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Phil Fires in Pheonix

Logo Image

Cup half-full

Phil Mickelson / Martin / Getty Images

Phil Mickelson fired in a first round of 60 in the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. The 60 was so nearly a 59 as Phil’s putt on the last lipped out, but he was happy to settle for the lead at -11 under par.

Phil said he was certain the putt for 59 was in;

Six feet to go, it was in the center, three feet to go, it was in the center. A foot to go, it was in the center, and even as it’s approaching the hole, I couldn’t envision which side of the hole it could possibly miss on, and it ended up somehow just dying off at the end, catching the lip. Well, 60 is awesome, last time I shot 60 here in `05, I birdied like the last three or four holes just to do that, and I was ecstatic, and I’m ecstatic to shoot 60. But there’s a big difference between 60 and 59. Not that big between 60 and 61, there really isn’t. But there’s a big barrier, a Berlin Wall barrier, between 59 and 60I shot it in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. I shot 58 in a practice round. But to do it in a tournament would have been historic for me, something I’d always remember, and I’ll always remember that putt on the last hole probably, too. When I birdied three and four, done deal. I’m going to get this done, very disappointed that I wasn’t able to birdie the last couple. I just knew I could do it, and darn it, it just lipped out.”

There are five payers tied in second place at -7 under par, four shots adrift of Phil, they are;  Ryan Palmer, Brandt Snedeker, Padraig Harrington, Ted Potter Jnr, and Jeff Maggert. Behind them is a whole host of guy’s on -6 under par, but the day belonged the Phil Mickelson.

Would love the see Phil go on and win this tournament.

I will be in Scottsdale in July, so if you are interested in playing a round, or just interested in White Dragon Golf,  let me know and we can meet.

End of Season Spats, for Rory and Tiger

2012-12-16 rory mcilroy

World number one Rory McIlroy / Stephen Hindley, AP

End of season spats involving Rory McIlroy and also Tiger Woods.

Rory is being sued by Oakley, for breach of contract, according to a law suit filed last week in Federal Court at Santa Ana California.  Oakley had tried to use it’s ” Right of first refusal” to counter the reportedly $200 Million offer from Nike. Apparently Rory and his agent Conor Ridge decided to ignore the counter offer, thereby breaching the Oakley-McIlroy contract. Oakley were upset that a new $300,00 advertising campaign which Rory was to have endorsed for 2013, has been wasted.

Rory’;s management company Horizon Sports Management have stated that;

“McIlroy has fulfilled all of his obligations to Oakley, and the claims in the lawsuit are entirely baseless.”

I have to admit that I would be upset at having wasted that kind of money on a new campaign, but I am sure a lawsuit is going to cost a lot more, they must be feeling pretty confident. I have just purchased a set of Oakley sunglasses for golf, etched on the lens is Dragon Golf, a small advert for my company, wonder if Rory will still be wearing Oakley sunny’s.

Tiger Woods at the 2012 BMW Championship

Tiger Woods / getty

The spat involving Tiger Woods is a little more baffling, especially as Tiger himself has not been involved personally, although he has been personally vilified. The Australian billionaire Clive Palmer, owner of the  Palmer Coolum Resort golf course, that has been the host of recent Australian PGA Championship events has verbally put down Tiger. His rant is recorded thus;

“Tiger Woods isn’t the No. 1 golfer in the world anymore, we don’t want to look backwards; we want to look forwards. So why would we get Tiger Woods here? I would prefer to have this year’s winner Peter Senior, than Tiger Woods. I am sure Peter Senior could beat Tiger Woods on a good day. I am sure he could. Tiger Woods has improved a lot, but he’s an emotional wreck, and he’s not a good example for kids, anyway.”

He may be a billionaire, but with that kind of thinking it is easy to see why The Australian PGA are proposing to move their tournament to another course, after the new negotiations for next years tournament broke down. Actually I always thought the Coolum Resort was owned by Arnold Palmer, bet most people would have preferred Arnie to run the place.

Palmer himself reckons that the Aussie PGA will go back to the Coolum Resort, citing he has lined up Rory to play in next years event;

” If you rang him now, he would probably tell you unless it’s at Palmer Coolum Resort, I won’t come. We can be sure he won’t come if it goes somewhere else. If it stays here, there is a chance he might come here. We had Darren Clarke and Bubba Watson.”

I hope Rory has not signed anything yet, last thing he needs would be another lawsuit dropping on his doorstep if he decided not to travel to Australia. Of course Tiger Woods has never entered the Australian PGA Championship, and probably never will.

Golf Trip, Up Country NZ

Tim, Roy and myself set off at 9 am on Friday morning, three of us in Tim’s 4×4, make and model unknown, probably Japanese, we were in a tournament organised by the Kapiti Club. Roy had recently won his club championship at Waikanae Golf Club. Tim is the Captain of the Inter-Islander Ferry, and I of course am the CEO of White Dragon Golf. A really distinguished group, if I may say so.

Things were going quite well until it was decided to stop for coffee, I think about an hour and a half into the four-hour journey. Captain Tim pulled into the first coffee shop he saw, just as we entered a town called Foxton. The building did not look too salubrious, but the boys shrugged off the shabby appearance and went in. They both ordered coffee, one Latte and a Mocha-chino, it was a hot day so I pulled out a can of Coke from the chiller. Tim loves to eat, so he decided to supplement his coffee break with a beef sausage roll, a strange concoction, I did not like the look of it. When the coffee’s were delivered to our table I thought the mixture looked more like dirty washing up liquid, and apparently my observation was spot on as both guys remarked that it was the worst cup of coffee they had ever tasted. They dubbed it the worst coffee in the world, and later on the dodgy sausage roll would have its effect on Tim.

I have not named or even published a picture of this joint for fear of legal reprisals, but if you are ever in New Zealand and are driving  north through the town of Foxton do not stop at the first coffee shop over the bridge.

Our journey continued, we were on our way to play a round at the Taihape Golf Club Inc, Arnold Palmer had once played there and reportedly said that the par 3 12th hole was one of the finest he had played. Confident that this would be a good choice of golf course we happily drove past Rangatira Golf Club, where some others of our 20 strong party in total, were playing.

No sooner had we passed this delightful course when I received a call from Tony and Les, the two guys we were going to meet at Taihape, their car had broken down, some miles behind us, could we turnaround and go to back to help. So being the good Samaritans we executed a u-turn and went back to offer any assistance we could.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Les, arms in air in disbelief at his cars meltdown, Tony, in yellow and Captain Tim look on.

After a lot of deliberation the A.A. were called and a tow truck dispatched to our location. As there was not enough room in our car for both gentlemen and their golf gear, it was decided to dump Les and his gear off at Rangatira Golf Club, where the others would get him to our final destination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony, waiting patiently for our car to return and pick him up.

Once Les had been delivered the four of us continued our journey to Taihape, some two hours later than expected, but still full of anticipation for the golf ahead.

Unfortunately Taihape Golf Course was not quite the delight we were expecting, and although we appeared to be the only people on the course itself, we still had to share the space with a couple of thousand Lamb cutlets {sheep}. They did not interrupt the golf by being in the way, they took off as soon as we came into view, it was what they left behind that caused all the problems. Sheep crap sticks to anything, including my ball as it was hole bound on one green. Arnold was correct about the par 3 12th, it is indeed a handsome challenge, but not worth the slog through the crap to get there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taihape Golf Club

I will continue the story of the weekend golf another time.

 

 

The McGladrey Classic Round 1

McGladrey Classic Golf

Bud Cauley/photo A/P

Bud Cauley shares the lead at the McGladrey Classic on the Seaside Course, Sea Island, Georgia, after the opening round, with fellow American Marco Dawson. Both players took advantage of the course to fire in rounds of -8 under par, 62.

Bud has already earned $1.7 million dollars this year and has moved up to position 55 in the World Golf Rankings, all achieved without a win. He hopes this tournament will change the zero in the win column;

”Obviously, I’ve thought about winning every tournament I’ve teed up in this year. ‘It’s been a long year, and although I’ve played a lot this year, I haven’t won. It’s still a goal of mine, but I’m not thinking about that while I’m out there, or putting any more pressure on myself this week. The season is kind of winding down. It would be great to win here.”

Marco Dawson is in a totally different position, this tournament it is the penultimate PGA Tour event on the schedule that counts toward the money list, with Marco way down at No. 216 on the list and with only $62,026 in his 20 tournaments this year. Realistically Marco has to win The McGladrey Classic to avoid a return to Q-school, his year has gone so awry that  he doesn’t even look at the money list anymore.

”I’m so far away from it that the only thing I can do is just try and play well. And when I am playing well, just to keep it going instead of kind of messing it up like I have during the year.”

Boo Weekly is one of three players tied for third place with rounds of  -6 under par 64. Boo has changed to a new thicker putter grip, something that we at White Dragon Golf always recommend, and it has dramatically altered his putting stats, sinking putts from 14, 7, 15, 8, and 7 feet. Boo is currently at 121 on the money list, and is aware of the danger;

“I’m pretty aware of it, The last two weeks I’ve actually played pretty good but I just seem to get nothing out of my round. It just gets more frustrating. The more frustrated you get out here you start getting negative, you start talking trash to yourself saying, ‘You ain’t gonna make the cut because you can’t make this 5-footer. You missed three already the first five holes.’ It just kind of wears on your mind.  It’s been a long time coming, finally started making some putts. I’ve been hitting the ball pretty good the last few weeks and finally today the putts showed up. It just felt good, started making some putts and that started building some confidence.”

The other two players tied at third with Boo are, England’s Greg Owen and Rod Pampling from Australia.

The Open, Rory McIlroy is confident of competing well at Royal Lytham.

World number two Rory McIlroy is confident he will be able to compete with the best at Royal Lytham and St Annes golf course, his practice rounds have gone well and he is buoyant after a tenth place finish at the Irish Open last time out.

Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

“Preparation has gone well. I played the course Thursday and Friday last week, got two really good looks at it. Went back out Monday and played 18 holes, so I’ve got a few good looks at the place and feel like I know what I’m doing out there now. I’m excited to get started. It will just be nice to get going on Thursday, because I feel like I’ve been waiting for it for almost a week now.
I feel like I’m hitting the ball great. I think it’s the best I’ve swung the club all year and I’ve done a lot of work on that. It’s a case of keeping the ball in play, keeping it out of the bunkers and out of the rough. Not only if I can do that, but if anyone can do that in this field, they’ve got a great chance.”

With precision from the tee going  to be a key factor, Rory acknowledges he may have to rein in his aggressive instincts at times to try and avoid the 206 bunkers on the course.

” The thing I like about this course is that it gives you a lot of definition. You have targets to hit at and you’ve got targets to work it off, and it’s one of the great things about this course. I think it’s just knowing the times when to be aggressive and when not to be. With the way the conditions are at the minute with the greens being slightly softer, there are more chances out there to be aggressive. You’re going to have to be very smart off the tees here and plot your way around, just to navigate your way through all these fairway bunkers. If you can do that and put your ball in the fairway, you do have chances to be aggressive going into some of the greens.”

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Rickie Fowler /Getty Images

Someone else from the younger group Rickie Fowler also likes playing on Links courses. Rickie was in a tie for 5th place at Royal St. George’s last year, which was one of only two top-five finishes for him in 2011. The year before, 2010, he finished in a tie for 14th spot at St. Andrews, this was despite shooting a 79 in his first-ever Open round. Rickie said on Wednesday;

” I love links golf, probably my favorite, I just like the amount of options you have while out playing a links golf course.”

Rickie is also spurred on by the fact that the last three Major’s have been won by Americans, young ones at that;

” It’s been a lot of fun to watch, but also just kind of a kick in the butt to get out and make me want it more. It is fun to watch them win and watch some of your good friends win, but at the same time you’d rather be there than them.”

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