Friday, March 30, 2012

The Masters Sudden Death Playoff

The Masters is the only major championship that has a sudden death playoff system. The U.S. Open has an 18 hole playoff on Monday, the British has a four hole aggregate, and the PGA has a three hole aggregate.

They currently start a Masters playoff at 18, then go to 10, 11, and so on. I believe they should change it to a three hole aggregate using amen corner (holes 11,12, and 13). This is a perfect combination with a par-4, par-3, and par-5.

The Players Championship has also just changed their playoff format to a three hole aggregate using holes 16, 17, and 18. The Players is the only regular tour event that has this.

The most recent playoff at the Masters occurred in 2013 when Adam Scott defeated Angel Cabrera on the 10th hole to win his first major.

The Design of Augusta National

Augusta National Golf Club was originally a 365-acre indigo plantation. By 1857 it had become a plant nursery. At the height of the Depression the property was purchased by Bobby Jones, the brilliant amateur, and a friend of his named Clifford Roberts. Together they hired a Scottish golf architect, Alister MacKenzie, to design a course. There were American architects they could have hired, but Bobby Jones didn't want an American course - he felt they were too prescriptive. He wanted MacKenzie to design a golf course where every hole presented a problem or a puzzle for players.

Bobby Jones also wanted a course like St. Andrews in Scotland, with wide fairways, undulating greens, and bunkers that came into play only if a shot was mishit. He wanted each hole to look wide-open from the tee, and playable for any high handicapper, a hole that was a hard par and a difficult birdie.

Jones also borrowed ideas from Sara Bay in Sarasota, Florida, a course built by the American golf architect, Donald Ross, with elevated greens that required pinpoint approach shots on the slopes and crowns.

Together, Jones and MacKenzie created what today is called the Doctrine of Deception. Rather than holes where it seems clear what a player needs to do, they built holes where golfers think they have two or three chances, and therefore try a shot that is above their ability. And that's why the Masters tournament is so thrilling. The winner is always the player who can pull off the impossible shot. And playing the impossible shot is the only way to win the green jacket at the Masters.

Excerpt from the book The Caddie who won the Masters by John Coyne:

Monday, March 5, 2012

2012 Prop bets for Tiger Woods

Here are some prop bets and futures bets you can make on Tiger Woods for 2012.

Over/Under total wins: 3
Win the Grand Slam: +6600 (bet $10, win $660)
Win at least one major: 11-8
Win the Masters: 5-1
Win the Open Championship: 5-1
Win the U.S. Money List: 6-1

I'm not attempting to promote gambling, however, it can make it a bit more interesting to put a few bucks down on your favorite player. It's hard to win a lot of money on Tiger Woods because the odds are so low but you can win big on other players. This guy won 50k in Keegan Bradley's win at the PGA last year.

WGC Cadillac Championship: The Blue Monster at Doral Betting Odds

Notable player betting odds to win at Doral:

Rory McILroy: 5-1
Tiger Woods: 6-1
Phil Mickelson: 12-1
Lee Westwood: 12-1
Charl Schwartzel: 25-1
Luke Donald: 25-1
Dustin Johnson: 28-1
Hunter Mahan: 28-1
Martin Kaymer: 28-1
Nick Watney: 28-1

Prop bets: 

Will Tiger Woods get a hole in one at Doral? 80-1

Will there be a playoff at Doral? 2.5-1

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Woods and McILroy pressers

Q.  First of all, I can't really remember having seen a lot of golfers with their swing look as effortless; is that a fair assessment?
TIGER WOODS:  I just have to stick with the process, and it's coming.  Each tournament, it's getting better.  I'm hitting more good shots, more quality misses.  They are not what they used to be.  Each tournament I've progressed, I've gotten better.  And it's just a matter of time before I put it all together for an entire tournament.

Full Tiger Woods presser

Q.  You've been incredibly consistent these last six months or so.  When you're playing this well, do you feel like you're tough to beat; that no one can beat you?
RORY McILROY:  I always felt like when I played my best, I would be hard to beat; Congressional or Quail Hollow or whatever when I play my best, I usually can get quite a lead.  But I feel at the minute, you know, even if I don't play my best golf, I can still challenge, which gives me a lot of confidence, also.
So yeah, when I'm firing on all cylinders, I feel like I'm hard to beat, but even playing‑‑ I still feel like I can play better than what I did this week and still be able to win is very nice.

Full Rory McILroy presser

Rory McILroy holds off Tiger to win The Honda Classic, becomes World Number One

Despite a huge charge from Tiger Woods, Rory McILroy kept his composure and shot a final round 69 to win the The Honda Classic by two strokes. The win vaults the 22 year old Irishman into the number one position on the world rankings.

"It was tough today, especially seeing Tiger make a charge," McIlroy said. "I knew par golf would probably be good enough. To shoot 1 under in these conditions, when you go into the round with the lead, is very nice. And I was just able to get the job done." 

McILroy didn't have his best stuff with his long game, however, he got up and down all day from several precarious positions. He hit a great pitch from deep rough at 14 to get up and in, and saved par from the greenside bunker at both 15 and 17, two of the difficult par-3s that make up part of the Bear Trap. McILroy got up and down 21 out of 25 times for the week.

"My short game all week has been very good, and it's what you need on a tough golf course like this," McIlroy said. "I was able to do that, especially on 15 and 17. I needed to make pars there. My short game felt good all week, and it definitely saved me today."

The 2012 Major Champions will be...

Tiger Woods vs. Rory McILroy

Tiger Woods shoots final round 62 at The Bear Trap

It appears that Tiger Wood's golf clubs are agreeing with him. He had two eagles, four birdies, and no bogeys en route to a career low 62 for a final round at The Honda Classic. Although his charge came up two shots short of winner Rory McILroy, Woods has obviously taken a huge step in the right direction.

"I've been hitting it like this for a while," said Woods. "It all came together." 

With two more tournaments at Doral and Bay Hill to prepare for the Masters, Woods appears to be in prime position to make a strong run for his 15th Major Championship.

Tiger Woods vs. Rory McILroy

The 2012 Major Champions will be...