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’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

I’ve been asked by people to list the players who have changed equipment brands for the upcoming season.  It’s not an exhaustive list but should see you right when it comes to figuring where the top players have gone.


In: Rory McIlroy, Nick Watney, Thorbjorn Olesen, Seung Yul Noh and Kyle Stanley.


In: Nicolas Colsaerts, Gary Woodland, Ryo Ishikawa, Chris Kirk, Andres Gonzales and Jamie Sadlowski.


In: John Huh, Stewart Cink, Ryan Moore, J.J. Henry, David Higgins and Brian Davis.


In: Jesper Parnevik.

Staying Put

Titleist: Lost 8 but retains: Steve Stricker, Adam Scott.

Ping: Retains Louis Ooshuizen, Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson.

Cleveland/Srixon: Retains Keegan Bradley and Graeme McDowell.

Mizuno: Retains Luke Donald.

Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation
PGA West (Palmer Course & Nicklaus Private)  ∙  La Quinta
also check out my HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship Tips here

Tim Clark 16/1

tim clark funny_thumb[5] Super to see Tim Clark back on top form after a mysterious elbow injury threatened his career.  Second last week at the Sony Open and comes to the desert knowing these three courses suit him down to the ground. La Quinta, the longest of the three is just over 7,000 yards from the tips.  This will be Tim’s fifth start in the Humana/Bob Hope, he’s come second twice and tied fifth on another occasion.  My big tip this week.

Robert Garrigus  25/1

One of the most in form players when the Tour wound down in November posting seconds at the Childrens Miracle Network Classic and the CIMB in Malaysia.  Garrigus came out of the blocks here strongly last year tying second behind Mark Wilson.

Brendon deJonge 50/1

The big powerful South African played nicely last week at the Sony but his putter was stone cold.  Tying seventh in greens hit on the shotlink stats should have yielded a much better payday than a tied 54th.  However the greens in the desert  this week will be more to his liking.  Finished last season in great form with three top-4 finishes.  Brendon shot a final round 64 to tie 12th here last year and I fancy a good performance.

Pat Perez 40/1

humana A winner here under the old five day format in 2009 and tied for 14th with a final round 63 in 2012 under the new.  Double P also shot a 63 in the second round at the Sony Open last week on his way to a top 10.  If he’s in the mood, he’s a threat. If!

Best Of The Rest

Bill Haas 25/1 has fond memories of his 2010 win and tied second in 2011 and though he did struggle at the Tournament Of Champions, so did everyone, the conditions were atrocious.  We tipped Mark Wilson last week but he bombed out badly for us.  Nevertheless he is the defending champion, the course set up is ideal for him and he is available at a very generous 66/1.

Dubai-20130110-00905 Rory McIlroy was asked twice during the Nike equipment unveil press conference whether or not he retained the right to use his Scotty Cameron putter.  He went out of his way to avoid answering the question.

“I’ve no comment to make on that”, Rory said.

When pressed again he said “I’m not here to get into specifics about the contract.”

Reading between the lines, it was as clear as day that he does contractually have the right to use his Scotty Cameron if he wishes.  He had the Titleist putter in his bag in Dubai which would not have been permitted by Nike otherwise.  I also have it from a Titleist insider that this is the case.

Check out my .


Without betting on Rory McIlroy 6/1 or Tiger Woods 8/1 (odds from betfair)

also check out my Humana Classic Tips here

Martin Kaymer 10/1

Martin-Kaymer Holing the winning putt at the Ryder Cup last year certainly seemed to give Martin a much needed injection of confidence towards the end of the season as he went on to record three top 11 finishes from his final four events. Although he did missed the cut (77,73) here last year, Kaymer has a stellar record in Abu Dhabi with three wins and a tied second since its inception in 2006. A bit of a gamble being that he’s just coming out of blocks but hey that’s the name of the game.

Branden Grace 48/1

Four wins in 2012 and who’s to say he wont repeat that this season. And maybe even bag a Major? Grace tied for 7th last week in South Africa which was pretty spectacular given that he opened with a 75. Looking at his form in Abu Dhabi you will be disappointed to learn he missed the cut on his debut last year (75, 73) but you have to take into account that he was most probably exhausted after winning the Joburg Open and Volvo Golf Champions events back to back. I think Branden will feature this week.

Matteo Manassero 50/1

abu dhab It’s Matteo’s 75th tournament in the big division this week and he’s already won an impressive three times. The Italian finished last season strongly, winning in Singapore and playing well in Hong Kong. Like Branden Grace, Matteo too started poorly in South Africa last week but rallied for a top 10. If he can improve his greens in regulation stats this week in Abu Dhabi, I see him emulating his tied sixth from 2012 where he lead the field in putting with 25.5 putts per round for the tournament. Second in driving accuracy and 7th in the GIR stats at the Volvo Golf Champions, Matteo also lead the field in putting.

Paul Lawrie 48/1

The wily old Scot showed he still has what it takes to cut it at the highest level with a tied 7th last week in Durban. Lawrie has been a strong starter for the past couple of seasons and he won in Qatar in week 5 last year. Tee to green, he has the ideal game for this week and if he can improve his putting performance from last year when he tied 8th , he can contend. Topped the GIR stats last week in Durban.

Henrik Stenson 36/1

I think everyone wants to see Henrik Stenson get back to his best after his struggles with his game. Impressed greatly at the big money season finale in Dubai where he tied seventh. The Swede finished second in the inaugural staging of this event in 2006 and went on to win it two years later. Worth a look.

Best Of The Rest

I don’t know how much the Ryder Cup selection process will interfere with Thomas Bjorn’s (60/1) performance this week but he does sit on the committee and is likely to be in the thick of the debate. If he does get to concentrate on the golf I definitely saw enough from him South Africa to think he can contend. Also keep an eye out for Shane Lowry 75/1 who may be worth a bet this week. He finished the year with six top 10’s including his win in Portugal and seemed to be striping it last week. Shane has a best of fourth here in 2010.

Previous Top 10’s

1 Robert Rock 69 70 66 70 -2 -13 275 $451,131
2 Rory McIlroy 67 72 68 69 -3 -12 276 $300,754
T3 Graeme McDowell 72 69 68 68 -4 -11 277 $139,851
T3 Thomas Bjorn 73 71 65 68 -4 -11 277 $139,851
T3 Tiger Woods 70 69 66 72 E -11 277 $139,851
T6 Matteo Manassero 73 65 71 69 -3 -10 278 $87,971
T6 George Coetzee 71 72 65 70 -2 -10 278 $87,971
T8 Keith Horne 71 71 68 69 -3 -9 279 $58,061
T8 Thorbjorn Olesen 70 67 71 71 -1 -9 279 $58,061
T8 Paul Lawrie 70 69 68 72 E -9 279 $58,061
T8 Francesco Molinari 74 67 66 72 E -9 279 $58,061
1 Martin Kaymer 67 65 66 66 -6 -24 264 $434,718
2 Rory McIlroy 71 67 65 69 -3 -16 272 $289,812
T3 Retief Goosen 70 71 69 64 -8 -14 274 $146,848
T3 Graeme McDowell 66 70 71 67 -5 -14 274 $146,848
T5 Gareth Maybin 71 67 69 69 -3 -12 276 $100,942
T5 David Lynn 69 68 67 72 E -12 276 $100,942
7 Rafael Cabrera-Bello 71 73 67 66 -6 -11 277 $78,249
T8 Francesco Molinari 71 72 69 66 -6 -10 278 $58,600
T8 Ricardo Gonzalez 72 68 71 67 -5 -10 278 $58,600
T8 Charl Schwartzel 64 71 71 72 E -10 278 $58,600
1 Martin Kaymer 67 67 67 66 -6 -21 267 $365,000
2 Ian Poulter 65 70 67 66 -6 -20 268 $243,324
3 Rory McIlroy 66 69 67 67 -5 -19 269 $137,094
4 Shane Lowry 68 65 71 67 -5 -17 271 $109,500
5 Louis Oosthuizen 67 71 68 66 -6 -16 272 $92,856
T6 Ariel Canete 70 65 74 64 -8 -15 273 $71,175
T6 Rhys Davies 66 68 72 67 -5 -15 273 $71,175
T8 David Horsey 73 66 70 65 -7 -14 274 $49,202
T8 Anders Hansen 69 70 68 67 -5 -14 274 $49,202
T8 Soren Hansen 72 67 68 67 -5 -14 274 $49,202
1 Paul Casey 69 65 63 70 -2 -21 267 $357,879
T2 Louis Oosthuizen 67 69 68 64 -8 -20 268 $186,503
T2 Martin Kaymer 68 68 65 67 -5 -20 268 $186,503
4 Anthony Wall 67 67 69 67 -5 -18 270 $107,365
T5 Rory McIlroy 66 69 71 65 -7 -17 271 $76,873
T5 Padraig Harrington 71 66 68 66 -6 -17 271 $76,873
T5 Johan Edfors 66 69 69 67 -5 -17 271 $76,873
T8 Sergio Garcia 70 71 67 64 -8 -16 272 $50,891
T8 Danny Willett 71 66 68 67 -5 -16 272 $50,891
T10 Francesco Molinari 67 69 71 66 -6 -15 273 $39,797
T10 Bradley Dredge 71 69 66 67 -5 -15 273 $39,797
T10 Peter Hanson 67 71 66 69 -3 -15 273 $39,797
1 Martin Kaymer 66 65 68 74 +2 -15 273 $293,048
T2 Henrik Stenson 67 70 69 71 -1 -11 277 $152,718
T2 Lee Westwood 69 73 65 70 -2 -11 277 $152,718
T4 Richard Finch 71 70 69 68 -4 -10 278 $74,669
T4 Ignacio Garrido 69 70 70 69 -3 -10 278 $74,669
T4 Peter Hedblom 69 70 69 70 -2 -10 278 $74,669
T7 James Kingston 71 68 72 68 -4 -9 279 $48,353
T7 Scott Strange 72 71 66 70 -2 -9 279 $48,353
T9 Ian Poulter 70 70 73 67 -5 -8 280 $37,276
T9 Paul McGinley 72 71 66 71 -1 -8 280 $37,276
1 Paul Casey 71 68 67 65 -7 -17 271 $312,959
T2 Peter Hanson 70 68 66 68 -4 -16 272 $163,094
T2 Miguel Angel Jimenez 71 65 68 68 -4 -16 272 $163,094
4 Chris DiMarco 69 70 68 66 -6 -15 273 $93,889
T5 Retief Goosen 66 72 68 68 -4 -14 274 $67,224
T5 Jean-Francois Lucquin 70 69 67 68 -4 -14 274 $67,224
T5 Padraig Harrington 68 67 68 71 -1 -14 274 $67,224
8 Henrik Stenson 66 72 70 67 -5 -13 275 $46,944
T9 Robert-Jan Derksen 70 69 69 68 -4 -12 276 $39,809
T9 Phillip Price 69 65 71 71 -1 -12 276 $39,809
1 Chris DiMarco 71 67 63 67 -5 -20 268 $334,240
2 Henrik Stenson 69 69 62 69 -3 -19 269 $238,690
3 Sergio Garcia 70 69 65 66 -6 -18 270 $134,479
4 Ricardo Gonzalez 68 68 67 68 -4 -17 271 $107,412
5 Miguel Angel Jimenez 70 68 64 71 -1 -15 273 $91,085
T6 Jyoti Randhawa 71 70 69 65 -7 -13 275 $69,818
T6 Colin Montgomerie 72 68 65 70 -2 -13 275 $65,177
T8 Vijay Singh 68 70 69 70 -2 -11 277 $50,913
T8 Charl Schwartzel 69 66 68 74 +2 -11 277 $50,913
T10 Ian Poulter 72 69 68 69 -3 -10 278 $41,246
T10 David Lynn 69 69 70 70 -2 -10 278 $41,246

bubba watson funny paris joke pic[10]I like Bubba; he’s a character no doubt but he has some strange phobias. He’s afraid of the dark, get’s anxiety attacks in a crowd and is scared to death of heights.  He can only sit in certain parts of a restaurant and is barred from France!

Yesterday a GolfCentralDaily reader and PGA Tour caddie who plays at the same club as Bubba overheard him making a strange request of the head pro.  

Apparently Bubba asked the head pro to spread the word to members to QUIT asking for his autograph whenever he goes there.

So if you see Bubba at the club today, you know what to do.  Ask him for his autograph!

Whether I unwittingly spoiled NIke’s party by posting his new Nike bag pics last week, today in Abu Dhabi saw the official unveil of Rory McIlroy’s new sponsorship deal.
Rory is set to play the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship with his new equipment.  Tiger Woods is also in the field. 
Most of McIlroy’s former sponsors including Hotel giant  Jumeirah have been paid off meaning Rory will only sport a swoosh apparel and bag.  Former clothing sponsor Oakley are suing Rory and Nike.
Full details of figures involved in the Nike will not be revealed.  Rumours say it’s worth anywhere from $190 to $250 million over 10 years.
In his bag will 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. 

 Here’s what’s set to be in Rory’s Nike bag this season. 

Irish pro, Peter O’Keeffe is going that extra mile with his pre-season training in the hope of winning a European challenge tour event in 2013.

O’Keeffe begins his season on the European Challenge Tour in March in Nairobi and having sampled life on the tour in 2008 and 2009, the 31 year-old believes he is now more experienced, fitter and ready for a tough six months which will see him live life out of a suitcase travelling all over Europe.

In preparation for the Challenge tour O’Keeffe, who just missed out on qualifying for a European Tour card at the final qualifying stage in the PGA Catalunya Resort in November has hired a professional golf fitness coach to take him to the next level in terms of mental and physical fitness.

For the past six months Luke Dennehy of Dennehy’s Health and Fitness, in Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland has worked with O’Keeffe completely transforming his physical training routine, while also working on the mental side of his game.

committeeIn case you were wondering who was on the committee who will choose the 2014 Ryder Cup Captain tomorrow night, here are the names:

Thomas Bjorn (chairman), Paul Casey, Darren Clarke, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, , David Howell, Raphael Jacquelin, Peter Lawrie, Paul McGinley, Francesco Molinari, Colin Montgomerie, Felipe Aguilar and Henrik Stenson.  Joakim Haeggman, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Robert Karlsson will not be at the meeting.


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If you think Darren Clarke got up yesterday morning and while brushing his teeth decided to no longer be in the race for Europe’s next Ryder Cup Captain, then you’re a bigger fool than me.  If this Ryder Cup committee were a parliament it would be Italian and Monty would be Silvio Berlusconi.  Blissfully unaware of his deep unpopularity due a rare glitch in his cerebral cortex, he wants back.  It’s highly political and getting messy.

darrenAnd where is  Darren left?  I wonder what his friends and confidants would be saying to him over a beer.  Maybe something like this.

Bottle of bud: Who wants to be pitched against Tom Watson next time anyway?  And you have to be ready to deal with being beaten if McGinners is chosen this time, after all he has the experience?

Bottle of bud: Whatever happens mate, both yourself and Paul certainly don’t want to come off looking like little schoolboys with reddened bottoms if Montgomerie barges back in and spanks your ass? That’s the worst case scenario. Wait until America, play your golf, enjoy your exemptions. They’ll love you over there, and if we win, it will be against the odds.

Chaser: Anyway they’ll probably have Jay Haas or the like as Captain in 2016; you’re taller and more handsome than him; you’ll look great bra!

Bottle of bud: Why not just say you’re playing too well to do this time.

The word inside the ropes is that it’s a done deal.  McGinley will Captain in 2014 with Clarke taking over in 2016.  Monty will not be Captain. 

Personally I dont get the hullabulloo over countering who the USA Captain is. Tom Watson wont be playing, so what’s the problem. The Irish soccer team appointed one of the greatest managers of all time in Giovanni Trappatoni to great fanfare then his team performed horribly on a big stage. It’s a proven fact that you cannot shine a shite, not comparing Team USA to a shite for a second, but hopefully you get the point. Watson wont make a good team into a great team, that doesn’t happen in golf, otherwise the USA would still be playing against GB&I every two years. GB&I had some great Captains yet needed European players to bolster the roster and save the Ryder Cup. A great team will make a great team.

Time for Darren to say a few words on the matter. He told SkySports 

"As much as I would dearly love to be captain, this may not be my time.  I am exempt for another three years and if I was given the opportunity to do the captaincy, I'd effectively be throwing two of those years away. I played my best golf for about 18 months towards the end of last year. If they asked me to do it in Gleneagles it would be a difficult decision."

This is not over yet! They say its a done deal, but there’s sure to be plenty of shouting!


You have to love this.  Qatar want Tiger to come play in their event where the winner gets about $460,000.  Tiger asks for a $3 million appearance fee. The Qatar sheikh (lets call him that) who has cottoned on to the fact that players think they just throw money everywhere to get what they want  gets angry and tells everyone 
“Tiger Woods demands $3 million just for an appearance, if he were to compete in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters - which is not worth paying for a tournament of $2.5 million prize money.”
But only I know what really happened in the negotiations between Woods and the Qatar Sheikh.  Enjoy!

When Tiger Met The Qatar Sheikh

Thanks to all our GCD readers to facebooked and tweeted to tell me who had latched onto the Rory Nike bag pics.  It went viral!

First Ryan Lavner on golfchannel had it (took my logo off the pic mind you) but how and ever they did link back to me!

golfchannelThen the King of equipment himself David Dusek from published it.  All hail the King! 

Shane Bacon on Yahoo had it as did USAToday for God sakes!

yahoo shane bacon usa today

But the icing on the cake was a mention from Geoff, yes Geoff Shackleford.  I’ve been trying for 5 years to give a mention on that damn site and I finally made it.  My work here on Earth is complete.  Right back to being a nobody then I suppose!

geoff shackleford

Thanks to everyone who clicked through to the Rory bag pics yesterday.  Please be assured it was not planned or anything like that, a reader just sent me the pic and I posted.  I didn’t ask for or receive anything in return.  I’m too thick for that!

Having spent yesterday busily fending off USAtoday, the golfchannel and irate suits, I didn’t get around to posting details of Rory’s new charitable foundation.  Here are the details

‘The Rory Foundation’ launches with The 6 Bags Project

Today, Thursday 10th January at 1pm (GMT) in Holywood, Co Down, the birthplace of World Number 1 Golfer and 2012 US PGA Tour Player of the Year Rory McIlroy, details of the first fundraising initiative of The Rory Foundation were released.
The Rory Foundation – a registered charity (1137174) has been set up by Rory to help children from around the world. Rory said from Dubai today “When I was younger my parents sacrificed everything to allow me to play the game I love. Having that support from my family gave me the opportunity to chase my dreams. Rory Mock Up_thumb[2] But I know that every child is not so fortunate. My aim is that The Rory Foundation will support children’s charities big and small, around the world, that try to give kids that helping hand”.
The 6 Bags Project is the first fundraiser that The Rory Foundation is undertaking. For each of the first 6 tournaments Rory plays in for the first four months of 2013 Rory’s golf bag will carry the name and logo of a children’s charity.  During the tournament the bag will be auctioned through with all monies raised going to the featured charity.  The aim where possible is that each charity will be active within the community where the tournament is being held.
The first charity whose logo will be carried on the golf bag in Abu Dhabi is a charity from Rory’s home – The Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children (NICFC).  Gillian Cleery, CEO for the charity said today “We are so proud to be the first of the 6 nominated charities benefiting from The 6 Bags project. This association with Rory will not only have a significant impact on children and young people who look up to Rory and are inspired by him, but will also help to maintain Rory’s very important links to Northern Ireland as he moves increasingly into a global circuit. Our aim is to create a brand new therapeutic centre for children and their families any monies raised from being part of The 6 Bags Project will go towards fulfilling this dream”.
Gerry McIlroy, Rory’s father who is one of four trustees of The Rory Foundation said “Myself and my wife Rosie are very proud of what Rory has achieved on and off the golf course. The creation of this Foundation is, for Rory, we feel a natural progression and is ultimately about giving back. “
The 6 tournaments are listed below with the respective charity that will benefit. The exception is The Masters where the charity has been decided upon but will be  announced at a later date.
(1)HSBC Abu Dhabi (17 – 20th January) – Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children

(2) WGC -Accenture Match Play Championship (20 – 24th February): Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson
(3) Honda Classic (28th February – 3rd March):  Child Protection Team of the Palm Beaches
(4) WGC-Cadillac Championship (7th – 10th March): First Tee Miami-Dade Amateur Golf Association
(5) Shell Houston Open: (25th -31st March):  Chinquapin School
(6) The Masters (11th-14th April):  To Be Announced
The 6 Bags Project is the first in a number of innovative fundraisers that The Rory Foundation is going to be involved with during 2013. As Rory himself said from Abu Dhabi  “I had a childhood, a great childhood and if The Rory Foundation can help one child achieve a better quality of life then job done”.

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 

We still think he retains the option of using his Scotty Cameron putter if he wishes.

These pics were taken at the Els Club in Dubai where Rory McIlroy was practicing.  A passer by snapped a pic of Rory’s new Nike clubs and there, pride of place was his trusty Scotty Cameron headcover. It seems incomprehensible that a Nike Method putter would be sheathed in a Scotty headcover. However eagle eyed spotters will also notice the Swoosh headcover of the Nike Method putter snuggled in behind the irons. My read is that Rory has his choice of both (like Tiger Woods), otherwise Nike would not even allow the Scotty to be seen in the bag under their strict marketing rules.
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.
Also check out my updated Rory McIlroy What’s In The Bag 2013 post here.

What’s In The Nike Bag 2013 Rory McIlroy

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Colin Montgomerie is not a bad man. But he is a proud man, a man with an ego. You don’t get to the top in professional golf without one. But beneath the soft underbelly there’s a cutting edge there. The edge that got him all those Ryder Cup singles wins, the edge that made him a feared Captain. That cutting edge is double sided though, and is capable of inflicting damage to his own if he doesn’t get his way. Monty is Rooster Cogburn in True Grit; armed and ready, undoubtedly heroic, but of questionable character.

rooster bridgesMonty didn’t win a Major during his career but he did become one of the most feared European players in Ryder history. That’s his thing, that’s his shtick. The media made him Mr. Ryder Cup and he was happy to run with it. His Captaincy in Wales further enhanced his credentials. And sharpened that edge.

Even though the unwritten rule amongst the players clique says that the days of one man Captaining a team twice are gone such is the waiting list, Monty, in his hearts of hearts is bursting to do it all again. And why wouldn’t he? It is human nature to want to relive great moments in life, to want to be in the limelight, to be in the thick of the action again, to crave the adulation, to want to stay relevant. Like The Rooster.

Montgomerie also knows the story and he sees Darren, Paul, Thomas, Paul, Padraig and co in the queue. He’s not openly canvassing for the job. Yet he his. By making statements, by planting doubt, by not backing anyone else, by being very political when asked about it. It’s killing Monty that he can’t make like Vladamir Putin or Robert Mugabe and change the rules so that he can stay in charge forever.

In South Africa yesterday, Monty, just one eye patch short of The Rooster, said “I've always said that we need the best man for the job, whoever that is….and if we're going for the best man for the job then that doesn't say you shouldn't do it again.” And you know he’s not talking about Bernard Gallagher, Tony Jacklin, Woosie or Torrance.

rooster wayneMonty now works part-time as an analyst for Sky Sports and having done a crash course in media, he’s well aware of the wound his words can inflict on the face of the Ryder Cup debate. With only days to go before the Captaincy is decided, he’s got his horse saddled. Just in case.

He’s quickly becoming a master in planting doubt in people’s mind by using something an unnamed someone else said; “I thought it was between Darren and Paul until Darren said something, then my name was mentioned”. Slick.

Yes indeed Monty is the real life the Rooster Cogburn, in the face of insurmountable odds, the only man who can go out and get the bad guy. “I've never canvassed, as I didn't last time. I've not spoken to anybody about this. But I've always felt that if I was asked I would do it and that's still the case.”

Anyone who’s seen the Rooster knows that his services always cost. Monty at the helm again would cost too. And I’m not talking about money.  If Monty does ride off into the Sunset at the end of this with a lifeless Tom Watson draped over the back of his saddle, yes he will have won the day, but the wounds inflicted on his own side along the way will be tough to patch up.

Here’s what’s in the bag of TaylorMade staffer Dustin Johnson for the 2013 season.

Driver: TaylorMade R1 (10 degrees, Fujikura Motore Fuel 2.0 X shaft)
3-Wood: TaylorMade R11S (15.5 degrees, Aldila RIP Series X shaft)
5-Wood: TaylorMade R9 (19 degrees, Aldila RIP Series X shafts)
3-9 Irons: RocketBladez Tour (True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts)
48-Degree Wedge: RocketBladez Tour (True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft)
54-Degree Wedge: TaylorMade TP xFT (KBS Black Nickel shaft)
60-Degree Wedge: TaylorMade TP xFT (KBS Black Nickel shaft)
Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport prototype
Ball: TaylorMade Penta TP5

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?!


Technorati Tags:

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.

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