U.S. Senior Open. Jeff Maggert Wins

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Jeff Maggert wins the U.S. Senior Open at Del Paso Country Club, Sacramento, in California.

U.S. Senior Open

Jeff Maggert / Getty Images

Jeff came through to win the U.S. Senior Open, with a final round -5 under par 65, to post a -10 under par tournament total, and a two shot victory.

It was no fluke result, Jeff, along with Colin Montgomerie and Bernhard Langer, have combined to win the last eight Majors. Jeff 2, Colin and Bernhard 3 each;

“It’s satisfying just because the guys out here on the Champions Tour are the same guys that I was trying to beat 20 years ago.”

“I had a lot of good runs in the U.S. Open over the years and probably lacked a little maturity to pull it off.”

“But certainly, now that I’m an old guy, I’ve learned a lot and was able to just steady myself and play well.”

The defending Champion Colin came in second here, coming from the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. A last round -4 under par 66 not quite good enough this time around. He is now taking an overnight flight to London, via Los Angeles, to try and qualify for next month’s The Open at St. Andrews. Hope Colin chose to fly with American Airlines out of L.A. they have the best flight;

“To come here tired, very tired, and to put a good performance up, it’s always nice when you are defending a title, to defend it properly.”

“I did more than that. I nearly got it here.”

Grant Waite and Bernhard Langer tied for third place at -7 under par.

Bernhard congratulated Jeff;

“He was in beautiful rhythm, and he drove the ball magnificent.”

“If you can drive the ball well, you set yourself up. He hit good iron shots on top of that.”

Bernhard is paying well in what would most probably be his last year on tour, the ruling banning anchoring of the broomstick putter comes into effect next year, and we all know that can not use a conventional putter. It is a shame because he is a great player, with a good attitude.

 

Greenkeepers view of Chambers Bay Greens.

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Mr Leo Barber is the General Manager of Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club, and has long been renowned as the top Greenkeeper in New Zealand.

Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club

Leo Barber

Below is his professional assessment of the Chambers Bay greens, and the mistake that had been made in trying to mould two very different grasses together;

“It is not in doubt in my opinion that the greens were indeed of questionable composition and therefore rolled less than ideally.

Fescue greens are a completely different animal, beautiful to putt on in their own right but add the sometimes dreaded

Poa Annua into the mix and you have a diabolical collaboration between two grasses that thrive at different ends of the spectrum.

One grass needs to be cut low and worked vigorously to produce a good surface and the other cut higher and finessed.

It was always going to be a difficult task for the Superintendent brought in to address the growing concerns, only a couple

of years prior to the event, and even more difficult when that Superintendent lost control of his tools as happens in major

events, with the governing body taking over, and in this instance a governing body that had a strong desire to push the

agronomical boundaries.”

So you have to ask yourself, why did they do it ?

 

 

 

 

U.S. Open. Jordan Wins, and looking at Grand Slam.

White Dragon GolfChambers Bay

Jordan Spieth wins the U.S. Open, at the gravel pit, and is half way to a single season Grand Slam of Major titles.

U.S. Open

Jordan & Trophy / Getty Images

Jordan managed a final round -1 under par 69, to win the U.S. Open with a -5 under par total. It was the much maligned greens that came into play, Dustin Johnson had an Eagle putt on the last to win, but three putted to lose,  in an intense and insane last round.

Jordan is the youngest U.S. Open champ since Bobby Jonesand is only the sixth player to win the Masters and U.S. Open in the same season. He is now looking to win at St Andrews;

“Can’t win ’em all unless you win the first two.”

“We’re going to go to St. Andrews looking for the Claret Jug. I believe we can get it done if we get the right prep in.”

“It’s hard right now. It’s hard. I’m still amazed that I won, let alone that we weren’t playing tomorrow.”

“So for that turnaround right there, to watch that happen, I feel for Dustin, but I haven’t been able to put anything in perspective yet.”

Dustin Johnson finished tied second with Louis Oosthuizen at -4 under par for the tournament. Don’t ask Dustin what he thinks of these greens, he made three bogeys in a four-hole stretch on the back nine, destroying his two shot lead, and his confidence with the putter.

Dustin put a brave face on it;

“I’m disappointed that I three putted the last hole. Other than that, I had a damn good week.”

 

Louis got into the records book with the lowest back nine ever, carding six birdies in his last seven holes in a blistering finish;
“You sort of forget about everything when you get in that situation of having a chance to win a Major.”

“I wasn’t nervous at all, I was excited. I’ll take a lot out of this week, especially the last three days, the way I played.”

Adam Scott, Cameron Smith and Branden Grace tied in fourth position at -3 under par. Branden was right there until his tee shot on the 16th, which went O.B. onto the railway lines.

Jason Day could not continue with his heroics, falling behind and out of contention of the back nine today, finishing T9 at even par in the competition.

World number one Rory McIlroy suddenly came alive today, a last round -4 under par 66, which could, and should have been better;

“I really thought when I held that long putt on the 13th, with 16 and 18 coming up, I could post a number. If I could birdie those two holes coming in and get to four under par, then I thought I would have a really great chance, especially with the way the greens are getting so baked out there today.”

“It would have been a number for the guys to really think about.” 

“I felt I hit a good shot on the 15th, but it just came up short. And then the 17th killed me. The last few holes of this golf course haven’t been kind to me all week, and when I look back at this tournament that’s where I’ll rue some missed opportunities.” 

“I feel like it’s one that got away, especially the way I putted this week. I don’t think I’ve ever hit the ball as well over all four days of a Major Championship, which obviously bodes well for the next few events and the rest of the season.”

An overheard comment;  a TV anchor for FOX asked a caddie,

“How much grass? Is there any grass on No. 4 green?”

He replied,

“Yeah, two blades, and they’re nowhere close to each other.”

Something that made me laugh, on the 17th tee the marshals were waving their arms at the gallery, wanting them to be quiet and stand still. On the other side of the tee a freight train was rumbling passed, all that noise and movement, and the player still teed off.

 

U.S. Open. Jordan and Patrick tied at the Top.

White Dragon GolfChambers Bay

Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed are tied at the top of the U.S. Open leaderboard, on a Chambers Bay Golf Club course that was manufactured from a disused gravel pit and sewerage works, and at times played like it, as many of the worlds best golfers were washed down the toilet.

U.S. OpenU.S. Open

                                           Jordan and Patrick / Getty Images

There was drama as well as brilliant play here today, although the leading score of -5 under par has not been increased from yesterday’s total. Jordan shot a -3 under round while Patrick could only better his total by one with a -1 under par 69.

Jordan said he could not compare his position here with the Masters event, and was also concerned about the USGA using a forward tee at the 18th, and changing it to a par 4 in the middle of the U.S. Open;

“It’s playing different, and I’m in a very different position. I’m not going to have a five-shot lead.”

“So given it’s a U.S. Open, I imagine they’re going to try to bring us back to par;

“So I’ll draw some on Augusta, but at the same time, my patience level has to be even that much higher.”

This {the 18th} is the dumbest hole I’ve ever played in my life.”

“I was really frustrated walking off the tee box.”

Patrick actually agreed with my assessment of yesterday, that this was Mickey Mouse golf;

“I actually felt it was a pretty disappointing round.”

“To have five or six bogeys, didn’t get up and down once, I was zero percent on up-and-downs today.”

“I hit the ball in the middle of the green on 18 and have no chance to putt a normal putt and stop near the hole, and have to play Mickey Mouse golf to try to make par, unfortunately is a bad way to end the day.”

“But we’re in a good position and we hopefully can have a good weekend and have a chance to win.”

The drama came from Jason Day, who collapsed while walking down the 18th fairway, his last of the day. He recovered well enough to finish the hole posting a bogey 5 and sits T9 at -2 under par for the tournament. If he will take any more part in this competition, we will have to wait until tomorrow and see if he gets onto the tee.

More drama from Tiger Woods who posted his worst ever 36 hole total as a professional in his career, +16 over par, and missing the cut in the process. He had this to say today;

“I hit it a little bit better today, but, again, I made nothing today.”

“I didn’t make any putts the first two days; I hit it better today. Hitting some spots where I could hit some putts; I made nothing.”

 “Just continue practicing, continue working on it. And hopefully it will be a little bit better.” 

“Obviously, I need to get a little better for the British Open, and I’ll keep working at it.”

On the plus side of the register, Dustin Johnson and Brandon Grace are tied in third place, both at -3 under for the competition.

The only thing I can say is that just about everyone has criticized not just the course but the change made to the lay-out, in the middle of a tournament. There are only 16 players who are under par, and the defending Champion Martin Kaymer did not make the cut, which was set at +5 over par.

This course is so poorly prepared that they had to bring in a local rule that stones in the bunker are not immovable, but may be lifted. So even after seven years the bunkers are full of stones, and this is the U.S. Open.

 

Volvo China Open. Broomstick Brett Wins Again.

Broomstick Brett Rumford won the Volvo China Open, the first Australian in 42 years to win back to back Tour titles.

With this win - Brett Rumford

Brett Rumford / Getty Images

Brett Rumford cruised to victory with a final round of  -4 under par 68, on the Binhai Lake Golf Course on Sunday in the Volvo China Open. His winning total was -16 under par, four shots clear of the field.

Brett said that he was more than happy;

” As with last week I’m kind of speechless at the moment. It’s quite surreal, it’s the first time I’ve actually played the week after a win so I’m more than pleased. It’s hard to get my head around it at the moment. I managed to get up and down when I really needed to. There are some very tight lies round the perimeters of the greens, so it was tricky. My putter was also really on song, as it was last week. It puts a lot of pressure on your opponent when you’re saving par all the time.”

In second place was Finn Mikko Ilonen, a final round effort of -1 under par left him with a total of -12 under par, just one shot ahead of third place. Mikko was disappointed he did not take the opportunity to win, but was full of praise for Brett;

” I had a chance to win, disappointed not to do so but I couldn’t do much more, you saw what Brett did there on the back nine for three holes. I’m speechless, I couldn’t force the issue. I had a number in my mind, which is what Brett finished on. It’s my second second place this year, so hopefully there’s a win round the corner. The confidence is building.  I’ve been hitting the ball nicely most of the time this year. Today I drove the ball really well, and I feel a lot more confident all round. Brett did so well not to make more bogeys, his short game, bunker play and wedges were unbelievable today. I don’t see too many better players than him in the world in that area of his game. So he definitely deserved to win today.”

Third place went to Frenchman Victor Dubuisson, a last round of -4 under par helping him to achieve a tournament total of -11 under par, and third position to himself.

I guess this win will encourage more players to change to the long putter, Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington have already made the change. They said if it gives them an edge to win a tournament, it can only be good. Unless the R&A and the USGA actually get around to banning it, it which case they will have to change back again.

 

Putting Updates, Ernie and Phil making Changes

 

 

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Ernie Els, The Open Champion, is going to use his Belly Putter for the last time at a Major, during the Masters at Augusta National next week. He intends to  phase out the controversial Belly Putter ahead of a proposed ban by the R&A, and USGA.

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Ernie Els / getty Images

The Big Easy used a conventional putter for his first three rounds at the Chiangmai Golf Classic in Thailand before taking 29 putts with his belly putter on Sunday in a closing two-under-par 70 to finish tied 14th in the Asian Tour event. Ernie explained about that last round use of the Belly Putter, and also said he went to Thailand to get his swing under control;

“I just wanted to play with the belly putter since it was my last competitive round before the Masters. Mentally, I was going to do the long putter at the Masters. I wanted to feel what it is like under a little bit of pressure. So far this year I’ve played some decent golf in parts, but I’m not quite there on the consistency front. All you can do is keep working hard, though. As we saw last year, your fortunes can change quickly in this game. I came here to get my swing under control, which I think it did. The short game is not too bad, everything is kind of there, it’s just the confidence search now. I’m hitting it nice again, I’m really glad I came here. I’ve had a great experience in Chiangmai,  I just wished I made more birdies.”

If you are still searching for a new putter Ernie, take a look at our website, and contact me.

Phil Mickelson has changed to a jumbo grip on his putter, but intends to keep using the claw grip, he explained;

” I’ll go back and forth because, again the claw grip, what it does is gets me in a better address position where I get rid of too much forward press.  I want a little bit but not as much as I’ve been getting.”

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Phil Mickelson and jumbo grip / Scott Halleran / Getty Images

Looking at Phil in the picture above, I think he is a little too bent over, he needs to stand taller, looking straight down at the ball, this will free up the arms to get a nice pendulum motion. He looks to be reaching for the ball, standing taller will get his feet closer to the ball.

 

Belly Putter Ban Imminent ?

It is commonly understood an official from the R&A will make presentations to the golf playing professionals at this week’s HSBC WGC Champions event in Shenzhen and then at next week’s Barclays Singapore OpenMike Davis, the chief executive of the USGA, has already held such a seminar with PGA Tour players. It is likely that they will take a formal vote in March, to decide if, and when, the ban will come into force. It is possible that a ban could be in place for competition from the start of 2013, or they may wait until the end of the current rules cycle which runs through December 2015. Either way it looks fairly certain that  they are going to eradicate the belly putter altogether. The catalyst for this action seems to be the fact that three of the last five major winners have used belly-putters. Strangely enough there is no mention of the broom-stick putter in this decision-making process, but if the ruling is based on Anchoring, rather than the length of the putter, jamming a putter under your chin, or chest would also be eliminated.

Davis Love 111, the US Ryder Cup captain, attended the meeting with the USGA representative in Georgia, he expressed the view that whatever path the authorities took, they should proceed with haste.

” If they said today, we met with the Tour and we’re going to change putters; Keegan Bradley is going to get himself a conforming putter and he’s still going to be a really good putter. He’s just going to have to make a change, but you’d rather not talk about it for three years and have it be a distraction.”

Webb Simpson, the US Open champion is already practicing with a conventional putter, in readiness of a rule change, although he disagree’s with the argument for a ban;

” I’m friends with a lot of the R&A and the USGA guys and I know they are trying to do it for the betterment of the game. But I don’t think it’s a good decision. If you look at the stats, last year there was no one in the top 20 of the strokes gained category who anchored a putter. So you have to throw out the argument of  it’s an advantage right there. There’s a bunch of arguments going around but I haven’t heard a good one yet.”

Players like Matt Kuchar, who use a long putter but do not Anchor it will be free to continue using such equipment if the ban itself is centered on the anchoring point and not just the length of the putter. It will be extremely interesting to see how this event pans out, is it really going to make the game better, or fairer, I actually doubt it.