July 2012

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Francesco Molinari 11/1

Francesco is fifth in the European points list but only a few quid (forty grand is a few quid to these guys!) ahead of Peter Hanson who also tees it up this week. Molinari got his first win in two years in Seville in May and since this has finished second twice in France and Scotland. Tied for third in 2010 when brother Edoardo won.

Mark Foster 50/1

johnnie walkerYou have to go back to 2003 to find Fozzie’s last win on Tour (in South Africa) but he’s been in solid form again recently as we saw at the Irish Open and remains one to watch. He and Ignacio Garrido lead the field by three shots heading in the final round last year and Foster made it into a five man playoff which Thomas Bjorn ultimately won.

Ross Fisher 22/1

With the Ryder Cup on the horizon it all serves to highlight the fall of Ross Fisher who lies down at 39th in the European Tour point list. His last win came in 2010 in Killarney but four top 10’s in the month of June including a solo second at the Nordea Masters suggests Ross is close to something great. A little reminder to Ollie maybe?

Jamie Donaldson 25/1

All sorts of doors are now opening in the career of Jamie Donaldson. His seventh place at the US PGA and a WGC appearance mean more starts on the PGA Tour and even a card is a very real possibility should he want it. The Irish Open winner is a big fan of Gleneagles too having tied for sixth in 2009 and tied third in 2010.

Stephen Gallacher 40/1

Of the home contingent this week I think Stephen Gallacher and Marc Warren will give the Scottish supporters something to cheer about. I give the nod to Gallacher with solid recent form and two top eight finishes here in the last four stagings. He’s been second twice this season already in Malaysia and Dubai and will be out to impress here on home soil.

Billy Payne, Lord Protector and supreme chancellor of Augusta National is today enjoying a threesome, I mean three-ball, I mean two-ball with Augusta’s newest members Condaleeza Rice and Darla Moore.  “It’s great to finally hit back at Augusta knockers, by getting our own Augusta knockers”, said Payne.

“Besides, there is loads to be done around here.  That carpet in the Champions Locker room needs to be scrubbed thoroughly, and those windows in the Butler Cabin are covered in pigeon shit. And that’s before even getting on to all those Green Jackets that need ironing.  Everyone knows men are useless at figuring out the right setting on the iron and deciphering those stupid triangley symbols on the label.”

Asked by a reporter how did they go about choosing the first two lady members, Payne remarked “We simply put a classified ad in the Augusta Chronicle stating that we were well built with a full head of hair and liked nothing more than enjoying long walks, watching sunsets and admitting to crying at Bette Milder’s performance in Beaches”.

And apparently it wont end there as Payne went on to hint at the possibility of more women members in the future. 

"In order to get more women to be members here at Augusta we need more manpower”, said Payne adding “I’ve put in place a five man team to look into it with former Chairman Hootie Johnson at the helm.  You wont find Hootie timidly pussy footing around the subject, he and his men have the balls needed to bring some quality females in here.  And we wont have to worry about those guys taking maternity leave either. This job wont take two years to get done!”, he chuckled.

 

I said he hadn’t won in four years, I said there were others more deserving of a Captain’s pick. Hell I even said Sergio has lost his love for the game.

sergioLast night was to be his greatest test in some time, to finish off the Wyndham and prove all his doubters wrong. But then God rained on his Parade and suspended play for the play. Garcia still lead at 15 under after only four holes when the Heaven’s opened and play had to abandoned.

The Spaniard doesn’t have it all his own way though. North Carolina alumni Tim Clark, along with in form  Jason Dufner and Bud Cauley were just one back.  The delay to this tournament also has a knock on effect for the playoffs with the top 120 still unclear ahead of the first event on Thursday.

Garcia desperately wants a place on the European team, and lies 11th in the World Points List.  Ian Poulter with approx 12 points more than Garcia, is currently sitting in the last automatic qualifying place so it is very much possible that Garcia could cement his position in the team automatically with a win or even some good finishes in the lead up to the Johnny Walker Invitational after which  captain Jose Maria Olazabal makes his two Captain's picks.

Elsewhere in the US, the next generation of Tour Stars were doing battle at the US Amateur Championship.  In an epic finish Steven Fox won the last two holes, then trickled a 25 footer in for birdie after playing a 6 iron off the tee on the first extra hole to beat Michael Weaver at Cherry Hills. Weaver had had the honour on the last 30 tee boxes having not been behind all day and missed a short putt to win on the last hole.

It was a dramatic win for Fox who we will now see tee it up at the Masters, US and British Opens next year.

This week it’s The Barclays, the first event of the 2012 Playoffs and this year it has a new venue, Bethpage Black home of the 2009 US Open.  We are already guaranteed one juicy pairing with Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods currently Nos. 1 and 2 in the FedEx Cup race, traditionally playing together. it may be the first of many duels between the pair over the next few months with the Ryder Cup on the horizon as well as the announcement of a new big cash exhibition match at Jinsha Lake exhibition in China on Oct. 29th.

Is this brave or foolish or just an attempt to sell more papers?  Whatever it is, it’s yet another article, this time from The Telegraph newspaper mixing Rory McIlroy, religion and the 2016 Olympics.

mcilroy olympics Here’s a snippet and here’s the link.  I do have a few issues after!

“I’d love to win an Olympic gold medal,” McIlroy told this newspaper in 2009, when golf was accepted as part the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. In a remark that risked provoking a firestorm of sectarian sniping, the Ulsterman added: “I’d probably play for Great Britain.” To date, it was his only substantive comment on the subject of his twin allegiance to Britain and the Republic of Ireland — the vexed question that, in an Olympic context, dare not speak its name.

So sensitive is the issue of McIlroy’s national loyalties that, when an Irish tricolour was tossed in his direction after the US Open triumph at Congressional, video evidence suggested it was hastily removed by security guards. McIlroy, for his part, has not demonstrated the slightest aversion to the green, white and orange but simply an acceptance that any display of partisanship would only be provocative. “Whatever I say is going to upset someone,” he shrugged.

It is regrettable that McIlroy should be facing such a dilemma, when his second major title at the US PGA is a cause for jubilation on both sides of the Irish border. And yet he is under pressure to declare his hand for the Rio Olympics because he is Catholic. His great friend and compatriot, Graeme McDowell, is spared the same predicament as a Protestant, since it is widely expected that he will compete for Britain.

But Northern Irish Catholics tend, as boxing medallists Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan showed at London 2012, to align themselves with the Republic. Representing Britain would, at one time, have been deemed perfidious, equivalent to backing a state that they perceived as oppressive.

All very nicely written but aren’t there a few sweepers in there.  Especially the bit about GMac being spared the predicament because he’s protestant.  Is that correct?  If I recall correctly GMac said after the 2010 US Open that his Mum is Catholic, his Dad is Protestant and that he grew up Presbyterian!

And the Irish amateur boxing team, like the rugby and amateur golf team have an All Ireland system.  I doubt Billy Walsh and co give a flying monkeys what religion an amateur boxer is, as long as he’s from the island and can outpoint a Cuban.

Why cant we build a bridge and remove religion from complicating this debate for everybody, not least for Rory and GMac?

But nice try Telegraph. 

 

All credit to salacious tabloid headlines, but this one, shocking and all as it is, is 100% true, as reported by the Belfast Telegraph.

jade biscuit They even included a picture of blonde Belfast baker Jade Walsh, giving Rory head.  A Rory biscuit that is.  Easy with the teeth there love.

Jade made some cookie dough Sunday night, mixed in some curly black hair for effect and while they were in the oven at 200C for 15 minutes, got busy with her inkjet printer and scissors, to make a load of Rory face toppings.  The result, an ingenious McBiscuit.

“If you can make it past the taste of printer paper and the strands of hair getting stuck in your lips, they’re not bad”, said local postman John Crumbledon who regularly pops into Jade’s shop to deliver letters, stare at the girls and scab some free biscuits. 

 

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Setanta have acquired new exclusive content from The Golf Channel in the US. This content gives Setanta a 4 hour golf block each Monday night on Setanta Ireland. It starts from this Monday Aug 20th and a typical Monday evening will look like the below. This content is not available anywhere in the UK or Ireland and is a real positive for our viewers. The content will run for a year.

Mark MurphyPic:  Another chance to see Mark Murphy In Big Break Ireland

MONDAY NIGHT GOLF CHANNEL BLOCK

18:00 – 18:30     Golf Channel Academy

Features Hall-of-Famers Greg Norman, Annika Sorenstam and Lanny Wadkins sharing the best tips and lessons they received while playing professional golf.

18:30 – 19:00     Golf Central

From the Golf Channel, Golf Central is the best round-up of daily news stories from the US and around the world including unique interviews and analysis.

19:00 – 19:30     Being John Daly

From the Golf Channel, we get an insight to the games most colourful character.  Each episode follows John’s daily trials, tribulations and triumphs.

19:30 – 20:30     Big Break Ireland The K Club

Episode 1: 12 golfers head to Ireland in search of an $80,000 pot of gold and two Tour exemptions. All their skills and their confidence will be put to the test.

20:30 – 21:30     Feherty

From the Golf Channel, David Feherty interviews some legends of the game and gets rare and witty insights. Tonight, it’s Greame McDowell’s turn.

21:30 – 22:00     The Haney Project -  Ray Romano

Hank Haney, former coach to Tiger Woods, spends a series grappling with improving the golf game of comedian Ray Romano.

One hundred years after his birth and the legend that is Ben Hogan is stronger than ever.  Here’s the curious story of how Hogan always signed Masters Flags in EXACTLY the same place.  If you see one signed somewhere other than shown in the video below, it’s a fake!  Click to 43 seconds into the video below.

Carl Pettersson 20/1

carlThe Swede has already has a win and second on Tour this year at the PBC Heritage and Houston Open respectively but he’ll be targeting the putting contest that this tournament will inevitably be this week. With a top-30 at the Open and the WGC Bridgestone and a fine performance at last weeks PGA Championship, Pettersson brings decent form back to the site of his win in 2008 and his tied fourth last year.

Webb Simpson 12/1

The US Open winner is a native of nearby Raleigh and still lives there. He also top 10’d here in 2010 on his first appearance. Sedgefield is the perfect PGA Championship antidote ranking perennially as the easiest par 70 on the PGA Tour. From 12 rounds at the venue Simpson has shot 11 under 67!

Brandt Snedeker 22/1

Sned won this event inn 2007 the final year it was held at Forest Oaks but remains one to watch this week. Tied third at The Open with a super putting display and ranks fifth on the PGA stats for strokes gained putting. Top 10’s at Sedgefield in 2009 and 2010 add to Brandt’s credentials heading into this week.

John Mallinger 66/1

Got himself into contention at the AT&T a few weeks back before a poor final round saw him drop down to 11th. Bounced back at the lower order Reno Tahoe Open with a fourth under modified stableford scoring. Mallinger has a best of tied third here in 2010 when Arjun Atwal took the title.

Best Of The Rest

Argentina’s Andres Romero 66/1 has been bleeping on my radar recently. He came close to winning at The Memorial at the beginning of June and again two weeks back at the Reno Tahoe Open. A great putter on his day and long overdue a win. Last but not least keep an eye on former K Club Ryder Cupper JJ Henry who got his win in Reno and tied fourth here in 2008.

The European Tour has had Asian events in the calendar for years. Last season for instance they ducked out to Malaysia the week after the Masters, jumped to China the following week and on to Korea to complete the €6 million three week stint. It’s a Star Trek like odyssey that takes the Tour far from home and around the golfing galaxy in a quest for survival.

clip_image001

Throw in the heretofore unsanctioned Lake Malaren Masters in Shanghai (which I’ll come back to later), the World Cup in China in late November, and the last chance for Santy money in Hong Kong before Christmas and it’s easy to see where both the money and the burgeoning golf market is at.

Even though it’s far from our shores, you have to credit George O’Grady for doing a ‘Captain Picard’ in Star Trek, and seeking out new life, new golfing civilizations and boldy going where no Tour has gone before.

Okay it’s not very palatable for us to wake up on Sunday morning and switch on the telly at 7am only to watch the last putt of the tournament in China but Asia is where it’s at. If the European Tour hadn’t spread it’s tentacles beyond mainland Europe and into Africa and Asia, the reality is it would be a no more than a mere satellite of the PGA Tour or worse still, dead Jim.

But lest George O’Grady and his crew of this Enterprise think they own Asia, be warned, they are not alone. Arch nemesis PGA Tour overlord Tim Finchem of they Klingon Empire have decloaked and swooped in announcing that from 2013 the CIMB Classic held in Malaysia will become an Official Money Event on the PGA TOUR and be part of the FedEx Cup. But that’s not the best bit, the prize pot is expected to be $7 million to be played for by only 78 players. Set your phasers to be stunned at the news that prize money is the equivalent of approximately four European Tour events without even counting the complicated appearance money doled out to the likes of Tiger Woods who will front the event.

This first salvo in this war to end wars will be fired on October 25th when the PGA Tour will stage that CIMB Classic at the Mines Resort, while on the same day the European Tour will be at the €7 million BMW Masters at Lake Malaren in Shanghai which we mentioned earlier.

Set a course for the money galaxy, warp factor 10. Engage! And all the while we will be wondering will they ever come back home?

Here’s what Italian ace Francesco Molinari is gaming this season.  I’m away from the office this week but promise a sexy what’s in the bag graphic update on this in the near future.  In the meantime here’s the pic and all the info for you gear buts to get your teeth into!

Profile

clip_image002Full name Francesco Molinari

Nationality Italy

Born 8 November 1982 (age 29)

Height 5 ft 8 in

Weight 11.3 st

Residence Turin, Italy

Spouse Valentina (m. 2007)

Children Tommaso

Turned professional 2004

Professional wins 5

European Tour wins 3

What’s In The Bag

Driver: Nike VRs 9.5º with Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 7.0 shaft

3 Wood: Nike VR pro Ltd Edition 15º with Aldila RIP 70 x-stiff shaft

Hybrid: Nike VR pro 2, 18º with Fubuki 450 ct shaft

Irons 3-PW: Nike VR II pro with Dynamic Gold Tour shaft

Wedges: Nike 52, 58º

Putter: Nike Method Core prototype

And check out the West Ham  putter cover!

 

Press release alert
phelps Recently crowned the most decorated Olympian in history with an astonishing 22 career Olympic medals, U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has plans for the next stage of his career: to play the world’s greatest golf courses and improve his golf game under the watchful eye of Golf Channel’s Hank Haney.
The Haney Project will chronicle Phelps’ attempts to improve his game from tee-to-green with the guidance of Tiger Woods’ former swing coach when the hit original series returns for a fifth season on Golf Channel – television’s fastest-growing network among those servicing more than 80 million homes – in February 2013. The announcement was made today by Phelps and Mike McCarley, President, Golf Channel.

Brian Keogh wrote today about Michael Hoey’s decision to alert officials to a possible rules breach (he remembered at dinner!) and ultimately DQ himself from the US PGA Championship after shooting one of the rounds of the day 70.

michael hoey“About 8.20 after dinner, I went straight up to the club after calling my coach and caddy to make sure I had things right,” Hoey said last night. “I was just re-living the hole as I’d sunk a really long putt for par. As soon as I realised what had happened, I went to the club.”

Full story here

Aw who wants to rehash what someone else has gone to all that trouble to do anyway? Especially when they’re employed by the PGA of America.

2012_PGA_LOGOHere’s a snippet and

Carl Pettersson –

The Unfortunate First Round Leader who from now on will have a target on his t-shirt.

Carl Pettersson had never broken 70 in seven PGA Championship appearances. Until Thursday, that is, and the 66 he shot gave him the lead at the 94th renewal of the season’s final major.

Pettersson was extremely solid in the first round, hitting all but two fairways and 15 greens in regulation. The 34-year-old Swede birdied three of his first four holes, didn’t make a bogey all day and had eight one-putts among his 28 total strokes on the green.

Rory McIlroy -

Talking about platforms or Olympic diving or something.  The opening sentence could be straight from a novel.

Rory McIlroy has seen the forecast. So he knew gusty winds and thund erstorms are just on the horizon.

"It’s just something that you’re going to have to deal with and I’m just happy that I got off to a great start," the young Northern Irishman said. "I have a great platform to go from."

He does, indeed. McIlroy will likely start the second round of the 94th PGA Championship one shot off the lead held by Carl Pettersson. He was extremely steady on Thursday, hitting 10 fairways and 15 greens while making his way around the Ocean Course bogey-free.

Keegan Bradley-

Staring down a putt like Robert deNiro in Goodfellas

Keegan Bradley had an anxious moment on Tuesday as he was playing a practice round with Phil Mickelson.

He heard a ping as the two were walking down the fairway and realized part of his putter had fallen off.

"It’s a miracle it didn’t happen on Sunday," Bradley said, thinking back to his come-from-behind victory at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. “ I’m thankful that it didn’t happen on Sunday or today.
"But Odyssey made me a putter that’s exactly the same. It feels great. It’s my old shaft in there. No worries at all. It’s amazing, with my old shaft, it looks the exact same, there’s no difference."

Tiger Woods-

Lurking like a Tiger in some Wooded Area

Tiger Woods didn’t have to look far to see what he needed to do,

His playing partner, Keegan Bradley, was 3 under after playing just two holes on the Ocean Course on Thursday. With the breezes off the Atlantic likely the most gentle the players will see this week during the 94th PGA Championship the morning starters like Woods and Bradley knew they needed to take advantage.

Woods did just that, too — making six birdies, including three straight as he made the turn, and dropping just three strokes to par.  So he’s three off the pace being set by Carl Pettersson – and glad to be finished as the wind finally began to blow.

"Well, I mean, geez, I’m playing with Keegan and he’s 3 under through two, and you look up on the board, some guys 4 under through six; a bunch of guys 3 under through five; a couple of them were 3 under through three," Woods recalled.

rainThunder, lightning, torrential rain. That’s the forecast all week at Kiawah where the changeable weather has played havoc with practice rounds. Now Kerry Haigh, the guy in charge of course set-ups for the PGA of America hinted that he might set the course up shorter than its full yardage, to compensate for the conditions.

“The rain is certainly one part of the unique characteristics of playing right on the ocean. The weather is a very important part of what we’ll be looking at all week,” Haigh said referring to the course set-up

All the weather predicting sites suggest at least a 50 percent chance of rain including thunderstorms every day of the event.

Now everybody in golf knows there’s a waiting list among the senior players to become Ryder Cup Captain with the likes of Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn and Darren Clarke all patiently waiting their turn.

colin montgomerie funny pic[3]But on Tuesday in Scotland, Colin Montgomerie complicated matters by stating he would again captain the European side if asked when the Ryder Cup heads to Gleneagles in 2014.

. “If the European Tour wants me to be captain, I will be.,Monty told a UK magazine

The Scot even quoted the precedent for being Captain more than once, “If you go back to the days of Jacklin and  Gallacher, yes, there’s an opportunity to do it again. And I don’t think the rules have changed.”

Thanks to Jimmy Hanby for telling me about Ryan Ballangee’s story about naughty goings on at Tam O’Shanter Club in the USA.

naked golfer Being a member of a country club has its benefits, but usually has nothing to do with a man’s member – that is, unless you allegedly belong to Tam O’Shanter Golf Club on Long Island.

The club has been slapped with an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint, in which a former employee accused the club of hiring prostitutes and strippers to entertain male members during a tournament, then banning staffers from telling the members’ wives about the fiasco.

Former bartender Justin Williams said the tournament would feature a different stripper on each hole, then make prostitutes available afterward for sexual activities in various parts of the clubhouse. Female employees were asked to go home before the extracurricular – and, likely, extramarital – stuff started.

Williams claims to the New York Post he was also subject to sexual harassment from a male dishwasher and asked to disguise lower-grade booze as top-shelf liquor for sale.

The club denied comment to the paper.

Now, as usual, the most important point is being completely missed here.  And that is, does Tam O’Shanter accept Irish members? And what is the fee?  And when exactly will the strippers etc be there?

 

I’m finding it hard to believe that Jason Dufner would make a spat with Rickie Fowler public, especially via the medium of Twitter.  But unless Duff’s account has been hacked or he’s pre-arranged this little stunt with Rickie to increase his social media following it looks pretty damming.  Here are a selection of the tweets.

coneAs if to top it all off, there’s a retweet taking the mick out of Rickie’s Sunday orange in there too.

@JasonDufner @RickieFowlerPGA looking for his ball in the hedge during his second round +10 over par pic.twitter.com/hfg89hHP

More on this as it emerges!

Update at Ryder Cup 2012

DRIVER:Cleveland Classic 290 (9°) with a Miyazaki Kusala Indigo 61X shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Cleveland Launcher (14°) with a Kusala Black 83X shaft
HYBRIDS: Cleveland DST 2i (18°) with a Project X HB2 shaft, Cleveland Mashie Hybrid 3i (20.5°) with a Miyazaki C.Kua Hybrid 83X shaft
IRONS: Cleveland CG7 Tour (4-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
WEDGES: Cleveland 588 Forged (54°, 58°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey Sabertooth belly
BALL: Srixon Z-Star prototype


Congrats to Keegan no his WGC win. Here’s what’s in his bag heading into the 2012 US PGA Championship.  With thanks to Keegan and caddie Pepsi.

DRIVER: Cleveland Classic 290 (9°) with a Miyazaki Kusala Indigo 61X shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Cleveland Launcher (14°) with a Kusala Black 83X shaft
HYBRIDS: Cleveland DST 2i (18°) with a Project X HB2 shaft, Cleveland Mashie Hybrid 3i (20.5°) with a Miyazaki C.Kua Hybrid 83X shaft
IRONS: Cleveland CG7 Tour (4-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
WEDGES: Cleveland 588 Forged (54°, 58°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey Sabertooth belly
BALL: Srixon Z-Star prototype

Kiawah Island Resort (Ocean), Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Purse: $8,000,000

pga looney tunes tips

Charl Schwartzel 55/1

charl Call me crazy but I have a feeling Charl Schwartzel could do well this week. His odds have lengthened considerably seeing as he hasn’t even scored a top 10 since Malaysia back in April and is without a win since the Masters last year. However his 28th place finish last week at the WGC was an exhibition of seven birdies and no dropped shots. Charl found something on the practice ground and I bet he’s excited about this week. If you believe in gut feelings have a flutter on this one.

Jason Dufner 28/1

Jason-Dufner-007 Wins at the Zurich Classic and Byron Nelson backed up by a tied fourth at the US Open and another top 10 last week at the WGC make Jason Dufner one of the favourites this week. With that trademark hangdog expression, he has the temperament for Majors and this season it seems he has the game to match. The PGA Championship seems to be Duffs Major of choice too having tied fifth at Whistling Straits in 2010 and then just losing out to Keegan Bradley last year after a three hole aggregate playoff at Atlanta Athletic Club.

Dustin Johnson 28/1

dustin If Kiawah Island conditions turn out to be as wild as expected, then my go to man is Dustin Johnson. I followed his progress closely at The Open and was very impressed with his patience and ball striking stats. Has the physical ability to muscle the ball around this mammoth setup and after suffering that cruel loss in 2010 a win here would be golfing justice. DJ wont have to worry about grounding his club in a bunker here either; all sand has been declared waste areas.

Louis Oosthuizen 35/1

louis  Louis has been my “go-to” man in the Major’s this year and after coming second at 95/1 in The Masters, he certainly doesn’t the punters anything. Played super last week in Akron to finish fourth and traditionally when Louis plays well one week, he follows it up the following week. That’s what happened in the Malaysian Open after the Masters and at the tail end of last season where he had consecutive top-10’s.

Matt Kuchar 40/1

kuchOf the four Majors since 2010, Matt Kuchar has had a top 10 finish in all of them. Pre 2010 he only ever made one Major cut! Such is the progression of Kuch that he’s almost a banker these days to contend. Tied third at The Masters this year and won the “fifth” Major at TPC Sawgrass but the wait goes on for top honours. Showed good form last week at the WGC and I’m convinced the win will come.

Best Of The Rest

Graeme McDowell 35/1

gmac If it’s “wind” you’re after, you need one of two things, baked beans or Graeme McDowell. Discount the fact that GMac has only only top-10 from eight PGA Championship appearances and you have arguably one of the most consistent Major performers this year. Tied for second at the US Open and tied for fifth at the British, you have to believe that if GMac keeps putting himself in position the win will come.

Do not discount the US Open champion and new Dad Webb Simpson 40/1. Though he hasn’t played since the Greenbrier where incidentally he should have finished much higher than seventh, he is certainly one to watch come Friday evening and cut time.

 

 

The European Tour has had Asian events in the calendar for years but now Tim Finchem and the PGA Tour have swooped in, in some style announcing that from 2013 the CIMB Classic held in Malaysia will become an Official Money Event on the PGA TOUR and  be part of the FedEx Cup. But that’s not the best bit, the prize pot is expected to be $7 million to be played for by only 78 players.

Seven mill even divided by 78 is nearly 90,000 bucks so it’s massive money for a limited field. But it’s Asia, and that’s where the money is!

This year’s CIMB Classic will start on October 25th at the Mines Resort and golf club and feature Tiger Woods along with defending champion Bo Van Pelt.

 

usain The final round of the WGC Bridgestone has been moved forward today because of the threat of “bad weather” according to the PGA Tour.  The leaders are now due off at 10am Eastern or 2pm GMT.

It has absolutely nothing to do with getting finished before pretty every TV viewer in the world switches over to watch the Olympic 100 Metres final takes place at London 2012.

Although come to think of it the PGA meteorologist did say there may be a BOLT of lightning!

Third Round Highlights 2012 WGC Bridgestone

The pairings are out for next week’s PGA Championship! Padraig Harrington is grouped with Davis Love and a man that might be looking for a Captain’s pick for pga2012the Ryder Cup, Phil Mickelson. All three are former Champs.
As are other groupings including Shaun Micheel, David Toms, and John Daly and Y.E. Yang, Rich Beem, and Vijay Singh. The past winners grouping that grabs most attention however is Tiger Woods with Keegan Bradley and Martin Kaymer.
Two spots are left for the winners of the  Bridgestone Invitational and Reno-Tahoe Open. If the winner has already qualified, Will McGirt gets in.  Best of luck too to Marty Jertson, our fountain of knowledge when it comes to all things “Ping” at the PGA Show each January. Marty tees it up with Ben Crane and Thongchai Jaidee.

2012 PGA Championship Tee Times and Pairings

An ad for Bridgestone Tyres which appears before every golf highlights package on PGATour.com featuring basketball player Tim Duncan and a child strapped into a car seat was “more interesting than the golf highlights from the Bridgestone Invitational” according to lifelong golf fan Paul Radzowski from New York.

“I find myself just clicking on the PGATour.com highlights button now just to watch Tim Duncan bouncing a basketball filled with ‘Taurenza Technology’ that doesn’t make a sound compared to an ordinary basketball when bounced off a hard surface” Radzowski, 53, declared adding “Then this white guy called Steve Nash comes in and carries out the ‘sleeping baby test’ by bouncing the silent basketball around a baby in a car seat, all to the astonishment of an extremely beautiful presenter with a slightly funny nose. It’s hilarious!”

PGA Tour supreme leader Tim Finchem was quick in his condemnation of the advert today.  In a statement Finchem said “Obviously we want the pre highlights commercials to be as boring as possible so the public will feel almost grateful they are over.  I’m talking insurance and erection pills ads here.  I’ll do what I can to pull this off, excuse the pun, and get our super annoying Cialis pills commercial reinstated.” 

 

A film about a crass, ignorant, insensitive loud mouthed and ridiculous looking character is unlikely to topple “Ted” at the box office this weekend, according to top US films critics Ben and Jerry.

donald-trump-bad-hair-day “You’ve Been Trumped” is the non golfing, golf story of Donald Trump, his hair and Scotland. The film is loosely based on ‘Brokeback Mountain’ in that it charts the unlikely relationship and ultimately uncomfortable love scene between billionaire tycoon Donald Trump and a local farmer whose property Trump describes as “slum like, it’s disgusting, he’s got stuff thrown all over the place, he lives like a pig.”

Not to give away the twist at the ending, but let’s just say one of the main characters “squeals like a pig” at the end.

You’ve Been Trumped stars Donald Trump as himself, Hugh Grant as the angry Scottish farmer/lover and Dame Helen Mirren as the woman who comes running out of her house saying “everything’s falling off the shelves”.

 

In the build to today’s WGC Bridgestone invitational, Adam Scott revealed he has been in touch with Ernie Els via text message since The Open. Here is the conversation.

text_messaging1Ernie: Wht u at?

Adam: Nothin. In Bahamas. Where u?

E: London. Pissing rain. Whre did u get ur shades? Thinkin of gettin pair?

A: Got them on wiggle. Try amazon 1st tho. Allenby says they 20 quid cheaper.

E: U going to Akron? Need lift? Thinkin of bringin plane.

A: Cant afford. Got Ryanair deal but they chargin £60 extra for putter.

E: They shud be banned.

A: Ya, hate Ryanair. Robbin bastards.

E: Rofl, long putters I mean!

Have you been to college?  Do you own a BMW? Do you owe the bank nothing?

brazil beach volleyballWell then you may just be clever enough to dream up a format for Golf at the 2016 Olympics.  Four years out and the organizers haven’t got the first clue of the format or the field.  And speaking of fields that’s exactly what the course looks like at the moment.

The International Olympic Committee are offering a sleeve of Titleist Pro-V1’s and absolutely no recognition ever for the winning entry.

Here’s Geoff Shackleford’s vision for the Olympic Golf Tournament, which, in the absence of an alternative involving the Brazilian women’s beach volleyball team, remains my favourite.

Give me a break golf websites.  How unimaginative do you have to be to start trawling through player rankings and rules that haven’t even been finalised yet (the IOC have a decision pending which should restrict each team to four competitors) to come with a story of who would be in the golf event at the 2016 Olympics if it was today and not in 1,460 odd days time?

What I think is even more interesting is the way this reporter has gone to so much trouble with his numbers yet fails to decide whether Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell will be representing team GB or Ireland.  Furthermore that same choice doesn’t seem to have extended to three time winner in the last 16 months Michael Hoey at 105 in the World and gets completely left out of the 60 man field which stretches all the way down to World Number 334. Espen Kofstad of Norway!

There’s nothing like preparing a hypothetical list arseways!

   

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Gossip from inside Kiawah Island ahead of next week’s PGA Championship is that Tiger Woods put in a serious session on The Ocean Course before jetting off for kiawah-island-golf-resort Akron. Also in town on Monday and Tuesday were several others in the field including GMac and Adam Scott.

Woods is the bookies favourite to bag his first Major in four years at 9/2.  The value however seems to be with McDowell who contended late into the US and British Opens at 33/1.

Tiger is paired with South African Branden Grace in the opening rounds at Firestone, both men having won three times on their respective Tours already this season.  If their battle is anything like that played out by Michael Phelps and Chad le Clos in the Olympic swimming pool, it should be a corker!

 

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Golf Benefit: Boat pose works on building core strength so golfers can maintain posture thus creating a more consistent swing which in turn leads to more consistent shots.

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Instruction: Come to a seated position on your mat. Bend the knees keeping the soles of the feet flat on the mat. Bring both arms in behind the knees as you straighten up the spine and tighten up the core abdominal muscles. Lean back and balance on the sit bones, ensuring to keep the back straight. Any rounding of the back or slumping of the shoulders will result in the core strength being lost. Once you are balanced extend both legs out keeping a bend in the knees, calves parallel with the floor for a half-boat, suitable for beginners. Bring the arms out straight in line with the shoulders, palms facing each other. Hold for 5-10 breaths.

For a more challenging full boat pose, work to straighten the legs bringing the body into a ‘V’ shape. Ensure that the chest stays open and the back stays straight. Hold 5-10 breaths.

 

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

 

It’s a PGA Tour event where the highest score wins, not the lowest score. Wtf?  I don't understand.

Modified Stableford Scoring will be in use this week, supposedly to entice more viewers away from the WGC Bridgestone invitational which has taken many of the big names with it.

How It Works

You get points for your score on each hole

• Albatros: 8 points
• Eagle: 5 points
• Birdie: 2 points
• Par: 0 points
• Bogey: -1 point
• Double Bogey: -3 points

If you do a Kevin Na and get worse than double bogey it’s no problem; it’s just –3 points, put the ball in your pocket and meet you on the next tee.

 

The format is designed to encourage players to take risks and go for everything.  Theoretically a player with bogeys mixed in with lots of birdies and the odd eagle who normally would not win, could come out on top in this format.

The big name players at the event include Padraig Harrington and John Daly.

Golf writers of the past were certainly looked after a damn better than today’s!  This is the apartment of American golf scribe George Peper, overlooking the st andrews apt 18th fairway on the Old Course in St Andrews. And it’s up for sale with a guide price of £1.5 million.

There’s two-bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, sitting room and one helluva view.

Due to be sold tomorrow.  Now where to get a mortgage?

 

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Firestone CC (South Course) - Akron, OH, USA, early odds from betfair.

Winner Alright: Last week we tipped both Bernd Wiesberger (19/1) and Scott Piercy (75/1) to victory

Adam Scott 19/1

adam_scott_img_02 Shot a 62 in the first round here last year and never really looked back. This is where caddie Stevie Williams declared himself “a great front runner”, which came back to haunt him at Lytham a few weeks back. I’m one of the people who didn’t think Scott blew up at The Open and predict another strong showing here. Third and second in his last two starts, Scott’s not far away.

 

Hunter Mahan 38/1

Hunter-Mahan-Colonial[4] Hunter would break your heart if you had shares in him as logic and stats suggest he should figure more foten than he actually does. Fourth in total driving (distance and accuracy) is a big advantage on this mammoth 7,400 yard par 70 as is Hunter’s standing of third in the greens in regulation stats. Three top 10’s in his five stars at Akron including a win in 2010 coupled with decent recent form give Hunter a shout for my money.

 

Tiger Woods 7/1

TigerShhhh Adopted a tactic of laying well back from the bunkers at the Open and came third. But Tiger will need his driver on full power this week if he is to have any chance to contend. Discount last years poor performance here; Tiger was out from May to August and look more to the seven Firestone wins from 1999 to 2009. If Tiger gets back to his billing as ranking third in total driving, it’s hard to see past him.

 

Luke Donald 18/1

luke_299x246 Shot 64, 66 at the weekend last year to tie for second with Rickie Fowler; Donald’s best finish at a venue which theoretically should not be suited to his game. The BMW PGA Championship was lightly raced coming into Lytham having taken five weeks off before playing the Scottish Open, yet snuck into a top five finish. The Englishman will be buoyed up for this week and I can tell you now, he WILL be one of my five picks for the US PGA Championship.

 

Bubba Watson 32/1

bubba Bubba continued to excite his fans with some extreme shot making at Lytham where I considered him a little unlucky to finish 23rd. The Masters champ showed good form in finishing second at The Travelers at the end of June, a result he matched at the WGC Cadillac Championship earlier in the year. The longest driver on Tour and surprisingly accurate, if Bubba is in the mood, he could win this week.

 

Best Of The Rest

It’s only Bo Van Pelt’s 65/1 third appearance in Akron and he’s played well to date. Tied for third in 2010 and top 25 last year, Van Pelt ranks eighth in total driving and was second to Tiger Woods at Congressional recently. Played well in Canada last week also and certainly worth an each way wager.

 

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