I just loved this story from a guy who was playing St Andrews and some confusion about the name of the bridge. Everyone I know and TV commentators and golfing professionals alike all refer to it as the Swilcan Bridge. But according to a desk clerk at the clubhouse  it was referred to as the ” Stony Bridge, it is actually a stone bridge over the Swilcan Burn.”

Your comments and even official dialogue are welcome.

So the story about the Bridge is from a Canadian travel tourist, and goes as follows;

The first time I played St Andrews I hit my drive on the 18th well to the left. That is the safe drive as up the right side is out of bounds. The left side … well there is no left side as the fairway is shared with #1 and as you now know is very wide. As I was crossing the bridge I saw a fellow coming down #1. In fact I watched him hit my ball to the first green. I approached him and told him what he had done. At first he denied it and then he said “Ah for F’s sake, sorry, I flew all night from Cincinnati. I am dead tired and don’t even know what I am doing out here.” And then he walked away.

So I hit his ball to the 18th green.

                    

standrews.co.uk

Snedeker Wins Farmers Open Golf Playoff After Stanley Stumbles at Last Hole

Kyle Stanley blew a three-shot lead on the final hole at the Farmers Open at Torrey Pines. Stanely  made a triple-bogey 8 at the par-5 18th hole, allowing Brandt Snedeker an opportunity in a play off, which he had never expected.     Snedeker then collected his third career victory when Stanley, who was seeking his first win, missed a five-foot par putt on the second extra hole.

Talking about his victory Brandt said; “You never want to see anybody go through that, not even your worst enemy on the planet.  But he’s an unbelievably talented player, and the sky’s the limit for him. I hope he does not beat himself up too much over this.”

Asked about his last hole meltdown Stanley admitted; “Looking back, I don’t really know what I was thinking. It’s not a hard golf hole, it’s really a pretty straightforward par-5. I could probably play it a thousand times and never make an 8.”

He was in tears during his post match interview, but tried to remain positive;

“It’s just tough to swallow right now. I just need to be patient. One of my goals coming into this year was to just keep putting myself in position, and I’ll do that.”

Lydia Ko plays her way into golfing history

Kiwi Lydia Ko has entered golf’s history books, just a year after she three-putted to gift Caroline Hedwall a one stroke victory in the NSW Open, the ultra-talented 14-year-old found redemption as she won her first ALPG tour title and in doing so became the youngest woman ever to win a professional tournament.

Lydia Ko
John Kirk-Anderson

The North Harbour teenager, held playing partner Lindsay Wright at arms length over the third and final round to supplant Amy Yang at the top of the leader board of junior golfing prodigies with a commanding four shot victory. Lydia was delighted with her achievement.

“Making history is amazing, I’m pretty speechless. Last year was such a good year and if this year is as good as it was last year, it will be amazing.”

The professional ranks must be looking over their shoulders, waiting for Lydia’s arrival among their ranks. Lydia’s next assignment is at the Australian Women’s Masters at the Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast starting Thursday. She then she heads back to Melbourne for the Australian Open at Royal Melbourne from February 9-12.

Robert Rock Wins HSBC Abu Dahbi Championship

With this win - Robert Rock

Robert Rock has won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship by one shot over Rory McIlroy. Roberts final round 70 earned him a winning total of -13 under par and edged out Rory McIlroy whose last round 69 left him on -12 under par for the tournament.

Tiger Woods final round of 72 left him two shots in arrears at -11 under par, the once legendary last round charge never appeared. Still with his appearance money he still took home more cash than anybody else. As I said in an earlier blog, just a well paid vacation for him. What is evident is that although Tiger is playing good golf, he is still not the world beater he once was.

Finishing with Tiger on -11 under par were Thomas Bjorn and Graeme McDowell, who both showed good form in this tournament and that bodes well for the rest of the season for them.

Lee Westwood finished with -6 for a share of 17th place and world number one Luke Donald could only muster a total of  -1 and finished in 48th spot. The first time for a long time that Luke has not finished in the top ten. I hope that’s not a sign of things to come for him or his position at #1 could be in jeopardy.

Kyle Stanley builds five-shot lead at Torrey Pines

Kyle Stanley  opened a five-shot lead in the Farmers Insurance Open on Saturday. even though  he missed a 4-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole that would have broken the 54-hole tournament record set by Tiger Woods in 1998. That record of course was set before Rees Jones beefed up the South Course for the 2008 U.S. Open.  On the 526-yard 13th hole Kyle blasted a tee shot so far down the hill that he only needed a soft 7-iron into the green, leaving the ball just 15 feet below the hole just on the fringe leading to a two-putt birdie. On seeing the tee shot his playing partner Sang-moon Bae turned to him and said with a smile; “Are you playing this as a par 4?”

Kyle’s round of 68 gave him a 54 hole total of -18 under par and feeling happy with his days work;  ” This is something you dream about as a kid. But there’s still one more round. I’m very pleased, I’m putting really well and driving it well and hitting my irons well. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing, I’m pretty relaxed, pretty comfortable and I really like this golf course.

 

Doing things right

Dunn/Getty Images

Kyle Stanley’s nearest challengers are John Huh and John Rollins, both a daunting five shots off the top at -13 under par for the tournament.

It will be interesting to see if Kyle can remain cool, calm and collected in the final round

Tiger & Rock Lead after Day 3 of Abu Dhabi Golf Championship

Tiger Woods and Robert Rock share the top of the leader board after round three of the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship on Saturday. Both players are -11 under par after shooting super scores of sixty six, Woods round was bogey free. Tiger was very satisfied with his steady round; “I didn’t do a lot of things right, but I didn’t do a lot of things wrong today. It was just very consistent. I made a couple of putts here and there, but it was just a very consistent round of golf.

Expressing his satisfaction with the tournament Tiger commented; “It was a nice atmosphere today; people were into it. Each day, the gallery has gotten bigger and bigger and bigger. It was fun and you could see that everyone was excited to be out there. The weather is perfect to come out and watch the event. It’s a great leaderboard, so I think everyone is happy.”

Tiger also acknowledged that he had a fight on his hands to win the trophy; “There’s too many guys up there right now. There’s a ton of guys with a chance to win. We have not separated ourselves from the field. I need to go out there and shoot a solid round of golf, and I can’t go out there and shoot even par and expect to win. I’ve got to go out there and go get it.”

 

Robert was extremely happy that he had achieved a last round pairing with Tiger; “That’s an opportunity not to be missed. I bogeyed the 16th hole and thought it might have cost me. So two birdies to finish put me back in there. I just want to experience it. How many chances I’ll get to do that, it’s not clear.”

Rory McIlroy is at -9 under par, tied for third place with Paul Lawrie, Francessco Molinari and Peter Hanson, all of these players have a chance of winning this tournament if Woods and Rock do not perform at their best on Sunday. Rory said about playing alongside Tiger;

“It’s a great atmosphere, as you can hear, and it’s a great buzz playing with Tiger. “I’ll miss the crowds and miss the buzz tomorrow even though I’ll be in the second-to-last group, so I’ll still get a bit of it.”

He is still feeling confident about his chances; “I feel pretty comfortable, and I’ve been hitting a lot of great iron shots and I feel like the putting has been pretty good. So hopefully I can just keep that going tomorrow and maybe get off to a fast start and put pressure on the guys in front of me.”

Two shots further back on -7 under par are Italian whiz kid Matteo Manassero and Graeme Mcdowell, but they are probably too far back to mount a serious challenge. Golf is a funny game so anything can happen, I look forward to Sunday’s final round.

 

 

Mickelson misses cut, daughter recovering from health scare.

Phil Mickelson’s ten year old daughter Sophia fainted and suffered a small seizure while at school last Friday morning, while Phil was playing in the Humana Challenge in La Quinta. Poor Sophia had to spent Friday to Monday at Children’s Hospital in San Diego, then had to return on the Thursday for medical tests while her dad was struggling to a 5-over-par 77 on the South Course during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open.

Amy Mickelson praised her daughters courage; “It’s been a rough week, but you get through it. She’s been a trouper. She’s held up pretty well.”

She added that she knows her husband was worried about Sophia, but would not use that as an excuse for playing poorly. He wanted to withdraw from the tournament but she insisted she had the situation handled.

“When Phil is working, he had to focus on hitting shots.  That’s  kind of the way I’ve looked at our last few years. I’ve seen it as a positive distraction for him. But does he worry? Yes.”

I guess knowing the all the facts that no one could chastise Phil for his dismal start to the season opener, who would not be worried about their daughters health. Good luck Phil, there are many tournaments, and get well Sophia.

Phil did not mention his daughter’s condition after his round on Thursday, although he did make a cryptic comment when he said, “I just wasn’t able to focus.”

After missing the cut on Friday Phil said; “I don’t feel bad about my game. I really don’t. I just have to take it from the practice tee to the course, and that’s easier said than done sometimes.”

Phil Mickelson finished the second round at 1-over-par for the tournament.

U-T San Diego