PGA TOUR

The PGA Championship betting preview

So then, here we are for one last final hurrah. ‘Glory’s last shot’ (or now what they laboriously call ‘The Seasons Final Major’

The PGA Championship 2014 provides that final opportunity for all the worlds best to grab hold of a major, whilst this year it is the start of that final push for Ryder Cup qualifications, for those eligible 😉

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So then, this sets up to be a cracker, a few big names all playing seriously well, this has the potential to be a beaut of a final major for 2014! But who will win, Mcilroy is looking unmovable as the World number one whilst Sergio is ‘serging’ forward to a great year in 2014. Apologies for the pun!

Well, Valhalla. That name just sounds so cool doesnt it? Yeah, yeah anyway… The par 71 course will play at 7,458 yards – a remarkable 295 yards longer than Oak Hill last year and a couple of hundred more since Valhalla last hosted a major event – the 2011 Senior PGA Championship.

Valhalla is very much risk and reward, every winner since 2004 has averaged 290+ yards on Tour before their PGA victory (barring Jason Dufner last year!) But it’s not all about the length, ohhhh no! ther’s more to Valhalla than just smashing your tee ball– this war will require bravery yes, but a strategic battle-plan will, without doubt, provide us with the winner.

The tips you ask? Well, lets get to it.

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SERGIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

The 1999 PGA Championship was the scene of Sergio Garcia’s arrival, a much more hot-headed character to the one we see today. It’s a tournament that has also seen him finish 2nd, back in 2008. With his newfound putting ability and love for the ‘claw grip’, Sergio has the perfect armory to attack Valhalla. Sergio has been is superb form lately, with a great display at the open and the wGC last week, he’s in touching distance of Mcilroy and it seems he’s got some good form at the right time.

Matt Kuchar, like Serge, he’s not far away, both of them are more than capable of winning a major, is it just a matter of time?

Rory. Enough said, he’s on flames at the moment and if he plays like he has been doing there is very little anybody else can do about it.

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Mahan, to me Hunter Mahan is one of the best American golfers on tour. His sweet ball striking, matched with consistency off the tee could help Hunter battle his way through Valhalla.

A bit of Aussie grit? Yeah Scotty should be up there as per, but we are talking Marc Leishman! 6 top 10s which include a 3rd last week at the WGC, T5 at The Open, T8 at the Quicken Loans National and T2 at Farmers Insurance Open, a few good ffinishes at tricky courses show he could be a contender for the final major!

Sooooooooooooooo the stage is set, the final major, lets see whatcha got Valhalla!

Thanks again!

Where it was won, The Masters!

A week on and we take a look at how the Masters really won!

A Masters without Tiger just didn’t seem possible, however this year marked the first year Tiger didn’t feature at Augusta since 1995!! This undoubtedly opened the door for so many, now yes Tiger may not have been in the form of his life but I still believe he has that ‘Tiger’ Factor, he would still have taken the favourite spot! This gave a massive opportunity to those in the field to showcase what they truly had!

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Off the back of several top ten finishes many thought Matt Kuchar would come close to wearing that green jacket, however few stumbles in the final round saw him drop to T5 along with Rickie Fowler.

Jiminez marked a late challenge for the green jacket however it was too little too late, however he finished nicely in 4th spot, the Spaniard was the only one looking to challenge the two at the top.

Moving day

The 3rd round found 8/9 players in with a shout, however that soon went down to four at the midway point, Kuch, Fowler and Young Swede Jonas Blixt fluttering with the top spot however Bubba Watson started to show signs of his former Masters form!

The American left-hander, 35, shot a final-round 69 to win by three after overhauling a two-shot deficit on his co-overnight leader Spieth on a sultry day at Augusta. Watson became the 17th player to win two Masters titles, eight of whom have gone on to win three or more Green Jackets. He showed signs of brilliance where so many faltered, his short game accuracy, his distance off the tea, he just didn’t seemed phased by any of it, he proved myself and im sure a lot of people wrong when he grabbed his second win at Augusta.

Stand Out?

Jonas Blixt was one of two who stood out for me, the young Swede came from absolutely nowhere to grab a slice at Augusta but fell short towards the end when his birdie run dried up.

The other stand out was of course Jordan Spieth. A debutant Spieth, 20, was bidding to beat Tiger Woods as the youngest ever winner and duelled with Watson for much of the day, but the Texan’s chances were sunk in the water of Amen Corner and he carded 72 to end five under.

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So where was everybody else?

Justin Rose started round 4 nicely after struggling in the first couple of days, although he seemed to struggle to go low towards the end and ending any hope of putting an early low score on the leader board. Westy, well he did what he does best, play better than everybody tee to green and just couldn’t get that putter warm enough. Adam Scott and Rory two more  favourites who just couldn’t get in to the swing of things (apologies about the pun 😉 ) and Luke Donald still struggling after some swing changes which have left him fall short of his sublime form.

What next?

After his first Masters win Bubba had a bit of a hangover didn’t he, leaving him waiting till 2014 for his next victory on Tour at the Norther Trust Open, hopefully he can replicate his masters form and kick on this season!

I fancy Kuch to have another good season, he’s a safe bet, whether he can get to the finish line is another question. Westwood, well hopefully he gets the flat stick working, his game tee to green is second to none and that could see him up there this season, a major though? I’m not sure. Spieth and Fowler are looking good so far, Spieth may taper towards the end of the season, he’s young and a long season could take its toll, however I feel Fowler isn’t far away from something special!

Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!

 

The Fowler Spectrum

Rickie..Rickie, Rickie, Rickie…

You remember Rickie Fowler, the young gun from Oklahoma State, the kid with the long, floppy hair under hats with bills far too big, how can you forget, he wears bright orange!!!

We briefly spoke about Rickie towards the start of the season when He teamed up with Butch Harmon for 2014.

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All kinds of talent, a great amateur career, eccentric, unique, even a motor-cross fanatic, Rickie Fowler has it all. I was watching the golf the other day and there was a piece on him, and it mentioned even with all of that, he has just one win since he hit the PGA Tour, causing a considerable stir in the world of golf.

At the ripe old age of 25, the wonder kid has been to the winner’s circle just once. But guess what? That very same guy, the one with only one win on the PGA Tour has won over $11 million. And the truth is that 2012 season, in which he won the Wells Fargo Championship, could have been even better. He was in the next-to-last group in the final round of the Memorial Tournament but managed to shoot an 84 to fall out of contention quickly.

This very well could be the year he breaks through that glass ceiling. Why? Well for a couple of reasons, actually. First, he is 25. Fowler has managed to get through the growing years as a professional golfer rather nicely. He’s posted 24 top-10 finishes and 43 top-25 finishes. There’s no doubt this kid can play.

He started out this season with a T19 in the CIMB Classic in the fall part of the 2013-14 season, and after five less-than-sparkling outings, he finished third in the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.

As previously mentioned he also has a new swing coach, and yup, the guy he hired has a glittering resume. You may recognize some of his students and former students. Do the names Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson ring any bells? Yes, Butch Harmon is the man, and he’s been working with Fowler since December 2013. Harmon has had a major stable of players over the years, led by Woods and Mickelson, and he knows talent. Look towards Dustin Johnson too.

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Fowler showed up at the Northern Trust Open with those long locks gone and the straight bill look on his golf hats. The new compact swing has taken a bit of time to yield results, but Fowler loves it.

“I’ve been swing well, the swing feels really comfortable. I know a lot of people question whether its swing changes (causing poor play) or if I’m not comfortable with it. But really I just need to get the putter warmed back up.” Look, this guy can play. He averages 298 yards off the tee, but his issues previously have been keeping those bombs in the short grass. He only does that about 57 percent of the time. That should be something that could be corrected by the instruction Harmon is providing along with that more compact swing.

Fowler is absolutely right when he talks about his putting. It’s been miserable thus far in 2014. He’s ranked 174th in the “strokes gained putting” category. Very few winners on the PGA Tour are lousy putters. He’s made a name for himself with his colourful clothing, but that’s not what he wants to be known for when he’s 40 years old. Right now, however, those clothes might be the only way golf fans will be able to recognize him because his short haircut gives him a totally different look. It all seems to be coming together for Fowler, and if it does, 2014 could be a spectacular breakout year for him.

There’s more to come from us, subscribe and share, and thanks again for reading!

 

John Daly continues to find creative ways to make the headlines.

A golfer other than ME has made a 12 on a par 4!!! And breathe! The PGA veteran shot a 19-over-par 90 in the second round of the PGA Tour Valspar Championship on Last friday.

Turns out Daly had an adventurous day at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor. Daly carded a bogey or worse on half of the 18 holes he played en route to the worst round of his professional career.

Daly’s first three shots on that hole found the water, and by the time he finally found the bottom of the cup, he had taken an unbelievable 12 shots… Anybody else smiling a little? Seems these pros are human after all. Makes my 9 on a par 3 this week a little more comforting anyway.

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Daly is known for having a great sense of humor, and it didn’t leave his side last Friday as he poked fun at his struggles on the 16th hole. Despite Daly’s erratic play, he continues to get invites to PGA Tour events, why? Largely because of the buzz he generates, but seriously 90? I’ll play on the tour and make sure I’m fun to watch?…Please?

He’s still a big-name golfer, and fans like to watch him since he is such an unpredictable person but come on! He hasn’t won a PGA tournament since taking the Buick Invitational in 2004, and his performance at the Valspar Championship doesn’t inspire confidence that he can break the decade-long drought any time soon.

WGC, Doral and Rory!

Now i’m a big big Mcilroy fan but this got me rattled a little!

Asked what he would take from the week, he replied wryly: “I don’t know. Maybe re-think the schedule next year.”

While he stopped short of saying he would skip the tournament next year, he did suggest it’s not a course he would choose to play if it didn’t host a WGC event.

“I don’t know, that’s a good question” McIlroy said. “Obviously it is so you come. It depends what you want. It has been a tough couple of weeks. (PGA National) isn’t an easy course. It’s a tough stretch. I’m all for having a tough course but it’s nice to make birdies, too. It depends what you want.

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“It’s a frustrating golf course because you feel like you should be doing so much better, and it just doesn’t allow you to. You have to be so precise and just to get the ball close on some of these greens and these pin positions. I don’t know if it’s because you’ve got memories of the course before, like going low, and the way it is now it just doesn’t allow you to do that.”

Now, not jumping the gun a little but isnt that the idea of professional golf, it’s meant to be tough? I agree in the sense that one or two birdies are very welcome, yes, however come on, these are meant to be the best golfers on the planet, they should still have to work for their living!

Anyyyyyway McIlroy will return at the Shell Houston Open in two weeks’ time.