Grand Slam of Golf – What You Need To Know

With the megabucks FedEx Cup and the dramatic Ryder Cup consigned to golfing history, discounting the European Tour’s lucrative Race To Dubai, there’s very little left of note in the 2012 golfing calendar. However, one event which is growing in stature is set to take place in a week’s time, and it features all four of this year’s major champions. The PGA Grand Slam of Golf has taken place since 1979, and this year’s event promises to be a lot of fun for the golf fan suffering from withdrawal symptoms after the Ryder Cup’s end.

Every event features the four major winners over the past year, and this tournament is no different. The four participants this year are big-hitting Masters champion Bubba Watson, US Open holder Webb Simpson, South African veteran Ernie Els, who won the Open in dramatic style and World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who holds the USPGA Championship. All of them big names for some reason, this year’s event, which takes place at the Bermuda and Port Royal Golf Course from the 22nd-24th October, should generate a lot of interest.

Played over three days, like most golf tournaments, each participant will play 18 holes, with the winner the player who posts the lowest score. However, as there’s only a field of four players, the possibility of one player running away with the title is more likely, especially when it comes to form. The 2004 event was proof that it could happen, as eventual winner Phil Mickelson shot a round of 59 en route to lifting the title.

As far as prize money is concerned, from the $1.3m prize fund, the winner picks up a useful $600,000 cheque as well as the trophy. Although it’s not the most lucrative prize in golf, it’s still a lot of money compared to the prizes on offer in some PGA and European Tour events. It’s unlikely that any of the year’s foursome are to pull out, so it will make for compelling viewing.

This post was provided by Ladbrokes Sport.


St Andrews hosts the British Open 2010

This week sees the British Open returns to the home of golf, as St. Andrews hosts the 139th British Open Golf Championship.  Last year the British Open Championship was held at Turnberry where veteran Tom Watson surprised everyone apart from himself as he almost lifted the trophy but lost a gripping 4 hole play-off against fellow American Stewart Cink.

Graeme McDowell will have a boost of confidence after his amazing victory at last month’s US Open at Pebble Beach; and Tiger Woods will be looking to win his third British Open Golf Championship title and become the first golfer to win three British Opens at St Andrews, following his victories in 2000 and 2005.

As with most tournaments he enters, Tiger Woods is favourite to win but it’s a surprise to see Graeme McDowell isn’t heading the European list of contenders.  That goes to Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy, closely followed by Padraig Harrington, along with South African Ernie Els and American left-hander Phil Mickeslon.

Lee Westwood will go to St. Andrews boosted by his own recent victory on the US golf circuit at the St Jude Classic in Memphis Tennessee after a three-way play-off with American Robert Garrigus and Sweden’s Robert Karlsson.

As for Rory McIlroy, he is still looking for his first major title after being touted as a serious contender for the past few years now.  It may be the pressure of such high expectations, but McIlroy has not been able to stay with the leaders over the course of four days, and as a rule fades in the latter part of the big occasions.  But as always I will be hoping the young golfer from Northern Ireland will be lucky this time around.

Due to his low stature in the world rankings these days, Ryder Cup captain, Colin Montgomerie had to qualify for the 2010 Open at St Andrews.  But like Tiger Woods, St. Andrews is a special place for Monty, who has never missed an Open Championship since making his debut in 1990 at St Andrews.

The 139th British Open Golf 2010 will take place at St. Andrews, Scotland between Thursday 15th and Sunday 18th July.

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Relief for Els at storm hit Bay Hill

ernie els
ernie els

Ernie Els completed his second successive victory in a tense finale at The Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, beating Italian Edoardo Molinari and American Kevin Na by two after the storm-hit event carried over into Monday.

Els was among 21 players who could not finish their round on Sunday due to the appalling weather conditions and admits that he spent the time off the course thinking about the final four holes needed to complete his round.

The forty year old South African appeared to have lost his rhythm when play resumed on Monday and the relief at winning the tournament was evident for all to see at the final hole.

A relieved Ernie Els said after the win:

“It was a tough finish for me – I’ve been thinking about these last four holes for the last 22 hours, so it was nice to finally get on the golf course.

The changes are unbelievable, it really tests your ability coming in. If you win here you can feel comfortable in majors. I kind of limped home today but the work I’ve been putting in is starting to pay off and obviously my short game is good, I got it up and down on the last two holes. But this place tests your ability so obviously it gives me confidence.”

Phil Mickelson wins HSBC Champions Tournament

phil mickelson
phil mickelson

Phil Mickelson won the HSBC Champions Tournament in Shanghai by one shot to become the first player to win the tournament twice, his first win was in 2007, and also to end what has been a distracting year for the American, having taken time out to care for both his wife and mother who were both diagnosed with cancer during the year.

South African Ernie Els mounted pressure on Mickelson by hitting a stupendous round of nine under par 63, claiming a course record, but he was unable to unseat the leader and was left to ponder what might have been when he hit his only bogey of the day on the 18th after hitting his approach shot into the water in front of the green.

Tiger Woods had a less than impressive final day ending five shots behind the leader and one behind fifth placed Nick Watney, who had shared the lead at the half way stage.

Ryan Moore finished the tournament in third place, followed by Rory McIlroy in fourth, finishing on 14 under par and boosting his Race to Dubai bid and equalling the course record of 63 in the process.

Phil Mickelson said after the win;

“It feels terrific. It’s my last event of the year and to finish the year like this is just wonderful. Ernie and Rory McIlroy played one of the greatest rounds and I was fortunate to come out on top. It feels good because I had to fight very hard.”

Ernie Els is keen to improve match play

Ernie Els may have a match-play golf record that is second-to-none in Europe, but he is eager to improve his poor record at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in the United States.

Reuters report that though the 38-year-old has won the European Tour’s World Match Play Championship at Wentworth a record seven times, he has consistently struggled to have any such success in the PGA Tour’s equivalent.

In his seven appearances, Ernie Els has been knocked out in the opening round four times.

“I can’t really put my finger on it,” South African Els told reporters at Dove Mountain’s Gallery Golf Club on Tuesday. “All I can say is I think my mindset has got to be different over here.