Monday, July 26, 2010

Larry the Cable Guy - Golfer

Who hasn't been in this predicament?  Now I don't care who you are, that's funny.

I think he's sporting the Boo Weekley Signature Collection.

Til' next,

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Oosty Cruises, Casey Crumbles at 2010 Open Championship

South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen holds the claret jug after winning the 139th Open championship by eight shots in St. Andrews, Scotland on July 18, 2010.  UPI/Hugo Philpott Photo via Newscom
If it was a fight they'd have stopped it on the 12th hole. Paul Casey's triple bogey and Louis Oosthuizen's birdie resulted in a four shot swing and left just the formality of Oosthuizen completing the final holes and securing the 2010 Open Championship at St. Andrews. Yes indeed, the gold medal champion golfer of the year he was. Dissecting fairways, hitting greens, and nailing putts has always been a formula for success, especially at majors, and Louis performed the task at hand admirably for 4 days. The 200:1 longshot at the tournament's start glued together rounds of 65, 67, 69, and 71 to finish at -16, seven better than runner-up Lee Westwood. Casey's final round 75 plunged him to 3rd behind compatriot Westwood and tied with Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson. Young McIlroy would have won the thing had it been based on best three rounds. His windy 80 on Friday cost him much of a shot and to his credit he rallied from that disaster to post 69, 68 on the weekend. Final Full Field Scores.

The best American finishers were Sean O'Hair and Nick Watney in a tie for 7th place at -6. Tiger Woods, 23rd, and Phil Mickelson, 48th, looked like senior players yielding to the youth movement. Both were trounced by Korean Jin Jeong, the low amateur and winner of the Silver Medal. Mickelson couldn't keep his ball on the property at the course with the widest fairways on the planet. Some are over 100 yards wide. Woods made a much ballyhooed putter switch for the event and found he couldn't putt with that one as well. He'd have done just as well with a shovel. This weekend raised many questions about the upcoming Ryder Cup to be held on Euro soil. One has to question the US' chances.

Oosthuizen was a deserving winner having survived the elements and the obstacles the Old Course  had in defense of her honor. The size of his victory was testament to his ability to hit fairways in spite of the wind and be as long or longer than the others as well. Quite a spectacle and enormous fun to watch. Every Open Championship should be held at St. Andrews. Now it will be interesting to see if young Oosthuizen is a one hit wonder like Lawrie, Hamilton, and Crane, (all of whom missed the cut this week), or will his name appear on leaderboards to come? Worth watching.

Til' next,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The 2010 Open Championship - Odds and Expert Picks

ST ANDREWS, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 26: The Open Championship Trophy beside the Swilcan Bridge, with the the R&A Clubhouse behind as a preview for the 2010 Open Championship to be held on the Old Course at St Andrews on April 26, 2010 in St Andrews, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
Dust the cobwebs from your wallets, Open Championship time is upon us. Iconic St. Andrews is the site, a stellar field contends for the oldest of golf's crown jewels. Once again we'll link Ladbrokes' odds and insightful commentary to assist you in turning a profit on this year's Open.

No fewer than 15 previous champions will compete with odds ranging from 6:1 for Tiger Woods to 1000:1 for Sir Nick Faldo. Of note for Woods is his decision to switch putters this week, moving to Nike after his long affair with a Cameron Titleist Newport II. Woods claims longish putts on slower greens this week necessitated the change. As typical of St. Andrews the weather will determine the week's scores. The course is noticeably more lush than one would expect. A lack of wind will render the old girl defenseless due to it's Walmart  parking lot sized fairways. Any hint of solid wind however will force players to hit shots they usually don't need leading all sorts of unpredictable results and a higher entertainment factor for us watching at home.

Which leads us to what we came for, an expert look at player's chances. This Average Golfer believes that St. Andrews rewards experience. Local knowledge, particularly regarding the insanely large greens, goes a long way toward crowning a champ.  Some putts this week might better be served with a wedge shot. From 30 yards most players have more experience with a wedge than rolling a 100 ft.+ putt. Enough jabber, here's what we came for....

Tiger Woods, 6:1 - Why? He's Tiger Woods of course. 5 years ago they would have just handed him the trophy here and forsaken the formality of playing 72. That was then... Could win. Best major shot on this course.

Phil Mickelson, 16:1 - They say his game's not suited to links golf. I say with his length and these wide fairways, Phil could destroy par here. Could win.

Rory McIlroy, 16:1 - Power, precision, links experience. Would be nice to have him in contention on Sunday and see if his nerves hold up. Could win.

Lee Westwood, 20:1 - Finally won on US tour. Seems logical here. Everything lines up. Could win.

Ernie Els, 20:1 - Better year. Still something about his manner that concerns me in the big ones. May be the "Big Too Easy". Possible. Don't see it though.

Padraig Harrington, 25:1 - Spending the year fiddling with his game. Don't make the mistake of counting him out here though. Knows how to put the ball in the hole, which can't be learned from a swing coach. Possible.

Justin Rose, 25:1 - Hottest player in the field. Win would validate all the potential. Definitely could win.

Graeme McDowell, 33:1 - Popular pick coming off  Pebble "links type" victory. Great all around game. I think US Open hangover will get him. Won't win.

Ian Poulter, 33:1 - Hard to argue against. Seems pressure immune. Different type of pressure on Sunday though. Possible, not probable.

Luke Donald, 40:1 - Another Brit on the upswing on relative home turf. Putter and short game could win it for him.

Paul Casey, 40:1 - Not as hot as Donald, Rose, or Westwood. Don't see it this week.

Martin Kaymer, 40:1 - On the cusp of a big win. Lots of Euro experience. Still, don't think so here. Too many Brits to overcome.

Steve Stricker, 40:1 - Has the short game and putting prowess required. Knockdown shots in wind may be suspect. Really a target golfer. Won't win.

Jim Furyk, 50:1 - Has the tools and moxie. Not usually a stalwart on this side of the pond, for whatever reason. Won't win.

Retief Goosen, 50:1 -  Puzzled by Goose. Not reason not to pick him, but hasn't come through lately. Has everything required for this event. I'm leaving him a question mark.

Ross Fisher, 50:1 - Another in the Euro resurgence. Possible, not likely though.

We stopped at 50:1 for space considerations. Regardless, there's a host of other players with a chance and some with take notice odds for the risk takers among you. Examples, Villegas, 80:1, Schwartzel, 80:1, Tim Clark, 80:1, Stenson, Choi, Adam Scott, defender Cink, and Angel Cabrera, all at a lip smacking 100:1.

Survey the field and open your wallets. Then sit back and enjoy Bet early and often.

Average Golfer 2010 Open Championship Picks

1. Justin Rose
2. Padraig Harrington
3. Ian Poulter

Dark Horses

Ben Curtis

Til' next,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

2010 US Women's Open - Ladies Tackle Oakmont "Beast"

OAKMONT, PA - JULY 07: The eighth hole tee sign is seen during a practice round prior to the start of the 2010 U.S. Women's Open at Oakmont Country Club on July 7, 2010 in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
6,584 yards of pure terror. If you think Oakmont is giving in to the ladies for their annual national championship, guess again. The par three 8th hole can play 252 yards. The par five 12th is the longest in women's history at 602 yards. Throw in the church pew bunkers and bathtub greens and par begins to look like a winning score.

The 2010 US Women's Open comes to venerable Oakmont Country Club, Pittsburgh, PA. For history buffs Exhibit A is Julie Inskster, who at 50 years young is returning to the site of her 1992 Open playoff loss to Patty Sheehan. For making history buffs there's newly minted world #1 Cristie Kerr fending off close behind challengers Ai Miyazato, Jiyai Shin, Suzann Pettersen, and Yani Tseng. Don't leave out defending champ Eun-Hee Ji and a host of others in the 156 player field. 2010 US Women's Open Field and Tee Times.

Hot, dry, and fast should be the order of the day, at least for the first two rounds. Hitting fairways will be paramount, but as is almost always the case, making putts will determine the winner. A few years ago I'd have installed Michelle Wie as the heavy prohibitive favorite based on her strength and length. Sideways out of bunkers may be commonplace this week and Wie "had" the chops to hit shots out of trouble that no other woman had any business attempting. Here's hoping for a reemergence for Wie and a US champion.

Although noticeably behind their male brethren, the women will play for a 3.25 million dollar purse with  $585,000 being the winner's share. Sit back and enjoy.

Til' next,