by Jeff Skinner
This crazy/confusing 2013-14 PGA Tour season continues this week with the World Golf Championship-HSBC Champions at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China.
This event is great for the pre-tournament publicity and they never fail to provide some odd moments as they insist on putting these golfers from the West into some traditional costumes from the East.
Check out this year’s publicity shot of Justin Rose, Ian Poulter, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Dufner. Pro golfers wielding swords and wearing capes normally would be enough to command attention in any photo. But not this one.
As usual the excitement in this photo goes to the ever photogenic and scene stealing, Jason Dufner. Check out the look on Duf. I can’t imagine what the hell he’s thinking but as usual he steals the photo op once again.
by Jeff Skinner
It has been an incredible season for PGA Tour Rookie Jordan Spieth. The youngster is a walking dream come true. He started with no status on tour and earned his way onto the Presidents Cup Team.
The PGA Tour has nominated three other golfers for the Rookie of the year Award but this is a one horse race. Russell Henley, Derek Ernst and David Lingmerth had good, solid seasons but Spieth is in a class by himself.
Spieth became the youngest winner in the modern era of the PGA Tour at nineteen when he won at the John Deere. Three seconds, nine top tens, thirteen top 25’s, $3.8 million in winnings, seventh in the FedEx Cup, tenth on the Money List and the only rookie to make it to the Tour Championship were just some of his 2013 accomplishments. It’s probably the best rookie season since Tiger Woods in ’96 when he won twice and started to change the game.
Spieth has shown he is more than just a great, young golfer. His poise and temperament are that of a much older and experienced player. There is nothing that this kid couldn’t handle all season and his selection as Rookie of the Year is a certainty.
2013 was an unbelievable start for Spieth and he has the potential to be one of the stars of the future for the PGA Tour.
The par 3 13th hole at Muirfield:
The long par 4 14th:
The 15th is another long, dogleg right par 4:
by Jeff Skinner
The LPGA moves to Rochester, New York this week for the second major of the season at the Wegman’s LPGA Championship. 2012 champion Shanshan Feng will be defending against a stacked field of golfers. The top 10 golfers in the Rolex Rankings and the top 50 on the LPGA Money List comprise one of the best fields of the year.
Fresh off her Shoprite win last week, Hall of Famer, Karrie Webb has a wonderful history at Locust Hill Country Club with two wins in 1999 and 2002. She’ll be looking to go back to back and collect her 40th career win and 7th major.
Stacy Lewis, the top ranked American at number two in the world, is ready to claim her second career major. The 2011 Kraft Nabisco Champion has two wins this season is focused on winning and winning more majors. She isn’t worried about a “major slump, “I feel like I’ve had chances, and I’ve been in contention, so it doesn’t weight on me that much. I feel like my game is made for majors and it’s only a matter of time. I’m not that worried about it.” Lewis has finished well here lately with a tie for second in 2012 and a sixth place finish in 2011.
Cristie Kerr won here in 2010 and is ready for another chance to show those youngsters that she still has plenty of game. “I wouldn’t say it’s the younger generation,” said Kerr. “I would say I’m motivated by winning. I love to win. Getting a win in the beginning of this year has been so huge for me because it had been a couple of years since I had gotten a win in the beginning of the year. That opens up a whole lot of possibilities for the rest of the year and for the confidence level too. So I think it’s going to be pretty fun.”
“I love to win, and I think I’m motivated by winning,” said Kerr. “I wish I was motivated by the younger players, but from where I sit, I like the things that I’ve accomplished, and I’ve got many more years left, hopefully.”
As you’ve probably noticed, the site has been slow and last week was sometimes simply unavailable, giving you strange error messages. We had been experiencing some technical issues, but after many talks with our hosting provider we have resolved all the issues and LinksLifeGolf is back to normal.
We apologize for the inconvenience and will be back in full force for this great week of golf.
by Jeff Skinner
Masters Countdown: 8 Days
The 2013 Masters field is almost complete with the total number finishing at 93 entrants vying for the green jacket. Here is the list of the 92 current players already qualified for Augusta with only one slot remaining for the winner of this week’s Valero Texas Open.
MASTERS CHAMPIONS: Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel, Phil Mickelson, Angel Cabrera, Trevor Immelman, Zach Johnson, Tiger Woods, Mike Weir, Vijay Singh, Jose Maria Olazabal, Mark O’Meara, Ben Crenshaw, Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Ian Woosnam, Sandy Lyle, Larry Mize, Craig Stadler, Tom Watson.
U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONS (five years): Webb Simpson, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Lucas Glover.
BRITISH OPEN CHAMPIONS (five years): Ernie Els, Darren Clarke, Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink, Padraig Harrington.
PGA CHAMPIONS (five years): Keegan Bradley, Martin Kaymer, Y.E. Yang.
PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIPS CHAMPIONS (three years): Matt Kuchar, K.J. Choi, Tim Clark.
U.S. AMATEUR CHAMPION AND RUNNER-UP: a-Steven Fox, a-Michael Weaver.
BRITISH AMATEUR CHAMPION: a-Alan Dunbar.
U.S. AMATEUR PUBLIC LINKS CHAMPION: a-T.J. Vogel.
U.S. MID-AMATEUR CHAMPION: a-Nathan Smith.
ASIAN AMATEUR CHAMPION: a-Guan Tianlang.
TOP 16 AND TIES-2012 MASTERS: Peter Hanson, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, Hunter Mahan, Kevin Na.
TOP EIGHT AND TIES-2012 U.S. OPEN: Michael Thompson, David Toms, John Peterson, Jason Dufner.
TOP FOUR AND TIES-2012 BRITISH OPEN: Brandt Snedeker.
TOP FOUR AND TIES-2012 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: David Lynn, Carl Pettersson.
TOP 30-2012 PGA TOUR MONEY LIST: Luke Donald, Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Nick Watney, Bo Van Pelt, Ryan Moore, Robert Garrigus, Scott Piercy, John Huh, Ben Curtis.
PGA TOUR EVENT WINNERS SINCE 2012 MASTERS (FULL FEDEX CUP POINTS AWARDED): Marc Leishman, Ted Potter Jr., Russell Henley, Brian Gay, Kevin Streelman, D.A. Points.
FIELD FROM THE 2012 TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP: John Senden.
TOP 50 FROM FINAL WORLD RANKING IN 2012: Paul Lawrie, Francesco Molinari, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Branden Grace, Bill Haas, Nicolas Colsaerts, Jason Day, Hiroyuki Fujita, Matteo Manassero, Thomas Bjorn, Jamie Donaldson, George Coetzee, Thorbjorn Olesen.
TOP 50 FROM WORLD RANKING ON MARCH 31: Fredrik Jacobson, Richard Sterne, Henrik Stenson.
SPECIAL FOREIGN INVITATIONS: Ryo Ishikawa, Thaworn Wiratchant.
by Jeff Skinner
Paul McGinley has been awarded the captaincy of the European Team for the 2014 Ryder Cup. The Tournament Committee of the European Tour announced his appointment this evening as the Euro Tour tees it up in Abu Dhabi.
The was a little controversy lately as past captain Colin Montgomerie threw his name into the ring but the committee did the right thing in naming McGinley as the team’s leader at Gleneagles.
McGinley has served as vice captain twice, once for both Jose Maria Olazabal and Montgomerie on two winning Ryder Cup Teams. McGinley also captained two successful Great Britain and Ireland Teams to victories over Continental Europe at the Vivendi Seve Trophy in 2009 and 2011.
There had been a groundswell of support for the Irishman lately as Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and others took to Twitter to show their support for their friend and past vice captain.
“This is a position I’m really thrilled to be in. It’s also a very humbling experience and I can’t wait to get into the role of captain and to working with the players,” a misty-eyed McGinley told a news conference.
“I’m just delighted it’s happened and that the cards fell right for me. I think it’s very important to have a captain that is still involved regularly as a player on the tour and that’s what I plan on doing for the next 18 months until the match.”
”I have a real passion for team golf and I love it. I love everything that goes with team golf.”