November 2011
1 of 4: Straight from the set of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie

2 of 4: Spiderman 4 axed. Harrington blamed.

3 of 4: Discovery Channel documentary on Nativity reveals identities of the The Three Wise Men.

4 of 4: Bad Santa!

Here’s John Chisholm from Muskerry Golf Club with his brand spanking new GolfBuddy GPS that he won on GolfCentralDaily.  He reckons he going to be pretty much impossible to beat with all this extra GPS technology behind him and is now actively campaigning in his club to have the yardage markers removed.

For more info on bagging yourself a GolfBuddy GPS for Christmas check out http://www.gpsgolfbuddy.eu/

We salute you John Chisholm!

Here are some Christmas gift ideas people have sent in.  If you have a product, gift, idea etc that would like to get a mention on this post please let me know and I will keep updating this post.  There’s no money involved so don’t be shy.  If it’s good enough, I’ll put it up. So here we go….in no particular order! Cheers Doc.

Golfbidder Gifts

If you’re looking for any kind of golf club new or used then www.golfbidder.com is THE place to find it.  Aswell as having Europe’s biggest collection of used clubs as knockdown prices Golfbidder have loads of excellent smaller gift ideas like Range Finders, Bags, Training Aids and more.  Golfbidder have a nominal postage charge all over Europe so you really cant go wrong!

Aimpoint
It’s the hottest thing to hit the golf world in ages and set to become mega in 2012.  During coverage of golf on The Golf Channel  you may have noticed the way they can now superimpose a blue line on the screen showing the exact line of any putt?  That’s done using Aimpoint and now anybody can learn the science behind green reading and how to figure the exact break of every putt. Qualified instructors with clinics in Ireland include Andrew Norrby +44 7740973180 (Northern Ireland) and Donal Scott (Southern Ireland) and you can log on to www.aimpointgolf.co.uk  for loads more info. A list of clinics for Ireland and the UK is available on www.aimpointgolf.co.uk/clinics.

To see all the gift ideas click here

Forget your Sabbatinis or your Montys, your Sergio tantrums or your Spencer Levin goes berserk.  It looks like the golf world has a new bad guy, or rather an old bad guy who’s been round a long time but we kindof forgot about.

It’s probably fair to say Robert Allenby has had his “bell-end” incidents over the years that haven’t exactly endeared him to the golfing public. He is well known for being like the Shawshank prison warden to several caddies over the years with one, Matthew "Bussy" Tritton even walking off the course on him in the BMW Championship in 2007.

Now it seems in the run up to Christmas old Grinch Allenby is falling foul of his fellow pros too, after being cheered OUT of the Greg Chalmers victory party on Sunday when he threatened Geoff Ogilvy with a broken glass and ordered him outside for a fight.  Their argument stems from the President’s Cup where Allenby blamed everybody but himself for his own poor performance.

In interviews Allenby blamed Retief Goosen for missing several putts after "I hit it inside 10 feet" during their foursomes match and then said Y.E. Yang made him feel like he was “playing alone” in their fourball. He then dragged his ‘friend’ Geoff Ogilvy into the rant saying he "hit me in the tree three times off the tee and I had to chip out three times" when they were paired in foursomes.

When Allenby was then closing in on leader Greg Chalmers at the Aussie PGA on Sunday, Ogilvy sent out a seemingly sarcastic tweet that said "Nice to see Robert playing so well this week!"

Needless to say Grinch Allenby’s mood wasn’t made any better when he lost the playoff to Greg Chalmers blaming a spectator for his failure. And when he came into the winner’s party at 9pm that night Allenby went straight over to tackle Ogilvy.

Allenby broke a wine glass and shouted “do you want to go?”, stunning the entire room into silence.  Ogilvy stood up and tried to calm things but then demanded an apology which let’s say wasn’t forthcoming from frothing Allenby and he again challenged the younger man outside for fisticuffs and some broken glass face gouging.

In the end Allenby stormed out of the room to loud cheers as Ogilvy sat back as the victor.  The Grinch has been defeated for now, but he will be back at the JBWere Masters and he’s not a happy monster.

Both Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke along with Luke Donald have been nominated for this year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

This year the SPOTY winner will be decided  by a public vote to take place during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show on Thursday, 22nd December.  Lines will open at 8pm with voting numbers given out only on the night.  It is thought this change in voting is designed to make it fairer after the huge amount of electioneering that went into last years campaign when jockey Tony McCoy scooped the top award.

McIlory and Clarke will face tough opposition if they are to scoop the award with Andy Murray, Amir Khan and Mark Cavendish considered by many as this years favourites.  No women have  made the shortlist.

The 2011 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award shortlist chosen by UK Sports editors (in alphabetical order) is: Mark Cavendish (cycling), Darren Clarke (golf), Alastair Cook (cricket), Luke Donald (golf), Mo Farah (athletics), Dai Greene (athletics), Amir Khan (boxing), Rory McIlroy (golf), Andy Murray (tennis), Andrew Strauss (cricket).

The show will be held at MediaCityUK, Salford.

How To Vote For Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy For 2011 BBC Sports Personality Of The Year

2011 UBS Hong Kong Open Betting Preview and Tips
Hong Kong GC, Fanling, Hong Kong 01 Dec 2011 - 04 Dec 2011

Rory McIlroy 5/1

  If there's one man that's coming to Hong Kong determined to win this week it is Rors. And Tiger like odds of 5/1 show the bookies are afraid of their lives too with former course favourites like GMac, Dyson and Francesco Molinari not playing. With seconds in 2008 and 2009 and sixth last season, the big question is will Rory's putter cooperate to fulfil his Hong Kong destiny? The season has been Mega for McIlroy with 11 top tens including the US Open win but you can’t help but wonder how many more titles he could have bagged if the crucial putts had dropped.

Gregory Bourdy 40/1

Bourdy2_Micheletti Returned to form with a top 10 at the Iskander Johor Open recently and is this week returning to the site of his win in 2009. Tied 11th when defending last year. Bourdy has come close twice this season in Kuala Lumpur and Wales but it seems that late in the season is when his form is best. Two of his three wins on the European Tour have been in October and November.

Miguel Angel Jimenez 32/1

Wagner Miguel Angel Jimenez_thumb[3][6] Three wins last year, but alas nothing yet for Miguel Angel Jimenez in 2011. But before you go feeling too sorry for the genial Spaniard, let's remember his three seconds in 2011 at the Volvo Golf Champions, Ballantine's and just recently at the Andalucia Masters. Twice a winner at Fanling in the 2005 and 2008 seasons and to be written off at your peril. Can Miguel keep the best wine for last?!

Thongchai Jaidee 60/1

jaidee01 You just cant have a Hong Kong Open without everybody's favourite Thai paratrooper Thongchai Jaidee. Okay he hasn't had a top 10 on Tour this year and nobody really considers him a threat this week but I've been following his progress since Portugal and been pleasantly surprised to see that he's been in the top 30 in five of his last six starts. Jaidee just loves Hong Kong, he's not been outside the top 20 here in years and has a best of tied second when Jimenez last won.

Best of the Rest

ian-poulter_2068112c Justin Rose 9/1 and Ian Poulter 12/1 teamed up for England last week at Mission Hills and after a stunning final round there, both will fancy their chances this week. Poults is defending champion having nearly produced a 59 in the second round last year. He'll be looking for a good end to a strange season which produced another matchplay win, but only one top 10 besides. Rose on the other hand has top 10's in his last two starts in China and Singapore to go with his playoff win at the BMW Championship and looks very dangerous.
Update: Here's the Sergio Garcia 2014 What's In The Bag following his Qatar Masters win.

Here’s what’s in the bag of Spaniard Sergio Garcia as he heads into the 2012 season renewed, reinvigorated and back in love with the game.

what's in the bag sergio garcia, whats in the bag sergio garcia, sergio garcia equipment, taylormade adidas clubs 2012, sergio garcia witb

There were rumours that the TaylorMade 2012 driver was going to be called RocketBallZ but after it proved a bit too “testicular” in market research it was apparently abandoned.  However good sources around the interweb suggest that this is the shape of things to come from TaylorMade in 2012.

Technorati Tags: ,,

67480897Greg Chalmers  made it two big wins from two by winning the  Australian PGA Championship after a playoff.  The left-hander won the Australian Open in Sydney two weeks ago and beat Marcus Fraser and Robert Allenby in the playoff.

Allenby had a fearsome playoff record but lost his concentration when a spectator with a camera put him off before a shot and when Marcus Fraser found a pond, a par was good enough for Chalmers to claim the win.

usa1The 56th Omega Mission Hills World Cup of Golf has just seen a smash and grab raid by Team USA Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland.  They shot a foursomes 67 to end on 24 under as Ireland and Germany watched down the fairway.

A good putt for par on the last from Alex Cejka on the last saw Germany secure a tie for second with England who were men of the day with Rose and Poults ripping out a 63. Ireland finished tied for fourth on 22 under after a 72.

It’s the 24 win by team USA but the first since 2000. Gary Woodland was unanimously crowned in the press room as the player of the tournament.

2011 Omega Mission Hills World Cup Final Round Early Highlights

1303590186Otto_Simpsons Hennie Otto, the South African version Tommy Bjorn is almost home and hosed after a  7-under 65 at the South African Open today. Otto, who grew up not far away Johannesburg, is three clear of Retief Goosen, Magnus Carlsson, Thomas Aiken and last week’s winner Garth Mulroy.
Goosen (71) couldn't capitalize on a blistering start where he birdied his first three holes. He had bogeys at Nos. 9, 13, 17 and 18 for his worst round at the (euro) Ernie had a disaster on the 16th taking nine after he hit his tee shot into the water and then his second ball into sand. He made the green in six shits, then three putted. Ouch!
Otto meanwhile picked up eight shots from the seventh hole on to stretch his lead in hope of repeating his Italian Open win in 2008.
"I'm not a guy who gets all nervous," Otto said after. "Maybe angry, not nervous."

2011 South African Open Third Round Leaderboard

From European Tour website
Ireland lead the Omega Mission Hills World Cup by two shots going into the final round at Mission Hills Resort on Hainan Island.
Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy combined for a bogey free eight under par 64 in the third round fourballs to head the leaderboard on 21 under par.
Germany and South Africa produced best-of-the–day rounds of 61 to join the United States (63) in second on 19 under.
While pre-tournament favourites Ireland look to be in a strong position after combining for eight birdies, the last two winners of the US Open Championship are well aware of the big names hot on their heels.

See what I did there??!  Ireland were the big movers on day two of the Omega Mission Hills World Cup with GMac and Rors making their expected move in the tougher foursomes format with a 68.  That sees them tied with Australia at the top, one shot clear of Scotland.  Ireland’s 68 on the day was matched by China and many people’s pre tournament fancy South Africa.

 

After World Cup organizers decision to put Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell behind the Irish tricolour at the opening ceremony was met with much disapproval in Ireland, the decision was taken to restage it with the correct flag.

 

Early highlights from the 2011 Omega Mission Hills World Cup where Australia set the pace.  This post will be updated when the full highlights package is available.

Leaderboard

Click below to view highlights of the final of Big Break Ireland on the Golf Channel.  Waterville native Mark Murphy takes on Julien Trudeau.

Padraig Harrington, the most cerebral (that’s brainy to you and me) golfer on the planet is taking a break from golf at the moment and for the first time ever is focussing his immense intelligence on matters other than his swing. Pog-Rig as he is affectionately known in the US attended the Gift Grub Live Show in Dublin last night but spent the entire performance reading a book of children’s nursery rhymes and frantically scribbling notes.

Golf critics, who filled the entire row behind him, later questioned Harrington’s concentration and shorthand game.  The three time Major Champion told the assembled press, “Aaaaaaa I lost my focus during the show. I had no Crunchy Granolas.  Instead my attention was drawn to some glaring inaccuracies in these nursery rhymes my kids read.”

“Take for instance Humpty Dumpty.  Obviously I’m not delighted that he fell off the wall but am concerned that they sent all the King’s horses and all the King’s men to try and reassemble him.  What would have happened if another country invaded at that very moment?  Would the Queen have had to tell the invaders ‘sorry the King, all of his men, and every horse we have are not available to fight today as they’re trying to glue a broken egg’.  Anyway why would you send a horse to fix an egg?  Surely hooved equines would never have the brain power or dexterity to complete such a delicate operation?”

Pic: Harrington and friend Sergio Garcia  took time out earlier this year to visit Humpty Dumpty during his recuperation.  The blue scrubs are an indication of just how delicate Mr. Dumpty’s condition remains.

Harrington went on to question Jack and Jill’s complete lack of preparedness when fetching their pale of water.  “Did they not even consider Health and Safety for even one minute?” he asked before adding  “Notwithstanding the fact that I’ve never even heard of people climbing a hill to fetch water, it was obvious that both Jack and Jill attempted the technically challenging ascent totally unprepared, without the correct footwear, headwear or any form of communication device.  As soon as Jack fell and broke his crown, Jill should have secured her position on the hill then radioed mountain rescue services seeking help. From the rhyme it’s clear she took matters into her own hands in attempting a daring rescue and suffered the consequences by tumbling after.”

It’s thought that during the Christmas break Harrington will also turn his gray matter to solving Fermat’s last theorem, figuring out the mystery of how they get the figs into the fig rolls and why socks disappear in the laundry.

When And Where?

It’s on Thursday in China.  Which means just as you wake up from a good nights sleep, it will be all over.  I hope to God it doesn’t lash rain yet again in China.  And I thought Ireland was bad!  It’s the one won by Italy last year, where Edoardo went mental climbing all over a tad embarrassed Francesco.

gmac funny pic[3] Who’s Playing?

The hot favourites are, wait for it, Ireland!  Yes it’s like the Eurovision Song Contest all over again and pulling on the green shirts will be Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.  Rors and GMac wont have it all their own way though, the Dolmio brothers Francesco and Eduardo Molinari are back to defend, England are sending Justin Rose to partner Poults again and South Africa are sending in the big guns.

Pic: GMac makes himself comfortable in the humid conditions at the opening ceremony yesterday.

mission_hills_hainan_blackstoneWhat’s The Course Like?

Well it’s like nothing they have ever played. Rough? Rough is for gimps.  There is zero rough at the Blackstone Course but every fairway is lined which crazy undulating bunkers. There’s more dykes than at Ladies Wimbledon and the track even passes through an old village.  Its a par 73 and just over 7800 yards with five par-5’s.  There will be birdies, but there could be disasters too. Pic: Now that’s what you call a bunker!

The Craziest Imada Rule

Riuji Imada was once penalized 26 shots on this course in a Tournament!  Imada assumed he could place the ball within a club length of its original position, as is standard on the PGA Tour. But the local rules stated different, offering only a scorecard length drop. Danny Lee told Imada on the 12th hole which resulted in Imada guessing he had placed the ball 13 times. Multiply each two equals 26 and a lorra lorra laughs.  Needless to say Riuji wont be here this week!

Who’s My Fancy

All the cameras will be on Rors and GMac 10/3 but its Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen at 5/1 on paddypower are the men for me.  If they were not here, they would be winning in South Africa like they do around this time every year.  An outside fancy to play well are the French at 28/1, Greg Bourdy was in flying form last week.

2011 SA Open Championship Betting Preview and Tips,

Serengeti Golf Club Ekurhuleni, South Africa 24 Nov 2011 - 27 Nov 2011

George Coetzee 13/1

We gave George the nod and he did not disappoint with a tied third place finish. Putting the winnings back on seems prudent this week on the Serengeti course which is new to the South African Open. That’s eight top 10’s already this season for George who lies 25th in the Race in Dubai. This week will be only his 58th Tour start.

Jbe Kruger 30/1

Another man we tipped last week gave us a great run for his money until a double bogey on the front nine Sunday saw him fall out of the lead. Indeed he’ll be looking to do much better than a pair of weekend 73’s this week. I still think he can do well this week given that there is still some adrenalin in the tank.

Darren Fichardt 46/1

The Sunshine Tour’s form man Darren Fichardt was rather overshadowed last week but didn’t disgrace himself finishing just outside the top 10. Before that he racked up top six results in his previous four events including a win at the Suncoast Classic and remains one to watch this week.

Felipe Aguilar 40/1

Good performances in Portugal and again last week at the Alfred Dunhill for Felipe make it two T3 finishes in his last three events. Final day scoring remains the issue for the genial Chilean, 71 on Sunday on the manageable Victoria Course in Vilamoura and 72 last Sunday just didn’t get the job done. The good news is that Felipe is up to 53rd in The Race and headed for Dubai. He’s crossed the winning line before in Indonesia in 2008 so deep down he knows he can do it again.

Best Of The Rest

Hennie Otto 32/1 has been in the top 20 in each of his last three appearances in Portugal, Spain and South Africa and knows he could have finished much better than tied seventh last week. Jaco Van Zyl 21/1 came good for us also last week tying third making it five consecutive top 20’s on Tour and with a recent second at the Gary Player event on the Sunshine Tour he’s on top form. The only really long odds shot that jumps out this week is Branden Grace at 180/1. Missed the cut last week with a Friday 79, but always manages to find a way to grind out results in this swing.

2011 South African Open Championship Betting Preview and Tips, top european tour tipster, betfair golf betting tips, paddypower golf tips

Here’s what’s in the bag of top Aussie golfer Jason Day.

what's in the bag Jason Day, Jason Day witb, taylormade tour equipment, whats in the bag

First we thought it was Samuel L Jackson, then we thought it might be Stevie Wonder, but then somebody said it was Tiger Woods and we had to admit it’s a pretty good likeness. Except for the smiling. Tiger never smiles!

Samuel L Jackson Tiger Woods

Shane Lowry produced another good display in Japan to finish in a tie for third at the rain shortened Dunlop Phoenix Open.  The event was won by Toshinori Muto who overhauled Gonzo Castano with a final round of 63.

Castano will be happy with his two weeks work having won in Singapore last week. That sees the Spaniard leapfrog Tiger Woods in the World Ranking’s top 50.

Muto carded nine birdies for his final round and not even a bogey on the last could take away from his four shot win.

The Iskandar Johor Open is rapidly turning into the Iskandar Joker Open with heavy rainfall again suspending play.  They did manage to get the second round played but the leaders barely got the third round started when play was again halted.  The news is Daniel Chopra’s lead is down to two with Bourdy, in form Morrison and defending Pod Rig hot on his heels.  Another mover is Brett Rumford at nine under, he birided two of his three holes in round three.

2011 Iskandar Johor Open Leaderboard

Iskander Johor Open Second Round Leaderboard

Fresh from his win just last Monday in Singapore Gonzalo Castano continues the good play in Miyazaki Japan by leading at the halfway mark on eight under.  The Spaniard is one shot ahead of a whole host of homegrown players I couldn’t even begin to start typing.  However Esker Hills finest, Shane Lowry is handily placed on four under alongside Ricky Barnes in a tie for sixth. Fingers crossed for some Irish glory at the weekend.

2011 dunlop phoenix open second round leaderboard

2011 dunlop phoenix open second round leaderboard

Thanks Geoff Shackelford for spotting this. We dont get the Golf Channel in Europe anymore. And we don’t David Furdy anymore either! Awwwww

Top Aussie singer Delta Goodrem, better known to GB&I fans as Nina Tucker from Neighbours before it was crap, stunned golf fans at the President’s Cup by calling out Bubba Watson to dance with her.

After a brief silence Bubba obliged saying “Heee heee shamone Bubba Claus here, here’s how to dance with Delta, you’re welcome!”

The pair sang the theme tune from Neighbours and “You Can Ping My Bell” before before Goodrem went over and hugged Watson’s wife, Angie. Unconfirmed reports say that she whispered “You poor poor poor woman. I admire your courage, may God give you strength.”

Attempts were then made by journalists to pad out articles on the subject by saying who else was there etc, but trust me, very little else happened and it’s not like any big wigs were there. Except Bubba’s wig.

neighbours_nina_pinkbackground

Calling all senior citizen golfers.  Are you tired of pesky young people with unkempt hair and trousers with pockets down at the knees  hitting the golf ball miles past you?  Now Cleveland have the answer for you.

Simply pay 350 quid for the new Cleveland Retro driver and bobs your uncle.  It may look like the club that featured in scene eight from ‘Debbie Does Dallas Again’ from 1973, but that’s only a clever feature from Cleveland to fool the youth.  The club is actually jam packed with great new scientific things that make it go as far as young people’s clubs.  Cleveland have used new ‘cloaking’ technology and ‘nano-disguisereen’ particles to cleverly make this driver look like a piece of junk you might find at a car boot sale.

Cleveland staffers were so impressed with the fake vintage look of the club they said things like “What’s this piece of shit?” and “Did you get that at an antique auction?” before being wowed by the performance.  One Cleveland Senior’s Tour pro said “This new retro driver is a bit like Paula Radcliffe, the head is all over the place, but by God it travels!”

The only worry now for Cleveland is that young people may start actually using this driver. “That’s a bridge we will have to cross if and when the time comes. For now we think we’ve made this driver look as cheap and crappy as possible,” said a top Cleveland designer  “Short of putting grey hair and fluff on the sole, I cant see what more we can do.”

This story and the brilliant analogy to Paula Radcliffe are entirely made up for comic effect.  Except for the driver, that’s not made up, it’s real. I swear. And it’s good……(that should fill back in that big hole I dug!)

Defending champ Padraig Harrington has started the “Iskandar Kebab House King Johor Hows Your Father Open” in fine style with a 64.  Some members of the media at this year’s Irish Open attacked Padraig’s win record saying the Johor Open “did not really exist” and accused Pod of making it all up in his head.  However I can now confirm that it is a real tournament, it does actually exist and Harrington is right near the top of the leaderboard.  You go girl!

The final of Big Break Ireland between Mark and Julian is on tonight.  Here are the highlights from the last two episodes.  Best of luck to Mark tonight, all Ireland is behind you.  Waiting for you to buy us drink!

The Golf Channel Big Break Ireland Episode 8 Highlights

The Golf Channel Big Break Ireland Episode 9 Highlights