December 10th, 2013 | Article by Christian
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.”
December 4th, 2013 | Article by Christian
Adam Scott has set his sights on becoming a favourite among Unibet golf betting fans by following the lead of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and writing his name into Masters folklore.
In April, the 33-year-old held his nerve to beat former champion Angel Cabrera in a play-off and become the first Australian to claim the Green Jacket at Augusta.
It was his maiden major title and went some way towards making up for his 2012 Open heartache, when he was four strokes clear with four holes remaining only to bogey all of them and lose the title by a stroke to Ernie Els.
Now Scott has tasted major success, he wants to be greedy like the greats of the game. He believes Augusta is the perfect place to get his fill.
"I've really felt the last few years my level of understanding of that golf course grew and then obviously culminated in winning this year," Scott said.
"I'm really looking forward to going back and I feel I have an opportunity to develop even more there and become a dominant player like a Phil Mickelson or a Tiger Woods (who have seven wins between them) there.
"I have the opportunity; I'm not saying I'm going to. But I've got a bit of momentum going so I'm really looking forward to that."
Scott became just the sixth man to complete the Australian Triple Crown when he added the PGA Championship to his Masters and Open wins earlier this month.
The Adelaide-born star moved on to defend his Masters title at Royal Melbourne, which he managed to do by two shots from Matt Kuchar.
Scott will head to Sydney for the Open next month aiming to become the first player to win the Australian PGA, Masters and Open in the same year since 2005.
December 4th, 2013 | Article by Christian
Lee Westwood is set to reunite with long-time caddie Billy Foster after nearly a year apart. The Englishman was forced to split with Foster last November after the caddie suffered a knee injury that kept him off the course for longer than had initially been expected.
After being forced to switch his caddie, Westwood linked up with Zimbabwean Mike Kerr at the beginning of this year but, despite recording top-10 finishes at the Masters and the Open, the partnership failed to produce a single tournament win throughout the year and the 40-year old never looked capable of upsetting the odds and winning that elusive maiden major title.
Having slipped down to 23 in the world rankings, Westwood now decided to reprise his partnership with Foster in a bid to get himself back up the rankings and back to his best next year.
It’s been a while since Westwood was up there with the Betfair favourites going into a major, but the former world number one will be hoping linking back up with Foster could be the key to getting himself back into contention.
"Everyone knows that Lee and Billy were a great partnership and it made sense now Billy is fully fit again that the partnership reforms. They laugh at the same jokes, are both very quick-witted, and Billy knows when something needs saying to Lee. And, of course, he's a great caddie,” Westwood's agent Chubby Chandler revealed.
It is understood the duo will resume their working relationship at Tiger Woods' World Challenge event in California next week, but a lot of the duo’s focus will be on ensuring 2014 is a much more successful season for the Englishman.
image credit: blog.druhbeltsandbuckles.com
November 7th, 2013 | Article by Christian
Cold weather produces a unique challenge for golfers that they don't often face during the warmer months. Having to wear multiple layers for warmth can restrict the full motion of your swing and the colder, heavier air changes the natural trajectory of your ball flight, plus the ball won't travel as far. Follow these five tips to make sure your golf game stays as consistent as possible even in the coldest conditions. You'll score better and a more enjoyable round in the cold.
1. Keep your hands warm. You'll definitely want to consider wearing gloves on both hands if possible. If you're not used to wearing gloves, you should practice with them as much as you can. Keeping your hands warm is important because any numbness will cause you to lose feel in your grip. And as well all know, a poor grip will affect everything else in your swing as well. Consider purchasing some cold weather hand warmers, and keep them in your pockets during the round. This will help keep your hands thawed between shots.
2. Keep the golf balls warm. A cold golf ball will not travel nearly as far as one that is warm, and you should still be able to hit shots on your normal trajectory with a warm ball . If you leave your golf bag in your car overnight, consider taking some balls inside so they don't turn into popsicles when the temperatures drop overnight. You'll notice a huge difference in how far the ball travels when it's at room temperature.
3. Hit lower trajectory shots. Don't allow the colder temperatures to play the game for you. The ball will naturally not travel quite as far in lower temperatures, so you need to adjust your game for the conditions. Take one club more than you normally would. If it's cold & windy, move the ball back in your stance and hit more punch shots with an abbreviated follow through. This allows you to keep the ball under the wind, and you don't have to take as full a swing to get the same distance.
4. Layer Your Clothing. You will definitely want to keep warm, but you can't swing a golf club when you're bundled up in a snow parka. Start with a thin under layer to help with insulation. From there you can add a long sleeve performance golf shirt and top it off with a medium to lightweight golf shell/windbreaker depending on the temperature and wind conditions. This will allow you to keep your swing range of motion and stay warm at the same time. Find a great golf clothing sale online where you can stock up on some cold weather golf gear and save some money at the same time.
5. Maintain a consistent tempo throughout the swing. When the weather is cold, it's easy to forget that golf is a game of rhythm. When you keep a steady, balanced swing, your golf game can stay positive even in the coldest conditions. Resist the urge to overswing. Many players are not accustomed to playing in colder temperatures, so you just might have an advantage over the competition if you follow these 5 tips.
October 8th, 2013 | Article by Christian
David Howell has set his sights on a place in next year’s Ryder Cup following his win at the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews on Sunday.
Heading into the tournament as an outsider in the golf betting, the Englishman defeated American, Peter Uihlein in a play-off at the Old Course to claim his first victory since 2006.
Howell’s win saw him move back into the top 100 and, after recently watching his great friend, Henrik Stenson, win the FedEx Cup series on the PGA Tour, he is now planning his own resurgence with his eyes firmly set on playing in next year’s Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
"I'm certainly aware of how Henrik has turned things around,” he said. “He's now better than ever and that's what I'm working towards."
He added: "I'd love to play in another Ryder Cup and you can't get into teams without winning tournaments and playing in the big events. That's what makes a victory like this so important."
Howell previously featured in the biennial event in 2004 and 2006, playing a key role as Europe sealed victory at both Oakland Hills and the K Club.
Had his form picked-up earlier, fans who bet on golf believe that he would have had the perfect chance to display his matchplay credentials by playing in this week’s Seve Trophy in France However, despite missing out, his victory in Scotland saw him move to the top of the European Ryder Cup points list.
The 38-year-old would certainly be a huge asset to Paul McGinley’s team, with his penchant for keeping out of trouble and ability to hole crucial puts making him almost perfect for the competition.
Europe go into the competition having won the tournament in both 2010 and 2012 and you imagine Howell’s experience on the big stage will only benefit them as they go looking to make it a hat-trick in Perthshire.