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.
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.”
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Click below to view 2011 Portugal Masters Third Round Highlights on the European Tour site.
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.
Friday, October 14, 2011
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.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Click below to view 2011 Portugal Masters First Round Highlights on the European Tour site.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
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 email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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Into the hat from last week goes Cathal Walsh from Dunmore in Galway
Monday, October 10, 2011
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 Catalonia International Golf Festival is the brainchild of Dubliner Dermot Synnott of Destination Golf 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 PGA de Catalunya, which is familiar to us all as the venue for European Tour School, to the tight and tricky Real Club de Golf El Prat, 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 Husa Masia Bach hotel is an oasis of calm and boasts its own top quality golf course Golf de Barcelona. Tight and undulating, you will certainly earn to your 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.
The Catalonia International Golf Festival 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 PGA de Catalunya, Real Club de Golf El Prat and Golf de Barcelona at the Husa Masia Bach Hotel. 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?
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 Catalonia International Golf Festival included combining the transfer to the airport with a trip to Torres vineyards, 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 Catalonia International Golf Festival check out www.barcelonagolf.com.
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.
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 is recovering at home this morning after a brutal wiener attack at the Frys.com 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 Frys.com Open including an interview with Tiger who describes the near death hot dog incident.