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Tiger beating the odds!

As another major is just a stone throw away a question posed by many (including myself) Why is Tiger Woods always one of the betting favourites…. even when he’s not playing very well?

Tiger Woods of the United States gestures to a fan to be quiet from the fifth green during first round play at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament in Akron

Despite his poor play so far this season, Tiger, at 15-1, is second only to Rory McIlroy in terms of having the best odds to win the PGA Championship. He hovered around the same odds for last month’s British Open (I don’t have to tell you he didn’t win that one) and the U.S. Open at Pinehurst — an event he seemed to have no chance of even playing in after his March 31 back surgery. So, why is that the case?

The answer has to do with incentives. Bookmakers do factor in things like recent form when they set odds, but mostly they’re just trying to set prices that will entice people into placing a bet.

The general public tends to bet off its basic knowledge, so people who know Tiger won a lot in the past will typically bet on him no matter what. Meanwhile, a guy like Jimmy Walker who is putting together a much better season, but casual golf fans aren’t as familiar with Walker as they are with Woods.

To get more bets flowing in on a guy like Walker, bookmakers need to grab people’s attention with the prospect of a bigger payoff. That’s why Walker is 50-1 to win the PGA Championship despite already winning three times this season, and Tiger is 15-1.

Yep, so all in all… I still don’t get it haha!

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Good guys finished last…

Well, that sure was strange old match between Rickie and Sergio wasnt it.

Friday saw Garcia take on Rickie Fowler at the Accenture Match Play, where Sergio seeming to have the upper hand on Rickie Fowler early in their third round match.

World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship - Round Three

(Image courtesy of Getty images)

Garcia stood 2-up standing on the 7th green, with Fowler facing a par putt of 17 feet, 7 inches while Sergio had a par putt that was just 6 feet, 11 inches from the hole.

If you’ve ever watched even a couple of minutes of match play you know that this is a good position for Sergio, knowing if Fowler misses the putt it gives Garcia a good chance of rolling in that nearly seven footer for the par and a 3-up lead.

It was there where things got a little weird, with Garcia going “good-good” — the acknowledgement that neither needed to complete their putt — with Fowler even though Rickie’s putt was more than twice the distance of Sergio’s and they were both putting for the same score.

The final margin of their match? One stroke, meaning that Garcia’s gentlemanly act may have cost him the tournament.

The Golf Channel talked to Sergio after the hole and he said the reason for the gesture is that he felt bad because on the previous hole Garcia had taken a good amount of time getting a ruling because there were bees surrounding his golf ball, but even after that explanation the move is nothing short of bizarre.

How crazy is it to give Fowler a putt of that distance? Before this week, Fowler hadn’t made a single putt all season outside of 15 feet, and while the putter has awoke at Dove Mountain, it still seems strange to just basically halve a hole when you have a serious advantage.

A lot of people mentioned they thought there was a little strategy behind the move by Garcia, but after winning the 9th to go 3-up, Sergio lost the next two holes and eventually the match.

Here is video of what went down on the 7th, so see for yourself the strange situation that went down between Garcia and Fowler.

What were your thoughts, was Garcia right to do so? Little to generous maybe? who knows, comment and subscribe for more blogs on useless stuff about golf! Thanks for visiting!

Marketing as it should be: Nike ‘Play in the Now’

As well as being a golf fanatic, I love marketing, the things it can do, the power it has, there is no limit no right or wrong answer, something’s work, others don’t, but I find it fascinating.

With technology changing in the golf industry almost every season, marketing is at the very forefront of golf with Taylormade and Nike being the front runners of using this tool to broadcast their products.

Nike have had a lot of good/bad press for their introduction into golf, the way they ‘bought’ their way in. In some respects I agree, in others I don’t. Yes an endorsement such as Tigers turns a few heads, and now Rory, but why is that so wrong?

I for one don’t see a problem with this, they are innovative, precise, and yes game changers! Hence this article, it isn’t to rant on how Nike should or shouldn’t market their products, its about their new campaign “Play in the Now

This year, Nike Golf is continuing with their ad campaign of “Play in the Now,” where it pokes fun at players who fail to embrace the new technology available to them!

Nike’s line of equipment in 2014 is very impressive but at the centre of it all is their new Nike Covert 2.0 driver! Both Rory McIlory and Tiger Woods have it in their bag this season, and that’s saying something for Tiger because he usually takes a while to feel comfortable with an equipment change. Nike Golf teases players who can’t seem to grasp the concept of cavity back technology and the Covert 2.0!

I love the way they have marketed this to their consumers, it’s funny, its different, creative and its NOT  “this year we are 5 yards longer” (I play a Taylormade Driver ‘R9 TP and burner 3 wood’ so before anyone slates me I do like Taylormade, I just don’t like the way they do marketing.. If they would kindly like to offer me a job, I would love to help with this however…see contact details 😉 )

Take a look!

What next… Manchester United

Totally not golf related but we will chat about pretty much anything. I’ve always been a Manchester United fan and as such at the moment times are increasingly difficult being a Manchester United fan. My dad bought me my very first shirt when I was less than 6 weeks old and from then on, I have always been a red devil. From that I have grown up with many teams, the class of 92, the 98/99 squad, the Ronaldo era and now MOYES. mata

Without a doubt after Fergie, the period of change was bound to happen, and I fully accepted that, the league, champions league were beyond our reach not just because of our squad but withour Sir Alex we instantly lost that fear factor, that fear factor that won you games in the last 10 minutes and took the very heart of any team! I’m still unsure whether Moyes is the man, some say he is, many say he isnt. In Football these days you cant do what Sir Alex did, he built a club from the ground up, he did everything, these days a manager cant unpack his belongings before he’s on his way again, but this is how the game is going, some would say you need to adapt? Agree, i’m not so sure. I feel managers need time, sure its there job, like any other you need to perform but it takes time, time is key.

Anyway, that isnt the reason for this article. Juan Mata.

A fine player, a touch of purity, graces the ball and has flair second to none. Is he what United really need? in my opinion yes! Okay £40 million pound may be better off spent on a holding midfielder or centre back, but united still dont have a player with RAW ability, a player like scholes that can/could make things happen from anywhere on the football field. Someone who could change things instantly, make things from absolutely nothing, those players are rare.

He is exactly what United need, their midfield is exhausted, laborous and flat. He would add creativity, assists and goals and most of all just give the fans something to hope for. A signing of this calibre whether we trully need him or not shows we are ready to be ambitious again, it shows we mean business, and it shows we will once again re-build a squad to adapt and control once again.

Agree? Disagree? Comment below and lt us know your thoughts!

Dubai preview

With the 2014 season off the tee… (seemed a good pun at the time) we take a look at the opener in Dubai, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Welshman Jamie Donaldson, who claimed his second European Tour title 12 months ago despite a nervy finish in which he made a three-putt bogey at the last at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, will tee it up to defend his title in the first of the ‘desert swing’

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Hot on his heels, Rory Mcilroy, a diamond in the rough in the desert, he likes these courses and even after a dreary 2013 he ended it well! His recent engagement to Tennis Star Caroline Wozniacki has been a boost for him after enduring a tough time from the media earlier last year.

McIlroy was No. 1 in the world when he played Abu Dhabi last year, the start of the European Tour’s swing through the Persian Gulf. Now he’s No. 7, making him the third-ranked player in Abu Dhabi behind Henrik Stenson who was the hottest player on the planet last year at (No. 3) and Phil Mickelson (No. 5).

Despite the big guns in the field we look towards Brandon Grace, who had a cracking start last year and cemented his tour card in to place with a stirling 2013. Tommy Fleetwood is another to watch, played great last week and is another on of the European Tour stars to take some good form into 2014.

We raved about this guy in our 2014 preview, and he cannot be dismissed at any point this year, if he stays fit and healthy Paul Casey can be up there in every tournament he plays in! Life off the course has been pretty sweet as of late and he too is another one who got hitched over christmas! Hes our pick of the year! Lets hope he can find some form in Abu Dhabi!

The Garmin S3 tried and tested

So, after a busy and quite frankly wet Christmas we finally got a chance to get back on the golf course and more importantly got a chance to try out our new toy, the Garmin S3!!

‘Displaying full front, back and centre yardages to the green with easy to read numbering means you know exactly how far you have got left and layup distances show you the yardages to dog legs and other hazards. With the ability to calculate distances with manual pin positioning, you can let your ball take flight with more precision knowing where you need it to land’ Or so they say…

s3-ep-img

Quite honestly this gadget is faultless, if this was on the wrist of a half decent golfer (unlike myself) then the pin point yardages this little thing gives would be second to none. Front, back middle or an approach this baby has it all!

After first opening the box, a little chunky at first sight i must admit, but after minutes of putting it on my wirst you instantly forget its there, that was until my playing partner was pacing out his distances trying to use the markers, when i sheepishly just took a quick look at ‘the time’ 147 yards to go…SWEET!

I was sceptical when getting this as i thought it would get in the way of my swing, and just be another distaction and excuse for me hitting that 150 yard slice into the trees! However i thought wrong, its sturdy, light and damn well accurate!

The S3 is available in two colours, Black/Red or White/Red being super stylish we went with the white finish, having got some dirt on it from a watery patch it came straight off, the only worry is the colour becoming faded or discoloured over time. However with the current Bitish weather as it is we would quite like to just get out and play! We look ofrward to more rounds with this beaut, and i may even let my playing partner have a go next time, see what he thinks 😉

Thank you Garmin!

2014 underway

Well last year was an eventful year for golf. Scotty won the masters in some style and continued to impress all year long whilst Rory Mcilroy struggled to find the form that put him at the forefront of the golfing world, however a last minute win at the Aussie open ended his year a little sweeter. David Howell won for the first time in 7 years and Billy Foster returns to the side of Lee Westwood, in a bid to finally overcome his major duck after finally learning how to use his putter! Annnnnd Stenson was quite literally on fire in an exceptional year for the Swede.

Enough about last year, lets crack on, We thought long and hard about this years picks, here are our ones to watch for this year.

Firstly the young English maestro Tom Lewis,

tom lewis

After bursting onto the scene after winning the Portugal Masters, although the young prodigy quickly realised the Tour is not all sunshine and rainbows. Tom struggled last year however his third place finish in the championship trebled his earnings for the season which inturn kept his European Tour card and went a long way toward renewing the morale of the fallen boy wonder. Having employed  Jonny Wilkinson’s (yes the Rugby player) coach, Tom hopes his new swing routine they have been working on will keep him composed and establish himself back on tour.

In my eyes, Tom is a raw talent, IF he can find the confidence early in the year, he could quickly mature and seriously compete.

casey

An old favourite of mine, Paul Casey. A natural talent, a powerful hitter, in my eyes probably one of the finest English golfers around, after suffering several injuries his slip from golfing grace hasnt been easy to watch. Grinding back to a glimpse of his best last year, Casey won the Irish Open and continued to find form throughout the year. Providing he keeps his shoulder in one place, Paul is sure to be up there in many tournaments this year! I found this quote by Paul which did make me laugh and i completely agree “When you are playing good golf, you have no idea how anybody can play bad golf. When you are playing bad golf, you have no idea how you ever did what you did in playing good golf. That scrambles your brains.”

Ross Fisher, Ian Poulter and Peter Uihlein also found some impressive form towards the end of the year, and with the Ryder cup in September Poults will be keeping his game in tip top form im sure.

Rory… Rory, Rory, Rory. I often sit there in bemusement at how his swing can do wrong. After an awful year which im sure he wants to forget, surely he will get back to his former self. Finding a glimmer of form in the Aussy Open and the news on his new Driver and ball, he surely cant be far from a return, can he?

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Another youngster that stood out for me, who i think has a huge future in golf, is Jordan Speith. Breaking into the winners circle before his 20th Birthday Joradn Speith looked o have everything, along with the maturity of that of an established Tour player. Speith had a great run in the Fed-Ex cup and was part of the Presidents cup as a captains pick, definitley one to watch. A solid game, confidence, youth, this kid does have everything.

Who are your picks for this year? Agree, disagree? Leave a comment we would love to hear your opinion.