Bunker Mentality

  • Fantasy Golf: Singh can win at Byron Nelson

    It would be fair to say that the Byron Nelson Championship is not the most exalted event on the US Tour.

    Rory Sabbatini won this tournament last year, but it has thrown up a series of unheralded champions in recent times.

    The 2005 winner was Ted Purdy followed by Brett Wetterich in 2006.

    Yet despite its seemingly lowly status in the wider picture of world golf, the Byron holds a certain degree of appeal because it offers budding players a way into the US Open.  

    Those who finish inside the top 10 in earnings on the US Tour after the conclusion of the Byron gain automatic entry to the year's

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  • Scott rediscovering early promise

    One day you are a winner, the next you are a wallflower. One day you are the world's third best golfer, the next you are in the wilderness. It would be wholly misleading to suggest Adam Scott has been to hell and back in recent years, but it would not be indulging in sensationalist talk to assume the Australian player had lost his way somewhat.

    Scott was left holding the Texas Open title after rounds of 66 and 67 on Sunday, but Scott and moments like this should be natural bedfellows. It is slightly mystifying that a man of such technique and golfing athleticism has endured such a frothy

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  • Westwood, choke? Not a bit of it

    The doom and gloom surrounding Lee Westwood's apparent late collapse to lose the Players Championship at Sawgrass fills the golf columns of this morning's papers.

    'Westwood falls short yet again' is the general gist of the headlines, alongside stories of the world number four finding the water on the 17th to end his hopes of lifting the fifth most important trophy of the year. The bald facts are that Westwood dropped three shots in the last five holes - one of which was a simple birdie chance - to end up four shots back of winner Tim Clark.

    The reaction brings to mind one of those famous Oscar

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  • Bunker Mentality: Tiger wins, and other stories

    Here are five stories that will never be written about the 2010 Masters:

    Tiger wins on return from 'sexile': Tiger Woods returns from 'sexile' to win his fifth Green Jacket after five months out of the game.

    Freddie flies at fifty: Fred Couples makes an incredible return to become the oldest player ever to win a Major.

    Perfect putter KJ leads Korean charge: KJ Choi breaks Masters putting record to win second consecutive Major for Korea.

    Westy ends British heartbreak: Lee Westwood ends Britain's run of 14 years without victory at The Masters.

    Kim catches fire to win Masters: America's newest

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  • Fantasy: Rory to soar at Sawgrass

    An extraordinary set of results last week made for some
    interesting scoring in Fantasy Golf, with plenty of changes among our group
    leaders - and lots to think about this week.

    Who'd have thought, for example, that the miserably
    out-of-form Rory McIlroy would win?
    Even if you'd had him on your bench you'd not have brought him up after he only
    just scraped through the cut.

    Still, it was fantastic to see him back in form - and after
    the way he was hitting the ball at Quail Hollow he makes himself a shoo-in for B-list
    this week in the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

    Sawgrass is one of the

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  • McIlroy ready for Major glory

    Rory McIlory: incredible, exhilarating, amazing, fabulous and

    The 20-year-old's victory at the Quail Hollow Championship was
    probably the best performance by a European golfer in the US since Jose Maria
    Olazabal won the Masters in 1999.

    He made one of the toughest courses on the American circuit look
    like a pitch and putt, smashing huge, fairway-splitting drives and almost
    knocking pins out with approach shots that couldn't have been better if they'd
    been radar-guided.

    The amazing thing is that just three weeks ago, Rory McIlroy
    was in despair for his career.

    "I don't
    know what is

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  • Fantasy Golf: Tiger to dine on Quail

    After a couple of low-key weeks on the US Tour the season kicks right back into gear with what should be a cracker of an event at the Quail Hollow Championship.

    Tiger Woods continues his comeback at the North Carolina track, and as a winner here in 2007 (and fourth-placed finisher last year) is the obvious first choice from the A-list.

    But then there's Phil Mickelson, also in the field and also with a good record at the course after he tied for fifth in the event last season. Don't bother looking past either man.

    In the B-list we're sticking with Brian Davis. He got off to a great start last

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  • Bunker Mentality: Woods to face heckler hell

    Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters, is far and away the most controlled environment in golf.

    The fairways are as smooth as fuzzy felt; the sand in the bunkers as powdery white as a bowl of flour; the small, invited field restricted to a handful of the best in the sport; and even the spectators are the chosen few on a long-since-closed subscription list, with the right to buy tickets a jealously-guarded privilege passed down from generation to generation.

    In such a cosy environment it was almost too easy for Tiger Woods to make his comeback.

    The crowd's warm reaction to golf's

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  • Fantasy Golf: Make it Marino

    Some tournament venues just seem to get lucky.

    Take the Old Course at St Andrews, for example. By modern standards the course is a surreal experience, so much so that if a course architect turned in plans for the course today - shared fairways, blind approach shots, holes that criss-cross each other and a green the length of a football pitch - they would not just be fired. They'd be sectioned.

    Yet the roster of recent winners at the Home of Golf reads like a who's who of modern golf: Tiger Woods, Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros and Jack Nicklaus all lifted the Claret Jug there.

    The New Orleans

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  • Golfers shine in world of cheats

    Sportsmen cheat constantly.

    Footballers dive in fake agony, then rise to the ground gesturing to the referee to send their opponents off.

    Rugby coaches openly instruct their players to cheat as much as possible, so much so that the arts of scrummaging and rucking have long since disintegrated into farce.

    Basketball players are unrepentant about fouling opponents in order to save vital seconds at the end of close games.

    And even in cricket, once renowned as the gentleman's game, batsmen regularly stand their ground when they know they are out, or claim catches that have clearly grazed the turf

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