Archive for August, 2008

Not sure about that one…

The LPGA Tour is introducing a language policy starting in 2009 stating that players must speak English in order to play on the tour. Apart from what is being written about Annika Sorenstam’s farewell tour this could be the most press the LPGA Tour gets this year. I am not sure this is the kind of publicity they were after though. Comments in various media about the policy include describing it as a double bogey and the organisation is accused for choosing a not very clever route; “The LPGA No Habla Intelligente”. The latter one has a really interesting take on the ‘problem’. I guess you can understand that an American organisation that focuses on attracting sponsorship from an American market wants their players to be able to communicate with their potential customers. At the same time it is easy to see that this kind of thinking is most probably a bit narrow minded. The biggest growth in golf and particularly in women’s golf in the future is quite likely not going to be in the United States, but in various parts of Asia. So maybe a better policy would have been to try and get the American players to speak some other languages as well?

It is, as always, a busy weekend in the World of Golf. In the amateur game the ‘two sides’ in Europe met Friday-Saturday, Great Britain and Ireland vs the rest of Europe in both boys’ and men’s golf. In the St Andrews Trophy GB&I came out victorious, 13.5-10.5, and the GB&I boys in the Jacques Leglise Trophy proved to be just as strong and beat their opponents 14-10 after a very strong second day.

As the EGU Order of Meritis approaching its finish for the season, the Lee Westwood Trophy was played at Rotherham Golf Club. Gary Wolstenholme won one shot ahead of Sam Haywood, on fire with a last round 63 which took him to second place.

Top 5 in the Lee Westwood Trophy;

1  Gary Wolstenholme Carus Green 68 66 65 68 267
2  Sam Haywood Rotherham 69 69 67 63 268
3  Jack Senior Heysham 70 70 70 64 274
4  Matthew Swales Cumberwell Park 71 71 65 68 275
5  Nick McCarthy Moortown 68 73 67 69 277

Lastly, there are interesting things going on on both sides of the Atlantic as the Ryder Cup selection reaches crunch time. On the European Tour the attention this week goes to Gleneagles while the PGA Tour continues its FedEx Cup with a visit to the TPC of Boston and the Deutsche Bank Championships. This tournament finishes on the Monday which I once found out the hard way when I visited the tournament. I had my return ticket booked for the Sunday night not thinking about the Monday Bank Holiday!

 

 

 

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Heading for the tour!

Another player from last year’s England Elite squad that has really started to make a name for himself is Seve Benson. With one win already under his belt on this year’s Challenge Tour Seve just carded another one by winning in the Czech Republic this weekend. It took him three extra holes to secure the victory and with that Seve is now on top of the Challenge Tour rankings. Read the European Tour article here: htp://www.europeantour.com/default.sps?pageid=127&pagegid=%7BAEFB93B0%2DEFF5%2D4C05%2DAB0F%2DFD08D947D944%7D&infosid=3&eventid=2008760&reportid=63763

The European Individual Amateur Championships in Denmark saw a German winner with Luke Goddard as the top English finisher, in third place. Results can be found here.

Another 5 out of 9!

The R&A have picked their team to represent the GB&I against the rest of Europe and just as in the men’s equivalent, the St Andrews Trophy, the Jacques Leglise Trophy team has 5 English players in the team of 9 players.

Great Britain and Ireland Team (English in bold)

Michael Stewart, 18 (Troon Welbeck, Captain)
Alan Dunbar, 18 (Rathmore)
Ben Enoch, 18 (Truro)
Tommy Fleetwood, 17 (Formby Hall)
Stiggy Hodgson, 18 (Sunningdale)
Gary King, 18 (Tyrrells Wood)
Luke Lennox, 18 (Moyola Park)
Tom Lewis, 17 (Welwyn Garden City)
Eddie Pepperell, 17 (Drayton Park)

The full article can be found on the R&A website.

This week is a big qualifying week for next year’s Open Championship. Well, maybe not quite but perhaps that is the most prestigious price that the winner of the European Individual Amateur Championships get. Not that it is a bad thing to be allowed to call yourself the European Champion for a year but a start in the Open is probably what these players would go the extra mile for. Live scoring is available on the following link:

http://www.golfbox.dk/livescoring/leaderboard.asp?tour={BC83AF6A-B15D-43D7-B187-F43F355A9254}

How about that for a weekend…

This weekend must have been a true record breaking weekend. I wonder what it is like to know that you are the fastest man on the earth. 9.69 won Usain Bolt the Gold Medal in Beijing and it seemed like he didn’t even run all the way. Incredible!

In golf what happened over the weekend must have been some sort of a record too. There were Swedish winners on the PGA Tour (Carl Pettersson), the European Tour (Peter Hanson), the Ladies European Tour (Lotta Wahlin) and the Challenge Tour (Klas Eriksson). It kind of makes you wonder what happened on the LPGA Tour…

Chris Wood finished in a tie for 18th in his European Tour debut and with that he was one of 7 English players in the top 20. Full results from the SAS Masters here.

Breath of fresh air

What a breath of fresh air that was! Some bags were bigger then their players, some caddies (who all had to be under 18 years of age) looked like 25 year olds with a beard and most were somehwere in between. The Reid Trophy at Coxmoor Golf Club was a refreshing experience in that it helped me remember how simple golf should be. At 12, 13 or maybe 14 most players have not yet learned the habits of mirroring their favourite player on tour and spending way too much time to prepare for the shot at hand. This was see it, grip it and rip it and I hope we will never take that away from them. But I am sure that once these players get some proper coaching and they get to know what they should be doing in a pre shot routine they will start figuring out how difficult it is… No, let us allow the players of tomorrow to play the game in the simple way it was designed to be played!

What’s on…

As the new week progresses the European Tour has come to a halt in Sweden. Arlandastad Golf is hosting the Scandinavian Masters and it is time for Chris Wood to make his debut as a professional. He is joined by quite an impressive array of ex England Internationals who soon after making the move into professional golf are producing some quite impressive results. Robert Dinwiddie, Oliver Fisher, Ross McGowan, Jamie Moul (who got the nod following his excellent performance in the Russian Open) and Paul Waring are all teeing it up in Stockholm.

In England some of the future Internationals are competing in the Reid Trophy at Coxmoor Golf Club. I shall be interested to see some of these young players even though I am not so sure how much of an indicator success at under 14 level is for future performances.

Besides all this the Boys Amateur Championship is already underway at Little Aston Golf Club. This action can be followed here.

Another National Title!

That is not a bad thing to be able to say when wrapping the weekend golf up on a Sunday night. The first time Chris Paisley pulled on an England jersey he went to the Czech Republic for the Czech Amateur Championship. And I think I can say he continued his good form from the English Amateur and other tournaments this summer. Chris won in style shooting 12 under par which secured him the title, 5 shots ahead of the nearest competitor. For a full list of results click here.

In the Finnish Amateur Luke Goddard lead the English challenge and finished 2nd in the end, five shots behind the winning Kalle Samooja from the host country. See the full results here.

When I write this the PGA Championship is nowehere near finished. A lot of golf to be played and a lot of nerve to come into play on the difficult course. The Open Champion, Padraig Harrington, is not far off though and another past Open Champion, Ben Curtis, seems to have found some of his old Open form again. Follow the action here.

One tournament that is over for this year though is the very important RGS Championships. That is the one where my old schoolfriends battle it out once and for all. This year a very surprised Nicholas won!


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