April 2012

by Ron for golfcentraldaily.com in Charlotte

Billy Haas is in hot water with the PGA Tour after several complaints came in from fellow players regarding Haas’ incessant rambling about Nursery Rhymes in the players locker room at the recent RBC Heritage event.

“He just wouldn’t give up ranting about Humpty Dumpty” said fellow pro Carl Pettersson. “He questioned the reasoning behind sending ALL the King’s horses and ALL the King’s men to attempt to put an egg back together. Billy said something like

‘Why did they need to send them ALL? Surely a delegation would have been better.  What if the country had been invaded while ALL the King’s elite soldiers and horses were off fixing a damn egg?  Seems a bit wreckless and irresponsible.  And another thing, how could horses with hooves instead of fingers have the tactile versatility and precision to glue together an egg?’ 

He was getting really upset foaming at the mouth and stuff,” Pettersson added.

ron flash The North Carolina native has been banned from speaking to anyone except his caddie at this week’s Wells Fargo Championship in his home state of North Carolina.  It’s believed Haas has been recently studying Little Miss Muffet and was planning to question fellow pros on the credibility of “Curds and Whey” as a foodstuff.


We’ve given Bendy Kennedy the week off to shoot more Yoga snaps and vids for us.  Ever since Bubba’s draw shot at the Masters we’ve had lots of requests asking exactly how to work the ball with modern clubs. So we took the opportunity to ask one of the Ireland’s best teachers Wayne O’Callaghan.

010 011

The first step you need to understand to hit a draw which is a shot that curves from right to left for a right handed player is that you will need to aim the clubface where you want the ball to start not the flag. If you were to aim at the flag the ball will start there and draw away from it, so its important you aim right of where you want the ball to finish.

The body should be aligned to the right of you target line as demonstrated in the picture with the alignment rods. The path of the swing will have to be swung on the bodys alignment not the target line. It should feel as if you are swinging out to the right of the target line but with the clubface square to the target line it will produce hook spin which will curve the ball from right to left.

A common misconception is that if you aim the clubface at the flag and simply align the body to the right of target the ball will start right and draw to the target. This is false as the clubface will dictate the path the ball starts on.

For more details check out

Reale Seguros Open de España, Real Club de Golf de Sevilla, Seville, Spain 03 May 2012 - 06 May 2012

also check out my 2012 Wells Fargo Championship Betting Tips here

Alex Noren 30/1

noren We tipped Alex last week and though he finished just outside the money places we are sticking with him for one more week. Noren has the fitness to get back from Korea and contend straight away here in Seville. Opened with a horror 75 at the Ballantine’s last week but battled back with rounds of 66, 69, 69 for his second consecutive top-10. Has gone low on this course before and definitely worth a look.

Nico Colsaerts 16/1

Nicolas_Colsaerts-425x284 Took last week off after his second in China and now has a haul of five top-10’s for the season including a second, third and fourth. The Belgian played well here in 2010, the last time the event was staged at this venue. That one was won by Alvaro Quiros, another huge hitter. This time around Colsaerts is the form player of the two.

George Coetzee 26/1

george A win must be coming soon for George Coetzee as he bears down on Tour start number 69 in Seville this week. The South African brings back to back top10’s home from the Asian swing and appeared full of confidence when interviewed for TV at Blackstone. Missed the cut at elPrat last year but I cant see a recurrence of that. Quite the opposite in fact, I expect him to contend.

Paul Lawrie 27/1

paul lawrie masters[4] You could make a case for Peter (winner here in 2008) or Paul Lawrie but I’m going for the Scot this week. A winner in Qatar and on a decent run since , reaching the last 16 of the WGC Matchplay, playing well at Augusta and again in China. Lawrie tied for fifth last year at El Prat and has played well in Seville before too finishing tied for sixth here in 2010.

Best Of The Rest

It’swattel only tournament number 40 for the young French star Romain Wattel (80/1) and he has already notched up four top-10’s, two of which have been in Spain. In the sixties at the weekend again in Korea where he tied for 12th and definitively one to watch.

Francesco Molinari 18/1 is a man with no top 10 in this last five staging’s of this event but watching him in China two weeks back there was definitely more than a glimmer of hope. He’s been in the top 20 in his last five events and due a break soon.

Click below for more.

Wells Fargo Championship, Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina, Purse: $6,500,000
Winner Alright: Last week we tipped winner Jason Dufner at 30/1, and Luke Donald third at 12/1
early odds on exchanges

Bill Haas 50/1

Haas was actually born in Charlotte and played his college golf at Wake Forest like his Dad Jay before him. Missed the cut last time out at the RBC Heritage but I expect a big week from the Demon Deacons alumni. Already a winner at the Northern Trust back in February, Haas finished fourth here last year and has vital experience on this extremely tough track.

Jonathan Byrd 85/1

Last year Byrd came off two missed cuts to just lose out in a playoff to Lucas Glover. Rested since a top-30 at Augusta, Byrd is another who knows the course well both as professional and amateur having attended Clemson University and could be worth a look from extremely generous odds of 85/1.

Jim Furyk 40/1

Great to see Jim Furyk returning to form in this Ryder Cup year and he will be hoping to ensure his place on the Team bus with another big week on a course tailor made for his game. Though without a win since the 2010 Tour Championship, Jim has come close recently at the Transitions losing a playoff to Luke Donald. Just out of the top 10 at Arnie’s event and the Masters, then eighth last time out at Hilton Head. A past winner here in 2006, Furyk been 11th or better in three of the last four stagings.

Phil Mickelson 13/1

I rarely back Phil after a layoff but he loves the greens at Quail Hollow and always gives value for money. Had this event by scruff of the neck last year until a poor back nine on the Saturday set him back. Nevertheless Leftie has a record of finishing 12th or better every year since 2007 with a best of second to McIlroy (who plays this week) in 2010. Has already been first (Pebble Beach), second (Riviera), third (Augusta) and fourth (Houston) this season!

Best Of The Rest

webb[3] I’m going with locals this week! Webb Simpson 42/1was born in Charlotte and like Bill Haas attended Wake Forest University. He knows Quail Hollow inside out and I saw a fresh spark in him last week in New Orleans where he posted his first under par finish in four events coming 13th. Belly putters seem to do well on the greens also and I give Webb a real chance. Finished 21st last year, a poor 74 on Saturday spoiled his week. Former Major champ Lucas Glover 160/1 went to Clemson in South Carolina and is also a course specialist. As well as winning last season he has finished tied for second here in 2009 and tied fourth in 2006 on a course ranked second toughest on the PGA Tour’s rota outside Majors.
Useful Previous Top Tens
A great weekend for our golf betting tips with first Marcus Fraser tying third in Korea from 32/1 and then Jason Dufner holding strong for a win from 32/1.  A bet of €10 each way on Jason would have yielded €400 plus your stake.

Make sure you check out our 2012 Wells Fargo and Open deEspana betting tips this week on golfcentraldaily and podcast on Newstalk's Golf Weekly.

Bubba Watson can do no wrong.  Have you heard the one about him hammering a spectator at the Zurich Classic? The Masters Champ was "working" the ball bubba hit guy horribly right to left and "worked" it onto the head of motorcycle shop owner's head Radd Leonard.  Leonard, 52, through bloodstained bandages declared himself glad he was able to help Watson back into the fairway, where the ball landed after striking him.

"I saw it coming and it looked like it was hooking right at me. I wanted to see that big hook, you know, and I got to see it. I turned and ducked and it still hit me," Leonard said. "It gave him a good bounce, anyway."

After paying Leonard the statutory compensation for such an injury, a signed glove, Watson's caddie, Ted Scott, delivered this one liner while pointing further down the fairway, "We're glad you're all right, but if you could just angle your head a little differently next time ..."

After a big hearty laugh from the crowd, Watson and caddie went about their business, leaving Leonard on his knees, bloodstains on his shirt and bandages on his head, but completely satisfied at being “worked” into another amazing Bubba escape shot.

This is a very good trick shot compilation video featuring Happy Gilmore’s from Rory McIlroy and Jason Day. The best one however is George Coetzee about 50 seconds in!

This is my course review of Golf Las Americas in Tenerife.  I was out to Playa De Las Americas recently on a family holiday and decided to mosey up there to check it out.  Now if its flowery descriptions you are after in your golf reviews, off you toddle to Golf World or somewhere like that. I wont waste your time.  But here’s how I got on in lay man’s language.

Getting There

18thRyanair fly from my local airport (Knock in Ireland) to Tenerife South.  If you don’t mind Ryanair’s policy of ritual humiliation where you attempt to mash your bag into a wrought iron square frame in front of 100 people and can handle the Priority/All Other Gimps queuing policy it’s relatively cheap and easy to get there.  It might be easier if the Ryanair lady shouted “Crouch, Touch, Pause….,Engage” before they let us on though.  Once at the airport you can get fleeced on a taxi to Playa de las Americas for about €25 quid or get the lovely TITSA bus, yes that’s what it’s called, for less than a euro.  Being a pleb, of course I got the taxi.

Is There Grass?

green_on_16_n[1] Now my first criteria for golf courses in hot climates is “Is There Grass?” I once visited a course in Spain that looked like one of those salt plains where they do those land speed records. You know where yer man James Hammond nearly got wiped.  The good news in Golf Las Americas is there is grass.  Loads of it.  In fact you would be hard pushed to find any bare patch on fairway, rough or green on the property without the exact requisite amount of the stuff. So good are the greens by the way, that you wont find any plugmarks bar the ones you make yourself on them.  Green staff go out to each green, morning and evening, forensically fixing any little craters.  I like touches like that on a golf course.  It means attention to detail. It means quality.  You wont find find a bunker looking like the top of a lasagne either; they’re all raked to what I call Tour standard; the top inch or so is fluffy and it’s firm enough beneath not to allow the ball to plug.  Speaking of Tour’s, Golf Las Americas has had the Ladies European Tour a bunch of times so that should give a good indication of what we’re dealing with here.

Bubba or Langer Course?

par_three[1]By modern standards the course is short.  That’s not to say there aren’t a couple of kickass par fours for the big batters. In general however it’s a precision course.  The fairways from the tees are generous but it tightens near the tiny greens which are small, fast and just a bit dangerous.  The front nine is definitely tougher than the back, so don’t worry if you’re pummelled a bit going out, you’ll have some chances to score on the way home.  My favourite hole on the course was the par-3 seventh (pictured); 200ish yards from the back sticks with water on the left.  Tough.  The GPS in the buggies is from the future too. Make sure you check that out.

Surely Its Too Hot For Golf

German_hitting[1] I hate people who say that.  Maybe if you’re over 85 and have a dodgy ticker.  Otherwise No.  Isn’t there a bit of a contradiction in that people who think it’s too hot to play golf will happily cover themselves in factor 0 baby oil and sizzle on a deck chair by a pool?  Get real and get out there.  Common misconception- it’s actually cooler for golf in Tenerife in the Summer than the Winter.

Do You Speak The English?

Brendan_breen[1]The guy I met was a tall tanned chap by the name of Brendan Breen.  He’s from Ireland so his command of the English language was okay. Better than average even!  We had a good chat. Brendan’s been out in Tenerife for years and is one of only three Irishmen alive that can speak Spanish!

Power Shower or Watering Can?

lockers  When it comes to rating golf courses, I’m a big believer in facilities.  You want a shower that is the equivalent of a powerhose with water that can actually get hotter than you can bare, if you want it to.  I want towels, lots of them. Not ones you have to beg for or leave a deposit for. You want the locker room to be neat and carpety and stuff, not like the away dressing room of the local pitch. Golf Las Americas has all this good stuff. In spades.

You want there to be a practice ground near the first tee, with loads of balls, which cannot also be used for table tennis.  You want the pro shop to have loads of tee shirts and average Joe retail opportunities, not Faberge Raingear that costs a grand.  You want rental clubs to be Taylormade R11’s, not Niblick Golds.  You want a cool bar and restaurant that overlook the 18th, not a truckstop cafe.   Golf Las Americas has all this good stuff too. In trumps.

So Thumbs Up Or Down?

pro_shop[1] Whenever I go on holidays I spend the week trying to figure out other things to do besides sit by the pool and fry all day.  Pubs with signs like “Premiership Live Here: Stoke v Wigan” are strangely more appealing on holiday than they ever would be at home.  So if you are like me and would rather get up and play a round of golf than read a book by the pool, I highly recommend checking out Golf Las Americas.  You wont be disappointed.  It’s a thumbs up from me.

Contact Details

bust[1] Website: http://en.golflasamericas.com/


Hotel: http://en.golflasamericas.com/hotel/

Contact Details:

Golf Las Américas, Calle Landa Golf Nº 22, 38660 Playa de las Américas, Tenerife, Islas Canarias, España.

+34 922 752005

+34 922 795250


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/golfamericas


After months of bitter opposition to the placing of controversial wind turbines one mile from the site of his latest golf course, Donald Trump, on a visit to Scotland, has done a dramatic U-Turn and is now giving them his blessing.

The events transpired after Trump met with Scotland yesterday and declared “Scotland, you’re fired!  Only joking but if you pursue this policy of these monstrous turbines, Scotland will go broke,” he said. “They are ugly, they are noisy and they are dangerous. If Scotland does this, Scotland will be in serious trouble and will lose tourism to places like Ireland, and they are laughing at us.”

Scotland then sat Trump down, handed him a glass of finest malt whiskey and unveiled an alternate wind turbine design, with each blade featuring a 40 foot portrait of The Apprentice star. It’s thought the hot air created in each head will greatly boost the energy output.

Pic: Alternate wind turbine design which Trump favours

Two hours later the pair emerged on the steps of the Scottish Parliament where Trump sluured “I love wind turbines, especially these ones.  They are really super to look at. And hey who needs seagulls anyway? All they do is shit on people. And all that stuff about them being noisy, I just made that up.  Everybody knows you cant hear anything other than the sound of rain beating against your face when golfing in Scotland.  As for the new turbines, I’ve commissioned one hundred of these beauties.  Ireland will never laugh at Scotland again. Ever.”

More as it emerges.


Providence, Rhode Island- Hall of Fame golfer Gary Player was plunged into controversy today after doubt was cast over some of his most famous fitness claims.

gary player sit ups

Can somebody help lift this thing off my belly please?

Speaking to a hastily assembled media gathering 18 year old Chad Dumbell said “There’s no way that Gary Player does a 1000 sit ups a day.  I watched a video of Mr Player on youtube and those things he does are called stomach crunches. Any dumbass knows a sit-up goes all the way up, then back down flat.  And useless he’s counting like ‘One, two, skip a few, ninety-nine, a hundred’, he never does a 1000.

This new evidence backs up a 2008 claim by Phil McGleno who said on a forum, “He's blowing smoke up your ass. He doesn't even do 50 a day. He stayed in my friend's guest house a few years ago and would wake up after 8am, drink a bunch of coffee, and sit outside reading the paper. Then he'd shower, get dressed, and head out. At night he'd fall asleep in the La-Z-Boy and then eventually wander to bed.”  

John Paramor has been called in to investigate the claims.  An announcement is due when he gets around to it.


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Donald Trump brought the entire Scottish Parliament to the set of The Apprentice yesterday to argue against wind turbines being erected alongside his new golf course.
Among the compelling arguments Trump makes (4 mins in to the video)

  • Wind turbines kill birds
  • The wind isn't blowing when you need it most (in Scotland!)
  • Tourism in Ireland will increase (and we wouldn't want that, would we?)
For the record, I personally think they should put the turbines elsewhere but the circus is amusing.

And by the way congratulations to Royal Aberdeen which during the session 23 mins 23 seconds in was declared to be "On the Open Rota" by a member of the Scottish Parliament.  Mind you, he was wearing tinted glasses so......

What? The post title just describes the fact that Lexi Thompson is looking to bring a Military Private to her prom. Or just get more followers on facebook and twitter at the expense of having to spend one evening with a stranger. Here's her plea/video.

Korea- A photoshoot on the eve of the Ballantine’s Championship descended into chaos yesterday after four players got pissed drunk on whiskey and decided to recreate the hit movie, The Hangover.


The shoot to promote Ballantine’s, a brand of whiskey, and sponsor of this week’s event started off innocently with Adam Scott, Ian Poulter, Darren Clarke and Miguel Angel Jimenez being joined by Sang Moon Bae, YE Yang and another guy who looks like them.  Things went downhill rapidly as Jimenez and Clarke complained throughout that their glasses were empty.  Ian Poulter then started singing a derogatory song aimed at ex Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor only to be joined by Scott, who had cut the sleeves off his tuxedo and was missing a front tooth.

Speaking to reporters European Tour chief George O’Grady said “I don’t know who in our organization thought it would be okay to bring Jimenez, Clarke an Aussie and an Arsenal fan to a whiskey photoshoot but I’m going to find out. I look away for one second and this happens.  It’s the equivalent of the PGA Tour sending Tiger Woods to open a whorehouse.”

Poulter, Scott, Clarke and Jimenez (driving) were later apprehended in a stolen police car.  Yang and Bae were found bundled in the boot.  Nobody knows who or where the seventh man is or was.


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This photo is from Susan Poag,The Times-Picayune. I think I’m supposed to say that. The captions are from GCD!


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.

Golf BENEFIT: Tree pose builds stability and strength in the lower body which allows the golfer to maintain backswing weight distribution and a strong finish.

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 Life Is A Way Of Golf 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.)

paul mcloughlin 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.

Getting To Know Barrie

  Vital Stats

Residence: Warrenpoint, Co.Down, N.Ireland.

Age: 30

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 m8bpt1@yahoo.co.uk

Favourite Film?

barrie 60seconds My Favourite Film is: Gone in 60 seconds, Fast cars and plenty of action is perfect for me


What’s on your iPod at the moment?

barrue paolo nutini I’m a big Indie music fan so lots of: Oasis, Blur, The Script, Coldplay, U2, Paolo Nutini (pictured) , Robbie Williams and Snow Patrol.

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!


Favourite Team?

barrie man united I’m a massive Manchester United fan. Fingers crossed for the Premiership and that we get Modric in the Summer!


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?

barrie sandra bullock Sandra Bullock. Please don’t tell anyone!


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?

barrie rory-mcilroy 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 on the European Tour here

Keegan Bradley 22/1

bradley 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 Donald 15/1

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.

Jason Dufner 30/1

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.

Graeme McDowell 32/1

gmac funny ecco story_thumb[2] 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.

Best Of The Rest

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

Adam Scott 12/1

adam scott 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.

Sang-Moon Bae 19/1

bae 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.

Damien McGrane 80/1

mcgrane[3] 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.

Alex Noren 34/1

noren 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.

Marcus Fraser 36/1

fraser 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.

Best Of The Rest

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 finch 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.

butch harmon crazy eye[6]"I think he's lost his nerve putting," Harmon said. "I think his nerves are bad, and he's lost his confidence."

"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.


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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 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!

rory and caroline

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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.

Pic: Year 2000 Tiger hologram featuring Balboa eyebrows

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.

kevin na treeShortly 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.


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