Luke Donald To Play The Irish Open Along With Other Big Names

Former world number one English professional golfer Luke Donald confirmed that he will play in next month’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open along with US Open champion Martin Kaymer at Royal County Down.

The richest Irish tour now includes 5 current or former players who have been world number one like current Number One Rory McIlroy, Els, Kaymer Donald, Ernie, and Lee Westwood and 8 Major Champions McIlroy, Kaymer, Els, Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington, José Maria Olazábal and Paul Lawrie. McIlroy’s charity and The Rory Foundation are hosting the Irish Open to support and promote the event in his native Down. The tournament will take place from May 38-31. The Dubai Duty Free is the title sponsor of the tour and the prize fund will increase by 25% to €2.5 million with the 2015 champion taking home €416,660. Last year Mikko Ilonen won the title and took home €333,330.

The championship director Antonia Beggs has said that Rory wishes to reel in more big names in the tournament. 20,000 spectators per day will be able to attend, whereas during the Sunday’s final round they are already close to a sell-out. 22% of the tickets have been bought from outside Northern Ireland.

Luke Donald is the proud winner of the PGA Tour money list and European Race to Dubai to complete a historic double which made him the first player to win both money lists in the same year. He became the PGA Player of the Year and the European Tour Golfer of the Year. There was a long lasting tug of war between him and Rory McIlroy for the top rank. In the recent times he secured the third position in the 2015 European Tour season at the Nedbank Golf Challenge behind Danny Willett and Ross Fisher.

Lee Westwood backs Clarke to succeed

Englishman Lee Westwood had always known that Ulsterman Darren Clarke, with whom he was part of the second most successful pairing in the history of the Ryder Cup, would one day go on to skipper Team Europe.

But now that he has been handed the role, Westwood is wondering how he will handle the change of having to call his friend ‘gaffer’ instead of ‘partner’, as he has done for so many years.

He said that it will be very weird to play under him having played with him for so many years and being friends for even longer. He added with a smirk that he will have to mind his tongue lest he tell him to go away and mind his own business, now that he is the skipper. In reality, Westwood will have no such issues.

Team Europe has been so successful in the event since the turn of the century, winning 6 of the 7 matches contested so far and their mythical template that has forced the US team to copy their leadership style is something that gives Lee Westwood immense pride. He says that in that template, there is camaraderie and friendship as well as equality from top to bottom and Darren Clarke knows about it better than most.

Westwood said that Clarke has been around the team a long time, as a player on five occasions and as an assistant on two occasions and he knows the team inside out with the Liverpool boot room style being implemented.

However, Lee Westwood every captain is different and Clarke will be his own man as well. He added that he will be more of an emotional skipper like Seve Ballesteros or even Jose Maria Olazabal and he thinks that he will definitely continue the successful run that Europe is having.

Lee Westwood – Professional Golfer from England

Lee Westwood is a professional golfer from England who is a member of both the European Tour and the US PGA Tour and is one of the most well known and respected golfers of his time.

The Englishman is a very consistent player and he is one of a very few golfers who has won tournaments across every major continent, having won numerous titles on both the major Tours. He has earned three Player of the Year gongs in his career, two of which came in 1998 and 2000 with the third coming in 2009.

Westwood won the Order of Merit of the European Tour in 2000 and again in 2009 when it was renamed as the Race to Dubai. The Englishman has frequently been hailed as one of the greatest golfers of his time without winning a major championship.

Lee Westwood has been a member of the European Team in the last eight Ryder Cup events. He became the top ranked golfer in the world according to the Official World Golf Rankings in October 2000, ending the long reign at the top of Tiger Woods. He was the first golfer from Great Britain to climb to the top of the rankings since the legendary Nick Faldo managed that feat in 1994. He remained at number one for twenty two weeks before being displaced by Rory McIlroy.

Having turned professional in 1993, Westwood joined the European Tour in 1994 and has won 23 titles on the Tour, which puts him jointly at eighth in the list of winners on the European Tour.

Lee Westwood has also won two titles on the US PGA Tour, four on the Japan Golf Tour, eight on the Asian Tour, three on the Sunshine Tour and another one on the PGA Tour of Australasia as well.

The Europeans Vs The Americans

The last time that the Americans had won Ryder cup was in 2008 and Europeans have won seven out of the nine times the event has been held. The guys like Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia consider most of the important event as road games.

What would be the scene if Americans too took part regularly. If they participated in most of the events such as go Argentina to compete against Angel Cabrera or to Spain to fight against Miguel Angel Jimenez or Japan to go against Hideki Matsuyama. Obviously it would not be nice.

The Americans have the benefit and advantage of being the host and home ground for a lot of big events. And so, the world rankings have always been a little biased towards them. However the Europeans have sent four major golfers for the events in comparison to U.S’s one. It is very common among the Europeans to cross the Atlantic and come to America to attend colleges there. The Famous European Nick Faldo has also spent almost a semester at the University of Houston. He also played for the same university when golf as a sport was at its peak. But they usually come with scholarships and do not stay for any longer than a year or two maximum.

There is another major difference between the American and the Europeans in terms of golf that the European players are much more independent unlike the Americans who are coach dependent. This is majorly because at the college level when they play there are many to give instructions. But when events like Ryder Cup are what you are up for it is not about how good or pretty a sweep you can play but it is all about getting the ball in the hole without fail.

Dustin Johnson will come out stronger, says Gretzky

American golfer Dustin Johnson has told his future father in law Wayne Gretzky that his hiatus from golf will be the making of him and it will make him a better and more responsible person altogether, and by extension, a better and more professional golfer as well, according to Gretzky.
Gretzky was speaking to a Canadian radio channel recently where he made the comments regarding his future son in law who has had a troubled couple of years due on to on and off field problems.
Gretzky stated that obviously this time away from the sport that he loves will not be perfect for him as Johnson loves golf and he has been going through a very tough time. And according to Gretzky, he had a talk with Johnson about and during that conversation, Dustin Johnson has told him that this time away from the sport will be a blessing in disguise and he believes it will make him a better and more responsible person and that in turn, will make him a better athlete and a better golfer as well.
Gretzky said that people seem to forget that even athletes are human beings and even they have bumps on the road in front of them, but Gretzky said that most important of all is the fact they know he is a wonderful person and the whole family cares about his wellbeing.
The veteran American went on to add that he is a part of the family and everyone loves him, and when a member of the family goes through such a difficult time, it only makes the bonding within the family a lot tighter.
Dustin Johnson is engaged to Paulina Gretzky and announced in July that he would be taking a leave of absence from the sport for personal reasons amid reports that he has been suspended by the US PGA for six months.

Adam Scott Disappointed With His Performance In The Opening Round Of PGA

Before the PGA Championship began, Adam Scott had made it clear that he wanted to make sure that he performs well in the tournament so that he can give tough competition to Rory Mcilroy who is at the moment the Number 1 Masters Champion.

However, Scott had also asserted the fact that Mcilroy surely deserved the number 1 position since Mcilroy had won three major tournaments. While on the other hand, he had just won one major event. Therefore he really wanted to play well in the PGA Championship.

During the opening day of the PGA Championship held in Louisville, Adam Scott turned out to be a big disappointment. He was not able to give his best in the opening round.

According to Scott, the PGA Championship is the easiest championship because the set up is very simple. Thus he hopes that his bad performance in the opening round is not repeated in the future rounds of the championship.

Adam Scott agreed that he did not play well in the opening round. In his opinion, he is out of rhythm and practice. He is also committed a few errors which created further problems for him.

Scott is aware of the fact that in order to have golfing round that is good, all putts have to be made especially if you are not able to hit it right. But during the opening golf round to the PGA Championship, Scott failed to make all his putts.

The Australian golfer was actually the World No. 1 Golfer from the month of May to the month of July, 2014. However, he was dethroned last week from the number one rank by Rory Mcilroy.

If Scott really wants to get back his number one position then he has to pull up his socks as soon as possible.

Money Is Not An Issue For Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has recently taken the wise decision of not being a part of the upcoming Ryder Cup because he wants to make sure that he recovers completely before he can participate in any of the future major golfing tournaments.

He had undergone a back surgery in the month of March this year and ever since he returned to the golf course his performance has not been impressive. Therefore people should not be surprised about the fact that he is taking a break from the Ryder Cup 2014.

The dire need of the time is to ensure that Woods’ back muscles can be healed completely so that any future health complications can be avoided.

It seems that money is not an issue for Tiger Woods because he is giving high priority to his health and recovery. Woods is going to lose a lot of money as he has planned not to participate in the Ryder Cup.

Along with that, Woods will not appear in many other corporate events and tournaments. This means that he will miss out on all the appearance fees that he would acquire if he had been a part of those tournaments and outings.

Appearance fees are basically fees that are offered to the players for just showing up at the different events.

Woods will not play in Argentina at the America’s Golf Cup for which he would have got an appearance fee of about four million dollars. Plus Tigers Woods will not attend two corporate outings to be held in Asia for which he would have got around two million dollars per appearance.

The main thing that Woods wants to do now is to focus on his recovery and get prepared to give tough competition next year at Augusta to the rising golf player- Rory Mcilroy. Mcilroy is often compared to Woods due to his recent successes.

Webb Simpson With New Energy At The Pinehurst

Simpson has found his rhythm at the opportune time. A native of the Raleigh, making his home in Charlotte who made his way to St. Jude Classic in Memphis who was bogged to third in the last week is going to be beneficial at Pinehurst.

Some months before was a testing time for him. Before the Memphis tournament he pointed that out. But for him what is crucial is to keep getting better and as for now he wants to play well till the end of the season. It is not more of winning for him or being in the Ryder team. He has the trophy of 2012 U.S Open at the Olympic Club, San Francisco. The current PGA Tour started quickly. He enjoyed the top position for a week at the standing of FedEx Cup but he did win Shriner’s Hospital in Las Vegas for Children Open. In his seven tournaments he completed five out of top ten.

In the six tournaments his performance dropped including the Players and the Masters. His best performance so far was in the Wells Fargo Championship for the 38th tie but after the Memphis tournament he moved up to 31st while preparing for U.S Open that too in his state of home. Will his form continue to be soaring at the Pinehurst is yet to be seen. He has done some changes to his game that has added up to his consistency and better performance than before. Number 2 of the Pinehurst suits his style of playing and he also likes to play there. It is all about adjusting to the greens and a different approach that matters. He seems excited about the upcoming matches out of which two will be in his home state.

His actions will speak for itself: Martin Kaymer

Martin Kaymer for the last few weeks has indulged in a media break. Post the start of the golfing season, which went quite off beat to as planned- with his best finish in 2014 on PGA Tour and a split 33 position in the Accenture Match Play, Kaymer announced that he is not up for any sort of media interviews before Master starts.

Taking a look at his past performances, a highly focused preparation is more than essential. Since 2008, Kaymer has continuously missed Masters 4 times, and his best result during the Augusta National last year was split 35 position.

Martin Kaymer has competed in the Shell Houston Open just twice in his entire career and in 2009 Kaymer shared 42 while in 2010 he missed the cut. The trend clearly is not on his side, as the German has failed to bag the title for 3 years now and recently has fallen to the 60th position in world ranking. At present he is running after his self made claims.

In the year 2011, post 8 months of landing the title of US PGA Championship, that Kaymer made up his mind that he can in no way tolerate that he was not able to shape the golf ball from left to right. Talking to popular news wire he commented that he could only manage to bag one shot which was the fade. The shot was quite a safe one, but the course gets more difficult at Ausguta and certain holes worked in his disadvantage.

It seems like the upcoming couple of weeks will demarcate as to how this year’s season will work out for him and only time will tell whether this media abstinence along with intensive training will work in his favor or not.

Westwood sacks swing coach Foley

Former world number one Lee Westwood has decided to ditch swing coach Sean Foley with immediate effect. Foley, who also works as the swing coach with the likes of Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan as well as Tiger Woods to name a few, worked with the Englishman for just a few months before getting the axe.

Speaking to an American media outlet about the split with Foley, Westwood stated that he decided to sever ties with him because he felt that the two of them were going in different direction altogether.

He went on to add that he wanted to improve with some of his technicalities in terms of swing positions and things like that but he didn’t think that Foley was someone who coached like that and so, it didn’t really fit in with what he wanted to do and what he was getting with Foley.

Lee Westwood began working with Foley hardly eight months back. The Englishman was ranked as high as number eight last season but at the beginning of this season, he has fallen as low to 33rd already.

He mentioned that he felt that he had that game back which had made him the top ranked golfer in the world and he felt he needed to work on things that he didn’t pay any attention to at that time and hence, it made sense to go back on work on those things.

The Englishman stated that the split was mutual and he bears no grudge against Foley. He stated that he wanted something else, importantly, a new way of teaching but he did enjoy working with Foley for those months.

Now, it is worth the wait to see if Lee Westwood manages to break his major duck this season or if he has to wait longer.