Monday, 14 September 2009

Walker Cup kicking

A severe arse-kicking was handed out to GB&I in Merion Pennsylvania in the 2009 Walker Cup.

We lost all four sessions and got stuffed by seven points. I have to say the whole event was pretty well nigh invisible - I think it crept into the Sky golf coverage somewhere, but really didn't get the respect that it should be given. It's a perfect bit of BBC content. I remember watching Rory McIlroy play the last time, and I followed it avidly. But this time it got shunted into the back end of beyond on the schedules. OK, so it was in the US so that might have had a bearing on scheduling. But it should be a great showcase for all the young talent we have coming through - even though this lot of young talent was on the wrong end of a good beating.

There's also issues around our younger golfers turning pro so early. Chris Wood, Shane Lowry and Callum McCaulay were all lost to the competition in the run-up by turning pro. But with Chris Woods' recent performances, not least of which was his fifth in this year's Open, and that on the heels of his great performance as an Amateur at Royal Birkdale, who can blame him.

May Show Me The Golf should bid for the rights next time!


Monday, 7 September 2009

Ryo Ishikawa at it again

Another young blood as has been winning again. Ryo Ishikawa has claimed his fifth Japan Tour title with a victory at the Fujisankei Classic. And he ran away with it with a five shot lead.

I've been doing some online digging around about the new boy wonder, and have come up with a couple of interesting snippets:

He's so polite that his nickname is Hanikami Ohji , which means "Bashful Prince" in Japanese.

He started playing the age of 7, with his dad as his teacher.

His ambition is to become the youngest ever Masters champion . Ryo will be 17 years, six months and 24 days when he hits his first drive at Augusta. So he's plenty of time to put one over Tiger.

He's just opened his own private practice range. There will be four greens seeded with the same strain of bent grass found at Augusta, and the sand was chosen because it is similar as well.

He's sponsored by Yonex - driver, fairway wood and irons. Titleist wedges, Odyssey White Hot No 5.

We that kind of ambition and attention to detail, I think the Show Me The Golf fiver for the next couple of Masters might have to invested in his direction. And now. Will have to look what you can get

s widely regarded as the player who will revive interest in the Japan Tour, and he commands Tiger-like attention at home.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

The Omega

An eventful moving day in Crans, Switzerland. Bradley Dredge is three behind in third place after a 68. I'm looking forward to following across the course of this year, because if anyone wants to play Ryder Cup it's him. He won here in 2006, so the course must suit his eye.

Chris Wood was a big mover as well, charging from 30th to 6th place thanks to a 65. I saw him at Royal Birkdale last year as an amateur, and at The European this year as a fully blooded pro. That's not to forget his good work at Turnberry, which saw him finish joint third with Westwood. You've got to think that with Wood with have another potential Major winner. It's not going to be all McIlroy that's for sure.

Sadly day 2 leader Thomas Aiken from South Africa didn't fare so well. Couple of nightmare 7's for a 75. Nice fellow. He's sponsored by Puma and we played a couple of holes with him earlier this year at The Puma Open at The London Club.

I'm off out to play before settling in to watch the climax this afternoon. I've got to get ready for Show Me The Golf's up and coming Berk Central tournament. Not that's a prestige event.


Thursday, 3 September 2009

Race for The Ryder Cup

And so, at last, it begins. The race for the Ryder Cup is off and running. But by the look of things, other priorities are on the minds of Westwood and McIlroy. Westwood is desparate to become the European No 1 again, so needs to get back to winning ways. Hard as it is to believe, it is almost two years since he actually won outright.

McIlroy has some real motivation to win as well at Crans Montana, where the Omega European Masters kicks off today. He's third on the European Tour money list, and victory would take him above Martin Kaymer, who's out of action after a g-carting accident. Berk! He'd also be ahead of Paul Casey, who is at last back in action after his rib injury.

So it's all warming up nicely. And the count-down to the Ryder Cup has begun in earnest.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Jack for The Masters

Jack, sorry Mr Nicholas to me, will be appearing at next year's Masters as an honorary starter alongside Arnold Palmer. Jack last played at The Masters in 2005, and had his last Open at St Andrews. I was there for his amazing farewell on the 18th. Well, in truth I was in the pub next door, having my first ever Magners Cider. So it was a doubly memorable moment.

Anyway Jack in now the 8th Honorary starter in the history of the Masters - a traditional that was started back in 1963, when he played his first Masters. I like the symmetry there.