Tuesday, July 30, 2013

WGC-Bridgestone Golf Betting Odds

The Par-5 16th at Firestone Country Club
In surprising news, Tiger Woods is the betting favorite this week at Firestone as he's won the event seven times previously. Phil Mickelson, coming off his huge win at the British, is right behind him. Many of the top players in the world are competing this week not only to try and win the WGC event, but as a tune-up for the next week's PGA Championship, the final major of 2013.

Tiger Woods: 9-2
Phil Mickelson: 14-1
Adam Scott: 18-1
Brandt Snedeker: 25-1
Justin Rose: 25-1
Rory McILroy: 28-1
Jason Day: 33-1
Keegan Bradley: 40-1
Jim Furyk: 50-1
Rickie Fowler: 50-1
Nick Watney: 100-1
Matteo Manassero: 125-1

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pick the hole location at the par-3 15th for the PGA Championship

Jack Nicklaus and the PGA are running a new contest where golf fans can vote for the Sunday hole location at the par-3 15th for the upcoming PGA Championship.

Nicklaus, who won his 5th PGA Championship in 1980 at Oak Hill, the site of this year's tournament, came up with the idea.

"The chance for golf fans to interact with the PGA Championship and play a role in shaping the outcome of the final round fascinates me," Nicklaus said in a statement. "It's like being able to call the shots during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl."

Fans will have four pin location options to choose from for the par-3 which has a pond to the right of the green and three bunkers to the left side of the green.

Voting will end after the third round of the Championship on August 10th. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mickelson moves up the list of all time Major Champions

Phil Mickelson has now won the British Open, three Masters, and one PGA Championship. In order to complete the career grand slam, he will need to win the U.S. Open, a tournament where he has finished with a record six runner ups. His next chance at the U.S Open will be at Pinehurst, where he finished 2nd to Payne Stewart in 1999.

List of all time Major Champions:
Jack Nicklaus: 18
Tiger Woods: 14
Walter Hagen: 11
Gary Player: 9
Ben Hogan: 8
Tom Watson: 8
Arnold Palmer: 7
Sam Snead: 7
Gene Sarazon: 7
Bobby Jones: 7
Harry Vardon: 7
Nick Faldo: 6
Lee Trevino: 6
Phil Mickelson: 5
Bryon Nelson: 5
Seve Ballesteros: 5
James Braid: 5
John Henry Taylor: 5
Peter Thompson: 5

Mickelson wins Open Championship: Final Round Photos

Friday, July 19, 2013

British Open Round Three Tee Times and Pairings

The most interesting man in golf, "The Mechanic" leads the Open after two rounds.

Eastern Time:
3:10 a.m.: Shingo Katayama, Richard Sterne
3:20 a.m.: Carl Pettersson, Jonas Blixt
3:30 a.m.: K.J. Choi, Chris Wood
3:40 a.m.: Mikko Ilonen, Todd Hamilton
3:50 a.m.: Peter Senior, Mark Brown
4:00 a.m.: Geoff Ogilvy, Paul Lawrie
4:10 a.m.: Richie Ramsay, Thongchai Jaidee
4:20 a.m.: Boo Weekley, Gareth Wright
4:30 a.m.: K.T. Kim, a-Jimmy Mullen
4:45 a.m.: Josh Teater, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
4:55 a.m.: Keegan Bradley, Fred Couples
5:05 a.m.: Jason Dufner, Bud Cauley
5:15 a.m.: Bo Van Pelt, A-Matthew Fitzpatrick
5:25 a.m.: Russell Henley, Tim Clark
5:35 a.m.: Ernie Els, Graham Delaet
5:45 a.m.: Shane Lowry, Oliver Fisher
5:55 a.m.: Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington
6:05 a.m.: Sandy Lyle, Y.E. Yang
6:20 a.m.: Steven Tiley, Ken Duke
6:30 a.m.: George Coetzee, Thomas Bjorn
6:40 a.m.: Brandt Snedeker, Stewart Cink
6:50 a.m.: Matt Kuchar, Freddie Jacobson
7:00 a.m.: Marcus Fraser, Danny Willett
7:10 a.m.: Martin Kaymer, Eduardo De La Riva
7:20 a.m.: Gregory Bourdy, Graeme McDowell
7:30 a.m.: Stephen Gallacher, Kevin Streelman
7:45 a.m.: Ben Curtis, Bernd Wiesberger
7:55 a.m.: Shiv Kapur, Jamie Donaldson
8:05 a.m.: Branden Grace, Harris English
8:15 a.m.: Tom Lehman, Mark O’Meara
8:25 a.m.: Johnson Wagner, Hideki Matsuyama
8:35 a.m.: Jason Day, Hunter Mahan
8:45 a.m.: Justin Leonard, Phil Mickelson
8:55 a.m.: Ian Poulter, Bubba Watson
9:10 a.m.: Francesco Molinari, Webb Simpson
9:20 a.m.: Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel
9:30 a.m.: Darren Clarke, Jordan Spieth
9:40 a.m.: Ryan Moore, Angel Cabrera
9:50 a.m.: Zach Johnson, Rafael Cabrera-Bello
10:00 a.m.: Martin Laird, Dustin Johnson
10:10 a.m.: Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood
10:20 a.m.: Henrik Stenson, Miguel Angel Jimenez

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

British Open Quotes

Wind is part of the British Open. It is an examination and it took me a long time to pass the examination. Eighty per cent of the fellows out there have not passed the test.
- Gary Player (after winning the 1974 Open at Royal Lytham and St. Annes)

Phil Mickelson hits backwards flop shot at Muirfield

Don't try this at home. Phil Mickelson hits his patented backwards flop shot during a practice round at Muirfield.

The history and course design of Muirfield in Scotland

Course history and design of Muirfield in Scotland:

Golf was first played at Muirfield in 1891 on 16 holes laid out by Old Tom Morris which was extended to 18 holes for the Open the following year. Restricted by stone walls that completely surrounded the course, the original layout occupied 117 acres. The turf was good in places but there were areas of sandy wasteland and some of the lower points were waterlogged. Over a period of thirty years, the land was drained and the sandy areas were seeded and cultivated.

Muirfield hosted the first Open Championship to be played over 72 holes in 1892 and then again in 1896. After each event, the course received some criticism and improvements were made. It was evident that the surrounding walls had limited the design and the first significant alteration was made with the purchase in 1907 of an additional 13 acres.

Monday, July 15, 2013

British Open 2013: Pairings and tee times

GULLANE, SCOTLAND - JULY 15: Ernie Els of South Africa hits out of a bunker ahead of the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield on July 15, 2013 in Gullane, Scotland. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Here are the British Open pairings and tee times for the opening two rounds. If you live on the East Coast, you need to wake up at 4am if you want to catch the early coverage on ESPN. All times are local. Eastern Time is five hours behind. For example, the first grouping on Thursday goes off at 6:32 a.m. in Scotland or 1:32 a.m. ET.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

British Open 2013: Betting Odds

Phil Mickelson enters the British Open coming off a playoff win at the Scottish Open.
The 2013 British Open Championship begins Thursday at Muirfield in Scotland. Here are the betting odds for the week:

Tiger Woods: 8-1 (3-time British Open champion)
Phil Mickelson: 16-1 (coming off win at Scottish Open)
Adam Scott: 18-1 (2013 Masters champion)
Justin Rose: 18-1 (2013 U.S. Open champion)
Rory McILroy: 20-1 (2-time major winner)
Graeme McDowell: 22-1 (3-time winner in 2013)
Ernie Els: 25-1 (4-time major winner and defending champion)
Jason Day: 25-1 (finished top 3 at Masters and U.S. Open)

British Open Past Champions List

British Open past champions:

2013: Phil Mickelson (Muirfield)

2012: Ernie Els (Lytham and St. Annes)
2011: Darren Clarke (St. Georges)
2010: Louis Oosthuizen (St. Andrews)
2009: Stewart Cink (Turnberry)
2008: Padraig Harrington (Birkdale)
2007: Padraig Harrington (Carnoustie)
2006: Tiger Woods (Liverpool)
2005: Tiger Woods (St. Andrews)
2004: Todd Hamilton (Troon)
2003: Ben Curtis (St. Georges)
2002: Ernie Els (Muirfield)
2001: David Duval (Lytham)
2000: Tiger Woods (St. Andrews)

All Champions since 1860

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Tiger Woods talks strategy for playing Muirfield

In Tiger Wood's most recent blog post, he touched on his past experience playing in Open Championships and described the strategy needed for being successful at Muirfield.

This marks my second trip to Muirfield. My first visit in 2002 didn't go very well. I caught the worst of the weather and wound up tying for 28th. That's just the nature of links golf. Luck plays a big part in it, and you never know what you're going to get. 

Tiger shoots 81 at Muirfield in wind and rain

Muirfield is one of the hardest courses in Scotland. The front nine is basically played clockwise and the back nine is played counter-clockwise and on the inside of the front nine. You have to shape the golf ball both ways, and you never know what's going to come off that water as far as wind. It can change directions. If the wind switches, you can be aggressive on certain holes and others you have to be conservative. That's the neat thing about a British Open: You just never know what type of conditions you're going to get each day. 

How to play a bump and run and a knockdown for links golf

This pro demonstrates a typical bump and run shot in Scotland.

This pro demonstrates how to play a low knockdown into the wind.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Video Flyover of 2013 British Open venue Muirfield

Tiger Woods shot 81 at Muirfield in brutal conditions

When the British Open was last held at Muirfield in 2002, Tiger Woods shot a 10-over 81, his highest score ever as a professional. In this video, Woods battles the wind, rain, and cold weather as his shots continue to go sideways into the knee high rough. This tough 3rd round knocked him out of contention to win, but he did come back on Sunday and shoot a 65. Ernie Els went on to win in a playoff.

What is a links golf course?

The British Open will be played next week at Muirfield in Scotland, one of the famous links courses in the Open rotation. What exactly is a links course?

A links golf course, sometimes referred to as a seaside links is the oldest style of golf course, first developed in Scotland, where golf originated. The word comes from the Scots language and refers to an area of coastal sand dunes.

Links tend to be located in coastal areas, on sandy soil, often amid dunes, with few water hazards and few if any trees. This reflects both the nature of the scenery where the sport happened to originate, and the fact that only limited resources were available to golf course architects at the time, and any earth moving had to be done by hand, so it was kept to a minimum. It is believed that the term "links" comes from the fact that the land used for golf originally was the land near the sea that was not good for farming. This land was between the sea and the farmland and thus was a "link" between the two.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Rory McILroy golf swing

Rory McILroy vs. a trash talking robot

Rory McILroy has played against Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Luke Donald, and many other top ranked golfers in the world. He has climbed as high as number one in the world rankings and won both the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional and the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. He's also dealt with intense media scrutiny, the pressures that go along with being number one, several management changes, and an equipment change in 2013. McILroy has been through many challenges in his early career, but he's never faced off versus a trash talking robot.

In the latest addition of the European Tour's "See Every Shot Imaginable" campaign, McILroy has been pitted against a robot, otherwise known as a golf laboratory computer hitting machine. As a kid, McILroy would chip balls into his mother's washing machine as a way to practice. As an adult, he must once again hit balls at washing machines, only this time the targets are outdoors at a driving range, and much farther away.

The robot is not only GPS programmed, but enjoys needling McILroy and talking trash in order to mess him up. He causes McILroy to laugh as he's attempting to hit shots, and at one point mentions that a certain other golfer (Tiger) would have long since been at home with his feet kicked up.

In this short video, the European Tour is demonstrating in an amusing way how their players need every shot imaginable to win in difficult conditions and vs. difficult opponents. In this example, the world's number two golfer is hitting a variety of shots to help prove that point.
The next time McILroy will be seen at a real tournament will be at the Open Championship at Muirfield beginning July 18th, where he will attempt to win his 3rd career major championship.

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