Crane In Good Form To Break Major Maiden

gwacrane-rosie copyBen Crane will be hoping his victory in the Fed Ex St. Jude Classic on Sunday will be able to give him the confidence to win his first major this week when he lines up in the US Open at Pinehurst Resort.

The American picked up the fifth win of his career in Memphis where he finished one stroke ahead of Troy Merritt with a winning score of 10 under par to the delight of Betfair backers of the player.

The best Crane has done so far in the US Open is a tie for 53th which he achieved in 2008. He made his debut in the event in 2002 and has since played in the tournament on seven different occasions.

Crane does not have the best major record for a player who has won so many times on the PGA Tour so will be a big price with Betfair to break his maiden tag on Sunday. His highest finish in any of the four competitions is a tie for 9th which came in the PGA Championship in 2004.

Five-time major winner Phil Mickelson is also bidding for his first US Open victory this year. Lefty came very close to completing all four major championships in his career 12 months ago when he led on the final of the competition. However, he could not reward Betfair punters who had backed him as he fell short to England’s Justin Rose.

Mickelson made up for his US Open disappointment at Merion Golf Club to succeed in the Open Championship a month later. He enjoyed playing links golf in 2013 as he also won the Scottish Open before his victory at Muirfield.

Betfair rate lefty as one of the favourites to succeed this week along with Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott and Bubba Watson. (image courtesy of golfdigest.com)

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Function18 Promo to Celebrate the 2014 Masters.

It's almost that time of the year.  The Masters starts tomorrow and you can grab some cool gear for a fraction of the price thanks to Online golf clothing store Function 18 and their Masters promotion.

With 10% off all orders over £10 and 15% off all orders over £100, now is the perfect time to stock up on your golf clothing & accessories in time for the summer season. The promotion is available across all major golf brands available online at Function18 including Oscar Jacobson, Nike Golf, Puma Golf, Adidas Golf and Hugo Boss, and will run throughout the Masters tournament until Sunday 13th Take advantage of this great promotion this weekend and visit www.function18.com April.

Masters Promotion F18

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It’s Time for the 2014 Masters

April is arguably my favorite month of the year.  The weather is beginning to warm up.  We've set the clocks ahead so there's more daylight hours for golf and most importantly, it's time for the greatest golf tournament in the world; The Masters.  Masters week in my house is bigger than the Super Bowl, World Series and NBA Finals combined and it never fails to entertain.  With that said, we wanted to share a great infographic on Masters history from Function18.com.  Do you know how much prize money the first Masters winner took home?  Who holds the record for most Masters appearances?  Take a look below and you'll probably learn a couple new things about the greatest golf contest on the planet.

Function18 Masters Infographic

 

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Gallacher Defends Dubai Title

Stephen Gallacher was able to successfully defend his title in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic as he beat the field by one in the 2014 running of the competition.

The Scot shot a round of 72 on the final day to finish on -16. That left him one stroke ahead of Argentine Emiliano Grillo and two shots above Brooks Koepka and Romain Wattel.

Gallacher’s final round did not get off to the best start as he recorded four bogeys in the front nine holes. He was unable to gain headway with successive dropped shots coming at the first and second.

The back nine proved to be more generous to the champion as four birdies followed. A good tee shot on the par-three 11th hole set up a birdie, while he continued his good week on the par-five 13th by once again making a four there.

Players around the Scot were all making mistakes in the final few holes but the 2013 winner held his nerve to birdie the 16th and 17th which were crucial to him climbing back up to the top of the leaderboard.

Betfair ante-post favourite Rory McIlroy had led for most of this week and was just two off the pace going into Sunday’s play but carded a disappointing 74.

The two-time major winner had a poor 2013 with just one win coming, which arrived in the Australian Open.

His first European Tour triumph came in the Dubai Desert Classic in 2009 when he scored by one stroke ahead of Justin Rose. He has also consistently played well in the event each year since then.

McIlroy will attempt to secure his third major of his career at the Masters in April where he is prominent in the outright market for the prestigious tournament at the Augusta National Club.

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Woods worried by tougher competition

Tiger Woods believes the influx of young talent into the game means it is harder to win events after yet another year without a major.

2013 was a largely successful campaign for the American, as he appeared to have rediscovered some of the aura that he held when he previously dominated the game, winning five events including the prestigious Players Championship.

However, despite near misses at both the Masters and the Open, for which he was among the favourites in the golf odds, he once again failed to claim one of the four biggest events on the calendar to make it five years since he won the US Open at Torrey Pines in 2008.

Since that famous day on the California coast, when the world number one battled through a serious knee injury in order to defeat Rocco Mediate in an 18-hole play-off, he has been plagued by a host of well publicised personal problems.

Following his fall from grace in 2009, the game has undoubtedly become more competitive, with the last 24 majors producing 21 different winners.

His exploits over the last 12 months seem to indicate that Woods now appears to be fully focussed back on his golf though, but he admits that he remains unsure about his major chances over the coming years as the depth of talent in the game is so deep. The Paddy Power Tiger Woods specials currently have Woods down as 1 / 2 to go without winning a major in 2014.

“I think it's deeper now than it ever has been,” he told reporters. “There is more young talent. There are more guys winning golf tournaments for the first time. But if you look at the major championships, how long did we go from basically Phil (Mickelson) winning [to] Phil winning? I mean, how many first time winners did we have during that stretch? It's deeper. It's more difficult to win events now, and it's only going to get that way.”

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