December 2012

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Yang what's in the bag angel cabrera What's in the bag ernie els what's in the bag Justin Rose what's in the bag Kenny Perry what's in the bag nick dougherty what's in the bag Rory McIlory what's in the bag ross fisher what's in the bag simon dyson what's in the bag stuart appleby what'sin the bag What’s In The Bag 2010 Rickie Fowler winter golf special offers witb witb 2010 Ross Fisher witb edoardo molinari 2010 witb Francesco Molinari 2010 witb Jim Furyk 2010 witb matt kuchar 2010 witb Peter Lawrie 2010 witb rory mcilroy 2010 witb rory mcilroy 2012 Women's British Open Awards woody austin Y.E. Yang Yang's Hybrid

You can make a case for many at Durban Country Club with the elite field made up of last seasons winners and some European Tour legends.  However here’s who I fancy to contend.

also check out my 2013 Sony Open Betting Preview and Tips here

Branden Grace 12/1

branden Hard to believe this is only Branden’s 75th Tour event.  His 2012 season kicked off with wins at the Joburg Open and at the Volvo Golf Champions at Fancourt where he beat Ernie and Retief in a playoff.  Grace put on a short game masterclass last season and I expect him to come out all guns blazing again this time around.  Third favourite behind Louis Oosthuizen from Mossel Bay and Ernie.

Padraig Harrington 22/1

Podge definitely wont be one who needs to ‘ease’ in the season gradually; he’s on record as saying he’s never worked harder on his game.  Last years tied 10th place finish in this event could and should have been much better but for a final round 76.  After a top 10 in Dubai to finish 2012 , Harrington is the most generous each way odds at 22/1 I’ve seen in a while.

Nicolas Colsaerts 20/1

Nicolas Colsaerts Finished fourth on his own last year but the real story was his incredible opening round of 64.  The big batting Belgian incredibly birdied seven of the holes on the back nine at Fancourt (I didn’t think it could be done) on his way to a 64.  Alright he lead by four and didn’t kick on, but with his power he is certainly worth a punt again this year.

Best Of The Rest

Watch out for the progress of a fully fit Paul Casey 25/1 this season.  He finished with three top 10’s in his last four events of 2012 and has three career wins in the month of January.  Casey’s last victory was the 2011 Volvo Golf Champions which was staged in Bahrain.

Bernd Wiesberger 33/1 is also on my watch list this week. I recall he played well in Johannesburg  this time last year and was well on the pace throughout.

Finally if you’re looking for some long odds glory this week the word is Darren Clarke has put in a fair amount of practice over the Christmas so don’t discount big D at 66/1



Check out the Tiger Woods PGA Tour ‘14 preview below.  The new edition features legends of the game like Jack, Arnie, Seve and Bobby Jones and what appears to be Peter Lawrie attempting to take them down.

Not so sure about EA Sports representation of some of the legends though.  Seve looks he’s wearing a gumshield, Jack Nicklaus has got Keegan Bradley’s body and Bobby Jones looks like he’s a candidate for laser eye surgery!


In a bid to wipe the slate clean and no longer have to veil their true identities Richard Bland and David Howell today joined Paul Casey, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Chapchai Nirat and Colin Montgomerie in revealing they have been living as homosexuals all their lives.

“It’s a weight off our shoulders to be out and proud,” said Bland and Howell in a joint statement from their bed alongside Tim, Darren and Howard Clark who also revealed themselves as gay men today.”

bland and howell

"For years we’ve been on Tour surrounded by burly men; where the only woman is a 70 year old prune in the scoring tent, nature takes its course” said Bland.  “We’ve kept it in until now, worried of what might appear in the Personal section of our profiles on the European Tour site," said Howell whilst holding hands with Bland, Thomas Bjorn, Alex Cejka, Louis Oosthuizen and Ignacio Garrido.

The move prompted several PGA Tour players to follow suit within hours. A joint statement on behalf of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, Graeme McDowell and Davis Love III read, "After years of secrecy, and prompted by the actions of our brothers on the European Tour we decided it was wrong to stay in the closet, especially after Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen, Ernie Els, Johnson Wagner and Bubba Watson had come out."

Following the flurry of outings, a number of satellite Tour players held hands and openly proclaimed their gay love including Walker Cup inseparables Paul Cutler and Alan Dunbar. 

"It’s great that they’re all out now” said Charlie Mulking, the veteran golf journalist. “Between you and me, I had a feeling about Colin Montgomerie and Ignacio Garrido but young McIlroy and McDowell, that’s some serious layers of deception right there. Three cheers for the Bakerloo Boys!”

With both main Tours shook to their foundations, George O’Grady and Tim Finchem, after themselves coming out as also being gay, appealed to the public for calm.

"Golf is for everyone, not just the guy beside you on the factory floor or openly gay men and women like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Nick Faldo, Fuzzy Zoeller and Annika Sorenstam," Finchem said in a speech yesterday. "Gone are the days when being gay is stigmatized.  Yes I am gay.  And so is my wife. And my twin girls are lesbians. And so is our dog."

"And so was Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen," O’Grady interjected.

Though widely met with a quiet acceptance not all reactions have been positive, however. A statement from Rory Sabbatini said “You’re not getting me and you’re not getting behind me either. I’m off to the Asian Tour where there is absolutely no gayness whatsoever.”


Inspired by an onion story and Emily Howell’s photo!

Pretty shocking stuff in today who interviewed a low Jim Furyk recently.

jim furyk funny[4] “I’m going to have to stick a knife in my heart at the end of this,” Furyk said when asked about his low points of last season

Later in the interview, the American said “Golf professionals come in and piss and moan about the two bad shots that cost them a 66, and were the reason they shot 68 or 69. Those two shots will keep them up at night, thinking about how they’re going to get rid of them, so they can trust their swing the next day.”

Furyk went to say But I’m just not a feel-sorry-for-me type of person, so I’m not sure where the rest of the interview is going, but this isn’t going to be a let’s-feel-sorry-for-Jim thing. That’s just not me. Look, I got paid a lot at both events that I screwed up in front of a lot of people, and no one’s feeling too bad that way for me.”

Come on Jim, it’s only a game mate. We love you really!


Nice one by Geoff Shackleford who whilst trawling the papers found evidence that former great Poker face David Duval is still alive somewhere in America.  Yes you might still get the opportunity to ask him how he managed to hit the ball without looking at it.


Pic: Duval has been living as a recluse with a racoon and big bear for the last 10 years.

Apparently Duval (or someone impersonating him, though who would do that?) is on twitter and intends to use it to complain about not getting into tournaments.  He tweeted about next week. 

So it's official. I will not get a spot at the Humana.— David Duval (@david59duval)

Then sent golf historians scrambling for old VHS video tapes.

I guess having the defining moment in the history if the event doesn't matter.— David Duval (@david59duval

What was that then?!


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Any lingering thoughts Caroline Harrington had of getting her husband back when he’s of pensionable age have been dashed today with the news that  Padraig’s New Year’s Resolution is to play until he’s 70.

harr at 70

Artists Impression: Harrington at 70

The wacky three time Major Champion ‘sang’ his Resolution yesterday to a reporter in the style of Annie Carnes from the musical Oklahoma.

“I'm not a guy who can just say no. (I'm in a terrible fix) You are retired for a long time and I tell you what, I'll still be playing competitive golf when I'm 70,” crooned Harrington, who also intends to sing all of his answers this season to Rogers and Hammerstein big production numbers.

Stat lover Padraig is heading for two in row in the resolution achievement stakes having ticked off last years goal of ‘winning again’ by beating the entire field at the Grand Slam of Golf. The Dubliner however will have to wait another 29 years to even find out if he can achieve this year’s resolution as it involves staying alive until then.

Authorities are currently checking whether it’s allowed to have a ‘29 Year Away’ New Year’s Resolution.  If found that it is actually not allowed by law, Harrington will be pressed for another New Year’s Resolution today.


Never mind Tiger and Rory, congrats to GCD favourite Thorbjørn Olesen on becoming the latest member of Nike’s Tour Staff signing up to use clubs, ball, footwear, glove, apparel, headwear and accessories in a multi year deal.

What’s In The Nike Bag 2013 Thorbjorn Olesen


Thor will debut his Nike gear at the Volvo Golf Champions in South Africa on the European Tour this week. He will use the Nike VR_S Covert Tour, Nike VR Pro Blades, VR Pro wedges, VR Pro Limited Edition fairway woods, VR_S hybrids and the Nike Method 001 putter. Olesen will also switch to the Nike 20XI ball. Apparel will be from the Tour Performance and Sport Collections and shoes will be Nike Lunar Control.

Thorbjorn’s 2013 Nike Equipment

(shafts will be added once available)

DRIVER: Nike VR_S Covert


FAIRWAY WOODS: Nike VR Pro Limited Edition

IRONS: VR Pro Blades

WEDGES: Nike VR Pro Wedges

PUTTER: Nike Method 001

BALL: Nike 20XI X

A full what’s in the bag specs piece will be inserted here once available.


Thorbjørn OlesenSpeaking about his change to Nike from Srixon, Thor said “Nike is one of the most recognized and respected sport brands in the world,” said Olesen. “I want to be with a company that focuses on developing products that help me perform at my best. To be part of a brand that respects but challenges the traditions of the game is an honor.”


I know there’s a lot of people that like to know the Major Dates so they can plan holidays/vacations.

Here is the Major fixture list for 2013.

Amazon-diary-weekly-2013 The Masters

  • 2013: April 11-14, Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.

U.S. Open

  • 2013: June 13-16, Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa.

British Open

  • 2013: July 18-21, Muirfield, Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland

PGA Championship

  • 2013: Aug. 8-11, Oak Hill Country Club (East Course), Rochester, N.Y.

The dates of all the European Tour events are here

The Irish Open takes place from 27-30 June.

Here are my top five Power Rankings for the 2013 Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.
Betting sponsor wanted for 2013. Please get in touch.
also check out my 2013 Volvo Golf Champions Tips Here

Carl Pettersson 20/1

pettersson_thumb[1] The highlights of 2012 for Carl were a win at the RBC Heritage in April after a good showing in Houston and top three at the US PGA Championship. He’s been irked by what he believes to be a witch hunt against his long putter and that could spur him to big things this season. Three top 20’s to finish last season add weight to that. Speaking of pounds, Carl is the perfect size to battle the Waialae winds this week and has done well here in the past. Despite the stats saying that these are some of the hardest fairways to hit Pettersson has a good course record with tied fifth in 2010 and tied second last season. That 2012 result was even more impressive given that he double bogeyed the second hole in the final round.

Charles Howell 25/1

ch Couldn’t get a pic of Charles so a stick insect will have to do.  Waialae constantly ranks in the top half most difficult courses in the Greens In Regulation stats as well as the aforementioned driving difficulty but that doesn’t stop another anomaly in the form of Charles Howell III doing well here regularly. Not known for his accuracy with the big stick Howell has had five top-5 finishes in this event since 2005 including tying second in 2007 and 2012.

Mark Wilson 66/1

mark-wilson-golf_t640_thumb[1] There’s not many realistic opportunities for Mark Wilson to really make money on the PGA Tour given his power limitations and modern course setups but this week on a par 70 in Honolulu represents one of them. Three of Wilson’s five Tour wins have come in January and February with the other two in March, so it’s safe to suggest he’s a decent early season performer also. His last victory came here in 2011 and though he missed the cut defending last week, Wilson did go on to win the Clinton Humana event the following week.

Keegan Bradley 18/1

Tied for 13th last season but I felt he played better than the result suggests. Drove the ball beautifully for the first three days (67,67, 68) before stunting to an even par 70 on Sunday. However I feel that Bradley has gained experience from that and will challenge this year. There may be an issue with his high ball flight depending on how strong the winds get this week but that’s a call you make close to game time.

Matt Every 50/1

Keep an eye out for the performance of Matt Every this week at longer odds. He impressed at the season of last season finishing in a tie for second at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic behind panicky Charlie Beljan. He also putted great at the Sony Open with the enormous headed Blackhawk putter.

Best of The Rest

Short but sweet hitter Brian Gay 45/1 is well positioned to bag himself a good finish this week having improved from T13th in 2011 to T6th in 2012 and he should be available at long odds for those who like such a flutter.

When there’s no news at an event where nothing is happening and the wind is blowing the media tent away what do the journos do?  That’s right, they turn to Johnny Miller for guidance.

The lastest sh/tstorm was kicked up around the NBC’s only blonde employee who started waxing on about about Poulter taking a long time before hitting a certain putt. Notwithstanding the fact that George Clooney in A Perfect Storm wouldn’t even dare got outside in the winds, Miller bitched, “You just can‘t stay over the putt that long. You've got to get in there, line it up and hit it………..He’s afraid he’s going to hurt himself, and that would probably set the game back 20 years.”

As you might expect Poults didn’t take long to respond via the twitter machine

“Johnny miller why don't you come interview me live and say that stuff straight to my face. Was you watching a different channel.”

Fight fight fight fight…..or probably not. But it passed a few minutes.


The 2013 PGA Tour season got a saucy start in Maui with a massive blowjob and jiggling balls but alas the tournament steadfastly refused to progress beyond the foreplay stage.

The frigid Hyundai Tournament Of Champions wasn’t just ready to take it to the next stage from Friday to Sunday and kicked up a storm when pressed.

Now Tim Finchem and his gang are hoping to get 36 holes done in an orgy of golf to get the tournament completed before it’s time to island hop to it’s next conquest The Sony Open on Thursday.


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Steve Stricker announced his semi retirement yesterday at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

steven-stricker “I just probably won't be out as much as I have in the past years, but I'm extremely excited about it. It was kind of a weight lifted off, when I've made the decision, and so it's been good.”

Stricker, plans to play a maximum of a dozen events this year. After the Tournament of Champions, he will only play the WGC-Accenture Match Play, the WGC-Cadillac and the Shell Houston Open before the Masters.

At present he has no plans to play in The Open Championship.

“I'm not quitting,” Stricker said. “I don't want to quit. I still enjoy the game. I still enjoy competing. It's just time for me to be home a little bit more and maybe focus all my attention to this foundation and do that a little bit more.”

Stricker hopes to focus more on his charitable foundation this year.


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Sad to hear of the passing of Jamie Patino, the man who created Valderrama.

Jaime Ortiz patino

I had the pleasure in 2008 of playing Valderrama thanks to Derek Brown.  The Patino family were having lunch on the veranda as we putted out on the 18th.  They didn’t clap but hey they let us play!

Here’s what I wrote back then.

Valderrama Course Review

On the hour long drive down the A7 autovia from Malaga, as if by fate the song “I’ll do my crying in the rain” came on the radio. Thoughts immediately turned to the 1997 Ryder Cup and a rain soaked Seve first hugging Nick Faldo as both men cried tears of joys and later his iconic emergence from the clubhouse when, flanked by his victorious Team Europe, he held aloft the Ryder Cup. We were headed for the theatre of that golfing dream, Valderrama, on the eve of the final ever Volvo Masters.
With a tee time of 10am, good friend Johnny Lydon (handicap two) and I decided to be thoroughly Irish and arrived in the gates of Valderrama at about 8am to “savour the atmosphere”. The first task was getting our bearings, just looking at the splendour around the clubhouse, administration buildings and practise facilities made my arms feel heavy, tired from constantly picking my jaw up off the floor. As it turned out, our early arrival was a real stroke of luck, we were to have the whole course to ourselves, being as it was officially closed to green fees in preparation for the arrival of the Tour.
Next we met our host, General Manager Derek Brown, a big burly Scotsman with a roguish smile and that larger than life charm that immediately puts you at ease. If they’re ever looking for an EU secretary general of golf, this man is perfect for the role. He’s the golfing equivalent of Michael Palin; there’s not a person alive or dead that played the game that he doesn’t know and he has a charming story to go with each. He excitedly quizzes us on an old black and white photo from the late 70’s of an older gent and a tall fit looking man, both smiling and chatting around a steel bucket overflowing with practise balls in Valderrama. The subjects were none other than three time British Open Champion Sir Henry Cotton and Ireland’s own legendary amateur Joe Carr.

The Calm before The Storm.
John Lydon, Derek Brown (General Manager Valderrama) and Doc overlooking Valderrama’s practise ground.

After clinking a few dozen pristine callaways on the range (that Faldo called the best in the world), we tore into a few drives in the vain attempt to reach the smattering of balls some pro had crushed 300 yards down to the very end. Little did we know at the time, but we were absolutely wasting our time and energy. Valderrama is no place for JB Holmes wannabies. The only place you should use your driver here is to measure a club length when taking a penalty drop. Henry Cotton was a great proponent of the use of the hands and forearms to correct flaws and produce accurate shots and indeed the first key to unlocking the Valderrama code is exacting accuracy off the tee. “Remember this boys”, shouted Derek after us, like the skipper of a Scottish trawler as we headed to the first tee, “Stay left of centre, on every hole”. Like Nicholas Sarcozy, I thought. And of course he was bang on. Valderrama’s fairways seemed as narrow as a landing strip, on a lego airport, and are endlessly flanked by what we christened “goalkeeping trees” which just seemed to grab the balls out of the air and drop them vertically into the rough below. On the odd occasion we did throw caution to the wind and rip a long drive down the centre of the fairway, we found we had driven too close to the Peter Schmeichel-esque trees which blocked the trajectory of the second shot and left no chance of hitting the green.
You know the way the touring pro’s always seem to get a lucky bounce when they carve their drive into the trees? That doesn’t happen much around here. If you’re wild, you’re history. I made the cardinal error of going for a big drive off one tee, but pirouetted like a ballerina during the swing and sent the ball at least 100 yards left of its intended line. Having left that ball for dead, I carried on, taking double bogey with a provisional. As if to teach me a lesson about use of the driver, Valderrama decided to later reunite me with my stray ball, leaving it six foot from the pin, four holes from where I lost it! I should have taken a hybrid off the tee but as Charlie McCreevy said, “Hindsight is 20/20 vision”. At under 7,000 yards, with a par 71, this course demands prudence, course management and flawless ball striking, borne out by its list of tournament winners which include our own Paul McGinley, Tiger Woods and Canadian Mike Weir. Defending Volvo Masters champion Justin Rose, won here with a total of one under par in 2007.

The second key is being comfortable on the greens. Make sure you clean your spikes before walking on them because they are glassy. A round without three putting in Valderrama is unthinkable. Ken Brown would be like an excited child here, dropping balls on the slopes and watching them whizz away. The aprons probably run faster than most clubs greens and you almost feel guilty taking a divot. The greens are absolutely tiny too, hitting them sometimes felt equivalent to hitting the bullseye on a dartboard.
My standout holes in Valderrama include the first, purely for the fact that the hole speaks to you in a stern voice and says “You better be able to hit it straight lads or you’ve no future here.” The fourth hole, “La Cascada” is probably the best known hole on the course; a par-5 with two tired green flanked on the right by cascading agua. I also loved the dramatic par-5 17th; yes the slope on the apron of the green is as severe as it seems on TV and just gobbles up any chip shot short of perfect and deposits the ball in the water. Just ask Sergio, he’s had a few pro-V’s in the drink there over the years.
Hopefully Valderrama will soon be back as a regular Tour stop;it consistently ranks among the best in the world. If you are escaping the rain to Malaga for a weeks golf, be sure to make time to drop in and play it; it is pure golfing gold. Full details are on .


The Rory McIlroy debate has been going on for too long.  By his own admission and speaking off the cuff Rory said he’d likely play for team GB.  That’s totally understandable as he is from Northern Ireland.  Many say that would upset his Irish fans and the GUI (golfing union of ireland) that supported Rory through his amateur career.  However probably the biggest factor is that not declaring for Ireland would also affect Rory’s brand marketing and popularity in the USA where most American golf fans believe him to be “Irish” and love him and support him for being so.

Today the debate took another twist, it was inevitable; the possibility of Rory skipping the Olympics so as not to offend anybody.

“I feel Northern Irish and obviously being from Northern Ireland you have a connection to Ireland and a connection to the UK. If I could and there was a Northern Irish team I'd play for Northern Ireland. Play for one side or the other - or not play at all because I may upset too many people… Those are my three options I'm considering very carefully.”

guor marial There is however another option, playing in 2016 under the Olympic flag. To participate in the Olympics, an athlete must be a citizen of the country he or she represents, and that country must have a national Olympic organizing committee. 

This year in London, four qualified athletes were allowed by the International Olympic Committee to participate under the Olympic flag. They competed as international athletes, representing the Olympics, because their countries did not have a national organizing committee.

Three of the athletes were, Churandy Martina (track and field), Philip Elhage (shooting) and Rodin Dauelaar (swimming).

The fourth athlete and most interesting was Guor Marial, a runner from South Sudan living in the United States since 2001 as a refugee. South Sudan does not have an organizing committee and Marial is not yet an American citizen so his only option was to run representing Sudan. However South Sudan fought for independence against Sudan and Marial said that running for Sudan would betray the two million people, including 28 members of his family killed in the battle for independence.

Whether this case is a precedent (albeit an extreme one) to present to the International Olympic Committee in favour of allowing Rory McIlroy to compete under the Olympic Flag is debatable.  However in the spirit of the games, it seems right that one of the finest players in the world conflicted by countries which have had a troubled past should be allowed participate under the Olympic flag in the interests of inclusion and fairness.


Is it really fair that you are expected to get rid of your R11s again so quickly in favour of the all new R1 driver from TaylorMade?  I’ve taken both out from the Golfbidder stock to have a look at them side by side to side what, if anything, is different in the new model.

r11s r1 under



Head: 460cc white livery

r11s crown

460cc White crown with grey black and orange flash. The white section forms an alignment triangle with the face.

r1 crown

Weights and Face Angle : R11 has 10 and 1-gram weight plugs with a sole plate that allowed golfers to open or close the face angle up to three degrees.

The R1 has moveable 10- and 2-gram weight plugs and the face can now be set up to 4 degrees open or 4 degrees closed at address.

Loft: The R11 comes in 9, 10.5 and 12º options. On each loft can be adjusted up or down ±1.5º

Every R1 driver comes pre-set at 10 degrees, but can be adjusted down to 8º or up to 12º. Loft can be changed in half-degree increments.

Stock shaft: 60-gram Aldila RIP Phenom shaft

Stock shaft: 55-gram Aldila RIP Phenom shaft

Length: 45.75 inches

Length: 46 inches


Make sure to check all the massive new and pre-owned TaylorMade Drivers in stock at Golfbidder.


Carl Pettersson is angry.  And why shouldn’t he be? He has just had the rug pulled out from under his career and he needs someone to vent on.  That would be the USGA's Mike Davis. Pettersson told Doug Ferguson:

pettersson_thumb[1] “It feels a bit like a witch hunt to me.  It was a pure reaction to Keegan and Ernie and Webb. They keep harping on the younger generation using them, but I think they're going to ban it because it looks bad. But you have strong arguments from other players, too.

There's no argument that it's a better way to putt because then everybody would be using it. “If it was easy, everybody on the PGA Tour would be using it. So I don't know where they got that from. It's just a different way of putting.”

For the third time in as many weeks reasonably handy tennis player Caroline Wozniacki has had to deny rumours that she is engaged to Rory McIlroy after she was this time spotted doing the hoovering at his Florida home.

According to reports Wozniacki could be clearly seen from the street moving through upstairs rooms methodically in about the same time as it takes to hoover. A neighbour later reported that she saw her outside the back door shoving a coat hanger wire into the top of the vacuum cleaner, believed to be a Dyson.

“It looked like Caroline hoovered up the top of a pen or a coin or something and it got clogged.  She was pissed off, I could tell, Dyson’s are not meant to lose suction” said Jessica Pennis, 29, who lives on the same road.

The sighting further fuels rumours that the pair are engaged.  Last week Wozniacki was seen sorting coloureds from whites before putting on a load of washing.  It’s thought the load included soiled undergarments.  The rumour mill started the previous week when the Dane was photographed with a toilet brush in her left hand.

Experts believe that seeing Wozniacki carrying out such mind numbingly boring mundane everyday tasks around the house mean that a wedding may soon be in the offing. 


2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions Betting Tips

The PGA Tour powers up slowly this week with the annual “bring the wife and kids along” Tournament of last years champions at the Plantation Course at Kapalua in Maui. The event runs from Friday to Monday so plenty of time to get your bet on.

The par 73, 7,400 yard course is distinctive in that it is wide open off the tee. Last seasons staging saw over 40 drives travelling 400 yards or more. The 8,000 sq foot greens are traditionally the easiest to hit on the PGA Tour.

betting tips funny pic

Steve Stricker 14/1

It seemed last season that Steve Stricker was fading just a little but seven top 10’s including a win here at Kapalua is not to be sneezed at. The veteran has posted four top 10’s in his last five visits here including a second to Daniel Chopra in 2008 and a tied fourth behind Jonathon Byrd in 2011. Stricker is a masters of the green complexes here leading the field in total putting and scrambling during last years staging. His second round of 63 which set up the win was just incredible.

Johnson Wagner 66/1

Wagner is pitched at 66/1 this week on the back of a terrible run to finish last season, not managing better than 25th in his last 20 events. For me however Wagner remains a good January campaigner. In his two appearances at this event he has top 10’d and last season he got his win the following week at the Sony Open before finishing second at the Clinton event. Worth an each way look.

Bill Haas 20/1

I was very impressed with the way Billy carried himself as the only American in South Africa at The Nedbank just before Christmas. He finished third there; a strong indicator that he intends carrying peak form through the Christmas season when most others have shelved their weaponry. Finished in eighth here two years ago.

Scott Piercy 25/1

They say first timers find it tough to handle The Plantation Course but last January Scott Piercy passed that exam with flying colours on his debut. He finished just outside the top 10 with rounds of 72, 71, 69, 68. Piercy was the form player at the end of 2012, expect even better from him this year.

Bubba Watson 14/1

Kapalua is custom made for Bubba Watson and if this tournament was staged mid season I reckon he would win every time. Bubbas length, you would think gives him a huge advantage here but for me it’s his prowess on the tricky Plantation Course greens that get him my vote this week. According to shotlink Watson played all four rounds without a single three putt. The problem is he may not be up for it after the Christmas break. Tied second last time out in Asia.


Well the prophecy came true.  Come the new year and Nike roll out Nick Watney and Kyle Stanley, the warm up acts for Rory McIlroy. As expected with Nike, both signed head-to-toe multi-year deals to include clubs, balls, footwear, gloves, apparel, headwear and accessories.
Watney, Stanley and McIlroy had been spotted filming a commercial for Nike in late 2012.

What’s In The Bag 2013 Nick Watney

Driver:  Nike VR_S Covert 11.5-degree, neutral position
Fairway Wood:  Nike VR_S Covert 3-wood/14-degree and 5-wood/18-degree
Irons:  Nike VR Pro Combo (3-PW)
Wedges: Nike VR Pro 55-degree and 59-degree
Putter: Nike Method Prototype
Ball: Nike 20XI
Apparel:  Nike Golf Tour Performance Collection
Footwear:  Nike Lunar Control II


What’s In The Bag 2013 Kyle Stanley

Driver:  Nike VR_S Covert 9.5-degree, neutral position
Fairway Wood:  Nike VR Pro Limited Edition 3-wood/15-degree
Irons:  Nike VR Pro Combo (2), VR Pro Blades (3-9)
Wedges: Nike VR Pro 52-degree, 56-degree and 60-degree
Ball: Nike 20XI X
Apparel:  Nike Golf Tour Performance
Footwear:  Nike Lunar Control II


It’s not looking like a happy new year is in store for everybody’s favourite Spanish golfer Miguel Angel Jimenez after he broke his leg  while skiing in Spain.

tibial nailJimenez fractured his right tibia after a fall in the Sierra Nevada range of Andalucia yesterday.  He was immediately brought down the mountain to a nearby hospital where he had surgery to nail the fracture.  The expected recovery time is approximately eight weeks before the leg can bear weight again followed by a further three months of physiotherapy to achieve full recovery.  This can also be subject to delays due to further surgeries to remove screws holding the tibial nail in place.

"I have been playing well but that's just the way it goes in life," Jimenez said. 


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In his Christmas address released yesterday Tour Chief George O’Grady was scathing in his criticism of Spanish golfers, warning them to speak like normal human beings or get the hell off his Tour.  Dressed in a light manuelblue office shirt with the sleeves rolled up to portray an air of doing something other than farting around all day O’Grady said  “Don’t get me wrong, I love Spanish golfers; they are flamboyant, strong and skilful, they just speak their own language at a million miles an hour and then are just rubbish at English.”

“Any man who says ‘JOO’ instead of ‘YOU’ deserves to be kicked in the arse,” continued O’Grady. “That’s basic stuff you might learn on the first day at school, yet they all still go around saying ‘joo this’ an ‘joo that’ and it’s getting on my wick.  I swear to God that upstart Larrazabal is just doing it now to piss me off.”

“From January 1st, all Spanish golfers found substituting the words ‘Joo’ for ‘You’ and ‘Percaps’ for ‘Perhaps’ can feck off and start their own Tour coz they’re not playing on mine.”

More as it emerges. 

First and foremost I have absolutely no vested interest in this, I rarely post videos for swing analyzers and training aids. It’s the 3 Bays GSA Golf Swing Analyzer and it’s just a tiny button on a tee like device that fits onto the butt end of the golf club.  In the video Martin Chuck puts it through its paces and compares the data to that produced from trackman.  What do you think?


World Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2013 International Ballot Results

Candidate                                 Voting Results (%)
Colin Montgomerie                 51 %
Graham Marsh                           34
Ian Woosnam                             21
Padraig Harrington                   19
Retief Goosen                           18

montyandflavia11Grab the tissues. Here’s what Monty said.

“I know I am very fortunate to have enjoyed such a successful career playing the game I love and it makes me feel very proud that my achievements have been recognized in this way. While my eight Order of Merit wins were very special, as everyone knows my Ryder Cup experiences have provided the very best moments in my career and receiving this great honour is the icing on the cake. I am delighted that my dear friend Ken Schofield’s notable contribution to European golf will also be recognized at next year’s Ceremony and I look forward to sharing this special occasion with him.”


I’ve heard this all year long.  First from a member of an International Amateur golf team and just last weekend from Sean Kelly who manages a pro cycling team in Belgium.  Where once the dinner at squad sessions was all chat and banter it’s now almost deathly silence with every man just staring blankly at his phone.

0406_tiger_phone_ap_02 He’s checking his facebook or twitter, or maybe posting a picture of the great time he’s not having because he’s too busy on his phone. It’s an epidemic that’s ruining team building all across sport.

How do you build team spirit?  At the dinner table and in group sessions where players get to know each other, get to interact, get to slag each other off for playing badly.  Believe it or not it’s this interaction, this bonding, this joking around that helps build team moral.

Carry on with our heads buried in our phones and where will be?  A bunch of repressed shy retiring individuals, who for whom team will mean nothing.

So please managers and coaches of every team, from club to country, implement a rule of no phones at meals or group sessions.  You can always leave 10 minutes at the end for the guys to rub out a quick tweet behind the bike shed.

Rant Over!


The last OWGR for the year were finalized on Sunday.  This is important in that Augusta National invites the top 50 to next year's Masters.

thor_thumb[1] Desperately unlucky to not make it was Ireland’s Shane Lowry, who won the Portugal Masters but missed the lucrative Dubai World Championship due to illness. Others to miss out include Henrik Stenson, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Richie Ramsay, Marcus Fraser and Padraig Harrington who finished in 59th

On a brighter note Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen's did make it into the top 50, ironically enough by not playing since the Dubai World Championship. Geoff Ogilvy, who is 56th, is in line to temporarily pass Olesen into 50th,  after a fourth-place finish in the Australian PGA Championship, but Olesen will again overtake Ogilvy over the next two weeks.

Weird I know but the OWGR ranks players based on average points earned per tournament in the past two years. Points earned for a specific finish decrease as time passes from that tournament; thus the reason for Ogilvy's fall.

Others to make it to Augusta are George Coetzee, Paul Lawrie, Francesco Molinari, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Branden Grace, Nicolas Colsaerts, Matteo Manassero with Bill Haas and Jason Day from the PGA Tour.




clip_image001[74] Pt.s

clip_image001[75] Tot.

clip_image001[76]# of

clip_image001[77] Pts.

clip_image001[78] Pts.









Rory McIlroy,  Nir







Luke Donald,  Eng







Tiger Woods,  USA







Justin Rose,  Eng







Adam Scott,  Aus







Louis Oosthuizen,  Zaf







Lee Westwood,  Eng







Bubba Watson,  USA







Jason Dufner,  USA







Brandt Snedeker,  USA







Webb Simpson,  USA







Ian Poulter,  Eng







Keegan Bradley,  USA







Charl Schwartzel,  Zaf







Graeme McDowell,  Nir







Sergio Garcia,  Esp







Phil Mickelson,  USA







Steve Stricker,  USA







Peter Hanson,  Swe







Nick Watney,  USA







Matt Kuchar,  USA







Bo Van Pelt,  USA







Dustin Johnson,  USA







Ernie Els,  Zaf







Zach Johnson,  USA







Hunter Mahan,  USA







Jim Furyk,  USA







Martin Kaymer,  Deu







Paul Lawrie,  Sco







Francesco Molinari,  Ita







Rickie Fowler,  USA







Carl Pettersson,  Swe







Gonzalo Fdez-Castano,  Esp







Branden Grace,  Zaf







Bill Haas,  USA







Nicolas Colsaerts,  Bel







Jason Day,  Aus







John Senden,  Aus







Robert Garrigus,  USA







Ryan Moore,  USA







Scott Piercy,  USA







David Toms,  USA







Hiroyuki Fujita,  Jpn







Matteo Manassero,  Ita







Thomas Bjorn,  Dnk







David Lynn,  Eng







Jamie Donaldson,  Wal







K.J. Choi,  Kor







George Coetzee,  Zaf







Thorbjorn Olesen,  Dnk






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