Sunday, December 16, 2012

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 12-16-2012

 TOM WATSON NAMED RYDER CUP CAPTAIN
Tom Watson was announced as the U.S. Ryder Cup Captain for the 2014 matches in Scotland on Thursday during a segment on NBC's Today in New York. A formal press conference was later held in the Empire State Building.

The eight-time major champion played on four U.S. Ryder Cup teams that went 3-0-1 as he posted a 10-4-1 record. Watson also is the last captain to win on foreign soil, as his troops defeated Europe, 15-13, at the Belfry in England in 1993. The USA has just two wins since then — in 1999 under captain Ben Crenshaw and 2009 under captain Paul Azinger.

Europe has won seven of the last nine Ryder Cups, including a 14½-13½ defeat at Medinah Country Club near Chicago at the end of September, when the Americans blew a 10-6 lead on the final day.
"We're tired of losing," said Watson,  "I always said that early in my career, I learned to win by hating to lose. It's about time to start winning again for our team. That's the attitude that I hope that my players have, and it's time to stop losing."
Watson will be 65 when the 2014 Ryder Cup is played, making him the oldest captain in U.S. history, and has not played a full PGA Tour schedule in 14 years. He will be the first repeat captain since Jack Nicklaus in 1983 and 1987. The span between his two stints as captain is 21 years, the longest ever.

Watson said he expects some backlash for the PGA of America picking "the old guy." But Watson says he battles against the younger set on at least three occasions — the Masters, British Open and The Greenbrier Classic — and he might add a stop or two to his Tour schedule in the next two seasons. As a lifetime member of the PGA Tour, he can play in most any tournament he chooses on the schedule.

Europe is not expected to announce its captain until January at the earliest.

In naming Watson captain, the PGA of America broke the mold of the organization's approach to naming its past captains.

Dating to Watson's first captaincy, the PGA of American has chosen players who were moderately active on the PGA Tour and had at least one major championship victory under their belt. David Toms seemed to fit the criteria perfectly, as he won the 2001 PGA Championship and played on three Ryder Cup teams and seven Presidents Cup teams.

But new PGA of America President Ted Bishop said earlier this year that it was time to "think outside the box" when it came to selecting a captain and said earlier this week at a media luncheon in New York that "we've done something a little bit different this year."

Passed over were David Toms, who is still playing on the PGA Tour, and Larry Nelson. Toms, at 45, fits the more recent tradition in the selection process. 

Nelson, a two-time PGA Championship winner, was in line to be Ryder Cup captain until being passed over for Lanny Wadkins in 1995 and Tom Kite in 1997. Nelson was thought to be too far removed from the game to be considered, though there had been a recent push for the 64-year-old Nelson to finally get his chance.



SCHWARTZEL MAKES IT TWO IN A ROW
Charl Schwartzel won by a huge margin for the second week running as the South African coasted to a comprehensive 12 shot victory in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.

A winner by 11 shots in Thailand last Sunday, the talk at the start of the day was not whether the 28 year old would win an eighth European Tour title, but if he could better Tiger Woods’ 15-shot winning margin at the 2000 US Open Championship in doing so. That remains the largest in European Tour history.

A third straight 64 would have seen last year’s Masters Tournament champion equal Ernie Els’ record 29 under par total, but as it was Schwartzel settled for a three under par 69 and 24 under total on a final day disrupted by thunderstorms.

It completed a fantastic finish to 2012 for Schwartzel, who birdied the last to register the third biggest winning margin in European Tour history.

He finished the Thailand Golf Championship 25 under, and for the past five weeks - they started with finishes of fifth, third and second - he is a staggering 84 under.

France's Grégory Bourdy, his closest challenger for virtually the entire weekend, took a double-bogey seven on the final hole and that elevated Swede Kristoffer Broberg, four times a winner on the Challenge Tour last season, into second place.


Bourdy shared third with Scotland's Scott Jamieson, who last Sunday captured The Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa in Durban, defending champion Garth Mulroy and England's Andy Sullivan a month after he came through The European Tour Qualifying School.

Schwartzel also continued a remarkable record at the course on the border of the Kruger National Park. He won his first European Tour title there in 2004 and has had four runner-up finishes.

Schwartzel's lead was down to seven when he three-putted the eighth, but he spun his approach to three feet on the next and after the weather hold-up he collected more birdies on the 12th, 13th and par five last.

Fellow countryman George Coetzee's best-of-the-day 65 lifted him into joint tenth place and came after results elsewhere had guaranteed he stayed in the Official World Golf Ranking's top 50 and earned himself a Masters Tournament debut next April.

Also qualifying by the same route for a first trip to Augusta National are Welshman Jamie Donaldson, Belgian Ryder Cup star Nicolas Colsaerts, South African Branden Grace and Dane Thorbjørn Olesen.

Geoff Ogilvy would have denied Olesen if he had had one less shot at the Australian PGA Championship, where he finished in a tie for fourth place.

Others to book their Masters places through the end-of-year top 50 are Scot Paul Lawrie, Italians Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero, Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño, Denmark's Thomas Björn, American Bill Haas, Australian Jason Day and Japanese player Hiroyuki Fujita.

South African Keith Horne could not manage a third successive hole-in-one on the 12th - the second won him a car - but Swede Magnus A Carlsson did ace the same hole on the final day.




 LOVE AND SON WIN CHALLENGE
 Davis Love III had a nice pitch shot on No. 18 and son Dru finished off the birdie to capture the Father-Son Challenge title Sunday.

With Larry and Josh Nelson already in at 22-under for the two-day scramble format, both Loves misfired in trying to reach the green in two at the par-5 finishing hole. Dru, an Alabama freshman who won five Georgia state titles in high school, went long and right near the grandstand at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes. Davis watched his ball roll onto the bank of a greenside pond.

But the elder Love found the right touch on his pitch from Dru's position and his son made the winning putt.
The Loves teamed for an 11-under 61 in the final round.



 ROOKIE TAKES AUSTRALIAN PGA
Tour rookie Daniel Popovic held his nerve to record a wire-to-wire Australian PGA Championship victory by four strokes on Sunday.


The 26-year-old Australian, who led or shared top spot after every round of the $1.3 million tournament at the Palmer Coolum Resort, began the final day two shots clear and carded a final-round three-under 69 for a 16-under par 272 total.


The victory was made even more emotional for the Victorian after his father was diagnosed with bone cancer earlier this year.

Popovic nearly quit golf to look after his father but decided to play on at his insistence.


Popovic, ranked 1,251st in the world, pocketed the winner's purse of $225,000 and his outlook towards golf has changed.


Fellow Australians Anthony Brown and Rod Pampling, who saw his title chances vanish with a stunning late collapse, finished tied for second on 12-under.

Popovic, who won the 2012 Australasian PGA qualifying school, started brightly with three birdies in his first five holes but a double-bogey on the eighth saw him fall behind a surging Pampling.


The 43-year-old began his final round with six consecutive birdies and took the outright lead by the turn but bogeys on the 16th and 17th and a double-bogey on the last hole allowed Popovic to cruise to victory.


Former U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy and Brad Kennedy finished on 11-under for the share of the fourth spot.






GARCIA ON TOP ON ASIAN TOUR
 Sergio Garcia won the rain-shortened Johor Open on Sunday, closing with an 11-under 61 for a three-stroke victory in the Asian Tour's season-ending event.

The 32-year-old Spanish star finished at 18-under 198 at Horizon Hills for his second victory of the year and 24th international title. He also won the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship in August.

Garcia had the lowest final round by a winner in Asian Tour history. He birdied seven of the first nine holes to make the turn in 7-under 29, added birdies on 13 and 14 before a long rain delay, then returned to make it four in a row with birdies on 15 and 16.

American Jonathan Moore also shot a 61 to finish second.

Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee was third at 14 under after a 65.


 

NEWS & NOTES
The PGA Tour's event in Mexico will anchor a six-tournament schedule next fall that will not include Disney for the first time in more than 40 years.

The tour next year goes to a wraparound season and will offer FedEx Cup points for the six tournaments that will kick off the 2013-14 season. That season will start with the Frys.com Open at CordeValle Golf Club in northern California on Oct. 10-13 and conclude with the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico on Nov. 14-17.


After about a two-month break, the 2013-14 schedule will resume at Kapalua with the Tournamsent of Champions.


Disney has been part of the PGA Tour landscape since Jack Nicklaus won the inaugural event in 1971. That it was dropped from the new schedule was not a surprise. Disney lost its title sponsor when the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals did not renew, and Disney did not aggressively pursue a replacement.


Mexico had been played opposite the Match Play Championship in February. It now moves to the end of the calendar year, hopeful of drawing a stronger field.


The fall portion of the schedule includes two tournaments in Asia. After the new season starts in California with the Frys.com Open, it goes to Las Vegas the following week and then heads across the Pacific to the CIMB Classic in Malaysia and the HSBC Champions, a World Golf Championship event in Shanghai. For the first time, both Asia events will count as official tournaments.


Without taking a week off, the tour returns to America for the McGladrey Classic at Sea Island, hosted by Davis Love III, on Nov. 7-10, followed by the Mexico tournament.
All tournaments will be broadcast by Golf Channel. The amount of prize money for each tournament was not announced.



 

Rory McIlroy has won the Golf Writers Trophy for winning five times around the world and finishing the season as the undisputed No. 1 player in golf.

The award from the British-based Association of Golf Writers was closer than some of his other honors. McIlroy received just under half of all first-place votes on a ballot that included Europe's winning Ryder Cup team, the Great Britain & Ireland Curtis Cup team and Roger Chapman for winning two senior majors this year.


The AGW's award dates to 1951 and awards the best performance by a golfer who was born or resides in Europe, including teams. It was the second straight time that it was given to an individual in a year when Europe won the Ryder Cup. Graeme McDowell won in 2010.



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Sunday, December 9, 2012

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 12-9-2012

 I'm back so let's get to it.

JAMIESON WINS EUROPEAN 2013 OPENER

Scotland's Scott Jamieson won his first European Tour title on Sunday, beating England's Steve Webster and Spain's Eduardo de la Riva in a playoff after the season-opening Nelson Mandela Championship was reduced to a 36-hole shootout because of rain.

Jamieson won with a par on the second playoff hole after Webster made a bogey. De la Riva was eliminated on the first extra hole as the three returned to play the par-4 No. 18 until the first tournament on the 2013 Race to Dubai was decided.

Jamieson had carded an 8 under 57 in his second round at the shortened Royal Durban Golf Club course, which was adjusted to a par-65 and reduced by about 1,600 yards after being deluged on Thursday and Friday because of thunderstorms.

Jamieson's score - the second 57 of the day after South Africa's Jaco van Zyl - gave him a 7 under total of 123 to tie with Webster and De la Riva.

Germany's Maximilian Kieffer, England's Matthew Nixon, Denmark's Morten Orum Madsen and South Africa's Tim Clark tied for fourth behind the playoff trio on 6 under 124.

The 29-year-old Jamieson birdied his last regular hole to snatch a place alongside Webster and De la Riva in the playoff. The 57s carded by him and Van Zyl were the first ever recorded on the European Tour but won't count as records after the par score for the course was reduced by five shots because of the troublesome weather over the past week in Durban.

He birdied five of his opening nine and had eight birdies and no dropped shots in all, making use of the many more short holes on the layout after the readjustment to avoid some of the waterlogged fairways.

Webster, who was the only one of the three playoff contenders to have won a Tour title, posted five birdies for a 5 under 60. De la Riva had six birdies and two bogeys to finish with a 61.

Late finisher Clark was on course for a place in the playoff, and maybe even outright victory, until the former Players champion double-bogeyed No. 17. Even a birdie on the last saw him finish one stroke off the three leaders.

Van Zyl was tied for eighth after he earlier became the first man to return a 57 on the European Tour - but he knew it wouldn't count as the low-round record.




SENIOR WINS AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Peter Senior won the Australian Open by one stroke Sunday, overcoming severe weather conditions that forced a three-hour suspension because of gale-force winds.

The 53-year-old regular on the U.S. Champions Tour shot an even-par 72 in the final round at The Lakes to become the oldest Australian Open champion. Senior finished with a total of 4-under 284, keeping his composure while several other contenders struggled with the winds to drop down the field.

Fellow Australian Brendan Jones was second after a 71, while countryman Cameron Percy finished third after a 73, two strokes behind.

England's Justin Rose finished in a tie for fourth after a 76, three strokes behind Senior.




SCHWARTZEL WINS IN THAILAND

 Charl Schwartzel shot his third 7-under 65 of the tournament Sunday to wrap up a dominating victory at the Thailand Golf Championship, extending his already commanding lead to win by 11 shots.

Schwartzel led from the first round and never slowed down, finishing with a 25-under total of 263 at the Amata Spring Country Club for the South African's first victory since last year's Masters. This year's Masters winner Bubba Watson also shot a 65 to finish in a tie for distant second with Thai golfer Thitiphun Chuayprakong, who finished with a 70.

Sergio Garcia of Spain (70) was fourth in the Asian Tour event, 12 shots back.

Schwartzel finished second here last year, when Lee Westwood was the runaway winner by seven shots.

And he finally got to lift another trophy, following a drought since his victory at the Masters in 2011.

After three inconsistent rounds, American Bubba Watson made no mistake on Sunday, making seven birdies in his first bogey-free outing of the tournament.

The 20-year-old Thitiphun mixed three birdies with three bogeys but an eagle from the bunker on the 11th hole helped him earn a tie for second.

Daniel Chopra, who was in second place after the third round, five shots behind Schwartzel, shot a disappointing 75 yesterday to fall into a tie for sixth with Australian golfer Scott Hend, Simon Dyson of England and the Thai duo of Prom Meesawat and Kiradech Aphibarnra.

Westwood finished with a 70 for a share of 11th place, 16 shots back.
  


FENG WINS LADIES MASTERS

Shanshan Feng of China won the Dubai Ladies Masters by five strokes on Saturday after shooting a 3-under 69 to capture her second Ladies European Tour title.

The sixth-ranked Feng had an eagle, two birdies and a bogey to total 21-under 267 at Emirates Golf Club.

Dewi Claire Schreefel of the Netherlands (69) was next. Caroline Masson of Germany (71) and Becky Brewerton of Wales (65) were nine strokes behind the leader. Carlota Ciganda of Spain shot a 68 and earned the Order of Merit.

American Cindy Lacrosse (72) was 10 strokes back, while defending champion Lexi Thompson (70) was 12 behind. Michelle Wie (69) tied for 19th.

Masson needed to finish second to win the Order of Merit, but a double-bogey on No. 12 ended her hopes. Ciganda became the first player since Laura Davies in 1985 to win the Order of Merit and Rookie of the Year in the same season.



NEWS & NOTES
Phil Mickelson is starting his new season in the desert, only much closer to home.

Mickelson announced Wednesday he will play in the Humana Challenge on Jan. 17-20 in La Quinta, Calif. That's the same week several of golf's biggest names will be across the globe  at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. Tiger Woods and Jason Dufner are among the Americans playing in Abu Dhabi.

Mickelson won the tournament in 2002 and 2004 when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He set the tournament record in 2004 with 37 birdies when it was a 90-hole event.

Mark Wilson is the defending champion. FedEx Cup champion Brandt Snedeker also said he would play the Humana Challenge.



Tom Watson says he'd consider captaining the U.S. team at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland, 21 years after his first successful effort.

The 63-year-old Watson said Sunday at the Australian Open that he hadn't been approached, but that it would be a privilege to take over from Davis Love III.

Watson played on Ryder Cup teams in 1977, 1981, 1983 and 1989 and successfully captained the Americans to victory over Europe at The Belfry in England in 1993.



Golf officials are investigating a fight between two caddies near the practice chipping area at The Lakes before the first round of the Australian Open.

PGA Tour of Australasia officials said Friday that Grant Buchanan and Matt Kelly had to be separated after coming to blows as their players prepared for the opening round. Buchanan is James Nitties' caddie, and Kelly works for Marc Leishman.

The caddies were interviewed by tour officials and could face disciplinary action.



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Friday, December 7, 2012

I SHALL RETURN

  I  looked at the previous post and it reminded of a moment stopped in time.  "Weekend Recap 10-28-2012" when I wrote that little did I know it was  the last post I would be writing for sometime, nor did I realize the devastation a hurricane could do. Of course, I saw the pictures on tv over the years but never realized the reality of it until 24 hours later when it hit and hit my area hard.  Water flowed up the lawn all around and gushed into my basement wiping out all in it's path. We had 51/2 feet of water down there,  just 6 inches short of my first floor. We lost everything that was down there pictures, mementos,  collections, not to mention electrical, heat and cooling system. The garage got hit hard to tools gone, fridge lost,pool chemicals,extra furnature, and of course my golf clubs.

We also lost 3 cars in Sandy and yet we are fortunate -  we still have a house, systems are being repaired and new car in the driveway. Some things will never be fixed just can't afford to, but there are many others who have nothing left. They have lost everything to an act of nature. For them the rebuilding will take years and life will never be the same.

For me, Talking Golf With Gary will return both the blog and podcast. For those listeners who have lost everything and for everyone who have been hit by this storm keep the faith.

My prayers and best wishes are with you.


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Sunday, October 28, 2012

WEEKEND RECAP 10-28-2012

 NICK WATNEY TAKES CIMB CLASSIC
Nick Watney shot a great 61 to win Malaysia’s $6.1 million CIMB Classic and hold off charges by Tiger Woods and defending champion Bo Van Pelt on Sunday.


Watney, 31, became the second player in two days to flirt with a 59  at the par-71 Mines Resort and Golf Club, before bogeying the last.


But his 10-under-par round was enough for a thrilling one-shot win, while  Van Pelt botched a chance to force a play-off on the 18th  the same hole  where he also missed a 59 on Saturday.



HANSON TAKES BMW MASTERS
Sweden's Peter Hanson won the BMW Masters on Sunday for his second European Tour victory of the year, shooting a 5-under 67 to hold off Ryder Cup teammate Rory McIlroy by a stroke.


Hanson finished at 21-under 267 and earned $1,166,600 in the European Tour's richest regular event. He won the KLM Open last month in the Netherlands and has six career tour victories.



PETTERSEN DOUBLES UP
Suzann Pettersen lifted her second trophy in as many weeks Sunday after a three-shot victory at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship.


The world number seven braved strong winds and fired three-under-par 69 in her final round to snatch the win from South Korea's In-Bee Park, who had led by two overnight but had to settle for second.



 FROST WINS FINAL FULL FIELD EVENT ON CHAMPIONS TOUR
David Frost won the AT&T Championship on Sunday, beating Bernhard Langer with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff after overcoming a six-stroke deficit in the final round.
Frost and Langer each shot 6-under 66 to finish at 8-under 208 on TPC San Antonio's Canyons Course.


Second-round leader Mark Calcavecchia had a 74 to finish two strokes back. He bogeyed four of the first 11 holes.



BOLLII TAKES WEB.COM CHAMPIONSHIP GAINS TOUR CARD 
Justin Bolli closed with a 6-under 65 to win the Web.com Tour Championship on Sunday. He moved into the top 25 on the money list with the $180,000 first prize to earn a PGA Tour card for next year.

Bolli was at No. 44 on the money list coming into the final event at TPC Craig Ranch. He won by two shots over James Hahn, who closed with a 69. The top 25 on the money list earned PGA Tour cards, and Hahn was at No. 13, making him safe going into the last round. But his final hole determined the fate of two players.


Hahn's birdie to finish alone in second meant Jim Herman finished 25th on the money list. Had Hahn made par, Adam Hadwin would have claimed the last PGA Tour card.
 



 NEWS & NOTES
Padraig Harrington is a winner for the first time in two years, even if the PGA Grand Slam of Golf was only an exhibition.

Four days after Harrington agreed to fill in for British Open champion Ernie Els, he ran off three straight birdies early on the back nine and closed with a 4-under 67 Wednesday for a one-shot win over U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson at Port Royal.

His last official win was the Johor Open on the Asian Tour in late 2010.
 



John Daly has a chance to be fully exempt and set his own schedule next year for the first time since 2006.

Daly is No. 88 on the European Tour money list, courtesy of a fourth-place finish in Qatar, along with his tie for 11th in the Sicilian Open and tie for 18th in PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. He is about $226,336 short of the cutoff to qualify for the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, which makes this next month important.

He is playing in Shanghai this week at the BMW Masters, which has a $7 million purse and no cut. Then, he plans to play in Singapore and Hong Kong to try to crack the top 60 and get to Dubai, which would be his 13th event in Europe.

The top 118 on the money list get a card. Daly has been playing out of a lower status as a past major champion.



Tiger Woods is expected to get a $2 million appearance fee and Rory McIlroy $1 million for their one-day exhibition match Monday in Zhengzhou, China.
The top-ranked McIlroy and Woods, a 14-time major winner, will play their first head-to-head match in an event without other competitors at Lake Jinsha International Golf Club.

The 18-hole medal-match has been dubbed the ''Duel at Lake Jinsha.''

McIlroy finished second Sunday in the BMW Masters in Shanghai, while Woods tied for fourth in the $6.1 million CIMB Classic in Malaysia.

 


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Sunday, October 21, 2012

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 10-21-2012

GAINEY GOES LOW AT MCGLADREY
Tommy Gainey fired a course-record 60 on Sunday to earn a surprising comeback win at the McGladrey Classic.


Gainey entered the day seven shots off the pace, but used a torrid back-nine stretch at the Seaside Course to jump in front of overnight leaders Jim Furyk and Davis Love III.




PETTERSON TAKES HANABANK CHAMPIONSHIP
Suzann Pettersen won the HanaBank Championship on Sunday for her ninth LPGA Tour title, beating Catriona Matthew with a 5-foot birdie putt on the third hole of playoff after blowing a big lead.


Seven strokes ahead of Matthew at the start of the round, Pettersen shot a 2-over 74 to finish at 11-under 205 on Sky 72 Golf Club's Ocean Course. The 43-year-old Matthew finished with a 67.
They played the par-5 18th three times in the playoff, halving the first two extra holes with pars.




VAN PELT WINS ON EUROPEAN TOUR

Bo Van Pelt won the Perth International on Sunday, closing with a 4-under 68 for a two-stroke victory over American countryman Jason Dufner.

Van Pelt extended his one-shot overnight lead with the help of six birdies and two bogeys to secure his first victory in a European Tour-sanctioned event. He finished at 16-under 272.




 HENLEY WINS JACKSONVILLE OPEN 

Russell Henley won the Jacksonville Open on Sunday for his second Web.com Tour victory of the year, beating B.J. Staten with a par on the first hole of a playoff.

Henley birdied the final hole of regulation for a 5-under 65 to match Staten at 10-under 270 on Dye's Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass. Staten finished with a 68, then had a double bogey on the playoff hole.




NEWS & NOTES
The PGA Tour
has acquired the Canadian Tour, giving it smaller circuits north of the border and in South America.

Web.com Tour cards will be awarded to the top five players on what now will be called ''PGA Tour Canada,'' with the next five players given exemptions into the final stage of qualifying school for the Web.com Tour.


 

Tiger Woods plans to start his season in the Abu Dhabi Championship on the European Tour for the second straight year.

The tournament said Wednesday Woods and Rory McIlroy have committed to play Abu Dhabi, which will be Jan. 17-20.


According to the Irish Times, Rory McIlroy is reportedly being linked with Nike for a deal that could be worth upwards of $250 million.


McIlroy's deal with golf giant Titleist/FootJoy expires at the end of 2012.



Ernie Els has pulled out of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf next week in Bermuda because of a minor ankle injury. He will be replaced in the four-man field by Padraig Harrington.


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Sunday, October 14, 2012

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 10-14-2012

BLIXT GETS FIRST VICTORY
Jonas Blixt won the Frys.com Open on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title, holing a 4-foot par putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory at CordeValle.

Blixt became third PGA Tour rookie to win this season, closing with a 3-under 68 for a 16-under 268 total. He earned $900,000 in the Fall Series event and a tour exemption through the 2014 season.


FUNK WINS ON FINAL HOLE
Fred Funk won the Greater Hickory Classic for his second Champions Tour title of the year and eighth overall, holing a 2-foot birdie putt on the final hole to beat Duffy Waldorf by a stroke.
The 56-year-old Funk closed with a 3-under 69 on Rock Barn's Jones Course to finish at 15-under 201. He also won eight times on the PGA Tour.



ROSE BEATS WESTWOOD IN EXHIBITION
Justin Rose beat Lee Westwood on Friday to win the eight-player World Golf Final and earn a career-best $1.5 million.
The fifth-ranked Rose shot a 5-under 66 to defeat his Ryder Cup teammate and fellow Englishman by one stroke at the Antalya Club.
Rose, who won all of his five matches in the $5.2 million exhibition, birdied the opening hole on the Sultan Course and led the rest of the way against his fourth-ranked opponent.



PARK WINS IN MALAYSIA
Inbee Park rallied to win the LPGA Malaysia on Sunday for her second victory of the year, closing with a 4-under 67 to beat fellow South Korean player Na Yeon Choi by two strokes.

Park took the lead with a tap-in birdie on the par-4 13th and moved two shots ahead with another short birdie putt on the par-4 14th. She got away with bogeys on the final two holes when Choi made a double bogey on the par-3 17th in her closing 71.


IRELAND'S LOWRY TAKES PORTUGAL MASTERS
Shane Lowry of Ireland won the Portugal Masters on Sunday after a final-round 5-under 66 to defeat England's Ross Fisher by one stroke.

Lowry started the round four shots off the lead, but he made an eagle on the par-4 11th to move ahead of overnight leader Bernd Wiesberger.
The 25-year-old Lowry then traded the lead with Fisher before taking advantage of Fisher's bogey on the 16th with a birdie on the 17th hole.


STEFANI TAKES MICCOSUKEE CHAMPIONSHIP
Shawn Stefani won the Miccosukee Championship on Sunday for his second Web.com Tour victory of the year, closing with a 3-under 68 for a five-stroke victory over Australia's Alistair Presnell.




  NEWS & NOTES
Former U.S. Open champion and longtime television analyst Ken Venturi has been selected for the World Golf Hall of Fame.Venturi, 81, was chosen through the Lifetime Achievement category.

Venturi overcame severe dehydration on the final day to win the 1964 U.S. Open at Congressional, one of his 14 wins on the PGA Tour. He also was the only amateur with the 54-hole lead in the Masters, though he shot 80 in the last round to finish one shot behind in 1956. He made even greater contributions in the broadcast booth, where he became a respected voice for 35 years with CBS Sports.
He also was the winning captain at the Presidents Cup in 2000.
Venturi will be inducted May 6 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.


 

Tiger Woods hopes to captain the U.S. Ryder Cup team someday. He still plans to play in a few more before that happens.

The 14-time major winner is coming off a disappointing performance at Medinah. He secured only half a point in his seventh Ryder Cup appearance as Europe retained the title Sept. 30.



And according
to Golf Channel contributor Tim Rosaforte, Brandt Snedeker told him that Woods took the four Ryder Cup rookies -- Snedeker, Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner and Webb Simpson -- into a room and apologized for his performance on Sunday evening.

Woods obviously didn't need to take all of the blame for the U.S.'s defeat. You could've pointed a finger at a number of players, but when you're the biggest name in golf, you're going to shoulder a larger load than, say, Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker, who were just as awful as Woods when the pressure started to mount.

Regardless, you have to give Woods a lot of credit for stepping up and admitting to the rookies that he didn't do his part to ensure a U.S. victory.


Still more on Tiger

As he will consider the possibility of joining the European Tour after changes are made to membership qualification.

The European Tour is expected to announce soon that participation in the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup and Seve Trophy will count toward the 13 events needed for tour membership.

Woods said Wednesday he last looked into joining the European Tour in 2000 when the requirement was 11 events.

Woods would be only two or three events short of the 13 if the list includes the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, four majors, four World Golf Championship events and appearances in either Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

Meanwhile, organizers said they hope Woods will compete in the inaugural Turkish Open next year.

The $7million event will be played Nov. 7-10, 2013, at The Montgomerie Course in Belek.

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LPGA TOUR OFFICIAL DEAD AT 62


 The LPGA Tour says longtime rules official Doug Brecht has died after a three-month battle with the West Nile virus. He was 62.

Brecht was hospitalized in August during the Jamie Farr Classic in Toledo, Ohio. He later was transferred to his home in Oklahoma to continue fighting the virus. LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan said Brecht's wife told him he died peacefully Friday with his family close around him.





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Monday, October 8, 2012

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 10-8-2012

  
MOORE WINS CHILDREN OPEN
Ryan Moore won the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday for his second PGA Tour title, birdieing the par-5 16th to take the outright lead and finishing with two pars for a 5-under 66 and a one-stroke victory over de Jonge.



 LANGER COMES FROM BEHIND TO WIN SAS
Bernhard Langer came from behind to take the SAS Championship, firing a 9-under-par-63.
Langer trailed by four shots entering the final round, but his nine-birdie, no-bogey round lifted him to a two-shot win over Jay Don Blake 



 GRACE WINS FOURTH ON EURO TOUR
Branden Grace won his fourth European Tour event of the season Sunday by shooting a 2-under 70 to protect his lead and win the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship by two shots.

 

LINGMERTH WINS WEB.COM EVENT
Sweden's David Lingmerth won the Web.com Tour's Neediest Kids Championship on Sunday to wrap up a 2013 PGA Tour card, closing with a 4-under 66 for a one-stroke victory over Casey Wittenberg.



 K.J. CHOI WINS OWN EVENT…AGAIN
K.J. Choi successfully defended his title in his own Asian Tour event Sunday, closing with a 4-under 67 for a two-stroke victory in the CJ Invitational Hosted by KJ Choi.


The eight-time PGA Tour winner finished at 15-under 269 at Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club, and again donated his $118,875 first-place check to his KJ Choi Foundation.


NEWS & NOTES
South Africa will host the second richest tournament in golf in 2013, but it won't have the World Golf Championship status initially promised by the country's national tour.
Organizers say the Tournament of Hope, with total prize money of $8.5 million, will be staged in South Africa for 10 years. The prize puts it ahead of all four majors and on a par with the money offered at the four WGC events. Only the Players Championship is richer at $9.5 million.
The new tournament is sanctioned by the International Federation of PGA Tours and South Africa's Sunshine Tour, but increases a cluttered end-of-season calendar.


Victorious Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal ruled out the possibility of staying on for the 2014 competition at Gleneagles.
The Spaniard returned to Europe , cradling the gleaming golden trophy and still reveling in Europe's stirring rally over the United States at Medinah.
Spain's King Juan Carlos and tennis star Rafael Nadal were among those who sent Olazabal messages of congratulations after the 14 1/2-13 1/2 win that kept the cup in European hands.
But after seven matches as a player - during which he teamed up so effectively with the late Seve Ballesteros - and now another as a winning captain, he has come to the end of his 25-year Ryder Cup career.



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Sunday, September 23, 2012

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 9-23-2012


 SNEDEKER WINS IT ALL
Brandt Snedeker got hot down the stretch to pull away from the field and win the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, shooting a 2-under 68 to finish at 10 under, three strokes ahead of Justin Rose. Since Snedeker was also in the top five in points coming into East Lake, the win also guaranteed him the FedExCup, now in its sixth year of existence.




 LEWIS BEATS THOMPSON IN ALABAMA
Stacy Lewis won the Navistar LPGA Classic on Sunday for her third LPGA Tour victory in five months, closing with a 3-under 69 to beat defending champion Lexi Thompson by two strokes.


Lewis parred the final two holes after a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 16 gave her the final cushion, and Thompson shot a 66 on The Senator course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Capitol Hill complex.




GUTHRIE WINS SECOND IN A ROW
Luke Guthrie fired a 6-under 66 on Sunday to win the WNB Golf Classic and deny Danny Lee his second straight win at this event.


Guthrie, who also won in Boise last week, finished at 17-under-par 271.
Lee managed an even-par 72 to end one back at minus-16. He was joined in second place by Cameron Percy, who shot 70 in the final round.




NEWS & NOTES
Fred Couples, a former Masters champion and one of the most popular figures in the game, was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Wednesday.


Couples described himself as a good player, but not a great player, though he's turned in some amazing performances.


 

According to the Irish Times Rory McIlroy is selling his home located in Moneyreagh, Northern Ireland,for $3.24 million, just three years after he purchased the property.

The 14-acre estate includes a 6,000-square-foot home with  a pond and a golf practice area with four greens and a driving range.The short game area has a replica of the Road Hole on the 17th green on the Old Course at St. Andrews, and comes with a full-time greenskeeper who looks after the facility.



 The Scottish Open will move to Aberdeen in 2014 after a third and final year at the Castle Stuart Links course in Inverness.

Organizers say Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Balgownie will become the eighth different venue to host the tournament that many players use as a warm-up for the British Open, the year's third major.


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Saturday, September 22, 2012

CONGRATS TO FRED COUPLES

Congrats to Fred Couples for being elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame.  Couples, a former Masters champion and one of the most popular figures in the game, was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

Couples described himself as a good player, but not a great player, though he's turned in some amazing performances.

Among his 15 wins on the PGA Tour are the 1992 Masters and two at The Players Championship, including an eagle-birdie-par finish in 1996. He played in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup five times each, and next year will be captain of the Presidents Cup for the third time. He was No. 1 in the world for four months in 1992.

Couples was elected on the PGA Tour ballot with a record-low 51 percent. The minimum for election is 65 percent, although there is a clause that when no one gets the minimum, the leading vote-getter is elected provided he has at least 50 percent of the vote.

Vijay Singh was elected in 2005 with 56 percent.
 But the bottom line whatever the vote he is still Hall of Famer Fred Couples!






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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

GERRY'S PICK

 Forgot again to mention a faithful listener and friend of the site, Gerry from Long Island. Gerry's pick for the Tour Championship is Phil Mickelson and with that win Phil would also win the FedEx Cup. So good luck Phil and thanks to Gerry.



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Sunday, September 16, 2012

AND THE WINNERS ARE...

SHIN MAKES IT 2
  Ji-yai Shin romped to victory at the women's British Open on Sunday, carding a final-round 73 to win her second major by a  nine shots in awful weather at Royal Liverpool, England.

She was the only player to finish under par for the tournament, ending on nine-under 279 to complete an Asian sweep of the year's four women's majors.



 FERNANDEZ-CASTANO TAKES ITALIAN OPEN
Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano fired an 8- under 64 on Sunday to come from behind and capture the Italian Open for a second time.


Fernandez-Castano finished at 24-under 264 and bested third-round leader Garth Mulroy by two at Royal Park I Roveri. Mulroy shot a 5-under 67, but two late mistakes cost him a chance at a second European Tour title.




 WOOD COMES FROM BEHIND IN HAWAII
Willie Wood birdied the final two holes on Sunday to come from behind and beat Bill Glasson at the Pacific Links Hawaii Championship.
Wood closed with a 6-under 66 to finish at 14-under-par 202. It was his second win in three weeks on the Champions Tour.




GUTHRIE WINS IN BOISE

 Luke Guthrie wrapped up a PGA Tour card for next season, winning the Boise Open on Sunday for his first Web.com Tour title.

Guthrie, the 22-year-old former Illinois player who turned professional after the NCAA tournament, closed with a 6-under 65 for a four-stroke victory. He opened with rounds of 64, 71 and 62 and finished at 22-under 262 at Hillcrest Country Club.



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Saturday, September 15, 2012

SECOND ROUND OF WOMEN'S BRITISH OPEN BLOWN AWAY

 Deplorable conditions marked the second round of the Women's British Open Friday so much so that all scores were considered null and void. From the Golf Channel.
http://www.golfchannel.com/media/golf-central-friday-feature-1/



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Friday, September 14, 2012

ARNOLD PALMER RECEIVES CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL



  Arnold Palmer became just the sixth athlete to receive the Congressional Gold Medal during a ceremony in his honor Wednesday in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.


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Monday, September 10, 2012

RORY, PETER HANSEN, JIYAI SHIN WIN







Rory McIlroy wins second tournament in a row at the BMW Championship.  Peter Hanson cashed in won the KLM Open. Jiyai Shin won the Kingsmill Championship outlasting Paula Creamer in the longest playoff in LPGA history. For a full recap of all these stories listen to my podcast weekly right here.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

HAS VIJAY FOUND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH?

 Vijay Singh is 49 years old and has been some of the best golf we've seen him play in a long time. He is currently in the lead of the BMW Championship and has been in trouble but like Houdini he keeps escaping. A chip in for par, long lag putts all done with the grace and competiveness of a Hall of Fame golfer. Vijay  the Champions Tour will have to wait it doesn't look like he's ready for them yet..

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DAVIS LOVE III PICKS....

 Davis Love picked his final four spots for the Ryder Cup today.  His picks are Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson, and Brandt Snedeker.  Davis wanted to fill holes, for experience he picked Furyk, for a hot putter Snedeker, long hitter and best athlete Johnson, and all around experience Stricker. 

They will join the eight players who made it on points Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar , and Phil Mickelson. 

So there you are the 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup Team. 

And we also have Gerry's pick and that pick is Phil Mickelson to win the 2012 BMW Championship


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Monday, September 3, 2012

TALKING GOLF WITH GARY 9-3-2012

 MCILROY WINS DEUTSCHE CHAMPIONSHIP
Rory McIlroy hung on to win the Deutsche Bank Championship by one stroke over Louis Oosthuizen and two over Tiger Woods.

In a Labor Day finish that featured some of the biggest names in golf, McIlroy closed with a 4-under 67 and got away with a few mistakes to hold off Louis Oosthuizen . Oosthuizen narrowly missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the final hole that would have forced a playoff. He closed with a 71.


Tiger Woods made a charge on the front nine, though he never got closer than three shots until a birdie on his last hole for a 66. Phil Mickelson finished fourth.


 Dustin Johnson had a 70 and likely played his way onto the Ryder Cup team. Brandt Snedeker made a strong case for a captain's pick with a 65-67 weekend to finish sixth.

Davis Love III will announce his four picks Tuesday morning in New York.



 RAMSAY TAKES EUROPEAN MASTERS
Richie Ramsay captured the biggest title of his professional career Sunday, shooting a 5-under 66 to win the European Masters by four strokes.


The overnight leader was never challenged after the turn and finished at 16-under 267. Four players tied for second.

Ramsay earned $440,000 for his second European Tour victory, following the South African Open title in 2009.

The 29-year-old Scot, who won the 2006 United States Amateur Championship, is set to move up the world rankings from No. 110 into the top 70.


STREB WINS MYLAN CLASSIC
Robert Streb won the Mylan Classic on Sunday for his first Web.com Tour title, finishing with a 7-under 64 for a four-stroke victory.


The 25-year-old  had a tournament-record 18-under 266 total.  He earned $108,000 to jump from 23rd to fourth on the money list with $253,491 enough to earn a 2013 PGA Tour card as a top-25 finisher.


NEWS & NOTES
PGA Championship winner Rory McIlroy will be a no show from the elite end-of-season PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda in October due to a scheduling conflict, organizers said.

McIlroy, who clinched his second major title by eight shots at Kiawah Island earlier this month, had already committed to the European Tour's BMW Masters in China, the PGA of America said in a statement.

The BMW Masters, which was added to the European Tour schedule in April, will be played at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai from  25-28.



Annika Sorenstam has been appointed vice captain for the 2013 European Solheim Cup team.
Captain Liselotte Neumann announced the selection Tuesday at Colorado Golf Club, which will host the event next August. Carin Koch also was named a vice captain.


Sorenstam filled a similar role in 2011 when the Europeans won the Cup in Ireland. She has played in the event eight times, accumulating 24 points in 37 matches.


The former world No. 1 golfer retired in 2008. Sorenstam had quite a career as she won 90 tournaments, including 10 major championships.


U.S. captain Meg Mallon announced in July that Dottie Pepper will be her vice captain.


Notah Begay III finally was on the winning side in his signature charity event, and it felt so very good.
''Five years! Finally! Great!'' Begay said Wednesday after teaming with Tiger Woods to shoot 9 under. 


''I had to get on my partner. He was getting a little lackadaisical out there.''

Woods and Begay, longtime friends and former college roommates at Stanford, helped lead the American side to victory in the NB3 Foundation Challenge at Turning Stone Resort's Atunyote Golf Club.


The 12-player field was split into two teams, with Woods and Begay serving on a West squad that also included PGA Tour players Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland and LPGA Tour players Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson.


Woods and Begay took on K.J. Choi and Y.E. Yang in one of three stroke-play matches that were billed as an ''East Meets West'' challenge involving Asian and American players. The other pairings had Woodland and Kerr against Danny Lee and Se Ri Pak, and Fowler and Thompson playing against Charlie Wi and Yani Tseng.


Woods and Begay beat Choi and Yang 9-7, Woodland and Kerr beat Lee and Pak 8-7, and Tseng and Wi tied Fowler and Thompson 7-7, giving the Americans a 2.5 to 0.5 victory.



 Tom Watson will play in the Australian Open for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Tournament officials said Friday that Watson, who won the Australian Open in 1984, will join Australians Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy and Greg Chalmers at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney from Dec. 6-9. Scott won the Australian Open in 2009, and Chalmers is the defending champion.


Watson's win at Royal Melbourne in 1984 came a year after he won the last of his eight majors, the 1983 British Open at Royal Birkdale, his fifth Open championship. He joined the Champions Tour in 1999 and has 14 wins on the senior tour.




 
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Thursday, August 30, 2012

CHEYENNE WOODS GETS FIRST PRO WIN

 From the Golf Channel
Cheyenne Woods closed with a 1-under-par 69 on Thursday to capture the Suncoast Ladies Series event held at LPGA International, her first win as a professional. 

Woods, the niece of Tiger Woods, finished the 54-hole event on the Champions Course at 6 under. She shot rounds of 67-68-69 to win by four strokes over runner-up Taylore Karle. 

Woods was also runner-up at a Suncoast Series event last week on the Legends Course at LPGA International. She made her professional debut earlier this summer at the Wegmans LPGA Championship after graduating from Wake Forest. 

Later in the day, her famous uncle congratulated Woods on her victory. "Congrats to my niece Cheyenne on winning her first professional event," Tiger Woods shared via Twitter. "Won by 4, very proud."


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