June 2012

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philmickelson_head_thumb[2]Hmmmm. Not that the cost of the aviation fuel will put much of a dent in Phil’s Greenbrier Classic appearance million but he’s heading to Scotland after seeking and getting a last minute invite. According to Scotland On Sunday newspaper:

“We got a phone call last night from Phil’s management company saying he’d very much like to play at Castle Stuart,” Scottish Open tournament director Peter Adams said. “They asked if we had any invitations left and we did. All the parties on the invitation committee were obviously unanimously in favour of Phil getting an invitation and he is a terrific addition to the field.”

I have written a book and am quite proud of the results and, in order to market the publication,
I'm asking all my golfing friends to spread the news about this essential read. This book on golf gives the reader valuable playing tips and insider information
that I have gained through my 30+ years of golfing experience.

Highlights include:

Chapter 1) How to Properly Line Up Your Fourth Putt
Chapter 2) How to Hit a Maxfli ball from the Rough When You Just Hit a Titleist from the Tee
Chapter 3)  How to Get More Distance off the Shank
Chapter 4)  When to Give the Curator the Finger
Chapter 5) Proper Excuses for Drinking Beer Before 9:00 a.m
Chapter 6) How to Find That Ball That Everyone Else Saw Go in the Water
Chapter 7) How to Relax When You Are Hitting Three off the Tee
Chapter 8) How to Relax When You Are Hitting Five off the Tee
Chapter 9) When to Suggest Major Swing Corrections to Your Opponent

The book also includes some GOLF TERMINOLOGY

Ø    A Paris Hilton - an expensive hole
Ø    A Diego Mara donna - a nasty 5 footer
Ø    A Salman Rushdie - an impossible read
Ø    A Rock Hudson - thought it was straight, but it wasn't
Ø    A Cuban - needs one more revolution
Ø    An Elton John - a big bender that lips the rim
Ø    An Adolf Hitler - two shots in the bunker
Ø    A Yasser Arafat - ugly and in the sand
Ø    A Kate Moss - bit thin
Ø    A Gerry Adams - playing a Provisional
Ø    A Rodney King - over clubbed
Ø    An O. J. Simpson - got away with it
Ø    A Princess Grace - should have taken a driver
Ø    A Princess Di - shouldn't have taken a driver
Ø    A Ladyboy - looks like an easy hole but all is not what it seems
Ø    An Elephant's arse - high and shitty
Ø    A Condom - safe but didn't feel real good
Ø    A Sister-in-law – you're up there but you know you shouldn't be
I have copies in stock but I anticipate a rush so be quick and ensure you don't miss out!

So Tiger was playing the Greenbrier Classic for the first time.  Why?  Because he was getting well paid to do it.  The whispers from my trusted sources inside the ropes on the PGA Tour say Woods got $2 million dollars to appear, while Phil Mickelson got the same $1 million as last year.  Now the fact that both missed the weekend cut has left tournament supremo Jim Justice with egg on his face.

There was even some rough justice for Justice as his employee Mickelson had to incur a one-stroke penalty on the 11th green when his ball marker fell out of his hand, hit his ball and moved it.

It’s thought the appearance money is paid by the player invoicing a business that is a sponsor or involved in the event for consultancy/personal services provided during the event.

Phil blamed feeling lethargic and putting badly whilst Tiger blamed the air for not being able to club correctly. I’m told the appearance fee was not conditional on making the weekend.

Second Round Highlights Including The Likely Lads

ochoa Former world number one and still only 30 for God sakes, Lorena Ochoa is coming back to sort out all the Korean Shins, Chois, Kims and Yoos that have taken over in her absence.  Well sort of.

The Mexican is to warm up in October at the French Open on the Ladies European Tour before playing the Lorena Ochoa Invitational on Nov. 8-11 in her hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico.

Come on back Lorena and bring Annika too.  The ladies game needs you.

Here’s what’s in GMac’s bag at the 2012 Irish Open in Royal Portrush.  Thanks to Ricky Elliot in the States for pulling strings and to Kenny Comboy for being ultra sound to me.  Hope this does it justice lads.

GMac’s Swing In Biz Hub Swing Vision Style on 18th at Royal Portrush

Guess who the guy in the pink trousers is in the background?  Answer at the end of the video.

 dr_pepperIn an apparent two fingers to the establishment 2015 U.S. Solheim Cup captain Meg Mallon has today named soft drink Dr. Pepper her first assistant captain during a news conference in the media center at Blackwolf Run.

The announcement comes as Dr. Pepper and other fizzy drinks were blasted by US health authorities for having 4,200 percent the recommended daily sugar content for the average adult and the sole reason for the country’s problem with morbid obesity.

Dr. Pepper, 46, was in tears Wednesday saying how grateful she was for this opportunity to return to the team, five years after a dog choking incident blamed on the drink. 

“I just felt it was enough,” Mallon said of the alienation of Pepper. “I’m actually also thinking of getting Big Mac and BK Flamer to become assistant captains while Heinz 57 sauce is already confirmed.



The annual Ballyliffin Pro-Am staged on the wonderful Old and Glashedy courses in Ballyliffin, Co. Donegal is the biggest of it’s kind in Europe with over 100 top PGA professionals competing with teams of amateurs over two days.

It’s one of the biggest weekends in Ireland’s golfing calender and I hope to see you there.  You never know, you might even see Sir Nickers strolling the dunes and admiring his handiwork.

To download an entry form


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: Plank pose prevents your coming out of posture swing flaw by building core strength to help golfers maintain posture and spine angle through impact.


Instruction: Begin on hands and knees, making sure the wrists are directly underneath the shoulders. Extend the legs back straight. The body should be in one straight line. Keep the fingers spread and the palms flat while pressing the forearms and hands firmly down. Keep the neck in line with the spine and broaden the shoulder blades. Draw the navel inward to engage the core abdominals and to support the lower back. Hold for 5-10 breaths.

Modification: For more of a challenge, try plank push-ups. Place the knees on the floor. Inhale as you lower slowly, elbows facing behind and tucked in tight to the side of the body. Exhale as you lift back up. Repeat push-ups 1-10 times in good form.


It’s great to get on the Tour Truck once in a while to see what the pros are using. Last week I noticed Padraig Harrington was nailing what looked like a cavity back long iron on the range and went to Phil Bonham on the Wilson Tour Truck to investigate.


Padraig was trialing a Wilson Ci 11 to use as a low trajectory long iron in links conditions. Though Wilson don’t make a 2-iron in that set, Phil took a 3-iron head, delofted it a liitle, then fixed it to Padraig’s specs. The experiment was a success and the club went straight into Harrington’s bag for tournament play.

The cavity backed black PVD covered Ci11 is classed as a control iron by Wilson and is aimed at the average player crossing over from a more forgiving beginners club to a low handicappers iron. However such is the forgiveness of these modern perimeter weighted irons, they are becoming increasingly popular in Tour player’s bags.

Expect to see Padraig’s Ci11 iron in the bag again in a few weeks at Royal Lytham.


logo-primary The Old White TPC, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
Purse: $6,100,000  

also check out my

Brendon de Jonge 44/1

Brendon_de_Jonge-1200 Needs to believe in himself a tiny bit more. De Jonge had a mare of a 77 in the final round at Congressional last week dropping him into a tie for 11. That followed a great week at the Travelers where after starting poorly he climbed the leaderboard every day to finish eighth. The Zimbabwean is the only man to finish in the top four in the first two stagings of this event so has to be respected again this week.

Jimmy Walker 55/1

Three top 10’s this year but struggling to piece four rounds together. Walker shot 68, 69 in the opening rounds at Congressional to be positioned nicely but fell way badly at the weekend. Memories of his third round 62 on this course last year are sure to perk Jimmy up however and get him into contention.

Cameron Tringale 60/1

Cam had a run of three great top 10’s in March and April but hasn’t quite hit the heights since. Shot an impressive 64 in the final round of the Travelers two weeks back to secure a top 15 but struggled at Congressional last week. Tied for second last year thanks to three very consistent 67’s.

Webb Simpson 18/1

webb simpson funny With Tiger Woods offering zero value at 5/1 (yet still highly likely to contend) the best odds of the favourites is Webb Simpson. This week’s par 70 Old White course has been toughened up immeasurably since the 2010 staging and should suit the game of the US Open champion who ranks number one in birdie average. Simpson finished just two shots off the pace here last year tying for ninth on a bunched leaderboard.

Steve Stricker 25/1

No top 10 in his last three events see Steve Stricker odds fade out to 25/1 this week. His PGA Tour stats are nothing to write home about either. BUT, I a big believer in the philosophy that certain players play well at certain times of the year, and I believe THIS is Stricker’s week. My theory is based on the fact that the John Deere Classic was in this slot last season and Stricks won there. He’s a first time on this course so you’ll have to decide over facts or philosophy.

Long Odds Glory

Stick a quid or two on two long odds shots this week that might give you a wild ride for your money.  Charles Howell at 90/1 is long odds for a tough track and Candian Matt McQuillan who is 1000/1 on betfair.


Does anyone have the copyright on a shark shape? No? Great! Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the links, Aussie Dean Lukin junior has proposed this plan for a golf course including five hole shaped like a great white shark to be built at Port Lincoln in South Australia.  We think it’s got balls and jaws!


George O’Grady and Tim Finchem are ripping mad today at the news of a new matchplay event in Antalya, Turkey to take place nine days after the Ryder Cup, and neither are involved.

The event already has the likes of Tiger, Rory, Luke Westwood, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson signed up for the $5.3 million prize pot.  It is to be called the Turkish Airways World Golf Finals and be matchplay format.  It’s all part of a huge bid to get the Olympics hosted in Turkey in 2020 with Tiger already a paid off member of the bid on a three year contract.

This year the winner will receive $1.5 million, next year this will rise to $2.5 million.  Last place will receive the $300,000 which sweetens the pot for also rans.

Chubby Chandler and ISM are the beef behind this new event chief which takes place from Tuesday to Friday, so as not interfere too much with the Portuguese Masters and the Frys.Com Open.  Except that is, to make sure that no player in the Turkey field can compete in either tournament that weekend.  Of the players invited only Martin Kaymer and Steve Stricker turned down the invitation.


2012 Open de France Alstom Betting Tips
Le Golf National, Paris. early odds on exchanges
also check out my 2012 Greenbrier Classic Tips here 

Mark Foster 50/1

Speaking to some players around the Irish Open last week, the vibe is that Mark Foster is in form and putting well enough to win. After top 20’s in Wales and Germany, Fozzie tied fifth in Portrush. That’ll stand to him this week on a course where he tied second last year to Thomas Levet.

Thorbjorn Olesen 55/1

thorbjorn[3] The other man who tied for second at Le Golf National last year was Thorbjorn Olesen. The Dane has already notched up four top-10’s this season including a breakthrough Tour win in Sicily. Thor has been solidly in the top 25 in his last three events and one to watcg this week.

Francesco Molinari 26/1

With over three million in the prize pot this week Francesco Molinari knows a win here would book him a ticket to Chicago for the Ryder Cup. The Open de Espana winner in May, Molinari top tenned in Wentworth and in Portrush either side of an Atlatic hop to the US Open. Made to a playoff here in 2010 but just lost out to Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Richard Green 75/1

The horse for the course at Le Golf National even if he disappointed when missing the cut last week at the Irish Open. The Aussie has been in the top seven here in four of the last seven stagings and tied 11th last year. Long odds but worth observing where he lies around cut time.

Richie Ramsay 75/1

Richie was in the Tour physio truck getting treatment on his shoulder last Saturday so let’s hope he’s fit to play this week. Ramsay positively sparkled for three rounds last year before a final round of 76 dropped him into a tie for fifth. Perhaps the inland links feel of the course suits his game. His season’s best is a second at the Ballantines at the end of April.

Best Of The Rest

Paul Waring returned last week after a year out with a hand injury and tied for 10th. He played well here in 2010 and those odds of 110/1 seem very generous. I was also very impressed by Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti 75/1 last week and be keenly watching his progress in Paris. England’s James Morrison 65/1 tied for 7th last year but should have finished higher. He seems to love this track to keep an eye on him to at generous odds.

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.

muffinKey Features

  • May contain saliva, cells from which could be used to clone your very own Padraig Harrington.
  • Fresh. This muffin will be fit to enjoy for at least a week before mould starts growing on it.
  • Unique piece of golfing and culinary memorabilia.
  • Comes with free half drunk bottle of Padraig Harrington’s flat Pepsi.

Interested parties should email their bids to podgesmuff@gmail.com

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!


What a story this is. Big Break Ireland’s Mark Murphy from Waterville got two European Tour exemptions as part of his prize for winning the show.  Morocco (which has past) and the 2012 Irish Open. 

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!


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.

barterizationBarterization 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 godsoon 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.”

weatherPic: God specializes in weather, but does other stuff too

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.


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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.

JeevNow 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.”

bushmills 21 year oldThe 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!


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.

coke canSo 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!

kenny comboyAnd 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.

gmac“I played with Keegan Bradley today. He said to me ‘hey people like me more here than in America’


“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"!

That’s 16!


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!

Podge On Portrush

podge 2I 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.

Podge’s Rant

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.

Podge’s Advice To Bradley

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!”

Podge’s Favourite Hole

The 12th is one of my favourite-ist holes of all time!

Podge On the Set Up

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!


CIMG7872Keep 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.

Hoey’s Three Holes To Watch

“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!”

Apologies for the truncated nature of this weeks PGA Tour tips but lets hope we can bag you a winner nonetheless.

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Tiger Woods 6/1

tiger leeThis 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%

Brian Davis 90/1

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!

Jim Furyk 21/1

jim furykTied 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.

Hunter Mahan 14/1

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.

Best Of The Rest

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.

brad celtic headcover“I’m from Cork” Bradley said.  “The People’s Republic?”, I said. “No dude, from Cork” he said.

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!!!

jose manuel lara

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.


odds on betfair
2012 Irish Open Betting Tips, Royal Portrush GC, 28 Jun 2012 - 01 Jul 2012


The news from the range and todays Pro-Am is that Michael Hoey 50/1 is playing absolutely super.  He shot 64 today (in calm conditions) and his playing partner said he could have shot 60.  Hoey's caddie Owen Craig also gave me nod so I'll be putting a sneaky fiver each way on him.

Chris Wood 32/1

chris woodHard work with Paul Mitchell in Bristol on swing changes are finally beginning to pay dividends for Chris Wood who this week is just one start shy of his 100th Tour appearance. With a best of second place behind Thorbjorn Olesen in Sicily back in April, Chris has finished in the top 25 in Wales and Sweden and  finished tied third last week in Germany. Seems to play his best on links courses.

Nicolas Colsaerts 27/1

If GMac is going to contend this week, then you can be sure that Nico Colsaerts wont be far behind him. The big Belgian has been first, second, third and fourth already this season and he looks nailed on to make his Ryder Cup debut in Chicago. That win came in the matchplay in Spain on a long course but Colsaerts has also shown a silky touch on shorter tracks. He’ll want to get that final round 76 at Olympic out of his system at Portrush.

Graeme McDowell 10/1

gmac mashed potatoes[8]Second at Arnie’s place, second at the Volvo Matchplay and second at the Olympic Club, this has to be GMac best chance of a win this season. Though he will be laden down heavily (if not smothered) with media commitments, McDowell may just find some respite in the peace his home course provides this week. Of course a win would be the dream result, but if there’s one thing we’re learning fast, GMac specializes in dreams. Mashed potatoes!!

Richard Green 100/1

One of my favourite players and possibly one  of the finest gentlemen on the Tour, Richard Green always puts in a big effort around this time of the season. He’ll be as sad as the people of Killarney that the event has moved this year, he finished second in 2011 and tied fifth in 2010. Solid in his last two starts in Sweden and Germany, watch for Green to be flying in Portrush!

Best Of The Rest

Though he won in Abu Dhabi back in January Robert Rock’s odds (now 65/1) have lengthened since. I wouldn’t be so quick to write Rock off however, I thought he played solid in his top20’s in Spain and battled hard at the PGA Championship in Wentworth to finish 21st. Rock has traditionally played well in Ireland and we know he has the game for links as he showed in his epic battle with Shane Lowry in 2009.
If you, like many, think Portrush to be a strategists course you might like to take a nibble at Thomas Levet each way from odds of 200/1.  Levet missed the cut last week in Germany but favours shorter links courses and won around this time last season in Paris. 

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!

doc in portrush

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