Archive for May, 2010

Bridgestone Golf Tour Trio Top Money Lists

Bridgestone Golf has made it known that their Tour Team currently boasts three players ranked #1 on the Champions Tour, LPGA Tour and Nationwide Tour money lists, respectively.

Fred Couples has done so, relying on the Bridgestone Tour B330 golf ball which is optimized for  112+ MPH swing speeds, and J38 Dual Pocket Cavity Back irons.

In addition, Ai Miyazato, Bridgestone Golf worldwide tour team member, is the top money winner on the LPGA TOUR, having won 3 of the first 6 events of 2010. Miyazato trusts her game to a full bag of Bridgestone Tourstage equipment.

Rounding out Bridgestone’s “terrific trio” is Nationwide Tour rising star – Kevin Chappell. Through 9 events on the 2010 Nationwide Tour, Chappell has recorded 4 top 10’s including his first professional victory at the Fresh Express Classic.  Chappell’s equipment arsenal includes the Bridgestone Golf Tour B330-S golf ball, which is optimized for 103 – 115 MPH swing speeds, J38 driver, irons and wedges.

This is a nice little victory for Bridgestone Golf.  Titleist still rules the PGA Tour for the most part.  But 3 out of 4 isn’t bad!


Details of what’s in their respective bags:

Fred Couples
Champions Tour: Cap Cana Invitational
Driver: TaylorMade R9 460 (8.5 degrees; Fujikura Speeder 757 shaft)
Fairway Wood: Callaway FT-i (15 degrees)
Iron (2): TaylorMade Tour Burner
Irons (3-PW): Bridgestone J38 Dual Pocket Cavity
Wedges: Callaway X-Forged (54 and 58 degrees)
Putter: TaylorMade Rossa Imola 6
Ball: Bridgestone Tour B330
Footwear: Ecco Golf Street Premier

Ai Miyazato
LPGA: Tres Marias Championship
Driver: Bridgestone Tour Stage X-Drive (9.5 degrees; Graphite Design Tour AD shaft)
Fairway Woods: Bridgestone Tour Stage X-Drive 701 3-wood (15 degrees; Graphite Design Tour AD shaft)
Hybrids: Bridgestone Tour Stage F-UT (20 and 22 degrees)
Irons (5-PW): Bridgestone Tour Stage X-Blade GR C-1 (Nippon N.S. Pro V-90 shafts)
Wedges: Bridgestone Tour Stage X-Wedge (52 and 58 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey White Hot XG Teron
Ball: Bridgestone Tour Stage X-01G+
Footwear: Ecco Classic Hydromax (Champ spikes)
Glove: Bridgestone Tour Stage GLTX80

Kevin Chappell
Nationwide Tour: Fresh Express Classic
Driver: Bridgestone X-Drive 701G prototype (9.5 degrees; UST Mamiya ATTAS prototype shaft)
Fairway Wood: Bridgestone J33 3-wood (14 degrees; True Temper Project X 8A4 shaft)
Hybrid: TaylorMade Rescue TP FCT (19 degrees; True Temper Project X HC1 hybrid shaft)
Irons (3-PW): Bridgestone J38 prototype
Wedges: Bridgestone J38 (54 and 60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 SLT T10
Ball: Bridgestone Tour B330-S
Footwear: Adidas (Softspikes cleats)

Source:  The Tour Van


California Here I Come – Romo Hopes So…

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is a step closer to playing the U.S. Open.  He earned one of seven qualifying spots Thursday at The Honors Golf Club of Dallas. Romo birdied three of his last four holes to shoot 69, then survived a four-for-three playoff to advance. He took just 12 putts on the back nine.  It was the first time in three attempts that Romo advanced to sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open.

Romo will play a 36-hole sectional qualifier June 7 at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas. At least one player from each of 13 sectional qualifiers will advance to the U.S. Open that will be played June 17-20 at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links.

In other local qualifying events held during the past two weeks, former MLB pitcher John Smoltz, Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee and Minnesota Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell failed to advance to sectional qualifying.

Source:  Golfweek


Day 1 Sybase Match Play: 7 of 10 Top LPGA Golfers Advance

Juli Inkster (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

The first-round matches at the Sybase Match Play Championship played at Hamilton Farm Golf Club are in the books. Ten of the top-ten players in the Rolex Rankings started the day and only seven advanced to the second round.

  • Rolex Rankings No. 3 Suzann Pettersen was upset by LPGA Hall of Fame member Juli Inkster, No. 6 Anna Nordqvist was beat by Shi Hyun Ahn and No. 9 Na Yeon Choi suffered a loss at the hands of Karine Icher.
  • All three rookies in the field won their first-round matches. Amanda Blumenherst upset Stacy Lewis 1 UP. Sponsor’s invite Beatriz Recari won over Brittany Lincicome 1 UP, while Azahara Munoz defeated last week’s winner Se Ri Pak 3&2.
  • The biggest margin of victory was 5&4 by Sophie Gustafson over Na On Min and Candie Kung over Natalie Gulbis.
  • Michelle Wie rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole to take the lead and posted a 2-up victory over a tough Stacy Prammanasudh (Source:
  • Six matches went extra holes and another six ended on the 18th hole.

Complete round-up and results can be found here.


Match Play Returns to the LPGA This Weekend

This week, the LPGA is shaking things up with a match-play event.  Starting on Thursday, a field of 64 of the top women golfers will be competing for $1.5 million in prizes (first place winner will pocket $375,000 of that ).

The Sybase Match Play Championship, which is being held at the Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, N.J. takes an interesting approach to setting up the initial pairings.  To start, there are four brackets which are named for the four LPGA players with the most LPGA career wins – Kathy Whitworth (88), Mickey Wright (82), Annika Sorenstam (72) and Patty Berg (60). The 64 players in the field will be given a number from 1-64 based on their Rolex Rankings. The top-32 players will be automatically seeded into the brackets. Their opponents will be determined through a blind draw.

Here are some of the pairings:

  • Jiyai Shin vs. Ai Miyazato – A battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2 with the top world ranking up for grabs. This final would assure Asia goes 7-0 in LPGA events this season.
  • Michelle Wie vs. Morgan Pressel – Two of the best young Americans, former junior rivals, power player vs. precision player, with a big boost to American golf no matter which player wins.
  • Suzann Pettersen vs. Cristie Kerr – Two warriors in golf cleats, the intensity of the heat thrown off in this final could cause the grass beneath their footsteps to turn brown.
  • Se Ri Pak vs. Karrie Webb – Hall of Fame finish with two veterans who still rank among the great ball strikers trumping each other with their shot making.

The complete list of pairings can be found here.

The last time the LPGA sanctioned an official match-play event was three years ago when Seon Hwa Lee defeated Rolex Rankings No. 2 Ai Miyazato at the 2007 HSBC Women’s Match Play Championship held at Wykagyl Country Club in New Rochelle, N.Y.

As for the course, Hamilton Farm will “flip the 9s” with the course’s front nine holes becoming the back nine holes and the back nine holes will becoming the front nine holes. For the pure golf enthusiast, the Highlands golf course has both a Parkland and Scottish links feel, with rolling terrain and undulating greens. Bent grass is featured on greens, tees and fairways, with bluegrass rough and a fine fescue secondary rough.

The Sybase Match Play Championship will be televised on The Golf Channel.


Source: and The Golf Channel.

Miura Golf Unveils Wet Sand, K Grind Wedge

British Columbia-Japanese golf-club manufacturer Miura Golf has just announced the K Grind wedge which features characteristics making it ideal for hitting out of wet sand.

The sole of the new K Grind wedge is “fluted” making it look like it has finger-tip impressions on it.  These three channels reduce the resistance against the wedge in sand, thick rough, and even the fairway. The sole of the wedge moves with the grass instead of against it. The channels move around the sand instead of colliding with it. It allows the wedge to accelerate thru the ball with less effort in every condition to improve the odds of hitting a good shot.

Characteristics of the K Grind Wedge:

  • Better results out of wet sand.
  • Reduces the odds of “catching it heavy” on long bunker shots.
  • Better acceleration on ½ and ¼ swings around the green.
  • Digs it out of deep rough.
  • Works great in normal conditions.

No pricing information was released.  Miura Golf clubs are sold at high-end, custom-fitting shops in North America. More information on Miura products can be found at

Source:  Miura Golf

Related:  Miura Golf Introduces CB-501 Forged Cavity-Back Irons


Valero Texas Open – Behind the Scenes & Practice Makes Big Payday…

Rallying from four strokes back Adam Scott edged Frederik Jacobson by a stroke to win the Valero Texas Open on the new AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio.  It took 36-holes on Sunday to pull of his first PGA Tour victory in two years.

The course was designed by Scott’s fellow countrymen (and hero) Greg Norman, who sent a congratulatory message after Scott’s first win since the Australian Open in December.  Norman’s note meant a lot to Scott. So did this victory.

“I questioned myself at times last year whether I was a great player or not,” Scott said. “I still feel I am.”

You can read about it here and watch the post-tournament interview with Adam Scott here.

Another interesting read is this post, where Scott Walker of The Golf Channel provides a glimpse of what wasn’t shown on television — like the beer shower Ernie Els gave Adam Scott.

In his write-up, Walker also pointed out that Jimmy Walker (no relation) who finished tied for third place, had played dozens of rounds at TPC San Antonio trying to figure out the course (Note:  He lives about 35 miles away).

“His advance scouting should make it a cinch for him to keep his card in 2010, making it time well spent. Plus, that $317,200 will come in handy with his first child due to a matter of days.”

Good stuff.  Exciting golf and back-stories!  Just goes to show that interesting stories can be found wherever the PGA Tour lands (even tournaments where Phil and Tiger aren’t entered).


First LPGA Caddy for a Cure Opportunity Announced

This week, the Caddy For A Cure organization announced an auction is being held to caddy for Natalie Gulbis at the LPGA’s second major of the season:  Webman’s LPGA Championship.

Caddy For A Cure offers a way for folks to have a PGA/LPGA experience “inside the ropes.”   Opportunities can be found through its website ( which links to auctions. 100% of auction proceeds are donated to charity.

For the LPGA Championship, funds will be directed to the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund, the Wounded Warrior Project, the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Program, the United Way Graduation is the Goal Fund as directed by tournament sponsor, Wegmans, and Natalie’s charity, The Boys and Girls Club of Las Vegas.

In a written statement, Russ Holden, Caddy For A Cure founder said, “To be able to launch our program at the LPGA Championship is a perfect fit given the charitable history and heart of Wegmans. We think it’s an especially exciting opportunity to be inside the ropes at a venue like Locust Hill which is deep in LPGA tournament history. The winning caddie will not only be shoulder to shoulder with Natalie, but will also be among the world’s best women golfers competing in this Major tournament.”

On the PGA side, examples of some of the auctions are being held include: Boo Weekley (May 26), Zach Johnson (July 7), Paul Casey (July 21), Lee Westwood (August 4) and a host of others.  See site for details.


DQ’d for Goofing About Score – Golfer Learns Tough Lesson…

A senior at Notre Dame learned the hard way that verbalizing a score while playing a round is the same as writing it down.  It all started when Notre Dame senior, Annie Brophy, while playing in a NCAA Central Regional tournament, told people keeping track of scores every three holes to post on the leaderboard that she had five birdies, an eagle and a bogey through the first nine holes Saturday on the par-72 course.

She later claimed she was just “goofing around.”

Brophy needs to find a better way to stay loose and relaxed on the golf course if that was the case.  The NCAA disqualified her.

Brophy was “shocked” apparently because her actual scorecard was accurate (she hit 85 and 81 in the first two rounds) and she never intended to turn in a false score.

What she didn’t grasp was the ripple effect of her actions.

According to Nancy Cross, a senior associate athletic director at Purdue and chair of NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Committee, the problem was that because of the scores Brophy was verbalizing, three teams (Florida State, Oregon and Kent State) ended up waiting around to see if a playoff might be needed to determine which teams would advance to the finals. Only eight of the 24 teams advance.

Bad Brophy!

Lesson learned (hopefully).  Perhaps next time, if the urge to emote hits her, she’ll just Tweet something silly to get it out of her system.  A story includes Brophy’s apology.


Note:  Original photo from Notre Dame via Golfweek.

Lost & Found Balls: Times Story on Boon/Burden

Did you catch the story in The New York Times Golf Blog about lost golf balls?

Written by Bill Pennington, it started off by talking about the 100K golf balls found in Scotland’s Loch Ness (as in monster).  Clearly, there’s a lack of actual driving ranges in Scotland, so why not?

Okay, all kidding aside.  The story goes on to discuss the negative ecological impact of lost golf balls.  For most of us, the negative impact is on our wallets.

Pennington mentions how “the retrieval and discount repackaging of lost golf balls has mushroomed into a lucrative business expanding into global emerging markets.”

A year and a half ago, I wrote a story about one such business: What they do is retrieve golf balls from the lakes and water hazards of over 2000 resorts, private facilities and top daily fee courses in 32 states. The balls are then shipped to one location where they are cleaned with soap and water and sorted by hand into various brands, models, conditions and offerings, which are then made available for purchase.

The company offers a huge selection of “perfect” and “near perfect” golf balls from most every renowned golf ball manufacturer.  At the time of my article, had retrieved and sold over 220 million golf balls.

Most golf courses discourage “ball hawking” because it tends to slow up the game.  There are benefits to finding lost balls while searching for your own.  You may discover a brand that works for you.  Plus, there’s nothing like playing with a lost ball over a long carry or near water — it’s like playing with house money.

Check out the article and the comments (Quite amusing actually!).


Poll: Are Your Playable Hours Up This Year?

According to Pellucid’s weather impact report, the numbers for April were quite encouraging, with April’s Golf Playable Hours (GPH) up 20% for the Total US vs. April 2009. That completely erased the weather deficit caused by unfavorable January and February months with the Year-to-Date (YtD) GPH figure now reading + 6% through April.

The announcement included a quote from Pellucid President Jim Koppenhaver, “The great news is that many of the northern climes are off to a fantastic start with solid April weather that appears, at least among our client courses, to have driven rounds which were well over their April plans (again proving Stuart Lindsay’s “Golfers are more like bears than squirrels” theory)

Are your available playable hours up this year?

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