November 2011

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Irish Open 2011 IMG_8267This article has been updated.

Huge speculation surrounds the possible venue for the 2012 Irish Open and the common consensus among the speculators had been that the tournament is set to move from Killarney, host for the last two years, to Carton House near Dublin.

However this now seems highly unlikely with Royal Portrush emerging as the favourite to host the event. An announcement is set to be made at a press conference with the Tour tomorrow.


2012 Irish open venue, carton house, 2013 irish open venue, Royal Portrush

joe lyons If your after some Christmas golf and hot port with the pros and ams make sure you get yourself to the second annual Joe Lyons Christmas Pro-Am at Galway Bay Golf Club on the 28th of December. All proceeds go to Galway Hospice. A shotgun start takes place at 10.30am and more details are on the facebook events page here

Things You Should Know About Joe Lyons

Many people will know Joe as one of Ireland’s top amateur golfers and indeed his exploits at beating the living tar out of people half is age are the stuff of legend.  However this shy retiring man is also very well known, if unheralded, in other circles.

As a youth Joe’s intelligence immediately became obvious.  By the age of 12, he had won Blackboard Jungle and secured a Caribbean holiday on RTE’s “Where In the World” quiz show before going on to become the youngest ever winner of “15 to 1” and Henry Kelly’s “Going For Gold”.

Excelling in languages and verse, a poem Lyons wrote whilst in Leaving Cert made its way to Israel in the late nineties and directly prompted the meeting of Yasser Arrafat and Ehud Barak to discuss his proposals.  Laid out in rhyming couplets, Joe Lyons suggested granting Palestinians sovereignty over Jerusalem's Haram al-Sharif and control over their own land while the Israelis would have sovereignty over the Western Wall.  Though ultimately unsuccessful, the “JLA” or Joe Lyons Accord remains the closest anyone has yet come to achieving peace in the Middle East.

Back in Ireland, the legend that is Joe Lyons is very close to celebrating a big birthday next year and plans are already well in train to transform Galway’s docks into a venue befitting the event where stars such as Lady GaGa and Tiger Woods, who Lyons beat 8 and 7 just one week before Woods won his first Masters in 1997 are set to attend.  English rugby legend Johnny Wilkinson who modelled his World Cup hair highlights on Joe’s summer look will also be there along with Lakpa Gyelu, the Sherpa who finally beat Lyons record of having summated Mount Everest 11 times in 2007.

It’s also told that Joe foresaw the property bubble as early as 1977, but his detailed diagram of events, was mistakenly destroyed after being used to make a Papier Mache elephant by his teacher.

So when you meet Joe in Galway on December 28th, be sure to shake the hand of a truly remarkable statesman.

galea Much has been made of Dr. Anthony Galea so called “avoiding more prison time” but in actual fact the doc served all of one day in the clink, the day he was arrested.  Are the media being a bit harsh on the Canadian version of Florence Nightingale that snuck over the border into the US in the middle of the night with his medical bag brimming full of hormones and bricks and blood spinning tricks?

The groundswell  of support for Galea was pretty much phenomenal with linebackers and defensive ends and sons of  hockey stars all coming out in support.  The US Attorney's office wanted an eight to 14 month sentence but the court could find nothing to justify it.  The only proven charge against Galea- that he brought in mislabelled drugs from Canada to the USA in his bag.

Team Galea also acknowledged his use of HGH, human growth hormone in some of his non athlete patients (and on himself), but qualified the use of the treatment banned in sport by explaining it was used in tiny amounts as part of a rescue remedy injected directly into torn and injured muscles.  HGH is only effective as a performance enhancing agent in an athlete when administered regularly in much bigger doses.

Whatever is going on, there’s a lot more spinning for Galea to do before he can wriggle out of this one.

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Fair play to Lee Westwood who ended 2011 on a high after beating the tar out of the entire field at the Thailand Golf Championship in Bangkok.  The Nottingham Forest superfan hacked home in a canter on 22 under par to win by seven from Charl Schwartzel.  Simon Dyson tied fourth.

“I wasn't happy until I was on that boat coming back from the island on 17 with a big lead," Westwood said after. The win sees him climb back to Number 2 in the world rankings and planning his 2012 schedule on the PGA Tour.

rodneyIan Poulter had a van load of his and he needed to get rid of it.  And what better way to peddle them than to win the Aussie Masters.  Here’s the report from the official website.

Flashy Englishman Ian Poulter has finished the year on a high by staring down playing partner Geoff Ogilvy to add the 2011 JBWere Australian Masters gold jacket to his highly distinctive and very extensive wardrobe.

Poulter fired a final-round 67 in blustery conditions at Victoria Golf Club to finish at 15-under three shots clear of Marcus Fraser who jumped from the pack with a 64, the round of the day.

Ogilvy returned a two-over 73 to sit alone in third place at minus 11.

The only player apart from Poulter and Fraser to shoot four sub-par rounds, the ageless Peter Senior (70) shared fourth place at seven under with Adam Crawford (66), while world No.1 Luke Donald eased to the line with a 72 to sit alongside 2011 Australian Open and PGA champion Greg Chalmers at four under.

While 'a little disappointed' with his finish, Donald said he was proud of his achievements in 'an amazing year'.

Immediately after putting out for par at the 18th, a delighted Poulter shared his delight with his 1.2 million followers on Twitter: "winner winner chicken dinner ... what a way to finish the year."

Just in from down under, Aussie Masters website.
CharlieBuckton_EstherAndersonGEOFF Ogilvy has played a lot at his home Victoria Golf Club, but never better than today.
From the moment he almost holed out for albatross on the first hole -- before duly making eagle -- until he tapped in for birdie on the last, he thrilled his hometown fans with a course record-equalling 63 to storm to the JBWere Masters lead.
The Melburnian, who lives minutes away next to the adjacent Royal Melbourne, took an appreciative gallery on a rollercoaster ride of superb shotmaking and occasional mishaps to fire what he said was his best round at the club at which he played pennant as an amateur.

Fosters-Gold-Repay-ft-Holly-Valance-Smart-Casual A band of an angry Australian golfers brandishing golf clubs and firey torches gathered outside the scorers hut today in an effort to get leader Ian Poulter thrown out of the Australian Masters tournament.

A spokesman for the Australian PGA unruly players committee said, “Fair’d income, it’s not fair that Poulter is allowed come down here and spoil our Christmas.  Strike me roan, nobody even invited the Pom. Everybody knows that he just wants people to buy his tartan clothes as Christmas presents, and he’s coming down here and kicking our Ozzie asses for some free publicity.  The flamin’ gallah has played muck all year and is still making us look bad.”

He continued, “Imagine if we Aussies to England in their Winter and stuck an ad on TV with two guys on a balmy rooftop in party shirts drinking Fosters and talking to Holly Valance.  Would that be tolerated?  I think not.”

The protest continues.

ron_burgundy Though they still have to get a boat out to the 17th green in Thailand, Lee Westwood is tearing up the course with a record equalling 20 under par 36 hole total.  After narrowly missing out on a 59 yesterday, it looks like Westwood has set himself some new goals.

This interview translation has just been handed in by our local reporter Kiradech Alfiebarnowl, who hasn’t a word of English .

Westwood said “I’m very happy with 20 under. The plan is to shoot 48 under or lower.  I’m going for two 58’s at the weekend.  I’ve given up on 59’s. 59’s are so passe. 59’s are for pussies. 58 is where it’s at.  I want to hear Billy my caddie tell me its the best round he’s ever seen again. I love that.  And I’m going to throw a nine darter.  Then I’m going to fit and help Forest win the Premiership.”

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Jeff Overton was arrested was arrested last week for being what police described as “drunk and disorderly” in Bloomington.  Apparently Jeff was in a limousine parked in the middle of a busy road in front of a bar shouting at passers by when police bagged him.

Witnesses reported Overton was shouting obscenities about the epic fail “Sun Mountain” raingear and Fireman Sam hat he had to wear at the 2010 Ryder Cup.

While this behaviour may seem perfectly acceptable and even downright healthy to our Irish and UK readers, apparently getting pissed drunk, hopping behind the wheel of a car and roaring at strangers in the street is frowned upon in the USA.  Seems a bit harsh.

from European Tour site

England’s David Dixon was first past the post at the Qualifying School Final Stage, where 37 players secured their places in The 2012 Race to Dubai.
A closing round of 69 gave Dixon a 21 under par aggregate total and a one shot victory over his compatriot Sam Hutsby, with two more Englishmen, Andy Sullivan and Richard Bland, rounding out the top four on 19 under and 18 under par respectively.
But, as has become traditional, it was further down the leaderboard that the drama really unfolded, none more so than when American Scott Pinckney, who started the day in a tie for 66th place on one under par, fired a best-of-the-day round of 65 to take the 24th card available.
The magic number was seven under par, a mark achieved in dramatic fashion by England’s Jamie Elson after he holed a huge birdie putt on the ninth hole – his last – of the stunning Stadium Course at PGA Catalunya Resort, in Girona.

westwood Lee Westwood said he wanted to curse aloud as he walked up the 18th fairway knowing he had let slip the magic 59 from his grasp in the first round of the 2011 Thailand Golf Championship.  Just a couple of weeks after he shot a 62 and what Billy Foster described as his “best round ever” at the Nedbank, Westwood was again on fire racing out to seven under after six holes.

“I messed it up with a few pars”, the Englishman said after.  “I missed short from ten feet at 11, then missed short middle on 14.” He added “Billy said today’s round was even better than the Nedbank. So I must be getting better!”

  Tim Finchem head of the PGA Tour has vowed to beat the European Tour up a pole in 2012 and is introducing some revolutionary new concepts to do it.  The first was unveiled yesterday at a press conference when Finchem brought into effect a new PGA Tour rule stating that from January 2012 former pop stars must be employed as caddies by the top players.

Dustin Johnson was first off the mark, announcing via twitter that he is team up with nineties coke snorting wife beater Bobby Brown.  Its a case of out of with the Dusty and in with the Dustin for Brown who spent most of the last two decades standing on Whitney Houston’s throat high on cocaine, shouting “Two can play that game.”

bobby brownJohnson split from old caddie Joe LaCava earlier this year when he defected to Tiger Woods.  Under Finchem’s new pop star caddie rule,  Le Cava is now set to be replaced by Lionel Ritchie as Tiger Woods caddie, while world number one Luke Donald is in talks with Rick Astley to take over his bag.  The only female caddie yet confirmed is Barbara Streisand who is to take over from Fanny Sunneson on Henrik Stenson’s bag.

102839__rocky_l Aussie fight fans have descended on the Australian Masters in eager anticipation of the Geoff Ogilvy v Robert Allenby rematch.  Both men have been hard at work in the gym in preparation for the title fight, with Allenby reported to have really bulked up around the ankle area.

Ogilvy though stepping up in weight and down in class is the firm favourite with the fans and the bookies.

The first fight, which took place at the Aussie PGA Championship ended in a controversial TKO decision in favour of Ogilvy, Robert-Allenby tearswhen Allenby illegally brought a broken glass into the ring, then walked out refusing to fight on.

Both fighters have toned down the pre fight verbals before this one, in stark contrast to the first meeting, when Allenby blamed Ogilvy and just about everybody else for his crappy performances.  Ogilvy then hit back with an expertly timed tweet as Greg Chalmers was spanking Allenby in another title fight.

It’s all simmering nicely ahead of tomorrows weigh in.

Here’s what’s in the bag of Miguel Angel Jimenez, one of the finest players and greatest characters ever to grace The European Tour.  With special thanks to Dominic Griffiths on the Ping Tour Truck.

what's in the bag Miguel Angel Jimenez, Miguel Angel Jimenez witb, Ping Tour Staff Equipment, whats in the bag Miguel Angel Jimenez, Dominic Griffiths, Ping Tour Truck

I wish my doctor would prescribe me with a mild bout of Dengue Fever so I could stay in Dubai for a few days and put the feet up.  That’s exactly what Rory McIlroy will be doing after he announced he is to pull out of the inaugural Thailand Golf Championship on doctor's orders. 

The prescription just says don’t fly for a few days and not to touch a golf club.  Rors most likely contracted the virus from mosquitos who carry and spread it.  The symptoms are rash (yuk) and joint pain. Hence Dengue Fever is also known as Breakbone Fever.

Rors is due back on the golf scene in the United Arab Emirates on Jan. 12.

"Can't wait to not have to get up and practice or hit a shot or people telling me what to do or where to go, or just have a few weeks off would be nice," McIlroy said.

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What a tournament, what a Race, what a Tour.

Alvaro Quiros sank a monster eagle on the last to win the 2011 Dubai World Championship in dramatic fashion and along with much riches catapulted himself into the 2012 Majors and and a five year exemption on Tour.

Luke Donald made it two money titles adding The Race to Dubai title to his PGA Tour title.  The World Number One finished alone in third after Scot Paul Lawrie sunk a clutch birdie putt to cap off a great season for him.

Best of the Irish was Shane Lowry in a tie for eighth.  It caps off a great season for the Offaly man, with four top 10’s including top fives in Majorca, Wentworth and Valderrama.

2011 Dubai World Championship Third Round Leaderboard – European Tour News on the 2011 Dubai World Championship Third Round from the European Tour site.
Before you read it, a word about Shane Lowry because you know he’s not going to get a mention from the Tour site. he continued his great form with a 68, holing for birdie on the last to tie for fifth. He’ll be in third to last group out tomorrow with Francesco Molinari.
Alvaro Quiros leads Paul Lawrie by two shots going into the final round of the Dubai World Championship presented by DP World, as Luke Donald moved ahead of Rory McIlroy to take charge of The Race to Dubai.
Donald is poised to complete the best year of his golfing life in real style after a third round 66 left the World Number One is within touching distance of an unprecedented double.
"It's over - definitely," McIlroy said after a 71 dropped him from third to eighth in an event he has to win just to have a chance.
"And Luke deserves it."
Nobody has ever topped the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic in the same season, but after taking the US PGA Tour title in October by winning their final event there is even a chance for him to do the same on The European Tour.
Needing a top nine finish to clinch The Race to Dubai, Donald burst from joint 12th place at halfway to fourth spot on ten under par.

David Higgins langerApologies for getting a bit excited earlier.  Turns out the European Tour made a bit of a cock up on the scoring and mistakenly proclaimed David Higgins as having had a 61.

That was later the corrected to a 65 on the  Tour course at PGA Catalunya, to leave him tied for fourth after the  first round of Q School. 

The leader after round one is England's Sam Hutsby who carded an incredible ten under par 60.  Interestingly the top 10 players on the leaderboard were playing the easier Tour course.

Tour School is played over six gruelling rounds.

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Shane Lowry continued his super form at the Dubai World Championship by carding a second round of two under 70 to reach a total of five under, good enough to tie seventh at the halfway point.  The Clara man set up the prospect of a Sunday session in his home town with a brilliant chip in on the final hole for eagle.  Lowry’s success so far this week lies in his greens in regulation stats, the highest of anyone in the top 10.

Alvaro Quiros is the runaway leader on 12 under with Peter Hanson in second on eight under.  The Race To Dubai got even hotter today with Rory McIlroy, who needs a win this week, finishing tied third on seven under while Luke Donald finished with three birdies to climb to tied 12th on four under.

from EuropeanTour.com

paul lawrie Paul Lawrie began the Dubai World Championship presented by DP World with a seven under par 65 to set a challenging clubhouse target.
Only a Rory McIlroy victory in the last event of The European Tour season can stop Luke Donald completing an unprecedented double of money list titles on both sides of the Atlantic in the same year.
Former Open Champion Lawrie, who in Spain in March had his first win for nine years, was making his debut in a tournament reserved for the top 60 earners each season and began his run with 15 foot putts on the fifth and sixth.

Full Article

Best of the Irish this morning was Shane Lowry whose 69 sees the Offaly man in the top 10 heading into day two.  Meanwhile Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald are playing out a chess like battle in the final group.  Both had their wayward dramas earlier but recovered and both are now under par, one third the way through their rounds.

Here’s what’s in the bag of Lee Westwood at this weeks Dubai World Championship.  With thanks to Lee, Billy and as always Dominic Griffiths on the Ping Tour Truck. In case you’re wondering that’s Lee’s beloved Nottingham Forest in the background!

  

What's in the bag Lee Westwood 2012, whats in the bag, Lee Westwood Equipment, Ping Tour Truck Equipment, Billy Foster, Dominic Griffiths, what's in the bag 2012

GolfCentralDaily is getting behind behind Rathmore kids Jonny Cummings and Jonny Pham in their bid to win the Rory McIlroy Santander Trick Shot Challenge.  If you think the lads Wee Woosey video is worthy, we need you to vote for them.
How to vote is outlined below.  have a look at the lads in action first!

Click on the link  http://www.youtube.com/user/MeetRoryatSantander
1. Click on panel Golf Ball Challenge panel where it is Enter Competition Below.
clcik golf ball challnge

We’ve had the boffins check the figures and here is our take on who can win the Race to Dubai this week where a $7.5 million prize fund is up for grabs.

 funny-maths-51

  • Only Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy can win The Race to Dubai this week.
  • For McIlory to win, he must win this week, then hope that Luke Donald finishes outside the top nine.
  • If Donald finishes ninth or better, he will win the Race.
  • If Donald finishes tied ninth with just one other player, he will win the race by €5.
  • If Rory wins and Donald ties ninth with two players, Rory wins the Race!
  • In 2010, Donald finished tied ninth with just one other player.

Who Can Win The Race

DUBAI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP presented by DP World

Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 08 Dec 2011 - 11 Dec 2011

Winner Alright: Last week Rory McIlroy to success at 5/1

Robert Karlsson 24/1

drago[5] Robert Karlsson is the defending champion this week and apart from a top five at the USPGA Championship and a couple of decent showing in May and June has had a pretty torrid year on the PGA Tour. If it wasn’t for Lee Westwood’s third round 62 in Sun City last weekend though Karlsson would be celebrating a win. Three super consistent 69’s and a 68 to finish saw him easily take second and more importantly get a huge shot in the arm ahead of this week. Karlsson: I must break you

 

Lee Westwood 8/1

lee westwood upgrade_thumb[4] If you missed Lee last Saturday, you missed one of the greatest exhibitions of golf ever. The Worksop man’s 62 was simply awesome and if he can bring that form to the showdown this week he could be hard to match. The winner by six shots in 2009 and just one shot off Karlsson last season when he tied third.

 

Rory McIlroy 7/1

Copy of rory mcilroy funny We brought home Rors last week albeit at 5/1 but a win is a win. Stats watchers like me will never cease to be amazed at how McIlroy gets it done. In Hong Kong, Gregory Havret who was second, ranked second in putts per green in regulation; Rory was 15th. The week that Rory putts as well as he hits his irons, he will win by 10 shots. One word of warning however though Rors has top fived here in the last two years, he is bound to be exhausted and his media commitments having won last week are going to be punishing.

 

Paul Casey 24/1

westwood irate[6] I was very impressed with Casey at the Chevron World Challenge last week where he finished third after carding a first round 79. After a torrid season on and off the course Casey seems to have gotten his life and his golf game back on track lately. A top 10 at the Frys.com Open in early October, fourth at the WGC HSBC in Shanghai in early November and third last weekend. Tied for sixth last year and one to watch.

Best Of The Rest

Ian Poulter 32/1 lost a playoff here to Robert Karlsson last year and seems to have found a bit of form after tying fourth in Hong Kong last week. Elsewhere I think the two Spaniards Alvaro Quiros 42/1 and Sergio Garcia 16/1 will have big weeks. Quiros coupled some mammoth tee shots with great greens in reg stats last week and he’s only one good putting week away from a win. And as for Sergio, he is only coming off two wins on the spin. Wouldn’t a three-peat be nice?

2011 DUBAI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Betting Preview and Tips, top european tour tipster. paddypower golf tips, betfair golf tips, boylesports golf tips

The day that shook the golfing world. Rory McIlroy chips in for the win in Hong Kong, Lee Westwood follows a 62 with a win in South Africa and Tiger Woods goes birdie birdie to win the Chevron World Challenge.  What can we expect in 2012?

pgatour.com says

Two years after his personal life and golf career came crashing down, Tiger Woods is a winner again.

One shot behind with two holes to play, Woods closed with clutch birdie putts Sunday to win the Chevron World Challenge by one shot over former Masters champion Zach Johnson.

Woods holed a 6-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a 3-under 69, sweeping his arm and slamming down his fist in a celebration that was a long time coming.

It was the 83rd title worldwide for Woods, but his first since the Australian Masters on Nov. 15, 2009, a span of 749 days and 26 official tournaments. Woods crashed his car outside his home on Thanksgiving night two years ago, followed by revelations of extramarital affairs.

2011 Chevron World Challenge Final Round Highlights

mcilryRory McIlroy has won the 2011 UBS Hong Kong Open in stunning fashion by chipping in on the last for a round of 65, 12 under par. A fantastic exhibition and a crucial up and down on the 13th saw McIlroy move forward while the rest of the field move backward on the tough final day layout.

Gregory Havret finished second with Peter Hanson third.

The chip in on the last was met met with a huge outpouring of emotion from Rors who repeatedly punched the air and hugged caddie JP.  The win was made all the sweeter after two previous second place finishes in the tournament and sets up a winner take all scenario between himself and Luke Donald in Dubai next week.

Third Round Wrap from the European Tour site
A third round 67 gave Alvaro Quiros a one shot lead over Peter Hanson at the UBS Hong Kong Open.
Quiros, who on both previous days had shared the lead with Rory McIlroy, carded three birdies in a bogey-free effort which took him to ten under par.
World Number Two McIlroy, however, had to fight back from consecutive bogeys on the front nine to sign for a level par 70, leaving the 22 year old in fifth place and in danger of missing out on the top-two finish he needs to stand a chance of catching Luke Donald in The Race to Dubai.
Ryder Cup star Hanson signed for joint-best-of-the-day 65 to charge firmly into contention, while his score was matched by former US PGA Championship winner Y E Yang, who shares third place with Thailand’s Pariya Junhasavasdikul (67).

tiger_13_fowler Rickie Fowler, a Titleist club staffer since he began on Tour is now a racing certainty to make a change to Cobra next year.  An announcement is imminent after the news has filtered through golf forums worldwide.

Titleist and Cobra were once under the same Acushnet umbrella but are now two separate companies. Cobras 2012 clubs feature the AMP (Advanced Material Placement)  line of woods which feature Fowler’s trademark orange flash and grips.  The AMP woods are due out on Feb 10th 2012 and are designed for the better player.

We hope to bring you the full updated Rickie Fowler Cobra what’s in the bag as sson as it becomes official.

lawrie gallacher sprint It’s like the final day of the Premiership season with as many eyes on the relegation battle as on the top.  It’s not quite relegation on the cards for Peter Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher, more the chance to earn some serious bucks at next week’s Jumeirah Golf Estates where $7.5m is on offer.

With only 60 players in the field and €17,000 odd between them on each side of the cut off point, it’s all to play for in Hong Kong.  Lawrie, in 60th and with an automatic qualifying spot as it stands cemented his advantage in Asia this morning after a second successive 69 today while Gallacher’s two over par 72 saw him just scrape under the cut line by one.

As it stands now, the Dubliner is all but guaranteed his spot in Dubai having made the cut.  He’ll most likely overtake Scott Jamieson and Christian Nilsson on Sunday evening and punch his ticket to Dubai.

Gallacher on the other hand has 36 holes to break the half million mark and join the Irishman at the end of rainbow.

Rory McIlroy came back to the field in the closing stages of today's second round of the 2011 UBS Hong Kong Open.  Cruising two clear of Alvaro Quiros on his back nine McIlroy took two late bogeys to tie the Spaniard at the top of the leaderboard.
The pair are one ahead of Thai Panupol Pittayarat and Scot Richie Ramsay with Miguel Angel Jimenez one shot further back.

2011 UBS Hong Kong Open Second Round Highlights
These will be posted here when uploaded by the European Tour.

2011 UBS Hong Kong Open First Round Highlights
Click below to watch day one highlights on the European Tour site. Opens in a new window.

Charl Schwartzel got angry and got more than even as he scorched through the back nine to claim a share of the first-round lead in the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City on Thursday.

The South African was one-over-par midway through the round after a double-bogey at the ninth, his third shot finding the water. But his troubles ended there as he blazed through the back nine in just 31 shots, picking up five birdies to finish with a four-under-par 68.

 

I had a word with Dustin Johnson as far back as 12 months ago about this.  It was in Adare Manor at the JP thing. Ronan Flood had just left me in charge of PodRig’s bag for a few minutes while he went off for a toe rub or manicure or something.  There I was as proud as punch having a sneaky rummage through the side pockets (Ro you need to empty the banana skins out of there mate, they’re rancid) when up rocks Dustin Johnson.

We chatted. Or rather I chatted, he was just kindof standing beside me.  I know he could hear me though and that’s all that matters here.  I said to him (or in his general direction), "Dusty mate, those one step dunks might look great for the cameras on Inside the charles-barkley PGA Tour but you’re not a basketballer, you’re a golfer.  If the world wanted to watch NBA stars play golf, then why was the Haney Project with Charles Barkley such a shocking failure?  Listen to me DJ, the Doc says you keep one step dunking and you are going to wreck your knee”.  Totally in denial, Dustin said something like “Hey there little baldy buddy, did you enjoy the golf today, you want my autograph?”

Pic: Barkley reminisces on his Tiger friendship days.

Did he take my advice?  Did the big man listen?  Read the headlines.  Dustin Johnson is today recovering in hospital from knee surgery and is expected to be out of Tour golf for six weeks.  Get well soon man, and hey, next time the cameras start rolling just stick to the John Wayne glare thing.

roryRory McIlroy gave Ireland a double boost by firstly announcing that would definitely play in next years Irish Open then taking  the clubhouse lead on six under par during the first round of the UBS Hong Kong Open. In tough and windy conditions Rors made four birdies on his back nine on his way to a 64.  After struggling on the practice range, Rory told reporters he found his concentration as soon as he hit the golf course. "Six birdies and no bogeys is always a nice way to start the tournament.
Fellow Northern Irishman Gareth Maybin is also starting well in his bid to retain his card and avoid a trip to Q School in two weeks. He was 4 under after 15.

Hot on McIlroy’s heels is the Spanish pair of Miguel Angel Jimenez and Alvaro Quiros.

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