Jason Day (golfer)

The Ryder Cup For Love Not Money

Brendan Mcdaid , , , , , , , , ,

ryder-cup-golf-davis-love-iii

These next few days just outside Minneapolis a dozen golfers, their caddies, half dozen vice captains’ from two differing teams, a whole host of back room officials and hangers on take part in the 2016 Ryder Cup. These being the 41st matches and a battle which already promises to be a bloated commercial exercise that culminates on Sunday evening after the 12 single matches complete between US and European players.

The event now hostage to an endless series of money spinners and one that has taken the original concept of Samuel Ryder well beyond the imagination of even Mark McCormack – the founder of sports management in the last century. But the untimely loss of Arnold Palmer this week is a reminder however of some more basic sporting values, and another great supporter of the tournament and all that was good about golf.

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Masters Preview – Rickie Fowler’s Year

Brendan Mcdaid , , , , , ,

Rickie+Fowler+Shell+Houston+Open+Preview+Day+aZJi37bNHQulThis could be Rickie Fowler’s year at Augusta National.

Just fancy his chances even though he has not done anything special so far this year. He can hit it, pitch and putt it. So he has a very good chance this year.

Jason Day obviously can’t be ruled out after being a nearly man for so many events he is now stringing together wins. Last week in Austin at the WGC Dell Match Play and before that at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

So that current form makes him a firm favourite. Although his back seems to be an issue at the moment.

Rory McIlroy is the leading Irish contender no doubt and the Dell Match Play might have sharpened him up somewhat and helped his confidence. A few unexpected cuts this season did not help his momentum and so I wish him a lot of luck this year.

McIlroy just needs to hold it together and tame any tendency to lose control at key times. Or make an unneeded aggressive strokes which get severely punished at the Masters. It’s a time to remain patient throughout.

Shane Lowry hasn’t done enough to suggest this could be his year. But he will have tremendous confidence after the WGC Bridgestone title win from last year. He has the game to do it though Augusta tests it for any weaknesses over 72 holes. The match play in Austin hinted that he is not in the same rich vein of form as of yet.

GMAC has a few demons gathered over the years at The Masters and distance seems to be main challenge for him at Augusta. His win in December at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba can do him no harm though.

Bubba Watson will be hard to beat as will Phil Mickelson. The latter travelling to Georgia slightly under the radar but showing some consistency in recent weeks.

Watson carding wins at hero World Challenge and the Northern Trust Open so will loom large as a possible contender on the Sunday afternoon

Adam Scott is up there too after his two wins this season – The Honda classic and WGC Cadillac Championship.

Outside chances include Brandt Snedeker who has shown some form this season. Or maybe Swede Henrik Stenson – always a firm favourite of mine. But again they need some consistency over the four days to be winners of a Green Jacket.

Another fancy is Louis Oosthuizen. He’s a tough, steady and competitive player with all the skills in his armoury to make the Masters his on this occasion. After coming so close in 2012.

Clearly he can manage his way around the Augusta course quite well   And has that that big easy swing that made Ernie Els such a success and hides the real power he gets on impact.

Jordan Spieth may arrive too exhausted after a Champion’s Year filled with lots of victories, commercial commitments and global travel. Recent weeks suggest it might have just taken its toll – as it does with every Masters Champion – and so the pressure might tell.

Then again Spieth might react positively to driving back down Magnolia Drive and the memory muscles help him just make it back to back titles.

No matter my money is still on Rickie Fowler