Monday, February 28, 2011

Kaymer 14th player to hold #1 World Ranking

Martin Kaymer (Stuart Franklin / Getty)

By reaching the finals of the Accenture World Match Play, Martin Kaymer has become the new #1 player in the World Rankings. With four wins including a major championship since last summer, Kaymer has been playing like the true #1 in the world and should stay near the top of the rankings for some time to come.

The 13 players before him as world #1 since the ranking began back in 1986 are:

Bernhard Langer 13 weeks
Seve Ballesteros 61 weeks
Greg Norman 331 weeks
Nick Faldo 97 weeks
Ian Woosnam 50 weeks
Fred Couples 16 weeks
Nick Price 44 weeks
Tom Lehman 1 week
Ernie Els 9 weeks
David Duval 15 weeks
Vijay Singh 32 weeks
Tiger Woods 623 weeks
Lee Westwood 17 weeks

Thursday, February 24, 2011

16 Left in the Dust including Mickelson, McILroy, Casey, and Westwood

Rickie Fowler (Andy Lyons / Getty)

Rickie Fowler displayed some sick skills by pouring in 5 birdies and 2 eagles in route to taking down #1 seed Phil Mickelson. Fowler will next face Matt Kuchar in the sweet sixteen.

Ben Crane (Andy Lyons / Getty)

Rory McILroy spoke earlier in the week that Tiger isn't the player he once was. No kidding Rory. He never lost to Ben Crane 8 and 7 though. Win something before you talk. Have a nice flight.

Jason Day (Sam Greenwood / Getty)

Jason Day used a few mind tricks against Paul Casey, who had reached the finals of this tournament the past two seasons. Day made Casey putt out a 1 1/2 footer, a length normally conceded. "He looked really angry at me, too," Day said. "It was only about a foot and a half. ... But it's not about that hole, it's about the future holes coming on. So if I can make him a little angry, if I can get him out of his game plan and force him to make silly decisions out there, that's obviously part of the mind games that you play." Day went on to win 4 and 2.

 Nick Watney (Stuart Franklin / Getty)

Nick Watney took out #1 seed Lee Westwood for the 2nd consecutive year by a score of 1 up. Westwood admitted something interesting. "I haven't worked on my putting much lately," he said. "And it showed." Hmmm. Sounds like a good strategy for the number #1 player in the world. I guess that goes along with him saying he would rather stay #1 in the world than win majors.

All results

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fowler vs. Mickelson headlines round of 32

Rickie Fowler (Andy Lyons / Getty)

Rickie Fowler will square off against Ryder Cup teammate Phil Mickelson on day two of the Accenture Match Play Championship, one of several great Thursday matches.

Phil Mickelson (Andy Lyons / Getty)

Other notable round two matches include Lee Westwood vs. Nick Watney, Y.E. Yang vs. Stewart Cink, Graeme McDowell vs. Ross Fisher, Martin Kaymer vs. Justin Rose, and Jason Day vs. Paul Casey.

Would have also been great to see Woods (3 time champ) vs. Ogilvy (2 time champ) but Woods "blew it" big time.

Debacle in the Desert for Woods

Tiger Woods attempts to chip back into the fairway at the 19th hole. (Andy Lyons / Getty)

After making a 10 foot birdie putt at the 18th to square his match with Thomas Bjorn at the Accenture World Match Play, Tiger Woods then hit his tee shot at the 19th into the dense sagebrush in the desert to the right of the fairway. It took him two shots to get the ball back to the fairway, and after missing his bogey putt, conceded the match to Bjorn.

Asked how he felt after the match, Woods responded "pissed."

"I had two easy up and downs (on the back nine) and I hit two atrocious chip shots. I missed a putt at 17 that I should always make. After the birdie at 18, I had all the momentum and I blew it."

The three time champion of the event is now going home early with 31 other players. 

(Stuart Franklin / Getty)

(Andy Lyons / Getty)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Match Play Challenge

Make your picks at GolfWeek's Match Play Challenge where the top 10 win prizes.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Accenture World Match Play previous winners

Ian Poulter is the defending champion at the Accenture Match Play.

2010: Ian Poulter over Paul Casey
2009: Geoff Ogilvy over Paul Casey
2008: Tiger Woods over Stewart Cink
2007: Henrik Stenson over Geoff Ogilvy
2006: Geoff Ogilvy over Davis Love III
2005: David Toms over Chris Dimarco
2004: Tiger Woods over Davis Love III
2003: Tiger Woods over David Toms
2002: Kevin Sutherland over Scott McCarron
2001: Steve Stricker over Pierre Fulke
2000: Darren Clarke over Tiger Woods
1999: Jeff Maggert over Andrew Magee

Based on the history of the tournament, Woods, Casey, and Ogilvy are top choices to do well this week. However, this also shows that anyone can get hot and advance as evidenced by Kevin Sutherland winning in 2002 and Pierre Fulke making the finals in 2001. Almost every match is a pick-em as anyone can beat anyone on any given day.

Kikkor Golf: Bringing cool new style to golf shoes

Kikkor Golf is a new company started by James Lepp, who won the 2005 NCAA individual golf championship while at the University of Washington. After turning pro, he soon turned to the world of business where he saw a need for cooler golf shoes, especially for the younger generation.

The goal of the company is to create unique and stylistic shoes while still providing the important technical attributes such as grip, stability, waterproofing, and durability.

Kikkor is based on the West Coast of Canada with their products now readily available throughout North America, soon to be worldwide. The company also recently had a booth at the PGA show in Orlando where they received a lot of positive reviews throughout the media.

I just received my first pair in the mail and they are definitely unique looking and comfortable. They appear to be well made and durable. I've yet to use them on the course due to cold weather and snow in the forecast but will be trying them out soon. 

Check out their website at to view their new line for 2011. Kikkor has provided The 20th Hole site the chance for any readers to receive a 10% discount. Use the discount code "matt gullo" at checkout to save some money and get a new look on the course.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Aaron Baddeley: By the numbers at Riviera

Northern Trust Open Champion Aaron Baddeley (Stuart Franklin / Getty)

Scores: 67,69,67,69, -12

Fairways in Reg: 50% (T57)
Greens in Reg: 72.2% (3)
Sand Saves: 100% (T1)
Putts per round: 28.5 (T35)
Total Birdies: 15 (T18)

Prize Money: $1,170,000.00
Fed Ex Points: 500

The biggest key for Baddeley this week was his ball striking, placing 3rd for the tournament in greens in regulation. He also only made 3 bogeys on the week to go along with 15 birdies, 1 double, and an eagle.

Track your golf stats and records

Northern Trust Open: Final Round Photos

Aaron Baddeley (Harry How / Getty)

Vijay Singh (Stephen Dunn / Getty)

Kevin Na (Harry How / Getty)

Fred Couples (Stephen Dunn / Getty)

Friday, February 18, 2011

The 10th at Riviera presents risk and reward

The 10th hole at Riviera is one of the most famous short par-4s in the world due to the various challenges and options that it offers.

Listed at 315 yards, the players have the option to try and drive it or lay back in the fairway. The small green is surrounded by bunkers so even if a player lays back, it's still a difficult approach shot, especially with a back right pin position.

Take a tour of the hole

Yesterday, during the first round of the Northern Trust Open, the featured group of Fred Couples, Bubba Watson, and Anthony Kim had some difficulty with the hole.

Watson hit driver short of the left greenside bunker, attempted a flop shot but left it in the bunker, hit his bunker shot about 15 feet short to the fringe, then missed his par putt. He made bogey.

Kim drove it short of the right greenside bunker, hit a flop shot into the bunker, but then made a great bunker shot to get up and down for par.

Couples chose to lay back with an iron off the tee and put himself in good position in the fairway. From 85 yards, he hit his wedge into the right bunker where it plugged, hit his bunker shot to 15 feet, missed the putt, and settled for bogey.

The 10th should have a significant impact on who wins this week.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tiger's swing old school but better, according to Cook

Tiger Woods (Andrew Redington / Getty)

Good news for Tiger fans and bad news for Tiger haters. According to John Cook, things are starting to click with Tiger's new swing. Cook addressed the media at a press conference for the Champion's Tour Ace Classic and shared his thoughts on his buddy's game.

"Tiger now really has a great understanding. As of Monday, it finally clicked to him … where the face of the club needs to be at certain points, which really sounded to me like kind of old school Butch Harmon but with a better face angle on his backswing, which means, wow, that’s something really good."

"His excitement is back, just the way he’s portraying things and his body language is upbeat again,” Cook said. It’s not, you know, dreading the Masters. He welcomes it. That’s what we all need.  We all need him back. He wants it, too. He still wants Jack's record. Obviously, he wouldn’t be working as hard as he is if he didn’t.” 

Tiger reportedly got off the plane from on his trip back from the Dubai Desert Classic at 5am Monday morning and was on the range with coach Sean Foley by 8am. It's just a matter of time before Woods puts it all together for four rounds and is back in the winner's circle.

Woods will next tee it up at the Accenture World Match Play beginning next week.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Northern Trust Open: Betting Odds

The Northern Trust Open begins this Thursday at Riviera Country Club with Steve Stricker as the defending champion.

The Top Ten Bodog Betting odds are as follows:

Phil Mickelson 10-1
Steve Stricker 18-1
Luke Donald 25-1
Dustin Johnson 25-1
Matt Kuchar 25-1
Hunter Mahan 25-1
Paul Casey 28-1
Rickie Fowler 33-1
Jim Furyk 33-1
Anthony Kim 33-1

Hunter Mahan finished runner up last week at Pebble Beach. (Stuart Franklin / Getty)

Big name pairings becoming the norm

Last week the European Tour paired the top three in the world, Westwood, Kaymer, and Woods together to create excitement and increase ratings. This first started at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines when the USGA paired Woods, Mickelson, and Scott, the top three at the time.

Either way, it's a great idea and should be done for every tournament. The PGA has taken notice and put together some intriguing pairings this week at the Northern Trust Open.

A few good ones include:

(Fred Couples, Bubba Watson, Anthony Kim)
(Phil Mickelson, Paul Casey, Luke Donald)
(Louis Oosthuizen, Zach Johnson, Geoff Ogilvy)

Phil Mickelson will be paired with two of the top European players this week at the Northern Trust.(Stuart Franklin / Getty)

Sunday, February 13, 2011


In their new book Scorecasting, authors Tobias J. Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim take a look at subjects such as:

Does defense truly win championships?
Is there really such a thing as momentum in sports?
Does icing the kicker work?
Are the Chicago Cubs cursed?

They provide relevant data while also going beyond the numbers to reveal hidden influences and biases that effect the outcome of sports.

In terms of golf, one of the chapters is titled TIGER WOODS IS HUMAN and this discusses how parts of his game are just like any other PGA golfer. Two Wharton professors did a study on the putting tendencies of 421 golfers on the PGA Tour in more than 230 tournaments. They measured the success rate of nearly identical putts for birdie, par, and bogey.

(Ross Kinnaird / Getty)

What they found is that when a player tries to make birdie, he is less successful than when he lines up the same putt for par. They found that even Tiger Woods, with his strong mental game, changes his behavior based on the situation and putts much better for par than for birdie.

The explanation is loss aversion. Professional golfers are so concerned with a loss that they are more aggressive in avoiding a bogey than in making a birdie. They also discovered that when birdie putts were missed, a large majority came up short, while par putts did not.

Woods is aware of loss aversion as he told the NY Times, "Anytime you make big par putts, I think it's more important to make those than birdie putts. You don't ever want to drop a shot. The psychological difference between dropping a shot and making a birdie, I just think it's bigger to make a par putt."

With his play over the past 15 months, it has become quite obvious that Woods is in fact human with his overall game, but this study does show that he has the same putting tendencies as the rest of the players.

Overall, this book explores a lot of different topics and provides new ways to look at sports. You will enjoy it if you're a sports geek.

More books

Alvaro Quiros wins Dubai Desert Classic, drains hole in one

Alvaro Quiros shot a final round 68 at the Dubai Desert Classic to win by one stroke over Anders Hansen and James Kingston. His round included an eagle two on the par-4 2nd hole, a hole in one on the par-3 11th, and a triple bogey on the par-4 8th to go along with four birdies and one bogey.

"I was lucky," Quiros said. "I don't know if it's quite normal to make an eagle at the second hole, birdie on the third, make a seven on a par four then make a hole-in-one and finish suffering to win by one. I don't think many people have been in this situation."

Big name players in the field blew it on Sunday as Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia both shot 75, Rory McILroy shot 74, and Lee Westwood shot 72.

Quiros earned his 5th win on the European Tour and moves up to 21st in the world rankings.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tiger Woods plays terrible and awesome in round three at Dubai

Kamran Jebreili / AP Photo

In what has become par for the course for Tiger Woods, he shot par for the course on Saturday at the Dubai Desert Classic in windy conditions. His round included 4 bogeys, a double bogey, 4 birdies, and an eagle.

Despite his even par round, he's only one shot off the lead and is among a pack of players with a chance to win tomorrow.

"The fact I was able to battle from 4 over par and put myself with a chance going into tomorrow, I'm proud of that," Woods said. "Hopefully, I can build on that."

Sunday should make for exciting golf with windy conditions expected again and Woods, McIlroy, Garcia, Quiros, and Westwood in the mix among others.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Dubai Desert Classic Photos: Round Two

Rory Mcllroy (Ross Kinnaird / Getty)

Sergio Garcia (David Cannon / Getty)

Tiger Woods (David Cannon / Getty)

Martin Kaymer (Ross Kinnaird / Getty)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Callaway and Lamborghini form partnership

Callaway and Lamborghini have formed a strategic partnership with their first collaboration together being forged composite. For Callaway, using carbon composites instead of steel and titanium provides engineers the ability to design increasingly advanced clubheads with a greater transfer of power upon impact with the ball and more accurate trajectories.

The Razr Hawk Driver is available February 18th. 
I'll take a driver and the car.

Tiger Woods shoots 71 , makes 58 million

Tiger Woods (Ian Walton / Getty)

Tiger Woods shot a 1-under 71 today at the Dubai Desert Classic and is six shots behind leader Rory MclLroy. His inconsistent round included three bogeys, a double bogey, four birdies, and an eagle.

Although his game has not peaked for awhile, he continues to rake in serious cash and reportedly received a
3 million dollar appearance fee for playing in the tournament.

It's also being reported that he received $55.4 million in 2008 for agreeing to promote a Dubai Golf Resort.

That must suck.

Dubai Desert Classic Photos

(Andrew Redington / Getty)

Woods, Westwood, Kaymer (Ross Kinnaird / Getty)

Tiger Woods (Andrew Redington / Getty)

Martin Kaymer (David Cannon / Getty)

Rory MclLroy (Andrew Redington / Getty)

Lee Westwood (David Cannon / Getty)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dubai Desert Classic Betting Odds

Martin Kaymer (Andrew Redington / Getty)

The Dubai Desert Classic begins Thursday with the top three players in the world, Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, and Tiger Woods paired together for the first two rounds.

Top Ten Bodog Betting Odds are as follows:

Martin Kaymer 9-2
Tiger Woods 11-2
Rory MclLroy 6-1
Lee Westwood 10-1
Alvaro Quiros 16-1
Edoardo Molinari 25-1
Miguel Angel Jimenez 28-1
Ross Fisher 33-1
Sergio Garcia 35-1
Peter Hanson 40-1

Tiger's new swing now worse?


According to the Somax Performance Institute, Tiger Wood's swing is now measurably worse with Sean Foley than it was with Hank Haney. They compare some of his swing problems to a guy crashing off a motorcycle as well as a Shakira hip shake.

The video shows footage of both old school and new school golfers, and discusses pros and cons of the swings. In addition, they discuss how his car crash could have led him to having the yips with his putting, and compare this to Tom Watson having the same problem in the 80s.

Some of it makes sense but he nearly won in December so it can't be as bad as it seems in the video.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Dark Side of Golf

Most of the commercials during the Super Bowl sucked. There were a few decent ones, however, including the one above with a mini Darth Vader.

A larger Vader has also been spotted on the course.

Mark Wilson: By the Numbers

Mark Wilson (Christian Peterson / Getty)

Mark Wilson earned his second victory of the year at the Waste Management Open. While doing so, he supported his team, the Green Bay Packers, by wearing green and yellow (lyrics by Lil Wayne) as they went on to win the Super Bowl. Not a bad week for Wilson.

A look at Wilson's numbers for the week:

Scores: 65, 64, 68, 69
Total: 266 (-18)

Fairways in Reg: 66.1% (T16)
Greens in Reg: 84.7% (1)
Sand Saves: 20% (T70)
Putts per round: 28.8 (T39)
Total Birdies: 22 (T4)

Fed Ex Points: 500
Prize Money: $1,080,000.00

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bodog Betting Odds: Waste Management Open

Bubba Watson won last week at Torrey Pines. Can he make it two in a row? (Donald Miralle / Getty)

Betting Odds for the top ten this week at the Waste Management Open in Phoenix:

Phil Mickelson 7-1
Dustin Johnson 11-1
Nick Watney 18-1
Rickie Fowler 20-1
Hunter Mahan 22-1
Anthony Kim 22-1
Bill Haas 28-1
Bubba Watson 28-1
Geoff Ogilvy 33-1
Ben Crane 35-1

Pick to win: Rickie Fowler