Le Golf National, Paris. early odds on exchanges
also check out my 2012 Greenbrier Classic Tips here
Here we have for sale a chocolate muffin half eaten by Padraig Harrington. This could sky rocket in value if he wins soon, so don’t delay and get your hands on it today.
Interested parties should email their bids to firstname.lastname@example.org
First let me tell you about the weather here in Portrush at the 2012 Irish Open. It is so wet and windy you wouldn’t let your dog out for a wizz in it. So how good is Thorbjorn Olesen’s bogey free 66, in the height of the hurricane?
Thor, minus raingear and in his mid Summer pink shirt and sweater is already up 46 spots on the leaderboard at 8 under heading into Sunday and if the weather stays like this he’ll be even higher. “I hope it storms”, he joked!
So there’s Murph and caddie Peter O’Keefe stood on the par-5 ninth, their last hole of the second round of the Irish Open,and they are at level par for the tournament.
Just off to the right they see a small scoreboard that reads “T65 and ties cut at -2”. The need eagle. But the hole is playing into the wind, and nobody is going for it in to two. It’s too risky. It’s impossible.
Murph, being the legend that he is, unleashes holy hell on a driver down the middle, then jumps on a three wood which rolls up to 12 feet. He brushes the putt in for eagle to make the cut on the number.
Now that is how you do minus two in style! Well done lads!
Thumbs up from Joel Sjoholm after his second round at the 2012 Irish Open. Joel initially thought he had missed the cut after taking bogey on the last but his two under total made it safely into the weekend.
Poor old Rory McIlroy; not only has he to put up with bogeys at the end of his round, and a whole posse of plebs jumping inside the ropes and swarming around his girlfriend, but then he gets Barterized immediately after finishing.
Barterization is a horrific torture method whereby a man positions himself uncomfortably close to your face and breathes on you for an extended period of time. The victim, deprived of oxygen and forced to inhale noxious fumes, gags and often dies.
Barterization is thought to have originated in Ancient Greece, by Perillos of Athens. According to lore, Perillos ate the testicles of a living bull before confronting his victim face to face and exhaling his death breath upon him.
McIlroy fans are tonight hoping their hero can recover from this ordeal in time to resume his Irish Open challenge tomorrow morning.
"Just cause you have Rory McIlroy and Keegan Bradley you think you are guaranteed a world class golf tournament. Well I’m bloody well God and you’ll soon wish someone had consulted me” a clearly miffed God said today. In a statement released through his PR company, Horizon Sports Management, God added “I’ll show you a year’s worth of thunderstorms and other bad shit over the weekend, and maybe next time you’ll take me seriously”.
Pic: God above Portrush with someone lightning yesterday
It’s God’s 4,546,237th worldwide golf tournament and he’s finding himself increasingly on the periphery as the European and PGA Tours expand and his ministers on Earth get locked up for paedophilia offences.
“Nobody prays to God anymore, it’s time I unleashed a bit of wrath on your asses. And just in case you think I’m a one trick pony, I must warn you, I don’t just do shitty weather,” an agitated God shouted. “I do scorecard errors, I do everything from herniated disk injuries to heart attacks and I’m branching into I.T. and the whole area of computer viruses. So I’m warning you, respect your Lord.”
God did promise however to show his loyal supporters some mercy this week. “Obviously I’m going to look after nuns and stuff but I’m asking very holy people to just keep well away from sinners this weekend. That way they wont get involved in any collateral damage.”
For ever and ever Amen.
Jeev Milkha Singh leads the Irish Open. Again! After his round of seven under he told me that Darren Clarke gave him a bottle of 21 year old Bushmills Malt Whiskey a few days ago.
Now like all good Indians that are multi squillionaires, Jeev likes a drop of rare single malt as much as the next man but despite being egged on by Clarke clapping loudly and roaring “oy oy oy Oy Oy” chose not to open it on the spot. “I’m keeping it for a Sunday night to enjoy with my father,” he said “we often sit with a whiskey on a Sunday night and just talk.”
The Jeevster is big in the news these days in India. They’re making a film about his dad Milkha Singh who was India’s version of Usain Bolt back in the day and even participated in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. It’s an inspirational story about the Flying Sikh due out on the 26th January 2013. Nice way to plug it!
We’ll just have to wait and see if Singh junior can brave the elements over the next few days. He’s not a big fan of rain. He told me about his first experience of links golf 25 years ago. “Coming from India, I didn’t even have raingear,” he said!
James Morrison I hate you! He’s just after hitting a 5 iron from 195 yards straight into the hole to win a sexy Alpine White BMW 6 series Gran Coupe. How sweet it that! They start at £61390 and this one has all the extras!
Jeez Louise it’s hard to win an argument with Padraig Harrington. Our general conversations are around food and nutrition because I worked as a food safety consultant for ten years.
So walking down the 18th fairway in Portrush today Podge says “I have a question for you. I wear a heart monitor all the time around my chest and it tells me the amount of calories I burn. I want to know why it is that since I changed from Diet Coke to regular Coke I burn more calories”.
Now I’m not a biologist but I have a PhD in Chemistry, and my wife is the formulations manager with Coca Cola so I thought I was on pretty solid ground here.
I explained If you drink a sugary drink it passes directly from your digestive system into the bloodstream and is available there and then to burn calories as energy. If you’re active the body will burn those sugary drink calories first because they’re handy.
No. Not washing with Podge.
It’s like turbo boost in Knight Rider. Diet Coke has no sugar, it has sweeteners so you’re not going to burn the same amount of calories.
Still no dice with Podge, “I have loads of energy in my body anyway, that’s not the reason” he said.
I’m taking this one to the head guy in Coke! Hit your shot!
And my new favouritist caddie in the whole of Portrush is GMac’s looper Ken Comboy. He was ultra sound bringing me out the bag from the caddies room yesterday for the what’s in the bag picture (thanks to Ricky Elliott for lining that up) and greeted me today by name.
That never happens me! So Sound.
Graeme McDowell was brought into the media centre today for his interview during which professional journalists asked him several questions. I was the only one there without a pen, paper or those cool little recorder yokes but I used an even cooler little device called my memory to store the best of what he said.
“We’ve installed new back tees. We’ve Rory proofed this place.”
“I putted on those greens this morning like I never saw them before!”
“The insurance premium for the trophy cabinet in Rathmore has gone through the roof”.
So Shane Filan bets me I cant get 15 Westlife song titles into a piece about him at the Pro Am at the 2012 Irish Open. He underestimated the Doc!
I tried to warn Shane Filan that he was not adequately equipped for the Portrush weather. He was wearing pair of white trousers and t shirt while the wind was overturning cars and blowing the roofs off houses all around.
Doc: “How am I supposed to leave you, if you’re looking like that?” I said to him as I offered him my rain jacket. “If I let you go out in that weather, dressed like that it will be on my conscience forever. My sister Mandy has a pair of pants likes that. And she wears them to work, she’s a nurse.”
Shane: “Sure that’s what makes a man,” he replied. “I’ve left the raingear back in Sligo, I’m flying without wings today.”
Doc: “Its safe to say you’re going to get hypothermia.”
Shane: “No way man, I’m unbreakable.”
Doc: “You’re dreamin. If you dont get taken away in an ambulance after this with frostbite it will be against all odds.”
Shane: “In Sligo we have a world of our own, we dress like this on the golf course all the time.”
Doc: “What are the shades for? Are you going doing a bit of welding? Only a fool would bring shades out in the rain.”
Shane: “Call me a fool again and I’ll deck you bud. Here give me a hand to reach this blown lightbulb will ya. You raise me me up and I’ll change it.
Light comes on.
Doc: That’s amazing dude, at least you’re able to do something right. Right I’m away off home. I’ll lay my love on you and leave you dude. But I swear it again to you, you’re going to die of cold"!
Padraig Harrington is on flying form on and off the golf course if todays interview with the media is anything to go by. Only Bernard Hopkins can rival Podge for seven minute answers! Here’s the Doc’s distillation of the best bits!
I played it a load of times as an amateur in the Home Internationals but haven’t been back here for 17 years. I shot 65 once and had the course record here for many years. I’m thrilled it’s coming to Northern Ireland.
The fairways in Ireland for club golfers are too narrow. An 18 yard fairway off back tees is not fair. On the PGA Tour we have 40 yard wide fairways. They might look narrower but what you see on TV is not reality. I hit an 8 iron 170 yards in the USA; I hit a 5 iron 170 yards here sometimes.
On the bushes and whins that are just six yards left of the fairway. “When you see all the fans following Rory, you wont see the whins. They’ll block the ball, so there’s more room there than you think!”
The 12th is one of my favourite-ist holes of all time!
It’s set up perfectly. The greens are receptive which is a Godsend. If you hit bad shots you will find trouble. The course gives to you in places, which will counteract the bogeys.
Who do the European Tour entrust to make sure the players bodies are loose and limber? A pair of Irishmen. Daryl Coyne from Galway and Paddy Smith from Cork are two of the main men in the travelling European Tour Physio Truck.
Daryl specializes in chiropractic and spends his days crunching vertebrae and twisting necks. “Low back injuries are the most common cases in here”, he says “closely followed by neck and wrist injuries”. Paul does the deep tissue work, fingers of steel that man has.
Daryl lives in Tuam with his wife and three year old child, “We try to rotate it so that we get home once a week” he says when asked about being part of the travelling circus that it the modern European Tour.
Paddy on the other hand is the World’s biggest fan of the John Wayne film The Quiet Man. “Did you know Maureen O’Hara is a stage name?” he says “She’s actually Maureen O’Sullivan; she changed it for the stage!”
I asked the guys who is their best client, ie the biggest crock on the European Tour? They steadfastly refused to comment, but I think that’s because the usual suspect was actually there at the time having treatment! Nice one lads!
Keep an eye on Michael Hoey this week at Portrush; despite three Tour wins in the last 18 months, he continues to go under the radar. Commenting on his practice rounds before the 2012 Irish Open Hoey said “They’ve got the course set up perfect here. It’s playing long!”
Pic: If the golf thing doesn’t work, Hoey can always fall back on his mobile phone modelling career.
“The par three’s will be crucial this week. The sixth is playing tough and the 14th “Calamity” was somewhere between a 2-iron and 3 wood today. The 17th is also really tough. The massive bunker is actually in play. Hit it in there and you could have a 10!”
This is Harry Diamond, part of the Irish amateur contingent in the field at the 2012 Irish Open. And Harry got a taste of the crowds this morning as he played a round with his BFF Rory McIlroy. About 2,000 people watched the guys play out the last few holes of their practice round. No pressure then Hazza!
Apologies for the truncated nature of this weeks PGA Tour tips but lets hope we can bag you a winner nonetheless.
Check out my 2012 Irish Open Betting Tips Here
This player has promise. Winner of the Arnie and the Jack events already this year and showed promise at the recent US Open. Struggles with his swing from time to time, but has won on this track before. A scoring average of 69.46 to date this season, compared to the field this chap statistically has the highest chance of winning at 88.92%
Finding his form again. Four top 10’s this year and three of those are ties for fourth, another of which he bagged at the Travelers Championship. Davis’s shotlink stats from last week have him just about top in driving and greens in regulation combined and a repeat of those numbers plus a decent week with the flatstick could see him contend. It’s been something like seven years since he won so back him each way!
Tied fourth at the US Open, the 5 hour energy man just ran out of steam. Interestingly Furyk blamed a tee box that was moved ‘closer’ to the hole for his problems on the 16th. Nevertheless that’s three top 10’s in his last six starts; and he loves Congressional with two thirds and a seventh from 2007-2009.
Already a two time winner this year at the Matchplay and in Houston and looking like he’s coming into form for the meat of the season. Mahan holed everything he looked at in the final round of the Travelers last week, where he came from a different planet to tied 11th after a 61. Mahan has good course form at Congressional too from when this event used be held here (up to 2009); tied 8th in 2007, tied 12th in 2008 and his best result of second in 2009 when Tiger won.
Well I’m a big Ben Curtis fan and I know his caddie Ricky Elliot is hurting this week with the Irish Open being held in his home town. Another win to add to that in Texas might cheer him up though and with Ben having won the Booz Allen Classic on this track before, 70/1 look like great odds.
Keep and eye too for the progress of Adam Scott 25/1 and Davis Love at 85/1.
Patrick ‘Patch’ McCrudden from Portrush is among Major winners and stars of the European Tour this week at the 2012 Irish Open. But nobody knows the host course as good as him! Here are his thoughts on the eve of his Tour debut.
I would say I know it as good as anyone else in the world. It’s my home course and I play it every day!
How well do you know Portrush?
I've shot 67 on the medal tees and 68 off the tips-which is the lowest championship score off those tees so far.
What’s your lowest score there in competition?
I would say it's set up pretty close to the way it normally is, there are one or spots that the rough has probably been allowed to grow in to tighten up a few fairways but not by much. They’ve also got the back tees in play which will be interesting as they have only used them sparingly. The main thing I notice over the last few days is the greens look really well prepared but obviously not being allowed on them I can't tell who they roll! Also there's going to be no OB to the left of the 1st or 16th but if you go in there your ball is screwed anyway!
Will the course be the same or set up differently for the European Tour heavyweights?
The easiest is probably the second hole- a reasonably straight forward par 5 which you shouldn't really struggle to get on in three shots as its a pretty easy lay up. If you can't reach, you will only have 100 yards to a green which is fairly generous.
What is the easiest hole on the course and why?
The hardest hole is probably the 4th as it's a very tight drive with OB right and rough and a fairway bunker on the left side. You have to hit the fairway to have any real chance of hitting the green as it's a narrow entrance and not the biggest surface to hit either.
And the toughest?
I think it's totally weather dependent - if there's no wind I think about 15/16 under par is easily on for the top guys, but at the same time if it does blow and a bit of rain falls then maybe 6-8 under could do damage.
What will the winning score be?
Apart from myself (laughing) I think G Mac has a great chance, he knows the course inside out and I have seen him put some low numbers together around it before.
Who do you fancy to win?
I would definitely say its a strategic course, there's not really much advantage from hitting it long as the course is firm and being on the fairway is the only way you'll score well around there. You’ve got to plot your way around it as you just can't overpower it.
Is it a bomber or a thinkers course?
My ambitions for the week are to try and make the cut and play the weekend. That's the goal I've set myself; it’s not the be all and end all but I know the course probably better than anyone in the field so if I just play my own game and get a few breaks then I should be ok.
What is your ambition for the week?
Dream pairing on Sunday would probably to go head to head with Rory down the stretch!
What’s your dream Sunday pairing?
Best pub in Portrush is probably the harbour bar - great pint of Guinness in there. Go for the chilli beef or chicken in wine bar also – amazing!
And the most important question; what’s the best pub in Portrush
Americans listen up. We are claiming Keegan Bradley as Irish. He’s over at the 2012 Irish Open and he’s not coming back. I’ve been having a chat with Keegan and his caddie Pepsi about his Irish connections.
Keegan’s auntie Pat Bradley is a regular visitor to Kinsale where the Bradley family have roots. Dont believe me? How many other golfers on the PGA Tour have a Celtic Football Club headcover? Enough said!!!
I just met Jose Manuel Lara coming off the ninth green in Portrush. He has his jaded missus following him tugging his tour bag on a trolley. You all know by know the story about his now ex-caddie Mathias Vinson, trying to hide an illegal 15th club in bushes. He pretended he was ducking into the bushes to take a leak but made the fatal mistake of bringing the golf bag with him!
So I asked Jose how he was feeling now about the whole situation?
“I feel sorry for him. He is a very good guy, it was just a silly thing. I just have to carry on. I’m meeting my new caddie later.”
Lara had no idea that there were 15 clubs in the bag and was intimating through his words that Vinson was just really naive to do what he did. If he was really a bad guy, he could so easily just have said nothing and chances are nobody would have noticed the 15 clubs in the bag. It happens more often then you might think.
I’m at the 2012 Irish Open in Portrush. If you’re around and see my floating around say Hi! I’ll post as much cool stuff as I can find so check back regularly. Already outside the window Ken Comboy and Wobbly are heading down the first with their Bushnells. But there’s not much that Kenny can find out that boss GMac doesn’t already know!
A revolutionary new design of golf clubs is set to change the face of ladies golf. The first ever prototype set of the lighter, softer, “maxi cuddly MOI” clubs were given to amateur golfer Jackie Cannizzo as a birthday present.
“I picked up the six iron and nailed it 225 yards, I hit the driver 400 yards. These clubs are awesome, at last someone has designed clubs with lady golfers in mind”.
The Maxi cuddly MOI combine humungo size heads with super light shafts and are soft and fluffy, which lady golfers really like.
Paula Creamer is set to debut a pink version of the Maxi Cuddly MOI next week on the LPGA Tour.
How the R&A works absolutely baffles me. Last Wednesday, out of the blue, Peter Dawson and the lads with the brasso buttons on their blazers decided “Lets announce Troon as the venue for the British Open in 2016”. With a massive groundswell of support to bring a future Open to Portrush and the Irish Open on there next week, it seems like the biggest kick the goolies imaginable for the R&A to time their announcement so badly. That Open is four years away for God’s sakes, why not wait until a month or so after the Irish Open, if you are thinking of letting us down gently?
Peter Dawson, just to dot the “i”s and cross the “t”s it seems to me, went to visit Portrush in January. Afterwards he gave an interview in which he gave three bloody compelling reasons why the Open couldn’t be held at Portrush.
Dawson: “One or two of the holes need changes.”
Ah, okay, so being consistently ranked by just about every reputable golf publication as being amongst the top 15 courses on the planet is not good enough for the R&A. By that logic last year’s Open was not held at Royal St. Georges because 17 or 18 of the holes needed changes.
It’s like Dawson saying that Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull is not suitable because it’s running a hair too much downforce, then picking the Force India midway down the grid.
Dawson: “It is not obvious where the practice ground would go. It is not obvious where the tented village would go.”
What is the man on about here? Watch the Irish Open on Sky this week Peter and it might give you a clue. There WILL be a practice ground and there WILL be a tented village capable of serving a field as big as the Open and a sell out crowd of 100,000. The aerial shot of the course shows oodles of space around the course. But then again Dawson might say “None of these big fields would actually be suitable because they are not the correct shade of green?”
I’m rapidly beginning to figure out what they mean when they say the R&A is an institution. And most of those in it belong in one. One with a big practice ground and tented village.
There’s shag all super sound companies out there but one I get on great with is Druh Belts & Buckles www.druhbeltsandbuckles.com. When I go looking for a readers prize such as for next week’s Irish Open, Druh Belts & Buckles always deliver. And just wait until you see what I have for you next week!
Owned by Simon Hurd (go on, spell his surname backwards!), who used play on the European Tour and worn by the likes of Lee Westwood, Druh have just just launched their new range of national flag buckles.
Expect to see several players wearing their country flag at the upcoming Open Championship at Lytham. Druh flag buckles are available in the national colours of England, Scotland, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, USA, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, South Korea, Japan and Thailand.
There will be no trouble in matching the new buckles with the Druh belt range as it comes in ten different water snakeskins, ranging from turquoise to pink and 15 leathers in different embossed styles, from crocodile to ostrich effect. Already the Druh designs in classic black and browns and funky pastels and metallics are spreading like wildfire amongst the pros. Indeed Westwood is a global brand ambassador for Druh alongside Ireland’s Paul McGinley, Dane Thomas Bjorn and Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee.
The flag buckles can be easily swapped with Druh’s other styles that are made from brushed nickel, polished silver or gold.
All the flag buckles are now available at www.druhbeltsandbuckles.com which allows golfers to choose their country flag and matching belt combination. The Druh Flag Buckles with a strap retail at US$137/UK£88 with the Druh Flag Buckles coming out at just US$36/UK£23.
Other Druh Belts retail at US$200/UK£125 for snakeskin and US$125/UK£79 for leather and guarantees that the snakes used in production are not a protected species.
I’m last on the Newstalk Golf weekly podcast with a review of the V Golf Club in Lithuania and the 2012 Travelers Championship. There’s also an interview with Peter Lawrie on his US Open debut and much more.
According to his close friends, JB Holmes has been walking around “acting like a spoiled little Princess just cause he’s the first man ever to give birth to a baby.”
JB is due to give birth next month and has everyone in the locker room is just wishing the baby was born already. “JB thinks he’s the only person in the history of the world that’s pregnant” an exasperated Bubba Watson said yesterday. “He’s had all us line up in the locker room to feel the bump and yesterday sent me on a 20 mile round trip to get some folic acid.”
Some incredulous colleagues have questioned the fact that JB is with child. Fred Couples pointed out the fact that JB’s ankles are not swollen while a normal preggers woman would be like retaining fluid like Mrs Doubtfire at this stage.
More as it emerges. Not literally.
"After winning it's certainly a little bit harder to not go. But in the grand scheme of life, it's a decision I know I'll always be happy I made," he said.
Here’s the link to Webb Simpson’s US Open Winning Bag Post.
Beautiful Anna Rawson is working for the new Back9Network in the States. Yesterday she posted some behind the scenes pictures of their latest photoshoot. I think her stance is a bit narrow and question whether she needs two gloves but other that I can’t see much wrong! Other commentators have claimed those high heels could damage the greens but I’m a big believer in soil aeration!
Is that light singing Anna’s hair?
Always best to hold onto the bannister when descending stairs in high heels and skimpy kaks!
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
Golf Benefit: This pose elongates the spine which prevents rounding of the back and all the swing flaws associated with it. It increases distance through all golf shots by increasing hip mobility.
Instruction: Begin on hands and knees, slide the right knee up to the inside of the right wrist. Using the left hand for assistance bring the right shin and ankle out to the left working to bring it parallel with the top of the mat. Be mindful of the knee joint, if you experience any pain or discomfort keep the shin tucked underneath the body. Extend the left leg back feeling a good stretch coming in to the left hip flexor and keep the foot and shin touching the floor. If you find the left hip lifting keep shifting the weight of the body down to the left to keep both hips square with the mat. Bring the forearms down on to the mat and hold for 30 seconds to 3 minutes. To take the pose deeper you can extend the arms straight out in front and rest the head on the floor and hold accordingly.
The Energizer Bunny was quick to come out in defence of Jim Furyk in the wake of his US Open collapse. Furyk powered only on a 5-hour energy syrup containing caffeine, taurine and extracts of bat came to a sudden halt on the 16th hole at Olympic Club as his round ticked past the potion’s cut off of five hours for supporting human life forms.
The Energizer Bunny told reporters “I’ve been in touch with Jim to offer my sympathies. I’ve been in his situation many times myself. I remember one time in particular, when I was involved in a mass bunny drumming marathon. I was powered with ordinary zinc carbon batteries at the time and just suddenly ran out of puff. I remember it so clearly. It was heartbreaking.”
The bunny went on to say “Jim asked me about the time I was climbing the rockface. Everybody remembers that. I had gotten over the second ledge and was making a push for the summit when those cursed zinc carbon barrels of crap they had shoved up my ass failed again. I broke my pelvis in the fall. It could have been worse, my landing was cushioned by several other bunnies.
These days I’m like a new bunny. I’m powered by Energizer and just keep going on and on. I’ve recommended them to Jim but I’m not so sure he’s keen on the idea of where they need to be inserted.”