Bunker Mentality

  • Why golf’s Olympic dream could turn sour

    Ever since golf
    was reinstated to the Olympic programme for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro,
    there has been a niggling doubt in the back of organisers' minds. Where on
    earth will they play the golf tournament?

    Rio is the world's
    ultimate beachside city, you see, but its attractive residents are far too busy
    taking part in seemingly daily street carnivals, downing exotic cocktails and making love by
    moonlight on the Copacabana to bother with a silly game like golf.

    So as soon
    as the Brazilian party capital won the rights to host the Games, BM knew there would be stiff competition
    to design the

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  • FedEx cash cow for players, not fans

    At one point during the final round Deutsche Bank Championship, Bubba Watson was standing over a 15-footer and NBC commentator Jim Nantz was commenting on his struggles with his putter throughout the day.

    "Could it be the pressure of the FedEx play-offs?" wondered Nantz aloud.

    Maybe it did, maybe it didn't, but the question we as sports fans need to ask is: why should we care?

    The fifth year of the FedEx play-offs is in 'full-swing' and the players have every reason to get excited about racking up the points during this four tournament stretch because what do points mean? That's right, points

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  • Gone with no wind

    Head down and gait wounded, Tiger Woods dashed out of
    Atlanta Athletic Club last night, and into some sort of wilderness. His spectacular
    failure to make the cut at the 93rd US PGA Championship - an event he has won four times - means he will have
    time away from the public glare to try to restore his game to the fearsome
    state that once reduced such courses and fields to rubble.

    Woods has failed to qualify for the US Tour's lucrative
    FedEx Cup play-off series which signals an enforced six-week absence from the
    game. The next tournament on Woods's intinerary is the Australian Open in November.

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  • The good, the bad and the ugly

    Wayne Grady, a winner of the US PGA Championship in 1990, remains good for an amusing line or two in his golfing afterlife as a pundit.
    "He's coming home in an ambulance," Grady can often be heard
    muttering in his distinctive Aussie patois when referring to a player whose back
    nine is crumbling.

    Tiger Woods was already on a stretcher by the time he
    had completed his front nine in stifling 110-degree Atlanta. Roving Rory McIlroy would later need a visit
    from matron after damaging his right wrist on his way to constructing a praiseworthy level-par 70, but Woods's wincing was every bit as

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  • Who will win the US PGA Championship?

    Very few golf
    fans agree on which is their favourite Major.

    For some,
    the glorious beauty of Augusta makes The Masters unbeatable; many are suckers
    for the unique blend of history, quirkiness and intervention by the weather
    that makes The Open what it is today; while others believe the sheer brutality
    of the USGA's set-up sadism makes the arduous test of a US Open mesmerising
    viewing.

    However, one
    tournament you never hear people mentioning as their favourite, is the
    US PGA Championship. It remains in many ways little more than a sort of
    turbo-charged US Tour event, one whose only saving grace

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  • Golf’s real new superstar

    There has been a lot written about a certain 22-year-old lighting up the world of golf in recent weeks, but while Rory McIlroy is being rightly celebrated for his achievements, the astonishing emergence of Yani Tseng deserves more column inches.

    The Taiwanese sensation, who like wee Rory is only 22, has just won her fifth (that's right, FIFTH) Major by claiming the British Open title at Carnoustie last weekend.

    There really is no precedent for this in women's or men's golf - and it remains to be seen just how dominant Tseng can be.

    It is, however, worth remembering that Tiger Woods still

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  • Some more Irish eyes are smiling

    So all the experts were right, The Open was won by a man from Northern Ireland.

    But as Rory McIlroy finished tied for 25th and saying he could only ever win The Open if the weather was right, a 42-year-old 150/1 shot continued his tiny country's amazing recent run in Majors.

    Be sure there will be a large amount of Guinness drunk from the Claret Jug over the next few days in the province, the new epicentre of world golf, after Darren Clarke pulled off a quite sensational victory.

    Despite a population of under two million people - less than New Mexico - the province has produced three of

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  • News Flash: US golf not dead

    The late evening sunshine belied a brutal day at Royal St George's.

    Relentless wind and rain lashed the south-east coast, the players were reeling, their

    numerous towels were wet, the fans were leaving, umbrellas were blowing inside out and

    the ice cream salesmen were going out of business.

    The course played so long for the morning starters as high winds gusted up to

    35mph and at one point caused stationary balls to move.

    Britain's Simon Khan said the 14th was a par-six - Gregory Havret took 10 - and there

    were 10 double bogeys or worse on the par-four 4th.

    But as the conditions

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  • St George’s humbles the stars

    With the last 14 Majors having been won by 13 different players has the top echelon of golf ever been so open?

    Phil Mickelson said earlier this week probably 130 of the 156-strong field could win the Claret Jug.

    And his words now ring truer than ever. With just seven shots separating the field going into the weekend, everyone who made the cut has a genuine, realistic chance of glory. Particularly with the bad weather set to hit Kent at some point on Saturday, all it takes is someone to shoot 66 on Saturday to put themselves in the mix.

    Royal St George's has picked up a number of

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  • Bjorn again in Kent

    That Tom Watson - he knows a bit about golf.

    Bunker M was at one of those corporate champagne brunches on Tuesday featuring the five-time Open champion when he was asked whether the older generation have more of a chance on Links courses.

    "Links courses are great equalisers," mused Watson.

    "You don't have to pound the ball or hit the ball particularly long although they have added length to many of the holes here.

    "I don't see why it's not feasible for a 50-something to win this week."

    And so it transpired as first a 51-year-old topped the leaderboard, followed by a mere whippersnapper of

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