2020 Major Predictions – PGA TOUR

As the calendar winds down on the calendar for the year 2019 there are many things to look at and think about. Tigers Woods wins at The Masters and in doing do he collectively “flipped off” all of the naysayers who said that he was done. How does crow taste by the way?

At Bethpage, the polarizing Brooks Koepka claimed the Wanamaker Trophy in winning the PGA Championship. He may not win regular events, but he’s a threat every time he tees it up in a Major. The very likable Gary Woodland won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. His first Major championship. You had a feeling that it was going to come eventually. But if there was a newly minted Major champion that you have to like and feel good about. Shane Lowry would be that guy. It was fun watching him win the Open Championship. He really ended up running away with the Claret Jug besting runner-up Tommy Fleetwood by 6 strokes.

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Lowry signing autographs at the 2017 RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey.

As we fast-forward to 2020 I thought that it might be fun to make bold predictions regarding the 2020 Major tournaments. Oh, and before anyone suggests it, no I will not talk about The Players Championship. My opinion is to just leave it as it is. A stand-alone tournament for… The Players. So without further delay. Here we go!

(Injuries and unforeseen circumstances can really put a damper on these things)

 

The Masters – Is it just me or can you practically smell the azaleas, dogwood, and pine straw already. Honestly, I don’t know what it smells like there but I have an image, or smell, conjured in my imagination. It’d be easy to pick Tiger to win The Masters and repeat. Seeing that, as it stands now he is the favorite to win again according to oddsmakers. So with that said. Here’s my pick. This guy made putts on the fast and firm greens of Royal Melbourne during the Presidents Cup. He’s long and has the control. My pick. Justin Thomas.

PGA Championship – TPC Harding Park will be the venue for the 2020 PGA Championship. The “San Francisco Treat” was named after avid golfer and former President, Warren G. Harding and opened in 1925. Tight tree-lined fairways and small undulating greens were the norms of courses designed in this time frame. A premium will be placed on accuracy and iron play. Will length be a determining factor in this one? Maybe not. Then again, is length really a factor for many of these guys?

My pick had a sneaky journeyman-like 2019 campaign. A pretty good striker of the golf ball his iron play is solid, putting is good and has adequate length for a 7,200-yard golf course. Currently ranked #8 in the world. My pick is Justin Rose to heave the Wanamaker Trophy over his head. Sorry about the jinx Rosey!

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Photo Credit: PGA.com

The U.S. Open – A Father’s Day tradition. Sticking with the theme of golf courses designed in the 1920’s Winged Foot Golf Club is another golf course that features tight fairways and distinct green complexes. The A.W. Tillinghast-designed gem has hosted a cacophony of major events including some prior U.S. Open’s. What separates this course from TPC Harding Park? The USGA. I hope the USGA does what it does best. Set the course up in such a way that it makes professional golfers irate.

If this thing ends up a “Battle of Attrition” you have to like Brooks Koepka‘s chances. It might be an unpopular choice because he’s as polarizing a player as there is in professional golf. He may not win a ton of PGA TOUR events but he really shows up for the Major’s and he loves the U.S. Open. We don’t know how bad his injury truly is that kept him out of the Presidents Cup.  His health could be a factor.

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The Open Championship – The 149th Open Championship will take place at Royal St. George’s. The venue last hosted the Open Championship in 2011 which was won by Darren Clarke (his first and last). While I can see the likes of Rose and Tommy Fleetwood contending here I think both come up just short. Weather is always a factor during the Open Championship perhaps a little less so in England than in Scotland or Ireland for that matter. So if it’s cold and crappy out that could hurt an “old guy” riddled with past injuries (Tiger Woods).

With all things being equal and taking the lousiest weather conditions into consideration I like Rory McIlroy to win the Open Championship. He had a solid 2019, really solid in fact and I just think he’ll continue to roll in 2020.

 

The maiden 2 Royal St Georges

It’ll be fun to watch all of the Major championships in 2020. I think the collection of courses by architects of the 1920s makes the events more intriguing. You know what else will be fun? Watching my picks “crash and burn”.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

Woods an Ace at Augusta National – Wins 5th Green Jacket

Ace. By definition according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is defined as

“a person who excels at a particular sport or other activity.”

When it comes to the game of golf there is no doubt in my mind (or any golf fan or observer for that matter) that Eldrick Tiger Woods is an ace. But the term ace has another reference. An ace is also the term that dates back to World War I for a fighter pilot that collects five confirmed kills (shoots down 5 enemy aircraft during aerial combat). By this definition, Tiger Woods is also an ace as with his victory on Masters Sunday became an Ace of Augusta National Golf Course and The Masters Tournament. Only Mr. Jack Nicklaus has more with 6 victories at Magnolia Lane.

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One Day!!

Before I continue I just wanted to reiterate a few things. These are things that some of my regular readers already know about me but some newcomers may not. Admittedly, I have never been much of a Tiger Woods fans as I readily admit in this Tweet from today.

However, what you also need to know is that I’ve never disputed that he’s been the greatest of this generation. I’ve always admired Tiger’s command of the game, his dominance over his competition of this generation (and at times golf course architects) and the fact that he brought golfers to the game of golf who in all likelihood would have never picked up a golf club in the first place. The reality is that nobody has ever nor will anyone move the needle like Tiger has. It’s because of Tiger that his peers play for millions of dollars. One other thing that I wanted to point out is that I never wrote off Tiger like so many of my contemporaries have… I said well in advance of his showings in 2018 that it was inevitable that he’d be back.

It’s been often said that you have to sink to the very depths of rock-bottom before you can truly rise again. While I’m not going to beat the living daylights out of this subject let’s just quickly summarize some of the events that have transpired with Tiger that led to today’s comeback.

  • The passing of his father (Earl)
  • The issues at home with ex-wife Elin and the infamous 9-iron incident (not discounting other family issues that we didn’t know about that occurred behind closed doors)
  • His driving while impaired (which I was very unaccepting and critical of. There’s never a good excuse for this)
  • Multiple back surgeries
  • Hater’s hating and writing him off (I’m sure that didn’t bug him… but I don’t know him)
  • The short game yips (which ties in to above)

And I’m certain that there are points that I’m leaving out. Basically, Tiger Woods ran a gauntlet to get him to this particular point in time… and history.

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Frustration at the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie

Golf and Tiger fans alike saw the signs of great things to come over several events in recent history. Sure there was his recovery from injury following the most recent procedures on his back. The world was buzzing over social media every time Tiger picked up a wedge, or a driver and showed us a video of him swinging it. There were signs of competitive progress when he finished 9th in an abbreviated field at the 2017 Hero World Challenge. That single event would springboard Tiger to several top finishes in 2018. Events like his 12th place finish at the Honda Classic. Later that month his T-2 at the Valspar Championship and then a T-5 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. The month of May saw a Top-10 at The Player’s Championship. July saw even more progress and more encouraging signs of Tiger returning to form with top finishes at the Quicken Loans National and The Open Championship at Carnoustie. The PGA Championship at Bellerive in August fans were witness to another top finish in a Major Championship which led us into the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs. It was at the Tour Championship when he won his 80th title and everyone was saying that he was back. As far as I’m concerned at the time his form was back but he wasn’t.

That changed on April 14th, 2019 on Masters Sunday. Overall, the 2019 Masters Tournament was as exciting as it gets. The number of player’s that were in contention every day of the tournament was staggering and names like Fleetwood (my pick… didn’t turn out), Langer, Corey Conners, DeChambeau, Koepka, and Woods that were there after the first round. After Round 2 we saw DeChambeau slide out and making moves were Adam Scott, Jason Day and Francesco Molinari. When the dust settled after Round 3 we saw a lurking Tiger waiting to pounce on the field, Tony Finau, Brooks Koepka, and Ian Poulter very in contention which further set up the exciting finish on Sunday.

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Jubilation

I’m not going to give a recap of the final round because we all know what happened but let’s just say that Sunday was a day that was very different on so many levels. With severe weather threatening Augusta, Georgia the tee times were moved up in an effort to avoid the dreaded Monday finish. It was a fantastic decision made by The Masters Tournament Committee and it was a day like we have never seen before. We had previous major champions in contention (Molinari and Koepka both of whom outlasted Woods in major’s in 2018) at the top of the leaderboard. According to reports, after bogeying the 4th and 5th hole it was his caddie (Joe LaCava) that woke him up.

“Never lose the tenseness, but be loose out there. Don’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.” – Caddie Joe LaCava to Tiger Woods

On the 15th hole, Woods catapult into the lead and the rest is history. Then came the magical walk up the 18th, the final putt and the roars that shook the fabrics of the Earth. Making it even better was that his mother, daughter, and son were there to be in his arms after that final putt. The way that life intended it to be. Exultation. Redemption. Accomplishment.

Like I said in my Tweet. “If you don’t truly appreciate this for what it truly is. You have no soul”. Many of us have been through our own trials and tribulations. I have and continue to do so after my stroke in September. Recently, I played my first round of golf since that stroke. While it wasn’t the same thing from an accomplishment level as what Tiger just did I understand what it means to fight, grind, scratch, and claw your way back.  It’s because of his fighting and grinding why I appreciate this win more than any of Tiger’s previous 80. Congratulations Tiger! Now you’re back.

Tiger’s Winning WITB

M5 Fairway | 13°

M3 Fairway| 19°

Milled Grind Wedges | 56° & 60°

Golf Ball – Bridgestone Golf TOUR B XS

 

 

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

 

 

GALVIN GREEN BRINGS OUT SHAKEDRY JACKET AHEAD OF 1st MAJOR

With the first Major Championship for the men being played this week in Augusta, Georgia renowned golf apparel manufacturer Galvin Green has released a limited edition version of their SHAKEDRY™ jacket.

In honor of The Masters Galvin Green is releasing a groundbreaking jacket two months before its official launch. The jacket which will be known as the “Ashton” is a jacket that features out-of-this-world technology and weighs in at a feather-like 174 grams (6 ounces). The limited edition jacket features a full-length green zipper.

With the projected weather forecast for this week in Augusta, a jacket like the Ashton could serve a potential champion very well. For more details on what the”Ashton” jacket will offer please see the press release as shared by Natalie Collard who is the Director of marketing firm Sports Impact.

Until The Next Tee!!

#seeuonthenexttee #fightandgrind

 

-Limited Edition available with full-length green zipper –

 

Galvin Green, the pioneering brand in hi-tech golf waterproofs, is introducing a limited edition of its new streamlined GORE-TEX® SHAKEDRY™ rain jacket ahead of the first Major tournament of the year and two months before its official launch.

The first super-lightweight waterproof garment of its kind, the jacket features a green full-length zipper and will be available from today at selected stockists and online retailers around the world (S-XL sizes).

The extraordinary SHAKEDRY™ technology is integrated into the lightest GORE-TEX® rain jacket ever made by Galvin Green – weighing just 174 grams (6 ounces), or at least half the weight of a conventional lined waterproof jacket.

The revolutionary construction of the SHAKEDRY™ jacket has been in various stages of development over the past 15 years and sees the unrivaled GORE-TEX® membrane placed on the outside without a face fabric for the first time – improving breathability significantly. The smooth surface enables water to bead up persistently and simply roll off the garment. As a result, there is minimal chilling effect and a much faster dry-off time.

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Inside the extremely breathable, totally windproof jacket is a functional backer textile for greater comfort next to the skin, while the quiet GORE-TEX® membrane on the outside eliminates all friction in the golf swing. Ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and the perfect fit during set-up and throughout the swing, it also takes up little space in the bag.

“Interest in SHAKEDRY™ has been so fantastic that we decided to offer it as a limited edition ahead of its official launch,” said Steve Hendren, President of Galvin Green US. “It will never wet-out, leak or cling onto the skin. It’s the perfect jacket for serious golfers who want to perform in the rain. In playtests, a pro golfer said it was like playing in a shirt.”

Known as the ASHTON, the new SHAKEDRY™ full-zip jacket comes with shaped sleeves for easy movement, elastic binding on the cuffs, drawstring at the hem, water-repellent zippers and a chest pocket. It goes on general sale with a silver zipper in more size options this summer. RRP of $400. For more information visit http://www.galvingreen.com.

The Top 10 Golf News Stories of 2018

What a crazy, wacky and sometimes wild year it was in golf during 2018. From Major accomplishments to historic moments. We take a look at the top golf news stories of 2018 or at least the way that I see it.

#10 – Farewell Abbey??

Don’t mind me waving the maple leaf for a few moments to get started. This story may not be big news anywhere else in the world. However, this is a story that’s significant for the Canadian golf fanbase. The “House That Jack Built”. Mr. Nicklaus’ first solo design Glen Abbey is a course in nearby Oakville, Ontario. A course that’s historic in many ways. The most poignant detail is the fact that it’s hosted the Canadian Open a record 30 times. When Dustin Johnson closed out the victory on that Sunday it might have been the last time that the venue will be used. There’s been a massive fight between a real estate developer that wants to turn the property into high-priced GTA (Greater Toronto Area) condos and those that want to turn Glen Abbey into a heritage site. The latter would save the iconic Canadian course. I’m trying to refrain from singing “Sound of Silence” but it makes me sad.

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#9 – Bradley Back

In a way this story sort of ties in with the previous one. I was watching Keegan Bradley during the Tuesday practice round for the 2018 Canadian Open. He was looking real good out there and he had a decent finish. Bradley would finish 4th in the tournament (four strokes back of DJ). Earlier in the year, there were glimpses of his former brilliance. It was a lifetime ago it seems when he won his Major. Then during the FedEx Cup Playoffs… it finally happened. After an exciting playoff with Justin Rose the Cleveland/Srixon Golf staffer won and snapped a 6-year winless drought. Who doesn’t love a good comeback story?

#8 – Revolving Door At The Top

Parity. It’s all over professional sports. On any given day any team can win. In golf it’s individuals. While some people think golf is lacking some “hoospah” these days I think it’s an exciting time for the game. Look at all of the young gun’s they’re all fearless. Look no further than the Official World Golf Rankings. This year seemed like there was always constant movement at the top. A proberbial “revolving door”. Currently, Brooks Koepka (who got the ESPN snub) is the World #1 on the men’s side. In no particular order Justin Rose and Dustin Johnson both were #1 at certain points in 2018. Say… wasn’t Justin Thomas there as well?

#7 Reed Wins The Masters

Love him or hate him (the majority hates him) Patrick Reed won the 2018 Masters Tournament. In what will go down in golf history as the most disliked champion of all time the reality is that Reed has his place in the rich history of Augusta National. Reed has long been known for a strong opinion and I sort of like him because he isn’t… you know… “finished”. It’s never a dull moment when he’s in front of some sort of media. By the way… he’s going to be placing the Green Jacket on Tommy Fleetwood in 2019 at the Butler Cabin.

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#6 – Lexi Wins CME

The final event on the LPGA Tour is the CME Group TOUR Championship held annually at Tiburon Golf Club in lovely Naples, Florida. Lexi Thompson had a tough 2018 season. The personable 23 year-old withdrew earlier in the year from the Ricoh Women’s British Open. Following that withdrawal she would take some time off to “recharge” her “mental batteries” as she described it on Instagram. Later on, it came out that she was struggling with “body image” as well. Taking the time off from professional golf to focus on herself was a sign of poise and maturity. The time off paid dividends as Lexi won the final event of the year. Welcome back Lexi. #FightAndGrind

 

#5 – DeChambeau Breaks Out Big Time

He’s a genius. Literally! If anyone truly had a breakout season in 2018 it was DeChambeau. As nice as social media can be it can also be a place of misery. You see, I’ve watched the idiots on his Instagram feed berate and downright bully the 25 year-old DeChambeau. whether it’s ever bothered him I don’t know. Isn’t it amazing how brave people are from behind a laptop or similar? His naysayers over social media said that he was “shit” and so on (actually much worse things were said). 2018 was a year in which DeChambeau silenced his critics and gave them all a collective “middle finger salute”. He didn’t win once or twice this year. No, instead he won 3 times. As it stands right now… DeChambeau is #5 in the OWGR.

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#4 – “The Match”

There was no way that I would leave this story out. “The Match” featuring Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. You know? The PPV event that cost viewers $20 to purchase. The only thing was that there were so many technical issues that refunds were doled out like samples at Costco. You could almost hear Oprah saying “You get a refund… you get a refund… you get a refund… EVERYBODY gets a refund”. I hated everything about it. First, it was 15 years late in the making. Then there was the obvious. Two rich guys betting away other people’s money in sidebets. Although, some money found its way to charity. Oh yeah… then there was the “reverse crescent-kicking” Mickelson trying to look all “gangsta” behind the pile of money. Nauseating! It was so horribly done that they’ve now planned two re-boots of ‘The Match”. I laugh because it’s an attempt to recuperate the money lost. They won’t say it.. .I will. I’ll watch zero of these as well.

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#3 – Tiger Wins #80

It’s no secret. I’m not a Tiger fan but it isn’t like I dislike him for personal reasons. Believe it or not the media or shall say the Golf Channel has a lot to do with it. Always stuffing him down our throats… even when he misses a cut or isn’t playing at all. I appreciate the fact that Tiger Woods is the best player of this generation. Some will contend that he’s the best of all-time but the era’s in golf are so different through the ages. But that’s a debate for another time. Granted, it’s unlikely that I’ll “beat that dead horse”. Fact… Nobody moves the needle like Eldrick “Tiger” Woods. He’s had his issues with injuries, a 9-iron wielding wife (well ex-wife) and a run-in with the police (DUI). Everybody said he was done. Well maybe not everyone but there were more pundits and golf analysts that made the remarks than who didn’t. Believe it or not.. I was not one of them. You could see the progress (2017 Hero World Challenge notwithstanding) and the results were starting to come all year long. Then finally it happened. Tiger came all the way back from golf’s “Bowels of Despair”. The same day Keegan Bradley found his way back so to did Tiger Woods. He won the TOUR Championship at East Lake his 80th career victory.

#2 – Koepka Captures Two Majors

Brooks Koepka just might be the “Rodney Dangerfield” of professional sports. No respect! Or maybe at least according to golf juggernaut ESPN. You see, they don’t see him as a dominant athlete. Are you kidding me? Have you seen the guy in person? Not only is he a tank but the last time that something looked that formidable on the golf course it was… Tiger Woods. Koepka is freakishly long, has the finesse to go with that power and he can putt. As a matter of fact, if I were playing “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004” I would make my character like him. Dude’s a video game character. Actually, I think that I created a player just like him in retrospect. Anyways, not only is he #1 in the world but all he did was win two measly Major Championships in 2018 (U.S. Open and PGA Championship). But he’s not dominant? ESPN… stick to The Espy’s and 30 For 30.

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#1 – 2018 Ryder Cup

The 2018 Ryder Cup. It was amazing… For Team Europe! After Day One the American side was in pretty good shape and then ever so slowly the wheels fell off of the “Stars and Stripes”. The Euro’s decimated their competitors at Le Golf National (Paris, France) and as much as that was a story… it was the fallout afterwards. If you recall, there was fallout a few Ryder Cup’s ago in which the American team was embarrassed so badly at the hands of the Europeans that a special task force was developed (by the USGA as I recall). Just to ensure that it never happened again but… It did…in 2018. Between a reported dispute between DJ and Koepka in which they had to be separated at an after-party (incident denied) and the “affable” Patrick Reed doing what he does best… err or worst (open his mouth… his wife chimed in too). Heck, Tiger and Phil went winless in their matches too (almost like “The Match” itself). The 2018 Ryder Cup unfortunately will not be remembered for good golf or for that matter the margin of victory for Team Europe. Instead, it will be remembered for the dysfunctional drama that was Team USA.

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There you have it… the Top 10 Golf Stories of 2018. I bet 2019 will be even better yet. Let me know what you think.

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee

 

 

 

 

 

Much-Maligned Masters Champion

As always, the brainchild of Bobby Jones is always full of thrills and jam-packed story lines. The 2018 Masters Tournament was no different. So instead of writing a bunch of rhetoric let’s jump right into it.

I think a suitable place to begin is with the story of Doug Whim who finished as the Low Amateur at the 2018 Masters Tournament. Ghim found his way to Augusta by finishing as the runner-up at the 2017 U.S. Amateur Championship. The product of the University of Texas (Senior) has developed quite the playing resume and his finish this weekend was just another feather in the proverbial cap. His play on Thursday alone was impressive as he had Eagle’s on 13 and 18 respectively en route to an even Par 72. Ghim would be the only Amateur to make the cut (+4) and would finish at +8 for the weekend. A weekend which he ended with an exclamation mark as he holed-out for birdie on his 72nd hole. All of this with his dad carrying his golf bag. Well done young man!

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Photo Credit: augusta.com

 

As Sunday mid-day turned to early afternoon leaders of the tournament were set to tee off. All of them were chasing 54-hole leader Patrick Reed. Names like Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm, Bubba Watson, Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy to name a few. The latter engaging in some “fun” gamesmanship between himself and Reed. The pairing was hyped after their wild Ryder Cup match and the golf world was waiting for some fireworks. Rarely however, does such hype happen in the final pairing during Stroke Play or in particular on a Major Championship Sunday. even those fireworks failed to light there was plenty of fireworks elsewhere around Augusta National.

It just seems like the tournament isn’t really played until the 64th hole. This is the point in time where the roars of Augusta are most often heard. Jordan Spieth had some of the loudest roars on the golf course. Entering the final round he started 9 shots back of Reed. In a comfortable pairing with Justin Thomas Sunday would see Spieth go low. Spieth fired a 64 that electrified the patrons on the grounds and television viewers alike. His second shot on Azalea (Par 5) was astounding. Watching the coverage it was interesting hearing the conversation between him and caddie Michael Greller. Spieth was sitting in the pine straw and initially pulled an iron. Calmly, Greller talked him out of the shot and put a hybrid into his hands. The shot was caught a little heavy from 234 yards out but as it just cleared Rae’s Creek it settled onto the green for a great look at Eagle but he’d settle for Birdie which catapulted a string of 5 consecutive Birdie’s,  Spieth was right there until an errant tee shot on 18. As he approached his golf ball he simply exclaimed “Oh my God”. He was on pace to be the first in history to fire a 63 in the final round of The Masters.

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Photo Credit: golfchannel.com

Also of much intrigue in the final round of the 2018 Masters was the play of Paul Casey who carded a -7  and Rickie Fowler who hung around and made things interesting right to the end. Fowler carded a 67 and had the patrons buzzing that were taking in the action as it unfolded. After hitting a scintillating drive down 18 his approach shot was even better as a Birdie found the bottom of the cup that got him to -14. Fowler started the final round 5 strokes back which is a testament to how he played the final round.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

In the end  the day belonged to Patrick Reed. Forever his name will be etched in golf lore and Masters history. Reed won his first Major on this 8th day of April 2018 and that can never be taken away. He posted a total of -15 and his final round 71 was just enough to get the victory. For a while it looked as though he would make more Masters history by being the first in history to post 4 sub-70 rounds in The Masters. As good as Reed played that record remains standing. Reed was very steady and leading up to this Masters Tournament I predicted that he’d win.

So my pick to win The Masters out of the above picks. My pick to win the 2018 Masters Tournament is none other than Patrick Reed. His name is just jumping out at me and his game is trending in the right direction. Patrick, just don’t win the Par 3 Contest.

Reed  may not be the most popular winner to ever have donned a Green Jacket Masters Sunday. As a matter of fact there were far more detractors than supporters all over social media. I imagine there might be a number of reasons why golf fans haven’t warmed up to Reed. People going as far to suggest that he should wear red on Sunday’s (because of Tiger). do golf fans simply not like his swagger or ominpresent confidence? Reed made waves a few years ago when he brashly said he was a Top 5 player without having the resume to back it up. I suppose with his Green Jacket that changes things a little bit. Whether the stories are true or not I have no idea. While attending and playing for the University of Georgia he was dismissed from the golf team after allegations of him stealing and cheating arose. He would later transfer to Augusta State (his hometown) and win a National Championship with the Jaguars. Then there were also the gay slurs and then there was the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational where he was heard and recorded saying “I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth, guys” after not being granted free relief. It might have been in jest. At the end of the day only a few things matter. As long as his wife, friends and family loves him that’s all that matters. for the rest of us… what does he care really?

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Photo Credit; The Telegraph

 

Like it or not folks Patrick Reed is your 2018 Master Champion and he will be defending in 2019. Until then see you next year Augusta National (hopefully in the literal sense).

Until The Next Tee!!

 

 

Callaway Footwear Debuts At The Masters Leishman and Hadwin To Wear New Styles

It feels like Christmas. It’s Masters Eve. So in the tradition of giving and presents Callaway Golf has given us the gift of newly introduced footwear. The new styles are slated to make their debut tomorrow when Callaway Golf staff members Australian Marc Leishman and Canadian Adam Hadwin.

The two models are spiked designs and named after two towns that happen to be in California. La Grange and La Jolla. For more information please see the press release below.

 

 

Callaway Footwear Debuts At The Masters

Leishman and Hadwin To Wear New Styles

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Amesbury, Mass., April 3, 2018 – Callaway will have two of its new footwear styles walking the fairways this week at the Masters.

Marc Leishman, who has 3 top 10 finishes this year, will be wearing the recently launched LaGrange golf shoe. The golf shoe features the POWERdrive™ platform with a Duo-Max™ midsole, that has a soft and comfortable top layer of EVA foam, surrounded by a more supportive bottom layer of foam, to provide optimal support and stability. The LaGrange also features a waterproof full grain leather upper and a TPU heel stabilizer for additional support during the swing. Leishman will be sporting the white LaGrange golf shoes this week at the Masters.

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Canadian Adam Hadwin, also with 3 top 10 finishes this year, is wearing the LaJolla golf shoe. The LaJolla is a contemporary classic look with a microfiber leather upper, EVA midsole and a Opti-Vent™ mesh liner for breathability and heat management. Hadwin will be wearing the white and black models of LaJolla this week at Augusta.

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About Callaway Golf

Through an unwavering commitment to innovation, Callaway Golf Company (NYSE:ELY) creates products designed to make every golfer a better golfer. Callaway Golf Company manufactures and sells golf clubs and golf balls, and sells golf accessories under the Callaway Golf® and Odyssey® brands worldwide. For more information, please visit http://www.callawaygolf.com.

Until The Next Tee!!

The 2018 Masters Tournament

Well… here we are. Masters Week is here and players in the field have started playing practice rounds with several having been through the course in previous weeks. With the ever entertaining Par 3 Contest coming up Wednesday I thought that it might be fun to prognosticate the tournament. Before continuing, I just wanted to take a few seconds to talk about the annual Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals.

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Photo Credit: thestar.com

 

The Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals are held at Augusta National and features boys and Girls in 4 different age categories. These junior golfers ranging in ages 7-15 are good and can make golfers many years their elder look silly in these three major aspects of the golf game. I just wanted to wave my flag (Canadian) real fast and congratulate the winner of the Girls 10-11 age group. The winner was Vanessa Borovilos of Toronto, Ontario Canada. Congratulations Vanessa!!!

So The Masters. I’m still waiting to walk these hallowed grounds. It’s something that I really feel that I’ll be able to experience one day… preferably while I’m relatively young still and able-bodied. I just want to see if it smells like I’ve always imagined it to. I remember when I first had that thought. It was 2002, and I was in the hospital recovering from a serious illness where doctor’s thought I had Spinal Meningitis. But, as I recovered in the hospital I was watching The Masters (won by Tiger Woods) I was taken aback by the sheer beauty of the course. Those fully bloomed dogwood and azaleas. The pine straw nestled amongst the base of the towering pines. I thought that I could smell the golf course. At this point, I wasn’t even interested in golf but the rest is history.

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So the other day my dear friend in Ireland (Teresa) was asking for tips about The Masters. Someone asked what kind of tips she was looking for and she said that she wanted to place a few bets. So I made a suggestion as did several others. Which brings me to this piece. i thought it would be fun breaking down the field based on the Vegas odds. I’ll take my picks from the following categories and out of them… pick a winner and a darkhorse. Below are the odds breakdowns.

  • 10/1 to 20/1
  • 21/1 to 50/1
  • 51/1 to 99/1
  • 100/1 to 150/1
  • 175/1 to 250/1
  • 300/1 to 500/1
  • 600/1 to 1000/1

10/1 to 20/1 – The favorites! For any fans or gamblers placing wagers these are the “sure bets”. In a group that consists of the “new” Tiger, Spieth, Thomas and Dustin Johnson I like Bubba Watson. He already owns two titles at Augusta National but I’ve said all over social media that he’s a confident Bubba and not to mention that he’s putting real well, he’s long and more importantly has a wild imagination. I pick Bubba here but I see Justin Rose and Matt Kuchar hanging around.

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21/1 to 50/1 – In a group that features Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and defending champion Sergio Garcia there’s a name at 50/1 that is real intriguing. Also, for those betting it may be worthwhile to place a buck or two here. That guy… Patrick Reed. It’s a matter of time before the unflappable Reed breaks through for a Major title. It could happen this week.

51/1 to 99/1 – Well it would be “en vogue” to pick Ian Poulter out of this group. But I think he’s played his heart out to get to Magnolia Lane. Does he run out of gas after this miraculous run that he’s been on. He’ll make the cut but won’t be there at the end.  There are plenty of intriguing names here and I really would like to see a Bryson DeChambeau jacket presentation come Sunday. His approach to the game is as interesting as his 66/1 odds. At 70/1 I pick Australian Marc Leishman. The Aussie is grossly underrated.

100/1 to 150/1 – Kevin Kisner leads this group of golfers and sits at 100/1. but when I look up and down this category the man from Thailand grabs my attention. Kiradech Aphibarnrat at 125/1. He doesn’t play much in North America but has garnered more attention after his play during the WGC Dell Match Play.  wonder what his “Champions Dinner” would be like.

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175/1 to 250/1 – Now we’re really starting to get into the longshots although many would contend that any one after 50/1 is a longshot. Shubhankar Sharma is another one of those international players that introduced himself to North America earlier this year. He did so after playing extremely well at the WGC Mexico event which consequently got him his Masters invite. The emerging European Tour star has played some tremendous golf this year so on a whim I’ll take Sharma at 175/1 over Patton Kizzire and Si Woo Kim.

300/1 to 500/1 – Not exactly a ton of names in the last two groups to choose from. But these are names that would be fun for placing a $20 bet. Oh the golf clubs I could but or the upgrades to my website. Sure there are the household bills that could be paid… but what fun is that? Fred Couples always excites at The Masters but at 400/1 I’ll pick Wesley Bryan.

600/1 to 1000/1 – The longest of longshots. Here we see a few guys that are amateurs or a bit “long in the tooth”. Steely eyed, grizzled veteran Bernhard Langer is bold. He plays pretty good golf however I’ll pick another Champions Tour player here. Vijay Singh has won this season on the “senior circuit” and I can see the native of Fiji playing golf this weekend.

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So my pick to win The Masters out of the above picks. My pick to win the 2018 Masters Tournament is none other than Patrick Reed. His name is just jumping out at me and his game is trending in the right direction. Patrick, just don’t win the Par 3 Contest.

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Until The Next Tee!!