Feb 24th, 2016
According to reports from north of the border, Bunkered Magazine has heard that Dundonald Links may be the venue for this year’s Scottish Open.
According to reports from north of the border, Bunkered Magazine has heard that Dundonald Links may be the venue for this year’s Scottish Open.
I didn’t think I would hear myself say this, but I feel sorry for Patrick Reed. Don’t get me wrong the guy has handled the whole affair badly and he clearly was borderline cheating at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas last December. However, due to the Tour’s insistence that the matter has been dealt with it has basically thrown the American to the lions, who in this case are the media and the golfing public.
With all due respect to Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods et al we think the Golf Writers Association of America (“GWAA”) were spot on in voting for Brooks Koepka as Player of the Year for 2019. Koepka’s performance at the four majors was undeniable impressive – to win one, finish second in two and tie fourth in the other is quite some feat.
No one can ignore the terrible fires ravaging Australia and to help in the relief efforts of those affected by the fires, a number of LPGA players including the Korda sisters, Marina Alex, Australian Sarah Kemp and England’s Charlotte Thomas, have publicised that they will be making a donation.
The European Tour has a real headache on its hands following Iran’s recent threats to "destroy" parts of the United Arab Emirates if there is retaliation after the attacks they launched on Iraq in reprisal for the US killing of Qassem Soleimani.
The gods were smiling on Justin Thomas in Hawaii on Sunday. Two clear, with three to go it looked like he had the Tournament of Champions in the bag. However, two sloppy bogies in his last three holes saw him have to win a play-off against Patrick Reed and defending champion Xander Schauffele.
The FootJoy folk never seem to stand still and the latest iteration is the Tour X which seeks to combine all that was good from previous tried and tested FootJoy models. The new Tour X has been born from the synthesis of 3 Tour-proven models, the DNA, Tour-S and Fury.
Well they’ve had the boxing, Tiger and Rory have declined big pay days to play there and now Saudi has made history by announcing the first-ever professional women’s golf event in the Kingdom. The fully-sanctioned Ladies European Tour event will be staged in collaboration with Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation and carry a purse of $1 million.
When Peter Fowler picked up the winner’s trophy at the MCB Tour Championship it was not his golf that was centre stage in the post event online discussions. The trophy Fowler received is apparently inspired by the coc de mer or Seychelles’ nut but did they seriously not realise what else it might resemble?
Puma Golf’s rolled out its new “Saltwater Collection” at the Hero World Challenge at the Albany Golf Course in the Bahamas this week. In the collection is the, rather tongue in cheek, Slow Play Golf Polo, which sports lovable turtles holding clubs and flagsticks in its design. Gary Woodland from the Puma fold was happy to wear the shirt but one Bryson DeChambeau, who can be seen on the website wearing the new creation, was not so keen to take to the course in it.
GolfPunk send it condolences and prayers to Tom Watson and his family on the sad passing of Hilary Watson just before midnight on Thanksgiving Eve. Hilary, who Tom described as ‘my hero’ had been battling pancreatic cancer for two years.
We pondered yesterday what would the result of the Race to Dubai be if Jon Rahm won the DP World Tour Championship and Tommy Fleetwood was alone in second? The answer was confirmed when Rahm holed a three foot putt birdie putt on the 18th to take the World Tour Championship and also pip Fleetwood to the Race to Dubai title.
Hats off to the European tour for coming up with another little classic for us all to have a laugh at. A few years back the tour let Little Billy loose on the players. Billy gave the pros a complete grilling with a series of cheeky questions, the Rory McIlroy one is a classic. Three years on, a documentary crew follow him as he returns to Dubai for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
For the first time since 1955 there will be no live coverage of any golf on the BBC in 2020. The BBC has lost their rights to show any live coverage of the Augusta event which means that the UK pay TV Channel Sky is now the only place to watch live coverage of the majors. This is the end game for millions of golf fans who have seen the free to air coverage of their favourite sport fade and die in the hands of the BBC over the past decade.
In the final Hero Challenge of the year South African Erik van Rooyen defeated former Masters Champion Danny Willett. You know the Hero Challenge, it’s the one where 6 top pros compete at target golf, hitting to a floating green out in an expanse of water. The closer to the flag you are the more points you score, with the closest ring being 50 points the next 25, well you get the gist.
This coming weekend the LPGA Tour reaches its climax at the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida. The winner will pick up a cheque for a cool $1.5 million. Meanwhile, the members of the ladies European Tour are sitting out yet another week. Their last event was the Hero Women’s Indian Open back at the beginning of October.
Derek The Donkey, GolfPunk's grumpy horse-envier once again delivers his 'Joke of the Week'. As you know he likes nothing better than a proper good laugh as long as it's at someone else's expense...
Take one tour pro, 500 golf balls and a 165-yard par three hole. The challenge, to make a hole-in-one. The odds of an average golfer making an ace are roughly one in 100,000, while stats suggest a European Tour pro's chances are closer to one in 2,500. Step up Thomas Pieters.
It’s been a while since this fine course has featured a major event and it’s been even longer since GolfPunk played it. If we recall correctly you head south out of Dublin on the M9 and you can’t miss it – well you can as its in middle of nowhere, if we recall.
Stop Press: Sweden’s Annika Sorenstam is set to become the first female professional to compete in the PNC Father Son Challenge. We’ve just picked the Brigadier up off the floor spluttering something about it never happening at West Hill or something. Yes, it is called a father son event but this is 2019 and actually the fairer sex has competed before.
Englishman Josh Hill entered the record books becoming the youngest player ever to win an Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) event with his two-stroke triumph in the Al Ain Open on the Mena Tour. But sadly, as an amateur he couldn’t take home his £10,000 prize money.
Jason Day gets in private jet, hot foots it from CJ Cup in China where he was 31st and then beats Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and home favourite Hideki Matsuyama to the spoils taking home $210,000 of the $350,000 pot. Happy Days then (do you see what we did there?)! Well perhaps for Jason but not really for golf as the inaugural 'The Challenge: Japan Skins' lived up to our pretty low expectations.
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama will go head to head in a globally televised skins game, the first in a series of annual competitions staged by GOLFTV. "The Challenge: Japan Skins" will take place on the 21st October ahead of the PGA Tour's Zozo Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino C.C. in Chiba, Japan, and we will not be watching.
Take one bike, one set of clubs, 14 different Open venues and one complete nutter and you have the ‘The Great British Open Challenge’. London-based PGA professional, Luke Willett, he with a famous golfing namesake, is to pedal his way between all the Open venues playing 18 holes at each and cycling with his clubs on his back!
A year after finishing tied for second in the Hero Women’s Indian Open, Christine Wolf enjoyed a much happier experience at DLF Golf and Country Club as she claimed her first Ladies European Tour title. The 30-year-old Austrian, who had led by three going into the 18th hole 12 months ago before a nightmare double-bogey wrecked her chances, was able to take care of unfinished business.
Jon Rahm successfully defended a title for the first time in his career as he stormed to a five-stroke victory at the Mutuactivos Open de España. The 24-year-old secured his fifth European Tour title in just his 39th start, becoming the fastest Spaniard to reach five victories surpassing the late, great Seve Ballesteros who reached that milestone on his 49th appearance.
Australia’s Whitney Hillier carded a one-under round of 71 to claim a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Hero Women’s Indian Open. She leads by a single shot from Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord with Linda Wessberg of Sweden and Meg MacLaren of England a further shot back.
The large crowds at the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid were delighted as Spanish players took command of the Open de Espana. Adria Arnaus and Rafael Cabrera Bello hold the halfway lead on eleven under par with Samuel Del Val one shot back and world number five and defending champion, Jon Rahm, sitting menacingly two back on nine under.
Christine Wolf shot an excellent five-under-par 67 in the third round of the Hero Women’s Indian Open to take a one stroke lead into the final round at DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram. The 30-year-old Austrian will be determined to make amends for last year when she dumped her third shot into the water at the 18th to take a double bogey and lose the event by two shots.
Poor old Bio Kim. The Korean who is leading the money list on the Korean tour, has been handed a three-year suspension for raising his middle finger at members of the crowd at the weekend. This seems a rather harsh punishment and will cost the young man a lot of dosh.
Only a fortnight after playing her part in Europe’s Solheim Cup victory at Gleneagles, Carlota Ciganda claimed the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open at Terramar Golf Club in Sitges, Spain to add another unforgettable moment to her remarkable career.
Laura Fuenfstueck of Germany shot a four under 67 to keep the lead but is being hunted down by home favourite Carlota Ciganda who is just two shots back going into the final round of the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open at Golf Club Terramar, near Barcelona.
Germany’s Laura Fuenfstueck produced back to back rounds of 68 to lead by three shots at the halfway stage of the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open in Sitges, near Barcelona. The 24-year-old from Langen was out of the traps quickly, racking up four birdies in her first 12 holes and made just the one bogey, on the par-4 14th, at Terramar Golf Club.
Nelly Korda shot a four-under 67 to win the Lacoste Ladies Open to take her first European Title. Blustery conditions made it challenging at Golf du Medoc and despite being in a final round containing two local favourites, Korda managed to hold off Joanna Klattern and Céline Boutier for her maiden win on this side of the pond.
France’s Joanna Klatten made a strong push at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France with third round six-under-par 65 at Golf du Medoc Resort bringing her within one of World Number one Nelly Korda, setting up for an exciting final round.
World number ten Nelly Korda lived up to her favourite billing shooting a second round seven-under-par 64 to take a six-stroke lead into the weekend on 10-under-par at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France at Golf du Medoc, near Bordeaux.
The teams were introduced, the crowds were bedecked in the colours of the teams and Sharleen Spiteri and Texas hit the stage to liven up proceedings. First points in the fashion stakes probably went to Europe with their mid length coats and Solheim Cup tartan scarves winning it out over the the not quite so flattering short jackets of Team USA. A real spectacle indeed and here are some of the best images.
Paul Casey has moves up to 14th in the world following his victory at the European Open in Hamburg. The Englishman shot a bogey free 66 that took him to 14 under and squeezed out Scotland’s Robert Macintyre, Austria’s Matthias Schwab and home hope Bernd Ritthammer by one-stroke.
Something for the weekend? Ooh suit you!
With stunning views of the China Sea along with the city skyline Sentosa Golf Club is home of the Singapore Open and more recently has been the venue for the HSBC Women’s World Championship.
The techies at Cleveland believe that the keys to success are control and feel which gives confidence in putting and their new Huntington Beach SOFT range does just that, so that we make more putts, "plain and simple!"
Something for the weekend? Ooh, suit you!
World number one, Jin Young Ko, walked arm in arm up to the 18th green at the CP Women’s Open yesterday with defending champion and local girl Brooke Henderson, as she cruised to a five shot lead over her nearest rival, Denmark’s Nicole Broch Larsen, to confirm that she is in her class of her own on the LPGA Tour this year.
The Tour Championship is looking like it will provide a thrilling finale to the men’s season on Sunday as at the halfway point as Brooks Koepke leads Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas by one stroke, with Xander Schauffele and Paul Casey still very much in contention.
Something for the weekend? Ooh suit you!
There was lots of concern that the new format of the Tour Championship was going to result in the FedEx Cup leader running away with things and there being a lack of drama at East Lake Golf Club over the last big weekend for the PGA Tour. Well things didn’t really work out like that as Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka all start day two tied on 10 under with Rory just one behind.
Hot on the heels of the success of the ISPS Handa World Invitational Men | Women event in Northern Ireland presented by his Modest! Golf Management outfit Niall Horan has announced he will be teeing it up in the BMW PGA Pro-Am on 18th September at Wentworth. Horan who is a member of the Wentworth Club in Surrey will take to the fairways of his famous home club alongside some of world golf’s biggest names.
The finale of the PGA Tour season is upon us and already we have a leaderboard in the race for that crazy payout of $15 million to the winner. Thirty men, honourable and true, will tee it up at the East Lake Golf Club just outside Atlanta with dollar signs in their eyes. Justin Thomas already leads by two, crazy we know but then again, the whole thing is.
Motocaddy, is upgrading its popular free-to-use GPS app to incorporate potential lifesaving features that indicate the location of on-course defibrillators and provide golfers with CPR instructions to administer to anyone suffering a cardiac arrest when playing golf.
The The European Tour has announced a concrete four-point plan aimed at tackling the issue of slow play in professional golf. The plan will be implemented at the start of the 2020 season and focuses on four key areas: regulation, education, innovation and field sizes.
After exhaustive reseach, including feedback from tour players, their caddies and PGA professionals, Titleist have produced their latest tour bag collection. This is a glimpse of what is to come from Titleist in 2020 and clearly the theme is a sleak jet black look.
The stuff that's floated our boats and scrunched our undies this week...
The European tour has been pretty creative with its content of late, who can forget the ‘Content Committee’ or Eddie Pepperell’s prank on Matt Wallace. By far our favourite though are the ongoing 14 Club Challenges.
Well we have run out of majors but Tiger will still be coming out to play in August as the FedEx Cup Playoffs commence this week in Jersey City, with The Northern Trust. It’s all change with the play-offs and we had to read it a few times before we sussed it out. So here’s how it will work..
She is only 20, has never played a major championship or even played outside Japan until this week and now Hinako Shibuno finds herself leading the Women’s British Open at Woburn. She takes a two-shot lead into the Sunday but there is plenty of talent queuing up behind her should she slip up on the final day.
It was all getting quite crowded at the top of the leaderboard on day two at the AIG Women’s British Open at Woburn on Friday until the overnight leader, Ashleigh Buhai, who was out late in the day, suddenly put her foot on the accelerator to open up daylight between her and the field.
The AIG Women’s British Open is now set to follow Woburn Golf Club with back to back regal courses with Royal Troon added to the Championship roster for 2020 and Royal Porthcawl confirmed for 2021. It seems therefore, that that we are set for some quality golf on iconic courses now that The R&A has taken over the women's home Championship.
What's floated our golf boat and upset us at day two of the AIG Women’s British Open. The GolfPunk team took to the fairways, well ok the path bits down the sides, to see what was good and bad on the Marquess course at Woburn Golf Club.
Less than 24 hours after the Evian Championship was wrapped up by Jin Young Ko, 49 of the top 50 women in the world hightailed it to Milton Keynes to somehow prepare themselves for the very different test that Woburn Golf Club’s Marquess Course will offer. Or at least most of them would have been preparing had Lexi Thompson not left her passport in her bag!
Defending Women’s British Open champion Georgia Hall is set to tee off at 12.16 on Thursday alongside Brooke Henderson of Canada and Japan’s Mamiko Higa and according to her she is “actually very excited. I don't feel any pressure. It’s really nice for me to be home because I've been in the US the whole year.”
There is no other way to say this but last week was a killer. The workouts alongside a heavy workload and a couple of work functions were tough (its important at this point in case our other halves are reading to emphasis these soirees were work related and we really didn’t enjoy them!). However, we made it through to the other side and are looking forward to next week!
The men’s majors are over and so attention turns to the women, or ladies as they were referred to when I was growing up. We have a double header with the Evian Championship in France this week followed straight away by the Women's British Open. And we thought the men were compressing their majors too much!
They needed it to be tough out there if they were going to challenge Shane Lowry but in the end, it was too tough and the conditions actually played in to the hands of the big man. For a man who grew up playing links golf up and down Ireland he was always going to be one of best equipped if the really high winds came.
As we sit and watch the various trials and tribulations of the players at the 148th Open, something pops up and immediately the whole team at GolfPunk are in total agreement, an event which I can assure you is as rare as rocking horse poop. The chance to own a luxury residence at the Hamilton Grand one of the most iconic buildings located virtually on top of the 18th hole of the Old Course at St. Andrews and in time for the 150th Open in 2021. The very definition of lovely stuff!
The fairy tale has slowly unwound. Local boy, Darren Clarke, who led the field off on Thursday in the 148th Open Championship, took seven at the last to miss the cut. Rory McIlroy, who famously shot 61 around Royal Portrush at the age of 16, shot 65, equalling best score of the day, but agonisingly missed the cut by one. And our man, Gmac, held firm just making it through on the cut line, nine back from the leader.
Lee Westwood backed up a first day 68 with an impressive 67 and is currently tied in 3rd position with Tommy Fleetwood, just one shot off the overnight lead. Based on his recent form this is somewhat unexpected. What has changed you might ask? Well he’s brought Helen Storey, his girlfriend, in as his looper and, despite her not knowing much about golf, it just might provide the fairy tale story for one of the finest golfers never to win a major.
There have been many incredible Open debuts, here is our Top 10...
There have been many an odd occurence at the oldest of all the majors but these are our pick of the top ten weirdest Open Championship moments.
Why is the golf now only on Sky TV in the UK with the BBC set to produce, if last year is anything to go by, a set of very ordinary highlights programmes? Who is to blame - Sky, the BBC, the politicians, the R&A or perhaps even Brexit?
Hughie's is the 416 yards, par 4 first hole on the Royal Portrush course. There is out of bounds on both sides of the hole with most golfers most concerned with that on the right. However, as there are bunkers on the right and left of the fairway at 262 yards and 291 yards respectively, most pros will go with an iron.
Who will win the Open? Vote now for your pick of the Top 20, as per the bookies, or do you think it will be more of an outsider who takes the Claret Jug on the shores of Northern Ireland?
Darren Clarke will hit the opening tee shot at The 148th Open, while fellow local favourite Rory McIlroy is paired with US Open champion Gary Woodland for the opening two rounds at Royal Portrush, which we cannot wait to see!
Each year the winner of The Open receives the famous claret jug which he must return before the following year’s event. But what is the history behind this iconic trophy?
GolfPunk fave Georgia Hall (no less!!) and nine of the past ten Champions will compete at the Women’s British Open for a 40% larger prize fund of $4.5m (circa £3.6m at time of writing) in recognition of the importance of the Championship and women’s golf according to the R&A.
The Open is looming up on the horizon so come and test your knowledge of all things Openey with the GolfPunk Open Golf Quiz 2019. It's got something for everyone who err like quizes.
Despite no mortal being able to move it on their own the answer is the boulder. As Tiger Woods found out to his benefit at the 1999 Phoenix Open when a friendly rules official suggested it was a loose impediment.
So Muirfield or to give its proper title, The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, has formally invited women to join the club as members for the first time since voting to change the club’s rules in 2017.
Derek The Donkey, GolfPunk's grumpy horse-envier delivers his 'Joke of the Week'. He likes nothing better than a proper good laugh as long as it's at someone else's expense...
Justin Rose shot a third round 68 to close the gap on leader Gary Woodland to just one shot, with the field a further three shots back. Looming ominously in the pair’s rear-view mirror is one Brooks Koepka who shot a bogey free round of 68 to continue his slow, but continuous, move up the leaderboard.
I just placed a bet on the US Open. I got odds of just shy of 6/1 on one Mr Brooks Koepka. My heart is with Justin Rose and, if his amazing short game continues, he may well win but my head says that Koepka will come through to make history.
Once upon a time what golfers wore on the course was not something that was talked about much. This might have something to do with the fact that they wore a standardised uniform of shirt, jumper of varying style and slacks. Oh, and of course the obligatory golf shoe which usually looked like something your grandad thought was cutting edge.
America’s Gary Woodland shot a 65 to take the lead in the US Open and join Justin Rose and Tiger Woods in the record books with the joint lowest score in a US Open at Pebble Beach. He leads England’s Justin Rose, who added a round of 70 to his own 65, by two shots as they go into the weekend.
England’s Justin Rose birdied the final three holes of his round to post a six under par 65 and lead the U.S. Open by one shot. One of GolfPunk’s tips, Ricky Fowler, sits in second place alongside his fellow countrymen, Xander Schauffele and Aaron Wise, and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen. Rose’s round is the joint lowest ever shot at Pebble Beach in an U.S. Open.
Jordan Spieth was having a decent round yesterday. Level par for the first seven holes and all was well with the world, until the par four 8th. On a hole that requires precision and tidy positioning off the tee, Speith’s tee shot hit the fairway but then rolled too far, ran out of runway and dropped over the cliff edge.
'Yo the man!', 'In the hole!' and other suitable golf course cries! It's US Open time. Pebble Beach is looking as scary as ever. Who can hold those tiny greens? Who knows. Certainly not us - well maybe we do - see our new algorithm. What do we know, the best of us got 14/18 in the GolfPunk US Open quiz Part 2. Which is not great considering we set the questions... Let's see how you can do!
The US Open at Pebble Beach is almost upon us! Tiger is back in the mix, Brooks is looking for three in a row and Phil is still searching for that elusive US Open. Here's our Quiz testing your knowledge of all things US errrm, Openish! Come and have a go if you think you're smart enough.
The US open is returning to Pebble Beach with its magnificent views, tiny greens and changeable conditions. All factors that are taxing The Spiv’s brain matter as he sips on his port and peruses the field. But this year its all different as GolfPunk has a new algorithm and its going to make us all rich (necessary caveats and waivers apply of course).
It was a great day for Northern Ireland at the final day of Canadian Open from Hamilton Golf and Country Club. Rory McIlroy shot an incredible nine under 61 to take the title by 7 shots and Graeme McDowell finished in the top ten and qualified for The Open.
Rory McIlroy shot a six under 64 in the third round of the Canadian Open to move into a share of the lead with the US’s Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson. McIlroy’s countryman Graeme McDowell slipped back slightly but sits in joint ninth on eight under – Come on Gmac!
Graeme McDowell shot a second round 67 at the Canadian Open to sit on eight under, four off the halfway lead which is held by Matt Kuchar and Scott Brown. Gmac still work to do if he is to grab one of the three spots available for The Open but he is well placed come the weekend.
Keegan Bradley leads, some other folk are in second, third etc., including Shane Lowry of Ireland, but all we care about is how Graeme McDowell is doing. Gmac must be at The Open in July and we are cheering him all the way.
The Open is coming back to Northern Ireland after a break of 68 years. When Max Faulkner, one of the most flamboyant golfers of his generation, won the Open Championship in 1951 at Royal Portrush it would be 18 years until a Brit, Tony Jacklin in 1969, was to do so again.
The fourteen qualifiers from yesterday’s European U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying consisted of no fewer than ten different nationalities. South African Dean Burmester led the list of qualifiers with a total of 128, sixteen under par and four shots clear.
Derek The Donkey, GolfPunk's grumpy horse-envier is back with 'Joke of the Week'. He likes nothing better than a proper good laugh as long as it's at someone else's expense...
GolfPunk's resident tipster, Nick Fleming, picked 2nd place Joel Dahmen as an each way bet at Wells Fargo Championship at the weekend and sadly missed out on Jorge Campillo, who down as a winner, faded to finish third as Mikko Korhonen came through to see off France’s Benjamin Hebert at the first play-off hole.
Twenty Chinese golfers made the cut for the weekend of the Volvo China Open but it was an inhabitant of the 116th biggest country in the world, by population, who lifted the spoils at the Genzon Golf Club in Shenzhen. FInland’s Mikko Korhonen clinched his second European Tour title seeing off France’s Benjamin Hebert at the first play-off hole.
Last night at our team get together we were discussing all things golf and one of the team asked what our Top 5 golf related movies were sparking heated debate until the boss put his foot down and decided what they were and also the order (which was perhaps even more hotly contested as you will see!).
Wu Ashun delighted the Chinese crowd, adding an excellent 65 to his opening 66 and a two shot lead at the Volvo China Open at the Genzon Golf Club in Shenzhen. But it was Wu’s young countryman Yang Kuang who grabbed all the headline as the youngest player to make a cut on the European Tour at the tender age of 14 years, six months and 12 days.
Last week’s winner and GolfPunk’s tip for the China Open, Jorge Campillo, leads the way once again after an opening round of 65. Joining the Spaniard on the same mark are Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and David Lipsky of America.