Category Archives: golf

Winter golf. Starfall in the Emirates, Mexico and the USA

Tournament of Champions, WGC stage in Mexico, major competition in Abu Dhabi. These and other prestigious tournaments will take place in the next three months.

Sentry Tournament of Champions
Date: January 7-10
Location: Kapalua, Hawaii
Stars: Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, John Ram, Victor Howland, Patrick Reed.

The Tournament of Champions traditionally hosts all the winners of the calendar year. In 2020, 28 golfers won the PGA rounds. For the 2021 draw, the organizers decided to admit to the tournament not only all champions, but also those golfers who got to the Final tournament in Atlanta. This brings the total number of admitted golfers to 45. However, this does not mean that all of them will come to Hawaii for the first tournament in 2021. Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson are expected to play. Both are two-time champions, and Thomas is also active. The Mexican Abraham Anser, as well as the Americans Tony Finau, Lanto Griffin and Scottie Scheffler have already announced their participation.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
Date: January 21-24
Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Stars: Lee Westwood, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lauri.

In the European Tour, the first tournament of 2021 will take place a little later, from 21 to 24 January. The Euro Tour kicks off the new season with a trump card: the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is one of four Rolex Series events with a prize pool of $ 8,000,000. The tournament has been held since 2006, and now it is one of the largest in the entire season. A year ago, Lee Westwood won here, who later won the Race to Dubai and became the best golfer of 2020. In addition to the huge prize pool, the organizers pay additional top players just for their arrival, so we may well see top stars in Abu Dhabi: for example, in different years Dustin Johnson Ricky Fowler, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson played here.

Waste Management Phoenix Open
Date: 4-7 February
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Stars: John Ram, Justin Thomas, Xander Schoffele, Jordan Sleeps.

The Phoenix tournament is one of the most unusual on the golf calendar. Typically, the final round is held on the same day as the main sporting event in the United States, the Super Bowl. And the atmosphere at Waste Management Phoenix Open is usually no different from football: spectators can boo players and even come up with a variety of offensive chants. Golfers accept the rules of the game and are not offended, because only in Phoenix can fans afford what is completely unacceptable at other tournaments. Another thing is that we do not yet know how many fans will be able to attend the stage of the PGA tour in 2021 (and whether they can at all). Last year, 19 players from the top 50 of the world rankings took part in the competition. A scattering of stars is expected again in the 2021 season.

Saudi International
Date: 4-7 February
Location: King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia
Stars: Dustin Johnson, Bryson Deschambeau, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson.

In parallel with the major tournament in Phoenix, another representative start will take place in Saudi Arabia. Perhaps the composition of the participants is even more impressive, because a total of nine champions of the “majors” are to play in the Economic City. Not all golfers wanted to come to Saudi Arabia for political reasons, but the sponsors apparently managed to offer too favorable financial conditions. The competition will be held for the third time: Dustin Johnson and Graham McDowell won in the first two cases.

WGC-Mexico Championship
Date: February 25-28
Location: Naucalpan, Mexico
Stars: Dustin Johnson, Bryson Deschambeau, John Ram, Patrick Reed, Rory McIlroy, Webb Simpson, Colleen Morikawa.

The first really big tournament of 2021 is due to take place at the end of February in Mexico. The World Golf Championships stage is included in both the European tour schedule and the PGA tour calendar, which means that all the world golf stars should come to Naucalpan. The competition was originally held in Spain, then for many years it was held at Donald Trump’s field in Florida, and since 2017 it has been relocated to Mexico. Since 2012, only the champions of the “majors” have won here: Justin Rose, Tiger Woods, Patrick Reid, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson.

Nadal finished sixth at the Mallorca golf tournament

Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal finished sixth at the Balearic Golf Championships in Mallorca, La Vanguardia reported.
At the end of three days of competition, 34-year-old Nadal lost 10 shots to the winner – Sebastian Garcia. On 54 holes, Nadal spent 225 shots.
Nadal, who previously ranked first in the tennis rankings, is the winner of 20 Grand Slam singles titles. Next week, the Spaniard will play in the Masters tennis tournament in Paris.

Zhukov: It is quite possible that soon Russia will start taking Olympic medals in golf

The Honorary President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Alexander Zhukov said that Russia could soon start competing for Olympic medals in golf.
On Sunday Zhukov took part in the Strong Figures International Intellectual Sports Festival. In “curlingolf” Zhukov’s team took the third place among amateurs. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Russian woman Maria Verchenova, the only representative of Russia in golf, took 16th place.
“Now there are many juniors who are quoted in their age and even win international championships. I hope that in the near future our athletes will not only qualify for the Olympic Games, but also fight for medals in this form. It is quite possible. There are many children, there are those who perform at a decent level, “Zhukov told RIA Novosti.

Zagitova took part in golf training

Russian figure skater Alina Zagitova held a golf training session as part of the Strong Figures festival, Match TV reports.
The senior coach of the Russian national golf team, Igor Ivashin, helped the figure skater during the training session.
This year the Strong Figures festival is being held in the Tver region in Zavidovo.

In the offseason, Alina Zagitova does not waste time and learns to play golf. There are hopes for medals in this sport in the coming summer Games!

Earlier, Zagitova announced the suspension of her sports career. The athlete has already missed the Russian and European championships.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout. From stuttering and disqualification to big wins

Now Christiaan Bezuidenhout is the strongest golfer on the European Tour. A player who was not in the top 60 of the world rankings a few weeks ago won two tournaments in a row. No one has managed to do this for three years: in 2017, Justin Rose won the WGC-HSBC Champions and the Turkish Airlines Open in two weeks. Christiaan Bezuidenhout also became the strongest at home competitions in South Africa Alfred Dunhill Championship and South Africa Open. On the big stage, Christian first showed himself in June 2019, when he won the Andalucia Masters tournament and won the first European Tour title.
All this might not have happened. At the age of two, a boy in a grocery store drank rat poison, believing that there was soda in the bottle. “Because of my lightheadedness, I almost died. At the hospital, the doctors pumped the poison out of my entire stomach, but it affected the entire nervous system of my body. One of the long-term consequences was stuttering, ”recalls Christian. The boy had to cut off almost all contact with the outside world. He developed anxiety and self-doubt, he was afraid to pick up the phone or answer a question.

At some point, Christiaan Bezuidenhout became depressed, and the doctor prescribed beta-blockers to him, which were supposed to reduce anxiety. Christian started taking them at the age of 14. Throughout his junior career, the golfer took these beta blockers, but in 2014 he was randomly selected to take a doping test at the British Amateur, one of the main tournaments in amateur golf. Christian didn’t know there were illegal substances in his medicines. As a result, the International Golf Federation suspended him for two years.

“The most unpleasant thing is all the stories that I have heard from representatives of the golf industry and from those people whom I considered friends in South Africa. I was accused of using medications to improve my results and this was very upsetting for me and my family. They said all sorts of things about me, and I was known as a golfer who was barred from competition due to doping, ”Christiaan Bezuidenhout recalls.
The suspension was later reduced to nine months, and Christian turned professional in early 2015. That season, he became the first in the ranking of the South African Big Easy Tour, which was so named after the famous local golfer Ernie Els, who has a similar nickname. In 2016, he nearly won the title at the South African Open, but finished second, two strokes behind Brandon Stone. As we have already said, the first victory at the level of the European Tour was achieved in 2019, but before that Christian periodically quite successfully performed at the Challenge Tour and Sunshine Tour competitions. In 2018, in the main round of European golf, he passed the cut in 20 tournaments out of 26 and kept the participant’s card for the next season. If two years ago he never made it to the top 10, then in 2019 he was already in the top ten six times, and at the Andalucia Masters he became the champion.

Trump talks about his golf habit

Donald Trump said that sometimes he manages to get work done on the golf course. According to the American leader, former head of state Barack Obama played golf more often and for longer, but the media did not complain about him.
As Trump pointed out while exercising on the golf course, CNN, which creates “fake news,” and other media representatives “park wherever possible to take pictures” of him and shout, “President Trump is playing golf!”

“I actually play very fast, work a lot on the golf course, sometimes do small exercises,” he tweeted.

In February 2019, The Washington Post reported that Trump had installed a room-sized golf simulator in the White House.

Also sports journalist Rick Reilly, author of Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump, stated that the US president constantly cheats opponents while playing golf.

Matytsin believes that golf should be accessible to all Russians

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said Russians should have access to golf throughout the country.
“Golf is a unique sport, it also has a strong social aspect, and I think it is wrong to understand it as a sport for rich, wealthy people. It is accessible and should be available to the residents of our country, ”TASS quoted Matytsin as saying.

Earlier it was reported that Michael Jordan in 1991 refused to meet with Bush Sr. in order to play golf with the mobsters.

Figure skater Zagitova called golf a wonderful sport

Russian Olympic champion in figure skating Alina Zagitova shared her impressions of playing golf.
“I was very glad to discover a wonderful sport – golf. Zavidovo is a wonderful place, amazing nature. Thanks to the organizers of the Strong Figures festival for the invitation, ”Zagitova wrote on her Instagram.

Earlier, the Minister of Sports Oleg Matytsin expressed the opinion that golf should be accessible to all Russians.

Mickelson, Barkley win Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Change

  • Phil Mickelson sinks birdie to putt to win The Match III

Phil Mickelson proved he has a future as a golf coach if he so desires after turning perennial golf struggler Charles Barkley into a more than capable partner to dominate Stephen Curry and Peyton Manning in Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Change.

Despite losing the first hole at Stone Canyon Golf Club, the Mickelson / Barkley duo took control from that point and closed things out on the 15th hole in the modified alternate shot format, winning 4 and 3. 

But more important than the championship belts Mickelson and Barkley earned was the $5,455,000 raised to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and organizations that support them (Thurgood Marshall Fund, United Negro College Fund). Over 3.5 million meals were also donated to Feeding America as part of some of the charitable efforts linked to the contest.

Mickelson was able to guide NBA legend Barkley, who for the most part was able to keep his notoriously unreliable swing under control, over two-time Super Bowl champion Manning and current Golden State Warriors legend and three-time NBA Champion Curry.

Barkley had the occasional mishap, but with Mickelson directing his 25-handicap teammate to hit safe irons off the tee so he could handle the majority of approach shots the pair became too formidable for their opponents. 

A full run down of the action, collated from our live blog, can be found below.

The Curry / Manning team gets off to a fine start after Curry splits the fairway. Mickelson then busts out his driver and lets the group know, “I wouldn’t normally hit driver here but I just want to set the tone,” and cuts the corner of the dogleg left opener, but finds the rough. Barkley then takes iron and hits a perfect draw into the fairway, but it’s well back meaning they decide to use Mickelson’s shot.

Manning pulls his approach ever so slightly to the fringe of the green, but ensures Curry will get a birdie look from around 20 feet. Mickelson tells Barkley the shot is 70 yards as he’s worried about pace through the rough. It’s actually 55 yards. Mickelson math backfires and Barkley hits it through the green to the back fringe leaving about 70-feet.

“I won’t do that to you again,” the TOUR star is forced to say to his teammate.

Mickelson lags it down to six-feet giving Curry a chance to win the hole, but his effort comes up well short.

“I don’t recall Tiger leaving you five-footers,” Mickelson chirps to Manning referencing the previous Capital One’s The Match where Tiger Woods and Manning bested Mickelson and Tom Brady 1up.

Barkley leaves his par putt on the high edge and lips out but Manning makes no mistake and an early lead is established.

Hole Result: Curry / Manning WIN
Hole Scores: Curry / Manning – Par; Mickelson / Barkley – Bogey
Match Score: Curry / Manning 1up Mickelson / Barkley

Masters-2020: age-old traditions and forced innovations

History, traditions, greatness. It’s all about the Masters. Formally, all competitions of the Major series are equal, but unofficially, it is the Masters that is considered the most prestigious and main tournament in world golf. A similar picture is with tennis Wimbledon: in terms of points, it is in no way inferior to the other three “Helmets”, but most of the players, of course, want to win on the courts of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. So in golf, there is hardly anything that can compare with the title of Champion “Masters” and the famous Green Jacket, which every participant dreams of wearing on Sunday night.


VIOLATED TRADITIONS
By the way, this year, in fact, as well as last, we should not find out the name of the champion in the evening. In 2019, the organizers postponed the final round until early morning due to the threat of bad weather in the afternoon. This time it is known in advance that the fourth round will begin at 10 am. Firstly, this is due to the transfer of the tournament from April to November and the reduction in daylight hours. Second, the early start was driven by the wishes of CBS, the Masters’ main television partner since 1956. The fact is that the NFL match is broadcast on the channel on Sunday afternoon, so the champion should be known unusually early – around 14:30 local time. By the way, another television tradition will be broken: for the first time since 1963, the Masters will not be shown on free channels in the UK; the tournament will be streamed by the paid Sky Sports. In Russia, you can follow the events in Augusta on Eurosport and GOLFTV.
GREEN BLAZER
Perhaps the main tradition is the presentation of the Green Jacket. Since 1949, each champion can wear this jacket for a year, but on the eve of the next draw must return it to the organizers, who will hang it in a special room along with other jackets. Since the trophy is loaned out, almost all winners try to make the most of this time and regularly wear a jacket for all TV shows and other public events.

CHAMPION LUNCH
A little later, in 52, another tradition appeared: the champion dinner. Ben Hogan was the first to invite former winners and members of the Augusta National Golf Club to lunch a few days before the start of the new draw. Now every champion on Tuesday of Masters week becomes the organizer of the gala evening and chooses the menu himself. For example, in 1998, Tiger Woods, who became the youngest champion of the Masters in 1997, offered the world’s most respected golfers a youth menu: cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, fries and milkshakes. “I was told that I can choose anything. Yes, I’m a young man, and that’s what I eat, ”- said Woods. As a reminder, Tiger is the reigning champion of the tournament, and at the moment the traditional Tuesday lunch is still on the schedule.

The long awaited Green blazer. Dustin Johnson conquered the Masters!

The November Masters, despite various fears, turned out well. Yes, without spectators, yes, without a riot of colors and blooming magnolias and azaleas, yes, in a shortened format due to television and early sunset, but the main thing remained unchanged: the best golfers in the world and an uncompromising struggle for the main trophy in world golf. Meteorologists predicted rains throughout the week, but in reality there was one big downpour: on Thursday morning. True, the organizers already calculated everything with an accuracy of almost a minute, so the delay of 2 hours and 47 minutes was extremely unpleasant. The second round was finished only on Friday morning, the third – on Saturday morning, and only by the final day the tournament returned to its usual course. The rain on Thursday made the pitch very soft and the greens slow, so we saw a whole lot of great results and individual shots.

TOURNAMENT BLOW
Yes, John Ram did a hole-in-one in training, but we couldn’t help but notice the Spaniard’s amazing kick. A few years ago, the Masters had a tradition of making “pancakes” on the 16th hole: golfers deliberately hit parallel to the water with the goal that the ball, jumping over the water surface, eventually rolled out onto the green. The shot itself is not easy, so any hit on the green is an achievement. However, Ram succeeded in real beauty: the ball hit right in the hole, and this hit bypassed all the world’s TV channels, websites and agencies, and not only sports. The fantastic hole-in-one Rama was the highlight of the last tournament.

DISAPPOINT TOURNAMENT
Bryson Deschambeau was considered the main contender for the victory before the start of the Masters. The American prepared for it according to an individual program and deliberately missed two major competitions on the West Coast of the United States in order to bring himself in perfect shape to the “major” in Augusta. Unfortunately, we could not understand whether this was successful or not. Bryson had health problems all week: dizziness, lethargy, numbness, abdominal pain. Deschambeau even took a coronavirus test, which tested negative. The American did not act in films and tried to find his own game, but, of course, his well-being was reflected in his result. Bryson barely passed the cut and ended up tied for 31st place only.

RENAISSANCE TOURNAMENT
Bernard Langer played in one fly on Sunday with Deschambeau, becoming the oldest golfer to complete a cut: 63 years and 78 days. If Bryson hit the farthest on average than all other golfers, then Langer, on the contrary, sent the ball to the shortest distances. So, Rory McIlroy, who played with Langer on Saturday, honestly admitted that he had no idea what result he would have shown if he had left the tee so short. Nevertheless, this did not prevent the famous German from getting ahead of Deschambeau in the standings and taking 29th place. By the way, during the third round, Bernard made an amazing putt of 63 feet.

CONFUSE TOURNAMENT
It is unlikely that this episode cost Bryson a title or even a top 10, but in any case it affected the further course of his tournament. On Friday, the golfer took a mighty drive on the third par-4 hole. The ball flew slightly to the left and sank in the second cut of the raff. He did not get into any bushes or thickets as high as a knee, but it was not possible to find him in three minutes. As a result, Deschambeau had to return to tee and write down the triple gods on the card. The ball was eventually found, but after the time allotted for the search was over. How and why this could not be done in not the tallest grass remained a mystery.

Coronavirus and golf: fans, tournaments and prospects

Be friendly or discreet?

What could be nicer than moving from one hole to the next, spreading your arms out to the sides and greeting the fans on the left and right? Not during the outbreak of the coronavirus, which is spreading all over the world, but miraculously bypasses Russia.

Rickie Fowler, one of the most popular golfers among the fans, used to have regular contact with golfers, but over the years he has done so less and less.

“From time to time I began to get sick. I don’t want to say that this is directly related to manual contact with other people, but now I very rarely shake hands with someone. Sometimes I can greet someone with a fist. When you regularly hold out your hand to someone, you increase the risk of catching something. At some point I realized this, and now I understand it even better, ”Fowler said.

Billy Horschel takes the opposite point of view. He believes that contact with the fans is an integral part of golf.

“This is no longer golf, this is no longer the sport we are used to. I just hope that those people whom I shake hands with know their condition, and if they are sick, they simply will not come to the field, ”said Horshel.

In the English Premier League, handshaking before the start of matches was previously canceled, and in the NBA, players are asked not to pick up objects from fans that can be signed.

PGA Championship is due to take place in San Francisco as planned

What about the upcoming golf tournaments?

In the European Tour, some of the events have already been canceled, but in the PGA, so far, everything is on schedule. True, there is a possibility that some tournaments may pass without spectators.

“Now there are rumors that spectators may not be allowed on the Masters. Players have been talking about this for a couple of days now. It is simply impossible to imagine the Masters without golf enthusiasts, ”added Horshel.

It was also rumored that the PGA Championship, which was to take place in San Francisco at TPC Harding Park, would be moved to another city. PGA tour commissioner Jay Monahan has denied the rumors.

“PGA of America executives are planning to host the PGA Championship in San Francisco at TPC Harding Park. As for the stage of the WGC in Austin, which is to take place in two weeks, we expect the tournament to take place. Another thing is that the situation is changing so quickly that sometimes new information appears every day or every hour. But at the moment we have plans to host the tournament in Austin, ”said Monahan.

Multisportsmen. How Nadal, Bale and Curry became golfers

Rafael Nadal, Gareth Bale, Stephen Curry. Aside from being legends in their respective sports, what do these celebrated athletes have in common? Love for golf. For them, golf is even more than a hobby and a pleasant pastime. For example, 13-time Roland Garros champion Nadal has taken part in the professional Euro Tour Balearic Golf Championship not for the first time. 60 golfers took part in the competition: 23 professionals and 37 amateurs.

Nadal, whose handicap according to various sources is either 0.3 or 1.5, showed remarkable play over 54 holes and finished sixth. In the first and second rounds, Rafael hit 74 each, and in the third – 77. He lagged behind champion Sebastian Garcia by 10 hits, which is a great result for someone who usually holds a racket in his hands, not a club. The tournament was held in Nadal’s homeland in Mallorca, and he tries not to miss competitions on this island, unless, of course, he is busy at tennis starts.

So, in 2019, Rafael took second place at one of the tournaments in the Balearic Islands; however, the championship itself was not that big. Nadal not only plays, but also organizes tournaments: two years ago, the first Rafa Nadal Golf Challenge took place. And three years ago, Nadal attended the major exhibition tournament Hero World Challenge, which is hosted by Tiger Woods. By the way, the Spaniard has a long-term friendly relationship with Tiger. Woods came to the tennis US Open and rooted for Nadal, and Rafael responded by saying that playing in front of the great champion is a great honor: “Tiger has always been a source of inspiration for me. He is one of the greatest athletes in history, ”says Rafael. Nadal is not the only tennis player to play golf successfully. So, the Americans Pete Sampras (0.5) and Andy Roddick (1.5) have excellent handicaps. The famous masters of the past Ivan Lendl and Boris Becker also distinguish birdies from albatross, although they do not go out on the field so often.

Gareth Bale is the top golfer among footballers. For some reason, his hobby is very often criticized by the football fans of the team for which he stands: earlier this hobby of the Welshman was unhappy with fans of Real Madrid, now fans of Tottenham, who believe that Bale aggravates his injuries on the golf courses. “For some reason people think that I shouldn’t play golf because it can hurt me. I spoke with the doctors, and they have nothing against it. But the fans don’t understand my love for golf. If Stephen Curry plays the morning before his basketball game, then it’s okay. If I play two days before my football meeting, then immediately there are dissatisfied: “But what is he doing?” Football is my No. 1 sport, I get paid for it, I always give my best. Golf is a hobby because everyone has a hobby, ”explains Bale.

Successful game of Natalia Guseva and Anna Schulze at the LETAS stage in Spain

In Spain, the final stages of the season of the second division of the women’s Euro tour were held, where our golfers performed strongly. Participants had to play in the most difficult weather conditions, and the air temperature dropped to almost zero degrees. The start of the final round of the Santander Golf Tour Lauro tournament was postponed twice due to rain, and subsequently the golfers could not finish it.

As a result, the organizers of the competition had to cancel the final round and limit themselves to the results of the first two days. Our country was represented at the Spanish tournament by Anna Schulze, Alisa Khokhlova and Natalia Guseva, who performed by special invitation and made her debut at the LETAS stages. Anna and Natalia managed to overcome the cut, although it was very difficult to perform on the second day.

“My first tournament was held in Lerma,” says Natalia, who finished in the top 20 at another LETAS stage a few days ago. ” This is a very famous field, and professional tournaments have been held there many times. We also had to play in severe weather conditions, as sometimes we went out to play in one degree of heat, which is not warm. In principle, I am happy with my performance. Played in minus three. There is a lot to work on. And now I understand that I can safely fight with professionals who play LETAS. I hope that in the near future I will be able to get to more prestigious tournaments, play LETAS and always be in the top. I think that you just need to work on yourself, and everything will work out.

At the tournament in Lauro, the field was already much heavier, there were a lot of trees, and there was no such open space. Here, too, there was wind, but it was more difficult to cope with it, as the field was very narrow and treacherous. Every time I had to think about where to play correctly, so that then there was the right shot on the green. You can’t even tell from the final score whether it turned out, because in the last round I was in minus two until the last hole, I had only two holes left to play, and it’s a shame that the last round was canceled, since I was in the twentieth position. If I had finished, maybe I would have made it to the top 15, as many girls couldn’t handle the last round in the rain. The rain was very heavy. Sometimes the greenkeepers would come and “clear” the path for us on the putt, as everything was flooded and we played in very difficult weather conditions.

I want to thank my caddy chavi’s Pandamania, he was with me in these two tournaments and was very helpful. Without him, of course, I would not have managed and did not give such a good result on the last day, and in principle in these two tournaments. I want to thank my mother, who always supports me, and who is always with me. And all those who supported me. I am very pleased for the support when it comes from my home country, and I hope that in the future I will please you with better results at the LETAS stages, and a little later, maybe in the LPGA. I think everything will work out, we will prepare. In principle, the Olympics are just around the corner. Not the next one, but a little later. I hope that everything will work out for us. There is potential in Russian Golf, and we know it very well.”