Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tiger Woods previews U.S. Open venue Merion

Tiger Woods played Merion, the site of the upcoming U.S. Open, on Monday for the first time. In June, Woods will attempt to win his 15th major and 4th U.S. Open. He answered questions about it at his press conference for this week's Memorial tournament, hosted by Jack Nicklaus.

Here are a few segments.

Q.  Tiger, going back to Merion, can you talk to us about your initial thoughts?  It's your first time seeing the golf course, if I'm correct.
TIGER WOODS:  As I said, I did not have‑‑ from what everyone said, I did not have the inkling that it was going to be as long as it was.  As I said, it was raining sideways and it was just an ugly day.  We played it as probably long as it will ever be played. In June, obviously the weather won't be like that.  It will be hotter.  The ball will be flying.  The clubs will be different, but the lines will be the same.  It was nice to see and get an understanding of what I need to visualize and my prep next week and get ready for that.  Have a nice understanding of where my sight lines are going to be and where I need to land the ball.  Obviously it will be different clubs.  Won't be quite as long as it was playing yesterday.

Great Golf Swings: Tiger Woods 2013

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jack Nicklaus discusses the Memorial, Merion, and the state of the game

Jack Nicklaus, host of the Memorial at Muirfield Village, held his annual press conference to discuss a wide range of  topics Wednesday. He was asked about this week's tournament, the upcoming U.S. Open at Merion, and touched on the various hot topics going on currently in the golf world.

Here are a few segments:

Q.  Mr. Nicklaus, with Merion coming up, players have played Merion and said they only have to hit driver on two or three holes, how important is it to you in design a setup that the driver be used a lot during a round of golf?
JACK NICKLAUS:  Well, if they're only using it two or three times, you're not going to win a golf tournament.  That's my opinion at Merion.  You've got 2, 4, 5, 6, 14, maybe 15, but 16 and 18 you're going to use your driver.  That's a number of times.  And you have holes that you're going to back off on maybe.  You may try to drive the green on 1, you may hit the driver.  But I think that Merion will do very well for the U.S. Open.  I think it's‑‑ I was there last spring.  And I think it will do very well.  It's going to have some holes that they're going to abuse the golf course with, but they're also going to have some holes on the golf course that are going to abuse them.  It's not one of the golf courses that are in the middle road.  It's either tough or they'll birdie the hole.  Merion is a great golf course.  I'd love to still have the golf game to go play it.

Great Golf Swings: Jack Nicklaus

The Memorial 2013: Top Pairings and tee times

The Memorial begins Thursday and host Jack Nicklaus has put together some pairings that will feature players from the upcoming Presidents Cup which will also be held at Muirfield Village Golf Club in October.

Tiger Woods, Keegan Bradley, Fred Couples 1:16pm Thursday

Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar 1:05pm Thursday

Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, Ernie Els 8:15 am Thursday

Rory McILroy, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose 8:26am Thursday

Full Tee times

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Great Golf Swings: Annika Sorenstam

Great Golf Swings: Sam Snead

Great Golf Swings: Byron Nelson

Muirfield Village to host 2013 Presidents Cup

Along with hosting the annual PGA Memorial tournament this May, Muirfield Village will also host the 2013 Presidents Cup beginning this October.

The Presidents Cup is a competition held every two years featuring a team of 12 Americans vs. a team of 12 International players not from Europe. Fred Couples will captain for the United States while Nick Price will captain the International squad.

The U.S. has dominated this competition and holds a 7-1-1 record. The Americans won in Australia in 2011 with a score of 19-15 and won at Harding Park in 2009 with a score of 19 1/2 to 14 1/2.

Muirfield Village, designed by Jack Nicklaus, will play much different in October than it will for this week's Memorial tournament. The course will feature shorter rough and shorter holes for the match play event designed for players to be more aggressive.

"It's a totally different experience," Nicklaus said. "It'll be something because it's a totally different type of event."

In the fall, the idea is to set up the course for the every-hole drama of match play. That's why Nicklaus said the course will have shorter rough, and some par-fours and par-fives will play from shorter tees to encourage players to go for the green in the name of winning a hole.

Great Golf Swings: Ben Hogan

The Design of Muirfield Village Golf Club

Muirfield Village Golf Club was designed by Jack Nicklaus. The golf course sits on 220 acres, which includes an 11-acre driving range. On Memorial Day, May 27, 1974, the course was officially dedicated with an exhibition match between Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf. Nicklaus won with a 66, which stood as the course record until 1979.

The layout presently plays at 7,265 yards with 75 bunkers and water hazards on 11 holes. The course annually hosts the PGA Memorial tournament.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Early Odds to win 2013 U.S. Open at Merion

The U.S. Open begins June 13th at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Here is a look at the early betting odds for the year's 2nd Major Championship.

Tiger Woods: 7-2
Rory McILroy: 10-1
Adam Scott: 20-1
Phil Mickelson: 22-1
Graeme McDowell: 25-1
Luke Donald: 25-1
Sergio Garcia: 28-1
Jason Day: 33-1
Keegan Bradley: 40-1
Webb Simpson: 55-1

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ken Venturi played vs. Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson in "The Match"

 Ken Venturi, who passed away last week at the age of 82, was a famous golfer and excellent long-time golf announcer for CBS. The 2013 Golf Hall of Fame inductee was also part of a famous golf match detailed in the book "The Match" by Mark Frost.

"The Match" occurred in 1956 and was developed through a bet by two millionaires named Eddie Lowery and George Coleman. If you have ever seen the movie "The Greatest Game Ever Played" Eddie Lowery was the 10 year old caddy for Francis Ouimet when he won the 1913 U.S. Open as a 20 year old amateur.

Years later, at a celebrity/charity golf event, Lowery begins boasting that his two top amateur golfers Ken Venturi (who went on the win the U.S. Open) and Harvie Ward (an unbelievable talent who also enjoyed partying), can beat any two players in the world. George Coleman then makes a few calls and immediately recruits Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan, two of the greatest players in history, who happen to be at the tournament for the week.

At this point in time, the two upcoming amateurs were at the top of their games, while Nelson and Hogan's careers were winding down. Without giving the details, let's just say "The Match" was unbelievable. It occurred at Cyprus Point in California, was a back and forth battle all day, and all four of them went low.

The book provides an excellent description of the match that occurred that day, while at the same time discusses each player’s story, how they arrived at that point in time, and what they went on to in the future. All four players lived remarkable lives in the world of golf and the match that they played will always be a part of golf history.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Tiger Woods: By the Numbers at The Players Championship

With his victory Sunday, Tiger Woods earned his 2nd Players Championship and 78th win overall on the PGA Tour. He took home 1.7 million for the effort and holds steady at number one in the world rankings, as well as number one on the Fed Ex Points list and money list. He has now won for the 4th time in 2013.

Scores: 67,67,71,70 -13
Total birdies: 18
Total eagles: 1
Sand saves: 100%
Driving accuracy: 67%
Greens in Reg: 76%
Putts per green: 1.7

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Players Championship Betting Odds

The 5th major begins Thursday with Tiger Woods as the betting favorite, although he's only won once here in his career. Adam Scott, playing his first tourney since winning the Masters, is at 16-1. Derek Ernst, last weeks winner out of nowhere, comes in at 200-1.

Tiger Woods 7-1
Rory McILroy 16-1
Adam Scott 16-1
Luke Donald 18-1
Phil Mickelson 22-1
Jason Day 40-1
Steve Stricker 50-1
Lucas Glover 100-1
Derek Ernst 200-1
Bud Cauley 250-1