Sunday, January 31, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #65

CRANE WINS AT TORREY PINES
Ben Crane overcame a two-shot deficit and hung on for a 2-under 70 and a one-shot victory in the Farmers Insurance Open. Crane made two birdie putts longer than 45 feet to seize control, then missed two short par putts to keep alive the hopes of Michael Sim, Brandt Snedeker, and Marc Leishman.

Starting the final round two shots behind,Crane opened with three birdies in five holes, including one from just over 45 feet on No. 3. He expanded his lead to three shots with another 45-foot birdie putt on the 11th.

Then he just hung on.

The Australian Sims stayed with Crane, but could not close the gap. Robert Allenby made a charge only to fall back by losing five shots in four holes.

Michael Allen had five straight birdies for a Sunday-best 65, moving him into a tie for fifth with Ernie Els, RickieFowler,and Alex Prugh ,who earned a trip to Riviera next week for the Northern Trust Open.

Phil Mickelson, making his 2010 debut was only four shots behind, coming into the final round ,but Mickelson bogeyed his first three holes and was never a factor. He closed with a 73 and finished 19th.

Mickelson will be back next week to defend at Riviera for the Northern Trust Open.



 KARLSSON WINS QATAR MASTERS
The final round started with Paul Casey and Bradley Dredge in a tie for the lead but others were close. Within the first few holes the lead changed hands  as Lee Westwood, Robert Karlsson, Brett Rumford, and defending champion Alvara Quiros were in pursuit. And Robert Karlsson was the last man standing shooting
a 7-under 65 to win the Qatar Masters by three strokes Sunday.

Karlsson made seven birdies to finish 15-under 273 for his 10th European Tour victory, his first since missing several months last season due to an eye injury.

Alvaro Quiros of Spain, last year’s champion, shot a 67 to finish second.

Lee Westwood had a share of the lead with three holes to play, but  bogeyed  No. 16 and with Karlsson’s two birdies on the final two holes ended his challenge. The Englishman shot a 70 to share third place with Brett Rumford of Australia at 277.

England’s Oliver Wilson  finished in a three-way tie for fourth seven strokes behind Karlsson, along with Paul Casey and Bradley Dredge.

The European Tour returns to Dubai for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Rory McIlroy defends.



GATES WINS DEBUT
Robert Gates won his Nationwide Tour debut, closing with a 2-over 74 in windy conditions Sunday for a one-stroke victory in the tour’s season-opening New Zealand Open.

Gates,  who played the Canadian Tour last year, had a 14-under 274 total. He opened with rounds of 65, 67 and 68 in the event also sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia.

Gates, had a three stroke lead entering thefinal  round and got to six ahead on the front nine, but he had a double bogey after hitting into the water on the par-3 16th to fall into a tie with Australia’s Andrew Dodt at 14 under, but Dodt made a double bogey on the par-5 17th.  Dodt birdied the final hole for a 72 to finish second.

Jamie Lovemark shot a 68 to finish third at 12 under.

Next up is the Moonah Classic . Allistair Presnell is the 2009 winner .


IN OTHER NEWS
Phil Mickelson  hinted at legal action for being accused of “cheating,” saying on Saturday that if the U.S. PGA Tour did not do something about him being “publicly slandered,” then he would let others handle it.

The U.S. Golf Association has a new rule this year that irons have V-shaped grooves. However, the Ping-Eye 2 wedges that were made before April 1, 1990 remain approved for play through a Ping lawsuit that was settled 20 years ago and takes precedence over new regulations.
Mickelson is using one of those wedges this week after reading about John Daly and Dean Wilson using them in Hawaii.


Speaking of John Daly, he pulled a Brett Favre this weekend retiring and then unretiring. After he missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open a disgusted Daly said he was finished and was retiring.

Early Saturday, Daly said on Twitter that he wasn’t retiring.

It was the second time in six months Daly has said he was retiring. He threatened to quit after shooting 88 in the Buick Open last summer, although his swing coach attributed that to rapid weight loss. Daly went on to play four more times.

He says he needs sometime to get his game together as well as his finances. This appears as if this will be a continuing saga.



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Monday, January 25, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #64

LIKE FATHER ,LIKE SON
The washout of the second round forced the Bob Hope Classic to finish on Monday. And what a finish it was. The tournament did not have the strongest field, but don't tell that to  Bill Haas who, made a short birdie putt on the 18th hole to earn his first PGA Tour victory at the Bob Hope Classic, beating Matt Kuchar, Tim Clark and Bubba Watson by one stroke with an 8-under 64.

Haas was the last of three co-leaders to play the 18th, and an outstanding approach shot allowed him to two-putt his way to a 30-under 330 finish Monday.

Kuchar and  Tim Clark both had birdie chances on the par-5 18th  but both missed their putts. Fourth-round co-leader Bubba Watson birdied the 18th to grab a share of second place.

Haas spent the day trailing Matt Kucher,who came from three shots back and shot up theleaderboard. He had eight birdies in his first 11 holes, but only one in the last seven.

Rookie Alex Prugh, who shared the lead with Watson entering the final round, started slowly but closed with three straight birdies to finish fifth at 28 under in his third career PGA Tour event.  Mike Weir was sixth at 26 under.

Haas joined his father Jay as a Hope champion, Jay being the 1988 Hope champion. They’re the eighth father-son combination to win on the PGA Tour.

Next up the Farmers Insurance Open, and the 2010 debut of  the #2 golfer in the world. Nick Watney will defend his title.




WATSON TAKES OPENER
60 year old Tom Watson sunk a 4 foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to win the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, defeating Fred Couples by one stroke

On the 18th Watson pushed his drive into the right rough, then hit a great second shot with a pitching wedge from 147 yards that rolled 20 feet on the 18th green and stopped 4 feet from the hole.


Couples just missed his 15-foot birdie putt to the left on the final hole. Watson calmly sank the winner and waved his cap to the roaring crowd.

The big-hitting Couples, who led all players with a 314-yard average drive, closed with a bogey-free 64, the lowest round of the day.

Watson was on fire on the back nine getting five birdies. He had six on each of the first two days.

Couples birdied the par-4 16th for a one-stroke lead over Watson at 21 under. After a big drive, he hit a wedge from 118 yards to 12 feet.

But Watson tied Couples for the lead on No. 17 by sinking a 6-foot birdie putt.

Michael Allen birdied the final hole for a 66 to finish third at 18 under, a stroke ahead of Tom Lehman . Both men played last week in the PGA Tour’s Sony Open, with Lehman tying for 16th and Allen tying for 25th.

Hale Irwin, a two-time champion at Hualalai, closed with a 64 to finish fifth at 14 under. It was his second top-10 finish in a row after going 41 straight tournaments without one.



KAYMER TAKES ABU DHABI
Martin Kaymer birdied the 18th hole to win the Abu Dhabi Championship on Sunday, giving him  a one-shot victory over Ian Poulter. Kaymer has won the title two of the last three years

The German sank a 2-foot putt for his sixth birdie in a 6-under 66 to finish at 21-under 267 at Abu Dhabi Golf Club and earn his fifth European Tour title. Poulter of England finished with a 66 after missing a 15-foot birdie putt to force a playoff.

Rory McIlroy,the Irish Golf Writers Association 2009 Professional Golfer of the year, was third after a 67.

Kaymer led by a shot overnight and opened the final round with two birdies to keep even with Poulter, who picked up three shots in his first three holes.
After Poulter laid up with his second shot at the par-5 18th, Kaymer hit  a 3-wood from 277 yards on to the green. The German two-putted to take the $391,000 winner’s check.

The tour moves to Qatar for the  Commercial Bank Qatar Masters. Alvara Quiros defends.




IN OTHER NEWS
47-year-old Bart Bryant is on his way to a sixth surgery .

Bryant, whose three PGA Tour titles include a six-shot victory over Tiger Woods at the 2005 Tour Championship, is preparing for surgery on his left wrist that most likely will keep him out the entire year.
He felt pain in the wrist toward the end of 2008, tried to play through the injury most of last year and finally shut it down after the John Deere Classic in July.

He has extensive loss of cartilage in his left wrist, causing the bones to shift. He said doctors planned to fuse the bones.



(AP) Jim Thorpe has been sentenced to a year in prison for failing to pay more than $2 million in income taxes.

Thorpe must turn himself in to authorities by April 1. The golfer also was sentenced to two years of supervised release and 200 hours of community service. He must try to repay the taxes while he’s on supervised release.

In September, Thorpe pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to pay income taxes and had faced up to two years in prison.

Thorpe has won 13 times on the Champions Tour and three times on the PGA Tour.



Phil Mickelson will open his U.S. PGA Tour season next week in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

 Mickelson took 10 weeks off and will return at Torrey Pines, where he has won three times but not since 2001.

Mickelson is the only player from the top 10 in the world, with Robert Allenby and Ernie Els  making it three out of the top 20.

That's it for this week .

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Have a great week.





Monday, January 18, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #63

PALMER WINS IN HAWAII, DEFEATS ALLENBY
Ryan Palmer almost holed out at the par 5 18th. He hit the flag with his third shot leaving him inches away . After Robert Allenby chipped from behind the green to just inside 10 feet, then missed his birdie putt, Palmer tapped in for the one stroke victory over Allenby in the Sony Open.

Allenby closed with a 67 in his bid to win for the third straight time on three different tours and the first time on the PGA Tour in nine years.

Palmer, the 33-year-old Texan, was atop the leaderboard every day, and kept his composure in a tight final round at Waialae against Allenby and Steve Stricker, who was briefly tied for the lead and eventually finished third.

Charles Howell III, ended a stretch of 17 tournaments without a top 10 with a 66-64 weekend to tie for fifth with Carl Petterson (66) and Davis Love III, who holed out for eagle from the 16th fairway and closed with a 67.

This win gives Palmer an invitation to the Masters for the first time in five years and his third PGA Tour title




SCHWARTZEL MAKES IT TWO IN A ROW
Charl Schwartzel of South Africa won his second victory in a row on the European Tour  on Sunday, shooting a 5-under 66 to pull away for a six-stroke victory at the Joburg Open.

Schwartzel overcame some early nerves on the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington East course but managed to pull away for the title.

Fellow countryman Keith Home shot the day’s best round, a 64, to share second place with Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland. Clarke eagled the last hole for a 68.

Schwartzel bogeyed the 475-yard third and admitted to some nerves ahead of his final round despite starting the day leading Clarke by four strokes.

Schwartzel settled down quickly with two solid pars after No. 3, and was back on track after a birdie at No. 6.

He made another birdie on the eighth hole to make the turn at one-under, and then birdies at Nos. 10 and 14 took him clear of the field as he coasted home for his second victory in two weeks after he won last week’s Africa Open.

The European Tour goes to the Middle East for the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. Paul Casey defends.



OLDIES BUT GOODIES
 Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson held off defending champions Fuzzy Zoeller and Ben Crenshaw to win the Champions Skins Game in Hawaii on Sunday.

Nicklaus and Watson the oldest team, in the tournament, finished with 10 skins and $350,000 for their second victory in the event in four years.

Zoeller-Crenshaw took five straight skins for $230,000 to finish second in the alternate-shot, made-for-TV event. They were trying to become the first team to repeat after winning a record $530,000 last year.

Fred Couples, making his Champions Tour debut, and Nick Price sank a 4-footer for birdie on the playoff hole with two skins and $150,000 on the line — including the 18th-hole, $100,000 “Superskin”—to finish third with $190,000.

 Gary Player and Loren Roberts were shutout.

The Champions Tour start their 2010 season next week in Hawaii at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship. Bernhard Langer is the 2009 winner.




IN OTHER NEWS
A total of 16 newcomers are in the field of 91 players who have been invited to the 2010 Masters, the tournament announced Friday.

There are six amateurs in the field for the April 8-11 tournament at Augusta National. More than half of the field -- 49 players -- are originally from countries outside of the Unitd States.

Among the first-timers are PGA Tour players Jason Dufner, Brian Gay (a two-time winner on last year's PGA Tour), PGA Tour rookie of the year Marc Leishman of Australia and veterans Steve Marino and Kevin Na.

Simon Dyson (England), Nathan Green (Australia), Yuta Ikeda (Japan), Francesco Molinari and Nationwide Tour player of the year Michael Sim are also among the invitees.

Defending champion Angel Cabrera and Tiger Woods also received invitations.

Players not currently in the field who win a full-field PGA Tour event or finish in the top 50 of the World Golf Rankings the week prior to the Masters will also earn an invitation.



Sony Electronics is testing 3D  cameras at this event with a possible rollout of the technology in 2011. I hope they develop better glasses then those cardboard ones in the fifties.


You can contact me at our new email address talkinggolf@gmail.com

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #62

OGILVY DOUBLES UP
Geoff Ogilvy rallied from a two-shot deficit with 10 holes to play to gain a one-shot victory over Rory Sabbatini at the U.S. PGA 2010 season-opening SBS Championship.

Ogilvy played short of the par-4 14th, where most players were hitting driver, and pitched to 4 feet for birdie. And he took the outright lead with a 5-wood into 25 feet for a two-putt birdie on the 15th.


Sabbatini, who started the final round six shots behind, ran off five straight birdies on the back nine to seize the lead and closed with a 63. He couldn’t reach the green on the 663-yard 18th in two, however, and missed a 10-foot birdie putt that ultimately cost him
.
Ogilvy parred the17th , then laid up on the 18th to take trouble out of play on the left and closed with a par. He finished at 22-under 270 and moved back into the top 10 in the world with his seventh career PGA Tour victory.

Lucas Glover, who had a share of the lead the first three rounds,shot a 76 and fell  back to finish in 14th place. Matt Kuchar continued his strong play and finished in third place.

Next week is the Sony Open in Honolulu.



SCHWARTZEL WINS AFRICA OPEN
Charl Schwartzel won the Africa Open by defeating countryman Thomas Aiken by one stroke, despite bogeying the final hole.

Schwartzel had a 6-under 67  at the East London Golf Club in the tournament co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the European Tour.

Aiken led going into the final round with Trevor Fisher Jr., and  double-bogeyed the fifth hole. That let Schwartzel open up a lead he never relinquished. He had a three-stroke advantage on the 16th and then had to wait things out as Aiken made a birdie on 15 to get within two shots. Schwartzel thought Aiken had birdied 17 to draw even, but the leaderboard was wrong .

In the end, Aiken just missed a 15-foot birdie attempt that would have forced a playoff.

Jbe’ Kruger of South Africa shot a 70 to finish third and Fisher had a 72 to fall into a tie for fourth another shot back with Rick Kulacz of Australia, James Morrison of England and Chris Swanepoel of South Africa.

It was Schwartzel’s fourth European Tour win .

Next on tap is the Joburg Open in Johannesburg, South Africa.


EUROPE BEATS ASIA IN ROYAL TROPHY

Europe was victorious against Asia in a tightly fought Royal Trophy match play event, with Henrik Stenson picking up a shot on the final hole for an 8 1/2 to 7 1/2 victory.

Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand came up just short on a 15-foot putt at No. 18 that would have given him a win over Stenson, squared the three-day event at 8-8 and forced a playoff. The Swede then sank a 7-footer to square the match and give Europe a victory in the three-day event.

The roller-coaster competition saw Asia take the early lead Friday, but fall behind after Saturday’s four-ball competition.

Asia entered the final day a point down, but appeared poised for a victory after claiming 3 1/2 points to 1 1/2 for Europe over the first five singles matches.

Billed as "The Battle of the Continents" the Royal Trophy is a relatively new event, using the Ryder Cup as it's model.




 IN OTHER NEWS
Rory McIlroy has been voted the Professional of the Year at the 2009 Irish Golf Writers’ Association Awards evening, sponsored by AIB Bank, which took place in the AIB Bankcentre in Dublin.
  The 20 year old ,not only broke into the world’s top ten last year, but claimed his  first European Tour title– at the Dubai Desert Classic in February – and notched 14 top ten finishes, including third place at the US PGA Championship.



John Daly will be playing in at least three PGA Tour events during the first two months of the season. He will start at the Sony Open next week in Honolulu. He said he also received an exemption to the San Diego Open, and that he was in the 156-man field at Pebble Beach.
  Daly was serving a 6 month suspension in 2009 and his play was limited to tournaments in Australia and on the European Tour. But, this year he is back reportedly 115 lbs. lighter and with some new equioment. We will get to see next week.



Electronic Arts Inc. said Monday it will stand behind Tiger Woods -- at least for the release of a new online golf game featuring the embattled athlete.
  The relationship between EA and Woods stretches back more than a decade, and Tiger Woods-branded games have pulled in hundreds of millions of dollars for the company over the years.



Jack Nicklaus says 2010 big year in majors for Tiger. Nicklaus said "If Tiger is going to pass my record, this is a big year for him in that regard,” Nicklaus said on Friday. To read the entire statement see link below.
http://tiny.cc/bxY8Q


That's it for this week'

You can contact me at our new email address talkinggolf@gmail.com
Please tune in to the podcast on itunes (par3radio) or at my website at par3radio.podbean.com
Follow me on twitter at twitter.com/par3prods






Wednesday, January 6, 2010

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY #61

Happy 2010 to all my readers. I hope you all had a great holiday season.

The PGA Tour returns this week with the SBS Championship, and I'll be back to recap all the action for you so enjoy the tourney and I'll talk to you soon.

The podcast also returns next week.