Hitting A Tee Shot Like Happy Gilmore

I am almost certain that most golfers have tried the Happy Gilmore tee shot. I know I have and hit the ball a country mile; into the woods….haha. Of course this is an inconsistent shot because it is almost impossible to repeat and sustain. I have a hard enough time hitting a consistent shot when I am stable on the ground let alone hopping my way to the ball from eight feet back. Regardless, many still try, even the professionals.

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Kevin Chappell – The Next Break Out Player

The wrap around PGA Tour season affords the opportunity for journeyman players to earn their card early. Winning quickly will help reduce the pressures of grinding when the top players in the January.

For example, before Jimmy Walker won 3 of the first 8 events in 2014, he was a journeyman player. He played 13 years without a win or even being close until 2014. Since, he has established himself as one of the top US players fresh off a Ryder Cup win! His fortunes changed after a quick start and has won every year since 2014. Is it possible that some other player will meet the same fate as Jimmy Walker? If so, who? Continue reading

Jordan Spieth Wins the 2015 Masters

mastersCongratulations to Jordan Spieth for winning his first green jacket. His steady play on Sunday was more than enough to put his first Major in his pocket.

Spieth’s seesaw round was a bit of a surprise to some, but not unexpected by most. His ability rebound for a bogey is what makes champions. The pundits suggested that before the round, Spieth should play more cautiously than the previous three rounds; but with 6 birdies and 3 bogies, he was playing flat-out. The question on most experts mind this morning about how the double bogey on the 17th hole on moving day would affect his game was quickly answered. It didn’t! Jordan Spieth earned his first Major Championship by winning the 2015 Masters….perhaps, the first of many.

Other notables today were all the players between 4th and 9th position. In reality after everything was all said and done, they were playing for second place. Their low scores were just a little to late. In most tournaments, one exceptional round would put a player in contention to win, but a Major, not so much. It takes at least two and usually three great rounds to win any Major. But, hats off that group for making a great showing down the stretch.

Jordan Spieth was not my first choice to win the 2015 Masters. I thought that Rory McIlroy would complete his career grand slam, but not this year. This feat is very rare, but McIlroy has plenty of time to yet. Overall, I was 50/50 selecting players to win. Here is how I made out:

  • Phil Mickelson – T2
  • Jimmy Walker – T39
  • Jason Day – T28
  • Jordan Spieth – 1st
  • Rory McIlroy – 4th
  • Dark Horse – Matt Kuchar – T46

Overall, not too to bad. I did, however, think that Jimmy Walker would have played better at Augusta this year. He only stepped on to the Major’s scene last year, so he does not have the seasoning that other players have. Although he is considered one of the hottest players in golf right now, playing in a Major is extremely difficult and he may need a bit more seasoning before he is ready to compete at that level.

It was exciting to watch Jordan Spieth rise to the élite ranks by winning his first Major. At 21 years old, he has many years ahead where he can continue to excite the golfing world. He reminds me of a young Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods; hopefully he will be able to handle the new notoriety and stay in form for many years to come.

Again, Congratulations to Jordan Spieth on winning the 2015 Masters.

Bring on The Open!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

My 2015 Masters Picks

mastersMaster week is finally here! We have been waiting for this for moment and without any further adieu, it is time to reveal my picks for this year’s Masters. The field is very strong and the young guns are peaking at the right time, however so are the wily veterans!

Selecting a top 5 and a dark horse is no easy feat. Everyone has their own selection criteria and expects that they have the answer. I am no different. I do look at their current stats, performances at last year’s Majors, and their focus leading up to the Masters. All of these, plus a few other secrets, helps with my predictions. The following picks are from an article I wrote for PunditArena.com. Here we go:

Top 5 Players

Top 5 Players

Phil Mickelson. Lefty is an aging veteran who has struggled of late. However, his early performance at the Shell Huston Open could not have come at a better time. His short game has returned and his putting was solid. Additionally, Mickelson worked hard on fitness, he is mentally prepared, he knows how to handle Masters’ like pressure, and if “Phil the Thrill” shows up, anything can happen.

Jimmy Walker. His play over the past two years has eclipsed everyone. He knows how to win and handle the pressure of a Sunday afternoon. His short game is solid and his consistency is top-notch. Walker’s recent wins at The Sony Open and The Valero Texas Open must be taken into account. Although he has not won a Major, yet, he is number one in the FEDEXCUP ranks and is the most consistent golfer on tour. He is definitely a viable candidate to win the green jacket.

Jason Day. Fighting an injury for most of 2014, Jason Day is a forgotten player. His win at the Farmers Insurance Open in February shows he is back to form. Finishing 2nd and 3rd in previous Masters, Day knows how to play Augusta National. He did not play in the Shell Huston Open and I think taking 2 weeks off will give him time to rest and prepare for the crazy week ahead. Although he may be considered a long-shot by many, he has the game to win. A strong start is very important; gaining confidence early will make him tough to beat.

Jordan Spieth. This young superstar has done everything but win a Major. Although he has only 2 wins in 66 professional events, Spieth is always in the mix. He has the game to win, except he is light on experience. His heart-breaking loss to Bubba Watson last year at The Masters was a lesson he will not soon forget. Spieth is the whole package, he is playing exceptionally well of late, and his chances of claiming his first Major are very good.

Rory McIlroy. Given McIlroy’s not played to everyone’s expectations this year and he is not as obvious a choice as some would suggest. He is the number one golfer in the world, hits the ball a country mile, has the green side touch of a surgeon, and is hunger to complete his career grand slam. He has taken three weeks off competitive golf to work on his game. He stated that he wanted to be mentally and physically ready for the gruelling Masters week. Although is play to date is spotty at best, he will be ready at the first tee on Thursday!

Dark Horse

Matt Kuchar. Kuchar is always around because of his great all-round game. Some consider him mister consistency; however I disagree with that statement. I would assess Kuchar as a streaky player. It is now time for him to step up to claim his first Major! Kuchar performance in the past 3 Masters is exceptional. If he gets hot this weekend, I am not sure anyone will be able to stop him. He is a fan favourite and is due for something spectacular to happen.

So there you have it, my top 5 pics and my dark horse. All of these, plus many more, make great candidates to win the green jacket this year. However, there is only one who will rise to the top.

This year, I pick Rory McIlroy. I selected him back in October as the man to beat and I stick to that prediction.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

2014 Golf Season is Over

The 2014 golf season is over! The Ryder Cup was the pinnacle event that capped of a very interesting golf year. In future articles I will talk about the goods, the bads and the uglys of the golf season. But for now, we go into hibernation waiting for the 2014-2015 to start!

But wait, the 2014-2015 golf season starts in only 2 weeks! Thank goodness we do not have to wait too long! The 2014 Ryder Cup extended the professional golf season by 2 weeks, so that means we will have our golfing fix sooner than expected. For that, I am grateful.

Here is the schedule for the first seven events of the 2014-15 PGA TOUR season.


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FRYS.COM OPEN
Date:
Oct. 6-12, 2014 | Location: Silverado Resort and Spa (North Course) | Napa, Calif.
FedExCup points: 500 | Purse: $5,000,000 ($900,000 to winner)
Website: frysopengolf.com


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SHRINERS HOSPITALS FOR CHILDREN OPEN
Date:
Oct. 13-19, 2014 | Location: TPC Summerlin | Las Vegas, Nev.
FedExCup points: 500 | Purse: $6,000,000 ($1,080,000 to winner)
Website: shrinershospitalsopen.com


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THE McGLADREY CLASSIC
Date:
Oct. 20-26, 2014 | Location: Seaside Course | Sea Island, Ga.
FedExCup points: 500 | Purse: $5,500,000 ($990,000 to winner)
Website: mcgladreyclassic.com


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CIMB CLASSIC
Date:
Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2014 | Location: Kuala Lumpur Golf & CC | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
FedExCup points: 500 | Purse: $7,000,000 ($1,260,000 to winner)
Website: cimbclassic.com


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WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS – HSBC CHAMPIONS
Date: Nov. 3-9, 2014 | Location: Sheshan International Golf Club | Shanghai, China
FedExCup points: 550 | Purse: $8,500,000 ($1,400,000 to winner)
Website: HSBCgolf.com


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SANDERSON FARMS CHAMPIONSHIP
Date: Nov. 3-9, 2014 | Location: Country Club of Jackson | Jackson, Miss.
Website: sandersonfarmschampionship.com


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OHL CLASSIC AT MAYAKOBA
Date: Nov. 10-16, 2014 | Location: El Camaleon | Playa del Carmen, Mexico
FedExCup points: 500 | Purse: $6,000,000 ($1,080,000 to winner)
Website: ohlclassic.com

It is unlikely that any of the big names will be playing in the first few tournaments. The Ryder Cup cut into their down time and they will need some time to recharge their batteries. The absence of the top golfers will present an awesome opportunity for journeyman to start quick and, like Jimmy Walker, ride their early successes into a top position in the FedEx standings.

What are you going to do during the 2-week layoff as we wait for the 2014 – 2015 PGA Tour Season to start?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!