Thursday, September 30, 2010

WGC-HSBC Champions – Caddies share how to finish strong at Sheshan

WGC-HSBC Champions at Sheshan – One of the most exciting finishes in golf?

Ernie Els, Sheshan 18th hole
Ernie Els teeing off on the 18th hole at Sheshan International Golf Club

The WGC-HSBC Champions, which takes place this month (Nov), has rapidly built itself a global reputation, not just as one of the world’s leading events, but for both the quality of the Sheshan International Golf Club course and the thrills and drama of the closing holes.

Reigning HSBC Caddie of the Year Billy “Foz” Foster, who has guided Lee Westwood through his rise to superstar status sat down with Tim Maitland to explain how to plot your way through the closing holes of the Shanghai course, including the rollercoaster 16th, which Phil Mickelson called “one of the coolest holes” in world golf. Foster was joined by fellow-Yorkshireman Phil “Wobbly” Morbey, Ross Fisher’s caddie whose 30 years on tour include long spells with legends Ian Woosnam and Jose Maria Olazabal.


Sheshan International Golf Club - an overview
The 7,266 yard (6,6643 metre) Nelson & Haworth designed layout is becoming famous for producing some of the best greens the players see anywhere in the world all year and some of the most spectacular, nail-chewing, rollercoaster-ride drama in the closing holes.
Wobbly: It’s a course that makes the caddies think a bit more, because you’ve got options on how to play it. You’ve got to suss out how your player is playing and how he’s swinging it and what the situation is in the tournament because it changes whether you’re winning or losing, especially the last few holes. There’s a few ways of playing the course; depending on where they stick the flags and where they stick the tees, your strategy can change. You can only lose it the first two days so you have to play it a bit more sensibly.
I think it’s a very good course and you’ve got to hit a lot of good shots.
Foz: It does give you a lot of options off the tee. You can be more defensive or if you want to attack it you can get some better lines into the greens.



Hole 14 Par 5 594 yards 543 metres

Foz: You’re trying to thread your driver up the right hand side, but it’s very easy to hit it into the big bunker on the left. If there’s not much wind you can get home in two, but again you’re coming on over the water and across the angle of the green. It’s easy to hit it over the back on the left side of the green. You can also hit it to finish just short left of the green, but most guys at this level, if they’ve got a chance to “flag” a three wood or five wood, they’re going to go straight at it and try and make eagle.

Wobbly: If you’re on the fairway you’d have to go for it. If you just overcut you’re second shot though, it will take the bank and go back into the water, so it needs a good shot to get it on the green.

Hole 15 Par 4 487 yards 445 metres

Foz: It’s a horrible hole.

Wobbly: The green is really tough here.

Foz: Most guys will go straight over the bunker on the left side of the fairway and try and get it right to the bottom of the hill, leaving a seven or eight iron. The green is a minefield. If you don’t hit this fairway you ain’t hitting this green in two. There are three or four different levels to this green and it’s very important to be on the right level. It’s probably the toughest hole on the golf course.

Wobbly: If you don’t get in the right position on the green with your second shot it’s a definite three putt… unless you hole a 10-footer for par.


Hole 16 Par 4 288 yards 263 metres

Foz: This is a great hole… a great hole! Death or glory! This is where you’ve got to (take a deep breath), stand up and hit your shot. You can take the chicken’s way out; a four or five iron down the left side, leaving yourself a little wedge into the green and you’d probably make two birdies out of four. You’d probably score better than what you’d do with a three wood or a driver, but you just can’t help yourself! You see a chance to make a two and an easy three. It’s always a little cutty driver or a massive strong three wood and if you miss the green two yards right you’re in trouble and you’re making bogey.

Wobbly: And the pot bunker on the left of the green… you’re dead there as well. Usually they have the pin pushed front left towards that bunker and if you miss it left you’ve got no shot.

Foz: It’s a fantastic golf hole and it goes to show that length isn’t everything. Some of the best par fours in the world are short par fours. This hole it’s quite easy to make eagle and it’s quite easy to make double-bogey. That’s the beauty of the hole!

Wobbly: They’re great finishing holes. You can win it or lose it on these last three or four holes.


Hole 17 Par 3 212 yards 194 metres
Foz: It’s normally a seven iron off the tee, maybe more this year. It’s a pretty funky green. You’re looking to get it on the right level and if you’re not on the right level it’s a tough two putt. It’s a fairly straight-forward par three although it can run away from you at the back of the green.
Wobbly: It’s a middle of the green shot. You can’t be too fancy here. Just take your par. 

Hole 18 Par 5 538 yards 492 metres

Foz: You’re hitting across the fairway a little bit and there’s a big down slope right where most guys will finish so they’re either right on the top of the hill or they’re on the down slope, which makes the second shot very, very difficult.

It’s a very subtle hazard. You’re hitting off a down slope, but you’re trying to get the ball up because you want the ball to be coming in from as high as possible because the green, which has water on three sides, runs away from you and it’s pretty firm. If you’re on that down slope, you’re better off laying up.

Wobbly: We were there one day last year… with a four iron and it still wasn’t even worth it. That’s where Ernie screwed up last year, playing off that down slope he went in the water.

Foz: If you don’t have a flat lie for your second shot you are just asking for trouble. You could do worse than hit it into the left greenside bunker, but even that’s a difficult shot because the green’s rock hard and runs away from you.


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WGC-HSBC Champions – Caddies share how to finish strong at Sheshan (18 hole version)


The WGC-HSBC Champions, which takes place this month (Nov), has rapidly built itself a global reputation, not just as one of the world’s leading events, but for both the quality of the Sheshan International Golf Club course and the excitement and drama that every tournament has created. 

Reigning HSBC Caddie of the Year Billy “Foz” Foster, who has guided Lee Westwood through his rise to superstar status sat down with Tim Maitland to explain how to plot your way around the Shanghai course. He was joined by fellow-Yorkshireman Phil “Wobbly” Morbey, Ross Fisher’s caddie whose 30 years on tour include long spells with legends Ian Woosnam and Jose Maria Olazabal.

Tiger Woods at Sheshan  
Tiger Woods on the 8th hole at Sheshan International Golf Club

Sheshan International Golf Club - Hole by Hole

for Sheshan's 14-18 exciting finishing holes only, click here
 
Hole 1 Par 4 459 yards 420 metres
Foz: It’s a fairly straightforward tee shot. Most guys will hit driver and nine iron to an elevated green. You’re probably looking to hit the middle of the green because it’s so undulating. 
Wobbly: There are lots of run offs and into the wind it can be as much as driver/five iron! It becomes quite tough because you also have to keep the ball flight down a little bit. 

Hole 2 Par 5 550 yards 503 metres
Foz: A good tee shot. It’s a dog-leg right-to-left and it’s easy to get sucked in down the left; it’s a 295/300 yard carry and if you try to bite off more than you can chew you end up in the hazard. You’re looking to give yourself probably a five wood for the second shot. If you get your tee shot away you’d be disappointed not to make a birdie even though your second is over water. There’s a lot of room on the right half of the green, so a lot of the guys will be aiming to the middle/right with their second shot.
Wobbly: The second and third are your birdie holes.

Hole 3 Par 4 362 yards 331 metres
Foz: Three iron to a five wood off the tee. Some players will try and get a bit clever and feed it down the right to leave themselves a wedge, but basically you’re looking at 250 yards off the tee, short of the bunker, and leave yourself a wedge; that’s the percentage shot. It’s an elevated green. It’s a possible birdie hole really, but again you’re looking at the middle of the green because there’s a lot of run offs and slopes.
Wobbly: You can get too cute with driver off the tee and put it into the trees on the right or push it into the bunkers on the left, so I don’t see the point. It’s about eight yards uphill to the green, so it’s quite an elevation.

Hole 4 Par 3 200 yards 183 metres
Foz: I never even noticed the (thousand-year-old) trees around the green. It plays around a five iron and you’re aiming to hit the right half of the green, because the left side of the green is only 15 yards deep and it’s quite easy to go into the back bunker. Make your three and get out of there!
Wobbly: It’s quite a firm green and when the pin’s on the top right if you over-fade it the front bunker will gobble it up. It’s a tough trap shot from there.

Hole 5 Par 4 456 yards 417 metres
Foz: It’s a good, tight driving hole and it’s easy to leak it into the right-hand bunkers off the tee. You’re really struggling to get the ball onto the green if you’re in those bunkers. It’s 300 yards to carry them so they’re right in range for driver for 95% of the guys. The second shot is again elevated, uphill, and again a lot of runs offs.  Middle of the green is a good place to be again, but the emphasis is on the tee shot.
Wobbly: You don’t want to be through the green. You’ve got the trees and the out of bounds left (by the green) if you just tug it a little bit you’re out of bounds into that mucky little river.

Hole 6 Par 3 200 yards 183 metres
Wobbly: This is tough especially when the pin’s back left. You haven’t got much room at all and the green is pretty firm. It’s really another middle-of-the-green shot.
Foz: If you’re on the right-hand side everything feeds away from you and runs into a swale and then you’ve got a tricky chip up and over onto the green or a long putt.
Wobbly: And it all feeds into the water if you’re on the left.
Foz:  Make your three and escape. It’s one of the toughest holes on the course. You can quote me on that!

Hole 7 Par 4 346 yards 316 metres
Foz: It’s a tricky little hole really considering how short it is, but if you’re “on your numbers” it’s a definite birdie chance.
A lot of guys will hit a four iron short of the fairway bunkers, and a pitching wedge in. But it’s a tight green and it’s not very deep; it’s quite easy to go over the green and down into the really big swale to the left. And you’ve got to carry a bunker to get to the right half of the green and if you only just carry it the ball will shoot away from you.
Wobbly: If the pin is back-right it’s worth having a go with the driver, but if it is front left, getting at the pin with a driver is a really tricky shot and it can come back to bite you if you get it wrong.

Hole 8 Par 5 603 yards 551 metres
Foz: It’s a massive advantage if you’re big bomber because you can go 290 yards over the left-hand fairway bunker, can get it onto the flat and get home in two. For a lot of the guys it’s just out of range and to be going into that green with a three wood is a very dangerous shot. Most guys will play it as a three-shotter.
Wobbly: I think Alvaro Quiros hit seven iron for his second shot there last year! Some guys will just hit three wood, a long iron and wedge. Even with a wedge it’s still a tricky par five.
Foz: And it’s one of the firmest greens on the course. For the real long hitters they can be looking for birdies, but even as a three-shotter it’s still a pretty dangerous hole.

Hole 9 Par 4 486 yards 444 metres
Wobbly:  Caddying for “Goose” (Retief Goosen) last year he hit driver over the bunker every day. I was thinking to myself “this is some play”, but he had such a good, high flight. We played with Ishikawa one day and he hit driver after we did and he hit the down slope after the bunker and ended up in the water. It’s a brave play with driver on that hole. That’s why most guys will hit three wood.
Foz: The thing with hitting three wood right is that the angle on the second shot is much more difficult because you’re hitting across the green and coming more across the water. That’s why you see guys taking the risk with driver and going more down the left.

Hole 10 Par 4 401 yards 367 metres
Foz: Most guys will hit three iron off the tee and leave themselves probably an eight iron in to an elevated green. It’s a three-tiered green and it’s obviously very important to get it on the right level. It’s quite tricky to get it close to the hole: it’s quite easy to go through the back into the swale back-right and it’s quite easy to pitch it at the front and spin it back off the front and it runs quite a way off into a bowl short left.

Hole 11 Par 4 456 yards 417 metres
Foz: It’s a driver for most guys – 270 yards to carry a bunker on the right half of the fairway – a comfortable drive for most guys. It’s a fairly wide fairway, so it’s driver and a wedge and a birdie opportunity really. It’s a genuine birdie chance.
Wobbly: Yeah, yeah, yeah! It’s a fairly flat-ish green; there’s not too much to that hole.

Hole 12 Par 3 217 yards 198 metres
Foz: It’s a fairly difficult long par three with a narrow green which you’re hitting across a little bit with a five or six iron to a front pin and a three iron to a back pin. It’s a pretty tricky par three. You’re quite happy with a three all day long there. If you make the mistake of getting on the wrong side of the hump across the middle of the green you’re struggling to make a three from both sides.
Wobbly: It’s probably the hardest green to get close on.

Hole 13 Par 4 411 yards 376 metres
Foz: You’re hitting up, over the hill, dogleg left to right. Some guys will try and hit it down the left with a two iron or maybe a three wood, but most guys will try and carry the corner. It’s 270 yards to carry the right side. You might try and hit a cut here with the driver and try and get it to the bottom of the hill leaving yourself with a pitching wedge in. There are a couple of different tiers to the green, especially at the back, but if you get your tee shot away it’s definitely a birdie chance.

Hole 14 Par 5 594 yards 543 metres
Foz: You’re trying to thread your driver up the right hand side, but it’s very easy to hit it into the big bunker on the left. If there’s not much wind you can get home in two, but again you’re coming on over the water and across the angle of the green. It’s easy to hit it over the back on the left side of the green. You can also hit it to finish just short left of the green, but most guys at this level, if they’ve got a chance to “flag” a three wood or five wood, they’re going to go straight at it and try and make eagle.
Wobbly: If you’re on the fairway you’d have to go for it. If you just overcut you’re second shot though, it will take the bank and go back into the water, so it needs a good shot to get it on the green.

Hole 15 Par 4 487 yards 445 metres
Foz: It’s a horrible hole.
Wobbly: The green is really tough here.
Foz: Most guys will go straight over the bunker on the left side of the fairway and try and get it right to the bottom of the hill, leaving a seven or eight iron. The green is a minefield.  If you don’t hit this fairway you ain’t hitting this green in two. There are three or four different levels to this green and it’s very important to be on the right level. It’s probably the toughest hole on the golf course.
Wobbly: If you don’t get in the right position on the green with your second shot it’s a definite three putt… unless you hole a 10-footer for par.

Hole 16 Par 4 288 yards 263 metres
Foz: This is a great hole… a great hole! Death or glory! This is where you’ve got to (take a deep breath), stand up and hit your shot. You can take the chicken’s way out; a four or five iron down the left side, leaving yourself a little wedge into the green and you’d probably make two birdies out of four. You’d probably score better than what you’d do with a three wood or a driver, but you just can’t help yourself! You see a chance to make a two and an easy three. It’s always a little cutty driver or a massive strong three wood and if you miss the green two yards right you’re in trouble and you’re making bogey.
Wobbly: And the pot bunker on the left of the green… you’re dead there as well. Usually they have the pin pushed front left towards that bunker and if you miss it left you’ve got no shot.
Foz: It’s a fantastic golf hole and it goes to show that length isn’t everything. Some of the best par fours in the world are short par fours. This hole it’s quite easy to make eagle and it’s quite easy to make double-bogey. That’s the beauty of the hole!
Wobbly: They’re great finishing holes. You can win it or lose it on these last three or four holes.

Hole 17 Par 3 212 yards 194 metres
Foz: It’s normally a seven iron off the tee, maybe more this year. It’s a pretty funky green. You’re looking to get it on the right level and if you’re not on the right level it’s a tough two putt. It’s a fairly straight-forward par three although it can run away from you at the back of the green.
Wobbly: It’s a middle of the green shot. You can’t be too fancy here. Just take your par.

Hole 18 Par 5 538 yards 492 metres
Foz: You’re hitting across the fairway a little bit and there’s a big down slope right where most guys will finish so they’re either right on the top of the hill or they’re on the down slope, which makes the second shot very, very difficult.
It’s a very subtle hazard. You’re hitting off a down slope, but you’re trying to get the ball up because you want the ball to be coming in from as high as possible because the green, which has water on three sides, runs away from you and it’s pretty firm. If you’re on that down slope, you’re better off laying up.
Wobbly: We were there one day last year… with a four iron and it still wasn’t even worth it. That’s where Ernie screwed up last year, playing off that down slope he went in the water.
Foz: If you don’t have a flat lie for your second shot you are just asking for trouble. You could do worse than hit it into the left greenside bunker, but even that’s a difficult shot because the green’s rock hard and runs away from you.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


The HSBC Caddie of the Year Awards
The annual caddie Oscars are, with the exception of the HSBC Caddie of the Year title (won by Billy “Foz” Foster in 2009), a light-hearted celebration of the contribution they make to the game. Foz and Wobbly were in the US when they sat down to give their insights to Sheshan, thousands of miles and months removed from the night, yet they were still talking about who won what in 2009 and who will take some of the more unwanted “accolades” this year.
Wobbly: The caddie awards are the highlight of the year!
Andy Prodger, KJ’s caddie who worked with Faldo, he’ll get “best dressed” caddie. You could put him in an Armani suit and he’d still look like a tramp. If he shows up he wins. He’s like Manchester United or Chelsea: if they show up they win.
They had “Boxie” (ex-pro and TV commentator Richard Boxall) up their presenting it one year, he’s very good. “Westie” (World number three Lee Westwood) was up there last year. Before that they had Howler (2005 HSBC Champions winner and former Ryder Cup player David Howell) which was very good. The banter’s great!
“Westie” and “Howler” are very quick. They asked Howler how important is it to have a good caddie. He said “I don’t know. I’ve never had one!”
Foz: It’s a good crack!
Wobbly: The awards are great and it’s a good laugh. Everybody relaxes and has a few beers.
Foz: When I got HSBC Caddie of the Year I was five per cent proud as opposed to 95 per cent embarrassed because I knew they’d all take the mickey. It’s a good family we have and it’s nice to be appreciated by someone like HSBC.

Sheshan – An Overview
The 7,266 yard (6,6643 metre) Nelson & Haworth designed layout is becoming famous for producing some of the best greens the players see anywhere in the world all year and some of the most spectacular, nail-chewing, rollercoaster-ride drama in the closing holes.
Wobbly: It’s a course that makes the caddies think a bit more, because you’ve got options on how to play it. You’ve got to suss out how your player is playing and how he’s swinging it and what the situation is in the tournament because it changes whether you’re winning or losing, especially the last few holes. There’s a few ways of playing the course; depending on where they stick the flags and where they stick the tees, your strategy can change. You can only lose it the first two days so you have to play it a bit more sensibly.
I think it’s a very good course and you’ve got to hit a lot of good shots.
Foz: It does give you a lot of options off the tee. You can be more defensive or if you want to attack it you can get some better lines into the greens.

WGC-HSBC Champions Sheshan International Golf Club 
HOLE
YDS 
MTS
PAR

HOLE
YDS
MTS
PAR
1
459
420
4

10
401
367
4
2
550
503
5

11
456
417
4
3
362
331
4

12
217
198
3
4
200
183
3

13
411
376
4
5
456
417
4

14
594
543
5
6
200
183
3

15
487
445
4
7
346
316
4

16
288
263
4
8
603
551
5

17
212
194
3
9
486
444
4

18
538
492
5









OUT
3662
3348
36

IN
3604
3295
36

















TOTAL
7266





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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Golf Channel Big Break Dominican Republic relying on Giuliani for support

Andrew Giuliani Big Break
Andrew Giuliani (credit)
Golf Channel is relying on the popularity of Andrew Giuliani (son of former NYC Mayor Rudy) and eleven other former "players you know and love—or hate" offering up the biggest prize in Big Break history in order to stir up interest and a continued following in the 14th season of the reality show.

Twelve former contestants will get a second chance tonight at The Big Break: Reunion, Revenge, Redemption, this time set in the Dominican Republic. The premise is that teams compete against each other in order for one golfer, male or female, to reign supreme, get exemptions and win prize money.

Sure the prizes and the idea of Big Break are interesting but can't Golf Channel come up with a slew of new contestants or are fans more interested in watching a show that rivals Jersey Shore?

  
The winning team at the conclusion of the 10-episode series will share the $100,000 cash prize, with $50,000 going to the most valuable player (MVP), who will be crowned Big Break Dominican Republic Champion and a sponsor’s exemption to either the 2011 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on the PGA TOUR or the 2011 Kia Classic presented by J Golf on the LPGA Tour.

In addition to the tournament exemptions and the cash prize, the Big Break champion also will receive an Adams Golf endorsement contract, which includes $10,000 in cash; a $10,000 shopping spree at Dick’s Sporting Goods and an all-expenses paid return trip for two to Casa de Campo Resort in La Romana, Dominican Republic – host site for the series.  Each member of the winning team also will receive a four-night getaway to the all-inclusive Iberostar Bavaro in the Dominican Republic, courtesy of Funjet Vacations.


Here are the cast of characters for Big Break Dominican Republic season 14:


Andrew Giuliani (24, New York, N.Y.) – Son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (you see how he got this gig), Andrew is an aspiring professional attempting to make a name in golf.  A contestant on Big Break Disney Golf in 2009, Giuliani was eliminated on the eighth episode of the series and developed an on-camera rivalry with fellow competitor Blake Moore, also a competitor and teammate on Big Break Dominican Republic.


David Mobley (45, Charlotte, N.C.) A dominant force on the Long Drive circuit for the past 15 years, David Mobley competed on Big Break Michigan in 2008, teamed with Long Drive champion Sally Dee.  On paper, the team appeared to be the favorites, but they were eliminated in the series’ eighth episode, and Mobley became known as one of the biggest villains in Big Break history.

Blake Moore (26, Denver, Colo.) – A feisty competitor with a tenacity for perfection, Moore was a competitor on Big Break Disney Golf in 2009.  He was eliminated in the seventh episode of the series, when his temper got the best of him.  His experience on the series was a wake-up call.  Moore has since made changes to improve himself on and off the golf course.

Anthony Rodriguez (37, San Antonio, Texas) – Once hailed to become the next Latin star on the PGA TOUR, Rodriguez competed in Big Break Mesquite in 2006.  The third contestant eliminated on the series, Rodriguez faced enormous criticism from blogs and chat rooms for his temper and poor sportsmanship.  He lost sponsors and his confidence, and ultimately quit the game he loves to return to San Antonio to support his family.  Now at peace with his experience on Big Break, Rodriguez is taking full advantage of his second chance at redemption.

Brian Skatell (37, Greensburg, Penn.) – A very confident player, Skatell is a self-described perfectionist and prides himself on his meticulous work ethic.  A contestant on Big Break Prince Edward Island in 2008, Skatell survived more than halfway through the series, an achievement considering Skatell had a lengthy hospital stay six months prior, undergoing exploratory surgery that caused him to be more than 30 pounds underweight when the series was filmed.  He believes he has more to prove on his return to Big Break Dominican Republic

William “Football” Thompson (24, Bracey, Va.) – A fan favorite from Big Break Prince Edward Island, Thompson is the definition of country, and he knows it.  Equally at home hunting deer as much as hunting birdies on the golf course, his friends call him “Football.”  Thompson was the second contestant eliminated on Big Break Prince Edward Island.  On this go-around, he plans to give everything he has to keep his dream alive of teeing it up on the PGA TOUR.

Lori Atsedes (46, Orlando, Fla.) – Atsedes is proud of everything she has accomplished in her long career.  She has 26 professional tour wins, is the all-time career money leader on the Duramed FUTURES Tour and was a five-year member of the LPGA Tour.  When it comes to her experience as a contestant on Big Break Ka’anapali in 2008, however, the topic of conversation often centered around her on-camera feud with Christina Lecuyer, which overshadowed her play on the course.  It left her with a feeling of unfinished business.

 Sara Brown (24, Tucson, Ariz.) – Like the rest of the contestants on Big Break Dominican Republic, Brown has unfinished business.  Unlike many of her fellow competitors, Brown’s Big Break experience is still fresh in her mind.  She competed on the most recent season of Big Break – Big Break Sandals Resorts – finishing in the top three.

Christina Lecuyer (27, Conway, Ark.) – When Big Break fans last saw Lecuyer in 2008, she was a first-year professional that found herself in the finals of her first LPGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, and was a contestant on Big Break Ka’anapali.  Fast forward to 2010, and the wear and tear of traveling finally got the best of her.  She quit playing golf full time.  On Big Break Dominican Republic, she will test herself to see if her dream of playing on the LPGA Tour is still alive.

Brenda McLarnon (27, Charleston, S.C.) – A competitor on Big Break Prince Edward Island, McLarnon was 100 percent into golf.  The Ireland native was a four-year competitor on the Duramed FUTURES Tour and lived out of her car, paycheck-to-paycheck, while trying to achieve her goal of playing on the LPGA Tour.  Then she fell in love.  Engaged to be married just four days before the season premiere, McLarnon’s goals and off the golf course have changed, but the dream to play on the LPGA Tour rages on.

Blair O’Neal (29, Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Prior to her appearance on Big Break Prince Edward Island, O’Neal was better known for her modeling career than her golf game.  She also was in the middle of an extended leave from golf.  She finished runner-up on the series, and the golf world took notice.  Since then, she has hosted shows for Golf Channel, including InFuze My Game on GolfChannel.com and the premiere episode of Donald J. Trump’s Fabulous World of Golf.  Now, she is back to playing full time on the Cactus Tour.  She is more focused than ever and has some unfinished business on Big Break Dominican Republic.

Elena Robles (26, Redondo Beach, Calif.) – The first competitor eliminated on Big Break Sandals Resorts, Robles is excited for her second opportunity on Big Break Dominican Republic.  Her experience on the series, albeit brief, was another chapter in the story about how she has returned to the game after quitting in 2008, citing burnout.

            Filmed on location in June at the world-famous Casa de Campo Resort, Big Break Dominican Republic will unfold on two Pete Dye-designed courses at Casa de Campo: the Teeth of the Dog and Dye Fore.  Teeth of the Dog is the number-one-ranked course in the Caribbean and 42nd in the world by Golf Magazine.  Dye Fore is a picturesque and challenging course overlooking the Caribbean Sea that measures more than 7,700 yards.

For more information about Big Break Dominican Republic, visit www.GolfChannel.com/Big-Break-Dominican-Republic.

Thanks to TIVO I don't have to miss Hell's Kitchen with Gordon Ramsey!


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Monday, September 27, 2010

Did PGA Tour Championship or Fed Ex Cup mean more to Jim Furyk?

A dejected Luke Donald concluded that the double bogey on the 15th hole on Saturday was why he lost out on a $10 million Fed Ex Cup prize to Jim Furyk. Furyk, on the other hand, was busy trying to lift both the PGA Tour Championship and Fed Ex Cup trophies, while trying to decide which meant more to him.

 

(credit)

 

Pointing to the Fed Ex Cup Furyk said,

 

"They both mean a lot, to be honest with you, but this one is a season. ... I focused all week on trying to win this one (pointing to THE TOUR Championship trophy) and hoped this one (the FedExCup) could come true."

 

Perhaps Furyk now has another trophy in his sights, namely the Jack Nicklaus Trophy as the PGA Tour's Player of the Year.

 

Jim Furyk is now moving on to the 2010 Ryder Cup and, if 2008 Ryder Cup action is any indication of how he'll perform, I suspect Team USA will be taking home the trophy once again!

 

Here is last year's picture of Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods with their respective Tour Championship and Fed Ex Cup trophies. Doesn't this take you back to a time before all of the Tiger Woods drama?

 

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

From PGA Tour Championship to Ryder Cup to Caddyshack, Golfers Quotes before FedEx Cup

From defending Tour Championship golfer Phil Mickelson to first-time Ryder Cup nominee Matt Kuchar, PGA Tour players had plenty to say going into this week's golf tournament with an eye on winning the $10 million prize and FedEx Cup bragging rights.

 

Here are a few golf quotes from Mickelson, Kuchar, Hoffman, Casey, Johnson and a long-winded Steve Stricker.

 

Q. Several things could happen this week. If you win you'd be the No. 1 player in the world, you'd be the only guy ever to successfully defend this championship, probably be Player of the Year, and yet still all of the stars would have to align correctly in order for you to win the FedExCup. Do you think that's right, or is there another tweaking in the system that needs to be made so that those kinds of year-long things matter more than these last four events?


PHIL MICKELSON: I haven't played well in the first three FedExCup events, and so you have to have some value to those events. And you can't have it all just be -- just come down to one event. I guess you could, but I haven't played well enough in the first three events. If I had played halfway decent, I would be in a position to control my own destiny. I started out third or fourth, started out in good position, but because of my play, I am where I'm at.

 

And then Mickelson regaled golf reporters with a little known fact about Caddyshack...


Q. I was talking to Corey Monday about the 30th anniversary of Caddyshack, and he picked you as the guy on his team this year that knew more about Caddyshack than anything else, that kept you guys going. Can you talk about why that movie has endured so much, and would you put your Caddyshack knowledge against anybody out here?


PHIL MICKELSON: No, there's guys that know more useless information than I do (laughter) --

 

Q. That's not what he said.


PHIL MICKELSON: But I will share with you a little tidbit about that movie that not many people know about, and the gentleman who created that movie, who wrote it and who I believe produced it and put it all together ended up killing himself before the movie was ever released, about a month before, because the critics had beaten it up so bad, and he was so overcome by this that he ended up taking his own life and not being able to enjoy the success that this movie has had, and I think that's too bad.

 

Q. If you were to win $10 million, what would you do with it?


MATT KUCHAR: I really don't know. I'd hope I could turn it into a lot more. That would probably be my thought. But there's nothing really that I need. There's nothing that I really want.

 

CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Ironically I haven't really thought about winning the FedExCup much this year. I really wasn't in contention to be here until a couple weeks ago when I won. I'm approaching it like any other tournament, trying to get the win, and obviously all the accolades will come along with that.

 

Q. What are the goods and bads of the FedExCup? What are the highs and lows and the up and downsides of it?


PAUL CASEY: I haven't really thought about it too much. Is the system perfect? Probably not. I don't know. I mean, certainly when we had the situation when Padraig Harrington missed the TOUR Championship, even though he was a double major champion. He was actually Player of the Year if I remember correctly. That wasn't right. But it's changed since then, I think, hasn't it? I don't know.

I'm sure FedEx would love to have had the defending champion of this event and defending champion of the FedExCup, both of them in the field. We've got Phil -- what is Phil? 10th or something? But without Tiger and Phil, it's going to be disappointing to FedEx. I don't know. I don't know how to -- the highs and lows?

I haven't really fallen afoul of the system, and as far as I'm concerned, it's an opportunity to obviously made an awful lot of money. So from my angle, it's all positives.

 

Q. When you look at your career going forward, has being the No. 1 player in the world ever been a specific goal?


DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, I don't set goals like that. Obviously if I win enough golf tournaments, if I play well the next year or so, it could be a possibility. But as far as my goal being the best player in the world, it's not one of my goals. You know, most of my goals are short-term goals, and I just try to give myself the opportunity to be there.

 

Q. You mentioned that your resurgence has sort of mirrored the history of the FedExCup. It's got enough age on it now that we can pretty much have a report card. What is your assessment at this point of the FedExCup and its history? Success? Not a success? And what are the best and worst things about it?


STEVE STRICKER: I think it's been a success. I think it's done what it was set out to do, and that's to gain more interest in our sport during a time period where our interests kind of went away a little bit because of the start of football season and college and the NFL. And I think we still get a lot of media, we still get a lot of exposure because of the FedExCup, and it gains -- we have some interest later into the season, where at the PGA it usually stops. So I think in that regard, it's good. And it's been good for the players. We're playing -- who can complain about playing for the type of money that we're playing for?

 

So all that said, I think it's been a good thing. But on the other hand, I think the point system quite isn't right yet, and I think we're going to address that again at the end of the year. No matter what point system we come up with, I think you're going to have issues or circumstances that are going to jump out and not seem quite right. And we've had it -- you know, even the last couple years. I think if we can keep tweaking it where it's a little bit -- I don't know what the correct word is, but to represent more of a guy who plays well all year long, but he still needs to play well in the FedExCup to win it all.

Right now every shot doesn't matter. You could finish 120-something on the list and still win the FedExCup. I think we need to do a little bit better job of having a guy who plays well all year long, still kind of staying in there towards the end, but give a guy a chance maybe further down the list if he wins a couple of these playoff events that he could actually win it all. I think it's a fine line there no matter what you do.

 

Q. One quick follow-up. If you ask any fan who's going to show up today, as much as they like the FedExCup and enjoy this event, none of them are going to put it on par with a major. Do the players feel the same way? Where does this rank? How many FedExCups equal a major?


STEVE STRICKER: Oh, I don't know. I don't think it's looked at as important as a major yet. Maybe some day it will if we continue on with it. I know if you ask any one of these 30 players here if they want to win it, I guarantee the answer is yes. Obviously there's a lot of money at stake. But it signifies that you played well, and I think that's the bottom line. I think it would be a feather in anybody's cap to hoist that FedExCup Trophy at the end of it all. It's something more for us to play for. There's, like I say, a lot to play for, and I think it adds excitement for us and fans alike.

 

 

Read the complete Tour Championship transcripts.

 

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