September 2012

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Very interesting if “blink and you will miss it” moment during the Tiger Woods versus Rory McIlroy match in China today.

rory tiger china match While many say Rory is bound to move to Nike when his Titleist contract expires at the end of the season, others are not convinced.

Today however Tiger and Rory were fitted with microphones and they talked equipment. After hitting off the fourth, McIlroy took Tiger’s Nike iron and had a couple of practice swings with it. Tiger also told Rory about the Nike golf ball and the technical aspects of the spin rates.



WGC - HSBC Champions, Mission Hills GC
Shenzhen, China 01 Nov 2012 - 04 Nov 2012

Luke Donald 12/1

Did we see Luke flexing those putting muscles again in Shanghai last week? I think we did. It’s hard to fathom how Donald keeps up with the power hitters of the modern game, then you look at his form; third at the Tour Championship, third again last week. Topping scrambling and putting stats you just know he’ll be in contention every step of the way this week. A best of tied third at the HSBC Champions in 2010. This 7,300 yard Mission Hills course should be well within his compass.  

Louis Oosthuizen 23/1

Although Louis couldn’t match the firepower of Hanson and McIlroy in Shanghai last week his tied sixth cameo was enough to make me sit up and take notice. A renowned late season performer Oosthuizen played well in this event last year (at Sheshan), especially on the Friday when a 63 catapulted him into contention. In the end he tied for seventh. I give Louis a great chance.

Ian Poulter 20/1

Ian made us some money last with his fourth place finish from 28/1 in Shanghai and expect another good performance this week. As we said last week two of his eight wins have come in Asia and he has tied for 13th in this event on his last two visits. Poults will be absolutely delighted the tournament is moving to Mission Hills; in it’s three years as host of the World Cup from 2007 to 2009 Poulter represented England on each occasion, never finishing outside the top four.  Poults was paired with Justin Rose in 2007 and 2008 and with Ross Fisher in 2009. 
hsbc tips pic

Adam Scott 22/1

You won’t find Adam Scott’s name in the top 10 from last year but the facts are that for three days last year he played all the golf before a Sunday 73 dropped him into a tie for 11th. Though without a win in 2012 and under heavy scrutiny from the media for his Open performance I still think two top 7’s in the PGA Tour playoffs make Scott a very backable player this week on these true Mission Hills greens suited to the long putter. Until they’re banned that is.

Lee Westwood 19/1

A very similar story to that of Adam Scott last year in that his final standing of tied 13th was due to a move in the wrong direction with a final round 74. Westwood may not be the force he was a couple of years back when he and Francesco Molinari battled it out but last Sunday’s 66 in Shanghai proves he still has the class. Tight odds but the bookies know what they are doing.

Best Of The Rest

Graeme McDowell was a solid and efficient third  last year and was a steady 11th last week. He can be got at odds of around 32/1 on betfair. GMac and Rory played together on this track for Ireland in the 2009 Omega Mission Hills World Cup tying for second behind brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari.  Indeed they should have won but for a poor final day. It's a straight drivers course and should suit a refreshed GMac more than Sheshan.

Those looking for some long odds glory might again look to Scott Richie Ramsay who has drifted to 100/1 after struggling badly in China last week. He remains one to watch for me though having already tied third in 2010. If he’s in the mood he can steamroller the rest as we saw in Switzerland last month. Thaworn Wiratchant, the man who beat Ramsay in a playoff in India two weeks ago is 240/1 on betfair! Take your pick.

Past Top 10 Results

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

Apparently clever people in Scotland came with a new design that Trump immediately took too. Each blade now features a 40 foot portrait of The Apprentice star. It’s thought the hot air created in each head will greatly boost the energy output.

Donald said today “I love wind turbines, especially these ones.  They are really super to look at. And hey who needs seagulls anyway? All they do is crap on people. And all that stuff about them being noisy, I just made that up.  Everybody knows you cant hear anything other than the sound of rain beating against your face when golfing in Scotland.  As for the new turbines, I’ve commissioned one hundred of these beauties.

More as it emerges.

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Graeme McDowell has waded in the debate over whether he and Rory McIlroy should represent Team GB or Ireland at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

In Shanghai yesterday McDowell says he and McIlroy "have one foot on each team" and said the IOC should step in and say "you guys are either playing for Ireland or you're playing for Great Britain."

1gmac top gun[4]

Update 7th February

Don’t forget you can browse and buy all Rory’s clubs new and pre-owned on 
DRIVER Nike VR_S Covert Tour (9.5°) with a Mitsubishi Diamana X 70 shaft 
FAIRWAY METALS Nike VR Limited Edition (15°, 19°) with Fujikura Rombex X shafts 
IRONS Nike VR Pro Blades (three-PW) with Project X 6.5 shafts 
WEDGES Nike VR Pro (54°, 60°) with Project X 6.5 shafts 
PUTTER Nike Method 006 prototype and Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport GSS prototype 
BALL Nike 20XI-X 

Update 14th January:
It's official!  Rory has indicated his bag set up for the season opener in Abu Dhabi is to be
DRIVER: Nike VR_S Covert  set 10.5° and Neutral with Mitsubishi Diamana 70x shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: Nike VR Limited Edition (15°, 19°)
IRONS: Nike VR Pro Blades (3-PW)
WEDGES: Nike VR Pro (54°, 60°)
PUTTER: Nike Method 006 prototype
BALL: Nike 20XI x
Rory also contractually retains the right to use his Scotty cameron putter.

 Update 10 January 2013
These are the first pics of Rory’s actual Nike equipment for 2013.  Taken at The Els Club in Dubai where Rory was practicing. 
Thanks to David Voller who happened to be walking past and snapped a pic of Rory’s new Nike clubs and there, pride of place was his trusty Scotty Cameron headcover. Notice also though the Swoosh putter headcover of the Nike Method 006 Prototype in there too.
There are 15 clubs in the bag shown.  Along with the Nike VR II Pro blades, it looks like Rors is also going to choose between a Pro Combo cavity back long iron, a 3 and 5 fairway wood. Also there are 46, 50 and 54 “Rors” stamped wedges.  The Nike Covert driver is also in the bag.
I’ve been doing Rory’s what’s in the bag since he turned pro so am really delighted to have got the first look at this.

Rory Mock UpNike will officially unveil Rory McIlroy as their staffer on the Monday 14th January  at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship where both Rory and Tiger Woods are in the field.

Rory's bag is set to include
(shafts to be confirmed)

Driver:  Nike VR_S Covert 9.5-degree
Fairway Woods:  Nike VR Pro Limited Edition 3-wood/15-degree, 5-Wood or Nike VR Pro Cavity Back Long Irons
Irons:  VR Pro II Blades (3-9) with Project X 7.0 shafts
Wedges: Nike VR Pro (46°, 54°, 60°) with Project X 7.0 shafts
Ball: Nike 20XI X
Putter: Nike Method 006 prototype with option of Titleist Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport GSS prototype
Apparel:  Nike Golf Tour Performance
Footwear:  Nike Lunar Control II

golfbidderThe 2013 has come too soon for Nike to develop a Rory range.   I’ve shown his old and new clubs in direct comparison.
To purchase any of the clubs below new or pre-owned click here to visit the Golfbidder website
Rory’s Old Clubs Rory's Nike Alternative
DRIVER: Titleist 913D3 (8.5°) with a (Mitsubishi Diamana Prototype 70X), C•2 SureFit Tour setting
DRIVER: Nike VR_S Covert

FAIRWAY WOODS: Titleist 913FD (13.5°, 18°) with Fujikura ZCom Pro 95 shafts
913 fd
FAIRWAY WOODS: Nike VR Pro Limited Edition 3 and 5 Wood
IRONS: Titleist 712MB (3-9) with Project X 7.0 shafts
712 mb forged
IRONS: VR Pro II Blades
woods irons

WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design (46°, 54°, 60°) with Project X 6.5 shafts
WEDGES: Nike VR Pro Wedges

PUTTER: Titleist Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport GSS prototype
PUTTER: Titleist Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport GSS prototype or Nike Method 006 Prototype.

Both are shown in the picture above.
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x
 pro v1x
BALL: Nike 20XI X

An excerpt from Darren Clarke’s autobiography appears on today’s Telegraph. It’s a good read detailing big D’s struggles with his temper, how he took a personality test and his penchant for flittering away money. Here’s a tiny bit.

ClarkePorsche_2374122b As Butch Harmon once said to me, ‘You don’t see any hearses pulling a safe’. Well, you’re definitely not going to see mine pulling one. Sometimes I’m generous to the point of stupidity, but I get great enjoyment from it. I’ve always done it and for nobody more than my family. I like to share a bit of happiness and that’s why I employ all my family.

One thing that has been a constant throughout my career and for most of my life is that when it comes to shopping and spending, I have few rivals. My excesses often have to be seen to be believed.

If I said I once bought 60 pairs of Calvin Klein underpants, would you believe me? Didn’t think so, but I did. Or 40 pairs of trousers on the same day from the same shop? Yes, I did. Or thirty belts? Yes, that’s me. I’ve had 15 Ferraris, three Lamborghinis and an assortment of Jags, Bentleys, Mercedes, BMWs and Porsches. The most cars I’ve ever had at once was seven and I’ll admit that was a little excessive. I’m more sensible now.

The lifestyle I’ve had, I dreamed about as a kid, even though there was nothing wrong with the modest lifestyle I had growing up. My dreams were big not small because I have always felt that if you don’t aim high enough, you will invariably come up short.

This may take some believing, but I’ve never known how much money I’ve had in the bank, although occasionally I’ve known how little there was when Chubby’s said, ‘For heaven’s sake, Darren, stop spending’.

My greatest extravagance was the private jet I owned with Lee [Westwood]. It cost us something like $12 million, with annual running costs of $2 million, and we had it for about 10 years. The running costs were ridiculous, but it was a great idea at the time. We were travelling a lot together because our itineraries were similar and it worked for us. But when Heather got sick, my schedule got out of sync with Lee’s, so when he used it, it cost him double and the same for me when I used it. We couldn’t split the bills any more and that’s when it stopped working, but there was always a nice buzz walking up the stairs to your own jet.

also check out my BMW Masters tips hereOscar 

Bo Van Pelt at 8/1 is the defending champion this week after annihilating the field last year by six shots.  Three tap in birdies midway through the back nine separated Bo from the pack.  This time around he’ll have Tiger Woods 3/1 to contend with but with a victory last week on the European Tour in Australia (don’t laugh) he’s bang in form to defend his title.

Jason Dufner at 8/1 marked Van Pelt all the way last week and tied 10th here last year. If he’s not smiling he’s happy, like Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street.

Jeff Overton 25/1 slipped up a little last time out at the McGladrey Classic (51st) after two strong late season top 10’s led us to believe better things were in store.  Overton played in the final group here last year and remains one to watch.

Greg Chalmers 40/1 could not get anything going last week in Perth and still managed 10th place.  Twice a Fall winner last season and showed good playoff form on the PGA Tour (9th at Barclays, 16th at BMW), discount him at your peril.


Following the showing of the controversial "You've Been Trumped" film BBC2 last Sunday night,  which documents Donald Trump’s war with the locals when developing his Trump International Golf Links in Scotland, the Trump organization have been quick to bring in the legal team with their arms waving frantically while the journalists had a field day.
donald trump funny I have to say I’m quite enjoying all the banter!  I wonder is the course this good?
Sarah Malone, the executive vice-president of Trump International Golf Links, also hit out with a few jabs including a thinly veiled reference to the beeb turning a blind eye to Jimmy Saville’s sex crimes "It just goes to show that recent criticism of the BBC's lack of sound editorial judgement to be correct. It is not a documentary - it is a piece of propaganda that is wildly inaccurate, defamatory and deliberately misleading."
However the best blow came from a journalist called Sam Wollaston's in The Guardian newspaper in which he compares Trump antics to doing a massive shite.  Read the here
Once upon a time a man with a golden fleece on his head named Donald Fart flew in his private aeroplane from America to Scot Land with a whole bunch of his cronies. And he decided he was going to squat down on the coast of Scot Land and do a massive shite. But the place he decided he was going to do it – on the east coast, or the west coast, Mr Fart wasn't sure which – turned out to be a site of special scientific interest, a unique habitat of dunes, one of the last of its kind. There was a sign in the sand that said, quite clearly, No Doing Massive Shites Here.
But the politicians – well some of them – saw only the private jet, and the fleet of Range Rovers with blacked-out windows, and the dollar signs. They were impressed, and they were dazzled by the golden fleece on Donald's head. So they pulled up that sign, and they smoothed over a patch of sand so Mr Fart could do his business. They pulled up clumps of rare special scientific interest grass to wipe him with afterwards; and I'm afraid they finished the job off with their tongues.
More more more, bravo bravo!

2012 BMW Masters Betting Tips

Lake Malaren Golf Club,Shanghai,China

Branden Grace 28/1

There’s just no way you can overlook a four time winner on Tour in 2012 who just happens to be South African coming into the meat of their season. Winner of the Joburg Open, the Volvo Golf Champions, the Volvo China Open and last time out in Scotland, the season has been spectacular for Branden. I hold my hands up and say I didn’t cop the fact that Branden won on the Sunshine Tour the week before the Dunhill Links and missed a trick there. I won’t be doing that again! 28/1 is generous this week for a recent Tour winner who has also done it in China.

Richie Ramsay 50/1

A good late season performer, I think the odds of 50/1 on Richie Ramsay this week are very generous. After playing well at the Johnnie Walker (6th), Richie bagged his second Tour win in Switzerland and nearly did it again a week later at the KLM Open where he finished second.

This time last season the Scot bagged three top-5’s in five events and he comes to Lake Malaren from an appearance on the Asian Tour where an unlucky break off his tee shot on the first playoff hole cost him a win against Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant. Definitely one to watch.

bmw tips

Ross Fisher 50/1

With all the talk of this week’s favourite Rory McIlroy (4/1) going to Nike next season, his Horizon stable mate and fellow Titleist to Nike mover Ross Fisher hardly even gets a mention. Only beaten by a sublime Shane Lowry performance in Portugal, Fisher’s form is back nearing that which won him four Tour titles. That performance two weeks back brought his top-10 count for the season to seven. I still believe Fisher has a win in him this year.

Danny Willett 40/1

Danny finally got his win at another BMW sponsored event, the BMW International Open in Cologne in June and he didn’t rest on his laurels after either. A tied second at the European Masters , then a fifth and a sixth in Scotland and Portugal respectively have lifted the Englishman to 18th in the Race to Dubai with earnings for the season closing in on €1 million.

Ian Poulter 28/1

I always like Ian Poulter in Asian events, more often than not he seems to give a good account of himself. Indeed two of his eight wins have come in Singapore and Hong Kong. Poults played well here last year finishing in sixth, seven shots adrift of Rory McIlroy in the then elite 30 man field.

Best Of The Rest

Recent winner Shane Lowry is available at 40/1 and is a later entrant having decided to forego PGA Tour school for this season at least. As a fellow Irishman, I wish Shane all the best this week. He’s a gent. 

After him not making it to the final day at St. Andrews last time out, I have agonized over tipping Louis Oosthuizen given that this time last season the South African was clocking up seven top-10’s in a row. You just never know with Louis, he finished tied 19th here at the Shaghai Masters last season 18 shots back. If you like him he’s at 16/1.


My good friend Tom Kennedy from Mount Juliet in Kilkenny, Ireland was just on to tell me about some October Bank Holiday weekend offers at the two time WGC host course.


Fantastic offers over the October Bank Holiday Weekend at Mount Juliet

- Friday 26th October, Winter Series 4-person Team Event. €60 per person to include a Burger on the 10th Tee



(Book online:


- Saturday 27th & Sunday 27th October, €60 per person for groups of 16 or more golfers.

Please call Tom Kennedy on 056-7773012 to book or email


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1rory mcilroy nike . Rory’s contract with Titleist is up at the end of the year.  Titleist have good ‘ole fashioned values and have a pay cap for their stars. Nike dont.

2. Nike are a company spanning multiple sports, apart from Wilson, the only major player in golf to do so.  They have experience in negotiating big money deals and making them work. This one would be worth $250 million over 10 years to McIlroy.

3. Nike have been shamed and embarrassed by Lance Armstrong not to mention being hit financially.  They will be looking to turn this into a positive news story with a young, clean living, wholesome superstar like Rory McIlory.

4. Rory’s manager Conor Ridge has already completed a carbon copy deal between Titleist and Nike with one of his other stars Ross Fisher.  This should make negotiations easier.

Here’s what’s in the bag of Tommy Gainey, 2012 McGladrey Classic Winner


tommy witb 1 DRIVER: Callaway RAZR Fit (10.5°) with an Aldila RIP NV 65X shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Callaway FT-i Tour (15°) with an Aldila RIP NV 65X shaft
HYBRID: Adams Idea Pro a12 Proto (20°) with an Aldila RIP Hybrid shaft
IRONS: Callaway RAZR X Forged (4-PW) with Royal Precision Project X shafts
WEDGES: Callaway Forged (50°, 54°, 60°) with Royal Precision Project X shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey Backstryke Blade
BALL: Callaway HEX Black Tour


Well done to Bo Van Pelt justifying his favourite tag to win in Perth.  Here’s the beef from the European Tour.

bo Bo Van Pelt came out on top of an all-American battle with Jason Dufner to win the ISPS HANDA Perth International at Lake Karrinyup.
Having snatched the lead with a 60 foot putt on the final green at the end of the third round, the 37 year old was never caught on the last day.

Meanwhile Padraig Harrington got a surprise call up to PGA Grand Slam of Golf when the last four winners of the Open Championship were unavailable to play.  Brian Keogh as always has the story.

Padraig Harrington has been handed the chance to complete some “unfinished business” and add the $1.35 million PGA Grand Slam of Golf to his CV next week.


Fanny Sunesson, one of the most famous caddies on Tour is set to hang up her bib. 

fanny 2 On the bag of Nick Faldo from 1990-1999, the young bushy haired Fanny helped him win clam four of his six Major titles.

Always media shy about her achievements , Fanny remained tight lipped for many years choosing only to open up a little quite recently. “It's hard to beat a British Open victory at St. Andrews, precisely because it is about the place and the course. To get in there in the middle of town on the 18th hole is awesome, Nick was a giant and I felt like the giant’s eyebrow” she said. Indeed the sight of Faldo, doing what he did best, on that hot Summers day with a sweating Fanny urging him on, remains an iconic image in sport.

Following her split from Faldo, Fanny spent a short and painful period with Sergio Garcia, before moving to Fred Funk, who nearing 50, just couldn’t keep up.

fanny Realizing she herself was getting stretched,  Fanny got herself back in shape before hooking up her fellow Swede, Henrik Stenson five years ago. The two connected with Stenson immediately taking to the new trimmed down Fanny.  Their greatest achievement came when Stenson won the 2009 Players Championship, boosting him to No. 5 in the world. “I don’t know what I did before I discovered Fanny, getting her to caddie for me was a real snatch”, a delighted Stenson said on winning.

Sunesson injured her back a year ago after slipping on a bearded clam in Switzerland, which caused her to cut back on her caddying duties. Fanny had been flapping around in the world of coaching in any case, and decided to draw the beefy curtains on a glittering caddying career.  Sitting down with Stenson to discuss her back injury, Fanny revealed it felt like a ripped out fireplace these days and sometimes, even in the thick of the action, she felt like turning over and going to sleep.  A disappointed Stenson urged her continue, but she was asleep in seconds.

Fanny who’s age remains a closely gardened secret, has now dived head first into the world of coaching. “Coaching is fun, almost as much fun as caddying,” she said. “To choose between the two would be like spitting hairs.”


Mobile Warming Gear This is one of those “now why didn’t we think of that” ideas that has hit the golf market.

Yet even though Britain and Ireland spend half the golfing year in freezing, wet conditions, this one came from warm and sunny America.  From Apple in fact.  That’s Keith Apple, general manager golf of Mobile Warming Gear who has come up with a collection  of waterproof, heated golf jackets.

The 100% waterproof jacket is wired up with heating coils that run off a tiny rechargeable 7.4-volt lithium battery that will last 10 hours at the lowest heat, the same as it takes to play a round of golf these days.

I know what you’re thinking, you can’t trust anything Apple says in relation to batteries but at half the price of an iphone, $200 for the jacket it seems a winner.


If you thought golf training aids could not get any more ridiculous check out  the Golf Swing Shirt, the latest invention to mess with your mind.Golf Swing Shirt.jpg

Its a crossover between and sleeveless top and a big ladies’ bra and it’s designed to keep those elbows connected to the chest (as suggested by Ben Hogan in his teachings).

Ray Rapcavage, inventor of the Golf Swing Shirt, came upon the idea by accident when he shoved both arms down one sleeve of his jumper to distract some poor bugger who had a dose of the shanks.

The other guy laughed so hard, the shanks disappeared.  It’s unclear where the big ladies bra came from.

The jumper-bra golf swing shirt is selling for 60 bucks and comes with strict instructions “to only be worn in your own bedroom when your partner is away”.


ISPS HANDA Perth International, Lake Karrinyup CC

Perth, Western Australia, Australia 18 Oct 2012 - 21 Oct 2012

The big names in the field this week are Charl Schwartzel, Bo Van Pelt and Jason Dufner and can be got at 13/2.  They may be the big guns but there’s little value there for the average punter given we don’t have any form indications on this course. 

However Brett Rumford 25/1 is a player I expect to do well this week as the home player.  After a poor mid season in Europe, the Aussie with the long putter put in a great performance at the Johnnie Walker in Gleneagles, followed by a top 20 in Switzerland.  Finished with a 67 in St Andrews last time out to finish 22nd at the Alfred Dunhill. Being the local, he surely has a chance.

Greg Chalmers 10/1 is also a Perth native although he spends most of his time now on the PGA Tour.  He won twice at the end of last year Down Under,is playing super golf at the moment and is in the world’s top 50 at the age of 39.  His ninth at the Barclays was his best finish of the season to date and finished 16th last time out at The BMW Championship. 

Long odds glory hunters might take a look at Andrew Dodt this week at 80/1. His return to form in Portugal after eight missed cuts really impressed me especially the Saturday 64 which helped earn a 16th place finish.  Golf is a confidence game and Dodt definitely has it at the moment. 

Richard Bland is also available at 80/1.  Long overdue a big break and that will come when he strings four rounds together because he undoubtedly has the talent. His best performances of the year in Ireland, Austria, Holland and Italy were all punctuated by one poor round.  Played well last Sunday in Vilamoura.

Rory McIlroy has had an exhausting year and it’s not over yet with four more appearances to come in the run up to the Race To Dubai final.  However next season Rory plans to curtail his Tour appearances.

rory mcilroy fat funny[3][5] Looking at the Tournaments he has played in 2012 and bearing in mind that he will tee it up at the BMW Masters in Shanghai, WGC - HSBC Champions in Mission Hills China, the Barclays Singapore Open in Hong Kong and finally the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai it will bring McIlroy’s total (Tour events) for the season to 24.

According to sources Rory will play a maximum of 22-23 worldwide events, to stay fresh, in 2013.  So which events will be cut?

Looking at his 2012 appearances on both Tours, Rory started the year in Abu Dhabi and then played in Dubai.  Expect him to play in Dubai at least in 2013 as his key sponsor Jumeirah Hotels operate in that part of the world.

Aside from the BMW PGA Championship, the flagship European Tour event at Wentworth and the 142nd Open Championship both of which he will play again next year, Rory’s only other mainland Europe appearance this year was at the Irish Open in Portrush.  Being that the 2013 Irish Open is moving back south to Carton House, it may very well be the case that this event get’s dropped from Rory’s schedule. That might be a controversial one.

Apart from the big money PGA Tour events, Rory played the Honda, Wells Fargo, Memorial and St Jude Classic this year.  Having  won the Honda, he most likely will defend there in 2013 and having won the Wells Fargo in 2010 and come second in 2012 and given that it’s the week before the Players, he should also play there. The Memorial is pretty much a given too with Jack’s influence.

That leaves the St Jude Classic as a potential PGA Tour event he may chose to miss in 2013 having played there this year then missed the cut at the US Open the following week.  He may chose instead to practice at or near the Merion, Pennsylvania US Open venue and save himself the 1000 mile trip northeast from Memphis.

With a potential appearance at a new big money European Tour event to be added in Turkey late next season after the PGA Tour playoffs and continuing his late Asian swing as in 2012, dropping two events and adding one would bring his 2013 appearance total to 23.

Of course that, for now, is speculative but we will post his full schedule here when announced.

Here is Rory’s schedule to date in 2012 with 4 events to go






World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship





The Honda Classic





World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship





Masters Tournament





Wells Fargo Championship





THE PLAYERS Championship





the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance





FedEx St. Jude Classic





U.S. Open





World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational





PGA Championship





The Barclays





Deutsche Bank Championship





BMW Championship





TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola




and on the European Tour




Prize Money





€ 15,600.52


The Irish Open



€ 33,900.00







Omega Dubai Desert Classic



€ 62,665.66


Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship



€ 231,349.37

mickelson halftime shot Poor old Phil Mickelson just cannot seem to hit the target lately and so it proved again as his 100-yard shot at halftime of Monday night's Broncos-Chargers game flew long. To both cheers and boos from the crowd he missed out on a million bucks but still raised a consolation $50,000 for First Book, a children’s charity.

Had he hit one of the in the middle of the green in the ''KPMG Chip4Charity'' promotion, Mickelson would have raised anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million for the charity depending on how close he got to the centre.

mick2 As it is, the $50,000 will buy 20,000 books.

''I must have had a little bit more adrenaline because the ball was a little bit long. I thought I hit a pretty good shot but it flew long,'' Mickelson said.

''I haven't had this experience. This is an amazing experience. In golf, we don't get this,'' he said. ''The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale has nothing on this. This was awesome, seeing the Jumbotron with my picture, as I'm looking up taking the shot, that was unique. That was something that was pretty cool.''


With Europe in the grip of recession and the European Tour doing a Captain Picard impression and attempting to seek out new world’s and civilizations (with a few quid), Lake Malaren in China finds itself at the heart of this year’s Race To Dubai. But open the door of one of Asia’s wealthiest golf resorts and you will be greeted with a handshake and a “howya”, not a bow, by Irishman Paul McLoughlin.
So how did an Irishman, who hadn’t committed a serious crime, end up in China? Well like all good honest, well qualified Paddies seeking work nowadays, McLoughlin fled Ireland. After wowing the suits with his CV which included setting up a golf resort in Poland (a country much like Ireland in that it has lots of Polish people in it) Paul now heads a 220-strong golf operations staff at the Lake Malaren venue which has been redeveloped for this year’s Tour event by Jack Nicklaus and his design team.
It’s no secret that people work hard in China. Paul remembers toiling around the clock to organize the inaugural Shanghai Masters last year. The $5 million pot then was offered to a restricted field of 30 players with Rory McIlroy winning. This year, thanks to another 80 hour a week regimen, Paul has helped develop a fully fledged European Tour event with a bounty of $7 million and a 78 strong field.
So what can the likes of Rory McIlroy and the Tour’s latest winner expect as they head to Shanghai? Well one thing is for sure, it’s going to be luxury all the way. Golf is reserved for the exceptionally wealthy in China. The state of the art Lake Malaren resort has a three level club house and boasts a dual directional driving range with 30 bays each side and an 18 hole putting green. It also has a 250 bedroom five star hotel to accommodate the field.
I caught up with Paul during a break in the preparations last week to quiz him on life away from home and upcoming BMW Masters.

Have you family in Shanghai? At home? Do you miss Ireland?

I came to China in 2010 alone after opening a golf resort in Poland and went for an interview in Shanghai and was successful from large group of applicants.
Absolutely, I miss family and friends, however I can’t get this type of experience currently in Ireland, and to reach the top of our profession in many aspects there are always sacrifices.
I have lived and worked in America for five years, Poland for two years and already in China two years in addition to stints in Ireland at Glencullen Golf Club, Clontarf Golf Club and Portmarnock Golf Range.
Each continent is a different culture and challenges, and we have to adapt in order to be successful in this industry.

What is your role in the tournament?

In 2011 we where the promoter of the invitational Shanghai Masters with winner Rory McIlroy winning the $2million highest first prize in golf. In 2012 we became presenting partner of the BMW Masters and strategically formed this new mega event on the European Tour.
view to 18th green To make the club and operation 100% ready for a massive European tour event.
My role is also involved in planning and liaising with BMW and European Tour teams in many meetings from eight months in advance of the event. We have very large checklists that we are watching each week with timelines. The BMW Masters will go out to several hundred million viewers globally. With three weeks to go we are on track. We overseeded the golf course two weeks ago so it will look really green on TV.

Do you get many golfing visitors from other countries during the year?

Our core business is from a full membership of 1500 members, the majority are Chinese businessmen.
We have two courses, the Masters Tour Course which is for members and their guests only, and then we have the Forest Course which is open for all categories of play. We have 80,000 rounds a year over 36 holes with 170 caddies in daily use.
We get many expat players living in Shanghai playing and we always welcome tourists with a stay and play package in our 274 room hotel onsite.
Golf is still a relatively new sport in China. With golf in the Olympics in 2016, we are hoping the Chinese central government lifts the current banning of new course developments since 2004.

So where will you be in 10 years time?

For sure in the golf industry, maybe have a similar job in Ireland, maybe working a little less and playing more!

So tell me have you any funny stories from the pros?

My lips are sealed. They are almost all very friendly and personable, and good company. I had the great honour of bringing Rory’s clubs and trophy out to his car last year. Does that count? Only joking!
Check out the Lake Malaren golf resort website here

Every year the same argument, how do Golf Monthly devise their list of top 100 UK & Ireland courses?  Nobody I know in the golf industry in Ireland contributes to the list and I’ve certainly never been asked. Yet there it is, proud as punch every year, every course with a number as if to declare it’s better than one lower down.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the concept and am delighted to see previously unheralded courses such as Rosapenna Sandy Hills and Old Head finally get some recognition.  However I do have some issues.RMO_trap_R
Pic: Rory McIlroy in Ballyliffin
On a debate on facebook yesterday, the general consensus from a cross section of my 5,000 golfing friends is that ‘money talks’ and the suggestion was popular that those choosing to pay to advertise with Golf Monthly were somehow more likely to be afforded a higher ranking than those that did not. Of course I cannot confirm if there is any credence whatsoever to that suggestion.
Solheim Cup venue Killeen Castle is held up as an example of a course with financial difficulties and thus little advertising spend, but nevertheless a magnificent venue conspicuous by its absence from the list.
The list, in my opinion however, is full of seeming inaccuracies, the most glaring of which from an Irish point of view is the positioning of Ballyliffin Glashedy (safe to say universally regarded by Irish pros, amateurs and industry workers as among the top five links courses in the country) at number 74 on the list.  The venue was chosen as the iconic Irish links location by Oakley for their $6 million advertising shoot in 2011.
And Portmarnock Links have every right to feel hard done by at 90 on the list.
WOODS1 Also is it really correct to rank Irish Open venue Adare Manor at 98th on the list, 45 places lower than Hankley Common in Surrey? 
Pic: Tiger Woods tamed at Adare, 2010.
Surely if you match both venues in layout, beauty, difficulty, features, size, playability, facilities, it’s performance hosting Major events, clubhouse and ambiance, Adare would come better than 98th.
Here’s the list. Grab some tissues, this may make you weep.

Top 100 UK and Ireland golf courses 2012: (Click read more to expand full list)

1      Muirfield
2      Royal County Down
3      St Andrews - Old
4      Turnberry Ailsa
5      Royal Birkdale
6      Royal St George's
7      Royal Lytham & St Annes
8      Carnoustie Championship
9      Royal Dornoch - Championship
10    Sunningdale - New

Winner Alright

Last week we tipped Jonas Blixt to win at 33/1. That’s two in a row after Ryan Moore came in at The Shriners.

Ben Curtis 33/1

ben_curtis_2_lg[4]After four brilliant tournaments from his win at the Valero Texas Open to his second at The Players things had to cool off for Ben Curtis. Two top 25’s at the BMW Championship and the Open indicate a return to form and with this week expected to be a putting test with the 7,000 square foot of greens expected to run at 12 on the stimp I can’t think of anyone better with the flat stick. Tied 15th in 2010.

Michael Thompson 40/1

Former Walker Cupper Michael Thompson’s 2012 highlight has to be his Sunday 67 at the Olympic Club to finish second at the US Open. However in the seven following tournaments he finished under par just once at the Canadian Open (1 under). However two weeks back at the Shriners, Thompson bagged 20 birdies and an eagle to finish 11 under in a tie for 13th. Add to that course form too with a third last year, just one shot shy of a Webb Simpson, Ben Crane playoff.

Vijay Singh 20/1

singhLoath him or just plain hate him there’s no denying that Vijay Singh is finding form again on the PGA Tour. Last weeks tied fourth at the Open was his fifth top-10 of the season and his best result. More interestingly, though Singh is traditionally regarded as a poor putter, he lead the field in putting last week thanks to a new grip. Since this Sea Island venue has some of the toughest greens on the PGA Tour, Vijay could be in line for another big week.

Jeff Overton 28/1

Regular readers will know that Overton has been on my radar of late and though he hasn’t made us money, he has done well. His eighth place at CordeValle, follows his 13th at The Shriners. Finished five shots off Ben Crane in tied sixth in his debut here last year 2010, his best result for four months at the time. This year he enters the event in much better form and could certainly be a winner.

Charles Howell 40/1

charlesIf you asked me to name an under achiever on the PGA Tour the first name on my list would be Charles Howell. He finally got back on the horse last week at the finishing just outside the top 10 with an impressive haul of 18 birdies. A Georgia resident and the holder of the course record 62 here (set in 2010 when he tied sixth), it’s not beyond the realms of possibility for Howell to have another good week. Back him if you’re brave enough!


By Ron for

With the 2012 PGA Tour season petering out and factually based news stories increasingly thin on the ground, focus has turned to that old chestnut Vijay Singh who is closing in on celebrating 50 years as the most despised man, not only in golf, but in the whole world.

vijay singh[4] "It’s great to see Vijay back playing well at 49 and being hated as much as ever” senior PGA official Brent Spiner told reporters, explaining that Singh has become incrementally more loathsome over each of the past 15 years. “I honestly didn't thought we would ever find somebody to hate more than Scott Hoch in his prime but boy, was I wrong,"  he added "The way he walks, that squeaky smile, that disdain he seems to carry for his fellow earthlings just do it for me every time; he is truly remarkable.”

Singh has become synonymous over the years as being the hardest practiser on Tour, a fact Spiner agrees with.  “He practices being obnoxious, being up his own arse and belittling people more than any other professional on Tour”, says Spiner.  “He also practises golf quite a bit.  Vijay spends so long taking shots in a bunker some people call him Hitler but I personally think that’s unfair” he added.  “On Hitler”.

Vijay’s sister Ijuswanna Singh also spoke recently about what was like to grow up in Fiji with her cranky brother. 

"It was obvious Vijay was different from the very start”. Ijuswanna said.  “He never played seven’s rugby, our national sport, and preferred instead to club young kitten’s to death on the roadside. I suppose that’s where he got his swing and his reputation as a complete pussy.”

damien-omen-slideshow-pic “Our mother remembers him cycling around the upstairs on a tricycle humming the overture from The Omen when I was brought home from the hospital after being born and several strange incidents including one with our Nanny and one of his school friends who got caught under some ice.  And oh yeah I forgot about the guy who got his head lopped off by the pane of glass after laughing at Vijay’s glasses. That was a weird one.”

david_feherty devil It’s thought that the PGA will honour Singh next year by inducting him into the Hall Of Hatred.  There he will join names such as Hoch, Faldo and Montgomerie and receive the The Black Raven trophy from host and Beelzebub lookalike David Feherty.

More as it emerges.

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