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Archive for the ‘popular’ Category

Congratulations to Freddie Couples!

One of my very favorite golfers of all time will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2013. Well…he is a whole lot of people’s favorite golfers. It was announced earlier today that Fred Couples will be in the 2013 Hall of Fame class.

STATS
Frederick Steven Couples. Better know as Fred or Freddie or even Boom Boom. Born in Seattle, Washington on October 3, 1959. Attended the University of Houston. Turned pro in 1980. Joined PGA Tour in 1982. Joined Champions Tour in 2010. He has 55 professional wins. 15 PGA Tour wins. 3 European Tour wins. 8 Champions Tour wins. Won the 1992 Masters for his only major victory. 1991, 1992 PGA Tour player of the year.

Freddie Couples is so much more than stats. He has been a fan favorite on tour for as long as I can remember. I grew up watching Freddie cruise and smile his way around the golf course. He had and still has one of the smoothest swings you will ever see. It goes right along perfectly with his calm, cool and collected demeanor on the links. One of the things I have always loved and admired about Freddie is that presence and attitude of the course. Watching him play, you can’t tell whether he is in a PGA event or playing a $5 Nassau with his buddies.

Make no mistake…Fred Couples absolutely deserves this honor. He has been a tremendous ambassador for the game of golf. He was a bulldog for the US Ryder Cup Team and Presidents Cup Team. He has won the past two Presidents Cups as team Captain. He can still play too. Every spring he makes a little noise at Augusta National. He has never denied that The Masters is his favorite event and absolutely loves playing there. Don’t be surprised to see him contend a few more times there before he is done.

Congratulations Fred!

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Greg Norman’s Comments Are Not Dead On, But They Are Close

“What I’m seeing is that Tiger’s really intimidated by Rory,” he says. “When have you ever seen him intimidated by another player? Never.

“But I think he knows his time’s up and that’s normal; these things tend to go in 15-year cycles.

“Jack took it from Arnold (Palmer). I took it from Jack, Tiger from me and now it looks like Rory’s taking it from Tiger.” www.Foxsports.com

As you can see, Greg Norman was not shy by his opinions.   I am not convinced that Tiger is intimidated, but I do think that he sense the end is nearer than the beginning.

Greg stated that Jack Nicklaus passed the baton to him, then he passed it to Tiger.   Greg Norman was a wonderful Champion and he had his day in the sun though he may always be none for his collapses in Major Championships.   He has won Major Championships,  just not one on American Soil.    He also spent over 300 weeks as the number one player in the world.   That said, he was one of the greatest golfer’s of all time.    So his opinion is valid and one of experience.

Greg stated that when he started winning, he really did not acknowledge his place until he had beaten Jack one on one in match play at Wentworth.
He considered it his “crowned jewel”.

Rory has beaten Tiger the last couple of weeks, as he has won the last two Fed Ex Playoff Events.    Tiger was contending in each one, but was not able to find that gear that he was famous for having.    Tiger’s game will still yield him a win or two per season for a few more years, but even that will start to slow up.

Tiger is a competitor, and he would never admit that he was intimidated, though  he is more friendly with this rival as he has been with any of them.    Is that because Tiger is older and wiser?    Is it because of Tiger’s recent issues that has caused some self  induced humility?     Or is it because his skills are not what they used to be, and he knows that deep down?    I think it is all of the above.   He remembers what it is like to be in Rory’s shoes.  Instead of living it, he is watching it.

On the other hand, McIlroy understands where he is, and because he knows how to just roll with it and not let it get to big for him, he handles it with grace and class. Though Rory is only 23, so we may not see his best golf for a while.   Scary thought if you ask me.

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The European Ryder Cup Team Travels Well

The Americans have not figured this one out yet.   Though, the European team has the whole traveling thing down pat.    No group/team travels as tightly as this team does for any event.

The European Ryder cup team, really is a team.    They stay together while they travel to different countries to play in tournaments, and in the Ryder Cup, they act and prepare as a unit.   There is little room for any selfishess on this team.    The Captains won’t have it, and the guys with the experience also will not tolerate it.

In a lot of cases, these guys have been playing together for a long time.    And when the young guys step up and it is there turn to contribute or lead, they show they have learned from their elders well.    They follow the same recipe that has been laid in front of them for years.

Rory McIllroy is currently leading the FedEx Cup and is currently the number 1 European player in the World.   So, for the first time since the PGA started this playoff system, a European Cup winner could be leading his team into the Ryder Cup event the  following week.

Tiger is currently 2nd in Cup points, and is the top American.    That said, Woods has never been the strongest Ryder Cup Player.  He is someone that plays well when it is for himself.    Where as, the European team members all embrace this format so much that I do not think  it affects them the same.   They know how to put their individual goals aside to win as a team.

I think that this Ryder Cup will be one of the most competitive and fun to watch because for the first time in years, the most watched/followed player in the world may not be Tiger, it very well could be Rory.   Wow how times have changed.

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Will the Rio McIlroy be EIRE to the core or a Team GB Rory?

Whilst Rory McIlroy looks to have the FedEx Cup, Race to Dubai and money lists topped for this year as our learned colleague 5beachgolf surmises, not to mention finishing atop of the OWGR rankings come the end of the season another all-but certainty, there is one aspect of the Northern Irish fella’s game not so cut and dried.

Who will Rory play for at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil?

For those living beyond the boundaries of our septic isle, the decision may look as simple as signing on the dotted line. You’re born in Northern Ireland, so you play for the UK, or Team GBR as it indubitably will be. But the tightrope upon which you walk is a lot thinner than most when you’re talking affinity to one flag or another, despite anything that a peace process may or may not have announced to the world in the Good Friday agreement.

You only have to look back at last season’s Scottish Premier league campaign to get a sense of the depth of feeling that remains. Neil Lennon, having been born and having played for Northern Ireland, took over the reigns as manager of Celtic FC after a successful career as a player there. The fact that Celtic was borne of Irish Catholics looking for a community and presence in Glasgow at the end of the nineteenth century and it is only ever the green, white and orange tricolour you will see around Celtic Park even to this day, never the Saltire, only hammers home the allegiance the club and fans have with their Republican roots.

The protestant element went out of their way to emphasise just how much they thought of Lennon as a traitor, as he was attacked on the field at Tynecastle, had the walls of his home daubed with sectarian slogans, received death threats and even received a letter bomb through the post, as did two prominent Scottish figures associated with the club.

WP Rory McIlroy

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not that I’m suggesting this depth of feeling runs over into golf, but denying that it exists in sport at all is somewhat foolhardy.  What will his Irish fan base think if, having played for Ireland as a youth “under the Golfing Union of Ireland umbrella” as he recently referred to his career-to-date affinity, he then turns around and plays for Team GBR four years from now and not EIRE?

In a recent tweet, Rory has categorically stated that he has not made up his mind. Who can blame him? But he has fuelled the rumour mill by recently stating in the Daily Mail that he feels more British than Irish. Perhaps he is laying down the foundations for an announcement, possibly before this season’s out.

With the harmony of Europe coming together to defend the Ryder Cup in Medinah next month, there hardly seems a better time to publicly declare where his future loyalties lie, especially if Team Europe pull off the win that the bookies have U-turned on over the last six weeks and now fully expect against the backdrop of all recent major golf competitions have found champions from the east shore of The Atlantic.

Does Rory think with his head or his heart?

Along with the Irish golfing nation, the likes of Donald, Westwood, Rose and Poulter, at least one of whom would have to miss out in the event of Rory coming down on the side of Team GBR, must also be hoping he carries on sporting the green, white and orange. But to my mind, I think Brazil in 2016 will most definitely see a Team featuring a Great British Rory. Let’s hope the fans appreciate his decision, whichever way he goes, and just accept him for who he is now, the greatest golfer on the planet, irrespective of where he comes from.

Mickelson Surges At BMW Championship For Share Of Lead

There was a stretch this season where Phil Mickelson went 12 straight rounds without shooting under par.    It seems that he has put those days way behind him as he shot an 8 under par round of 64 to tie Vijay Singh for a share of the lead going into Sunday.

Vijay Singh carried a 1 shot lead over Rory Mcllroy and Tiger Woods going into today’s round.   Rory was able to keep pace though Tiger shot a 1 under par round to fall to 3 shots back.    Another weekend round of golf for Tiger that he watched the field make a move, and he was unable to follow suit.

Phil had a stretch on the front nine where he put up 5 birdies in a 6 hole span.   Same with the back nine also.   He sprinkled in two bogeys, but when you put up 10 birdies you can afford a couple bogeys.  His 8 under round was the best round of the day.    Mickelson will be paired with Vijay Singh who has played extremely well down the stretch of the regular season and now  into the playoffs.

Another  player that stood out today and made a significant move was Adam Scott as he shot a 6 under par round of 66 that pulled him to within 2 shots of the lead tied along with American Robert Garrigus.    I spoke of Rory earlier as he is only one shot back; he shares that spot with Lee Westwood whom played well today also.   Lee finished today with a 4 under par round of 68.

Other notables would be Dustin Johnson who shot a 5 under round to pull him to within 2.   Zach Johnson, Graeme McDowell and Bo Van Pelt all are within 4 shots tied at 12 under.

Sunday is setting up to be a tremendous finish, though if all goes to plan, at least one player at or near the lead will collapse.   That has been a trend all season now, and I would not expect to see anything different tomorrow.

Here is the Link to the Leaderboard.

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Very Exciting News!

I am excited to announce that we will be adding an additional 4 contributors to the Sports Monger On The Green Staff.  They come from all walks of life and different parts of the world, bringing different angles to some really great topics.   The is truly an International Expansion.

I will be introducing each one, in consecutive posts as they all deserve their day in the sun.   I hope you are all as excited as I am as their will be many changes coming to the site, not to mention additions I have not even mentioned.

We will be kicking things off next week so…Stay Tuned!

You can follow me on Twitter @sportsmonger and on Facebook at Pittsburgh Sports Monger.

Golf Writers Wanted!

We are looking for a couple more golf writers to add to the mix.   We just added one, and would like to have at least 4 active writers at all times.  I am looking for someone who has a passion for the sport of golf and would like to write about products, golf courses, and or PGA Tour Information.

We will be adding an E Commerce site/link to this website soon that will be actively selling golf related products.   We are looking at several products as we speak, which means we will be launching it soon.

I am also looking into adding someone that will take our Social Media effort to the next level.  That said, we will need  fill several more writer positions and with all of the new help that will be coming on board, we will be able to drive readers to your posts and get you noticed.
If you are interested, please send me an Email at Jhavelka@pittsburghsportsmonger.com with your information.   Thanks again, and I look forward to talking with everyone that is interested!

You can follow me on Twitter @sportsmonger and on Facebook at Pittsburgh Sports Monger!