Phil Mickelson to skip his early season favourites

Veteran American golfer Phil Mickelson has announced that he will be skipping two of his favourite events on the West Coast in order to spend more time with his family.

The 42 year old announced on his personal website that he will be opting out of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, scheduled for the second week of February for the first time in 21 years. He will also sit out of the Northern Trust Open the following week. Mickelson has a win and two runners-up slots at the event in the past eight years.

Writing on his website, Mickelson said that these are two of his favourite events, two of his favourite courses. But he mentioned that with his two kids in different schools with different spring breaks, he will be taking that time off. Phil Mickelson added that the tournament organisers have accommodated his schedule for long enough over the years and it is time that he accommodated their schedule.

Mickelson has skipped the World Golf Championship Match Play because it conflicted with his kids’ schedule over the past five seasons but it has now been moved to early May. He has played on the event at Pebble Beach every year since 1995 and he is a four time winner there as well, the most recent win coming in 2012.

Phil Mickelson plans to play three consecutive weeks to open the charge for the new season. He will be making his debut for 2015 with the Humana Challenge, followed by the Phoenix Open and the Farmers Insurance Open.

He said that he absolutely loves the format as it gives him a full week away from the game, a full week to prepare for the upcoming events and playing three weeks in a row means he will get into an early rhythm as well.

Tiger Eyeing 2nd Billion

5 years after the infamous extramarital scandal that ripped him of grace and respect in recent years, Tiger Woods is reportedly foraying into next chapter of his career, with the goal of second billion dollars.

Although Woods have been frequently tortured with injuries in recent times yet the 38-year-old former #1 is steadily getting his fitness back and has startled everyone once again with his free swing at Hero World the previous week. However, nobody would deny that his golf was pretty rusty and he would still have to make a whole lot of improvements, though that hasn’t stopped the experts on Golf betting at bookmaker Williamhill.com from making him one of the favourites to hold the #1 spot come the end of 2015.

Off the golf course, Woods had a fiscal improvement with a tie up with new prime sponsor of the tournament & very soon he would be inaugurating his plush Bahamas resort where he is one of the business partners.

“The 2nd billion would be right there for Tiger”, stated Neal Pilson, the President of CBS Sports. 5 years back, in 2009, Tiger was the 1st athlete ever to reach up to $1 bn mark in his career earnings, as per one of the Forbes reports that was issued a couple of months prior to the disclosure of his scandalous personal life.

“That is long gone”, Pilosn continued. “That’s over. His very personality, his contacts, looks, the remaining skills & the very emotional bond which people still nourish for Woods is quite eminently marketable.”

Tiger, whose famous pursuit of Nicklaus’ 18 majors record has come to a halt since his winning of 14th back in 2008, revealed his grandest endorsement tie in 5 years. This is a 4-year contract with India’s Hero MotoCorp. The endorsement pact would be paying him $8 mn per year.

“Woods would go on working hard for his comeback yet both deep competition and age would make the win tougher for him”, said renowned sports business author Mr. Andrew Zimbalist.

Jim Furyk Wants Americans To Look At The Bigger Picture

Jim Furyk considers that Americans should look beyond the next Ryder Cup.

Furyk said that instead of focusing on the next year’s Ryder Cup the Americans should focus on winning the majority of the events coming up in the next ten to twenty years.

After the American team lost to Europeans in the latest Ryder Cup, Tom Watson, captain of the American team, had to face much criticism against his authoritarian captaincy style. Phil Mickelson, fellow American team member, in a press conference, overtly voiced critical views about Tom Watson’s captaincy and said that the captain had strayed from the winning formula that won them the Ryder Cup of 2008.

He said that he wants to look back to identify the mistakes they had made. Furyk is interested about what the players have got to say because it would be the time the players are heard as a group.

He said that there were exchanges of views between players regarding the flaws on their end that caused their defeat in so many games and how they could do better in the years to come. He is interested about hearing the views of officers, captains and players to get a picture from all angles.

Furyk and McIlroy are playing in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf that started yesterday. Ryder Cup takes place once every two years. European and American teams compete for the trophy each time at venues in US and Europe alternately.

The 2016 Ryder cup is scheduled to be held at Hazeltine in America. Furyk is of the opinion that PGA America trying to look at Ryder cup from a different angle is not necessarily a bad thing, there is a chance that the approach might bear fruit.

PGA America usually chooses the captain but now it wants to create a task force of former players and captains in order to find out and address the issues that are responsible for so many losses.

Has overlooked for Webb Simpson in last minute Ryder Cup call by Watson

Tom Watson picked Webb Simpson at the last moment as part of the United States Ryder Cup team after deciding against selecting his fellow Wake Forest Demon Deacons alum Bill Haas for the last available spot in the tem.
According to reports, Watson was so certain of going for the trio of Hunter Mahan, Bill Haas and Keegan Bradley that he had made up his mind about them immediately after the Deutsche Bank Championship before he changed his mind in the last minute. The reports also claim that his co-captains for the Ryder Cup Raymond Floyd, Andy North and the still active Steve Stricker had signed off on the original decision and played absolutely no part in his selection of Simpson in the team.
Watson was influenced, apparently, by two individuals in the lead up to the event. The first one was Tiger Woods, who was not a part of the team due to an injury but had a talk with Watson regarding the merits of the two players. The second individual being mentioned is Webb Simpson who left a voicemail message on Watson’s phone which might have swayed his decision.
Simpson hardly had the season to warrant a place in the team for one of the most prestigious team events in sports but it is being suggested his phone call did the trick and he got into the team over Haas.
Webb Simpson did absolutely nothing for the team during the event in Scotland and with Watson having ignored his gut instincts for his feelings, felt it was only right to take the blame upon himself for the dismal showing of the team.
But the damage had been done by that time and there was no going back on the decision that might have cost the United States the Ryder Cup.

Graeme McDowell – charitable golfer

While the Valhalla golf course has been a little harsh on the Northern Irishman, Graeme McDowell, he has had good luck from his endorsement company the Team RBC, where he won the online charity challenge for the children’s hospital in Ireland.

McDowell reached the turn in 33, but it was here that he could be knocked out from the tournament. He had fired two balls right into a water hazard and on the 13th, he committed a quadruple bogey. This was unfortunate and bizarre in so many contexts as the Irishman had not dropped even a single shot anywhere else during the third round of the tournament. After the end of the third round, he stood at the 71st position and left him at one over 54.

“The morning was beautiful, I was playing beautifully. It was the turn which proved to be a wrecker, all wreckers: card, tournament, weekend, everything. I made a quadruple bogey, an elementary one. Maybe there was mud on the first ball, however I lost my focus during the second ball and everything became a disaster; my shot was terrible. My lower back is not in a very good shape. I really do not think the Valhalla course to be something I can compete on. Of the 74 players who made the cut, I stand at 71,” said McDowell.

However, not all is bad news. Team RBC Golfer Graeme McDowell won the inaugural charity challenge #RBCGolf4Kids where he scored a whopping $127,000 instead of a trophy and without having made a single drive or putt. The entire sum will be given away as a donation to the Our Lady Children’s Hospital Crumlin in Dublin at the Children’s Medical & Research Foundation sector. The CEO of the CMRF, Joe Quinsey thanked Graeme and his numerous fans behind #RBCMcDowell for the handsome donation that will be used to purchase pumps for pain relief and monitors to regulate vital cardiac signs.

It’s a Race – says Ian Poulter

Ian Poulter’s entry into the automatic USPGA Championship may not be possible still there is a silver lining as he still has one tournament to qualify for this season’s European team.

Poulter finished tied at 59th at the Valhalla, still it will not change his number 12 ranking and will not have any effect on his schedule even if he does not manage enough points in the upcoming week’s first FedEx Cup event. Poulter has promised fans that he shall play his level best the following week to automatically secure a place in the Euro tour team. The year 2012 was eventful as he was named one of the heroes at the ‘Miracles of Medinah’.

The Italian Open that will finish on August 31 will help decide the European captain Paul McGinley his three wildcard entries into the Ryder Cup which takes place at Gleneagles from the 26 – 28 September. McDowell and Westwood are two of the most deserving contenders for the wildcard entry into the tournament.

Ian James Poulter, 38, is an English born professional golfer and member of both the PGA and the European Tour. However, Poulter’s chances of qualifying depend as much on him as others, the qualifying battle was the least affected by the USPGA. With an amazing finish at 24th, Jamie Donaldson moved up from ninth to eight, while Graeme McDowell fell down a rank from eight to ninth after finishing 47th. Poulter will have company from Luke Donald who is less than two points behind McDowell and will attend the Barclays at Ridgewood Country Club from 21-24 August to gain enough world ranking points. 11th ranking Stephen Gallacher, from Scotland will attend the Wyndham Championship along with the Masters and Italian Open to qualify for the Ryder Cup.
“This means I will have to give my 200 percent,” said Poulter.

Bubba Watson eying Travelers Championship with confidence

Bubba Watson was leading the Travelers Championship a year ago. But soon he made a triple bogey. Ted Scott was criticized by him that was showed in the cameras of the telephone. But he regretted making such comment.

Watson knows that he should not have reacted in a furious manner since he loves Ted Scott and he also gets the same return from him. So he is someone who lets his emotion talk. He will be ranked as third in the championship. He loves playing in the Travelers championship so he keeps coming back.

He was flanked by the media after an uproar at his caddie. He cried after winning at the TPC River Highlands and also in the Masters Championship. But the passion that he holds for the game sometimes backfires and the fans retaliate.
But it is his mental attitude that does not make him firm and rather he losses patience. He criticized the greens in the Pinehurst no 2. He now seems to be in good energy while addressing the media. He believes that he is going to be positive when he enters Travelers Championship.

The tournament is very dear to his heart as the style suits the court and he does not feel any kind of jitters while entering the turf. For each of his 18 hole he needs a wedge which he is sure of hitting. He is confident that he is going to be among top 10 if he decently putts. He is going to hit an eight iron and not a 9 iron as laughingly stated by him. For now he has full faith in his caddie and he knows that it is always team’s decision which is best. He hopes to continue his form with consideration and without letting his caddie down.

Rickie Fowler to play at the Zurich Classic

Young golfers Rickie Fowler and Arnold Palmer Invitational winner Matt Every has both agreed to be part of the upcoming Zurich Classic 2014 which will be held in New Orleans. Rickie Fowler has been quite a revelation in the season with his spirited performances and will surely prove to be a black horse in the prestigious competition. Every, on the other hand, won his first PGA Tour Title and will be the biggest catch in the 20 new pledges who will be part of the event.

The organizers of the Zurich event have revealed the list of the latest committed golfers and it already comprises of players who are in the top 50 top golfers in the world. The list includes talent golfers like sixth placed Justin Rose, number 22 Patrick Reed, 33 ranked Ernie Els, Fowler (41). 44th place holder Every and lastly defending champion Billy Horschel (currently 47th in the world). Horscel will be one of the favourites as he will be looking to repeat his last year’s success at the event.

But the only problem at the moment seems that the commitments are not coming as fast as the previous seasons. The prime reason for that can be the new schedule for the PGA Season and as it is starting from October, most players are trying to save their energy for the main events. But still the commitments are not bad for the year and the sponsors are quite hopeful about the collections.

The latest commitment list which was released on Monday consisted of names like Kevin Stadler, George McNeill, Jonas Blixt, Johnson Wagner, Tommy Gainey, Woody Austin, Matt Every, Charlie Beljan, D.A. Points, Kyle Stanley, Carl Petterson, Mark Wilson, Johnson Wagner, Ken Duke, J.J. Henry, Ted Potter Jr., Chris Kirk, Chesson Hadley, Martin Laird and Rickie Fowler.

Dustin Johnson set to play at the SHO

Fed Ex Cup leader Jimmy Walker (world number 27), British golfer Ian Poulter, Phil Mickelson (world number 5), Webb Simpson (21) and Matt Kuchar (world number 11) are all set to compete in the upcoming Shell Houston Open. Event organizer Steve Timms revealed the latest roster of the esteemed tournament and the high profile line up is guaranteed to bring big bucks for the club and the organizers.

Mickelson will be a huge boost to the competition as the 42 times PGA champion will be the sixth playing in the Top 11 of the Golf Rankings to be a part of this event. The 2013 champion of the British Open will join the likes of Rory McElroy (number 7), Spanish star Sergio Garcia (number 8), Dustin Johnson (world number 9) and Swedish golfer Henrik Stenson.

Poulter is a veteran of as many as four Ryder Cups and he also boasts of 13 international trophies, when it comes to Europe. He also has a knack for World Championship events as both his major victories have come in the 2010 Accenture World Match Play Championship and the the 2012 HSBC Champions.

The collegiate golfer from Baylor, Walker, has already won three titles in the new season – At& T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, SONY Hawaii Open and the Frys.com Open, and he is enjoying a lead of 529 points at the present in the Fed Ex Cup leader board.

The players are given the final date till Friday to completely commit to the tournament which will be held from March 31 to April 6 at the Golf Club of Houston’s Tournament Course. This is a new concept as the players will not be fined if they choose to withdraw within the given date.

Porthcawl determined to recover

The recent Atlantic storm might have damaged Royal Porthcawl course severely but it could not dampen the spirits of the club. The club is determined to recover as fast as possible to ready the course for Wales’ 1st Senior Open scheduled for coming July.

Miguel Jimenez has expressed his earnest desire to contend in the event as the Spaniard is bidding for 2014 Europe Ryder Cup squad. Michael Newland, the secretary is expecting to come up with a perfect course, fit enough to host the prestigious golf event.

“The course has recovered really well”, Newland stated. “Tuesday has been pretty dry & the wind too strong & that has helped to clear volumes of stagnant water on the course.”

A cod, obviously dead, was found among the storm carried debris on the course.

Newland was in all praise for the staffs of the course given their serious efforts in cleaning the varied flotsam from fairways and greens. “The staffs on green have been exceptional”, remarked the impressed secretary. “They have toiled a lot to clear off maximum debris. If you take a look at left-hand side of the course that was badly battered from the storm, you will find it almost clear now.”
“The entire team put in a huge effort to sweep as well as blow & clean to clear the green off the debris”, added in Newland.

Jimnez, the oldest champion of European Tour is aimed to be the oldest of European Ryder Cup golfer by gaining a stand in McGinley’s squad at Gleneagles.

He would be having his debut at Senior Open 2014 championship which is scheduled to be held in between 24th July & 27th July.

“I hope we would be able to get back the course very quickly”, Newman sounded confident.