Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Nedbank Golf Challenge

Sun City - Only four first timers have ever won the Nedbank Golf Challenge at their first attempt and the last time that was achieved was in 1986 by Mark McNulty.

There are three newcomers in this year's field - Angel Cabrera of Argentina, American Stewart Cink and Englishman Luke Donald - and it is the latter who believes he can break the mould this year.

"I don't see why not," said the 27-year-old shortly after scoring a two-under-par 70 in Wednesday's Pro-am.

"There's no reason why I can't do well here. I like the way the course is set up. It suits my game," said Donald. "Any consistent player with good control who can hit accurate iron shots can do well here."

All the first-time winners came in the early years of the tournament. The initial event was won by Johnny Miller while American Ray Floyd took it the next year. German Bernhard Langer won at his first attempt in 1985 and McNulty achieved the same feat a year later.

Donald is also delighted to be paired with South Africa's Tim Clark on Thursday morning. "Tim and I have become quite good friends. We both have very similar games so we're not exactly going to be out-driving each other by 40 yards.

"It's a good draw for me."

Cink, who at 40-1 is the biggest outsider in the field, said he did not expect to be given a hard time by South African fans.

"All over the world people obviously cheer for the hometown favourites but they do appreciate good golf. I would think South Africans are no different."

He added that with regard to Sun City itself, the reality was even better than anything he had ever been told about. "I have come with my wife and kids and I have to say this place is unbelievable. I think you can stay here for a couple of months and not do the same thing twice.

"This is probably the best resort I have ever seen in my life."

Cink is paired with Spain's Sergio Garcia on Thursday while Cabrera will play with Australian Adam Scott.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Saturday, November 26, 2005

2005 Skins Game


Fred Funk in a skirt for letting Annika Sorenstam outdrive him.

Observation: Fred Couples' Shirt - it kept changing color from peachy-coral to yellow. I hope he has better attire for the second 9 tomorrow.

Friday, November 25, 2005

A Tournament In My Future

I think I've decided which PGA event I would be attending should I attend an event next year. I think it will be the WGC event in Akron, Ohio in August. I would have a better chance of seeing all the big time players and some International players as well since it's a world golf championship event. And according to mapquest, the tournament is only about 2 and a half hours away from where I live. I just don't know what days I would attend or if Mom and Dad would dog sit for me while I'm gone.

For My International Friends

Is it true that people in England have to pay big bucks for a 'license' to WATCH tv?????? That's what I gathered from this BBC article. This is outrageously stupid. I thought Americans were taxed a lot, but this just takes the cake. Soon you all will have to obtain a 'license' to vote for the idiots who create these taxes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bobby Clampett Gets On My Nerves

I'm watching the Grand Slam of Golf coverage. Yesterday, Clampett said that Phil had no chance because he'd been off for 5 weeks. Phil was leading at the time. And he predicted yesterday that Vijay would win. Today he said that everyone knew how the tournament was going to end (aka Tiger winning) it was just a matter of watching Tiger get there. Give me a break!

As for my views on the tournament, I'm hoping Michael Campbell makes a few birdies coming in. I really don't want him to end up last. I'd like to see everyone end up within 3 or 4 shots of each other.

And of course, they would have to show beautiful, sunny, warm Hawaii while I'm here in cold, snowy WV.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Tiger Woods' House

Hooked On Golf Blog has a gallery of pictures of Tiger Woods' house. Pretty much the only thing I liked about the house was the wood floors. I don't know why anyone would need two tvs in a bedroom when you have a view that spectacular, or a wife like he has. Maybe she's the one who needs the tvs. Anyway, check out the gallery and click on a few of the ads to make the blog a little money while you're at it :)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

A Rose By Any Other Name

Some of you might know that my parents have moved out of the house and I now live alone. (yay!) Well, I've always wanted a home that I could name, like those old plantations and all those old places in England and such. For a long time I've thought about what that name might be and could never really come up with an appealing choice. Well, this week I found a good name for my house, and I have the World Golf Championships to thank for it. Vilamoura sounds perfect. Don't know what it means, but I guarantee at least 99 Percent of the people here in WV won't know what it means either. I hope no one tries to sue me for this :)

While I'm on the subject of names, I found this cool website that lists many, many golf courses and has broken the list down into cute categories. It makes you think about the people who names these courses. Check out Fun With Golf Course Names.

Friday, November 18, 2005

A Little Info

I found this article about Miguel Angel Jiminez and Sergio Garcia. I don't think there's anything new there about Sergio, but I did learn a little bit about Jiminez.

Monday, November 14, 2005

A New Blog!

I've added a new blog to the blogs section in the sidebar. It is called Golf Spot and it looks to be a good place to get European Tour news. I know I'll be checking it out regularly since I can never get around to keeping up with the European Tour.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Anyone Interested in a Novel?

Wayne Smith sent me an email to let me know that he has a book coming out. It's called "The Hole of the Third Eye, A Fable of Golf, Zen, and Life". You can find out more by clicking here and here.

New Website

I've added the website, to the blogs section. It's not exactly a blog but the guy emailed me and asked me to make mention of the website. It is devoted to featuring golfing communities.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Handsome Pair

Well, Fred Couples and Adam Scott are leading at the Shark Shootout. It's very thoughtful of them to give the girls something to look at. LOL!

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Shark Shootout

I know the event has a long sponsor inspired name, but I can't remember it all. Anyway, I got to watch it today since I was home from work. Jason Gore is continuing his excellent play. One of the male announcers said the most attractive pairing was the Couples/Scott pairing. I thought it was odd that a man would make that comment, but I guess Fred and Adam are just so darn good looking that even another man has to make note of it. LOL! I look forward to watching this event for the next two days.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Southern Farm Bureau Classic

Heath Slocum wins this tournament. Followed by Carl Petterson and Loren Roberts. And it looks like about 4 players had a fourth round 7 under score today.

Bart Bryant Wins

I'm glad Bart Bryant won today. Everyone on USA's PGA Tour Sunday show picked either Tiger Woods or Retief Goosen. They didn't give Bryant a chance. So, I'm glad he kicked butt today.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Great News

I have satellite tv again. Yay!

Now, why didn't my local ABC station air golf today? I had to sit through horrible football games waiting on the satellite installation guy. Up until this point I didn't know what to think about the new proposed PGA schedule and how it was supposed to end earlier in the year so as to not compete so much with football. Now I do know what to think. Maybe the networks would actually air golf when they are supposed to with this new schedule.

And really, Tiger was playing today. I can't believe college football meant more to ABC than Tiger Woods.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Southern Farm Bureau Classic

Tom Pernice Jr is following his good play from last week and is currently in the lead. John Cook is kicking some butt out there and shares the lead with Pernice and 4 others. It looks like this tournament will be a good one too with many players who have been on a roll lately contending.

The Tour Championship: Round 2

Ben Crane had a good round with 5 under par today, 7 under for the tournament. Retief Goosen and Bart Bryant are in the lead with a two day total of 10 under. Kenny Perry, Sergio Garcia, and Davis Love were among those who backed up on day 2. And Sean O'Hair suffered though a second 3 over par round today.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Tour Championship: Round 1

I took a look at the leaderboard thinking I would spotlight some good players, but they are all good players. So, here's a list of the top five names on the leaderboard after round 1:

Bart Bryant
Retief Goosen
Kenny Perry
Sergio Garcia
Tiger Woods

Bart Bryant had a 62 today.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A Response to the Pro-Am Story

I have never been to a PGA event. I had always figured tickets would be expensive, although recently I have checked out the websites of some of the events and found ticket prices very reasonable. However, I have been thinking of going to the Memorial Tournament this coming year. I plan to check out the schedules for the Senior Tour, the Regular Tour and the Nationwide Tour to see what events are close to me here in WV. After reading the Pro-Am story and finding out that Sergio Garcia signed autographs for fans the whole time he was out there, I'm thinking I really should go to one of these tournaments. The next problem would be getting up the courage to ask for an autograph. I couldn't even speak to Tom Wopat (Luke Duke from the Dukes of Hazzard) when I stood in the autograph line at a county fair years ago. Maybe I could just wear a shirt with "May I please have your autograph?" written across the front and back. LOL!

Changes to the Tour Schedule

A revamped US PGA Tour calendar outlined on Wednesday could result in a further drain on the European and Asian Tours as more of the world's top players focus attention on a proposed big money FedEx Cup.

Starting in 2007 the PGA Tour calendar will centre around the Cup, a points-based competition that will lead into a late summer playoff and culminate with the Tour Championship in September that could see the winner walk away with $10 million.

From January to August players will earn points at every tournament to provide the seeding basis for a playoff built around three blockbuster events followed by the Tour Championship.

"I think that it's going to bring us (top players) a bit more together throughout those first probably eight months of the year," said Spain's Sergio Garcia. "Certain months of the year you're going to see a lot more of us than you usually see.

"Scheduling for top players like we are will definitely be a bit different than it is now. We'll be playing a lot more here in the US and I think that's always great."

Under pressure from advertisers to bolster faltering late season television ratings and from players for a more compact schedule, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem revealed his blueprint for the future during his 'State of Tour' address.

It was delivered on the eve of this year's season finale which begins on Thursday at the East Lake Golf Club.


While the new format could monopolise the top players in the meaty part of the calendar, the shorter defined season could also open the door for a return to the European and Asian circuits later in the year.

Australia's Adam Scott believes it will be possible to keep his European and US PGA Tour cards with thoughtful planning.

Asked how it would affect him he said: "It's tough to say because I haven't seen the schedule yet. But I don't think it will have an effect on being able to play both tours.

"As long as majors and world golf events still count for both I think it's not too hard to get up 11 events in Europe.

"I'm sure the Tour and everyone will take that into consideration when making the schedule because they want players like Sergio, who's European, to be...over here as well and not making decisions on whether to play the PGA Tour or in Europe.

"It's a little more compact, intense season with the FedEx Cup. And it gives players the opportunity at the end of the year to take some time off, for myself and the international players to go back to Australia and play events without having to be dragged into December and playing at Christmas time."

The Pro-Am

A close-up view at the Pro Am

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 11/02/05

Tiger Woods spent Tuesday playing golf with a U.S. Senator, the president of CVS/pharmacy and the president of the restaurant company that owns, among other things, all those Longhorn restaurants.

"We were hoping we would be playing a scramble," said Tom Ryan, CVS/pharmacy president.

Ryan, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Woods played their own ball. No hitting the best shot of the foursome stuff (the pros did play the course at 7,153 yards; the amateurs at about 6,800 yards). Tuesday's Southern Company Pro-Am was that unique day when amateurs could walk down the fairway with the best players in the world. The hacker with a 20 handicap is hitting balls out of the same sand bunker Vijay Singh just escaped.

Not sure how that putt breaks? Sergio Garcia, come over and tell me what you think.

"It's an amazing experience, seeing it from the player's perspective," said Danny Yates, who played with Garcia. "You can see exactly what they're facing — what it's like to hit out of the rough. That's pretty cool." Yates, a scratch golfer, is not easily impressed. He's played on two Walker Cup teams and then served as the U.S. captain two other times. Even he was jazzed about the opportunity to play with Garcia. "Who wouldn't be — walking down the fairway with Sergio, having him look at your putts."

Mark Lazarus, president of Turner Entertainment Group, said the experience is unique to professional golf. "You can drive a race car, but not when other NASCAR drivers are out there. Out here, you are walking alongside the best in the world. It's fun and a real treat."

But before you walk the fairways, you have to get off that first tee. In front of a crowd, right after Woods has launched one. Any tips? "I try to look at it as just another round of golf," said Gene Lee, president of RARE Hospitality International, Inc. which owns the Longhorn and Capital Grille restaurant chains.

Dean Myers, a Coca-Cola vice president who played with Stuart Appleby, said he was nervous about his first tee shot. "Then my wife reminded me that no one really cares how you're going to hit the ball," he said. "It went right down the middle."

The pros, used to the crowds — and the required pro-am rounds — take it all in stride. "You get used to the crowds, it's part of the game," Garcia said.

Garcia, overcoming jet lag from his trans-Atlantic flight the day before, was not pleased with his game Tuesday. Yet he signed autographs on every hole, helped his amateurs line up most of their putts and said hi to any kids who came by.

When Yates' tee shot on a par 3 landed 10 feet from the hole, Garcia turned to the crowd and said, "That's our pro."

Forget the amateurs, said Myers, the Coca-Cola vice president. "This Pro-am is a great opportunity to see the pros play up close without the crowds," he said. A ticket good for Tuesday's Pro-am and today's practice round was $25. "It's one of golf's best-kept secrets."