lake, and wanting to be cooperative he does it, even if every fibre of his being wants out of there.  It’s top class!

monty and flaviaBBC bosses were left with a dilemma and a ticking clock after Strictly celebrity Russell Grant turned badly on his ankle in training on Monday.  All seemed lost until Colin Montgomerie, the perfect match for Grant agreed to step in at the last minute to offer his services.  The director of programming at the BBC, an avid golf fan, had seen Montgomerie on the range at the Portugal Masters and figured he must be at a loose end.

It now looks certain that the European Tour’s straightest batter will step into the shoes of the most bent for Saturday nights live show.  Yes, Bruce Forsyth will be uttering the lines “Our next couple is Colin and Flavia performing the Rumba.”

Monty met with Flavia on Tuesday morning and immediately insisted that all the dance steps be written on paper for the Scot to study.  “It’s going to be difficult uh uh uh”, Montgomerie said “because everybody knows uh uh uh I don’t do practice.”

It’s believed Grant will be out of action for two weeks, allowing Monty, should he survive the public vote this weekend, to dance the Passo Doble on Saturday week. “That’s a serious dance” said professional dancer Flavia, before adding “but it will be easy for Monty.  He will simply stare down the judges with his ‘who made that noise’ look.  They will have no choice but to award us 10’s.  More as it emerges.

 

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This month we have an amazing new touchscreen golf GPS to give away from our friends at GolfBuddy.

The device clips onto your golf bag and gives you exact yardages, whatever the course. GolfBuddy's hi-viz screen is superb & over 33,000 courses are available completely free. All courses in the Golfbuddy library have been mapped on foot for accuracy. Enter through the widget on our blog www.golfcentraldaily.com. We will draw one name each week, to go into the hat for the final draw, so enter as often as you like!

For more info on the GolfBuddy GPS check out www.gpsgolfbuddy.eu/world

Into the hat from last week goes John Chisholm, White’s Cross, Cork

clarke Open Champion Darren Clarke is poised for a late season victory at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in the Bermuda triangle.  The Dungannon man is in fourth place heading into day two.  Ironically the three players ahead of him are Major Champions. Even more ironically they all won their Major’s this year.  What are the odds on that?

Rory McIlroy leads after a 67 from Keegan Bradley, Charl Schwartzel and Darren Clarke tucked in there at fourth just 10 shots back, ready to strike at any moment.

2011 Castelló Masters Betting Preview and Tips

Club de Campo del Mediterráneo, Castellón, Valencia, Spain 20 Oct 2011 - 23 Oct 2011

Early Odds on Betfair

Gregory Havret 50/1

gregory havret[4] Ping celebrated a win last week in Portugal with Tom Lewis and have a good shout again this week with veteran Frenchman Gregory Havret displaying a return to form. A final round 64 in Portugal saw him tie for third and he hops across to Spain brimming with confidence. The Genworth stats for his driving accuracy and putting in Vilamoura suggest a big week ahead.

Christian Nilsson 34/1

nilsson Two top-10’s in his last three events for Christian Nilsson including tying for third last week sees the Swede climb to 66th in the Race To Dubai. The James Nesbitt lookalike will be out to secure his place in the Dubai season finale (top 60) by reproducing his form of last year where he tied third. Truth is he should have won on that occasion but a final round 72 did for his chances. Will the golfing God’s oblige for the greens in regulation expert? My fiver each way says yes.

Alex Noren 18/1

Article-Event-Noren A super consistent season with two wins and four other top-10’s so far for Alex. Like Webb Simpson Stateside he will be gunning to become a three time winner on Tour this season. Has course credentials on the Club de Campo too. Three consecutive 68’s got him into contention last year before a final round 74 dropped him down the leaderboard.

Gary Boyd 50/1

1gary_boyd_1_lg[4] Young Gary has been on a poor run of form of late but showed last year he knows how to play this course. His Saturday 63 last year was stunning and gave him a healthy lead, but he was overtaken and pushed to hard in the final round dropping two shots on 17 and into a tie for third. The horses for courses theorists have had a good season so far though, so don’t write off Boyd at lengthening odds.

Best Of The Rest

lawrie[5] Both Shane Lowry (85/1) and Peter Lawrie (60/1) play this week and lie just below and above the top 60 respectively. Both showed good form last week and Lawrie especially will be after another good cheque having tied third last year. South African George Coetzee may declare late for this event but if he does he’s worth a fiver. Six top-10’s, a great playoff with Bjorn in Scotland and a good finish last week say he can figure here. Finally keep an eye on journeyman Ignacio Garrido (65/1) and his putter, he’ll be after another €220,000 cheque for second, which made his season last year.

Well done to Ping Staffer Tom Lewis on his maiden European Tour victory at the 2011 Portugal Masters.  Here’s what’s in Tom’s bag as confirmed with Dominic Griffiths on the Ping Tour truck.

 

What’s In The Bag Tom Lewis

 

Driver: G20 9.5 Driver with Aldila Voodoo XNV6 shaft, 45.5” long. (Club head speed 112mph)

Fairway Woods: G5 3 (15.5°) and 5 wood (18.5°) with Aldila XVS7 & NV75X shafts. 43” and 42.5” long.

Irons: S56 irons 3-PW X100 Step Strong, Std length Black Colour Code, All grips, id8 ½ Cord white

Wedges: Anser Wedges 52,58 Red Lie 52, purple lie 58. (new at St Andrews which was his 2nd event)

Putter: Scottsdale Wolverine H (33.5” Red Lie)

 

10 Things You Need To Know About Tom

tom lewis bag dominic1. After turning pro following the Walker Cup, Tom had seven invites at the tail end of this season in which to earn enough money to avoid a trip to Tour School. The Portugal Masters was only Tom’s fifth European Tour event.

 

2. His father named him ‘Tom’ after the legend Tom Watson. His brother is named ‘Jack’.

 

3.Tom’s winnings bring him to 53rd in The Race to Dubai on €441,018. However he will not be eligible to compete at the season finale in Dubai because he will not have played the requisite number of events.

 

4. Tom played his first event as a professional along with Ireland’s Paul Cutler at the 2011 Austrian GolfOpen. Lewis tied for tenth.

 

5. He is the first Affiliate Member to win on The European Tour since Matteo Manassero won the 2010 Castello Masters exactly one year ago this week. Both players were playing on a sponsors invitation.

 

6. His four shot final round winning comeback equals the biggest of the 2011 season.

 

tom and tom 7. Tom’s home club his Welwyn Garden City, the same as six time major winner Nick Faldo. The 20 years old cites one of his main ambitions as winning one more Major than Faldo and taking over the trophy cabinet at the club.

 

8. His final 54 hole total of 197 (-19) equals the lowest of the 2011 season.

 

9. Tom wont have to worry about cuts or money as he exempt on Tour until the end of 2013. Along with the Portugal Masters title, the win gained Lewis exemptions into the lucrative 2011 WGC – HSBC Champions and 2012 WGC – Bridgestone Invitational.

 

10. Lewis has employed legendary coach Pete Cowan since he was aged 16. Cowan described Lewis earlier this year as “the most professional amateur I have ever seen”.

what's in the bag Tom Lewis, whats in the bag Tom Lewis, Tom Lewis witb, Tom Lewis Equipment, Ping staffer, Ping Tour Truck, Ping Blog

From the European Tour and The Scotsman Newspaper
adam hunter ADAM Hunter, the man who coached Paul Lawrie when the Aberdonian became Open champion at Carnoustie in 1999, passed away on Friday after losing his battle with leukaemia.
The 48-year-old, a European Tour winner before carving out his coaching career, died in the Beatson Cancer Centre in Glasgow, where he was visited earlier in the week by Douglas Connon, chairman of the Scottish Golf Union.
Just under a year ago, Hunter was appointed as the head coach of the Scottish Under-16s by the SGU, having spent six years prior to that as a Scottish Golf Academy coach.
Last night Connon paid tribute to Hunter, saying: “Adam was a consistent and straight man who set us all an example by his personal behaviour and how to live life. I am heartbroken as he was my friend. Our thoughts are with his lovely, caring wife Caroline and his family.”
News of Hunter’s death was broken to Lawrie after he had just finished his second round in the Portugal Masters.
adam hunter 2 He said: “I have said many times over the years Adam Hunter was magnificent for me right from the first day we hooked up together way back in 1998.
“His work rate and dedication to my golf was unbelievable. He was always there for me and I will miss him so much.
“It would be impossible to tell you how much he meant to me. Nothing was too much trouble. He travelled with me for months after The Open in 1999 as much as my mate as coach. I learned so much from him.”

Portuguese police released a suspect today an issued an unreserved apology after an incident at the Portugal Masters.  The suspect, a marshal at the event, was arrested after he had earlier claimed that he had seen Colin Montgomerie on the practice range following his round.  The marshal had asked for backup, as the range had not been reinforced against a possible landslide.  Tour bosses dismissed the marshal’s requests claiming it was impossible for Montgomerie to be on a practice range, and asked the police to remove the marshal.

Luckily an eagle eyed European Tour cameraman caught Monty entertaining residents of the Vilamoura Retirement Village with his 130 yard drives.  His evidence proved crucial in the release of the marshal and the range survived with only a minor avalanche reported.

Click below to watch Big Break Ireland Episode 3 and 4 highlights from The Golf Channel.  Episode 3 is not for the squeamish with bad boy Bennett Maki doing a fair bit of projectile vomiting on the course between shots!  The fact the he then left the set while his team were behind in the immunity challenge didn’t sit well with his Straffan teammates.  There followed Mark Murphy’s quote of the day: “You’d have to put two bullets in either leg of mine not to go out and play in The Big Break!”.  Mark and Joe then had a bit of handbags, and the rest I’ll leave you to watch.

Episode 4 kicked off with a shock withdrawal from the series.  And Mallory stepped up and proved it’s not a good move to pick on her.  Here are the highlights.

 

image The guys at www.mygolfsociety.ie in conjunction with Dromoland Castle Golf & Country Club would like to invite you to join them for the Golf Society Bible Invitational with their compliments. This is a 2-person team event which will take place on Thursday 20th October for society secretaries and one guest. Not only is this the perfect excuse to sample all that Dromoland Castle Golf & Country Club has to offer, but there will also be some great prizes up for grabs on the day.

  • The itinerary is as follows;
  • 9.00am onwards - Check-In at the Clubhouse. Tea/Coffee and Bacon Baps on arrival
  • 10.00am - First Tee Time 1.00pm - Last Tee Time
  • from 2.30pm Buffet Dinner in the Clubhouse Following Golf 6.00pm - Prize Giving

Not only can Dromoland Castle Golf & Country Club offer you a fantastic two course experience with Castlemartyr and a committed team to look after your group, but working alongside mygolfsociety.ie we are both determined to give you the best value for money in the golf market in 2012. Please confirm your place for the Golf Society Bible Invitational today by email to info@mygolfsociety.ie or by calling 045 982440. Upon receipt of your confirmation of attendance we will contact you with your tee-time for the day and further details. We’d also be delighted to help with your society requirements for this winter or next season so please call us to discuss your plans for 2012. Yours in golf, Tom Kennedy www.mygolfsociety.ie M: 087-6644344 E: tom.kennedy@mygolfsociety.ie

The Portugal Masters is a brilliant European Tour stop and loved by all.  Here’s a few things to do in and around the Portugal Masters.

1. Golf- Oceanico Amendoeira

The Portugal Masters is held on the Victoria Course in the town of Vilamoura but the two best Oceanico courses are situated about 20 minutes away in the countryside of Amendoeira.  There you will find the O’Connor Course and the Faldo Course.  The O’Connor is flat and fair,  the perfect track for a fourball with lots of birdies.  The Faldo Course is tough and undulating, a really great test.  Both would be capable of holding the Portugal Masters at a moments notice.  Be sure to also check out the facilities Oceanico have built on the Amendoeira complex.  There’s a Tour spec’s out par three academy, gym, pitches.  It’s where several of the top European Soccer teams head for their pre-season training.  When you see it you will know what I mean.

Look for Ollie Woods in the Amendoeira Clubhouse, he’s the nicest guy you could meet and always up for a chat. 

2. Drinking

19102009040 Hey you’re on holidays so go and have a drink.  Be warned Vilamoura itself is not that great a spot for nightlife but there are two decent pubs, the Irish Cabin which has live bands and another called Rui’s Bar just across the road where Ciaran Fox does some singing and joking with everyone.  That big lad is able to hold a tune!

Can you spot the golf pro’s and the drinking pro’s in the Irish Cabin!

 

Your best bet however for having some real fun is to hop in a taxi to Albufeira.  There are tonnes of bars and restaurants there and there’s always a great buzz about the place.  Taxi over from Vilamoura in 20 minutes. Sir Harry’s pub there is a good spot.

3. Karting

autodrome portimao portimao If you fancy a day off from the golf, you have to head down to the karting track at Portimao.  It’s 73 kms from Villamoura and takes about an hour to get to but boy is it worth it. This isn’t your wussy version of karting, this is the real thing.  You pass by this gigantic Touring Car oval on the way in.  And the karting track is the best I have ever seen.  Not suitable for Martin Kaymer, but for everybody else this is a must. The details are: Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, Sítio do Escampadinho, 8500-130 Mexilhoeira Grande - Portimão, Portugal. +351 282 405 600 ‎autodromoalgarve.com.pt. Here’s a pic from google maps just to show you the scale!

4. Food

Dom-Miguel-Vilamoura There are tonnes of restaurants around the Marina which are all pretty decent.  Prices vary, some expensive, some cheap and cheery.  I’ve eaten a good few of them and none killed me.  The best restaurant in Vilamoura, in my opinion, having worked in the food industry for 10 years, is Dom Miguel.  It’s not on the Marina, about two minutes away  but it is top class. I just checked it on tripadvisor, it’s ranked 9 out of 69 but trust me it’s among the best.  Make sure you try the beef fillet Portuguese style, it comes in a bowl with the fillet surrounded by gratinated potatoes in a salty salt.  I’m drooling here.  The address is 11 Av. da Marina Loja and phone 289 301 821.


So there you go, enjoy the Portugal Masters, the golf in Amendoeira, eating and drinking in Vilamoura, Albufeira and karting in Almancil!

gerry fagan

2011 Portugal Masters Betting Preview and Tips

Oceânico Victoria Golf Course, Vilamoura, Portugal 13 Oct 2011 - 16 Oct 2011

Odds on Betfair as on 11 Oct. 10am

Francesco Molinari 17/1

If there is one player who is owed something at the Portugal Masters it’s Francesco. Denied victory in 2009 when Lee Westwood got an outrageous piece of luck on the 17th on Sunday while he himself missed his short birdie putt. Second on that occasion and tied second again last year after shooting two rounds of 62 and two of 74. After a few weeks off Francesco played great in Madrid last week and is my banker in Portugal.

Peter Hanson 18/1

The big Swede took a 12 week break between appearances in Scotland at the Scottish Open and Dunhill Links but didn’t seem at all rusty with a top 10 on his return followed by a tied sixth last week at Madrid Madrid. It has been over a year now since Peter won at the Czech Open and he has always liked the Victoria Course where he tied third in 2007 and fourth in 2009.

Peter Lawrie 140/1

The Oceanico Victoria course in Villamoura to Peter Lawrie represents a rare break from the monster courses they play week in week out on Tour these days. Two of the four previous winners Richard Green and Steve Webster wouldn’t be considered long hitters by their peers. Lawrie had a great chance here in 2009 but took a final round 76 to fall away. Came back stronger last year to tie sixth and I think he really fancies a crack at this one.

Pablo Martin 220/1

This one is a bit of a punt because Martin is one of the streakiest players on Tour. A second in China in April was followed by five missed cuts and then out of the blue he nearly won the Nordea Masters. Martin lead by three shots going into the final round here last year but found the water on the seventh and again on the 18th when he needed a birdie to tie the leader. Tied for sixth in the end but a three time Tour winner that could surprise.

Best Of The Rest

Gonzalo Castano (38/1) is one of my favourite players and I am delighted to see him returning to form. Gonzo could have won last week in Madrid but for a second round 75. His confidence is still brittle but he tied for second last year and is worth following. Like Gonzo, Open de Espana Champion Thomas Aiken (38/1) had a run of six straight missed cuts mid season but found something again recently and top fived last week. A great competitor and when he finds form, Aiken knows how to win. Simon Dyson (18/1) has only managed one top-10 at the Portugal Masters in 2008 but his form has been very impressive this season. Winner in Ireland of course and continued the good run with a second title in Holland. Returned after three weeks off to top 10 at the Dunhill Links and plays this week where lots of Ryder Cup points will be on offer with a €2.5 million prize pot.

The GPS GolfBuddy Readers Prize

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This month we have an amazing new touchscreen golf GPS to give away from our friends at GolfBuddy.

The device clips onto your golf bag and gives you exact yardages, whatever the course. GolfBuddy's hi-viz screen is superb & over 33,000 courses are available completely free. All courses in the Golfbuddy library have been mapped on foot for accuracy. Enter through the widget on the top right as often as you like!

For more info on the GolfBuddy GPS check out www.gpsgolfbuddy.eu/world

Into the hat from last week goes Cathal Walsh from Dunmore in Galway

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