Congratulations to Titleist staffer Ben Curtis and his caddie Ricky Elliot from Portrush, Northern Ireland on winning the Valero Texas Open. Here’s what’s in Ben’s winning bag.(Thanks Ricky for the bag pic in New Orleans!)
Congratulations to Titleist staffer Ben Curtis and his caddie Ricky Elliot from Portrush, Northern Ireland on winning the Valero Texas Open. Here’s what’s in Ben’s winning bag.(Thanks Ricky for the bag pic in New Orleans!)
Anne Marie Kennedy from Yoga For Golf Ireland is our teaching bay contributor. Anne Marie works with Ireland’s elite amateurs, training them to maximize their flexibility, and power in their game through yoga.
INSTRUCTION: From an upright standing position bring the weight of the body into the left leg, grounding down through the foot. Bend up the right knee and bring the sole of the foot to the inside of the left thigh. If this is too challenging you can keep the foot at the side of the shin or down at the ankle. Do not rest the foot on the knee joint. Bring your hands into prayer position in front of the chest. If you feel balanced extend the arms up over the head, either keeping the palms together or separating the arms. You can also hold a golf club up over head if you wish.
Quieten down the mind and find one point of focus. Become aware of your breathing, feel the standing leg working strong and the foot rooting down. Begin to lift out of the pelvis and extend all the way up through the arms and hands. Hold for 5-10 breaths and repeat on the other side.
For more details check out www.yogaforgolf.ie.
Ivan Morris’s latest literary effort, Life as a Way of Golf, is not only a typically shrewd, hard hitting and witty commentary on the current state of the game and the golden era of Irish golf but also valuable advice on how everyone can play more effectively. Morris made his mark as a multi-capped interpro with Munster and as a winner of European Club’s Cup, Irish Senior Cup and Barton Shield medals with Limerick GC.
Don’t be fooled by the Golf Nut of the Year title he was awarded in 2002 by the Golf Nut Society of America. Ivan remains the quintessential, widely traveled, avid golfer who knows the game intimately as a handicap of 4, or better, for over 50-years testifies.
He explains: “I am not ashamed of my all-consuming, lifelong search for a revelation that would bring me golfing perfection. Such enthusiasms are the spice of life but they are ill conceived. In my new book, I tell aspiring golfers what it took me 50-years to find out i.e. how to approach golf, how to practice, how to compete, how to cope with pressure, how to find the ‘perfect’ equipment.”
Brian Keogh writing for Irish Golf Desk says: “Ivan Morris is one of the great romantic figures of Irish golf. Life as a Way of Golf is a radiography of his golfing soul in which he recounts his frequent trials and tribulations with a game he admits has consumed him since he was a boy. An entertaining read, stuffed with great anecdotes, it’s biographical and instructional, covering everything from his quest for the perfect golf swing and the perfect set of clubs to his acceptance of his temperamental failings and his views on virtually every golfing topic imaginable.
My favourite ‘Ivan story’ concerns his meeting the late Severiano Ballesteros at The Heritage in Co Laois, nine years ago when he was grabbed by the shoulders as Seve declared: “I like you, Ivan Morris, you’ve got balls!” The story of why Seve reacted in that way is priceless but you’ll have to buy the book to find out why!
Life as a Way of Golf by Ivan Morris is available as an e-Book from the industry standards and in hard copy format from the publishers, at www.bookhub4u.ie (€15 + p & p.)
Congratulations to last week’s winner Chris Smyth, Kells, Co. Meath, Ireland who wins a Tour issue Padraig Harrington shirt
The Irish are at the top of the golf world on and off the course. None more so than Paul McLoughlin, Director of Golf Operations at Lake Malaren resort in Shanghai, China which today celebrates hosting a new world-class tournament. The BMW Masters will take place from from 25th to 28th October 2012, with Rory McIlroy among a list of the world’s top players already confirmed in the field. The BMW Masters will form part of the European Tour end of season schedule, after the season finale in Dubai. The exclusive field will consist of about 78 players, the majority of whom feature in the top 100 in the world ranking list. Four invites will be handed out and a 14-man contingent from the Chinese Golf Association will also play. Well done Paul!
Barrie Trainor is the current Irish PGA Order Of Merit champion and will tee it up this season on the European Tour at the prestigious BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and the Irish Open at Royal Portrush. Here’s what’s in Barrie’s bag.
Residence: Warrenpoint, Co.Down, N.Ireland.
Turned Pro: 2006
Family: Engaged to Charlene Davis, son Tiernan (5).
2011 Irish PGA Order Of Merit Winner.
Winner Irish Assistants Championship 2006,2007,2008 Winner PGA Ulster Championship 2009 and 2010.
Made cut 2010 Irish Open. Finished 66th
Where’s your career at?
It’s very exciting. I have qualified for the 2012 PGA BMW at Wentworth in May and The Irish Open in Portrush in June so really looking forward to that. I am currently Unattached but that will change shortly.
On course fashion and logos?
I wear Kartel clothing on the course. I’m currently looking for hat and shirt logo sponsors for my two big European Tour appearances to allay costs. I’ll also wear them at Europro events and on the Irish PGA circuit. Those interested can contact me at email@example.com
What’s on your iPod at the moment?
What are the Best and Worst shots you have hit in front of a crowd?
My best shot was a really tough pitch after a penalty drop out of a bush to make the cut in the 2010 Irish Open in Killarney. I hit it dead weight to two feet and tapped in to make the cut on the mark. What a feeling!
My worst shot was the four iron pull hook that put me in that bush!
What’s your Dream Fourball?
My dream fourball would be with Rory McIlroy, Jack Nicklaus and Ernie Els.
You’re on a desert island. The woman of your dreams is walking towards you. Who is she?
When you’re not golfing you are?
Training hard in the gym with Decky Trainor @Pro Personal Training in Warrenpoint. I’ve lost almost two stone since starting training with Decky. Never felt better.
Who’s the Pro you most admire?
Rory McIlroy. I know Rory since he was 12 or 13 teeing it up with the "big boys" in the Irish Amateur scene and now he is THE BIG BOY. He has done so well so quickly and he will set so many records in his career.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans, TPC Louisiana, Avondale, Louisiana
also check out my 2012 Ballintine’s Championship betting preview and tips on the European Tour here
It’s only tournament number 40 for the PGA Champion and only his second visit to the Zurich Classic. Last year he finished 26th with a 68 on Sunday indicating the reconnaissance mission was a success. Rested since his Masters appearance, Bradley remains one of the favorites for this or any other event at the moment with three top 10’s in his last six starts.
Luke has been off the boil by his standards in his two appearances since winning the Transitions but returns after a week off knowing that he has the tools most of the rest have not to tackle this layout. Tied for eighth here last year during the greatest purple patch of his career to date and will be looking for that that spark to find that form again here. Second in strokes gained in putting which could be a vital stat this week. With Bubba in the field, Donald can slip under the radar somewhat media wise which should help.
Three top 10’s in his last three visits here and better still Jason has improved his result here every year since 2009. Tied for third last year after carding a final round 66. Top 25 finishes in his last four starts and could have been so much better at Augusta, Dufner might just be the man to break through this week.
Gmac was going through a bad patch this time last year and missed the cut at TPC Louisiana. He enters this week however on a good run of form with top 15’s in four of his last five events including that second place finish at the Arnold Palmer. Nobody hits it closer from 150-175 yards on Tour than GMac and if he can find the right segments of the greens here this week, he looks a good each way chance.
Brian Gay 90/1 has no record to speak of at the Zurich Classic but his fourth place finish last week, at a tough Texas layout, will have him full of confidence heading into this week. Gay vaulted 20 places in the strokes gained in putting stats with his performance on the greens last week and many say another putting contest lies in wait this week with big undulations a feature of the greens here.
Jerry Kelly 120/1 won here in 2009 and remains one my favourite players on Tour. His 66 last Sunday saw him finish in 18th, his fourth top 30 in five events. He did miss the cut here last year after last weekend I expect a strong performance with every emotion on show for the viewers.
Ballantine's Championship, Blackstone GC, Icheon, Seoul, South Korea
early odds on the exchanges, subject to field changes.
also check out my 2012 Zurich Classic Of New Orleans on the PGA Tour here
The star man in the field this week after Lee Westwood decided not defend the title he won here last year. Though without a win in 2012 Scott is enjoying another lucrative season with results of 17, 13 and 8 in his last three events. Scott’s philosophy is to play much less and practice more (in the Bahamas) this year, though many thought his lack of tournament practice cost him at the Masters. It will be interesting to see how he performs this week.
The home favourite this week will be Sang-Moon Bae. The 25 year old divides his time between the Asian Tour, Japan Tour and PGA Tour where he first popped up on our radars at the WGC Matchplay in getting to the quarter finals. Lost a four man playoff to Luke Donald at the Transitions, but hasn’t featured since. Withdrew from the RBC Heritage two weeks ago citing a sore right shoulder but Bae remains the best hope of the sizable Asian contingent this week.
If weather is a factor, and it so often is in Korea, don’t rule out Meathman Damien McGrane. He’s been having a super season so far with good results in Andalucia and last week in China sandwiching a second place in Morocco. McGrane’s only Tour win came in Asia in 2008 at the China Open and he lead here after the first round last year before finishing in a tie for 13th. An each way chance.
Last week saw a massive breakthrough for Noren when he put behind him a run of three missed cuts and five over par finishes to record a tied sixth finish. That should serve a confidence booster to the 2011 Nordea Masters winner as he heads back to Blackstone. The Swede lead after a rain delayed third round round here last year but a final round 74 left him trailing eventual winner Lee Westwood by four shots, good enough for tied fifth. If you get the chance check out Noren’s Golfer On The Move blog, it’s one of the best player blogs out there.
Another man enjoying a confidence boosting return to form is Aussie Marcus Fraser who tied for sixth last week in China after missing the previous two cuts. Fraser is a former winner of the Ballantine’s, winning in 2010 at it’s former home, Pinx. Last week’s stat of 26.5 putts per round will prove critical at Blackstone where the key requirement this week is putting.
Miguel Angel Jimenez 32/1 has a great record in Asia but the question is being asked again; are the wagons circling on his career at the highest level? Last year Jimenez brought a solid under par US Masters performance into this tournament where he quickly mastered the treacherously undulating greens. Finished in second after carding nine straight pars on the back nine Sunday. It would be great to see another win from the genial Spaniard. Brett Rumford 70/1 bounced back from a missed cut in Malaysia with a decent showing in China last week. Finished with three rounds in the 60’s to record his fourth top-30 of the season. Shot a remarkable 63 in the second round here last year and when you see the greens on this course on Thursday you’ll realize how remarkable a feat that was. Without a win since 2007 but hey, every dog has his day!
Finally keep an eye on the progress of Richard Finch from 70/1. It was great to see the former Irish Open winner back on the podium last week and if he maintains his form on the greens could be in line for another good cheque this week.
I was just checking the stocks on the Wall Street Journal (ya right!) when I noticed an interview with Butch Harmon on there in which he discusses Hank Haney’s new book and gives his view on Tiger’s game. And finally, somebody has the nerve to question Tiger’s nerve.
"For me, and I think we saw this at the Masters, he looks like he's playing 'golf-swing' and not golf," Harmon told the newspaper. "In my opinion, he's very robotic. And you could see that at Augusta with all his practice swings and the double-cross shots when he's trying to fade it and he hooks it. I think everyone thought because he won at Bay Hill that he was back. Well, he didn't hit it great at Bay Hill, he hit it OK. And Bay Hill's not a major."
Woods next start is at the Wells Fargo Championship on May 3rd which is followed by the Players at Sawgrass.
Congrats to Ben Curtis and his Irish caddie Ricky Elliot on winning in Texas. Here are the highlights from the final round.
and here’s a link to the final round highlights of the Volvo China Open on the European Tour when Branden Grace took his third title of the season.
Here’s Rory and Caroline at Newbury Races the other day, where Rors unveiled his new Tom Cruise look. Has Rory shrunk? And if he has, why are is trousers too short? I’m assured no camera trickery was used in this photo!
Following the success of, dead for a long time rap artist, Tupac Shakur’s live performance at last weeks Coachella festival, the company behind the technology AV Concepts have announced their next project, the Year 2000 Tiger Woods hologram.
Speaking at a press conference to unveil the hologram, spokesman for AV Concepts Jimmy Screen said “We’ve created Year 2000 Tiger Woods, except we’ve rendered him with Rocky Balboa’s knees and eyebrows from Rocky III. Year 2000 Tiger with those baddass knees is going to be unstoppable. The eyebrows were a glitch.”
It is believed the plan is for Year 2000 Tiger Woods to compete at this year’s British Open.
Pic: Tupac hologram at Coachella. Criticized for having passé fashion sense
“This hologram comes with all the features you’ve come to expect from Tiger Woods except he swings it like he did in the year 2000 and has rock solid Clubber Lang resistant knees,” Mr Screen said. We’ve retained Tiger’s vitriolic hatred of the media, his snide one word answers and we’ve even got that disdainful press conference look absolutely perfect. And Year 2000 Tiger Woods is back in the saddle off the course too. He’s already bedded half the office staff. And the pet cat.”
“The dream scenario would be to have Year 2000 Tiger Woods paired with real Tiger Woods in the final group on Sunday at Lytham. But we do realize that is highly unlikely to happen. Unfortunately today’s technology is not yet advanced enough to simulate straight shots from real Tiger.”
Texas Governor Jed Bush yesterday turned down a last minute appeal for clemency from a tree, with an address at the ninth hole at the Oaks Course, that was found guilty of causing innocent Kevin Na to have a 16 at last years Texas Open.
Shortly before 6pm the Oak, 56, was offered a final meal of some moisture through its root system before a pastor said a prayer. At 6.02 a gurney was strapped to the tree before Na himself administered the lethal chainsaw.
“I’m not a believer in all that sap” said Na. “I believe in ‘an eye for an eye’ or ‘a tree for a 16’ as it is in this case”.
A small group of protesters holding placards gathered outside the course but were unable to stop the felling.
"Justin Bieber is the only person I talked to on the phone that night after I won," Watson said. "He called me and I talked to him on the phone and he and Selena were congratulating me, and it was a big honor that they would both call me and talk to me."
Police are investigating.
odds on the exchanges
It's a case of Walker Texas Ranger for local man Jimmy this week. Having a very solid season with only missed cut in Phoenix as opposed to big payouts for top-10's at the Farmers, Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the Northern Trust. Tied for third here in 2010 when the event moved to TPC San Antonio and local course knowledge around this track is critical. Don’t worry about the stat that Jimmy missed the cut here last year as he had a back problem all week. Worth an each way look.
Without a win since that amazing final round of 62 at the Deutsche Bank in 2010 but encouraging signs of a return to form last week in Houston. A four under par total gave Hoffman his first top 10 of the season and couldn't have come at a better time. The Hoff finished tied second here just one shot behind winner Brendan Steele. Worth an each way shout now that he’s back making birdies (sixth in the field on shotlink last week).
The Valero Texas Open will forever be linked to Kevin Na. It's the place where he took that famous 16 on the 12th hole and went down in a ball of flames. This year Na is back a different man, a winner of the Shriners and with three top-5's under his belt already this season. Tied for eighth last week in Harbour Town and due a win. Fourth on the PGA Tour stats for strokes gained on the greens.
It’s one for the course management experts and if you dont mind the fact that he shot an 81 last Sunday including 36 putts, take a look at Freddie Jacobson. He played great on this course for the two years, tying fifth last year and second in 2010. If the practice ground work gets Freddie back on track he is the ultimate course manager. But that’s a big if after last Sunday!
I like Charlie Wi 75/1 on tough tracks, but he always seems to let me down on Sundays. And his odds reflects that. Wi has only played the new layout once back in 2010 and finished inside the top 20 and this is exactly the type of tournament where he makes his money. Wont be left trailing on the par 5’s this week either, they rank toughest on the Tour.
2011 Scoring average: 73.67
Designers: Greg Norman and Sergio Garcia
PGA Tour Difficulty Ranking: 1. Toughest par 72 on Tour.
Key Requirements: Driving accuracy –5th toughest in 2011; Greens in regulation-4th toughest in 2011; Putting – 1st toughest in average putts made.
Shotlink Par-5 average score 2011: 4.94 – 1st toughest on Tour.
Thanks to everyone who entered my quiz last week.
Check out this weeks quiz on the widget on the left hand column where we are giving away a Padraig Harrington player issue shirt.
With Anne Marie Kennedy from Yoga For Golf Ireland. Anne Marie works with Ireland’s elite amateurs, training them to maximize their flexibility, and power in their game through yoga.
BENEFIT: This pose increases the ‘’X Factor’’ potential creating an increased separation between the hips and shoulders leading to greater distance in all golf shots. It also prevents the reverse pivot swing flaw by feeling proper weight transfer on the backswing.
INSTRUCTION: Take a big step out to the side about four feet. Turn the left foot in slightly and lift and rotate the right foot out 90 degrees. Tuck the tailbone under slightly to lengthen the spine and activate the core abdominals. Bend into the right knee making sure the knee doesn’t come out over the ankle joint. Bring the right forearm down on to the right thigh. Inhale as you rotate the left shoulder back, opening up the chest area, revolve from the base of the spine and extend the left arm up and over the side of the head, palm facing down towards the floor. Gaze to the palm if the neck will allow, if not keep the gaze forward. Hold for 5-10 breaths and repeat on the other side. Master this pose to give your game the “X Factor”!
For more details check out www.yogaforgolf.ie
It’s sometimes hard to get around the fact that a one foot lip out putt counts the same as the 300 yard drive. Having a putter that you know suits your game is everything.
Technically we are all striving to get that ball moving end over end as soon as possible after impact with the putter face. The loft of the putter at impact is different for everyone depending on their stroke, and that certainly affects how the ball reacts when struck but here we will discuss another factor, the face material.
Putters like Scotty Cameron’s famous Newport blade are milled from a single piece of stainless steel. Modern techniques such as CNC-milling produces superb quality, blemish free faces on every putter. Players such as Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods favour a milled blade putter.
The idea of having face inserts in putters is relatively new. Serving to soften the putter face, inserts affect feel, have a different sound and most critically increase the time the ball adheres to the face, with company’s like Odyssey claim produces a truer roll. Phil Mickelson uses a face insert putter.
So which is right for you? The only way to know is to try both and find your preference!
Check out a huge range of putters, new and preowned on Golfbidder.co.uk or click here
It has been six years and it has made some lawyers an awful lot of money but finally the war between Callaway Golf and Acushnet (the parent company of Titleist), seems to be drawing to a close.
It is believed neither company will pay the other any money and both will continue to produce their own balls and clubs under the patents each claim to currently own.
By Ron for golfcentraldaily.com
Paris, France: Weary diplomats emerged from congress Monday night after ratifying a motion that Hunter Mahan be banned forever from France. Prime Minister Nicolas Sarcozy said “Mahan has offended the nation of France and given two fingers to the memory of General Charles de Gaulle by daring to wear a replica of his hat during a golf tournament.
I am handing the matter over to our Anti-Doping Agency to investigate if any other players need banning. They’re the best damn agency in whole of France and they’re free until the Tour de France starts so it suits.”
Sarcozy was then asked if France still also has a ban on Bubba Watson after last year’s Open de France outburst when he dismissed the iconic Eiffel Tower as "that big tower" and describing the Arc de Triomphe, the nation's salute to its fighting heroes, as "an arch in the middle of the road".
Sarcozy said, “We may have been a bit hasty with Bubba. We now believe he may actually have been correct. Architects have backed up Watson’s assertion that the Eiffel Tower is a bit too big and work will soon begin on taking away the pointy bit. As for the Arc de Triomphe, he’s right too, it might be better at the side of the road, where it doesn’t get in the way as much. Bubba’s welcome here anytime.”
By late yesterday evening special Anti-Doping operatives had retrieved Hunter Mahan’s hat and placed it the vault containing all eleven stripped Tour de France titles seized since 2000. “We’re going to have to buy a lock for this vault now” said Anti Doping chief Jean Christophe Nobelli adding “We didn’t need one until now. Everyone knows Tour de France titles are worthless but now that this hat is here we have to beef up security”.
More as it emerges.
Here’s what Tom Watson said yesterday after getting, or rather stealing, a chipping lesson from Bubba.
I practiced my chipping on Wednesday and he came up and I was practicing. We were 10 feet from each other, and I notice every chip shot he hit was absolutely dead solid perfect. I mean dead solid. In my ear, you can hear it. You know ‑‑ well, the way I chip it's clunky now. I look at his form there and I said to myself, my hands aren't quite far enough ahead when I chip, and I started doing that today and practicing the last couple days. Who would have thunk it, you know? I'm starting to hit the ball solid again with the chip just by watching Bubba chip, the way he was chipping. So I got some feedback that helped my game listening to his chip shots.
In a new feature on their golf coverage CBS/ESPN are including graphics where they show what a player will look like in 50 years time. Here’s their graphic from the Masters par-3 contest as captured by a viewer.
This just in from Ping.
PING announced today it will sell 5,000 limited-edition all-pink PING® G20™ drivers, inspired by the one used by Masters Champion Bubba Watson, and donate 5% of the proceeds to its fundraising campaign, “Bubba Long in Pink. Driven by PING.”
The bright-pink G20 drivers will be available in golf shops nationwide approximately June 1. As part of PING’s campaign, the company made a $10,000 upfront donation and gives $300 for every drive Watson hits 300 yards or farther (up to 300 drives). To date, $61,600 has been generated. All funds raised will go to Phoenix-area charities, chosen by PING with Bubba’s support. Its effort is part of the “Bubba & Friends Drive to a Million” initiative launched by Watson in January to raise $1 million for charities this year.
“Bubba is already approaching the target of 300 drives of 300 yards or longer, and we wanted a way to provide on-going support for his generous cause,” said John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. “Even prior to his win at The Masters, golfers were requesting pink G20s.Through word of mouth, social media, and phone calls, the interest was extremely high. We want to satisfy that demand while bringing even more visibility to Bubba’s goal of raising $1 million.
The drivers will have a bright pink shaft and clubhead featuring the same technology that has earned the G20 high marks for its performance from golfers of all abilities. The pink G20s are offered in 9.5º, 10.5º, and 12º lofts for right-handed players; 10.5º for left-handed. There is also a version geared for women with 12º loft and a Ladies flex shaft. All come with a matching pink headcover and a power-promoting high-balance-point TFC 169D shaft labelled, “Bubba Long in Pink. Driven by PING. Limited Edition 2012.” It is available in R, S, and L flexes.
by Ron for golfcentraldaily.com
Augusta—At a ceremony held in the Butler Cabin late Sunday night, Augusta Chairman Billy Payne presented South African golfer Louis Oosthuizen with a DVD box set of The Sopranos to commemorate his spectacular double eagle during the final round. "We considered offering him 16 crystal glasses but some of the members argued it should be 32 based on a logarithmic scale” said Chairman Payne adding “In the end we settled on our Sopranos box set. We’ve finished watching it anyway. There’s 86 episodes of visceral action in there charting New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the conflicting requirements of his home life and the murderous criminal organization he heads.”
Handing the box set to Oosthuizen, Payne said “We offer this gift humbly, in memory of your double eagle, and hope that it brings you and your family many hours of worry, trauma and gut wrenching action". Both men then paused for photographs holding aloft the box set which featured a blurry snagged image of James Gandolfini from youtube, some Chinese writing and the mis-spelling “The Supranos” beneath.
Anne Marie Kennedy from Yoga For Golf Ireland is our new teaching bay contributor. Anne Marie works with Ireland’s elite amateurs, training them to maximize their flexibility, and power in their game through yoga. For more details check out www.yogaforgolf.ie
The Warrior exercise builds lower body strength and stability, thus increasing speed and power in the golf swing.
INSTRUCTION: Take a big step out to the side about four feet. Turn the left foot in slightly and lift and rotate the right foot out 90 degrees. Tuck the tailbone under slightly to lengthen the spine and activate the core abdominals. Keeping the hips facing forward, bend into the right knee making sure the knee doesn’t come out over the ankle joint. Keep the hip open by ensuring that the right thigh stays rotating to the right. You should be able to see your 2nd & 3rd toes. Raise the arms to shoulder height, relax the shoulders rolling the shoulders blades together and down the back. Palms face down towards the floor and take the gaze out over the right fingers. Hold for 5-10 breaths and repeat on the other side. Do this regularly and notice the improvement in your swing.
Last week our competition on the blog and in the Irish Examiner featured a fourball in the iconic Old Head Of Kinsale Golf Club.
2 minute pause for suspense
Garry O’Brien, Blarney, Co. Cork, Ireland
who correctly told us that four Irish golfers North and South teed up in Augusta.
Your fourball is on its way Garry! Well done!
Maybank Malaysian Open
Kuala Lumpur G&CC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 12 Apr 2012 - 15 Apr 2012
odds on the exchanges
Clearly jetlagged here last season but nonetheless finished in a tie for ninth. Kaymer makes the trip again along with Oosthuizen and Schwartzel from Augusta. Top 20’s in his last four starts before The Masters where his fade just does not suit the course. Jointly lead the field in greens in regulation here last year and if Kaymer can get his putter warm has a chance. You decide about the jetlag!
Eighth start of the season for Nico and he has already clocked up four top-10’s and has a lowest finish of 35th. Showed he is on form with a respectable tied third in Sicily. The Belgian won the China Open in this calendar slot last year.
Not a long course by Tour standards this week and certainly one suited to the Dane. Soren has only played twice since February and scored well on both ocassions with a top five in the Dubai Desert Classic and a tied third in Sicily. Finished with a 67 here last season to finish just outside the top-10.
Whatever happens this has been a great season for Branden Grace after winning the Joburg Open and the Volvo Golf Champions early doors in South Africa. Very solid since with just a slight blip in Sicily last time out. It’s European Tour start number 55 this week for Branden who’s well worth an each way look.
The defending champion this week and well worth a punt. Manassero was second recently to Julien Quesne at the Open de Andalucia then added a sixth at the Trophee Hassan. Missed the cut in Sicily but this layout is more suited to the young Italian who saw off Greg Bourdy and Rory McIlroy in spectacular style last season. What a nice birthday present a win would make before his 19th birthday the following Tuesday.
A three time winner on Tour and another who seems to have figured out this Kuala Lumpur track which is so susceptible to downpours. Shot 66 67 at the weekend last year and surged through the field after starting six groups behind the leaders on the final day. Just outside the top-10 in Andalucia recently and worth a look.