A couple of things that caught my eye recently:
The European Tour is losing many of its star players to the PGA Tour. Among those making the jump either entirely or partially: Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, Nicolas Colsaerts, Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell and Peter Hanson.
Fortunately for the Euro Tour, McIlroy still intends to make Europe his primary focus.
Tiger Woods will open his PGA Tour season at Torrey Pines. That’s a good move, considering his history there. As I’ve noted before, Tiger has accumulated the vast majority of his wins on just a few courses, and Torrey is one of those.
Gary Player says that its time for the R&A to have two sets of rules: one for amateurs and one for professionals.
“I would first of all realise, if I were the RA, that there are two different games and they say it’s one game.
“It isn’t because professional golf and amateur golf are as far apart as from here to Cairo. The thing is, they don’t want to recognise that.”
“If they think it’s the same game, go and tee it up and play with Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy and you’ll really get the message.
“The amateur is still the important man, not the professional golfer.
“We’ve to keep continuing with technology for the amateur, but for professional golf we’ve got to tomorrow cut the ball back 50 yards. It’s hurting golf.”
I agree, and golf’s ruling bodies—the R&A and USGA—need at some point to decide if they are going to stand on the side of the amateurs, or the pros. If they line up with the pros, then another group needs to be formed to “govern” golf for the rest of us. All of the discussion about “growing” the game of golf is meaningless when the R&A and USGA are focused on the upper 1% of golfers. I really wonder how many conversations at the USGA and R&A include the phrase “Is this a good thing for the average amateur?” I’m willing to bet that the answer is close to zero. I’m also willing to bet that none of the people making the decisions “for the good of the game” cna really be considered an “average” golfer.
He’s the golf version of Dos Equis’ World’s Most Interesting Man: Miguel Angel Jimenez became the European Tour’s oldest champion this past weekend with his win at the Hong Kong Open. Jimenez is 48, and just five weeks away from turning 49 has recorded his 19th victory.
Interestingly, Jimenez began his golf career as a caddie.
Jimenez also become a cultural icon, with his ponytail, cigars, and penchant for fine adult beverages. The guy is cool. But then there’s his warmup routine:
Those twists wouldn’t look so funny if it weren’t for the pot belly and cigar. I’ve seen football players do the same thing in pregame warmups.
Meanwhile, Luke Donald moved to World Number Two with his win at the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan. Rory McIlroy remains in the top spot, in spite of missing the cut in Hong Kong. Both will play in this week’s DP World Tour Championship, which is the European Tour’s season finale. That’ll apparently be it for both men until 2013.
Busybodies are asking questions about Jim Furyk’s relationship with Five Hour Energy, in response to a report that the energy drink has been linked to thirteen deaths over the last five years. Furyk’s agent responded to inquiries:
“Do I like seeing these type of articles? Of course not. But they’re not going to find anything conclusive. If there were people dying from this, there would have been lawsuits by now.”It seems to me that Five Hour Energy is just another one of those thing that has to be consumed in moderation. A bottle has the caffeine punch of two cups of coffee, so a reasonable person would exercise discretion. After all, you can overdose on water. I also know that there are idiots out there combining energy drinks with vodka.
It seems that every once in a while, the good guys get rewarded. In this case, it’s Blayne Barber, who recently disqualified himself from Q School over a rules indiscretion. With his shot at the PGA Tour gone, Barber headed for the mini tours. Barber now has won four of the six NGA Hooters Tour events he’s entered.
We know that golf can make you crazy, but in this case it literally sent a man to a mental institution.
Found on Twitter. This is the remains of the fifth at Fishers Island. Credit to this tweet:
Both Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are skipping the HSBC Champions WGC event. Apparently, they are satisfied with their Chinese paychecks from their silly-season exhibition match last week. The Chinese government should have seen this coming.
Phil Mickelson, however, will be in attendance. Phil has apparently taken the Ryder Cup loss pretty hard:
I think the first two weeks following the Ryder Cup was a really tough low, one of the biggest lows of my career. It was one of the biggest disappointments that I’ve had to deal with.
That disappointment will last a lot longer than a month. I still feel disappointment from it. I still feel that over the next two years, we’ll still have the same disappointment from not winning this year’s Ryder Cup.
Peter Hanson is also playing. With a win, the Swede would supplant Rory McIlroy as the leading money winner on the European Tour this year.
Nick Faldo advises Rory McIlroy against changing club manufacturers.
Be sure to make a tee time this weekend at a course that supports this absolutely noble cause. Donating at least one additional dollar helps support scholarships for educational scholarships for children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while serving our great nation. Since 2007, more than $12.8 million has been raised through Patriot Golf Day, allowing Folds of Honor to award more than 3,500 scholarships.
When I first saw this story, I thought it was a joke. But since it has appeared on the company’s website and in the New York Times and USA Today (among others), it seems to be true: Sportsbettingonline is refunding the bets of those who bet on Adam Scott to win at the 2012 Open Championship.
Here’s the press release from the site:
San Jose, Costa Rica – July 23, 2012 – For Australian pro golfer Adam Scott, losing the Open Championship after leading by four strokes with just four holes to play will forever sting. But for those who put their money on him at SportsBettingOnline.ag, the financial loss won’t be as painful. The online sportsbook today announced that management is refunding all players who lost money betting on Adam Scott.
“With so many of the favorites including Woods not cashing, it was a good day for sportsbooks. But that wasn’t the case for those who dropped money on Scott,” stated Dave Johnson, head oddsmaker for SportsBettingOnline.ag. “We feel it’s our duty to refund the players of SportsBettingOnline for taking such a bad beat. His collapse was historic and we know the bettors who had him must feel as awful as he does.”
Adam Scott virtually imploded on the green, bogeying the last four holes. He ultimately lost by one shot to Ernie Els. Golf Odds on Scott taking the Open were listed at 45/1 at SportsBettingOnline.ag. That means every $100 bet would have paid $4500 had the Australian taken the title.
This is the second time in just over two months that SportsBettingOnline.ag has refunded sports bettors after unexpected results or controversial outcomes. Last month, the online sportsbook refunded members who lost money on the Pacquaio-Bradley boxing match after the controversial results handed Bradley the win.
All losing bets on Adam Scott will be refunded today. Members of SportsBettingOnline.ag will see their bet refunded into their SportsBettingOnline.ag account reflected immediately.
It is of course a publicity stunt. The company figures (correctly) that it will get more value from the publicity than from the money put on Scott. But it still is shocking.
Golf pro Rhein Gibson shot a sixteen-under 55 Saturday, May 12, 2012 at River Oaks Golf Club in Edmond, Oklahoma. Twelve birdies and two eagles.
Annika Sorenstam has for years promoted a “Vision 54” in which she contends that a “perfect round” of 54 is possible (You can read a review of one of her Vision 54 books here). This is as close to that perfection as I’ve ever heard of—unless you want to count the scramble score of the winning team at our annual teachers’ golf outing a couple of years ago. They were 18 under.
The closest anyone has gotten to this score was the 55 shot by Homero Blancas. Blancas, a member of the University of Houston golf team, shot a 55 in a tournament on August 19, 1962. That round has an asterisk beside it, however, because it was a par 70 course measuring just over 5,000 yards.
Gibson’s round was at a 6698-yard par-71 course.
Gibson, 26, is an Australian professional who calls the River Oaks Club home after spending his college years at Oklahoma Christian. He plays on the Golfweek National Pro Tour while waiting for his shot at the PGA Tour.
Scores of 56, 57 and 58 have been posted by various players over the years, mostly in non competitive situations.
The lowest shot in competition were 58s shot by Shigeki Maruyama, Jason Bohn and Ryo Ishikawa.
Maruyama shot a 58 in a 2000 US Open Section Qualifier. Bohn’s 58 came in the final round of the 2001 Canadian Tour Bayer Championship. Ishikawa met that mark in the 2010 Crowns Tournament on the Japan Tour.
The 55 shot by Gibson was—as far as I can tell—not in a competition. But it is incredibly impressive nonetheless. Still, the skeptic in me says that this has to be a hoax ...
The scorecard shown above was posted on the Reddit Golf Forum.
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