Sunday, September 30, 2007

Presidents Cup Wrap - Team USA wins

Unfortunately due to the difference in the time zones between Canada and Australia I didn't get to watch a whole lot of the presidents cup live, but I did enjoy what I did get to see. As much as it pains me to say it my prediction for the cup was correct. The win will go down as their first away from US soil, but I hardly think that Canada is exactly away soil!

Overview of each day and event of the tournament:

Thursday Foursomes

US Team

International Team



USA wins 3 and 2




USA wins 1 up


USA wins 1 up


USA wins 2 up
Woods/Howell III


USA wins 3 and 1

Friday Four-Ball
US Team

International Team



INT wins 1 up


INT wins 5 and 4
Johnson/Howell III


INT wins 3 and 1


USA wins 2 and 1


INT wins 1 up



Saturday Foursomes
US Team

International Team



USA wins 2 up


USA wins 5 and 4


USA wins 4 and 3


USA wins 2 and 1


USA wins 2 and 1
Cink/Howell III


8:30 am

Saturday Four-Ball
US Team

International Team



USA wins 1 up


Howell III/Glover


INT wins 4 and 2


INT wins 1 up


USA wins 5 and 3


1:30 pm

Sunday Singles
US Team

International Team

Scott Verplank

Rory Sabbatini

USA wins 2 and 1
Lucas Glover

Ernie Els

INT wins 2 up
Phil Mickelson

Vijay Singh

USA wins 5 and 4
Tiger Woods

Mike Weir

INT wins 1 up
Woody Austin

Angel Cabrera

INT wins 2 and 1
Zach Johnson

Adam Scott

INT wins 2 and 1
David Toms

Trevor Immelman

USA wins 2 up
Stewart Cink

Nick O'Hern

USA wins 6 and 4
Steve Stricker

Geoff Ogilvy

INT wins 1 up
Hunter Mahan

K.J. Choi

INT wins 3 and 2
Charles Howell III

Stuart Appleby

USA wins 2 and 1
Jim Furyk

Retief Goosen

INT wins 2 and 1

Final Standings

After the disaster of the first day the Internationals recovered to keep their hopes in the tournament alive. However the Saturday foursomes was where the game was won and by the singles on Sunday the US only needed 3 wins to secure the event. Congratulations to the Americans they were a fantastic team.

Mike Wier certainly wont forget his last day beating Tiger 1Up with a fantastic display of golf.

I think this tournament will continue to grow in popularity and I am really looking forward to 2011 when the tournament comes to Melbourne Australia!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Golf: Presidents Cup Preview

The Presidents Cup Explained
The presidents cup is upon us and the US team will go into the event as favorites. For those that don't follow golf closely or are new to the game the presidents cup is a team golf tournament between the USA and a team made up from every other country (except European countries). The tournament is very similar to the much older Ryder Cup between the USA and Europe. Each team consists of 12 players and the teams play singles and doubles events, which consist of both alternate shot and best ball formats (also called "foursome" and "four ball" matches).

There is no prize money for this tournament and any money the this tournament makes goes to charity.

How they qualify
Members of the U.S. Team are selected based on earnings from the 2005 World Golf Championships until the 2007 PGA Championship.

International Team players for The Presidents Cup 2007 will be chosen on the basis of the Official World Golf Ranking through the 2007 PGA Championship. The International Team does not include players eligible for the European Ryder Cup Team.

These qualifications are used to select 10 players and the captains select the final 2.

This years teams:

United States International
Tiger Woods Flag of South Africa Ernie Els
Jim Furyk Flag of Australia Adam Scott
Phil Mickelson Flag of Fiji Vijay Singh
Zach Johnson Flag of Australia Geoff Ogilvy
Charles Howell III Flag of South Africa Rory Sabbatini
David Toms Flag of South Korea K.J. Choi
Scott Verplank Flag of South Africa Retief Goosen
Steve Stricker Flag of Argentina Ángel Cabrera
Stewart Cink Flag of South Africa Trevor Immelman
Woody Austin Flag of Australia Stuart Appleby
Lucas Glover Flag of Canada Mike Weir
Hunter Mahan Flag of Australia Nick O'Hern

Captain Captain
Jack Nicklaus Gary Player

There is a strong Australia and South African flavor in the International team with some very strong players being named. The surprise packet of this team could be Nick O'Hern who is the only player to have beaten Tiger Woods in matchplay more than once. As expected the US team is very strong and will be very hard to beat. It will be interesting to see how the captains pair the players up for the doubles events.

My thoughts
I think the USA will be too strong for the international team in this years presidents cup. However, there are some fantastic players on both teams and we should see some really great golf!

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Fall Series Explained - what's it all about?

The fall series basically gives a holiday to the worlds top players, but for many on the tour it provides a chance to redeem themselves and make sure they regain their tour card.

In this series of seven events the players are fighting to secure a spot in the top 125 on the money list to regain their card. They can also regain their card with a win at any of the seven events. Otherwise they will have to return to qualifying school or play on the nationwide tour.

The following are the benefits a golfer can gain by playing the fall series (taken from

  • Tournament winners receive a two-year exemption on the PGA TOUR and an invitation to the season-opening, limited field Mercedes-Benz Championship
  • Mercedes-Benz Championship guarantees a head start on the following year's FedExCup points race and minimum prize money of $65,000
  • Potential to finish in the top 30 on the money list, which would earn a spot in the following year's World Golf Championships-CA Championship, Masters and U.S. Open. The British Open invites the top 20.
  • Opportunity to accrue valuable Official World Golf Ranking points and entry into the exclusive World Golf Championships events (the Accenture Match Play
  • Championship invites the top 64 in the world the two weeks previous; the Bridgestone Invitational invites winners of tournaments with world ranking strength of field ratings of 115 points or higher).
  • Coveted spots in the TOUR's invitational events like Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, The Memorial Tournament (both of which are the top 70 on the prior year's money list) and The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial (top 80).
  • Top 125 finishers will earn PGA TOUR cards for the next season, making them eligible for the FedExCup events, including invitationals such as Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, Verizon Heritage, THE PLAYERS, and AT&T National.
  • Head start on qualifying for 2009 Presidents Cup.
  • Players also earn retirement plan credits
Overall the fall series was just a way for the big names to have a shorter season because playing golf every weekend was such a hard thing for them. Sarcasm aside, hopefully the fall series will offer up some great golf and launch the careers of a few unknowns.

I am not particularly excited by it and don't give it much chance, but in this case I hope I am wrong.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Turning Stone Resort Championship

The first event of the fall series has come to a close and while none of the really big names are playing there is still a lot at stake in these seven events. Players will be hoping for a top 125 money list finish as this will mean that they retain their tour card.

Forty-year-old lefty Steve Flesch started the day with a four shot lead and needed most of it as he shot a final round 73 to beat fellow American Michael Allen by two strokes and claim his second tour victory in two months.

Flesch bogeyed the first two holes on Sunday but steadied and earned $US1.08 million for his win to boost his earnings for 2007 to $US2.2 million, catapulting him from 70th on the money list into the top 30.

Golf News - British Masters

English golfer Lee Westwood has won the British Masters by five strokes, finishing with a 7-under-par 65 after making two amazing putts on the last three holes.

Westwood sank a 40-foot putt for birdie on the 16th hole and a 30-footer for eagle at the 17th for his second victory of the season. He becomes only the seventh player to reach 10 million pounds prize money on the European Tour.


1 Lee Westwood ENG -15 273 68 70 70 65 F
2 Ian Poulter ENG -10 278 67 71 70 70 F
3 Mark Foster ENG -9 279 71 66 69 73 F
4 Michael Campbell NZL -7 281 73 69 69 70 F
4 Niclas Fasth SWE -7 281 75 66 67 73 F
4 Miguel Angel Jimenez ESP -7 281 71 69 70 71 F
4 Soren Kjeldsen DEN -7 281 66 72 74 69 F
4 Fredrik Andersson Hed SWE -7 281 67 73 68 73 F
4 Sam Walker ENG -7 281 71 67 75 68 F
4 Zane Scotland ENG -7 281 69 73 70 69 F
11 Nick Dougherty ENG -6 282 72 68 75 67 F
11 Benn Barham ENG -6 282 70 75 67 70 F
11 Francesco Molinari ITA -6 282 68 72 69 73 F

Friday, September 21, 2007

Golf - anti doping / drugs policy

Well it has finally happened the many golfing organisations have agreed on an anti doping or performance enhancing drugs policy, well in principle anyway.

The first phase of the policy will encompass the actual development of the prohibited substances list and subsidiary policies.

The second phase will see the creation of the general standards for the anti doping program.

The anti-doping office of the world golf association will open in 2008. They will control the part of the policy which still allows for players to use controlled substances for medical and therapeutic reasons. They will also hand out penalties for breaching the new code.

There has also been a large emphasis placed on educating the players.

The major golfing organisations that have agreed to the policy include:

  • Augusta National Golf Club
  • European Tour
  • Ladies Professional Golf Association
  • PGA of America
  • The R&A for The Open Championship
  • United States Golf Association for the U.S. Open, the U.S. Women's Open and the U.S. Senior Open
  • Asian Tour
  • Australasian Tour
  • Canadian Tour
  • Japan Professional Golf Tour
  • Sunshine Tour
  • Tour de Las Americas
Overall I think this is long overdue and I think that this can only be good for the game. I doubt that many golfers are using drugs, but this will make sure the sport is relatively clean.
Tell me what you think by leaving a comment (open to everyone)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

PGA to start drug testing - Breaking Golf News

In breaking golf news today it is expected that the PGA will announce performance enhancing drug testing to possibly start in 2008. While no official word has been received the rumour mills are running hot with countless stories on the television and Internet.

The PGA has held out testing their players for performance enhancing drugs, but looks to be bowing to the increasing pressure to come up with a solid drug policy.

Stay tuned for more information!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Golf begins to change: My thoughts on the FedEx Cup

Firstly I must say that I enjoyed the fact that the golf heavyweights have tried something new. Golf is a game of deep tradition and making changes in no easy feat, but were these changes good for the game?

I have read many articles and opinions on the FedEx Cup and at the moment I must say that the general feelings are leaning towards the negative side. The negative argument focuses on a few key problems that people had with the format

  • Players pulling out - people hate it when big players pull out of tournaments for obvious reasons. There is also the conspiracy theories that say that the players were asked to pull out so that the FedEx Cup stayed alive until the last tournament.
  • Not everyone can win it (realistically) - Some people are complaining that it isn't a true playoff unless everyone has the chance to win it. Maybe the PGA should have called it something other than a playoff to curb this? I personally think it is only fair that the better players throughout the season have a greater chance of winning because they deserve it. However, maybe they could make the points gap slightly less to have more players with a realistic chance of winning.
  • They interfered with tradition - Replacing, demoting or changing the Western Open and the Texas Open has not gone down well with traditionalists. Hell the Western Open is the 3rd oldest golf tournament in the world - some people are not happy!
  • The event was geared for Tiger to win it - One opinion I don't agree with, but some people are saying they picked all his favourite courses and they wanted him to win. I think that a having a close run think would have been better for golf and that I am sure they would have preferred the cup to come down to the last hole.
Along with these arguments many people are saying it wasn't close enough, it was boring, I couldn't get into it and the system was too confusing (this is backed up by my results - over 500 people have viewed my FedEx Cup Explained article!)

Maybe the real question should be was it the wrong era to introduce this tournament? Is golf becoming like mens tennis, which is boring and predictable because the same man wins it every time? The FedEx Cuop might fail simply because one of (if not) the greatest golfer is at his peak and the competition is not close enough to make it interesting. In the end Tiger deserved to win, but maybe we just wanted to see a close game.

Feel free to leave your comments on this issue. I will try to respond to everyone.
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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Golf News: Tiger Woods wins the inaugural FedEx Cup

Earlier today Tiger Woods became the first winner of the FedEx Cup with a personal best 23 under par tournament at the Tour Championship. He was at his absolute best during the event beating Zach Johnson Mark Calcavecchia by a massive 8 strokes. This was Tigers 61st win on the tour and needs only one more win to catch the great Arnold Palmer. Tiger adds the 10 million from the FedEx Cup to his retirement fund and takes home another 1.2 million just for winning the tournament. The dominant win means that questions about just how good Tiger Woods is will continued to be asked and the answer just might be...the greatest ever!
Leaderboard - Top 10 The Tour Championship

1 Tiger Woods USA -23 257 64 63 64 66
2 Mark Calcavecchia USA -15 265 65 66 63 71
2 Zach Johnson USA -15 265 71 66 60 68
4 Sergio Garcia ESP -14 266 68 64 64 70
5 Scott Verplank USA -11 269 66 68 67 68
5 Hunter Mahan USA -11 269 65 68 65 71
7 Vijay Singh FIJ -10 270 68 68 65 69
7 Tim Clark SAF -10 270 62 69 70 69
9 Rory Sabbatini SAF -9 271 68 68 67 68
9 Camilo Villegas COL -9 271 67 68 70 66

The final standings in the FedEx Cup threw up little change. Unfortunately for golf fans the title didn't come down to a close finish, which would have probably secured the FedEx Cup's place for years to come. However, I am sure there will be some serious debate over whether the cup should continue to be part of the Tour. I must say congratulations to Steve Stricker who finished second in the FedEx Cup points standings and will add 3 million to his retirement fund!

Stay tuned this week for my thoughts on the FedEx Cup

Friday, September 14, 2007

FedEx Cup - Can anyone stop Tiger?

The Tour Championship
Today Tiger moved one step closer to winning the inaugural FedEx Cup as he had one of the best front nines we have ever seen in a major tournament. Starting at the fourth hole he reeled off 5 birdies in a row and then shot an eagle at the 9th going out with a 28! The gloss came off slightly with 2 bogeys on the back nine, but still holds a 3 shot lead over Woody Austin. Woods now moves into prime position for the FedEx Cup and his closest challengers to the title seem to be too far away to stop him now. In the end Tiger would be a worthy winner after a fantastic regular season. It's just a shame it probably won't go down to the wire.

Leader board after 2nd round: (Players theoretically still in the running for the cup in bold)

1 Tiger Woods USA -13 127 64 63 F
2 Woody Austin USA -10 130 65 65 F
3 Mark Calcavecchia USA -9 131 65 66 F
3 Adam Scott AUS -9 131 65 66 F
3 Tim Clark SAF -9 131 62 69 F
6 Sergio Garcia ESP -8 132 68 64 F
6 K.J. Choi KOR -8 132 67 65 F
8 Stewart Cink USA -7 133 67 66 F
8 Padraig Harrington IRL -7 133 63 70 F
8 John Rollins USA -7 133 64 69 F
8 Hunter Mahan USA -7 133 65 68 F
12 Phil Mickelson USA -6 134 68 66 F
12 Scott Verplank USA -6 134 66 68 F
14 Heath Slocum USA -5 135 71 64 F
14 Camilo Villegas COL -5 135 67 68 F
16 Rory Sabbatini SAF -4 136 68 68 F
16 Vijay Singh FIJ -4 136 68 68 F
16 Steve Stricker USA -4 136 69 67 F
19 Zach Johnson USA -3 137 71 66 F
19 Brett Wetterich USA -3 137 68 69 F
19 Boo Weekley USA -3 137 70 67 F
22 Ernie Els SAF -2 138 69 69 F
22 Geoff Ogilvy AUS -2 138 68 70 F
24 Robert Allenby AUS -1 139 68 71 F
24 Aaron Baddeley AUS -1 139 69 70 F
24 Charles Howell III USA -1 139 68 71 F
27 Jim Furyk USA 0 140 71 69 F
27 Justin Rose ENG 0 140 69 71 F
29 Jonathan Byrd USA 1 141 71 70 F
30 Brandt Snedeker USA 3 143 71 72 F