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Posts tagged ‘Nick Faldo’

Greg Norman tries to Explain the Rory Intimidator comments.

Tiger Woods and Greg Norman probably won’t be playing golf together                              anytime soon. (Getty Images)

The recent comments by Greg Norman that Tiger Woods is now intimidated by Rory McIlroy, brought a backlash of vitriol in his direction. Most criticizers were  saying he didn’t know what he was talking about and that he had no right to speak on such an issue. The real questions boils down to, Is Tiger intimidated by Rory?  Has Tiger ever been intimidated by anyone?  and then explain why the two of them have become such good friends in such a short amount of time?

In order to try and cool the situation around his Tiger comments, Greg posted on his Facebook Page;

” Got off the plane from Beijing this morning and my Iphone just blew up with emails and voicemails regarding my interview with Robert Lusetich of Fox Sports. It seems that everyone from Charles Barkley (no Charles I was not referencing or comparing Tiger’s record to mine) to John Doe has weighed in on my quote regarding intimidation. I stand by my comments and for those that choose to read the full article and not just “grasp” and “react” to one word will notice that the headline and byline were inconsistent with the content of what Robert wrote. When you look at my comments in the full context of the article, you will see that it provides a more balanced view of my sentiments on this topic. Which is, since the PGA Championship Tiger has not made any impact on the weekend in passing Rory for the title. This has not happened in his career prior to this run by Rory. During the PGA Championship broadcast I spoke at length about Tiger and I maintain that no one has swung the club better in the history of the game, especially during the year 2000. At the end of the day, Tiger is a great athlete and a great student of the game and he will continue to win, but we are seeing a transition away from his dominance. Rivalry and parity is great for the game of golf. Unfortunately for Rory, I think that the trademark for “The Intimidator” is already registered with Dale Earnhardt.”

It would appear that Greg has taken two steps back from his original stance on Tiger, and is trying to back pedal from what he said while at the same time maintaining that Rory currently has a better grasp of the game than Tiger, which is likely true.

Greg should not have come up with the intimidation comment, seeing that he was intimidated, and completely rolled over for Nick Faldo, as he  won his third Masters championship. Greg threw away a six shot lead on the final day at Augusta in 1996, he was totally intimidated by Nick Faldo. Perhaps that makes Greg an expert on this subject, he has experienced it so many times, his record of only 2 Major wins will always be tainted because he should have won at least 10.

Phil tries the Claw grip on his putter

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Phil Mickelson/Chris Chambers/Getty Images

During The Barclays tournament Phil Mickelson was spotted using the claw grip on his putter. Nick Faldo did not notice the change until Sunday, when he gasped in horror, on live TV.   Last year, after Keegan Bradley won the PGA with a long putter, Phil gave the belly putter a test drive for a few weeks.  You have to ask yourself, in Gods name Why !!  The belly putter trial did not work out, and neither will this new switch to the claw grip. True that Sergio had a good win using it, but as we saw on Sunday the magic did not last. Phil said of his belly putter trial;

“I feel that I’m probably putting better with that putter than I would be the short putter, so I’ll end up using it for the rest of the tournament I would anticipate. But I don’t know if it’s a short-term or a long-term thing, but it feels good.”

Of his latest switch, which happened on the third round of  The Barclays, Phil said;

“I had a chance to get a couple more, but for me I drove the ball well and I putted very well and I hit some good iron shots. For me it built some good momentum after a day, yesterday, where I had lost a little bit of confidence. I made some putts and that was a nice feeling.”

The people who usually change over to strange putter grips are the people who have always had putting problems, and most of them continued to have the same problems because fundamentally they have a poor set up, or inconsistent swing. Phil has neither of these problems, he has always been a good putter, his problems now are in his head, he has lost confidence in the routine he trusted. To get that confidence back it just requires plenty of  practice, with the tools that have always been good for him, and plenty of enthusiasm and support from the people around him. Those who are advising him.

Many people think this change will be a short-term fad for Mickelson, they are questioning whether he will be able to make more putts with the Claw grip than his traditional method. What will Phil do next?  I bet he will quickly return to the method and putter that has bought him success for all these years.

You notice that I have not recommended he try one of our putters, Phil will be best served to return to his traditional method and tools.

BMW Championship at Easy Wentworth.

Drysdale dodges damp ending to lead with Lawrie

David Drysdale (Getty Images)

David Drysdale and Peter Lawrie both shot first round 66′s, for -6 under par on the first day of The BMW Championship at Wentworth. The Championship is being played on the West course, recently revamped by Ernie Els to make it easier to play, because he said some aspects of the old course were “unfair”. Since when has golf meant to be fair, if Ernie thought it was too difficult now  he should have tried to play it with old style clubs. It would appear that he has eased the difficulty a little too much, with two opening rounds of 66 and they were followed by five rounds of 67 and a further 13 rounds of 68.

David Drysdale used every trick in the book on the way to his 66, including a Barnes Wallis shot, bouncing the ball over the water on the eighteenth hole and achieved a birdie. He said of his magical shot;

 “You could hit 1,000 balls and never have it happen. I don’t know what it hit, maybe a fish. It was a massive break. I don’t think I can say what I would have thought if I had taken six or seven there.”

 Co-leader Peter Lawrie said:

“I played so well in practice that I was kind of very nervous starting out. I missed a couple coming in, but 66 can’t be sneezed at. The course is set up great for me, I’m not one of the longest hitters on Tour, but one of the straightest. You have to very patient and I’m quite a patient person. My wife wouldn’t believe that, but I am on the course!”

Luke Donald was one of the finishers tied at 68 with his -4 under par round, which included to bogies. Luke  has the chance to join Sir Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie as the only players to make a successful defense of The European Tour’s flagship event.

Justin Rose achieved his score of -5 under par, 67, after fearing he might have to withdraw before the round.

“An hour before my tee time, I thought: ‘I can’t play’. I guess it was some sort of vertigo, I was nearly falling over and was sitting in the doctor’s chair for a while. He gave me an anti-nausea or something and did a good job getting me ready. I felt fine all the way round.”

Lee Westwood managed to get round in -2 under par, 70, despite not even playing his B game. He remarked;

 “I didn’t have anywhere near my A-game and not even my B-game really.”

Lee’s play-off defeat to Donald 12 months ago cost him the World Number One position, was delighted with the days score in the circumstances.

Two big names who missed out on the day were Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell who both had rounds of  +2 over par, 74′s, and could not have been best pleased with their efforts on the day. Rory even managed to get out of bounds, albeit by only an inch as he ran up a six on the long par five 12th hole, the last of four bogeys in five holes and a double bogey at the 16th was to follow.

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