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Archive for January, 2012

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

Rory McIlroy incurs a two-stroke penalty in Abu Dahbi

Rory McIlroy incurred a two stroke penalty during the second round of the HSBC tournament in Abu Dahbi. He was just off the green in two at the ninth hole when he bent down to brush away some sand that was not on the putting surface, this schoolboy error was punished after a referee had been called into action. He said about the incident;

“Just wasn’t thinking, turned a routine 4 into a 6 there and just sort of undone all the great work to get back to even par.”

Rory was not having a good day having started badly, being  in two bunkers on the first hole and then firing over the green at the third, taking two more shots to make it back to the putting surface and sadly carded a double bogey. He ended the day at three under par as a result, alongside Tiger Woods and two ahead of Luke Donald, but importantly four behind joint leaders Robert Karlsson and Thorbjorn Olesen.

Rory McIlroy two-stroke penalty dents title hopes at Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Photo: AP

 

Lee Westwood spent the day struggling with a neck problem, he survived to card level par with another 72, but he may have to withdraw if the pain increases, saying;

“I’ve had it for about a month, but this is the first time I’ve played three days in a row since. The pain goes down into my elbow and it feels like somebody is driving a needle in there. If I’d hit it in the long rough I might have had to think about it, but hopefully I’ll be ok tomorrow.”

 

Martin Kaymer, the two-time defending champion, shot a 73 and finished at 6-over to miss the cut by four strokes.

Tiger Woods is still making steady progress and is happy with his position at the half way stage;

“I’m only two back. We have 36 holes to go and there’s a lot of guys that have got a chance to win this golf tournament, so certainly I need to do my job and progress up that leaderboard and see what happens.”

 

Levin & Stanley lead 1st round at Torrey Pines

Spencer Levin and Kyle Stanley lead the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Both American players shot 62 for rounds of -10 under par on the easier North course. The best score of the day on the tougher South course was from Marc Turnesa with a 66 for a total -6 under par for the tournament.

Fijian Vijay Singh and Aussie Greg Chalmers shot 64 and 65 respectively, on the North course, to finish the day comfortably in touch with the leaders. Left hander Chalmers had an eagle three at the par five 18th, with a putt of 48 feet, which really gave a lift to his opening round and a nice way to celebrate Australia Day.

Phil Mickelson had a tough day on the South course shooting a +5 over par round of 77, and seemed really out of touch, and will need an exceptionally low round tomorrow when he tees it up for the easier North course.

He was asked about his driving performance, and what driver was he using today, this is his reply;

“I am using our new Razr Hawk driver. I didn’t use it the first round last week, and it was a mistake. I don’t know what I was thinking, I worked with it. I felt good with it, I just didn’t want to make any changes from the previous season.”

He also spoke about his putting woes;

” There is no shortcut in putting, that no matter what method you use. You still have to see the line and you still have to match it up to the proper speed. And I think that for me I was looking for a shortcut with the belly putter. I found what was best for me was to go back to how I was putting as a kid, growing up with a blade style putter. And an aggressiveness that I had at a younger age.”

Mickelson full interview at Farmers Insurance Open

Rory McIlroy leads in Abu Dhabi

Rory McIlroy leads after the first round using muscle power to steal an early season march on his main rivals for the trophy at the  Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in the middle east. Rory had been in the gym during his winter break working on his physique, he used that new power to wrestle his way around the par-72 course for a five under 67 that included seven birdies and two bogeys. His effort  was three shots better than Tiger Woods and four ahead of Luke Donald, his two playing companions in what was the first round’s big drawing card. It left Rory in a tie with  Robert Karlsson, who also had a good day on the course.

Rory said of his training program; “I’ve been working hard in the gym, which has been good. I really started working hard last year and I really got into it and really started to enjoy it.

“I feel like I’ve got a lot stronger and it’s definitely helped my golf as well. Basically every day since the start of the year I’ve been in there.”

 

Tiger commented about his round and the start of his campaign to get back into the top ten; “Hit the ball well all day today. I just had a hard time reading the greens out there, the greens were pretty grainy and I just had a hard time getting a feel for it. Towards the end I hit some pretty good putts, but overall I got fooled a lot on my reads.”

Luke Donald enjoyed his game and his playing partners;

“It was a lot of fun, I think between us we hit a lot of solid shots today. Tiger and I didn’t take as many opportunities on the greens. Rory played some nice golf too. It was a great threesome to be part of.”
Highlight of the day was Sergio Garcia’s seven-iron ace from 193 yards at the 12th en route to a 71.

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