Monday, April 27, 2009

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #016

Wow, what a weekend great weather, great golf, and all the tours were in action.


Jerry Kelly came back with two birdies on the back nine to claim the Zurich Classic trophy in New Orleans. Kelly came into the final round in the lead but stumbled and was overtaken by Charles Howell III. But Howell had bogeys on 15 and 17 to eliminate himself. He tied for second with Rory Sabbatini, and Charlie Wi.

Next stop is North Carolina for the Quail Hollow Championships formerly the Wachovia Championship, Anthony Kim is the defending champion.



Lorena Ochoa , the #1 Womens player in the world, shot a 5 under par 68 to hold off Suzann Petterson by a stroke to win the Corona Championship for the second straight year. Ochoa had back to back birdies on the 15th and 16th holes to break a tie with Petterson and take home the trophy in her native country.

The ladies take next week off but, return for the Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill. Annika Sorenstam won this event last year but will not be defending.

It didn't take Tom Lehman long to get his first Champions Tour victory. Teaming with Bernhard Langer, Lehman made a par putt on the second playoff hole to beat Craig Stadler and Jeff Sluman in the Liberty Mutuals Legends of Golf. Lehman became the 13th player to win in his Champions Tour debut.

The tour takes some time off and will return May 15 for the Regions Charity Classic in Alabama. Defending his title will be Andy Bean.

Thongchai Jaidee Ballantine's Championship after a three-way playoff Sunday against Kang Wook-soon and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano. Thongchai closed with a 2-under 70 to finish 4-under 284 on Sunday along with first-round leader Fernandez-Castano and Kang, who carded a 68 in the final round at the jointly sanctioned Asian and European Tour event.
Thongchai won the playoff with a birdie on the extra hole, the par 4 18th, for his second win in two months.
Ernie Els finished in a four-way tie for fourth place, two shots off the pace at 2 under, and Fred Couples finished at 10 over.

Sports Network - Garth Mulroy survived a double-bogey on the final hole Sunday to defeat Chris Tidland by a stroke and win the South Georgia Classic. Mulroy closed with a 3-under 69 to finish at 13-under-par 275 for his first Nationwide Tour title. Tidland, who was going for his second tour win, closed with a 2-under 70 at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club to finish one back at minus-12. Garrett Willis ended alone in third at 10-under-par 278 after a final-round, 5-under 67.

IN OTHER NEWS

The Golf Channel is reporting that Final-round angst of a different nature heightened considerably Sunday at the LPGA's Corona Championship in Mexico with player concerns growing over news of the potentially deadly strain of swine fluvirus spreading in that country. "It's definitely scary," said Brittany Lincicome, the Kraft Nabisco champion who missed the cut at Morelia, home to the Corona Championship. "It's a very serious situation, and I'm just praying none of the girls gets sick. I feel fine." Lincicome was back home in Seminole, Fla., and out of the country by the time weekend news reports grew more serious about the deadly dimension of the virus. Mexican health officials report 81 deaths in that country are likely linked to the virus. Morelia is about 200 miles west of Mexico City, where news reports Sunday detailed how churches and bars were empty, how sporting events were canceled and how schools are being shut down as the city slows to a snail's pace. Jane Park withdrew from the Corona Championship on Saturday after two holes because of illness. She reported being sick to her stomach.

Over the weekend, LPGA players received up to three e-mails from the tour's tournament operations office outlining specifics of the swine-flu threat and precautions players should take. "They were very detailed and included what symptoms to look for, what to do if we aren't feeling well and how we should immediately see a doctor if we become sick," Lincicome said.

LPGA player family members who didn't make the Mexico trip anxiously followed news reports while awaiting the return ofloved ones Sunday night. Herb Krickstein, a retired doctor who is grandfather to Morgan Pressel, followed the tournament and the swine-flu news from a computer at his Boca Raton home on Sunday. "We just hope Morgan gets out of there without getting anything," Krickstein said. "Obviously, what's happening is worrisome."



Lanny Wadkins was elected to the World Golf Hall Of Fame. He had 21 victories on the Tour, a PGA championship and a record tying 8 Ryder Cup teams appearances.
Wadkins will be inducted Nov. 2 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.



The Zurich Classic has reupped with the PGA TOUR and will remain a sponsor until 2014 and remain in New Orleans at theTPC Louisiana in Avondale.



AP - Organizers of an amateur golf tournament with rules based loosely on poker have signed a deal with cable network WGN America to air the mid-May tournament in 13 one-hour episodes.

The World Series of Golf is also upping its top prize from $250,000 to $300,000, with each player required to pay a $10,000entry fee to play.

In the unique format, dozens of amateur players bet with poker chips, winning chips when they finish holes in fewer strokesor by forcing opponents to fold.

The tournament aired on CBS last year as part of a three-year deal. But World Series of Golf president Terry Leiweke says the tournament opted out of the network deal this year because he thought cable would bring more flexibility to airing the tournament.



Tiger and Phil have both committed to play at the Quail Hollow Championship could be a great tournament. Enjoy it!!!

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Monday, April 20, 2009

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #015

What a beautiful weekend. I even got out to play 9 holes and it was terrific. If only my golf game had matched the weather, but it was the first time out and it was great nonetheless. My ballstriking was so-so but I was happy with my putting. Not so happy with the other parts of my short game so it's back to the drawing board. Anyway, it was fantastic to be out on the course again.

It was the Brian Gay show at the Verizon Heritage tournament. Gay grabbed the lead in the second round and never looked back winning by a whopping 10 strokes. Gay was just fantastic as he built on his lead in the final round blowing away the field and tearing up the course. Luke Donald and Briny Baird tied for second, while Todd Hamilton and Lee Jantzen both had good tournaments. The win was Gay's second on the PGA TOUR.

Next week the Tour goes to New Orleans for the Zurich Classic Andres Romero defends.

Nick Price had a roller coaster ride on his way to his first Champions Tour victory at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am.

Price had a three stroke lead going into the final round but had to overcome three double bogeys to battle back and win by two strokes over Larry Nelson.

Next on the Champions Tour is the team event the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf. Tom Watson and Andy North defend.


Patrick Sheehan defeated Michael Sim in a playoff to take the Athens Regional Foundation Classic on the Nationwide Tour. The win was Sheehan's second on the Nationwide Tour and first since 2002.

(AP) Australian Scott Strange won the Volvo China Open by one stroke over Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, shooting a 4-under 68 on Sunday.

Strange had five birdies in the final round to finish at 8-under 280 on 7,321-yard BeijingCBD International Golf Club course.

The $2.2 million China Open is jointly sanctioned by the European Tour and is the first tournament in the OneAsia series launched by the PGA of Australasia, the China Golf Association and the Korean Golf Association and PGA.

OneAsia has been created as a rival to the established Asian Tour in a battle for control of professional golf on the continent.



IN OTHER NEWS
Colin Montgomerie, the European Ryder Cup captain, dustup in China Open he says was caused by a result of people not understanding golf etiquette.

Montgomerie told BBC Radio that China “is an emerging nation golf-wise.”

He went to say that sometimes the Chinese, Koreans and Thais and emerging countries in the Far East tend not to understand or appreciate the etiquette of the game.

Brendon Todd aced the same hole two days in a row making Nationwide Tour history. Todd aced the 147 yard 17th in the second round with an 8 iron. During the first round the 17th played 9 yards longer and he aced it with a 7 iron.

The California Senate has voted to make it illegal to hold events that require participants to speak English in a move prompted by the LPGA Tour’s English-only proposal. The women’s golf tour wanted last year to require its players to speak English so they could talk with each other and the media, and give acceptance speeches in English. The LPGA backed off the plan after Sen. Leland Yee and others criticized it as discriminatory. Yee says the proposal insulted women, minorities and immigrants, and might disqualify the best golfers. The San Francisco Democrat’s bill makes such policies illegal in California without a“business necessity.” It was approved Thursday 21-14 without debate. The measure now heads to the Assembly.

TIP OF THE WEEK
To help correct slicing, see how centered you can hit the ball with your club and how low you can send the ball. If you send the ball too high, it gets into the wind and can go left or right on to rough ground.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #014

What started out as a bang ended in a whimper as Kenny Perry gave the Masters to Angel Cabrera. Perry had a two stroke lead with two holes left but bogeyed 17 and 18 allowing Cabrera and Chad Campbell into a playoff. From there two awful playoff holes were playedwith Campbell going out after hole one. Then Perry muffed his second shot and with that handed the tourney to Cabrera.

The final round was exciting with a classic duel between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Both made a run at first place but fell short, having a great number of strokes to makeup. As the leaders trudged around the course, it was Phil and Tiger charging that made the excitement of the final round.

The Masters said goodbye this week to Gary Player and Fuzzy Zoeller. The two played their
last competitive Masters rounds. Both were met with standing ovations when they came to the
18th hole on Friday.

And so the 2009 Masters is in the book with eyes now turning to Bethpage Black for the US Open in June.

The PGA TOUR now moves to South Carolina for the Verizon tournament, Boo Weekly is the defending champ. Boo will be going for his third straight Verizon title.

IN OTHER NEWS
Woods to play in China before going Down Under
By DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)—Tiger Woods is beefing up his international schedule at the end of the year, saying Wednesday that he will play the HSBC Champions in China the week before he heads to Melbourne for the Australian Masters.Woods shut down his overseas travel in 2007 after the birth of his first child, and couldn’t play last year as he recovered from knee surgery. He announced last week he would play in Australia for the first time since the Presidents Cup in 1998. The trip Down Under comes with a $3 million appearance fee, half of which comes from taxpayers in the state of Victoria. Woods defended the appearance money when asked about it at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
“This is the only place that doesn’t have appearance fees,” Woods said of the PGA Tour. “Most of the guys get appearance fees to play around the world. I’ve played all around the world and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed going. “Obviously, there’s some controversy behind it, but I’m really looking forward to getting down there and competing.”
The HSBC Champions is expected to become a World Golf Championship, and when it does, it will be the only WGC event that Woods has not won. But it won’t be his first appearance at the tournament in Shanghai.
He was runner-up in 2005 and 2006. Phil Mickelson won the HSBC a year later.

Greg Norman has signed an endorsment deal with Taylor Made this past week. Along with Norman Taylor Made also announced the recent signing of Rory Sabbatini.

Phil Mickelson inked a five year extension with Callaway Golf and will continue to play a full complement of Callaway equipment.

The World Rankings after the Masters. Tiger remains at #1. Next comes Phil and Sergio. Geoff Ogilvy is 4, Padraig Harrington is at 5. Kenny Perry cracks the top ten at 6 with Paul Casey, Vijay Singh, Henrik Stenson, and Camilo Villegas finishing up the top ten.


TIP OF THE WEEK

Do not be afraid to put enough speed on the ball so that it will actually make it to the hole. There is nothing worse than coming up short on a putt


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Monday, April 6, 2009

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #013


I'm back. I'd like to thank all of you for the kind cards and letters of condolences. My Mother In Law was a terrific woman and we will miss her.There is still a lot of cleaning up to do but i'll try to squeeze some golf in.

Now, it's back to work.

Tiger is back. Coming off his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational Tiger is ready
and waiting for Augusta. He took the week off to prepare. Phil Mickelson took last week off and apparently this week also as he shot a 77 and a 76 and failed to make the cut. Paul Casey and J.B. Holmes did make the cut and charged hard to tie for first at the end of regulation.

Casey needed a one-hole playoff to outlast J.B. Holmes and win the Shell Houston Open on
Sunday.
It was the first tour victory in 52 starts for the Englishman.

Brittany Lincicome made two great shots on the final hole to eagle it and win the Kraft
Nabisco Championship, her first major. She trailed by one going into the 18th but the
eagle jumped her over Kristy McPherson and Christie Kerr.

It's Masters week and the anticipation is growing. Who will win this year? Will it be
Tiger or Phil, Ogilvy, Immelman, or Anthony Kim? This is shaping up to be one heckava
tournament and it's only a few days away!

TIP OF THE WEEK
Always visualize the path your ball will travel so that it will go in the hole.


Sorry for the brevity but I'm gearing up for the Masters, one of my favorites, and I'll
be back next week with the recap

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