Sunday, December 18, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 12-18-2011

 LEXI MAKES HISTORY AGAIN
 American teenager Lexi Thompson has made history as the youngest winner on both the LPGA and Ladies European Tours.

The 16-year-old Thompson shot a 5-under 67 Saturday to win the Dubai Ladies Masters, becoming the youngest professional winner on that side of the Atlantic.


Thompson pulled away from Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa to win by four strokes for her second professional victory. In September, she became the youngest winner of an LPGA tournament at the Navistar LPGA Classic in Alabama.


Thompson chipped in for a birdie on No. 9 to take a one-shot lead over Pace and extended her lead with four birdies on the back nine for a 15-under 273 total.


Pace (69) started strong with two birdies and an eagle on her first six holes, but shaky putting on the back nine ended her chances.


The 2010 European Tour money winner, Pace hit her approach shot on No. 12 over the green for her second bogey in five holes.


Sophie Gustafson of Sweden (71) was a shot behind Pace in third place followed by four players another shot back.


Michelle Wie (72) came into the final round five shots behind leader Thompson. She fell out of contention with two bogeys and a double-bogey on the front nine, finishing tied for 12th.



POULTER STORMS BACK GETS AUSSIE MASTERS WIN
 Ian Poulter won the Australian Masters on Sunday, spoiling Geoff Ogilvy’s bid for a victory on his boyhood course.


Poulter, two strokes behind Ogilvy entering the round, closed with a 4-under 67 in windy conditions to finish at 15-under 269 at Victoria Golf Club.


Australian Marcus Fraser had a 64 to finish second, three strokes back. Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open champion who matched the course record with a 63 on Saturday, shot a 73 to end up third at 11 under.


Poulter erased Ogilvy’s overnight lead with a 15-foot eagle putt on the par-4 first hole. He then hit a birdie on the seventh to take the outright lead and added another on the ninth to make the turn with a two-shot advantage.


World No. 1 Luke Donald had four birdies on the front nine to move up to fifth place, but followed with four bogeys on the back nine to finish with a 1-over 72 and a share of 12th.


Greg Chalmers failed in his bid to become the second player to complete the Australian Triple Crown, shooting a 74 to join Donald in the group at 4 under. Robert Allenby remains the only player to sweep the Australian Open, PGA and Masters. He accomplished the feat in 2005.




WESTWOOD GETS FOURTH WIN OF THE YEAR
Lee Westwood brushed aside a challenge from Masters champion Charl Schwartzel to win the $1 million Thailand Golf Championship by seven strokes.

 Westwood's fourth victory of the season, moved him up to world number two, replacing Rory McIlroy.


The Englishman had played fine golf all week including a stunning 12-under-par 60 in the first round.


He shot 69 in his final round to finish the tournament on 266, an impressive 22 under par, for his third win in Asia this season.


Schwartzel fought hard and briefly threatened the leader, but the South African had to settle for the runner-up spot after shooting an even-par 72.


Little-known American Michael Thompson  finished  in third place, one shot back, while tied for  fourth place two strokes further back were Thailand's Chawalit Plaphol and Simon Dyson of England.


There was drama at the par-five 11th when Schwartzel sunk an eagle while Westwood missed a birdie putt, resulting in a two-shot swing to the South African and cutting the lead to three.


Both players birdied the 12th but Westwood also picked up a stroke at the 13th to restore his four-shot lead.


Schwartzel's challenge effectively ended at the next hole when a poor chip saw him make a bogey, leaving Westwood five shots clear with just four to play. He went on to stretch the lead by a further two strokes.


John Daly finished tied for 16th after shooting 75 in the final round while Sergio Garcia recorded a 71 for a tie for 24th place.


Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa finished what was a miserable tournament for him with a 73, well down the field on a total of 297, nine over par.




 IN OTHER NEWS
 Two-time major champion Sandy Lyle and British commentator Peter Alliss will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame next year after being selected Thursday for the Class of 2012.

Lyle was elected through the international ballot after winning 29 tournaments worldwide, including the 1985 British Open and the 1988 Masters, where he became the first British winner at Augusta.

Alliss commentated on both of Lyle’s major victories after beginning his career behind the microphone for the BBC in 1961. He had previously won 23 tournaments as a player and was selected for all but one of Britain and Ireland’s Ryder Cup teams from 1953-69.

They will be inducted along with American writer Dan Jenkins and American players Phil Mickelson and Hollis Stacy at a ceremony at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida, in May.

Lyle, who currently plays on the European Senior Tour, was elected ahead of Colin Montgomerie of Scotland, Ian Woosnam of Wales and Retief Goosen of South Africa in the international voting.

Also, legendary journalist Dan Jenkins, 82, becomes the first living golf writer selected for induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame



Tom Lehman now has won player of the year at every stage of his career.

Lehman has been voted the Champions Tour player of the year after a season in which he won three times and won the Charles Schwab Cup. Lehman also won the money list, the only Champions Tour player to surpass $2 million.

Two decades ago, Lehman was player of the year on what then was called the Hogan Tour. He was voted player of the year on the PGA Tour in 1996 when he won the money list and two tournaments, including the British Open for his lone major.

Lehman said Wednesday this award means as much as the other two because he set a goal to become the first player to win all three.



Luke Donald added yet another prize to his glittering list of honors for 2011, picking up the European Tour’s Golfer of the Year award on Thursday.

Shedding his “underachiever” tag, the 34-year-old Englishman won three titles on the European Tour and finished in the top 10 in 20 of his 26 tournaments worldwide, helping him become the first player to officially win money lists on both sides of the Atlantic.

Two days after becoming the first Englishman to be voted the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year since the inaugural award in 1990, Donald picked up the European equivalent for the first time.



The U.S. PGA Tour has agreed to loan the Canadian Tour money and assist next year in tournament development and sponsorship.

The amount of the loan wasn’t disclosed Wednesday.

“Understanding its current financial issues, the PGA Tour has agreed to lend support to the Canadian Tour in 2012,” said Ed Moorhouse, the PGA Tour’s co-chief operating officer. “Our goal is to help lend stability to the Canadian Tour, which we believe plays an important role in professional golf and has proven to be a valuable system for developing players over the years.

The Canadian Tour has been a full member of the International Federation of PGA Tours since 2009.



Listen to my podcast weekly at TGWG.podomatic.com 
As well as on itunes
And the show is now available on STITCHER SMART RADIO www.stitcher.com 
Visit my online store at www.zazzle.com/talkinggolfwithgary 
Send your questions and comments to talkinggolf@gmail.com

Sunday, December 11, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 12-11-2011

QUIROS WINS BUT DONALD MAKES HISTORY
Alvaro Quiros holed a 40-foot eagle putt on the 18th to clinch a two-shot win over 1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie at the Dubai World Championship on Sunday as No. 1-ranked Luke Donald became the first golfer to win both the PGA Tour and European Tour money titles.

The 34-year-old Donald, who won the PGA title earlier this year, had to finish better than ninth or hope Rory McIlroy didn’t win the tournament. He finished third while McIIroy, who has struggled with a lingering virus all week, finished in a tie for 11th at 9-under 279. That left McIlroy more than $1.34 million behind Donald in the money race.

Quiros had a final-round 5-under 67 on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates to finish at 269. Donald was three shots behind Quiros after he ran off three birdies in a row for a 6-under 66. Peter Hanson of Sweden was fourth, another two shots back, and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel was in fifth another shot behind.

The big-hitting Quiros came into the final day with a two-shot lead but squandered it after he had three bogeys on the front nine to go with five birdies. Lawrie, who led after the first day, took the lead after he notched five birdies in his first eight holes.



BRADLEY AND STEELE WIN SHOOTOUT
PGA Champion Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele shot a 13-under 59 in scramble play Sunday to become the first PGA Tour rookies to win the Franklin Templeton Shootout.

Bradley and Steele took control with an eagle by Steele on No. 14 and a birdie on No. 15, finishing at 32-under 184 for a three-stroke victory over two teams.

Bradley and Steele had been talking about playing in Greg Norman’s event since the spring, and said they weren’t at the three-format event to “goof off.”

After sharing the lead with Champions Tour golfers Mark Calcavecchia and Nick Price following the first round of modified alternate shot, they were one ahead of them after Saturday’s better-ball.

Calcavecchia birdied No. 18 to give him and Price a 61, moving them into a tie for second at 187 with Rory Sabbatini and Jhonattan Vegas, who shot 60. Charles Howell III and Justin Leonard, and 2009 champions Jerry Kelly and Steve Stricker tied for fourth another shot back.

Bradley, the reigning PGA Championship winner, and Steele made seven straight birdies from Nos. 6 to 13, then Steele made an eagle putt from off the green, and followed that up with a 4-footer on No. 15 for birdie.

Bradley and Steele had a chance at the tournament record of 34 under, but parred No. 16 and 18 coming in. Bradley, the nephew of former LPGA Tour and World Golf Hall of Famer Pat Bradley, and Steele shared $750,000 from the $3-million purse.


 
IN OTHER NEWS
The European Tour says it has agreed to keep the final event of the Race To Dubai in the city for three years and increase the prize money by $500,000 to $8 million.

European Tour chief executive George O’Grady said Sunday the next three editions of the Dubai World Championship will be rebranded as the DP World Championship, Dubai starting in 2012 will also return to Jumeirah Golf Estates, the host course since its inception in 2009.

The Race To Dubai includes 52 tournaments in 29 countries and concludes in Dubai.




The LPGA tournament in Springfield has been canceled after organizers failed to find a new sponsor.
Tournament executive director Kate Peters said Friday that the board decided late Thursday to end the event after 36 years. State Farm withdrew as the event title sponsor in February.

Peters said the board had tried to land a new sponsor and had been working with the LPGA. Top-ranked Yani Tseng won the tournament in June.

State Farm considered backing out of the tournament in 2009 but the LPGA and tournament organizers convinced the Bloomington-based insurer to stay on.



Rory McIlroy says he is pulling out of next week’s Thailand Golf Championship as he continues to recover from the lingering effects of dengue fever.

McIlroy showed signs of fatigue during his 11th place finish at this week’s Dubai World Championship. He said Saturday he felt exhausted and that blood tests have shown his white blood cell count remains low.

The U.S. Open champion believes he picked up a “mild case of dengue fever” when he was playing tournaments in South Korea and China.

McIlroy said he won’t play again until next month’s European Tour event in Abu Dhabi, and will remain in Dubai for the next few days to rest.



 Lorena Ochoa has given birth to a baby boy.

Ochoa’s brother Alejandro said the baby was born Thursday at 8:58 p.m. in Mexico City and named Pedro Conesa Ochoa. Her husband is Mexican businessman Andres Conesa.

Ochoa won two majors and 27 titles on the LPGA Tour in her eight-year career. She was the No. 1 golfer for three years before she retired in 2010.

The 30-year-old Ochoa has discounted returning to play full-time on the LPGA tour, but has said she’d like to play one or two tournaments a year.

She hosts the Lorena Ochoa Invitation in Guadalajara.



Listen to my podcast weekly at TGWG.podomatic.com 
As well as on itunes
And the show is now available on STITCHER SMART RADIO www.stitcher.com 
Visit my online store at www.zazzle.com/talkinggolfwithgary 
Send your questions and comments to talkinggolf@gmail.com

Sunday, December 4, 2011

 TIGER WINS!!
 One shot behind with two holes to play, Tiger Woods finally looked like the player who dominated golf for so much of his career. He birdied his last two holes Sunday, making a 6-foot putt on the 18th, to win the Chevron World Challenge by one shot over former Masters champion Zach Johnson.
 
Woods closed with a 3-under 69, sweeping his arm when the final putt dropped, then slamming down his first in a celebration that was a long time coming. It had been 749 days and 26 official tournaments since he last won on Nov. 15, 2009 at the Australian Masters, back when he looked as though he would rule golf as long as he played.

The win moved him from No. 52 to No. 21 in the world ranking, and likely will send expectations soaring for 2012. Woods will not play again until starting his year in Abu Dhabi at the end of January.

He had a worthy adversary in Johnson, who had a one-shot lead going into the final round and trailed for only three holes. Johnson tied Woods with a birdie on the par-5 13th, made an unlikely par on the 14th by chipping from the bottom of the green, and appeared to seize control by holing a 12-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole.

Johnson thought his birdie putt on the 17th was good all the way until it burned the edge of the cup. Woods, running out of time, drained his birdie putt to force a tie and send the tournament to the 18th.

Woods also was tied on the 18th at Sherwood a year ago and stuffed his approach into 3 feet. Graeme McDowell holed a 20-foot putt to force a playoff, and beat Woods on the first extra hole.

Johnson, however, missed his birdie putt from 15 feet, leaving the stage to Woods. He hasn’t been in these situations much over the last two years, but this one, finally, had a familiar ending.

Johnson closed with a 71 and still took home $650,000 for the holidays. Paul Casey, who opened with a 79, had his third straight round in the 60s to finish alone in third at 5 under.



 MCILROY WINS IN HONG KONG 
Rory McIlroy rallied to win the Hong Kong Open, holing out from a greenside bunker on the final hole Sunday for a 5-under 65 and a two-stroke victory.

The 22-year-old U.S. Open winner from Northern Ireland, three strokes behind Alvaro Quiros entering the final round at Hong Kong Country Club, finished at 12-under 268 on the Fanling Course. He had five birdies in his bogey-free round.

France’s Gregory Havret also closed with a 65 to finish second.

Sweden’s Peter Hanson had a 70 to finish third at 9 under. England’s Ian Poulter, the 2010 winner, shot a 66 to tie for fourth at 8 under with Scotland’s Richie Ramsay (66) and Thailand’s Pariya Junhasavasdikul (70).

Quiros, from Spain, had a 73 to tie for seventh at 7 under.

John Daly closed with a 69 to tie for 21st at 2 under in the tournament sanctioned by the European and Asian tours.



WESTWOOD TAKES SUN CITY EVENT

Lee Westwood finished with two bogeys and a 1-over 73 but it was still enough to retain his title by two strokes at the Nedbank Golf Challenge on Sunday.

The No. 3-ranked Westwood ended with a 15-under 273 total to stay clear of Robert Karlsson in second, despite a final-round charge from the Swedish player that cut Westwood’s commanding seven-shot overnight lead in South Africa.

Westwood made just two birdies on the final day and dropped three strokes over the back nine, but his dominant performance on Saturday—when he shot a course-record 62—set up victory and only the second back-to-back win at Sun City over the last decade.

A smiling Westwood threw his ball into the galleries on No. 18 after beating out Karlsson (68), who made seven birdies but dropped shots at Nos. 1, 8 and 16 at the Gary Player Country Club and ultimately couldn’t overcome Westwood’s hefty advantage.

American Jason Dufner (69) tied for third with Graeme McDowell (70) on 11-under, while top-ranked Luke Donald was 10 shots off the pace in seventh, closing with a level-par 72 on his return from a five-week layoff after winning the U.S. PGA Tour money list.

South Korea’s Kyung-tae Kim was alone in fifth on 8 under, with Masters champion Charl Schwartzel two shots behind him in sixth.

Westwood was the only player in the top seven of the 12-man field to be over par on Sunday after bogeys at Nos. 12, 17 and 18, but none could take advantage of the Englishman’s subdued finish, where he was in control throughout.



KENNEDY WINS NEW ZEALAND OPEN

Brad Kennedy won the New Zealand Open on Sunday, holing a 30-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff with Australian compatriot Craig Parry to complete a wire-to-wire victory.

Kennedy closed with a 2-over 74 to match Parry at 7-under 281 at Clearwater Golf Club. Parry took a two-stroke lead to the final hole, but drove into the water and finished with a double bogey for a 69.

On the 18th in regulation, Parry hit his tee shot into the water to the left of the fairway, then hit into long rough before making a good recovery to reach the green. He missed a bogey putt that would have left him with a one-stroke lead.

Parry again found trouble off the tee on the 18th hole in the playoff, hitting into a bunker. He was facing a 5-foot par putt when Kennedy holed his birdie try.

New Zealand’s Josh Geary was 7 under going to the final hole, but dropped a stroke for a 72 to finish a shot out of the playoff.



 IN OTHER NEWS
 Luke Donald could have played the last round at Sun City as a history maker. Only Rory McIlroy didn’t let that happen.
Shortly before the top-ranked Donald teed off at the Nedbank Golf Challenge on Sunday, No. 2-ranked McIlroy holed a birdie from the bunker on No. 18 to seal a come-from-behind win at the Hong Kong Open and keep the race for Europe’s money title alive. Just barely.
With Donald still around  $1 million ahead, McIlroy has to win at next weekend’s season-ending Dubai World Championship and hope the world’s best player is outside the top nine to prevent Donald topping both lists either side of the Atlantic.




Thailand’s Junthima Gulyanamitta won the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament on Sunday, closing with 4-under 68 in windy and rainy conditions on LPGA International’s Champions Course for a two-stroke victory over Christine Song.

The 23-year-old Gulyanamitta, a member of Purdue’s 2010 NCAA championship team, had a 10-under 350 total in the five-round event.

Stephanie Kono and Argentina’s Victoria Tanco gave up their amateur status after earning top-20 LPGA membership. Kono is a senior All-American at UCLA and a 2010 member of the U.S. Curtis Cup team.

Listen to my podcast weekly at TGWG.podomatic.com 
As well as on itunes 
And the show is now available on STITCHER SMART RADIO www.stitcher.com
Visit my online store at www.zazzle.com/talkinggolfwithgary 
Send your questions and comments to talkinggolf@gmail.com

Sunday, November 27, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 11-27-2011

 KUCHER AND WOODLAND TAKE TEAM EVENT
Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland won the Omega World Cup  team event in China for the first time since David Duval and Tiger Woods were teamed up together in 2000, and did so with some really great play throughout the entire week.

It just seemed to click with the long-hitting Woodland and the accurate Kuchar, who drained some long putts during Sunday's alternate shot to post a five-under 67 to finish at 24-under for the week, two shots better then a late-charging English team of Ian Poulter and Justin Rose.

 Before the final round, the Irish team of Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, the past two U.S. Open winners, were two shots clear of the field, but could only muster an even-par round on Sunday, dropping them well behind the Americans.

Next year is the Ryder Cup so look for Woodland to get serious consideration from Captain Davis Love III after his performance. Kucher is a good bet to make the team,so they could make a formidible team. Stay tuned.



 CHALMERS DOUBLES UP DOWN UNDER
Greg Chalmers claimed his second major tournament Down Under in two weeks by winning the Australian PGA Championship on Sunday, making par in a three-man playoff while his rivals found trouble off the tee.

The left-handed Chalmers, who closed with a 5-under 67, added the PGA to the Australian Open title he won at The Lakes in Sydney two weeks previously. He will have a chance to complete the so-called Australian Triple Crown when he competes in the Australian Masters in Melbourne beginning Dec. 15.

Marcus Fraser got into the playoff with a 50-foot birdie putt on the 18th in regulation to complete a final round 69, while Robert Allenby had a 68 as the playoff trio finished with 12-under-par totals of 276 on the Hyatt Regency resort course.

Adam Scott shot 68 and Aaron Baddeley, who led before two late bogeys, had a 72 to finish at 10-under, two shots out of the playoff and tied for fourth.Third-round leader K.T. Kim and American Bubba Watson, who trailed by a stroke after 54 holes, were a combined 9-over in the final group.

American Rickie Fowler, making his professional debut in Australia after winning the world amateur title in 2008 in Adelaide, closed with a 70 and was at 6-under 282, six behind.



 OTTO TAKES SOUTH AFRICAN OPEN
 Hennie Otto kept his nerve to par the 18th hole for a one-stroke victory over Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger at the South African Open.

Home favorite Otto finished with an even-par 72 for a 14-under total of 274 to edge out Wiesberger and claim his second European Tour title in 222 events.

Wiesberger made his final-round charge with five birdies and a bogey in a 4-under 68 to move to 13-under for the tournament at the Serengeti course.

After wobbling with bogeys at Nos. 13, 15 and 16, overnight leader Otto birdied the 17th and held his nerve on the last for his first tour win since the Italian Open in 2008.

Retief Goosen ended with a 73 for a share of sixth place at 10-under, while defending champion Ernie Els had three double bogeys in his 79 to crash to a tie for 69th at 5-over.

England’s Richard McEvoy finished with a 4-under 68 to tie for third alongside home players Ockie Strydom (69) and Thomas Aiken (72) at 11-under, two back from Wiesberger and three behind Otto.

Searching for a third South African Open title, Goosen managed just two birdies and three bogeys in his final round to slip from a tie for second after the third round.

He finished alongside Sweden’s Magnus Carlsson (73) and another South African, Trevor Fisher Jr., on 10-under.

Els followed up his 76 on Saturday with a 7-over-par 79 the day’s worst round on Sunday.



IN OTHER NEWS

Lee Westwood has decided to join the PGA Tour again.

It will be the first time the English star has taken up PGA Tour membership since the 2008 season. The move requires Westwood to compete in 15 tournaments, which includes the four majors and World Golf Championships.

Westwood says he will return to The Players Championship, which he skipped this year because his schedule already was full. He also said he was intrigued watching the FedEx Cup playoffs on television and would like to take part in them.

Westwood started the year at No. 1 in the world and has since slipped to No. 3. He plans to start his American schedule next year at the Match Play Championship in Arizona, which counts toward the PGA and European tours.




Tiger Woods appeared to turn his back on Torrey Pines when he announced last week that he would open his 2012 season that week in Abu Dhabi at the HSBC Championship, with an appearance fee that likely approaches $3 million.

Woods not only is a seven-time winner at Torrey Pines he has started every season when healthy in San Diego since 2006, and the Farmers Insurance Open was the only California event he played during the West Coast Swing.

But there’s a bigger picture to his scheduling.

Indications are that Woods plans a return to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for the first time since 2002.

Woods had planned to play Pebble Beach in 2010 when he had the AT&T logo on his bag, though that was before his personal life imploded. He could not play last year because it was opposite the Dubai Desert Classic, and Woods was fulfilling an existing contract.

Since he last played the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, the tournament has improved by trimming the field from 180 players to 156 players, and taking Poppy Hills out of the rotation and replacing it with the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula.



Former No. 1 player in the world, David Duval whose 14 wins include the British Open, went back  to the second stage of Q-school. Duval closed with a 70 and was the runner-up at Bear Creek Golf Club in Murrieta, Calif., easily advancing to the final stage next week.

Duval already had used his two exemptions from the career money list. He didn’t mind going back to the final stage of Q-school, for he had done that only two years earlier.

To fall outside the top 150, however, would give him two options—go to the second stage of Q-school, or get limited starts as a past champion and spend the rest of the year asking for handouts.

Neither was terribly appealing, especially the second stage of Q-school, but he decided to go because he still felt he could play and this is what he wants to do.

The next leg is the hardest one yet. Still to come are six rounds in the California desert. And even if Duval manages to get his card, he will not be assured of getting into the tournaments he once routinely played.
He still is going to need help with exemptions, and his ego is certainly not too big for that.



 Joseph “Bud” Lewis, the golf professional who was the longest serving and oldest living member of the PGA of America, has died. He was 103.


The Shelly Funeral Home said Lewis died Tuesday of natural causes.

With Lewis’ death, the PGA of America said Samuel Henry “Errie” Ball of Stuart, Fla., is the oldest living PGA of America member. Ball is 101.

Lewis became a PGA member in May 1931 and was the first to reach 80 years of membership.
He became head professional at Manufacturers Golf & Country Club in 1943 and spent 37 years in the position. He later was the club’s pro emeritus.

He won the Philadelphia Open in 1942 and 1950, and qualified for the PGA Championship four times and the U.S. Open three times. He was inducted into the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame in 1996.

Lewis is survived by sons Joseph Jr. and Dan, daughter Jean, 12 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.



Listen to my podcast weekly at TGWG.podomatic.com
As well as on itunes
And the show is now available on STITCHER SMART RADIO www.stitcher.com
Visit my online store at www.zazzle.com/talkinggolfwithgary
Send your questions and comments to talkinggolf@gmail.com

Sunday, November 20, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 11-20-2011

AMERICANS RETAIN PRESIDENT'S CUP
 The Americans returned Down Under and won the Presidents Cup.

Jim Furyk became the fourth player to win all five of his matches, and the bottom half of the lineup was strong enough Sunday to give the Americans their fourth straight win in this lopsided series.
Perhaps it was only fitting that Tiger Woods clinched the cup for the second straight time.

U.S. captain Fred Couples was criticized for using a pick on Woods, who had been out with an injury most of the summer and had not won since his personal life crumbled two years ago. Woods played well all week, even if he didn’t always get rewarded with a point. In his singles match against Aaron Baddeley, he was never seriously challenged.

Woods closed out Baddeley, 4 and 3, and the celebration was on.

The Americans won, 19-15, the third straight time they have won by at least four points.
It was a small measure of revenge for the Americans, whose only lost came at Royal Melbourne in 1998. And it was vindication for Couples, who said a month early that he was taking Woods because he was the “best player forever.”

Woods looked as if he was headed in that direction.

The Americans led after each session, and their 13-9 lead going into the final session Sunday was too much for the International team to overcome, even with a loud and boisterous Australian crowd behind it.


DUTCHMAN TAKES JOHOR OPEN
 Dutchman Joost Luiten won the rain-shortened Johor Open on Sunday for his first European Tour title, closing with a 6-under 65 for a one-stroke victory over Sweden’s Daniel Chopra.

Luiten finished at 15-under 198 at Horizon Hills in the event also sanctioned by the Asian Tour.
Chopra birdied three of the last six holes for a 70.

Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, the 2010 winner, shot a 69 to tie for third with Wales’ Rhys Davies (65) and England’s James Morrison (69).

Defending champion Padraig Harrington of Ireland tied for third at 13-under along with Wales’ Rhys Davies and England’s James Morrison.



 MULROY WINS DUNHILL CHAMPIONSHIP
Home favorite Garth Mulroy held off a spirited final-round challenge from Briton George Murray to win his first tour title by two shots at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa on Sunday.

The world number 281 posted a final round four-under 68 to finish on 19-under 269, clear of Murray (67) with four players four strokes further back in third.

Mulroy sparkled on the back nine on Saturday when he carded five straight birdies, and his game was again on song for Sunday's final stretch when he notched up four birdies, including a monster putt for a two at the par-three 16th.

World number 95 George Coetzee of South Africa, the highest-ranked player in the field, hit a 69 to finish tied third (275) with compatriot Jaco van Zyl (67), Chile's Felipe Aguilar (72) and Briton Peter Whiteford (71).



PARK TAKES LPGA FINALE
South Korea's Hee Young Park won the LPGA Tour's season-ending Titleholders for her first tour victory, closing with a 2-under 70 on Sunday to hold off Paula Creamer and San Gal by two strokes.

Park, tied for the third-round lead with Gal, finished at 9-under 279  and earned $500,000.
The 24-year-old Park also has six victories on the Korean LPGA.

After bogeying the fourth hole, Park birdied three of the next four and parred the final 10 holes.
"She had great composure all day long," Gal said about Park.

Creamer also finished with a 70, and Gal shot a 72.

Creamer was winless this season.

Gal missed a chance for her second victory of the year.

Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot a 74 to tie for sixth at 2 under.

She won seven times on the LPGA Tour this year and had four other worldwide titles. The Taiwanese star was the Rolex Player of the Year for the second straight year, won her first Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average at 69.66, and topped the money list with $2,921,713.





 IN OTHER NEWS
 Greg Norman, never one to mince words, had criticized his counterpart Fred Couples for making Tiger Woods a captain’s pick, then watched at Royal Melbourne as one of his, Robert Allenby, failed to win a point in yet another losing cause for the Internationals

But Norman said he has no regrets. He was his usual upbeat self Sunday after the 19-15 loss to the Americans, and said that although he won’t be back as captain in 2013, he might be an assistant if asked.”

The Presidents Cup, which pits the U.S. against teams from non-European countries, has always taken a back seat to The Ryder Cup. And the United States has dominated nine Presidents Cup tournaments since 1994, winning seven times, losing once – at Royal Melbourne in 1998 – and tying in South Africa in 2003.

Norman said he’d like to see changes that would give the host country a say in the format.

He said he’d like to see the foursomes (alternate-shot) matches reduced, as that’s where the Internationals have been traditionally poor because the Americans play that format every year – in Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup.

 What’s wrong with the host nation of having the choice of the format anyway? Any golf tournament has got to be fine-tuned every year.” Norman said.




 Tiger Woods won't be starting his 2012 season at Torrey Pines. Instead of his traditional PGA Tour start in San Diego, Woods has agreed to play in a tournament in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Woods will play in the Jan. 26-29 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship along with current No. 1 Luke Donald and defending champion Martin Kaymer, Abu Dhabi organizers said Wednesday.


The move is somewhat surprising for Woods, taking appearance money for the European Tour event instead of playing what he considers one of his favorite PGA Tour courses. He's won seven times at Torrey Pines as a pro, including his 14th and last major at the 2008 U.S. Open.

Woods has been starting his season at Torrey Pines, when healthy, since 2006. He missed the 2009 and 2010 tournaments because of injuries.



 Jeff Freeman won the Champions Tour National Qualifying Tournament on Friday, shooting his fourth straight 5-under 66 for a four-stroke victory on TPC Scottsdale’s Champions Course

Freeman, a 49-year-old club professional at the Country Club of Orlando and the 1999 PGA Professional Player of the Year, birdied Nos. 4-8 and shot a 6-under 29 on the front nine.

Freeman won’t be eligible to compete on the Champions Tour until mid-April when he turns 50. He had a lengthy career on the Nationwide Tour with 176 starts, playing fulltime in 1994 and again from 2001-06. He also made 18 starts on the PGA Tour, 10 in 2000.

Gary Hallberg and Canadian Jim Rutledge tied for second at 16 under. Hallberg closed with a 68, and Rutledge finished with a 68.
Jeff Hart (67) was fourth at 15 under, and P.H. Horgan III (68) was another stroke back to take the final exempt position—before the reorder—for the 2012 season




Listen to my podcast weekly at TGWG.podomatic.com As well as on itunes
And the show is now available on STITCHER SMART RADIO www.stitcher.com
Visit my online store at www.zazzle.com/talkinggolfwithgary
Send your questions and comments to talkinggolf@gmail.com

Monday, November 14, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 11-12-2011

 MICKELSON ELECTED TO HOF
 Phil Mickelson, one of the winningest and best-known golfers in history, will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in May 2012.

Mickelson was elected to the Hall with 72 percent of the vote, the highest percentage since Greg Norman with 80 percent a decade ago. Since arriving on the professional scene two decades ago, Mickelson has been one of golf's most visible figures. He's won four majors, three Masters and one PGA Championship, and he's played on 17 Ryder and Presidents Cup teams, including the one kicking off next week. He reached a career high World Golf Ranking of No. 2.

Mickelson is the only member of the PGA Tour to be inducted; the inductees from International and Lifetime Achievement categories will be announced at a later date. The next-closest nominees were Fred Couples with 38 percent of the vote and Davis Love III and Mark O'Meara with 29 percent apiece.



CHALMERS TAKES AUSSIE OPEN: TIGER THIRD
 Greg Chalmers won his national championship for the second time Sunday, closing with a 3-under 69 to hold off a late charge by Woods and a 50-foot birdie putt by John Senden that nearly forced a playoff.

Woods had his best chance of winning all year.

“Two holes on the back nine today, and I putted awful yesterday, or I would have been right there,” Woods said.
Two tee shots led to bogeys on the back nine, though he also made birdie on the second-toughest hole at The Lakes on No. 12, then chipped in from just off the green for eagle on the 14th. Woods missed a 12-foot eagle putt on the 17th for a share of the lead.

Behind him, Chalmers made his final birdie with a brilliant tee shot on the par-3 15th hole to tap-in range, then played mistake-free down the stretch and picked up a meaningful par on the par-3 18th with an up-and-down from the bunker.

Chalmers last won the Australian Open in 1998 at Royal Adelaide, a week before the Presidents Cup in Melbourne.

The matches return to Royal Melbourne next week, and Woods at least showed that he wasn’t a complete waste of a captain’s pick by Fred Couples. He not only was the low American by finishing alone in third, he looked good doing it.

Chalmers finished at 13-under 275.

It was a strong field for the Australian Open, with eight Americans on the Presidents Cup team getting ready for next week. That included Woods, a steady presence on the leaderboard. For Chalmers, satisfaction came from his name on the silver trophy again.

Senden, the 54-hole leader, faltered early but gave himself a chance late with a good pitch across the 17th green for birdie. His long putt on the 18th went over the ridge and broke back toward the high side of the cup but missed by inches. He closed with a 72.

Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy had a 7-under 65 to tie for fourth with Adam Scott (68), Nick Watney (72), Nick O’Hern (72) and Jason Day, who hit his opening tee shot in the water and had a 74.



 MATTHEW WINS LPGA EVENT
 Catriona Matthew won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational on Sunday for her fourth career LPGA Tour title, closing with a 1-under 71 for a four-stroke victory in the 36-player event.

Matthew, the 42-year-old Scot whose last victory came in the 2009 Women’s British Open, had a 12-under 276 total at Guadalajara Country Club and earned $200,000.

Anna Nordqvist and 2010 winner I.K. Kim tied for second. They each shot 71. Hall of Famer Juli Inkster had a 72 to tie for fourth with Ai Miyazato (71) and Hee Kyung Seo (69) at 5 under.
Michelle Wie, the 2009 winner, tied for ninth at 2 under after a 71.

Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot a 72 to tie for 19th at 3 over.



CASTANO TAKES SINGAPORE OPEN
 Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano won the rain-delayed Singapore Open on Monday, beating Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff.

After finishing level at 14-under 199 Sunday after the third and final round, Pagunsan and Fernandez-Castano teed off on the playoff hole before play was suspended for 90 minutes because of rain and the threat of lighting. The storm let up briefly, allowing players to hit one more shot before more rain stopped play again and forced the playoff into Monday.

Fernandez-Castano had started Sunday with a three-shot lead but faltered with three bogies on the back nine, allowing Pagunsan into contention.

Pagunsan had a chance to win on the first playoff hole but missed a short birdie putt

Fernandez-Castano earned $990,520 for his fifth victory on the European Tour. The $6 million event also was sanctioned by the Asian Tour.

Anthony Kim and Louis Oosthuizen  were tied for third, a stroke back.

Edoardo Molinari, Danny Lee and Joost Luiten tied for fifth at 12 under. Graeme McDowell finished 8 under, Ernie Els was 6 under and Phil Mickelson shot a 70 on Sunday to tie for 33rd at 5 under.

Long rain delays on Friday and Saturday forced organizers to shorten the tournament from four rounds to three.


 IN OTHER NEWS
John Daly hit seven balls into the water on the 11th hole Thursday and stormed off the golf course at the Australian Open.

Already with a tarnished reputation Down Under, Daly might have gone too far with Australia’s golf hierarchy. He was banned from playing in the Australian PGA in two weeks, and he might not be welcome back.

“It’s very disappointing for the tournament … that he has treated the championship this way,” said Trevor Herden, Golf Australia’s director of tournaments. “It is a bit of a habit.”

Daly was 7 over after 10 holes in the first round after becoming upset on the 10th hole when he hit a practice ball out of a bunker, believing it was his tee shot. The two-shot penalty and a three-putt that followed gave him a triple-bogey.

On the 11th, he hit ball after ball into the water, some landing in the center of the pond. Moments later, Daly shook hands with playing partners Craig Parry and Hunter Mahan and walked off the course.

He would have been hitting his 16th shot if he had more golf balls.

Daly wrote on Twitter to explain himself, saying “when u run out of balls u run out of balls. yes, I shook my player’s partners hands & signed my card w/rules official.”

In a text message to The Associated Press, Daly said he hasn’t had confidence in his game since he was injured five years ago, and that he never thought he would run out of balls during a round.

Herden said Daly’s actions were “unprofessional” and action needed to be taken against him. And Herden said running out of balls was no excuse for walking off the course.

“If you run out of golf balls, and you are acting in a professional manner, you will call a rules official and we will get the type of ball he is playing with and replenish his stock,” Herden said. “We can do that. For him to treat it as ‘that’s it’ and ‘see you later,’ that’s not good enough.”

The PGA of Australia later issued a statement saying no appearance fees had been paid to Daly. It also said Daly’s actions Thursday would be referred to a disciplinary committee.Daly, now ranked 666th in the world, was scheduled to play at the Australian PGA at the Hyatt Regency course at Coolum in two weeks. That won’t be happening, as the PGA of Australia withdrew the invitation.



 Luke Donald’s wife gave birth to a girl Friday morning in the north suburbs of Chicago, and both are said to be doing well. Sophia Ann Donald was born at 2:11 a.m. CST. Donald has another daughter, Elle, who was born last year.

Donald, poised to become the first player in history to win the money title on the PGA Tour and European Tour in the same year, next plays the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa on Dec. 1-4 before ending the European Tour season in the Dubai World Championship.



Greg Norman’s no-show at a black-tie dinner marking the 100th anniversary of the Professional Golfers Association of Australia prompted plenty of rumors, yet had a simple explanation.

The rumor mill flowed at the Australian Open on Saturday: that he had snubbed the PGA, that a courtesy car sent for him hadn’t arrived. Instead, as Norman revealed Saturday, he had a bad blister on his left heel—so bad that he left The Lakes course on Friday in bare feet.

So the thought of putting on dress shoes on to attend the function at Sydney Town Hall was out of the question, even if he is patron of the centenary celebrations.

Organizers got Adam Scott and Robert Allenby to replace him in a panel discussion, and PGA officials apologized to the crowd of 400 on Norman’s behalf.



Captain Fred Couples was worried about the health of his President's Cup squad but with a rested Hunter Mahan and a now healthy  Steve Stricker Couples can rest better at night.

Stricker presented the biggest concern, not only as the highest-ranked American at Royal American (No. 5), but as the partner for Tiger Woods when they won all four of their matches two years ago at Harding Park in another U.S. victory.

The pain in his neck began a year ago when he was in a deer stand during the offseason, taking aim with his bow when his left arm collapsed. Exercise got it up to full strength again, and Stricker went on to win the Memorial and the John Deere Classic. But he relaxed his workout regimen, and his left arm felt so weak in September that he withdrew from the BMW Championship outside Chicago.

 Stricker was among eight American team members on the course Monday. South Korea’s K.J. Choi was the only International player to practice, although Norman and his assistant captains Frank Nobilo and Tim Clark surveyed the course.

Stricker has played two rounds on the composite course at Royal Melbourne, one of the finest courses in the world, which put him ahead of the curve compared with the rest of the teams. Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk were the only Americans on the 1998 team at Royal Melbourne when the International team won in a landslide.

Listen to my podcast weekly at TGWG.podomatic.com
As well as on itunes
And the show is now available on STITCHER SMART RADIO www.stitcher.com
Visit my online store at www.zazzle.com/talkinggolfwithgary
Send your questions and comments to talkinggolf@gmail.com

Sunday, November 6, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 11-06-2011

 KAYMER TAKES HSBC CHAMPION EVENT
 Martin Kaymer made nine birdies over his last 12 holes Sunday and closed with a 9-under 63 to win the HSBC Champions for the biggest comeback ever in a World Golf Championship.

Starting the final round five shots behind Fredrik Jacobson, with a host of stars around him, Kaymer ran off four straight birdies to start the back nine at Sheshan International. The German finally caught Jacobson with a birdie on the 13th, and then poured it on with key birdies on the final two holes.

Kaymer delivered the lowest closing round by a WGC winner since the series began in 1999, topping the 64 by Hunter Mahan last year at the Bridgestone Invitational.

Kaymer is the 10th player to win a WGC and a major championship.

Adam Scott, got within two shots of the lead early in the round until making two soft bogeys and never recovering. He closed with a 73 and was eight shots behind.

Jacobson led by as many as three shots until a long three-putt bogey on the par-5 eighth. As Kaymer made his charge, the Swede came to life with birdies on the 12th and 14th to stay tied. Jacobson’s hopes ended, however, when he pulled his tee shot into the rough left of the par-3 17th and failed to get par. He shot 71 and finished three shots behind.

Graeme McDowell closed with two birdies for a 67 to finish alone in third, quite a turnaround from last week in the Andalucia Masters when he failed to break 80 over the last two rounds at Valderrama.

Rory McIlroy made a short birdie on the par-5 18th that gave him a 69 and was significant for one other reason. With a three-way tie for fourth, he moved past Lee Westwood to the No. 2 ranking. Westwood, playing in the same group, shot 40 on the front nine and closed with a 74 to tie for 13th.
It was the second win of the year for Kaymer, who moves to No. 4.

He won his first tournament of the year at Abu Dhabi and became the top-ranked player at the end of February, holding the spot for eight weeks. Kaymer said he struggled with the attention of being No. 1, and the face of golf in Germany.



BLAKE WINS TOURNEY, LEHMAN WINS SCHWAB CUP
Jay Don Blake won the Charles Schwab Championship on Sunday for his second victory of the season following a 20-year drought, and Tom Lehman took the season points title and $1 million annuity.
Blake closed with an even-par 71 for a two-stroke victory in the Champions Tour’s season finale. He finished at 8-under 276 at TPC Harding Park.

Mark Calcavecchia, Loren Roberts, Michael Allen and Jay Haas tied for second.
Lehman shot a 72 to tie for 18th at 2 over, enough to hold off Calcavecchia by 74 points. Calcavecchia needed to finish no worse than a tie for second with one other player to have a chance to overtake Lehman.

Almost two months after surviving a five-hole playoff to win the Songdo Championship in South Korea for his first win since 1991, Blake calmly worked his way through the final round while a crowd of contenders took turns making brief runs at the lead.

Blake hit 12 of 14 fairways, made a pair of nice par saves out of the sand on the back nine then made the tournament-winning par on 18 after taking a bogey on the par-3 17th.

Nearly two dozen friends and family members rushed the green after Blake sank a short putt for par on the final hole. He earned $440,000 and finished fourth in the overall standings.

Blake, who had a four-shot lead with five holes to go and got some help from the contenders behind him.
Allen, second at this tournament in 2010, got to 7 under twice but couldn’t capitalize. He birdied No. 16 but a bogey on 17 dropped him back.

David Frost, who shared the lead after two rounds, also got to 7 under before fading. Frost had a 72 and finished in sixth at 5 under.

With Blake cruising, the only drama surrounded the points title.

Lehman, a three-time winner this season, struggled most of the tournament and never had more than two birdies in a round. Playing several groups ahead of Calcavecchia, Lehman had to watch from near the 18th green until his title was secured.

Calcavecchia made Lehman sweat it out and hit a solid tee shot on 18 before pushing his approach far right. He two-putted for par, then watched his chances at passing Lehman end when Allen putted out for par, guaranteeing at least a three-way tie for second.

Two-time defending tournament champion John Cook tied for 20th at 3 over.




 IN OTHER NEWS
Steve Williams ripped into his old boss with a racial slur that caused even more commotion involving the jilted caddie and golf’s biggest name.

Williams, still angered over getting fired by Woods this summer, was working for Adam Scott when he won the Bridgestone Invitational. That tournament also was the first time Woods played since splitting with his caddie. An emotionally charged Williams gave a TV interview on the 18th green and called it “the best win of my life,” even though he had been on the bag for 13 majors with Woods.

On Friday night, at the  Caddies  Award roast the host called Williams to the stage to collect his award "Celebration of the Year" and asked him to explain his enthusiasm. Williams, with a smirk on his face, leaned toward the microphone and said, “It was my aim to shove it right up that black a.......

On a night filled with banter and off-color remarks, this one was a show-stopper. Heads turned, eyes widened and jaws dropped amid a mixture of shock and laughter.

Williams later issued a statement apologizing to Woods. That was good enough for Scott, who said he had no plans to fire his caddie.



Brandt Snedeker will be out of golf the rest of the year as he recovers from hip surgery.

Snedeker, who won The Heritage in April and nearly earned a spot on the U.S. Presidents Cup team, had surgery Tuesday to fix a degenerative issue in his right hip. He is not expected to compete again for six to eight weeks.

Rickie Fowler will take Snedeker’s spot in the Chevron World Challenge, played Dec. 1-4 at Sherwood Country Club in California. Snedeker will be replaced by Bo Van Pelt a week later at the Shark Shootout in Florida.



Frank Bensel overcame an eight-stroke deficit Sunday to win the Callaway Golf PGA Assistant Championship for the second straight year, shooting a 6-under 66 in windy conditions for an improbable one-stroke victory.


The 43-year-old Bensel, the PGA assistant professional at Century Country Club in Purchase, New York, had an eagle, five birdies and just one bogey to finish at 5-under 283 on PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course.

He earned a spot in the PGA Professional National Championship in June, and the top 10 finishers and ties received berths in the first stage of the 2012 PGA Tour qualifying tournament.

Third-round leaders Aaron Clark and Scott Berliner shot 75s to tie for second with Jamie Broce, Tyler Hitchcock, Ryan Sikora, and Richard Terga.



Listen to my podcast weekly at TGWG.podomatic.com 
As well as on itunes 
And the show is now available on STITCHER SMART RADIO www.stitcher.com 
Visit my online store at www.zazzle.com/talkinggolfwithgary 
Send your questions and comments to talkinggolf@gmail.com

Sunday, October 30, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 10-30-2011


DUKE WINS NATIONWIDE TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP

Ken Duke won the season-ended Nationwide Tour Championship on Sunday to also secure a spot on the big tour.

Duke closed with a 4-under 68 to finish at 10 under on Daniel Island Club’s Ralston Creek Course, two better than Scott Brown. The 42-year-old Duke earned $180,000 and went from 36th to seventh on the money list.

J.J. Killeen won the money title, which made him fully exempt on the PGA Tour and gave him entry into the The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in May.

And the day ended with some drama as Brown made a long par-saving putt on the 17th and birdie on the 18th to finish alone in second when a bogey down the stretch would’ve dropped Billy Hurley III from the final qualifying spot at No. 25.

James Nitties, who began the week in 23rd, fell to 26th, just outside what it took to join the PGA Tour.

  Erik Compton earned a PGA Tour card when he finished in the top 25 on the Nationwide Tour money list.

Compton wasn’t sure he’d ever play pro golf, let alone be member of the PGA Tour.

Yet the two-time heart transplant recipient finished off his dream Sunday. Compton mostly secured his spot in June when he won his first Nationwide title at the Mexico Open. He ended 13th overall with $239,737 to advance.

The 31-year-old Compton has played 30 career PGA events, but none with a tour card in his bag.




 VAN PELT WINS ASIA PACIFIC CLASSIC
 Bo Van Pelt ran away with the Asia Pacific Classic on Sunday in hot and humid conditions, birdieing five of the last eight holes for a 7-under 64 and a six-stroke victory.

The winner of the PGA Tour’s 2009 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, Van Pelt finished at 23 under at The Mines and earned $1.3 million in the second-year event sanctioned by the PGA and Asian tours.

Fellow Indiana player Jeff Overton was second after a 69.

Van Pelt pulled away with birdies on Nos. 13-15, hitting within a foot on the par-4 13th and par-3 14th and holing a 4-footer on the short par-4 15th after driving into a greenside bunker. He added a two-putt birdie on the par-5 17th.

The 36-year-old former Oklahoma State player opened with rounds of 66, 64 and 67 to take a one-stroke lead over Overton into the final round.

Fredrik Jacobson had a 68 to finish third at 16 under, and Cameron Tringale, Camilo Villegas and Mark Wilson were 15 under.



 GARCIA TAKES SECOND IN A ROW
 Sergio Garcia held off fellow Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez to win the Andalucia Masters by one shot on Sunday for his second straight European Tour victory.

Garcia shook off two early bogeys with two birdies on a flawless back nine to card an even 71 and finish with a 6-under total of 278 at the Valderrama course.
Jimenez seized the lead early when Garcia three-putted the sixth hole and bogeyed the next. The 47-year-old Jimenez dropped shots on the 13th and 15th before making a pair of birdies to press Garcia until the last hole.

Jimenez had a chance at pulling even with a birdie on the 18th, but his 15-foot putt fell short and Garcia calmly made par.

Richie Ramsay of Scotland, who led for the first two rounds, finished two shots back in third, with Irish golfer Shane Lowry a further shot behind in fourth.

The 31-year old Garcia won the Castello Masters by 11 strokes last weekend to end a nearly three-year title drought.

His fifth European Tour win on his home soil will lift him back into the top 20. It also qualified him for next week’s WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai and moved him to the top of the European Ryder Cup points race.



 MCILROY TAKES HOME THE  CASH
U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy won $2 million in the Shanghai Masters on Sunday, beating Anthony Kim with a par on the first hole of a playoff.

McIlroy holed a 2-foot putt for the victory after Kim missed a 3-footer.
McIlroy had a chance to win in regulation, but the 22-year-old star from Northern Ireland missed an 8-foot birdie putt. He closed with an even-par 72 to match Kim  at 18 under.

The $2 million first prize is the richest in golf. The top players, staying in Shanghai another week for the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions at Sheshan International, also received appearance money and last place paid $25,000. Because the event isn’t sanctioned by a major tour, there were no ranking points at stake.

Kim earned $750,000.

Hunter Mahan  and South Korea’s Noh Seung-yul tied for third at 13 under in the 30-man event. Second-ranked Lee Westwood aced the par-3 12th en route to a 67 that left him fifth at 12 under.
McIlroy gave up an early three-shot lead, then rallied from a stroke down on the back nine to force the playoff.

Ian Poulter was 11 under, Retief Goosen  and K.J. Choi  were another stroke back and Y.E. Yang, Padraig Harrington  and John Daly were 6 under.




 IN OTHER NEWS
Luke Donald has withdrawn from the HSBC Champions next week in Shanghai to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.


“Making history in the sport is very important to me, but the roles of husband and father are the most important in the world to me and being there for my wife and family is where I have to be,” said Donald, who on the PGA Tour’s season-ending event last week to take the tour’s money title.

“My goal has been to try and top the money list on the PGA Tour and the European Tour and I still hope to accomplish that. WGC-HSBC Champions is a world-class event, and as a player you look forward to competing against the best. I think it is great for the game to have such an important event in Asia, and I look forward to being able to participate next year.”



The LPGA Tour is returning to Australia, co-sanctioning the Women’s Australian Open in February at Royal Melbourne.

The LPGA Tour and Australian Ladies Professional Golf said  that the $1.1 million Women’s Australian Open will be played from Feb. 9-12 and begin a three-tournament swing in Asia that includes stops in Thailand and Singapore. In 2013, the Australian Open will move to Royal Canberra.

Top-ranked Yani Tseng won the event this year at Commonwealth Golf Club in Melbourne.

The Australian Ladies Masters was co-sanctioned by the LPGA and ALPG from 1997-2000, and they also sanctioned an unofficial team event in Perth in 2007.


The Japan LPGA has canceled a team event against South Korea in Bangkok in December because of the severe flooding that has hit the Thai capital.

The competition, the first to be held between the two countries since 2009, was scheduled to take place in a suburb of Bangkok on Dec. 3-4.

The Japan LPGA said  that the decision to cancel the tournament was taken after consulting with organizers in Bangkok.


The PGA Tour was going to send its postseason awards ballot to the players on Tuesday until realizing the World Golf Championship in Shanghai counts as official if a PGA Tour member wins.
So it will wait until after the HSBC Champions next week.


The Nationwide Tour Championship will be played at the TPC Craig Ranch course in Texas next fall.
The course in McKinney, Texas, hosted the 2008 tournament. Tour officials said a formal announcement would come Monday.

The Tour had said last month it would not return to the Daniel Island club after three seasons hosting its year-ending tournament because the area is also holding the PGA Championship at The Ocean Course on Kiawah Island.

The tour and Daniel Island are discussing a return to the Ralston Creek Course here in 2013.



Listen to my podcast weekly at TGWG.podomatic.com 
As well as on itunes 
And the show is now available on STITCHER SMART RADIO www.stitcher.com
Visit my online store at www.zazzle.com/talkinggolfwithgary 
Send your questions and comments to talkinggolf@gmail.com

Sunday, October 23, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 10-23-2011

 DONALD IS KING
Luke Donald ran off six straight birdies on the back nine Sunday and closed with an 8-under 64 to come from five shots off the lead and win the Children’s Miracle Network Classic

Donald, who trailed Webb Simpson by $363,029 coming into the final tournament of the year, was two behind Simpson when they made the turn. Then came a performance that ranks among Donald’s best, even in his greatest season of golf.
He holed four straight birdie putts inside 8 feet, took the lead with an 18-foot birdie on the par-5 14th hole, then sealed his stunning rally with a 45-foot birdie on the 15th hole.

It was his second PGA Tour win of the year. Donald also won the Vardon Trophy for the lowest adjusted scoring average. With no one else winning more than twice this year, Donald established himself as a heavy favorite to be PGA Tour player of the year.

The award is a vote of the players, and ballots go out on next week.

Donald also kept alive his bid to become the first player to win the money title on the PGA Tour and European Tour in the same season. His lead in Europe is just over $1.8 million over Rory McIlroy with five tournaments remaining.

He wound up with a two-shot win over Justin Leonard, who finished with eight pars for a 71. Leonard already is exempt for next year, but kept alive his streak of never finishing out of the top 125 on the money list since joining the tour in 1994.

Donald finished at 17-under 271 and earned $846,000, giving him just over $6.6 million for the year. Simpson was runner-up on the money list, just as he was in the FedEx Cup.

Tom Pernice Jr., a 52-year-old who refuses to give up on playing with guys half his age, closed with a 69 for a three-way tie for third, earning enough money to finish at No. 121 and earn back his PGA Tour card.

Donald only entered Disney after Simpson decided to play at Sea Island last week, and when Simpson was the runner-up to take the lead on the money list, Donald knew his best chance was to win.

Never mind that he was five shots behind to start the final round. Or that it has been five years since he last won a stroke-play event on the PGA Tour. Over the next hour, Donald showed why he is No. 1 in the world.

He matched birdies with Simpson on the easy par-5 10th, and from there, Donald was in his own world. A wedge to 8 feet on the 11th. An 8-iron to 6 feet on the 12th. A lob wedge to 5 feet on the 13th.

The most meaningful shot came at the par-5 14th, where Donald had gone bogey and double bogey the previous two rounds, then pledged to reporters he would make birdie Sunday. He rolled in an 18-foot putt to get his revenge and take the lead.

Kevin Chappell, the PGA Tour rookie who shared the 54-hole lead with Leonard, was tied for the lead when he missed a 3-foot birdie putt on the 10th and dropped a shot on the 11th with an approach into the bunker. Chappell closed with a 72 and was in the group at 274 that included Pernice and Sunghoon Kang, who birdied the last hole and moved into the top 125.



 GARCIA ENDS WINLESS DROUGHT
 Sergio Garcia won his first title in almost three years on Sunday, dominating for the third straight day at the Castello Masters while earning an 11-stroke victory that matched the third-largest margin of victory in European Tour history.

The 31-year-old Garcia, playing on a course where he was club champion at the age of 12, shot an 8-under 63 in the final round to finish at 27-under 257.

Garcia had shot his best ever back-to-back rounds of 63 and 64 to lead the field since Friday, and he did not let up on the final day, recording nine birdies and just his fourth bogey in the event.Fellow Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano finished a distant second, and Alexander Noren was third.
Once ranked No. 2, Garcia had dropped outside the top 75 after near-misses at the 2007 British Open at Carnoustie and 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills.

He has now returned to the top 35 with his second win at the Club de Campo del Mediterraneo, capping his improved season that includes top-12 finishes in the last three majors.



 TSENG DOES IT AGAIN
 Yani Tseng won the LPGA Taiwan Championship on Sunday for her 10th worldwide victory of the year and third in front of her  home fans.

The 22-year-old Taiwanese star closed with a 6-under 66 at Sunrise for a five-stroke victory over Spain’s Azahara Munoz and South Korea’s Amy Yang.

The top-ranked Tseng finished at 16-under 272 and earned $300,000 for her seventh LPGA Tour victory of the season to increase her tour-leading total to $2,873,629. She donated $100,000 to the Taiwan Golf Association to support junior golf.

Tseng won her first four events this year, taking the Taiwanese tour’s Taifong Ladies and sweeping the Australian Women’s Open and Ladies Masters before opening the LPGA Tour season with a victory in the LPGA Thailand.

The LPGA Tour player of the year for the second straight season, Tseng won major titles this summer in the LPGA Championship and Women’s British Open and has 12 victories in four seasons on the tour.

After opening with rounds of 68, 71 and 67 to take a two-stroke lead into the final round, Tseng birdied the par-3 second and reached 14 under with birdies on the par-5 sixth and par-4 seventh and eighth holes.

She parred the next seven holes, birdied the par-3 16th, increased her lead to four strokes with a par on the par-4 17th and birdied the par-5 18th.

Yang finished with a 67, and Munoz had a 68.

American Morgan Pressel shot a 65 ,the best round of the week in the inaugural tournament, to tie for fourth with Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist at 9 under.



 IN OTHER NEWS
By winning Sunday at Disney for his second PGA Tour win of the year, Donald won the points-based player of the year award from the PGA of America over Webb Simpson.

Both players won twice on the PGA Tour, worth 10 points each. Donald won the Vardon Trophy for lowest adjusted scoring average, and winning the tour money list over Simpson was enough to give him 60 points. Simpson had 56 points.

Donald is the first British player to win the award since Nick Faldo in 1990.
The PGA Tour player of the year is a vote of the players. Ballots are to be returned by Dec. 9.



The PGA Tour is launching a developmental tour south of the border, hoping it can expand its presence in South America as golf prepares to become an Olympic sport again in 2016 in Brazil.


The “PGA Tour Latinoamerica” will start next year, featuring 11 tournaments that will be played in seven countries, most of them in South America but including Mexico and Puerto Rico.

The tournaments will have 144-man fields consisting primarily of players from the region, although there likely will be some access for Americans who now play the mini-tours. The top players on the Latin American tour then will have access to the Nationwide Tour.

Tournaments are to be played next year from September through December in Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru. The Nationwide Tour already has an event in Colombia, and will have one next year in Chile.

The tour still has to determine how many players from Latin America could advance to the Nationwide Tour. A decision is expected before the Latin American tour starts play.



U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy split from agent Chubby Chandler on Friday to join Ryder Cup partner Graeme McDowell at a Dublin management company.

The 22-year-old Northern Irishman had been represented by Chandler’s International Sports Management since turning professional in 2007. McIlroy will now be affiliated with Horizon.

“I am now keen to move onto the next stage of my career and I feel this will be facilitated by a fresh view and a new structure around me,” McIlroy said in a statement.

ISM said it took “great pride … in guiding him successfully through his formative years as a professional golfer.”

McIlroy, ranked No. 3, thanked Chandler for his “guidance, representation and management.”

“Chubby and his team have played a very important role in my success to date,” he said. “I have made great progress under their management and for that I will always be grateful.”



Tournament host K.J. Choi won the Asian Tour’s C.J. Invitational on Sunday, closing with a 5-under 67 for a two-stroke victory.

The 14th-ranked South Korean star finished at 17 under at Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club.
Countryman Noh Seung-yeol was second after a 66.

American Anthony Kim  and third-round leader Lee Ki-sang  tied for third at 13 under.




Listen to my podcast weekly at TGWG.podomatic.com 
As well as on itunes 
And the show is now available on STITCHER SMART RADIO www.stitcher.com 
Visit my online store at www.zazzle.com/talkinggolfwithgary 
Send your questions and comments to talkinggolf@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 10-19-2011

Keegan Bradley held off a final-round charge from Charl Schwartzel to win the PGA Grand Slam on Wednesday.

Bradley’s par-71 left him 4 under for the tournament and a shot ahead of Schwartzel, who finished with a course-record tying 65 to improve from 3 over to 3 under.

Overnight leader Rory McIlroy struggled with tee shots at Nos. 7 and 15, which led to bogeys. He finished with a 75 for the round.

Darren Clarke shot a 74 to finish 9 over in the two-day event in Bermuda.


Listen to my podcast weekly at TGWG.podomatic.com
As well as on itunes
And the show is now available on STITCHER SMART RADIO www.stitcher.com
Visit my online store at www.zazzle.com/talkinggolfwithgary
Send your questions and comments to talkinggolf@gmail.com

Sunday, October 16, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 10-16-2011

 CRANE COMES FROM BEHIND TO TAKE MCGLADREY
 Ben Crane was seven shots behind with 11 holes to play, He then  ran off seven birdies to close with a 7-under 63, and then won the sudden-death playoff when Webb Simpson missed a short par putt on the second extra hole Sunday.

Crane nearly holed his approach on the 14th to start a string of four straight birdies. He had a long two-putt on the par-5 15th, followed by a pair of birdie putts from about 20 feet.

Simpson closed with a 66, despite not making a birdie over his last seven holes.

They finished at 15-under 265 and extended the PGA Tour’s record with the 18th playoff this year. It looked as if it might last more than two holes when Crane made a 5-foot comeback putt for par, and Simpson had a par putt just over 3 feet. But it caught the right lip and spun away, giving Crane his first win of the year.

Simpson was trying to become the only three-time winner on tour this season, which might have made him a favorite in the wide-open race for PGA Tour player of the year. The consolation could be the money, which is the reason Simpson came to Sea Island in the first place.

With his runner-up finish, Simpson moved to the top of the money list by $363,029 over Luke Donald, the No. 1 player in the world ranking. Both players have entered the season-ending tournament next week in Disney, though Donald’s task became a lot more difficult.

At the very least, Donald would have to finish no worse than a two-way for second to have any chance to move past Simpson and resume his bid to become the first player to win money titles on the PGA Tour and European Tour. Donald already has a comfortable lead in Europe.



LEWIS IS A QUICK WINNER
 English golfer Tom Lewis needed just three tournaments to earn his first title as a professional, shooting a 7-under 65 Sunday to win the Portugal Masters by two shots.

Lewis made five birdies over the last seven holes to overtake Rafael Cabrera-Bello, who held a four-stroke lead going into the final round. The Spanish golfer hit into the water on his way to a double bogey 7 at the 12th to see his chances of victory fade.

The 20-year-old Lewis finished with a 21-under total of 267. He turned professional last month, after raising eyebrows by becoming the first amateur to lead the British Open following a first-round 65. He was playing on a sponsor’s invitation, but the victory gives him a two-year exemption to play on the European Tour.

Lewis’ start tops even that of Tiger Woods, who needed five tournaments to get his first win. U.S. Open winner Rory McIlroy’s first victory came in his 38th event.Gregory Havret , David Lynn, Christian Nilsson, Thomas Bjorn  and Jamie Donaldson finished three shots behind.



COUPLES GETS BIG WIN
Fred Couples ran away with the Champions Tour’s AT&T Championship, shooting a bogey-free 6-under 66 on Sunday for a seven-stroke victory, the largest margin on the 50-and-over tour this year.
Couples opened with rounds of 65 and 62 and finished at 23 under in  San Antonio.

He won for the second time this season and sixth time in two seasons on the tour.

Mark Calcavecchia shot a 66 to finish second. Charles Schwab Cup points leader Tom Lehman and John Cook tied for third at 14 under. They also closed with 66s.

The closest anyone came in the final round was four strokes when Calcavecchia holed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 10th hole, but Couples birdied five of the last eight holes, including the final two. Last year at The Woodlands outside Houston, he also had a seven-stroke victory.

It was the final full field on the Champions Tour. The top 30 in the point standings are headed to the Charles Schwab Cup on Nov. 3-6 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.



 CHOI WINS LPGA MALAYSIA EVENT
Na Yeon Choi won the LPGA Malaysia on Sunday for her first LPGA Tour victory of the season and fifth in three year, closing with a 3-under 68 to beat top-ranked Yani Tseng by a stroke.

Choi finished at 15-under 269 . She birdied the par-3 17th to pull ahead and parred the par-4 18th to hold off Tseng a week after finishing second behind the Taiwanese star in South Korea.

Choi became only the second South Korean winner on the LPGA Tour this year, joining U.S. Women’s Open champion So Yeon Ryu. The victory also was the 100th LPGA Tour win by players of Korean descent.

Tseng, a six-time LPGA Tour winner this season, parred the final two holes for a 65.Tseng, four strokes behing Choi entering the round, pulled even at 14 under with birdies on the par-3 15th and par-5 16th.

After Tseng missed a birdie opportunity on No. 17, Choi hit her tee shot to about 5 feet to set up the deciding birdie.

Spain’s Azahara Munoz closed with a 69 to finish third at 12 under, South Korea’s Se Ri Pak followed at 10 under, and Americans Stacy Lewis and Brittany Lang were 9 under. Michelle Wie had a 75 to tie for 18th at 2 under.



KOKRAK WINS NATIONWIDE EVENT
Jason Kokrak won the Miccosukee Championship on Sunday for his second Nationwide Tour victory in five weeks, closing with a 5-under 66 to beat Mark Anderson by seven strokes.

Kokrak, the Boise Open winner Sept. 18, had a 20-under 264 total on the Miccosukee Golf and Country Club course and earned $108,0000 to jump from 15th to fourth on the money list with $301,592. The top 25 after the final two events of the season will earn 2012 PGA Tour cards.
Kokrak opened with rounds of 63, 66 and 69.

Anderson finished with a 68. Harris English, Roger Tambellini and Matt Every tied for third at 11 under.



IN OTHER NEWS
Luke Donald decided Friday to enter the PGA Tour’s final tournament next week at Disney, a response to Webb Simpson playing this week in the McGladrey Classic at Sea Island.

Donald made a birdie on the final hole of the Tour Championship to tie for third, pushing him to the top of the money list by $68,971 over Simpson. Donald is trying to become the first player to win the money title on the PGA Tour and European Tour.

It could be the first time since 2003 that the PGA Tour money title came down to the final tournament of the year.



David Gleeson shot a 4-under 68 in the final round to win the Indian Open, his third career title on the Asian Tour, by three strokes over local favorite Chiragh Kumar on Sunday.

The 27-year-old Taipei-based Australian was 4 under after five holes and made 13 consecutive pars in the final round to finish with a tournament record 20-under 268. His round included an eagle on the par-4 third when he chipped in from 140 yards.

Kumar shot a final-round 70 for a career-best finish that also secured an Asian Tour card for 2012.



Listen to my podcast weekly at TGWG.podomatic.com
As well as on itunes
And the show is now available on STITCHER SMART RADIO www.stitcher.com
Visit my online store at www.zazzle.com/talkinggolfwithgary
Send your questions and comments to talkinggolf@gmail.com

Sunday, October 9, 2011

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 10-9-2011

MOLDER BREAKS THROUGH AT FRYS
Bryce Molder won the Frys.com Open after the longest playoff this year on the PGA Tour.
Molder made a 6-foot birdie putt on the sixth extra hole Sunday at CordeValle to outlast Briny Baird and capture his first tour victory in his 132nd attempt.

Molder rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole in regulation to close with a 7-under 64 and force a playoff. He had to play the hole three more times including a par he saved from a hazard on the fourth playoff hole— before he could claim the win.

Baird is now 0-for-348 in his 12 years on tour.

Tiger Woods finished 10 shots behind in a tie for 30th in his first tournament in seven weeks. He finished with three consecutive 68's.



FAXON WINS FIRST CHAMPIONS TITLE
Brad Faxon won the Insperity Championship without hitting a shot on Sunday when heavy rain washed out the final round of the Champions Tour’s event.

Faxon, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour who turned 50 on Aug. 1, shot a 7-under 65 in windy conditions Saturday to take a one-stroke lead at 10-under at The Woodlands Country Club.

Tommy Armour III was second, and Eduardo Romero finished two strokes back. Jay Haas, Olin Browne and Schwab Cup points leader Tom Lehman  followed at 7 under, and winner Fred Couples was 4 under.

Faxon won his first title on the 50-and-over circuit in his sixth start.

The round was washed out after two morning delays, Faxon was asked if had ever won a tournament as a pro or amateur, without hitting a shot because of weather on the final day.

Champions Tour official Brian Claar said tour regulations do not allow for a Monday finish.

Armour remained winless on the tour, but did move into top 30 in the money standings to possible qualify for the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup.

Lehman retained his large lead in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup points standing headed to the final two events of the season.



TSENG WINS LPGA EVENT
Top-ranked Yani Tseng won the LPGA Hana Bank Championship on Sunday for her sixth LPGA Tour victory of the season and 10th overall title of the year, shooting a 5-under 67 to edge Na Yeon Choi by a stroke.

The 22-year-old Taiwanese star, the LPGA Championship and Women’s British Open winner, finished at 14-under 202 on Sky 72 Golf Club’s Ocean Course.

Tseng earned $270,000 to push her tour-leading total to $2,396,838. She has 11 victories in four full seasons on the LPGA Tour.

Choi, the 2009 and 2010 winner, shot a 68, closing with a birdie in front of the large home crowd.

In 2009, Choi birdied the final hole to beat Tseng by a stroke.

Brittany Lincicome , Jamin Jang and second-round leader Soo-Jin Yang  tied for third at 11 under. Michelle Wie had a 69 to tie for 35th at 1 under.



SLATTERY MASTERS MADRID
Lee Slattery of England held on to win the Madrid Masters on Sunday, his double bogey on the final hole good enough for a one-stroke victory that gave him his first title in seven years on the European Tour.

No. 328th-ranked Slattery shot a 1-under 71 in the final round despite wobbling at the par-5 18th. He finished at 15-under 273 to stave off a challenge from Lorenzo Gagli of Italy.

Slattery had also started shakily. His two-shot overnight lead disappeared as he bogeyed the par-3s at Nos. 3 and 5 before recovering with a birdie at No. 7.

Four birdies in five holes after the turn helped him to a three-shot lead going into the final hole that proved to be just enough.

Slattery hit his second on the par-5 No. 18 into a bunker and put his third shot into the water, but gathered himself to pitch his fifth within 15 feet for a two-putt finish.



FOWLER BREAKS THRU GETS FIRST PRO WIN
Rickie Fowler won the OneAsia Tour’s Korea Open on Sunday for his first professional title, closing with a 3-under 68 for a six-stroke victory over U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy.

The 22-year-old Fowler, the 2010 PGA Tour rookie of the year, finished at 16 under at Woo Jeong Hills. He opened with rounds of 67 and 70 and shot a 63 on Saturday.

McIlroy finished with a 64. South Korea’s Kim Meen-whee (71) was third at 10 under, and countryman Y.E. Yang (75) followed at 5 under.



 IN OTHER NEWS
Tiger Woods has his first major endorsement since his downfall two years ago, announcing a deal Wednesday with Rolex to be one of its ambassadors.

Woods had lost five major endorsements in the two years since he was exposed for serial adultery and eventually divorced. He previously had a watch deal with Tag Heuer, which dropped him two months ago.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although it is believed to be longer than five years.

Woods earlier this year announced a deal in Japan to endorse a heat rub product for Kowa Company Ltd., although that was geared exclusively for Japanese markets.
His agent at Excel Sports Management, Mark Steinberg, promised more deals to come.

Steinberg said Rolex would be the first of a “couple of announcements” related to endorsements, including a deal for Woods’ golf bag. He has had his foundation logo on the bag since AT&T dropped him a month after Woods’ sex scandal unfolded in November 2009.

He said a bag deal was likely to be announced as early as six weeks. Woods has been in negotiations with Fry’s Electronics, sponsor of this week’s tournament, although those discussions have been going on for most of the year.



Sun Mountain provided rain suits for the U.S. team for the 2010 Ryder Cup. Of course, they were supposed to repel water, but on Day 1 of the event, when rain was coming down in buckets, the company's outerwear did nothing but soak the precipitation up like a sponge,  forcing the team to buy new waterproofs for the rest of the week.

It was a PR nightmare that forced the company into damage-control mode. While Sun Mountain has bounced back from the ordeal, most figured the odds of them getting a second chance were pretty slim.

However. on Wednesday, Sun Mountain announced the company had been chosen to be the official outerwear provider of the U.S. Presidents Cup team.



Webb Simpson plans to play the McGladrey Classic next week, giving him a shot at replacing Luke Donald atop the PGA Tour money list.
Donald is trying to become the first player to win money titles on the PGA Tour and European Tour in the same year. When the FedEx Cup ended, Donald was No. 1 on the list by $68,971 over Simpson.
Simpson’s agent, Thomas Parker, said Simpson planned to play at Sea Island next week and that he would decide later whether to play the season-ending tournament at Disney.

Donald has a large lead in the money list in Europe. He could add Disney if he wanted, although his wife is expecting their second child.



Scottish golfer Elliot Saltman made a hole-in-one during his second round at the Madrid Masters and earned a tasty prize—his bodyweight in ham.
Saltman made the shot from the par-3 third hole at El Encin Golf Hotel. Heavily cured and salted ham is a Spanish delicacy.
Saltman has a knack of carding holes-in-one he hit two in different rounds at the 17th hole in the Wales Open in June.
Ham was the prized offered for a hole-in-one at the third prizes on other holes included a car and a watch.
Tournament spokeswoman Maria Madrigal told The Associated Press that Saltman would take home about 238 pounds of ham, with organizers going by the weight listed on his official European Tour profile.



A strange year for Tiger Woods  took another bizarre twist Sunday when a fan was arrested for running toward the seventh green at CordeValle and tossing a hot dog in Woods’ direction.

The bun barely reached the green. The hot dog landed on the putting surface.

The 31-year-old man, whose name wasn’t released, dropped to the ground to be arrested as Santa Clara sheriff’s deputies converged on him. Woods backed off his birdie putt, then quickly resumed play.




Listen to my podcast weekly at TGWG.podomatic.com 
As well as on itunes
And the show is now available on STITCHER SMART RADIO www.stitcher.com
Visit my online store at www.zazzle.com/talkinggolfwithgary 
Send your questions and comments to talkinggolf@gmail.com