Rory McIlroy

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!

Pinehurst No.2, 114th US Open

Let’s get straight to it, the second of the majors gets underway this week with the 114th US Open, at Pinehurst No.2. Woooooooooooooooo!

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Did you know… ( I didn’t either)

Twelve of the 14 US Open winners this century have been aged between 26 and 37 – only Woods and McIlroy have won at an age younger than 26 and in the case of those two world class stars such players are always likely to buck trends. Reducing the age range of the last 14 winners further, exactly 50% of them have been aged between 29 and 33.

So what does it take to win the US Open?

Well, in 2010, Pinehurst underwent a massive renovation that completely changed the way it plays. The course cut 35-40 acres of area that was just fairways and rough.

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‘The course now consists of 50 acres of turf, all maintained at fairway mowing heights, essentially eliminating the higher rough. The rest of the marginal areas were transformed into irregular, sandy ground dotted with wispy, unpredictable wiregrass. Bunkers that had been grown over also were reclaimed, while some existing ones were tugged and extended into lines of play.’

So yes, now it has been cut back it does allow the longer hitters to have a little more room when they hit bombs but I think Pinehurst will still have enough bite to punish those wayward drives to make some think twice for their risk and reward.

However for me I still think it’s going to come down to strong approach play, tight recovery shots and a magical touch around the greens that will Unlock Pinehurst No.2 come weekend.

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Although Rors and the inform (never really out of form) Adam Scott are favourites I honestly think it’s somebody else’s day… Not Jason’s either (apologies for the pun!)

To me this favours players like Jim Furyk, Graeme McDowell and Zach Johnson. They aren’t the most intimidating off the tee, but they understand that putting the ball where it needs to be is more important come Sunday!

Other favourites for me are Matt Kuchar, steady eddy, a few hiccups here and there so far in 2014 but Matt’s always there, scrambles well too which will be key at Pinehurst!

Another one for me is Jason Duffner, another easy going guy, but hey what do I know, let’s wait and see, bring on Pinehurst!

Who’s your pick to win the US Open? Who will rule the weekend at North Carolina?

 

A ‘Fifth’ Major, The Players Championship

So today the ‘fifth’ major gets underway at TPC Sawgrass, theres many to watch and its one of my favs to watch too! The Players is part of history, whether you believe in the fifth major or not, its a great event and definitley not something to miss.

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Theres loads with a shout, JB Holmes off the back of his win last week, Adam Scott will be wanting a good finish, a top 16 will also see Scotty return to the world number one spot. Garcia, Dustin Johnson, the list is endless, I really can’t pick a winner!

If i had to have a guess i’d go wth Fowler as an e/w bet, hes finding form with Butch in his corner, his swing is looking good, and I think this year he will produce something special, will it be the players? I’m not too sure. Jim Furyk finished well last week and finding some form, when he’s on it he really is tough to beat, long off the tee and deadly accurate when he wants to be, one to watch for sure!

Something a little different here’s a few players who have never won at the Players… Yeah yeah, theres a lot of players who havent done that, but packing a top field you would have thought one of these guys would have lifted the unofficial fifth major!

One. Jim Furyk. This week could change all this, a fourth and fifth finish here, he’s done better than a few others and in his current form could break the duck!

Jim Furyk,  Dustin Johnson

Two. Justin Rose. JR has missed the cut here five times over the years, clealry he struggles here but why? Clearly this isnt his english cup of tea! Come on Rosey!

Three. Bubba Watson.  Bubba, Bubba Buba Bubba. Bubba long may struggle me thinks.

Four. Rory McIlroy. Like Rose, This isnt Rorys favourite either, missing the cut in his first three attempts! Like Bubba and other big hitters Rory may struggle, can he hone in those long drives to cope with the doglegs and tight lies?

Five. Lee Westwood. A great ball striker works well pretty much anywhere and Lee has that, thats for sure. He’s struggled in America before now, but now he’s moved over maybe he’s settles on US soil? the unoffical major still counts as a major right Lee?

Luke Donald

Six. Luke Donald. Luuuuuuuuuke! Easy to forget poor Lukey boy was World No.1 not so long ago, a 2nd place finish here nearly 10 years ago on his way up the rankings and fourth and sixth finishes as well, you would think this course suites his game.

Who’s your bet for the players? Maybe one of the above?

Sports Science- Rory Mcilroy

Now technology is now at the forefront of golf, from drivers and irons to clothing which helps you swing better. Nike have created some pretty cool campaigns of late advertising their new line of equipment, from old to new, it’s funny, creative and eye catching.

This is a good insight from ESPN on the Sport science on putting! Check it out!

The old saying ‘it’s like putting on glass just won’t be the same again will it, no excuses now!’ damn it!

Source: ESPN Sport Science

Jordan the 2nd

Where to start with this one…

America has already seen one of the best Jordan’s to grace the sporting world, so is it time for one more?

He might not be an NBA legend like Michael, however Jordan Spieth, who last year won the John Deere Classic to became the fourth youngest PGA Tour champion and also the first teenager in 82 years to win on the PGA Tour, is about to set the golfing world on fire!

Everybody watched Sunday right?

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Composed (most of the time), creative, mature (again at times) and with that instinct you just don’t see in every young kid? Yep and he’s only 20 years old! I am slightly envious being 2 years older than him and still hacking at my local club yes!

Now before we get started I hate to say I told you so.. however..I told you so, see our first blog on ones to watch for the year.

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Without a doubt Sunday was the start of something, something just a little bit special! I’m sure he won many fans over last week, and it’s not hard to see why!

He poses an excellent short game, and is just an incredibly talented young guy, however this isn’t what separates Spieth from the other young potential pool of talents out there. Spieth conducts himself in a completely different manner to the other youngsters out there, he’s calm, collected and could be… ‘could be’ mentioned in the same breath as Mcilroy. Not yet I admit, but he isn’t too far away!

The Masters - Final Round

For me, Rory McIlroy represents the RAW talent in the game, so many youngsters progress to be a pro and so many fall short.

Rory for me, is the only player since Tiger to have capitalised on their raw talent, with two major wins in 2012. Rory knew he had this, he just had to unlock his true potential. Dustin Johnson is up there and has improved year upon year, and Jason Day too!

Oppositely you look towards Adam Scott, he has in my opinion the best swing in the game, and was labelled the next ‘Tiger’ and yet it took him an age to realise just how good he was, since winning the green jacket last year he just looks ruthless!

But Spieth? He’s here to stay, in my eyes a definite future major champion, this year or next? Maybe, maybe not he, consistency is key in my eyes, once he gets on that ladder he will definitely be up there for good!

Now Rory and Tiger showed promised potential, Jordan’s obviously got a long ladder to climb before being in the same ball park as Tiger or Rory but this could definitely become possible!

 

A sneak peak into Rory Mcilroys workout…

I touched on this the other day in the tiger woods blog (see here) a golfers fitness and how athletic the golf game is becoming…

I touched on how the core strength of a golfer is the most important, whether you use the gym regularly or not at all, having a strong core helps with posture, and swing consistency. Justin Rose is the master of this, and his swings not bad either.

“I am driving it further,” he told the Belfast Telegraph last month in Abu Dhabi. “It’s a combination of the golf ball, the driver, and just getting stronger from all the work I’m doing in the gym.”

Rory Mcilroy took to the internet to give us a cheeky snap at his workout, take a look at it below.

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.