Bunker Mentality

  • Let golf’s top stars play where they want

    Last week Martin Kaymer came out and said that he had no intention of following Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood to the US PGA Tour and said that he finds their decision to rejoin the circuit "strange".

    Westwood and McIlroy have been bouncing between both the US Tour and the European Tour for the last few years, while Kaymer has stayed loyal to Europe.

    Currently players have to play a minimum of 15 events to keep their US PGA Tour card and 13 events to keep a European card although the WGC events and the four Grand Slams are co-sanctioned events so count on both tours.

    This makes it possible, but

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  • The hole from hell

    Amid the predictable toing and froing in steamy Atlanta yesterday, there was a common theme among those candidates involved in what has become quite a rowdy battle to land the 93rd US PGA Championship: no touring professional is particularly fond of the 18th hole at the Highlands Course. It leaves them feeling low.

    In fact, let us rephrase that: some professionals visibly hate this finishing hole so much that they are actively campaigning to see it reworked from a hate-filled par-4 to a more relenting par-5. The 18th hole is 507 yards of water, sand and much wailing. Oh, how they lament the

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  • Cinderella story for the man with two names

    "Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac..It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!" bellows Bill Murray's dim greenkeeper character Carl Spackler in the riotous golf comedy Caddyshack. Such sentiments pretty much sum up what went on around Atlanta Athletic Club in blistering Georgia over the past four days.

    It would be difficult to claim this is the start of the Keegan Bradley era in golf, but the man with two names deserves a few days to relax and bask in the glory of making off with the 93rd US

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  • Madness, total madness, and captain’s picks

    When Bunker
    Mentality first heard Fred Couples guaranteeing Tiger Woods a spot on the Presidents
    Cup team
    , it seemed exactly the right thing for the captain to do.

    Ever since
    then, however, BM has become totally convinced that it is utter, unexcusable madness
    that will do nothing to help anybody whose life does not revolve around TV
    ratings.

    Fans will
    be paying to watch a golfer who, right now, simply can't hit a ball in anything
    like a straight line. The competition will be hobbled as the US side effectively
    plays with 11 and a half men. And the international team, who will be hot
    favourites

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  • Escaping the British winter part 1: Onyira Palmares

    As the clocks go forward and the daytime temperature dips into single figures, most golfers start to think about warmer, sunnier shores for some winter golf.

    With 35 courses and an average temperature closer to 20 degrees than 10, the Algarve Coast is always a population destination.

    In the first of our two part series, we take a look at one of the region's finest courses - Onyira Palmares.

    Palmares, three kilometres east of Lagos on the western side of the Algarve, has been transformed into a new 27-hole lay-out by legendary architect Robert Trent Jones Jnr.

    Bunker Mentality caught up

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  • Does golf have too many young ‘stars’?

    It seems a strange thing to say but one of the problems golf might have in the next few years is not that there is dearth of young talent coming through but rather that there is too much.

    Tom Lewis was the latest young upstart to leave golf fans with the mouths open after his spectacular performance at the Portugal Masters last weekend.

    The 20-year-old, who let us not forget led the Open as an amateur after the opening round this year, won at Vilamoura in only his third professional start.

    That matched the achievement of Rory McIlroy, while a certain Mr Woods had to wait until his fifth outing

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  • Tiger number one when he is number 51

    There remains two Tiger Woods in golf: Tiger Woods the
    player and Tiger Woods the brand.

    Tiger Woods the player is a shadow of the man who won 14
    Majors, a ghost in golf gear attempting to recapture the glory days of
    yesteryear. Or not attempting, when one remembers that he has played only six
    rounds of competitive golf since the US Masters in April.

    All sort of problems have been blamed for a demise that this
    week saw the undisputed former world number one sink to 51 in the rankings, including personal
    issues that resulted in messy divorce, a series of injuries, the sacking of his
    caddie

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  • Solheim drama and the FedEx lottery

    Women's
    golf doesn't have many days in the sun, but Sunday's fabulous climax to the
    Solheim Cup was one of them.

    Watching
    the highly-fancied US team being steadily overhauled by the European was every
    bit as dramatic and inspiring as last year's Ryder Cup.

    There was
    aggressive shotmaking, outstanding shotmaking and thrills aplenty as the hosts turned
    defeat into victory in the course of a memorable final 45 minutes.

    It was
    gripping, unmissable stuff, not because we were witnessing the best players in
    the world (in the women's game, Asian golfers dominate) but because it was
    matchplay.

    Yet TV

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  • Solheim Cup needs snide women

    In case you weren't aware, the Solheim Cup, the female equivalent of the Ryder Cup,
    takes place between Europe and the US at Killeen Castle near Dublin in Ireland over
    the weekend. Beginning on Friday and ending on Sunday, organisers are predictably giving
    the biennial tournament the big sell.

    "3 days. 2 continents. 1 Solheim Cup. It's
    showtime." But showtime without the bitchiness. Bitchiness and the Solheim Cup is so last year, darling. The event no longer carries with
    it a collection of snide players, according to the veteran European golfer and one-time ladies' world number one Laura

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  • Wayward Woods still the ultimate event

    You can take the boy out of top spot, but you can't take top billing out of the boy. Not content with the challenge of fighting Tiger Woods for the moniker of the world's number one golfer, Europe's leading lights now appear to be squabbling over him. 

    Tiger Woods has dropped to an unbelievable fifth place in the world in the wake of another uninspiring performance in last week's Accenture World Match Play event in Arizona.

    While he was being dumped out of the event in the opening round by Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, Martin Kaymer of Germany and England's Luke Donald were making significant

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