May 2012

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Here’s the latest from my contact in the media centre and the weather forecasters hut at Olympic Club.

The Course

The “unfair” green on 18 was redone after the 1998 US Open and the players this week have all reported it to be fair.  Punishing if you are in the wrong position, but fair.
69017742 Lots of the European contingent had expected tree lined fairways only to be a bit disappointed by the sparse look in places.  Hundreds of giant Pines have been removed; they were either diseased or unstable.
What this has done is to allow the wind from the sea to whistle across the course.
The greens are a hybrid bentgrass, they used used to poa annua.  Stimpmeter readings from the greenkeeping staff (unofficially) are said to be between 11 and 13 metres and maybe even a little faster, depending on the wind drying the course on the weekend.
The greens are tiny but the rough is not even close to being as punishing as expected.  Sure. there will be bad lies but in places it is very patchy.
The course is set up to mostly favour a player comfortable with a left to right shot.  Eight holes have been redesigned to require a new shape with the drive.
US Open trophy The hardest part of the course according to those in practice is the run off areas around the greens.  These are cut shorter than average greens and gathering any errant balls.  Expect lots of precise clean contact chipping for anyone expecting to get up and down. 
The front nine is playing harder than the back nine.  The first six holes in particular are brutal. The longest hole is the 670-yard par five 16th.

The Weather

The official weather man for the USGA has posted charts for the week indicating mild weather, approx 20 degree Celcius with no rain.  A Westerly sea breeze at 15 mph is expected to prevail for the duration of the event.
and finally the consensus among the players and caddies is that 10 under could win!

Tee Times

Click read more below for full list of tee times

Update: Brandt Snedeker was withdrawn from the event with a rib injury.  Original article here: 2012 US Open Free Golf Betting Preview and Tips

us_open_20122012 US Open, THE OLYMPIC CLUB,
San Francisco, California
June 11-17, 2012 

Dustin Johnson 30/1

dustin johnson_dunk Back with a bang last week after a long spell out injured.  Johnson blew up spectacularly against GMac at the US Open in 2010, mistakenly grounded his club in a “bunker” at that years PGA, and hit a ball out of bounds when reeling in Darren Clarke at last year’s Open.  It doesn’t sound the best, but the real point is that Dustin Johnson has gotten himself into position regularly in Majors. He’s great in the wind and has the power on tap when needed. No player has won the previous week and went on to win the US Open, but I will be willing bet against that.  Johnson is due his Major.

 

Luke Donald 13/1

donald simpson banter[8]If Luke Donald is to win a Major, this has to be the perfect location in which to do it.   Donald lies eighth in driving accuracy, leads the Tour in scrambling and ranks highly in pretty much everything else. Except driving distance.  Just as well so that this will be the shortest US Open track in a long while with the emphasis on a whole different skillset to the norm.

Jason Dufner 30/1

Eor-Dunkee-psd32636You just wonder was Jason Dufner wise to rest off tournament golf since the Colonial a few weeks back.  Dufner was on a roll of two wins at the Zurich Classic and Byron Nelson and was just overtaken by Zach Johnson at Colonial.  However if he can hit the ground running at the Olympic Club with the same temperament and regulation golf that we saw last month, he has to have a great chance.  Performed well at last seasons USPGA in coming second to Keegan Bradley and is the form dog coming into the week.

Matt Kuchar 28/1

kucharMatt Kuchar has a simple repeating swing and the patient demeanour to win what promises to be an ultra tough US Open.  Kuchar had a shot at winning the Masters this year tying third in the end, then showed he has the guts to win in exalted company at Sawgrass.  Kuch turned 20 on final round Sunday when the US Open was last held at the Olympic Club in 1998.  He competed as an amateur and tied for 14th. "I can remember walking off the course at Olympic Club and just being dead tired after my rounds at the U.S. Open," he said of the occasion. Top 15 in the last two stagings.

Louis Oosthuizen 55/1

72653950WL013_Open_de_FrancLouis Oosthuizen is one of my favourite players so I need a bit of leeway on this one.  Oosthuizen has won a Major already and did so with all the class and poise of a man who has plenty more in the locker.  Stood tall in the face defeat at Augusta and even won the following week in Malaysia.
Though he has been quiet since, and missed the cut badly at Jack's place is one for the biggest of occasions. Tied for ninth last year at Congressional.

Best Of The Rest

Peter Hanson played well last week in Sweden and has proven over the last few years he has the game to contend at a US Open.  The Swede has top-20 in the last three stagings with a best of tied 7th last year.  Also paid out big time at the Masters tying third.  The question is whether or not Hanson can adapt from the comparably slow greens in Bro Hof Slot to this weeks test.

Colt Knost Long odds glory hunters might take a look at qualifier Mikko Ilonen at 500/1.  Mikko contended last week on the European Tour and is great odds in a number of the betting subcategories. A top 10 is not beyond him.

American Colt Knost is also to be had at 300/1, probably because he has missed the cut in his last five events.  Knost however also has two third place finishes, one of which at the RBC Heritage should have been better were it not for a final round 74. And one other thing the bookies might have missed- He won the 2007 US Amateur champion, at Olympic Club!

 

 

Past Top 10's

2011
1    -       Rory McIlroy      -16    F    -2    65    66    68    69    268
2    1       Jason Day    -8    F    -3    71    72    65    68    276
T3    12       Kevin Chappell    -6    F    -5    76    67    69    66    278
T3    -       Robert Garrigus      -6    F    -1    70    70    68    70    278
T3    -       Lee Westwood      -6    F    -1    75    68    65    70    278
T3    1       Y.E. Yang    -6    F    E    68    69    70    71    278
T7    8       Peter Hanson    -5    F    -4    72    71    69    67    279
T7    1       Sergio Garcia    -5    F    -1    69    71    69    70    279
T9    18       Charl Schwartzel    -4    F    -5    68    74    72    66    280
T9    12       Louis Oosthuizen      -4    F    -4    69    73    71    67    280
2010
1    1       Graeme McDowell    E    F    +3    71    68    71    74    284
2    2       Gregory Havret      +1    F    +1    73    71    69    72    285
3    1       Ernie Els    +2    F    +2    73    68    72    73    286
T4    2       Phil Mickelson    +3    F    +2    75    66    73    73    287
T4    1       Tiger Woods    +3    F    +4    74    72    66    75    287
T6    17       Matt Kuchar    +4    F    -3    74    72    74    68    288
T6    4       Davis Love III      +4    F    E    75    74    68    71    288
T8    5       Brandt Snedeker    +5    F    E    75    74    69    71    289
T8    2       Martin Kaymer    +5    F    +1    74    71    72    72    289
T8    1       Alex Cejka    +5    F    +2    70    72    74    73    289
T8    7       Dustin Johnson    +5    F    +11    71    70    66    82    289
2009
1    1       Lucas Glover    -4    F    +3    69    64    70    73    276
T2    3       Phil Mickelson    -2    F    E    69    70    69    70    278
T2    1       David Duval    -2    F    +1    67    70    70    71    278
T2    1       Ricky Barnes    -2    F    +6    67    65    70    76    278
5    2       Ross Fisher      -1    F    +2    70    68    69    72    279
T6    9       Tiger Woods    E    F    -1    74    69    68    69    280
T6    9       Soren Hansen      E    F    -1    70    71    70    69    280
T6    1       Hunter Mahan      E    F    +2    72    68    68    72    280
9    16       Henrik Stenson    +1    F    -2    73    70    70    68    281
T10    22       Rory McIlroy      +2    F    -2    72    70    72    68    282
T10    15       Matt Bettencourt    +2    F    -1    75    67    71    69    282
T10    10       Sergio Garcia    +2    F    E    70    70    72    70    282
T10    5       Ryan Moore    +2    F    +1    70    69    72    71    282
T10    2       Stephen Ames    +2    F    +2    74    66    70    72    282
T10    5       Mike Weir      +2    F    +4    64    70    74    74    282

Technorati Tags: 2012 US Open Betting Preview and Tips,PGA Tour top tipster,European Tour top tipster,Paddypower golf betting tips,betfair golf betting tips,The Memorial 2012 Preview,2012 US Open power rankings,Who will win at Olympic Club?

The rough the players will face at Olympic Club this week is reported as patchy but it’s generally as punishing as it gets for Tour players. Being able to play quality shots from the rough will be vital. Here are a few points regarding playing from the rough that will help you make a good strike from the lettuce.

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The first key to hitting from the rough is to assess how deep or buried is your ball? The club you hit and what type of shot you play are dictated by this because the rough creates resistance as the club enters the grass, causing the club to slow down or decelerate before impact. The heavier the rough, the more rapidly the club slows down. Obviously, the club head slowing down results in a loss of distance. So, judging how much grass is going to interfere with the club head before impact is critical.

When your ball is sitting down in the rough, it’s a good rule of thumb to take an extra club than you normally would for the given distance, but now you also need to alter your technique slightly. In this situation you want to make your swing plane steeper or more upright so you approach the ball with a more vertical angle. This technique minimizes the amount of resistance from the rough.

At address open both your stance and the club face slightly and play the ball in the middle of your stance. Also increase the grip pressure in both hands. This will help keep the club face from closing rapidly as the club enters the grass.

TaylorMade have quite the knack at grabbing attention with innovative headwear.  First it was the mysterious “17” hats that turned out to be a marketing gimmick for the RBZ fairway wood and now it’s the “Stars and Stripes”.

70142108 The limited edition “Stars and Stripes” Driver Love headwear was introduced by TaylorMade at the Memorial Tournament. The campaign is a charitable effort to support the Salute Military Golf Association and Operation Game On – 50% of every $10  headcover sold is being contributed to the organizations dedicated to rehabilitating combat-wounded veterans through golf.

 

lee ping nome 2The man everyone forgot to remember before next weeks US Open, that’s Lee Westwood,  sounded a “shot across the bowels” of the opposition (as my old Grandad used to say!) by beating the tar out of them at the Nordea Masters in Sweden.

Westwood followed in the footsteps of Hunter Mahan by switching to the Ping Nome putter and winning with it in its first week.  We previewed the Nome with one of the designers Marty Jertson of Ping back in January at the PGA show.  Here’s Marty chatting about the technology within.

 

Is the Ping Nome that little bit too heavy to win on the ultra slick greens at Olympic Club? We’ll know next Sunday with both Lee and Hunter brandishing the branding iron!

For Europeans and especially those of us under 40, Butch Harmon is the guy from Sky Sports who sits in the studio and acts as the enthusiastic antidote to the  likes Monty or Peter Oosterhuis. We don’t immediately associate him with coming from a family with one of the richest heritages in both playing and teaching golf; we gloss over the fact that Butch and his three brothers Dick (RIP), Craig and Bill have been honoured amongst the world’s best teachers; we forget that his Dad Claude was a golfing prodigy in his day and the proud winner of a Masters Green Jacket in 1948.

Before watching the new Butch Harmon About Golf DVD, I must admit I had never seen Butch in anything other than a suit before. I knew he had the ears of some of the world’s best pros, I knew he coached Tiger back in the day, but I had never actually seen him giving a lesson.

What I watched in the Butch Harmon DVD was mesmerizing, there was realization a few minutes in that hit me kind of like “I knew he was good, but I never figured he was THAT good.” The words, the demonstration, the subtle tips flow from Butch effortlessly, all delivered in lay mans language; the product of having had a lifetime to rehearse with some of the greats.

This Butch Harmon About Golf DVD is to golf instruction what a Bruce Spingsteeen concert is to Rock and Roll, four hours of pure gold. Every aspect of the game is covered in distinct and logical sections over two DVDs. I imagine Butch teaches professionals and absolute beginners the exact same way and that ease of understanding permeates through the lessons, making it suitable for golfers of all standards.

BUTCH HARMON FUNNY PIC[6]There's also nice touches and references to some of the players Butch has worked with over the years including Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson, Nick Watney and Phil Mickelson. My favourite part is Butch actually recounting a chipping tip given to him by El Pato Angel Cabrera. I’ve used it since and it sorted me out!

So next time you’re watching Sky Sports and getting a hit a bit hot under the collar at all the analysis, remember that Butch has well and truly earned his place to sit there. The others? Well….the jury is still out on those!!! I vote Butch Harmon About Golf onto my beside locker alongside Hogan’s Five Lessons.

The "Butch Harmon About Golf presented by Titleist" DVD set is available at www.butchharmondvd.com.

 

kim jong oon funnyPYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA—Speaking from on top of a huge mountain of gold fillings, North Korea’s number one crazed dictator, Kim Jong-un, has declared himself “velly velly pleased” with the US Open grouping of fellow countrymen K. J. Choi and Y. E. Yang and K. T. Kim.

“I’m really excited that K, Y and K are out together next week” said Jong-Un. “They are the three best players in the world, with the obvious exception of myself, Dad, Saddam, Pol and Ghadaffi.  It will be on at about 4am in the morning here in North Korea but I have ordered every citizen to be out of bed and watching the corner of the room where a television should be.  We will of course be keeping everybody informed of the player’s progress through leaflet drops.”

“Having the guys in the same group also makes it very easy for our snipers to take them out if they don’t shoot 38 under par”, it makes the logistics and the getaway so much easier”.

Kim Jong Un is reportedly settling in well to his role as North Korean supreme dictator silencing many critics in the West who deemed him “just not mental enough” to take over from his father, Kim Jong Il.

JKim-Jong-Il-Team-Americaong junior recently won “North Korea’s Got Talent”; winning over the public and head judge Simon Cowell with his impression of Kenny Perry.

“I’m really stoked with the win” said Jong Un, “Simon Cowell was a big fan of my Dad’s Tom Kite impression and I knew he would be very hard to win over.  Dad won 28 years in a row and I was worried that Simon and the public might be tired of the concept and wanting change.  But obviously not!”

 

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us_open_2012Here’s the list of pairings for the 2012 US Open with the usual daft ones highlighted!
7:15 a.m. / 12:30 p.m. - Scott Langley, Manchester, Mo.; Steve Lebrun, West Palm Beach, Fla.; A-Beau Hossler, Mission Viejo, Calif.
            7:26 a.m. / 12:41 p.m. - Jason Bohn, Acworth, Ga.; Raphael Jacquelin, France; J. B. Park, Korea
            7:37 a.m. / 12:52 p.m. - Michael Thompson, Birmingham, Ala.; TBD; Steve Marino, St. Simons Island, Ga.
            7:48 a.m. / 1:03 p.m. - Brendan Jones, Australia; George Coetzee, South Africa; Gregory Bourdy, France
            7:59 a.m. / 1:14 p.m. - A-Patrick Cantlay, Los Alamitos, Calif.; Jonathan Byrd, Sea Island, Ga.; Kyle Stanley, Gig Harbor, Wash.
            8:10 a.m. / 1:25 p.m. - Retief Goosen, South Africa; Vijay Singh, Fiji; Zach Johnson, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
            8:21 a.m. / 1:36 p.m. - Paul Casey, England; Hiroyuki Fujita, Japan; Mark Wilson, Elmhurst, Ill.
            8:32 a.m. / 1:47 p.m. - Adam Scott, Australia; Keegan Bradley, Jupiter, Fla.; Webb Simpson, Charlotte, N.C.
            8:43 a.m. / 1:58 p.m. - Tim Clark, South Africa; Toru Taniguchi, Japan; Rod Pampling, Australia
            8:54 a.m. / 2:09 p.m. - Francesco Molinari, Italy; Bo Van Pelt, Jenks, Okla.; Peter Hanson, Sweden
            9:05 a.m. / 2:20 p.m. - D. A. Points, Windermere, Fla.; Dong-Hwan Lee, Korea; Kevin Streelman, Scottsdale, Ariz.
            9:16 a.m. / 2:31 p.m. - Edward Loar, Dallas, Texas; Paul Claxton, Claxton, Ga.; Alistair Presnell, Australia
            9:27 a.m. / 2:42 p.m. - Mark McCormick, Middletown, N.J.; A-Nick Sherwood, Albany, Ore.; Cole Howard, Fort Worth, Texas
Thursday (June 14), hole #9; Friday (June 15), hole #1
            7:00 a.m. / 12:45 p.m. - Shane Bertsch, Parker, Colo.; Martin Flores, Dallas, Texas; Tommy Biershenk, Inman, S.C.
            7:11 a.m. / 12:56 p.m. - Scott Piercy, Las Vegas, Nev.; Matthew Baldwin, England; Matt Bettencourt, Greenville, S.C.
           The “lets see what happens when Thomas loses his temper if Na goes slow” group.  7:22 a.m. / 1:07 p.m. - Thomas Bjorn, Denmark; Kevin Na, Las Vegas, Nev.; Branden Grace, South Africa            The “lets stick Tiger out with the southpaws” group.7:33 a.m. / 1:18 p.m. - Phil Mickelson, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.; Tiger Woods, Hobe Sound, Fla.; Bubba Watson, Scottsdale, Ariz.
            The “poor unfortunate bastards in the group after Tiger” group7:44 a.m. / 1:29 p.m. - Joe Ogilvie, Austin, Texas; Stephen Ames, Canada; Tim Herron, Deephaven, Minn.
            7:55 a.m. / 1:40 p.m. - Davis Love III, Sea Island, Ga.; Padraig Harrington, Ireland; David Toms, Shreveport, La.
            The wouldn’t it be really funny to put three guys together with slightly different but still the same first names just in different languages” group 8:06 a.m. / 1:51 p.m. - Carl Pettersson, Sweden; Charl Schwartzel, South Africa; Charles Howell III, Windermere, Fla.           The let’s do that again; this time with Roberts” group. 8:17 a.m. / 2:02 p.m. - Robert Karlsson, Sweden; Bob Estes, Austin, Texas; Robert Rock, England            The “let’s stick the Asians with the Initials together for a cheap laugh and sure they can chat amongst themselves group” 8:28 a.m. / 2:13 p.m. - K. J. Choi, Korea; Y. E. Yang, Korea; K. T. Kim, Korea

Now that sectional qualifying in the USA, Japan and England are completed, here is the complete field for the 2012 US Open.  Click on any link to view their profile on the official 2012 US Open Website.

also check out my http://www.golfcentraldaily.com/2012/06/2012-us-open-free-golf-betting-preview.html

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. For more details check out www.yogaforgolf.ie

Benefit: This pose increases shoulder mobility which creates a larger disassociation between the shoulders and the hips. Increased disassociation creates a larger “X Factor” leading to increased distance in all golf shots.

combined exerciseJPGInstruction: Begin on hands and knees, making sure the wrists are directly underneath the shoulders and the knees are directly underneath the hips. Keep the fingers spread and the palms flat. Place your right hand behind your head. As you inhale, twist from the thoracic spine and take the right elbow up toward the ceiling. Exhale, bring the right arm down and under the left shoulder (allowing the left arm to bend). Repeat 5-7 times coordinating the breath with the movement. Doing this regularly will build the power between your shoulders and hips needed to hit much longer shots.

 

us_open_20122012 US Open, THE OLYMPIC CLUB,
San Francisco, California
June 11-17, 2012 

Luke Donald 12/1


donald simpson banter[8]If Luke Donald is to win a Major, this has to be the perfect location in which to do it.   Donald lies eighth in driving accuracy, leads the Tour in scrambling and ranks highly in pretty much everything else. Except driving distance.  Just as well so that this will be the shortest US Open track in a long while with the emphasis on a whole different skillset to the norm.

 

Jason Dufner 25/1


Eor-Dunkee-psd32636You just wonder was Jason Dufner wise to rest off tournament golf since the Colonial a few weeks back.  Dufner was on a roll of two wins at the Zurich Classic and Byron Nelson and was just overtaken by Zach Johnson at Colonial.  However if he can hit the ground running at the Olympic Club with the same temperament and regulation golf that we saw last month, he has to have a great chance.  Performed well at last seasons USPGA in coming second to Keegan Bradley and is the form dog coming into the week.

 

Matt Kuchar 28/1


kucharMatt Kuchar has a simple repeating swing and the patient demeanour to win what promises to be an ultra tough US Open.  Kuchar had a shot at winning the Masters this year tying third in the end, then showed he has the guts to win in exalted company at Sawgrass.  Kuch turned 20 on final round Sunday when the US Open was last held at the Olympic Club in 1998.  He competed as an amateur and tied for 14th. "I can remember walking off the course at Olympic Club and just being dead tired after my rounds at the U.S. Open," he said of the occasion. Top 15 in the last two stagings.

 

Brandt Snedeker 100/1


Things havent got so smoothly for Snedeker since starting the season with a win at The Farmers Insurance Open.  The highlights have been good weeks at the Accenture and Volvo Matchplays and a top 20 at the Masters.  He also withdrew from the Memorial with a rib strain so all eyes will be on his form in Memphis in the lead up.  Sneds no nonsense routine eliminates a lot of the US Open headfunking and his results have borne that out. Tied for 11th last year at Congressional and tied eighth at Pebble in 2010. Add another tied ninth When Tiger and Rocco battled it out in 2008, and that's three top 10's in the last four stagings for the visored one.

Louis Oosthuizen 40/1


72653950WL013_Open_de_FrancLouis Oosthuizen is one of my favourite players so I need a bit of leeway on this one.  Oosthuizen has won a Major already and did so with all the class and poise of a man who has plenty more in the locker.  Stood tall in the face defeat at Augusta and even won the following week in Malaysia.
Though he has been quiet since, and missed the cut badly at Jack's place is one for the biggest of occasions. Tied for ninth last year at Congressional.

Past Top 10's

2011
1    -       Rory McIlroy      -16    F    -2    65    66    68    69    268
2    1       Jason Day    -8    F    -3    71    72    65    68    276
T3    12       Kevin Chappell    -6    F    -5    76    67    69    66    278
T3    -       Robert Garrigus      -6    F    -1    70    70    68    70    278
T3    -       Lee Westwood      -6    F    -1    75    68    65    70    278
T3    1       Y.E. Yang    -6    F    E    68    69    70    71    278
T7    8       Peter Hanson    -5    F    -4    72    71    69    67    279
T7    1       Sergio Garcia    -5    F    -1    69    71    69    70    279
T9    18       Charl Schwartzel    -4    F    -5    68    74    72    66    280
T9    12       Louis Oosthuizen      -4    F    -4    69    73    71    67    280
2010
1    1       Graeme McDowell    E    F    +3    71    68    71    74    284
2    2       Gregory Havret      +1    F    +1    73    71    69    72    285
3    1       Ernie Els    +2    F    +2    73    68    72    73    286
T4    2       Phil Mickelson    +3    F    +2    75    66    73    73    287
T4    1       Tiger Woods    +3    F    +4    74    72    66    75    287
T6    17       Matt Kuchar    +4    F    -3    74    72    74    68    288
T6    4       Davis Love III      +4    F    E    75    74    68    71    288
T8    5       Brandt Snedeker    +5    F    E    75    74    69    71    289
T8    2       Martin Kaymer    +5    F    +1    74    71    72    72    289
T8    1       Alex Cejka    +5    F    +2    70    72    74    73    289
T8    7       Dustin Johnson    +5    F    +11    71    70    66    82    289
2009
1    1       Lucas Glover    -4    F    +3    69    64    70    73    276
T2    3       Phil Mickelson    -2    F    E    69    70    69    70    278
T2    1       David Duval    -2    F    +1    67    70    70    71    278
T2    1       Ricky Barnes    -2    F    +6    67    65    70    76    278
5    2       Ross Fisher      -1    F    +2    70    68    69    72    279
T6    9       Tiger Woods    E    F    -1    74    69    68    69    280
T6    9       Soren Hansen      E    F    -1    70    71    70    69    280
T6    1       Hunter Mahan      E    F    +2    72    68    68    72    280
9    16       Henrik Stenson    +1    F    -2    73    70    70    68    281
T10    22       Rory McIlroy      +2    F    -2    72    70    72    68    282
T10    15       Matt Bettencourt    +2    F    -1    75    67    71    69    282
T10    10       Sergio Garcia    +2    F    E    70    70    72    70    282
T10    5       Ryan Moore    +2    F    +1    70    69    72    71    282
T10    2       Stephen Ames    +2    F    +2    74    66    70    72    282
T10    5       Mike Weir      +2    F    +4    64    70    74    74    282

edward loarFacebook is wonderful. It’s great to have friends both professional and amateur from all over the world and hear of their successes.

I've been following the progress of a fb friend Edward Loar who was trying to get into his first ever US Open as a 34 year old PGA Tour rookie. I'm sure lots of pros will know him from mini tours over the years.  And fair play to him, he finally made thru in Columbus. Watch out for the name Ed Loar at the Olympic Club! Dream come true. Congratulations from GCD!

Well done also to another fbf Sam Osborne who also made it through US Open sam osbournequaly.  Sam posted a pic of the scoreboard with the good news.  We will be watching out for both for you guys!

 

To friend Doc and golfcentraldaily on facebook

 

 

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FedEx St. Jude Classic , TPC Southwind · Memphis, Tennessee
early odds on the exchanges

also see my 2012 US Open Betting Preview and Tips here

Zach Johnson 13/1
jesus and zach johnson[4] All eyes will be on Rory McIlroy 11/1 this week but I think Zach Johnson is a great shout both here in Memphis and next at the Olympic Club. Zach still continues to operate under the radar even though he won last time out at Colonial and also has two seconds in his last four starts. He ranks fourth in scrambling on the PGA Tour stats and seventh in strokes gained in putting. Finished under par in 32nd here last year but didn’t posses the formline he has right now.
JB Holmes 50/1
Big hitting JB Holmes recovered from a torrid time at The Players to post a tidy top 15 last week at Muirfield Village. That included a final round of 67 on one of the toughest tests on the PGA Tour and what a boost that should be coming into this week. Good each way value at 50/1.  Don’t just believe Holmes is all about power, he has the touch of a surgeon at times.
David Toms 38/1
Sonya-Toms-David-Toms[3] Top 15’s at Quail Hollow and Sawgrass were followed by an MC at Colonial for Toms. TPC Southwind has always rewarded greens in regulation merchants and great putters and Toms certainly fits that bill with three top 10’s in the last six years. His best finish here was in 2009 when a final round of 65 grabbed him a tie for second.
Brian Gay 65/1
There’s not too many courses that suit Brian Gay’s shorter game but TPC Southwind traditionally is one. The winner by a country mile here in 2009, Gay also has a fourth place finish in 2007. After a good fourth place in Texas, Gay has struggled to three missed cuts since sending his odds West. Bit of a long odds glory shot, but I thought I should tell you!
Brandt Snedeker 22/1
brandt snedeker funny[5] Sned pulled out just prior to his third round last week at Memorial citing a strained rib and remains a doubt coming into this week. If fully fit he has the game to contend at Southwind and has a best of tied fifth in 2007. Top 15’d again last year and worthy of note.
Best Of The Rest
2012 has been an absolute shocker for Robert Karlsson 40/1 but if there is anyone who deserves a bit of luck from a Tournament, it’s the Swede. He’s lost in playoffs here for the past two years, to Harrison Frazar and Lee Westwood.
There’s also a bit of value to be had in Graeme McDowell 24/1 who has changed his schedule around this year to include this event. For the past couple of years GMac has played in Wales before the US Open but skipped it this year. Played great golf at the Matchplay in Spain a few weeks back and if he can handle the soaring heat in Memphis could turn in a good performance.

The US Open is just around the corner and you’re going to need to be able to impress your mates at the bar with your knowledge of the venue during the million and one ad breaks on Sky Sports. Luckily I have just the crash course!

Dirty Harry

Dirty-Harry This years venue is The Olympic Club. It’s set in a huge athletic club near the centre of San Francisco. That’s bottom left USA to you and me; the place with Earthquakes and the Golden Gate bridge. It’s also the spot where Dirty Harry asked the punk if he felt lucky, where Steve McQueen did his Bullitt car chase and where Alcatraz prison sits just across the bay.

Janzen

The Olympic Club has a number of courses but the US Open will be played at The Lake Course designed by Willie Watson and Sam Whiting back in 1924. The course has hosted the US Open once in every decade since the fifties. The last time it hosted was in 1998 when Lee Janzen won beating Payne Stewart by just one shot.

janzen The only clubs that have hosted the U.S. Open more times than The Olympic Club are Oakmont Country Club (8), Baltusrol Golf Club (7), and Oakland Hills Country Club (6). The course was rebuilt in 1927 after a huge storm damaged the entire estate and further tricked up in 1955 by none other than Robert Trent Jones Sr. who the USGA hired before that year’s US Open.

The course is short by Tour standards at 7,163 yards but has been made a little longer by changing the par from 71 to 70 for US Open week.

Ending Par 5’s

That only leaves two par 5’s, the 16th and the 17th. The 16th will measure 670 yards and is going to be set up so as to nearly impossible to hit in two shots. The 17th has had a bunker popped right in the middle of the lay up area to force the players to go for it in two shots.

The McIlroy Factor

rory and father The USGA traditionally don’t like players ripping up their US Open tests and with Rory McIlroy getting it to 16 under last year, let’s just say they were not best pleased. The average winning score over the previous five years was one over par and you can bet your bottom dollar on a return to that kind of brutal test at The Olympic Club.

 

Here’s a story I picked up from Doug Ferguson on how Bubba Watson and his family were tailed on the road as they headed home from a Concert.

cape-fear-01-800-75"A car chased me," he said after a 74 in Friday's second round at the Memorial. "Angie was driving. She had to pull over. I switched to driving so I could drive through someone's yard if I had to. But we had to drive away from our house, the house we rented. We drove for 37 minutes."

Watson called his caddie, Ted Scott, hoping that Scott could intercept the pursuing car.

"Teddy was trying to find me in his car so he could block him," said Watson, who along with his wife recently adopted a child. "When you start dealing with that, when you have the kid with you, it's not a good situation."

Here’s the .

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There’s a Rory on top of the leaderboard in Muirfield Village but it’s Sabbatini not McIlroy.  Rors missed his third straight cut after a couple of concentration lapses and poor course management while Tiger Woods, despite suffering from flu like symptoms and the customary double bogey is sitting pretty one behind  leader Sabbatini.

2012 The Memorial Second Round Highlights

 

The European Tour and officials from Celtic Manor are this evening meeting in crisis session to discuss how a man, dressed in a Wales rugby shirt with the word “Brains” emblazoned in large lettering across the chest, managed to breach security and engage in a silent protest on day one of the Wales Open.

brains shirtThe “Brains” message on the shirt is thought to refer to the European Tour’s lack of Grey Matter in allowing any member of the TV viewing public with an email account to acts as interactive referees at Tour events.

“It’s very rare for anyone to attend day one of the Wales Open” said a Tour official “but it’s particularly sad to see someone enter with a protest slogan on his clothing.  Perhaps when he showed up at the turnstiles, he took staff by surprise and they failed to notice the offensive message.”

With up two 100 spectators expected to attend the final round at the Ryder Cup venue, one extra security gaurd is being deployed to prevent a recurrence of such an incident.

 

Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal brought his Celtic Manor press conference down a notch in tone by revealing candidly that he struggling to find the length to get the job done.

viagra“It’s great to be here,” he said. “It's a big event, but I’m struggling to get it up at this venue.  Obviously I have wonderful memories from two years ago, but on that occasion I didn’t need to get it up or ‘perform’ in front of huge crowds.

“There are certain areas that I have to improve, but some other areas I'm pretty happy with. I’m pretty good at getting it into the hole and I’ve never been phased by the thickness of the bushes here in the Valleys.  The key is to stay clear of the most of that notorious thick bush which runs the length of the back side.

“But all I can do is just work at it. I would love to score well again. I still have a load to give.”

 

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Another great Colin Montgomerie non golfing moment to report!  This time the bould Scot is in the news for driving  900 miles overnight. To get a putter from his garage!

colin montgomerie funny pic[3]Stung  by a Sunday 81 in the BMW PGA Championship – which included 80 putts and 39 crowd glares, Monty decided his flatstick was the problem and hopped in the car back to Perthshire to grab the spare.

He returned after 13 hours on the road just in time to play the US Open qualy at Walton Heath, but putted poorly and failed to grab one of the 11 spots.

"Who in their right mind would do that? But yes, I did," Monty said. "I left Wentworth at 2pm, was home at 8pm, had tea with the family, left at 11pm and got here just after 6am."

He is entered for the Open qualy at Sunningdale on June 25th.  But something about all this just seems wrong.  Three hours for tea is a bit of a stretch!

mt juliet and aimpoint We are looking for 6 readers to join us for an Aimpoint day out at Mount Juliet on July 13th.

The day will kick off with a free early morning Aimpoint Clinic with certified instructors Donal Scott and Gareth McShea on the putting green worth €100. After breakfast we will treat you to a round on the iconic Mount Juliet course.

Golf and the Aimpoint Clinic are all free and on me.  We will choose 3 lucky winners this week and another 3 next week!

Enter through the widget on the left hand side.

Congratulations to last week’s winner Ursula Morris, Carrigaline, Cork who wins a fourball in Mount Juliet.

 

What is it that saw Luke Donald cruise past the field at Wentworth last week?  Top teaching pro Wayne O’Callaghan thinks he knows how.

One of the keys to Luke Donald’s win at the BMW PGA Championship was his ability to play a controlled fade from the tee. A fade on the 18th gave Donald the chance of reaching the green in two shots as the hole doglegs from left to right with bunkers on the left side of the fairway and trees down the right. It’s a great shot to have in your arsenal.

A number of factors are required to play a fade which is a shot that curves the ball from left to right in the air for a right handed golfer. Try to visualize the shot before attempting to play it as it will give you a great image of where to start the ball and where you will want it to finish. Tee the ball a fraction lower than normal as this makes it easier to create fade spin on the ball. It is critical than you aim the clubface where you want the ball to start and not where you want it to finish. The body should be aligned left of the target line, the amount left varies on how much you want to move the ball from left to right in the air. Finally make sure to swing the club on the body line and not the target line and watch how the ball fades to the right. Practice by placing a couple of alignment rods on the ground one lining the body left of the target line and the other where you want the ball to start as shown in the picture.

For more information check out www.wayneocallaghangolf.com

GolfBuddy-Voice-Hero-3-trans_small Since rangefinders became legal to use in club competition the whole market has blossomed. One of the latest units on the market is the GPS Golf Buddy Voice, a “talking” golf GPS unit that is no bigger than a poker chip. The device clips onto your belt, your hat or just about anything.

Inside is a processor onto which every course imaginable is preloaded. It has a speaker just loud enough to hear yourself but not to drive your partners mental and gives yardages both numerically and verbally to the front, middle and back of the green.

There's no annual subscriptions or course download charges after buying the unit and for those of us in Ireland and the UK it comes with a cool little silicone case to protect it in rain.

The GPS GolfBuddy locates the course and hole automatically once switched on. One slight disadvantage might be in the yardage given from the tee which is “as the crow flies” to the green! It doesn’t allow for doglegs. Its also important to be standing still for a few seconds before pressing the yardage button. But that's the same as with any rangefinder.

The Golfbuddy GPS voice wont instantly replace your handheld binocular type GPS (I carry a Bushnell Tour V2) that gives yardages to the flag but is excellent for giving an accurate measurement of the plus-or-minus yardages from the centre, back or front of the green.

Another nice feature is the ability to measure how far you hit the ball. You just press a button from where you hit the ball, hit it again when you get to the ball and listen to the distance. The Golf Buddy Voice has a rechargeable 8-hour lithium battery, which should be good for two rounds.

For more info check out

 

Congrats to those who dashed from the BMW PGA Championship to Walton Heath for final qualifying for the US Open. Defending Wales Open champ Alex Noren topped the qualifiers who also included Ireland’s Peter Lawrie who will only play in his second ever Major Championship.

1 Alexander NOREN SWE 67 68 135 -9
    Marc WARREN SCO 70 65 135 -9
    3 Lee SLATTERY ENG 71 66 137 -7
    Grégory BOURDY FRA 67 70 137 -7
    Mikko ILONEN FIN 66 71 137 -7
    George COETZEE RSA 66 71 137 -7
    Søren KJELDSEN DEN 68 69 137 -7
    8 Matthew BALDWIN ENG 67 71 138 -6
    Matteo MANASSERO ITA 69 69 138 -6
    Peter LAWRIE IRL 67 71 138 -6
    Raphaël JACQUELIN FRA 70 68 138 –6

for full scores

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