October 2011

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the bag 2010 Rhys Davies what's in the bag 2010 Y.E. Yang what's in the bag angel cabrera What's in the bag ernie els what's in the bag Justin Rose what's in the bag Kenny Perry what's in the bag nick dougherty what's in the bag Rory McIlory what's in the bag ross fisher what's in the bag simon dyson what's in the bag stuart appleby What’s In The Bag 2010 Rickie Fowler winter golf special offers witb witb 2010 Ross Fisher witb edoardo molinari 2010 witb Francesco Molinari 2010 witb Jim Furyk 2010 witb matt kuchar 2010 witb Peter Lawrie 2010 witb rory mcilroy 2010 witb rory mcilroy 2012 Women's British Open Awards woody austin Y.E. Yang Yang's Hybrid

Here’s what’s in the bag of super talented Scot Richie Ramsay who has been enjoying a brilliant end of season run on the European Tour.

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hsbc 2011 WGC - HSBC Champions, Sheshan International GC, Shanghai, China 03 Nov 2011 - 06 Nov 2011
Early Odds on the Exchanges
Winner alright: Last week we tipped Sergio to win at 10/1

Hunter Mahan 38/1

hunter mahan_thumb[3][4] I have a feeling about Hunter Mahan this week. Here’s why. He competed out in China at the Shanghai Masters finishing in third so we know from that he’s both acclimatized and able to negotiate courses in Asia. We also know that he came second at the season ending Tour Championship in Atlanta so he’s showing form. And we know Hunter has what it takes to win WGC events after he took last seasons Bridgestone Invitational in Akron. A fiver each way seems a no brainer!

Francesco Molinari 30/1

FRANCESCO_thumb[2] The defending champion is coming off a top 10 at Valderrama, his fifth of the season (excluding matchplay) but in truth the Italian would have hopes for much better. Molinari will bring happy memories of last year back here when he and Lee Westwood battled it out in what was, effectively, a two man tournament. In the end he nicked it by one from Westwood with Donald (absent this week) ten shots back. The horse for the course? The Italian stallion for the course more like!

Rory McIlroy 6/1

rory-mcilroy[3] I know you are probably wishing that I don’t tip Rory because his odds will be so short, but please forgive me I have to. Rors in his 113th Tour event this week is beginning to show signs of Tiger-like dominance whenever he tees it up. In his last four outings he tied third in the Swiss mountains, then went to Holland and came third on his own, then to the Dunhill Links where he came solo second and finally to Lake Malaren in China last week where he won the richest prize in golf. He’s been in the top five here for the past two years also. It all makes a compelling argument.

Best Of The Rest

dyson-110911 Lee Westwood (12/1) fans will be expecting a big week from the Worksop man. He played well in the final round at Lake Malaren last week and both he and Francesco were streets ahead of the rest last year. Stats and form to one side I will also be looking to one of my favourite players this season Simon Dyson (46/1) for a good week. Dyse has had two wins this season and is an Asian golf expert having plied his trade there for some time.
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All through October we ran a competition to win a fab GPS from our friends at GolfBuddy.

The four names that went into the hat were:

  • Cathal Walsh from Galway
  • John Chisholm from Cork
  • Aidan O’Gorman from Wexford
  • and Audrey Cronin from Cork

And the winner of the GPS Golfbuddy drawn from the hat was

John Chisholm, Whitescross, Cork

John, you will never again have to worry about a yardage.  We’ll be in touch soon with your prize.  Many thanks to all who entered.

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

sergioSergio Garcia made it two European Tour wins a row and signalled that he is back to his best at the 2011 Andalucia Masters in Valderrama.  Garcia dug deep to make two clutch putts on 17 and 18 to edge out friend and countryman Miguel Angel Jimenez.

In a tournament where the excellent Valderrama course was once again the star of the week, several sub plots played themselves out on a Sunday of much drama.  One of those surrounded Richie Ramsay who punched the air after making birdie on the last for sole third place.  The Scot earlier took double bogey on the par three 15th after stewards directed him to search for his tee shot in the wrong place and declare it “lost” after five fruitless minutes.  The ball was then found beside the green in a bunker.

On a brighter note Ireland’s Shane Lowry scored himself a solo fourth place finish after a brilliant 67. The €150,000 prizemoney stamps Lowry’s passport to Dubai for the season ending Race To Dubai conclusion.

U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy defeated Anthony Kim in a playoff Sunday to win the Shanghai Masters. Kim had earlier shot a 69 to reel in Rors three shot lead and both men finished on 18 under after McIlroy’s birdie putt on the last missed by a whisker.

On the first playoff both players found themselves in the sand; Kim splashed to three feet, Rory to two.  Kim’s putt slid by leaving Rory with a tap in for the win and the $2 million first-place cheque, the biggest ever in golf.

Kim banked $750,000 from the wheelbarrow of cash which even paid $25,000 for last place.

Shot of the day was Lee Westwood’s hole in one on the 12th, and with seven more birdies on his card today, he may be one to watch at next week’s HSBC.

The final round was not the procession that many thought it might be for McIlroy as he battled with his game from the start.  He found water, bunkers and struggled on the greens but dug deep and showed great character to emerge with a 72 and win the playoff.

Fair play to Luke Donald who has decided to withdraw from WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai to be present for the birth of his second child.  It’s all the more commendable considering Donald is bidding for the  historic feat of winning the money lists on both European and PGA Tours and $7 million is up for grabs.

Donald said (through gritted teeth!!): "It's important for my wife and it's important for me to make sure that I'm around to support her. It's no coincidence that the birth of our first daughter inspired me to some really great golf.

The Donald family are expecting a little girl.  Let’s hope they got the dates right!

swampass guide_thumb[4] News is just emerging of a group of European and PGA Tour players seemingly furious over the R&A and USGA’s continuing decision to leave the “Swampass” epidemic unchecked in the latest revision of the rules of golf.

The anonymous group of Touring Pros calls itself “SOS” or Stamp out Swampass, consists of players who at one point had to stand alongside or play with swampass suffers during the year and were traumatized, not to mention physically ill, after the experience.

One member of SOS said “Take Garrigus for example, he hits it a long way, but at what price?  He literally craps himself a little attempting to hammer every tee shot.  Golf courses all the US are having to beef up their drainage systems and one course reported record grass growth on a patch of fairway where Garrigus sat during a delay at this year’s St. Jude Classic.”  Another said “He held his hand out after the round.  I was afraid to shake it. Next time I’m gonna bring some loo roll for him in my bag!” Tiger Woods is also listed as a Level 1 Swampass sufferer.

SOS are advocating the use of diapers, talcing tents alongside the first tee where players must “drop and powder up” and are campaigning heavily to the R&A and USGA for a rule change forbidding the wearing of white or pink golf trousers in warm weather.

A statement from Garrigus and Woods, joint Chairmen of the Association of Swampass Sufferers (ASS) is due out later today.

Rafael-Da-Silva-Manchester-United_2226408 (1)[8] Rory McIlroy shot an 8-under 64 to lead by one after the first round of the Shanghai Masters, the lucrative 30 man invitational event at the Lake Malaren resort.  His round consisted of eight birdies on the Greg Norman redesigned track. One back is Hunter Mahan, with Padraig Harrington, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter three behind on 67. Pic: Rafael McIlroy

First Round Scores and Round two Tee Times

9:15 AM Hao Yuan (CHN) 79
Dong Su (CHN) 79
Wei Huang Wu (CHN) 80
9:25 AM Chi Huang Tsai (TPE) 74
Jim Furyk (USA) 75
Lian Wei Zhang (CHN) 78
9:35 AM KJ Choi (KOR) 73
Wen Yi Huang (CHN) 73
Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 73
9:45 AM Keegan Bradley (USA) 72
Kevin Na (USA) 72
A Shun Wu (CHN) 73
9:55 AM Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 70
Xin Jun Zhang (CHN) 71
Seung Yul Noh (KOR) 72
10:05 AM Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 70
Colin Montgomerie (SCO) 70
Mu Hu (CHN) 70
10:15 AM Lee Westwood (ENG) 69
Retief Goosen (RSA) 69
YE Yang (KOR) 69
10:25 AM Chao Li (CHN) 68
Robert Karlsson (SWE) 69
John Daly (USA) 69
10:35 AM Padraig Harrington (IRE) 67
Ian Poulter (ENG) 67
Anthony Kim (USA) 68
10:45 AM Rory McIlroy (NIR) 64
Hunter Mahan (USA) 65
Paul Casey (ENG) 67

2011 Shanghai Masters Leaderboard, 2011 Shanghai Masters Highlights, Paul McLoughlin. Lake Malaren, Rory McIlroy

lake malaren shanghai masters


Irishman who heads up the Lake Malaren Resort in Shanghai will be rubbing his hands with glee at the prospect of Lee Westwood playing with Rory McIlroy less than a week after calling Rors move from ISM to Horizon, a "bizarre decision".

They will have their serious faces on too, as they battle for the richest first prize in golf £1.25million.

The exclusive 30 man field includes Keegan Bradley, Charl Schwartzel, Paul Casey, Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie, Ian Poulter and others.

2011 Shanghai Masters Leaderboard, 2011 Shanghai Masters Highlights, Paul McLoughlin. Lake Malaren

A torrent of some the worst shots in Big Break history followed by some of the very best on the Ryder Cup course at the K Club started episode 5 of the Golf Channel’s Big Break Ireland. And there’s a shock in the elimination challenge too with Joe choosing to battle it out with Julien rather than pick on the struggling Nina.  Would his decision pay off? Click below to watch episode 5 highlights.

Episode 6 saw the competitors move to the fantastic links at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links.  The conditions were incredibly windy and this time it was the ladies that battled it out to avoid elimination. Click below to watch episode 6 highlights.

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rulesNow I don’t know how much he had to do with it but I suspect R&A ambassador Padraig Harrington had a big hand in getting the daftest rule in golf changed. Golfers will no longer face penalty if their ball moves after it has been addressed.  It was both stupid and unfair but funnily enough remained in place until Padraig joined the team. No penalty will now be incurred "when it is known or virtually certain that he (the player) did not cause the ball to move."

High profile casualties of the old rule include Rory McIlroy who was penalized after his ball moved in his final round at the British Open at Royal St. George's.  The rule didn’t make much odds to Rors on that occasion but it did arguably have a huge bearing on the PGA Tour money title.

When Webb Simpson’s ball moved at the Zurich Classic, he was one shot clear with four to play.  The penalty caused Simpson to tie with Bubba Watson, who subsequently beat him in the playoff.  Had Simpson not been penalized, he theoretically would have won the Zurich Classic and gone on to beat Luke Donald to the PGA money title. 

Other changes of note

Players will be allowed to smooth sand or soil before playing from a hazard "provided it is for the sole purpose of caring for the course and Rule 13-2 (improving lie, area of intended stance or swing or line of play) is not breached."

Late players who start within five minutes of their assigned tee time will no longer be DQ’d. Instead, they will lose the first hole in match play or two shots at the first hole in stroke play.

Addressing the ball now means "simply ... grounding his club immediately in front of or behind the ball, regardless of whether or not he has taken his stance."


On The Tour Truck: What Is Moment Of Inertia?

With Phil Bonham, Wilson Staff Tour Manager

Almost every driver that hits the market these days claim to have a higher "Moment of inertia," or MOI, than a previous model. In simple terms MOI is the resistance to twisting of the clubhead at the point of impact. MOI comes most into play on imperfect contact, when the ball and the clubface meet someplace other than the sweet spot.


One very good way I have heard MOI explained is to think of a spinning ice skater. At the beginning of the spin, the skater extends her arms and the rotational speed is slow. Then when the skater pulls her arms in tight to her body, the speed of the spin greatly increases. So when the arms are extended, the speed of rotation is resisted, her Moment of Inertia is high, and the result is a slower spin. Conversely, when the skaters pulls in her arms, her MOI is low, there is less resistance to rotation and the spin speed increases.

In hollow metal woods, the weight is all in the shell and as far away from the center of gravity of the head as possible. This gives it a high MOI and makes it very forgiving of mishits, something most of us can relate to. The forgiveness in these big heads enlarges the effective sweet spot in all directions on the face – up and down as well as side to side. This is why manufacturers have been making driver heads obscenely big and as forgiving as possible. Square headed drivers in particular tend to have the highest MOI.

clip_image001Here’s one of my own favourite TPI tips given to me by Wayne O’Callaghan in Cork.

The biggest problem I have had with my swing is the Slide. To identify if this relates to you let me ask you two questions: Have you ever noticed that on the range when you stiffen up your lower body you connect better with the ball and it goes further than if you try to fire your hips and lower body? Or do you strike the ball better if you consciously place all your weight on your lead leg? If you’ve answered “Yes” to either question, you like me are a slider!

When I play well I don’t do it, but time and again when I play badly it’s there in my swing.

A slide is really a lateral motion towards the target with your lower body during the downswing or follow-through. Sliding makes every swing different as it’s almost impossible to maintain your height through the swing. That leads to an inconsistent swing arc and those demoralizing fat or thin shots that ruin our game.

So how do we get rid of it? Wayne gave me a great drill called Torso Turns One Leg. First stand on one leg and cross the hands across the chest. Now get into your golf posture and make some torso rotations as in the golf swing. This is a great way to learn how to stabilize the lower body and kill that slide. Make sure you do it equally on both legs. You will find it very tough at first but as your balance improves it will become much easier and you will reap the rewards on the golf course.

Log on to http://wayneocallaghangolf.ie/ today to learn more.

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The GolfBuddy GPS 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 opposite as often as you like before next Sunday 30th October when we will draw our fourth name and the overall winner.

For more info on the GolfBuddy GPS check out

Into the hat from last week on week three goes Aidan O' Gorman, Murrintown, Co. Wexford


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.



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”.

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