Rory McIlory Launches 3-Wood

Golf is supposed to be fun but even for the #1 player in the world it sometimes is frustrating enough to launch a club in a fury.  At the European Tour’s BMW McIlory launched his 3-wood, literally, after hitting a poor shot with it.

Fortunately this time his club did not end up in a lake like it did at Trump Doral a few weeks ago when he was last seen throwing a club.

The European Tour has specific rules regarding this type of conduct. It will be interesting to see if McIlory is fined. If so, he should be able to afford it.

Weekend Preview

Jesper_ParnevikPGA OF AMERICA
Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid
Dates: May 21-24
Venue: French Lick Resort (Pete Dye Course), French Lick, Ind.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 1-4 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)
Friday 1-4 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m. -2 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday 2:30-3:30 p.m. (Live)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Live)
Sunday 3:30-6 p.m. (Live)

Strange week this week on the Champions Tour. This week marks the second week in a row the 50-and-over crowd is playing a major championship. Yes, two majors in two weeks. To add to the oddness the senior circuit also boasts five major championships for 2015, similar to what the LPGA Tour changed to a few years ago.

This week’s defending champion is Colin Montgomerie who beat Tom Watson by four shots last year for his first victory of any kind on the Champions Tour.

Headlining the Field: Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo, John Cook, Jay Haas, Tom Lehman, Lee Janzen, Rocco Mediate, Jesper Parnevik, Kirk Triplett and Ian Woosnam.

rorymciloryEUROPEAN TOUR
BMW PGA Championship
Dates: May 21-24
Venue: Wentworth Club (West Course), Surrey, United Kingdom

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 5 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live)
Friday 5 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live)
Saturday 7:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. (Live) / 3-6 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live) / 3:30-6 p.m. (Replay)

The top to players in the world are in action in two different tournaments this week. First, world #1 Rory McIlory is defending his title at the European Tour’s BMW Championship. Further, McIlory looks to win his 3rd tournament in four weeks. Arguably, McIlory is the hottest player in the world right now.

Headlining the field: Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Brooks Koepka, Ernie Els, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald, Stephen Gallacher and Jamie Donaldson.

adam_scottPGA TOUR
Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
Dates: May 21-24
Venue: Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 4-7 p.m. (Live) / 8-11 p.m. (Replay)
Friday 4-7 p.m. (Live) / 8-11 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday 1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 7-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday 1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 7-11:30 p.m. (Replay)

The other in the top two players in the world is in action on the PGA Tour this week at Colonia Country Club. World #2 Jordan Spieth is in the field at the Crown Plaza Invitational in his home state.

Adam Scott is this week’s defending champion. Scott needed three playoff holes to defeat Jason Dufner last year and card his 11th Tour win.

Headlining the field: Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Jimmy Walker, Patrick Reed, Ian Poulter, Kevin Kisner, Patrick Rodgers, Daniel Berger, Steve Stricker, Corey Pavin and Kenny Perry.

NCAA
NCAA Women’s Golf Championships
Dates: May 25-27
Venue: Concession Golf Club, Bradenton, Fla.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Monday, May 25 Final Round, Individual Stroke Play 4-7 p.m. (Live)
Tuesday, May 26 Quarterfinals, Match Play 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)
Tuesday, May 26 Semifinals, Match Play 3:30-7 p.m. (Live)
Wednesday, May 27 Finals, Match Play 3-7 p.m. (Live)

Golf Playing Partners

Golf is so much more than a score written on a score card.  It is more than a number.  Fresh air, green grass, the challenge sunshine… all great parts of the game.  One of the most important aspects in the enjoyment of golf is the camaraderie and competition one has with his/her playing partners.  Playing with the right partners can make a huge difference in one’s enjoyment level.

Wrong Partners

How many times have we had not-so-enjoyable rounds when stuck with the person who plays way too slow?  How about the player who has bad golf etiquette or manners?  How about the ever-irritating player who is talking on his cell phone when he should be hitting his shot?  How about the guy who thinks his double bogey putt is the last putt on the 72nd hole to win the U.S. Open, and he takes 25 minutes reading it from every imaginable angle while the group behind is calling the course marshal?   Then there’s the one guy in the group who is a 30 handicap when the rest are single digits.  That’s tough for both sides.

Right Partners

Choosing the right partners who share the same interests, have the same general playing ability level, and have the same pace of play can make a good round great.  Great camaraderie and enjoyable playing partners help make the round even more enjoyable.

Great playing partners can last for years, decades even.

It’s not all about scores.  Enjoy the walk with like-minded and like-skilled friends.

Weekend Wrap

mciloryacePGA TOUR
Wells Fargo Championship
Dates: May 14-17
Venue: Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, N.C.

Following the Masters win by Jordan Spieth, and Spieth’s moving up to #2 in the world rankings, many thought perhaps he should have been ranked the #1 player in the world over Rory McIlory. It would seem that over the last three weeks McIlory has sent a message and reminder to those who questioned his #1 ranking.

A big message.

This week at Quail Hollow Rory McIlory shattered records. His massive driving distance kept him within a 9-iron or less on most of the par-4 holes, despite the course clocking in at a massive 7,500 yards. On Saturday McIlory set a new Qual Hollow course record with a 61, and was eyeballing the elusive 59.

When the final putt was holed on Sunday McIlory had not only broken a course record, but broke the low scoring record for the event at -21. The nearest competitor to McIlory was seven shots back. SEVEN.

Two weeks ago McIlory won the WGC Cadillac Championship.

That’s domination. That’s the #1 golfer in the world. There is no doubt.

CHAMPIONS TOUR
Regions Tradition
Dates: May 14-17
Venue: Shoal Creek Golf Club, Shoal Creek, Ala.

Jeff Maggert now has a major championship on the 50-and-over tour after beating Kevin Sutherland in a playoff. Both players finished regulation on 14-under. During the playoff Maggert made par to Sutherland’s bogey on the first hole to claim the title.

This victory marks the second on the Champions Tour for Maggert, the first being his win at the 2014 Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic.

 

EUROPEAN TOUR
Open de España
Dates: May 14-17
Venue: Real Club de Golf El Prat, Terrassa, Spain

James Morrison came into the final round of the Open de Espana tied for the lead with Davit Howell.

In windy conditions Morrison’s 69 left the field in the dust, giving the Englishman his 2nd career European Tour victory, this time by four strokes.

LPGA TOUR
Kingsmill Championship
Dates: May 14-17
Venue: Kingsmill Resort (River Course), Williamsburg, Va.

Play has been suspended due to darkness in the Kingsmill Championship.

The tournament will be finished Monday the 18th of May.

Weekend Preview

Jesper_ParnevikCHAMPIONS TOUR
Regions Tradition
Dates: May 14-17
Venue: Shoal Creek Golf Club, Shoal Creek, Ala.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 12:30-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 3:30-5:30 a.m. (Friday replay)
Friday 12:30-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 3:30-5:30 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday 3-5 p.m. (Live) / 3:30-5:30 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday 3-5 p.m. (Live) / 2:30-4:30 a.m. (Monday replay)

The Regions Tradition is the first major championship for the 50-and-over tour. And the tour has adopted the five-major season, just like the LPGA did a few years ago.

If that wasn’t odd enough, the Senior PGA Championship is the following week. Two majors in two weeks.

Kenny Perry is the defending champion having finished a stroke ahead of Mark Calcavecchia in the 2014 event.

Headlining the Field: Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Tom Watson, Kenny Perry, Jesper Parnevik, Mark O’Meara, Ian Woosnam, John Cook, Tom Lehman, Fred Funk and Joe Durant.

J.B. HolmesPGA TOUR
Wells Fargo Championship
Dates: May 14-17
Venue: Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, N.C.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 3-7 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. (Replay)
Friday 3-7 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday 1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday 1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)

In the 2014 Wells Fargo Championship J.B. Holmes edged out Jim Furyk by one stroke, securing the big-hitter’s third victory on the PGA Tour.

Viewing this weekend should be fun with world #1 Rory McIlory teeing it up as well as crowd favorites Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott.

Headlining the field: Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Patrick Reed, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, J.B. Holmes, Hideki Matsuyama, Bill Haas and Webb Simpson.

miguelangeljimenezEUROPEAN TOUR
Open de España
Dates: May 14-17
Venue: Real Club de Golf El Prat, Terrassa, Spain

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 5:30-7:30 a.m. / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)
Friday 5:30-7:30 a.m. / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)
Saturday 7:30-11:30 a.m. (Live)
Sunday 7-11:30 a.m. (Live)

Golf’s most interesting man in the world is the defending champion this week at the Open de Espana. Last year he beat Richard Green and Thomas Pieters in a one hole playoff. The win was his 21st on the European Tour.

Headlining the field: Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Tommy Fleetwood, Alexander Levy, Matteo Manassero, Francesco Molinari, Andy Sullivan and Peter Uihlein.

lydiakoLPGA TOUR
Kingsmill Championship
Dates: May 14-17
Venue: Kingsmill Resort (River Course), Williamsburg, Va.

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 9-11 p.m. (Tape delay) / 4:30-6:30 p.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Friday 9-11 p.m. (Tape delay) / 4:30-6:30 p.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Saturday 5-7 p.m. (Live)
Sunday 5-7 p.m. (Live)

Lizette Salas is the defending champion. Salas won last years event by four strokes. The victory was her first on the LPGA Tour.

Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Hyo-Joo Kim, Brittany Lincicome, So Yeon Ryu, Cristie Kerr, Suzann Pettersen, Michelle Wie, Lexi Thompson and Brooke Henderson and Charley Hull.

WEB.COM TOUR
BMW Charity Pro-Am
Dates: May 14-17
Venue: Thornblade Club, Greer, S.C.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 7-9 p.m. (Tape delay)
Friday 7-9 p.m. (Tape delay)
Saturday 7-9 p.m. (Tape delay)
Sunday 7-9 p.m. (Tape delay) / 5-7 a.m. (Monday replay)

Headlining the field: Smylie Kaufman, Bronson Burgoon, Oliver Goss, Ben Curtis, Nick Flanagan, Tommy Gainey, Matthew Goggin, Kelly Kraft, Cameron Wilson and Trey Mullinax.

Tip: Practice Real Lies

deeproughThe practice routines of most amateur golfers will result in almost no benefit and no improvement of their scores or shots.  Those routines typically consist of loosening up, then hitting a full bucket of drivers.  While hitting big long drives is a fun part of the game, driving is a fraction of the round.  Think about it.  A typical par-72 course has at most 14 driving holes.  A player who shoots bogey golf will hit a driver one sixth of the total shots!

Now that you’re ready to put the driver away and practice some other beneficial shots, what are some good ideas or plans for the range?  First let’s think about what happens on the course.  The only guaranteed good lie (the way the ball sits on the ground) is on the tee.  From that point on there is no guarantee the ball will be sitting perfectly, even if it is in the fairway.  There may be divots in the fairway, or uneven areas which put the ball above or below our feet.

Next time you practice on the range, trie a bunch of different lies and situations to prepare for those unpredictable situations on the course.  Throw some balls down in the deeper grass outside of the closely mown grass of the driving range. Practice hitting shots buried deep in grass.  Practice hitting shots where the ball sits above and below your feet.

When practicing get creative with all the possible situations you may find on the course so when those unpredictable bad lies happen, you’ll have confidence you can succeed and pull off the right shot.

Weekend Wrap – The Players

TournamentPlayersClub_Sawgrass17thHolePGA Tour
The Players Championship
TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Ah what a great tournament it was last week at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course and The Players Championship. You win some and you lose some. Most of our players to watch last week either finished far off the lead or missed the cut. That’s why they play the game.

The Players is considered by many as the “5th Major,” and the action was worthy of such a claim. Coming into this week the three biggest storylines of the event were the pairing of Jordan Spieth with Rory McIlory, and the fact that Tiger Woods was in the field. None of those storylines would be relevant. Spieth missed the cut. McIlory finished T8 and Woods finished tied for 69th with only one round under par (the 2nd round at -1). In fact, Woods had to birdie the tough 18th hole to finish under the cut line.

Recently a Sports Illustrated poll ranked Rickie Fowler and Ian Poulter as the most overrated players on the PGA Tour. That billboard material apparently didn’t set well with Fowler. On Sunday it appeared that Fowler was too far back to be a factor, but nobody told him. Fowler went six-under-par for the last six holes, including an eagle on the par-5 16th. The last two tough holes, the island 17th and long par-4 18th were birdie-birdie.

The hot finish put Fowler into a 3-way tie for first, putting him in a playoff with Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner. The playoff was fantastic. Starting on the par-5 16th it continued for four holes. Fowler finally ended the tournament when he made birdie on the par-3 17th island green, the fourth playoff hole.

Speaking of Garcia, the spaniard was treated poorly by the crowd, who heckled him even during putting.  Shame shame.

Collecting a cool $1.8 million for the victory, it would seem that Rickie Fowler has silenced the critics. Overrated no more.

Next in line for Rickie is a major championship. Don’t count him out. He finished in the top-5 in all four majors in 2014.

 

New Protracer Angles This Weekend at The Players Championship

Golf Channel and “Golf Channel on NBC” this week are showing a completely different angle of their “Protracer” technology on the 17th Island green at TPC Sawgrass Stadium course this week for The Players Championship.  Protracer shows a line indicating the flight of the golf ball and on the island green is a very cool way of looking at the difficult shots the pros are faced with.

image002

From Golf Channel:

Golf Channel and Golf Channel on NBC this week are introducing a new application to their use of the popular Protracer technology, which graphically tracts the flight of golf balls in the air.  Typically shown from behind the player, this new Protracer perspective features a view of shots from behind the green and slightly to the side at the famous island green at the par-3 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass.  Because weather and wind play a major influence on hitting strategies at the hole, the side view demonstrates how players decide on the trajectory of their shots.   Below and attached is a still image taken from Thursday’s telecast on Golf Channel.

Weekend Preview – The Players

TPC Sawgrass

The #17 Island Green

PGA Tour
The Players Championship
TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

It is one of the funnest non-major championship weeks of the professional golf season, perhaps the funnest. This week all eyes are on the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course, a design specifically built by famous golf architect Pete Dye for the tournament. The word “stadium” comes from the way the holes are designed to provide stadium viewing for the massive amounts of fans the event draws, especially on the final few holes.

There are several very interesting storylines coming into this big event. First is the budding rivalry of Rory McIlory and Jordan Spieth, the #1 and #2 players in the world respectively. McIlory is coming off of a victory at last week’s WGC Cadillac Match Play Championship and Spieth is fresh off of his first major championship win at last month’s Masters Tournament.

Next up on the storylines is Tiger Woods. Woods is mounting a comeback after a good showing in last month’s Master Tournament at T17. The Masters is the last event Woods competed in. As always eyes will be on Tiger. Is he still on the way back and will the recent news that he has broken off relations with 3-year girlfriend Lindsey Vonn going to have an impact on his performance?

Other players to watch in the field include big-hitting Dustin Johnson and Jason Day. Plenty of power to go low at The Players.

Justin Rose is one of the hottest golfers in the world over the last 2-3 years and should be a factor this week as well.

Field

The field for The Players boasts the best lineup in all of golf, including major championships. Nearly every player in the top 50 will be in action.

TV

Thursday, May 7
1-7 p.m. (Golf Channel)

Friday, May 8
1-7 p.m. (Golf Channel)

Saturday, May 10
2-7 p.m. (NBC)

Sunday, May 11
2-7 p.m. (NBC)