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Avantha Masters. Amazing Aiken Wins

The Avantha Masters was won by Thomas Aiken who has played some amazing golf here at Jaypee Greens Golf and Spa Resort course in Delhi, India.

Thomas Aiken   (Getty Images)

Thomas Aiken / Getty Images

Thomas won his second European Tour title, the Avantha Masters by three shots, his exceptional third round on Saturday of 62 had set him up for this victory. The last round saw Thomas shoot a more modest -5 under par, 67, giving him a comfortable three shot victory at -23 under par, as none of the chasers could mount a challenge.

Thomas was very happy with his amazing golf;

” I’ve been playing very nicely the last four months, not making a lot of mistakes, but just not sinking enough putts. This week a few went in, I hit some better iron shots which gave me a better chance to sink some putts, and I played some phenomenal golf. These guys kept coming at me today, Liang on the front nine and then Bhullar made some amazing birdies coming in, it was by no means a walk in the park. I want to dedicate this to my wife Kate, being the wife of a sportsman is not easy and she supports me so much, so this one’s for you Kate.”

Local player, Gaganjeet Bhullar made a fine attempt to win this tournament, buoyed up by his home crowd he made birdie on the three of the last five  holes, to set the clubhouse target at -20 under par. His brilliant -8 under par, 64  proved to be not quite enough for his first European Tour victory.

Alone in third place was Wenchong Liang, who had pushed Thomas for most of this tournament. Wenchong finished at -18 under par, but it seemed he was going to push Thomas hard in the last round when he recorded a hole in one at the par three seventh hole.

Although Wenchong did not win, he said he had a good time in India;

“I had a great week in India, although I did not win. I learnt a lot about myself, especially today. To card a double-bogey on the sixth and make a comeback with a hole-in-one on the next hole showed lots of character. Unfortunately I could not make as many putts as I would want to, but that’s golf. You win some and you lose some. I tried my best and that’s all I can ever ask for.”

                

The Avantha Masters has been a great European Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India success story, providing a beautiful venue and a good golf course. Congratulations to the organisers, tour sponsors and tour partners.

BMW          Genworth Financial                       Rolex

Club CarTitleist

 

Tiger Talks on Rory’s Club Switch

Live Report Image

Rory & Tiger in China/ Wu/ Getty Images

Tiger Woods certainly knows about equipment change, he himself switched from Titleist to Nike in 2000, starting with the Nike Golf Ball, and two years later also switched to Nike Clubs, so he is perfectly placed to advise Rory on the subject. Tiger knows it is a big deal, something that other golfers have not accomplished too well, most recently Rickie Fowler who had been using Titleist driver and irons switched to Cobra, and as yet has not fared too well. At the time of the switch Rickie said;

Obviously they tried to put together something that was as close to the specs as before,” he said. “The shaft, weight, the swing weight, everything like that. It just took a few drivers to get the right setup with the loft and everything, and I’ve actually been hitting it really well, so hopefully this week I’ll be able to pump a few out there. I think they did a very good job preparing themselves and getting everything ready for testing. They did a very good job with the irons getting them similar and comparable to the ones I was playing before [Titleist 712 MB] so there really wasn’t a big transition there. They felt the same, flew the same, so it was basically like putting a new set of what I already had in the bag.”

Ricke and Cobra Bag

Rickie and his Cobra equipment.

At the moment the clubs are not swinging quite the same for Rickie, and it appears it is that sort of conundrum that might affect Rory, this is what Tiger said;

” Any time you make a change in equipment, it’s certainly a big deal, going through the testing process, trying to get the right shaft, and the club head, plus the ball, it’s a challenge. Sometimes it’s taken almost a year, sometimes it’s taken just a few weeks. Is this equipment in general,  going to help me win golf tournaments? If the answer is yes, then it’s in the bag. If the answer is no, then it’s not. But when you get it right, it’s pretty good. It’s a huge process to get to that point, it was very time-consuming. It’s tiring quite frankly because it can take a long time, but it’s worth it in the end if you get it right.”

Michael Bannon, Rory’s swing coach has no doubts about the switch, he said;

He’ll have no problems at all with new equipment. f you look at the clubs he is going to change to, all the shafts are the same. He is also going from blade to blade, which is quite an easy thing to do. The ball is fine, he just has to practice a wee bit more with it and get used to the feel of it. He has to play a few rounds of golf as well, which he hasn’t been able to do with new equipment yet. People overstate what the change could mean. It is something to talk about but I think this will be an easy transition for him. I don’t see it being a problem at all.”

The wonderfully attired late Payne Stewart suffered a season-long slump in 1994 after leaving Wilson for a lucrative deal with Spalding. I know of many friends who have switched clubs recently and some of them have fallen back, citing that  the new clubs do not play quite the same as the old ones, but they are certain things will get better. Lets hope for Rory’s sake the transition is as smooth as silk.

    

Payne Stewart in some of his colorful outfits, he could play well too.

Possum Skin Golf Glove a Fila Success

 

Greg Howard hopes to sell 300,000 possum skin golf gloves a year in the Pacific. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Greg Howard/Photo / Mark Mitchell

Greg Howard, director of Planet Green, a Kapiti Coast New Zealand company, has signed a a deal with a Global sportswear giant Fila, for a licencing agreement covering the South Pacific. Greg said the deal was massive and could see his company selling up to 300,000 gloves under the Fila brand in the region annually within the next three years. The company already sells the gloves in the United States under the Fila Golf brand, and said one possum skin went into each glove, he is excited about the new deal;

” Because Fila now own Acushnet golf , through a recent acquisition, they now own the Footjoy, Titleist and Pinnacle brands. That really covers every top golfer in the world, any of those golfers could be wearing the glove next year. Because of the success of the possum fur blend with wool, used in clothing, and the growth of that industry, there’s plenty of skins. We spent two years getting the tanning process right to provide an amazing grip. The grip works in the dry or in the rain. Once this South Pacific deal is going we’ve got the whole of Europe as well, but we have to get this going first.”

green planet    

Green Planet Director Greg Howard

White Dragon Golf is also a Kapiti Coast business, and you can be sure I will be asking Greg about his amazing deal with Fila.

 

 

Rory and Titleist to Divorce

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Rory McIlroy & his ex-partner Titleist Driver/Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

The divorce between Rory McIlroy and Titleist will become final this December, Rory has found a new love. Some say the new attraction is money, Rory has been with Titleist  since turning pro five years ago, and has enjoyed two major championship victories in the past two years. He clearly feels that it is time to pursue what could very well wind up being the biggest payday of his career and one of the most lucrative equipment contracts the game has ever seen.

Apart from money, and it has been suggested that Nike Golf are contemplating offering McIlroy a 10-year deal, worth as much as $250 million. To the millions of golf fans around the World, the so-called friendship between Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy seems to really have been no more than a business related affair. Tiger more or less built Nike Golf from the ground up after he signed with the company back in 1996 and would undoubtedly benefit financially from any spike in equipment and apparel sales that could come as a result of Rory McIlroy signing on with the company.

It’s not every day that golf equipment companies have an opportunity to sign a 23-year-old World No. 1 with two major championships already under his belt. Expect all the major equipment suppliers to scramble to sign up Rory, he can demand whatever he wants, and they will graciously deliver it. But Nike are in the driving seat, but I will be sending a request to Rory to switch to White Dragon Golf, and our new revolutionary putter.

Changing equipment can be an hazardous journey, six time Major winner Nick Faldo thinks Rory is in danger of losing something he may not be able to recover, his confidence. This is Sir Nick’s advice on the subject;

” I call it dangerous, I’ve changed clubs and changed equipment, and every manufacturer will say, we can copy your clubs; we can tweak the golf ball so it fits you. But there’s feel and sound as well, and there’s confidence. You can’t put a real value on that. It’s priceless. I’d be very cautious, I’d love someone like him, in his position, to sell the bag. That bag is worth a fortune; it’d be on TV all the time. Stick with the clubs that you know best, that you believe the best.It’s really important. It’s the feel and confidence of knowing that your equipment will perform how you want it to perform on Sunday afternoon. You can’t mess with that at such a young age.”

Just take a quick look at Jim Furyk, two years ago, Jim won three times and also captured the coveted FedEx Cup trophy. A little more than a year later, he flirted with falling out of the top 50 in the world. A major part of Jim Furyk’s struggles, was tinkering too much with his equipment. Jim explained;

” You have to be very, very careful, you easily could go off and do this and it messes you up because it just doesn’t quite feel the same. When you’re striping it, it’s fine. But as soon as doubt comes in. It was a product of maybe trying to get a little bit longer, maybe trying to find new ways to improve and maybe then hurting my strengths. Trying to make my weaknesses better but in doing so, hurting your strengths, which is rule No. 1. You don’t do that.”

Rickie Fowler leaves Titleist for Cobra

Rickie Fowler and Titleist have parted ways and the young American is going to start playing Cobra Golf equipment. Rickie already wore apparel and footwear made by Cobra’s parent company, Puma. It is also not surprising that the clubmaker’s newest line of woods and irons, the AMP series, is trimmed in Rickie’s favorite color of orange.

Nice color co-ordination Rickie.

Ricke and Cobra Bag

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