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2011 keeps on giving

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Iain Carter | 08:42 UK time, Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Some could be forgiven for wanting this extraordinary golf season to go on forever rather than end with this week's Dubai World Championship.

There has been a conveyor belt of excitement relentlessly rolling through the 2011 season – and last week’s tournaments were entirely in keeping.

Rory McIlroy enjoyed a dramatic triumph in Hong Kong; Lee Westwood carded one of the rounds of his life on his way to victory in Sun City, South Africa, while Tiger Woods rediscovered his winning touch for the first time in more than two years.

McIlroy and Westwood play in the Middle East this week, with the former having kept alive his hopes of overhauling Luke Donald in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai – formerly the Order of Merit.

Race to Dubai

Luke Donald (left) and Rory McIlroy prepare to battle it out with 60 of the top money winners in 2011 for the coveted Race to Dubai trophy. PHOTO: Getty

As for Woods, his season has now ended on a highly encouraging note.

But it was McIlroy’s performance in Hong Kong that was most eye-catching. The US Open champion beat a full field with a timely final-day surge, a closing round of 65 putting him two shots clear of Gregory Havret.

Going forward, this may prove a significant triumph for the Northern Irishman. He has squandered similar winning opportunities in the past – he had been runner-up in Hong Kong twice – so victory can only add confidence for the next time he is in contention.

The quality of his ball striking is such that his name is on leaderboards every time he competes. If he is to win the Race to Dubai he still needs a victory this week and for Donald to finish outside the top nine.

In America, Woods finished brilliantly with back-to-back birdies to beat Zach Johnson and demonstrate that his killer instinct is back.

The lingering concern for his fans is his continued inconsistency on the greens. The former world number one may have been able to beat an 18-man field but would his comparatively shaky putting have prevailed in a full-field tournament?

Westwood topped a field of 12 as he triumphed in the Nedbank Golf Challenge, effectively sealing a successful title defence with a stunning third-round 62 that featured probably his best golf since he romped to victory at the 2009 Dubai World Championship.

How the world number three would love a repeat in the desert this week to end the season on a genuine high and remind the two men above him in the rankings, Donald and McIlroy, of his threat for next year.

Aside from those big names, it is interesting to note which other players have made it to the end-of-season event. Qualifying for the elite 60-man field is an achievement in itself for many of the stalwarts of the Tour.

Perhaps this applies more than most to Englishman Mark Foster, who will be playing the Dubai World Championship for the first time after enjoying the best season of his career.

The 36-year-old did not add to his lone European Tour victory, which dates back to 2003’s Dunhill Championship at Houghton, South Africa, but he secured no fewer than four top-four finishes in his 10th year on the main circuit.

Foster relocated to Singapore two years ago where his then girlfriend – now wife – was working.

Although they spent only 12 months in Asia and have now settled in Balham, south London, Foster believes the move gave his golfing life the kick-start it needed.

He said: “It was like wiping the slate clean. I know everybody does it when it comes to January – they join gyms and stuff – but I was able to get rid of the garbage that might have been holding me back.”

Foster is from Worksop, Westwood's home town in Nottinghamshire, and readily admits he has lived in the shadow of the man who was top of the world rankings this time last year.

He added: “I've done more interviews about him than I have about myself.”

The spotlight has fallen a bit more on Foster in 2011 and he says standards have never been higher on the European Tour – which he feels is as interesting as ever.

He told BBC Sport: “If I was playing the same golf I did 10 years ago, there's no way I would be out here now.

"People say with modern equipment it must be easier but that's not the case because standards are so high. That’s why I’m working harder than ever to do as well as I can.

“At this stage, I really feel like I’m getting to know myself.

“You only have to look at the world rankings to see it is a special time. There is a real buzz when people like Rory (McIlroy) turn up at tournaments.

"Hopefully Europe can keep these players because they are brilliant for golf. My opinion is that everybody benefits.”

And what about his own future? He added: “I would love to break into that club at the top of the game. I have shown signs of it and want to go forward from this.”

In the meantime, Foster, a little frustrated by recent results, is concentrating on trying to make the most of his appearance in Dubai.

With just the one week to go, we already know that, for the European game, 2011 will go down as a year of rare vintage.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    A stunning round of golf by Westwood on Saturday, surely one of the greatest ball striking rounds of golf there has ever been. Woods finally picks up the elusive "W" that he has been telling us he was so "close" to. Perhaps all those "reps" are starting to pay off. Still a bit ring rusty - one or two awful shots and poor decision making at times (think 16th hole on Saturday in particular) - however there were many signs of the TW of old (I told you those who were writing him off be prepared to have serious egg on their face (are you listening jamesmathew!!??) he is not back, but he is on the way back). Should these two have received a decent chunk of world ranking points (in TW's case enough to bring him from 52 to 20 in the rankings) in limited filed inviatationals. My answer is an unequivocal NO however that is a whole other debate (perhaps as contentious as the belly putter debate!!)

  • Comment number 2.

    Well summed up Iain, it has been a great season. Just think about whats coming up next year, with people hitting the top of their game and Woods looking like he's turned a corner, it should be exciting, well i'm already looking forward to it!
    Well done to Lee Westwood as well, he played some brilliant stuff at the Nedbank, looked a bit shaky on the last day but held on and finished the job.

  • Comment number 3.

    Great Blog Round Up Iain, Cheers Pal.

    See i was almost 100% with my predictions last week for Don247. I backed Tiger, Rory and Schwarzel. The only thing that stopped me getting 3 outa 3 was Westwoods flukey win. See he did his very best to choke again. If it wasnt for that flukey round when he shot 62 he would have been nowhere

  • Comment number 4.

    Iain did you actually watch the Chevron tournament in full? Yes Tiger Woods did miss a few putts but he also sunk some amazing putts that some golfers (Mcilroy, Westwood) wouldnt be able to get a sniff near. Is it only me or do these blogs never seem to compliment Tiger one bit, yes Iain as you stated this was only an 18 man field but it was an 18 man field of world class players who couldnt beat a revived Tiger! These blogs seem to be aimed at and my mate Don247 will probably agree at the fortunes of Westwood and Mcilroy! Westwood was against a field of 12, Tiger shot 69,67,73,69, Westwood shot 68,70,62,73 the 62 winning him the tournament, but i dont see the difference here, Iain can you give me a valid reason into your failure to acknowledge Tigers reprieve??

  • Comment number 5.

    Well done Rory, he really is proving he is the real deal once again. I think he has gotten over his "fear" of winning and now enjoys being in the hunt. 2 wins in 3 weeks is fantastic. Next year he will take the no1 spot no doubt.

    Well done Westy, what a 3rd round, one of the best I have ever seen. A tiny field so it was an easy win but still a great 3rd round. Hopefully next year he can win a major and shake the "monty" jinx that is on him.

    Well done Tiger, great finish in the last 2 holes to win...I love watching Tiger when he is back winning. Not a real tournament, kinda like the one Westy won...but all the same they are still wins.

    This week will be fantastic...Rory, Westy, Sergio and Luke all playing well.

  • Comment number 6.

    Don247 please can you give me an answer to my blog post above, surely you agree!

  • Comment number 7.

    I hate to come accross all Mickeysausage, but in a week where 3 of the biggest names in golf collected notable victories, in contrasting fashion it seems a bit odd to dedicate almost half the blog to Mark Foster. Would have preferred to see the build up to DWC to focus on the main runners and riders, or a little bit more analysis of the previous weeks events.

    Two great events this week, Westwoods "flukey" 62 rather took the competitive edge off the Nedbank which was shaping up nicely after 2 rounds though he did his best to make it interesting at the death.

    It was great to see Casey starting to perform after a rather abysmal 1st round, A resurgence from him would be fairly high on my 2012 wish list.

  • Comment number 8.

    You can talk about woods putting as it has been dodgy but do you doubt that with regular play it won't come back - maybe you didn't see the 2 putts he holed under pressure on Sunday? However whilst westwood and mcilroy are clearly great ball strikers there win rate is awful. The reason for this? Both are average putters. Westwood stroke is dodgy under pressure and mcilroys still needs work if he is going to win as much as he should.

    Great piece about mark foster.

  • Comment number 9.

    #mickysausage

    Tigers event had some great players but "world class" I dont think so.
    3 of the top 10 in the world were playing it..and only 18 in total...thats hardly world class. When a tournament is missing world ranked 1, 2, 3 and 4....it has to be considered a lower level tournament.

    Good win all the same...I hope this is the start of Tigers comeback!

  • Comment number 10.

    BiloMcT and other regular BBC bloggers:

    Here is a recap of the predictions made for last week's three tournaments:

    "Official Predictions" Made Before the Deadline at/by:

    @103 jeffkenna 1 - Rory McIlroy, 2 - Charl Schwarztel, 3 - Jim Furyk
    @ 106 Jimmy 1 - Ian Poulter, 2 - Robert Karlsson, 3 - Nick Watney
    @ 111 BiloMcT 1 - Rory McIlroy, 2 - Charl Schwarztel, 3 - Tiger Woods
    @ 114 Sumo82 1 - Ross Fisher, 2 - Simon Dyson, 3 - Hunter Mahan
    @ 124 Don247 1 - Justin Rose, 2 - Jason Dufner, 3 - Gary Woodland
    @ 126 powerhitter 1 - Rory McIlroy, 2 - Lee Westwood, 3 - Tiger Woods
    @ 127 eight for six for one 1 - No prediction (i.e. chickened out!)... except that Rory McIlroy won't win. 2 - No prediction (i.e. chickened out again!) 3 - No prediction (i.e. chickened out again and again!)
    @ 129 lovegolf0712 1 - Martin Kaymer (.... who is playing in Sun City!!??), 2 - Charl Schwarztel, 3 - Justin Rose ( ...who is playing in Hong Kong!!??)
    @ 135 PG 1 - Y.E. Yang, 2 - Charl Schwarztel, 3 - Tiger Woods

    The "Official Prediction League", therefore, stands as follows:

    1st powerhitter - 9 points and crowned "The Official Tipster of the Week"
    2nd BiloMcT - 6 points
    T3rd jeffkenna and PG- 3 points

    mickysausage:

    You posted the following - @186.At 21:00 1st Dec 2011, mickysausage wrote:

    "I see my picks Tiger Woods and KJ Choi are doing well in the Chevron, i must be on for full points here guys in the prediction league"

    Unfortunately, you were so busy winning your tournament at Royal Birkdale then telling everybody about it (read: bragging extremely loudly/basking in all the glory you could muster!!) that you actually forgot to make your predictions before the official deadline, i.e. before the start of play!!

    You know the rules and regulations which, if you remember, were introduced after a certain BiloMcT was caught "predicting" the results after the tournament had actually finished. (In the subsequent furore/fall out, Don 247 received the first of his two red cards to date from the Administrator Chap .... for lambasting the aforementioned BiloMcT in no uncertain terms!)

    The Official Prediction Rules and Regulations state:

    "Only those predictions which are made in writing and registered before the commencement of play shall be deemed to be officially valid. Furthermore, if and when a tipster, who has previously declared him or herself against belly-putters, then tips a player who uses a belly-putter to win the tournament in question, said prediction shall be deemed to be null and void and shall be discounted completely when the final evaluation of the official predictions is made."

    The Official Ruling is therefore:

    After due and careful verification of the pertinent predictions, the following official ruling has been issued and shall be deemed to be final!

    mickysausage 1 - No prediction 2 -No prediction 3 - No prediction.

    This means "null Punkte für mickysausage!" (...and a big dose of "Schadenfreude" for his "Teutonic fave-rave" Martin "part-time minor boy-racer/part-time major golfer and allegedly full-time David Hasselhoff fan" Kaymer, who didn't feature much at all in Sun City!)

    Cue: "Dry Your Eyes Mate" by The Streets

  • Comment number 11.

    @Don247

    So what you're saying is that Mickeysausage got the same amount of points as you????

  • Comment number 12.

    Well said @wirral18, Don247 there is no need for that outlandish statement how dare you call me a liar, i only asked you too answer my question! My prediction of Woods was indeed correct, and i have a nice £3257.67p to show from it!

  • Comment number 13.

    good to see that Don247 is taking close control of the Prediction League and adhering to strict rules.

    james-mathew - is that another bandwagon i see passing by!? - you should jump on it as it appears to be all you do. For the last number of months you have been firmly in the "I hate Tiger Woods Bandwagon Camp", professing that he is "dead and buried", that he is "finished" "mark my words" you said. Now it would appear that, in Bilmct-like- turncoat fashion you are celebrating the former world no1's "W" and heralding his "comeback".

    Westwood's "flukey" 62 - whoever said that obviously wasn't watching a magnificent display of ball striking, a round that could have been better given the fact that he also missed 4 eagle putts from within 20 feet. Oh how i would love to "fluke" a 62!

    An intriguing 2012 ahead as the greatest golfer ever continues his comeback. It will be interesting to see how Rors Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuke and Westy stack up against a resurgent Eldrick.

  • Comment number 14.

    #jeffkenna

    Lets not get carried away here...im said im happy to see Tiger back winning but I also said it wasnt really a proper event so he has a lot to do before he is "back" and I stand by what I said...I dont think he will be back to even close to his best ever again. Winning your own tournament with 18 players isnt really a huge comeback now is it.

  • Comment number 15.

    @10 - Don247 - This is why you are 'undisputed top blogger'

    mickeysausage - Stop cheating!

  • Comment number 16.

    Don247 its great you keep records for us, stops mickysausage claiming he predicted right! I know i used to do this for the craic but there is no pulling the wool over anyones eyes anymore, that is why i am a serious blogger all the time now. I am happy i got 2 outa 3 right but i stand by my claim on flukey Westwood's 62 and if he hadnt done that he was nowhere. Also he was choking on a baked bean like crazy on the final day, he was lucky to have won it.
    Well done to powerhitter/Sumo82 on his predictions.

  • Comment number 17.

    I think a quick mention for Noh Seung-yul who qualified for the PGA tour this year. He is one I expect great things of in the coming years.

  • Comment number 18.

    Although not against a full field, Tiger's win was prnbably the most impressive on reflection.

    12 of the world's top 25 players were at Chevron (obviously not inc. Tiger). The 12 man field at Nedbank had 6 top 25 players and the full field event in Hong Kong had 3 top 25 players in it.

    So, although the fact remains that if it was a full field event at Chevron Tiger may not have placed first, or may have buckled under the pressure of more chasers/players at or around the same score. Tiger hit two great 9 irons at 17 and 18 and made two crucial putts at the same hole.

    Westwood won his tournament on Saturday with that 62, awesome round of golf. Nothing else to say. Much like Tiger may not have won with a larger field but a Win is a win.

    Rory, against a full field showed great determination and some good shot making down the stretch when required, long gone is the Masters... but it was still a weaker field despite the numbers.

    Quick shout out to Paul Casey great last 3 days at the Chevron after a torrid time on Thursday in the windy conditions. Golf in 2012 will be special once again.

  • Comment number 19.

    mickysausage @4, 6 and 12:

    As you know I'm more interested in the fortunes/misfortunes of "my" Rory (.... oh, by the way, well done on winning the "jackpot" on your TW prediction ... but not on this blog, I'm afraid!! Please check back the archives before levelling any spiteful accusations!! "Fair geht vor!" as "your" Martin Kaymer would say!!) but, giving credit where credit's due, Tiger won the tournament in true "Tigeresque fashion".

    Zach Johnson didn't give him an inch on the back nine and certainly didn't hand the "W" to Tiger - Tiger won it like the true Tiger of old ... by going for it with total commitment!

    After losing the lead on 16, TW had a great birdie on 17 to get back on level terms and give himself a 50/50 chance on the final hole. Zach Johnson then fired his second to 12 feet ( ... a beauty, in fact, under the circumstances!). From slightly nearer the green, Tiger - under great pressure with all the golfing universe watching to see if his new swing would stand up or let him down - hit his ball inside ZJ's to 8 feet, then sank the putt to win. ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT GOLF! (... to any fair-minded observer ... like Don247! Come on mickysausage, just admit it!!)

    As you all well know, I'm not a Tiger Wood's fan in the slightest and, as somebody else said in another blog, "he still needs a personality transplant". Indeed, I have to say that Tiger really had an extremely ugly grimace on his face after he sank that winning putt (... no class, no dignity!!) in fact, just as bad as a certain Andy "Anybody But England" Murray when he opens that big horrible gob of his to let out his "Lion Rampant Roar!" But that's another subject for another day!!

    wirral18 @11:

    You're absolutely correct .... but, if everybody predicted the same golfers, the discussion would over before it even began!

    Take a look at the bigger picture .... as recently reinstated "Chief Blogger" (thanks to BiloMcT!), I have to do everything "in my capacity" to encourage a "good healthy and constructive debate" on this blog (...... which also includes making "naff predictions" on purpose if you understand!)

    I would therefore ask you to post something more positive (other than a "cheap jibe") so that we can discuss the golf 'n' golfers and take this blog on to the fourth page before the BBC and Iain Carter shut it down (prematurely as usual).

    (Unfortunately, we dedicated BBC bloggers never get the chance to discuss the goings-on, good/bad performances and results of the tournament etc. because the Beeb always closes the blog down on Thursday night ... right in the middle of the event. I ask you??!!)

    Despite that wirral18, hopefully you'll also take part in the "Official Prediction League" and tip "your" winner before "The Race ...etc." begins ... if you think it's that easy!

  • Comment number 20.

    well said @sjg_oth, @Jamesmatthewkelly i think you should read post 18, the field in Tigers even was the best field of all 3. Tiger Tiger Tiger!

    Masssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhpppppppoooottttaaaaatoooooo!!

  • Comment number 21.

    BiloMct you are correct, Westwood could see the finishing line and indeed yet again nearly swallowed a Bake Bean (whole) out of the same tin the Luke Donald was already choking on.

  • Comment number 22.

    Is Tiger Woods "back"????

    I'm pretty sure that Tigers ambitions extent an awful lot further than a workmanlike (Until the last 2 holes) victory in a limited field exhibition event, albeit one that ridiculously carried ranking points?

    He's a man who won his majors at a strike rate of better than one a year, won upwards of 4 USPGA tour events a year at a minimum, and most of the time many more, plus countless victories round the world, Dominated the US money list and took an unprecedented lead at the top of the world rankings.

    I'd think that untill he's back there again (whether he ever will is a matter for conjecture) he wont consider it a job done. We'll find out in the fullness of time

  • Comment number 23.

    BiloMcT @16:

    Thanks mate. My "official record" keeps things all "above board" ..... and sorts out the "wheat from the chaff" as they say. (mickysausage, like a sausage in fact, has no legs to stand on ... lying down there among the chaff!!)

    Regarding Westwood's 62, he described it as "his best-ever round of golf!" (Just imagine if you scored a 62 ... even on your home course, would you call it "flukey"!)

    I was surprised myself when I saw the score, especially after what I'd said about LW's putting (... when I saw him up close and personal) at the Dutch Open, i.e. "LW was nowhere near the hole with his putts!". At the Nedbank, however, he was not only playing his usual great "long game" but also holing out absolutely everything on the greens ... on a course he absolutely loves and knows well ... it's his ninth visit!

    LW is now going for a "hat-trick of wins" at the Nedbank ... so that it can't be classed as flukey at all, I'm afraid!!

    Come on BiloMcT, eat some "humble pie" (.... like I had to do over Martin Kaymer's brilliant display in Shanghai!!) Take your medicine ... like the man we all know you are!!!

  • Comment number 24.

    I think anyone that says TW is back is a little premature. I am one of his biggest fans, he is the reason I started playing and watching golf myself. On Thursday he looked good, Friday even better. Saturday I could see that he was still having to think about the mechanics of his swing and it wasn't coming naturally. This carried through to Sunday but he was more in control.

    He is definitely not back but he is on his way...

    I have met Butch Harmon twice the 2nd time was 5 months ago. We spoke about Tiger and he said to me that once his swing feels natural to him and he is healthy he will dominate again, maybe not 2 majors in a year dominant but, World Number 1, money list winner etc.

    He told me had worked with Tiger since 1997 after his dominant Masters victory, Tiger told him he wasn't happy with his swing..he felt his takeaway was inside the golf ball and thus he felt he did not have control like he wanted.

    Butch then recalled early 2000..(everyone knows what happened year 2000-1) he got a phone call from Tiger out of the blue in the early hours of the morning. "I got it". That is all!!

    Butch said, when that moment comes with Sean Foley (he was adamant it would because of Tiger's work ethic)..Jack's record will become a thing of the past. Who am I to argue with a guy that knows him better than most!

  • Comment number 25.

    lets be serious the ONLY competition that anyone wants to see next season is a playing well again Tiger against McIlroy on the US tour, that is the real big one and we all know it. McIlroys performance from the USOPEN onwards this year ( except for the injury hit USPGA) has been astonishing. 106 under par for 28 rounds of golf and here is the most startling stat,, never played a round over par.. stroke average 67.8,, yes 67.8 that is almost unbeleivable.. we all know it .. that the match up THE ONLY MATCH UP.. its also obvious that Westwood is not friends with Macca since westy's comment at the US Open about Macca blowing leads before the bitterness was all to see when asked questions about Rory, he wont answer questions about him now , and Luke Donald a lovely lad a great great player but the chasisma of a book keeper. role on next year Macca and Tiger showdown time.. Macca to win with a little to spare!! The Race this year is done , well done Luke well deserved but no majors,,

  • Comment number 26.

    Reading the comments of some of you guys on here, it seems you all fail to notice that regardless of the players you are up against, in single player stroker play golf, your opponent is the course and not other players, so it matters not who Tiger, Rory or Westwood was up against. They were not playing matchplay events. So give props to the victors for shooting low scores on difficult courses...

  • Comment number 27.

    How in the wonderful wide world of golf does the winner of a silly season 18 man event shoot up from 58 to 21 in the world rankings?

    Well played Rory Wozilroy Mcniacki for winning a proper tournament and well played to Lee Westwood - watching his 62 on Saturday was a privelege. I liked how Billy Foster bowed to his boss rather than shake his hand at the end of the round.

    I do think that Rory is destined for the number 1 spot sometime in 2012, if Caroline does not wear him out - what a lucky young man he is right now? Does it get any better than winning golf tournaments and bonking a celebrity blonde beauty to celebrate? Get in the hole!!

  • Comment number 28.

    Don247, i'm afraid ill eat no humble pie concerning Westwood. I stand by my views that he is a choker and a huge bottler when under pressure. He has a terrible mental game. I dont like him.
    Tiger v McIlroy both on top of their games going head to head in the final round of a major is what we want to see.
    I know i usually slate Luke Donald in the Westwood mould but i think he will be good this week and show why he deserves to top the Money list. Still think he'd swap it all for a major win and some actual real respect from the BBC Bloggers!

  • Comment number 29.

    Don247, as Chief Head Blogger can you see to it that the BEEB keep these Blogs open longer, seems like we only get into a debate and it gets closed. We sometimes dont get to hear as much from jimmy, Golfnut00 and jeffkenna as we would like to. Right now i would like to hear from powerhitter and PeterTheHoss.

  • Comment number 30.

    From the reaction in the States you would have thought that Tiger won the Masters on Sunday! A nothing tournament, equivalent to Federer winning a 250 tennis event. Should not have ranking points.
    Well done Rory - Always more difficult to win a full event whoever is playing.
    As usual Tiger has gone off to hide until the end of January - Classless person who continues to thumb his nose at the game - His reaction to winning his own tinpot tournament was nothing short of pathetic and another example of how arrogant the man is - A DISGRACE to the game - And to think I almost felt sorry for him at one stage!

  • Comment number 31.

    mickysausage @21:

    Regarding Lee Westwood's "mini-baked-bean choke" - If you had a seven-stroke lead on the first tee of the final round, how would you play it .... defensively, conservatively or aggressively?

    (In fact, in your own recent win at Royal Birkdale, how did you go about playing the final few holes ... going for it all out or playing in more restrained manner, i.e. trying to protect your score/previous good play?)

    As you know, Greg Norman lost a six-stroke lead to Nick Faldo in the Masters' most in-famous choke/meltdown - even more in-famous than "my" Rory's headless-chicken act near Butler's Cabin and his subsequent lamentable putting display to lose his four-stroke lead - so, being the clear leader and favourite is not always as easy as it looks.

    You have to adopt a well-defined, well-thought-out strategy and stick to it! (Don't hit the panic button when there's no need to even get excited!)

    LW knew he wasn't going to shoot a 62 again ... and, normally, after a brilliant round, every player has a bit of a negative reaction ... so all in all, LW just played out his round and allowed the others to try and catch him.

    Robert Karlsson, playing with him, came back strongly; G-Mac had a really good go at catching him until G-Mac's "now customary" double-bogey at the 14th caught up with him and killed all forward momentum; Jason "Mr Waggle" Dufner played well until he also came a cropper with a double-bogey at the 14th .... so Lee Westwood just shepherded the result over the finishing line without exerting himself too much.

    A 73 was more than enough .... so, again, credit's due where credit's due ... even from a non-believer in Westwood like you!

    mickysausage, you should eat a mini-portion of humble pie regarding Lee Westwwod because you have expressed nothing but "destructive criticism" about him all along. To his great credit, Lee Westwwod has come back and taken a big bite out of your "Bratwurst" (... as Martin Kaymer would describe it!)

    Now take you medicine (Rennie's tablets, I would suggest) for that mild case of "LW-induced indigestion" you're suffering from!!

  • Comment number 32.

    yorkieboycanada

    Well written - but why would you almost feel sorry for Woods? That is like feeling sorry for Daly when he shows up for a free lunch in Oz or Europe and pi55es all over the sponsors with his actions.

  • Comment number 33.

    Cougarforest2 - I said almost and then woke up and reslised it was all just a bad dream!
    Never have felt sorry for him and never will - The problem with living on this side of the pond is that everyone one in golf is so biased towards Tiger and hold him in such high esteem and yet he is a disgracefull classless adulterer. I had to laugh aftert he Presidents Cup - Tiger manged to scrape 2 points out of 5 and yet by the reaction you would have thought that he had won the cup on his own. Oh and don't get me started on that idiot Johnny Miller who camps so far up Tigers you know what he can hardly breathe! As far as he is concerned golf starts and ends on the PGA tour

  • Comment number 34.

    YBC

    good man, that has made me feel better about my aversion to most of the American golf commentators we suffer on CBS and the Golf Channel. Miller makes me retch. I like Maltbie though. I nearly said I like Koch but just in time I pulled out.

  • Comment number 35.

    Good blog Ian.

    Best year of golf in recent times to come? McIlroy, Donald, Westwood, Kaymer in form. Woods, Garcia, Scott back in form. Maybe the likes of Anthony Kim and Harrington returning to form. Emergence of a few strong Americans and Internationals aswell maybe Johnson, Fowler, Simpson, Day, Schwartzel. Possibilities are quite endless for next year but what everyone is waiting for is Rory vs Tiger in a PGA Tour event on the final day. That would be more entertaining than watching a major between nobodies for me.

  • Comment number 36.

    Tiger’s reaction on Sunday shows how much he needed this win. Had he not managed to pull off the “W”, having put himself in position to do so at the weekend the media would have spent less time praising Zack Johnson’s excellent performance over the weekend (indeed I’m sure the BBC blog would have been inundated with further assertions that TW was “dead and buried”). A mediocre exhibition event (one where when he sank the winning putt a few years ago he simply doffed the cap and waved his hand at the gallery… “all in a day’s work and all that!!”) it may be however there can be no underestimating the significance of getting the monkey off the back , the feeling of that winning situation...........................

  • Comment number 37.

    ..............................The manner in which he won it. As Don247 pointed out, he had the golfing world staring at him over the closing stretch, many waiting to write his career obituary. Make no mistake about it with everything that has gone on this was a severe pressure cooker for Tiger and he managed to do a “Tiger of old” by hitting two stunning iron shots and two clutch putts under this pressure. That will only serve as a huge shot of confidence to a man who feeds off success under pressure, a man who on Sunday looked like he had a huge weight lifted off his shoulders. He is not “back” but this was a significant step- proof that his swing changes are starting to “click”, his mental toughness and putting touch are not too far below the surface.....................

  • Comment number 38.

    ...................... surely a fascinating 2012 ahead - can Rors keep his eyes on the (golfing) prize (not the blonde bombshell variety) and fulfil his potential? can Luuukkke build on his success and retain the no1 status, the resurgence of Tiger as well as Garcia -will they get back to their best (or in Garcia's case fulfil his once limitless potential? How many hours of the Golf Channel coverage will show Webb Simpson's wife and child waiting patiently by the 18th green? Will the belly putter capture another Major? Will Jason Day and Rickie Fowler find their stones?

  • Comment number 39.

    Don247 - interested to hear what you think about world ranking points for the invitationals - Nedbank and Chevron at the weekend. While I was delighted TW won I think it is somewhat unsavoury that he manages to jump up the rankings so much. IMHO, there is no way that these elite invite selection exhibition raise money for a good cause events should carry any ranking points at all. It is patently unfair to the non-elite of the golfing world. Self-perpetuating nonsense. Without these points it is likely that TW could very easily have missed out on the first WGC next year. This "W" means that he will, thereby taking the place of a lesser known player who wasn't afforded the opportunity of such easy ranking points (see Nick Watney's fairly handsome points gathering for finishing dead last)

  • Comment number 40.

    BiloMcT @28:

    Even if you don't like Lee Westwood, you have to give/show respect to an absolutely brilliant course record and "event-winning" 62.

    LW did the "run, run, runaway", just like "my" Rory at the US Open ..... and inspired/provoked/taunted Wee-Mac to reply in kind, i.e. to go out and really show his mettle in the final round in Hong Kong (.... despite the lovesick/just-plain-sick-and-completely-run-down puppy not feeling at his very best!)

    Rory said he didn't want to lose his world #2 ranking (or indeed face or bragging rights) to a certain (ex-stablemate and de-friended Englishman originating from that "scenic gem" of Worksop) Lee Westwood.

    Cue: "Both Sides of the Story" by Phil Collins

    BiloMcT, you've got to see both sides of the story!!

    Come on, scoff down just a little piece of that humble pie - it will heighten your already sky-high reputation!!


    Regarding extending the BBC blog past Thursday night, I suppose the Administrator Chap has to remain on duty to ensure that nothing "provocative, racist, etc" appears on the blog .... which will then reflect badly on the BBC, besmirch its oh-so-proper PC reputation and possibly lead to cases of libel against the Corporation!

    (Even I have transgressed the House Rules twice with "quite innocuous statements" when you compare them with what you see written in the Guardian or Daily Telegraph!!)

    However, is it really logical to close down a golf blog right in the middle of a tournament when the event and the dedicated BBC golf bloggers are just warning up??

    The Administrator Chap should now come on and clearly state his case/reasons for pulling down the closing shutters at 11 p.m on a Thursday night to all concerned.

  • Comment number 41.

    Cougarforest2 - Even Faldo falls into the Tiger trap! On the radio yesterday one of the sports commentators said, and I quote "There is Tiger and then there is the rest of golf" - What an insult to all the hardworking and very talented professional players out there.
    Jeffkenna - Nice round up of what's to come - Personally I would love to see Garcia playing well and in the winners circle.

  • Comment number 42.

    Yes, No, No Yes, 14 Hrs, Yes, No respectively.

    I though i didnt like Tiger buy i'm positivley an admirer in comparison to Yorkie. I think that the number of different plots going into next year does mean its got the potential to be really exciting.

    With all the anticipation whats betting that Tiger and Rory never get anywhere near each other, Westwood and Donald continue to splutter in the Majors which are all dominated by 30-something journeymen whilst the younger generation flatter to deceive and the belly putter continues its march to world domination by ensnaring Tiger Woods in its evil clutches as he battles the putting demons that may or may not have been put to rest by his win at Sherwood

  • Comment number 43.

    " i'm positivley an admirer in comparison to Yorkie" Jimmy - The real issue is not his gofing skill - That is a given, but the way he conducts himself and the way the golfing world in the States treats him like he is untouchable and in some ways considered biggert than the game itself which is simply not true

  • Comment number 44.

    Seems like I've come to this blog late, but I've been celebrating my continuing 100% tipping record. I'll be announcing this week's winner shortly.

    Anyway, I agree that these invitational tournaments shouldn't carry ranking points, especially given how rankings are now used for entry to majors and WGCs amongst other things. My view is that only tour events should carry points.

    Good to watch Tiger win on Sunday, but at the back of my mind I was thinking that he had a similar performance at the Chevron in 2010m followed by a bad year. I've said it before though, that I do think Tiger will be competitive next year, and probably win once or twice.

  • Comment number 45.

    #25 karlwbrown

    great post...totally agree.

    Everyone wants to see 1 and 1 only match up...and thats a cocky Woods playing well Verses a just as cocky Rory McIlroy at his best. FIREWORKS! Thats the Mayweather v Pacman line up everyone wants to see.

    No one wants to see Lee "choke" Westwood V Luke "choke" Donald...it would be like watching a librarian playing a star wars sculpturer in a game of Solitaire!

    Come on Rory and Tiger!

  • Comment number 46.

    there is too much talk of the awful Belly Putters on here still! We put that to bed ages ago! Stupid Belly Putters! I was asked to stop mentioning John Hawksworth and i have respected that ( except that i just mentioned him there - so i may as well mention the famous 3 iron again! ) but we need to move on from Belly Putters!
    How about this controvertial club - the R11 - needs banned

  • Comment number 47.

    jeffkenna @39:

    I'm totally with you on this!

    "Your" Eldrick Tont seems to have profited immensely (and I would say rather disproportionately) from winning his own, limited-field, eighteen-extremely-tired-man, end-of-season tournament ( ... no suspicions raised there then??!)... going up to 21st overnight!

    Of course, it's good for TW, his sponsors and for the PGA Tour ... TW can now swagger proudly in through the front entrance of any tournament with his head up high and not "slink in through the back door like some unloved/reviled tabby cat" as he previously had to do when he was outside the magical top 50!

    The system is not fair but "It is, what it is" as "your" very-much-on-the-mend Tiger always says!

    How can we make the system fairer? Does anyone really want to see Tiger languishing outside the top 50? No, not in these economically straitened times!

    Cue: "Suspicious Minds" by Elvis Presley

    Regarding rankings, I see that "your" Padraig Harrington hasn't qualified for "The Race to etc." because as today's Daily Express puts it:

    "Padraig Harrington will be a notable absentee at this week’s Dubai World Championship after the three-time Major winner failed to make the top 60 on the European money list.

    His final standing of 67th at the end of a disappointing season left him one place below Tom Lewis – who only turned pro in September."

    Padraig Harrington now below Tom Lewis (..... don't tell the "vitriolic and universally unloved" James Mathew about that or hostilities between you two will flare up again!) ... It just shows you, however, that PH hasn't found/recaptured his "mojo" (...to use a word much favoured by Freddy Couples and Greg Norman)yet!

    Career in terminal decline, would you say?? Will more tinkering this winter (... all three weeks of it) reverse PH's downward slide?? Too many economic/financial problems for one qualified chartered accountant to handle/manage?

  • Comment number 48.

    the TIGER RORS match up has a ring to it and its now mine copyrighted right here 5th December 2011

  • Comment number 49.

    Tom Lewis is the man...Potential major winner next year and definite ryder cup player. As for Harrington..well the man is a multiple major winner and one of very few golfers that can say he has 3 majors to his name...plus he is in his 40s...let the old man relax and unwind...he has achieved much more then poor Luke and Lee so he has nothing else to achieve.

    Tom Lewis v Rory McIlroy could be the new rivalary if TW doesnt raise his game!

  • Comment number 50.

    A strikingly similar opinion to someone else who frequents these blogs!!!

  • Comment number 51.

    Don247 - Your slowly turning into 'the sorcerer' with all these musical references!
    For our prediction league, are we taking it tornament by tournament? Or will we have to stake our 4 major winners at the start of the season?

    And congratulations to powerhitter for his incredible predictions, if you'd banged a tenner on a treble, you'd be catching james mathews on the winnings!

  • Comment number 52.

    I had Rory and Tiger and GMac as a triple...that would have been a nice money spinner! Im gonna pop £1000 on Rory this wkend.

  • Comment number 53.

    Hi guys,

    i'm new to this forum but have read it for ages, enjoying the trials and tribulations of regular posters such as mickeysausage...!

    I don't think Lee was choking, I think he was just doing the job, if he had needed to get a few birdies I think he would have found them.

    Wish I had put money on Tiger to be honest as he almost won it last year when he was debatably in more of a dark place than this year. I think he is coming back and he will win a major next year, either masters or PGA.

    As for Rorz I dislike the man but he is a ruddy good golfer and I think we can expect more majors out of him.

  • Comment number 54.

    How come you get so much pocket money??

  • Comment number 55.

    Im a caddy for Ian Baker Finch for the majors.

  • Comment number 56.

    At last My close friend and companion Tiger wins, it as put all you haters to bed, you need to get a grip! And Tom Lewis will be choking on the same bean that BiloMct mentioned before come next year, he as no chance of ever wining a major! Don247 you need to calm down on Mickysausage he is a good man. BiloMct and Mickysausge are correct, Lee Westwood doesnt deserve credit until he wins a top tournament, anyone of pro ability can score well from time to time, Westwood as proved he as no bottle all of the time, once he proves himself in a big tournament then i will give him credit. As my dad always said “You don't need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are!”

  • Comment number 57.

    Thanks @TheSorcerer, good comments! @Sumo82 i dont think don247 will ever be able to match TheSorcer for cathcphrases!

    @Tiger_Tom welcome to the blog, good post there, i also think Tiger will win the masters next year!

  • Comment number 58.

    I would like to hear @Kwiksandgolfers comments on Tiger Woods because i know from previous blogs that he is a massive Tiger follower!

  • Comment number 59.

    “You don't need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are!”

    Yep and we all know exactly what Tiger is - As the old saying goes - Fool me once, shame on you fool me twice shame on me
    And indeed Tiger has shamed us all and the game of golf and will continue to do so - mark my words

  • Comment number 60.

    Does anybody think Tiger will win multiple majors next year??

  • Comment number 61.

    Multiple? hahaha he wont win 1

  • Comment number 62.

    jeffkenn@ 36, 37 and 38:

    There are passages from James Lawton's piece in today's Independent which highlight and support what you say:

    "By his own admission, there is still much to work do on his re-modelled swing and all-round game before Woods can assume, at the age of 35, that he is serenely back on the trail of the five major tournaments which would carry him past Jack Nicklaus's all-time mark of 18 victories ..... (i.e.) a Tiger renaissance – at around the age when Nicklaus was still six titles short of his record.

    "I woke up one morning," Jack once said, "and I realised I had lost a lot of those things that had made me successful. I was overweight and under-motivated and I thought of my father who had done so much to help my career. I decided I still had time to get myself going again."

    It was a historic resolve that made Nicklaus for so long the undisputed champion of golf. Is Tiger Woods, with the worst of his public trial behind him, now making a similar one? It is most tempting to think so. There is, after all, no allure in all of sport quite like the possibility of restored genius."



    It's interesting to see that Tiger also said after the Chevron that his father "would be proud of him" the way he got the "W"!

    This win has real significance to TW - it has helped him to clear away more than a few doubts about how his knee will stand up to the treatment he gives it during a tournament and how his new swing will stand up under real pressure. It has also helped him to clean a few ghosts/skeletons out of his cupboard, regarding his public atonement, general acceptance by the crowd/public and his reinstatement to the golfing circle/establishment. Even the corporate sponsors are slowly coming back, which will also help to sooth Tiger's rather bruised and battered (finance-orientated/driven) ego.

    I'm sure TW's out there today doing "reps", getting his "feels" back so that he can understand the "golfing concept" Sean Foley's trying to introduce and develop. (Oh, how I just love "Tigerspeak"!) His mission, however, to bag more Majors and finally achieve his original goal of beating Jack's record is very much "On", not on "On hold" as previously.

    Cue: "Cleaning Out My Closet" by Eminem

  • Comment number 63.

    @yorkieboycanada are you for real? Tiger Woods is a disgrace to golf? Can you actually explain why he as disgraced golf? Didnt he just disgrace his own personal life? and his wife? i dont remember him doing anything bad in golf?

    @yorkieboycanada ask yourself if you questioned 100 people in the street "who is the first name that comes into your head when i say golf" how many people do you think will say Tiger Woods?

  • Comment number 64.

    Interesting comments from Foster, Iain.

    Some of those to miss out on Dubai are quite interesting also, some who you would never consider a year or two back. Harrington, Richard Green, Kjeldsen, Chris Wood, Danny Willett, Jeev, Soren Hansen.........

    Most of all for me, Ross McGowan at 151? Cause for concern?

    Liking the odds of Donald, Garcia, Westwood, Dyson this week.

  • Comment number 65.

    What was most impressive about Tiger's win was the manner in which it was achieved. To respond with back to back birdies after Johnson's birdie in 16 was most impressive. Make no mistake regardless of the inportance of the event TW was under immense pressure both from himself and others. This was the point where he had to 'close it out'. He did so in some style. Mentally this will very satisfying for him. By this time next year he will have returned to his rightful place as world No1 (not because he is entitled but becuase he is simply better than everyone else) and at least 1 if not 2 majors closer to Jack's haul of 18.

  • Comment number 66.

    redrosedave @49 - thank you for your stark defence of PH. Despite the unfair treatment he sometimes receives on here the fact remains that he has achieved what very few other have in winning 3 major championships. We speak all the time about golfers who have "underachieved" "not reached their potential". Well Paddy Harrington is one man who has achieved above and beyond his potential / natural level of ability. This guy was never going destined to be a top professional never mind a multiple major winner, hell he was still playing off 5/6 when he was 17 (while the likes of Garcia and Ty Tryon (remember him?- the next Tiger woods anybody??) would have been playing to scratch before they started to grow pubic hair!) wasn't even the best youth in his age group at his own club (Stackstown Dublin) by no means one of the more naturally gifted golfers or sweetest swings however he has proven that determination and hard work can pay off. Plus he displayed a serious pair of "cojonas" in the way he captured his majors.

  • Comment number 67.

    i hope tiger returns to his best,im not much of a golf fan but i apprieciate skill the needed to play the game at a level that wont embarress yourself on the driving range with your mates,sigh.he has it in abundance.

    but a healthy woods destroys absolutely everyone,the man is a machine and has the body of an actual athlete(golf is not a demanding sport the only thing demanding is the flying to and from countries)

    im not convinced about donald,no1 without a major,4 tournament wins(2 of them were small events),didnt tiger win 9 tournaments in 2009 and lost a major,leading from the 3rd round for the 1st time ever?.i personally dont see any mental strength,the same for westwood,i doubt they ever will win a major as they go out to protect,they do go out to win,ie swartzel in augusta 4 birdies on the bounce from 15 onwards,yang in 2009 stunned woods to beat him by 3 playing attacking golf,mickelson masters 2010 some of the best attacking golf i have ever seen in a major(i watch the majors,the rest i read if im bored)westy and luke cannot do that.whereas mcilroy is a no1 and multiple major winner if he can keep his focus

    i wish luke well but a healthy tiger will throw him back on top of the average pile,it isnt a coincidence that luke came out to play when tiger was away

  • Comment number 68.

    Tiger Woods is a disgrace to golf? Can you actually explain why he as disgraced golf? Didnt he just disgrace his own personal life? and his wife? i dont remember him doing anything bad in golf?

    The simple fact is that Tiger built his reputation as being a great golfer and a great family man and those two things were entwined and one of the biggest reasons that sponsors lined up. His behaviour on the course is at best marginal and at worst (his usual attitude) unsportsmanlike and digraceful in the way he treats others- I have never heard Tiger accept defeat without at least alluding to the fact that he played badly, not that the other fella played better. His behaviour off the course was nothing short of unconscionable. He even had the brass front to explain it away as some type of sexual disease! Again, not willing to take responsibilty

    Oh and if I asked 100 people they may well say Tiger, but why? Behaviour or number of wins?

    I find it amazing how many people in the golf world continue to fawn at the feet of Tiger and fail to see him for what he really is! Do you really think he cares two hoots about the game? Of course not. He cares even less about anyone other than himsel and it is such a shame that someone with so much golfing talent has so little else decent about himself

  • Comment number 69.

    mickysausage @57:

    You're right ... thesourcerer is a "one off".

    Indeed, no-one has catchphases like him (..... because I reckon he's using some sort of Microsoft translation software) but, never mind, he seems to be a good friend of yours ... making a useful contribution to your anti-Lee-Westwood rhetoric!!

    Cue: "That Old Black Magic" by Ella Fitzgerald


    sumo82@51:

    In true golfing tradition, I think we should take the "Official Prediction League" "stroke by stroke", "hole by hole", "tournament by tournament" ... tipsters can then give their "full commitment" to the shot/task on hand.

    We can have awards like "Official Tipster of the Week/Month/Year" ... all cleverly designed so that the "daytrippers" - who come on and go on this blog with fleeting irregularity - will linger awhile and contribute to the blog more often (... this is the Chief Blogger's official new business model/strategy ... I stole the idea from Ian "I'm a one-man business" Poulter) .. to achieve our major goal of having at least four pages of comments on the blog every time ... no matter how bad the initial Iain Carter Blog is!! The more the merrier, so to speak!!

    BBFF ... a little word in your ear! Don't get too carried away with Tiger's resurgence, not just yet ... we'll see how he does in the Abu Dhabi Championship in January against "my" Rory and the top players (i.e. world's #1, 3, 4 and 14 at least) before we start talking about majors ... or indeed multiple majors next year or in any year!!

    Cue: "Linger" by The Cranberries ( .. ah, Delores O'Riordan will surely keep 'em all happy across there on the Emerald Isle!!)

  • Comment number 70.

    That sounds like an awful lot of effort Don, good luck to you as chief organizer, moderator, and administrator of the prediction league. The only prediction that i'll have any confidence in is that there'll be controversy

    You could make life a bit easier for yourself by just setting up a mini league in the Fantasy Race to Dubai on the European Tour website and the USPGA tour equivalent

    Why do a job when you can get someone else to do it for you.

  • Comment number 71.

    Tiger_Tom @53

    As newly appointed Chief Blogger, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Iain Carter's Golf Blog (... well that's the official name of on the tin ... if he only knew!!)

    I would encourage you to make a positive contribution at all times, putting forward "constructive criticism" ..... because we've got enough petty name-callers who just spout off without engaging their minds or throw childish hiss-fits on this blog already. (If you haven't already identified them, I'm sure you will soon!)

    By the way, don't take a personal dislike to anyone on this blog (... like you already seem to have done to "my" Rory - (the half of Denmark and whole of Ireland's favourite son/boy next door who is also the newly annointed saviour of the Irish Open!!) because they'll just turn on you like a bunch of hungry jackels, attacking you without mercy or start calling you stupid names like "bully"!

    Apart from that, good luck, I wish you a long and successful blogging career!!

  • Comment number 72.

    Don247 - Point taken and I will refrain from posting personal biased stuff and be constructive (I hope others will do the same) - On said note, no one has mentioned Phil M as someone to look for in 2012 - Do we think he has had his day in the sun?

  • Comment number 73.

    @yorkieboycanada #72

    I'm not sure about Phil having had his day in the sun, he has always been a streaky player really. A successful one at that!! He has never been a player to reel of 3/4 titles every single year, more like 5 one year and 1 the next.

    Let's not forget about the troubles in his personal life in the past few years. His mother and wife diagnosed with cancer within a year of each other, that's got to take your mind off the game and change your priorities at some point..I think that's what may have happened.

    We have probably had Phil's greatest years but I think he has one more major in him and I sincerely hope he has a few good years ahead of him, one more duel with Tiger would be great.

  • Comment number 74.

    sjg_oth Good points about Phils personal life. I think Ernie E has suffered some of the same with his son.

  • Comment number 75.

    The phrase "Tiger's back" needs to be qualified. Tiger has been back for a while but playing terrible golf by his standards. His win at the weekend was a poor shadow of his former great self....but it was good enough to win. As I have been saying for a while.....Tiger is still the best by a long way, he wins playing average golf....lookout when he plays well.

    The only player that can match him on ablity is McIlroy but Rory has weaknesses......a destructive hook at critical moments being the main one, missing short putts being another.

    I do think that the W for Tiger will help his confidence levels, also holing those putts when he needed to will help but Tiger will be critical of himself, he should have had the tournament won on Saturday but he let the field back into it with a very scrappy round. He did worse in Australia where his 3rd round cost him the tournament. He still has a way to go but it'll be great to watch him get there.

    You want bold predictions, Tiger will win his 19th major in 2014! That's 5 majors in the next 3 years!

  • Comment number 76.

    Jimmy:

    I must apologise (profusely) for mixing you up with a certain "daveyboy", who indeed originates from up there north of Hadrian's Wall (... "bandit country" as it were in "Call-of-Duty speak"!) Not that I've got anything against my "treasured" Celtic brothers, you'll understand. I just have to emphasise/state this obvious fact over again and again to refute (the vitriolic and universally unloved) James Mathew's vicious and totally unfounded nationalist/racist slurs which he always directs towards me!!

    Anyway, Jimmy, for a guy who said that Tiger was "done and dusted" on the last blog, you can consider yourself extremely lucky that all the "Tiger lovers" haven't descended on your (car)case and devoured you alive.

    As you know, I'm totally occupied with elevating "my" Rory to total world domination and the #1 position so I'm not really interested in defending/protecting Tiger bashers... but, for your continuing health 'n' safety, I suggest you camouflage your remarks in wreaths and wreaths of hyperbole (like always do) or throw up a giant smokescreen in future! (... Oh the thousand-and-one usual things I've learned on Call of Duty - Modern Warfare 3!)

    In all honesty though, you should be eating a huge slice of humble pie after Tiger's resurgence at the weekend ... and also getting your predictions ready for this week's "little" tournament!!

    Regarding the fantasy league idea, one guy on Iain Carter's last blog didn't even know or couldn't even find out who "Kyle Stanley" was . If I remember well, the clown thought that KS was some Samoan rugby player ... so, after this and other telling experiences, I'm never going to overrate the intelligence of any blogger on here.

    Thanks for the suggestion, but I'll just keep it as simple as I can (... leaving out any and all fantasy) and post the results week by week ... so that then everyone can get it ... hopefully!!


    Fellow BBC bloggers:

    As a follow-up to Iain Carter's (much-loved) David Duval Blog, here are the final Q-School scores/results after the full six rounds:

    Major winners:
    David Duval - 72, 72, 73, 73, 68, 72 (T72)
    Rich Beem - 72, 72, 67, 80,74, 73 (T120)
    Lee Janzen - 71, 75, 68,71,71,70 (T38)
    Shaun Micheel - 67, 75, 74, 71, 76, 69 (T93)

    Others:
    Boo Weekley -74, 72, 68,78, 67, 69 (T54)

    Only the top 27 players qualify for the 2012 PGA Tour so, unfortunately, all of the above players will have to depend on invitations to tournaments next season.

  • Comment number 77.

    .....Tiger is still the best by a long way, he wins playing average golf....lookout when he plays well.

    A little bit of an overstatement - Are you his manager :)
    He has played average golf for the last two years and has won nothing - Others have played better, simple as that. However I will agree that when he plays well it takes an exceptional player to beat him, but it has been done and others (especially the Europeans) are not as intimidated by Tiger as they once were so he will find it increasingly difficult to win at the highest level. 19 majors by 2014? Well not impossible but lets get the 15th done first!

  • Comment number 78.

    RE:73 Big Phil has also been diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis (SP) which is always going to hamper him, whether that be through the actual pain or relative lack of practice during difficult periods.

    Going back to Tiger, i have to disagree with James here, yes it may have been his own tournament and only 18 in the field but the pressure build up after every tournament that he doesn't win has built up to quite a crescendo of pressure and i feel it was actually more impressive than some of his major wins as the added pressure was there and he no longer has that air of invincibility that he had in his pomp. This i believe is a bigger corner turned than some would believe and imho will win one major next year and at least two in 2013.

    I now reside in the good Ol US of A and at least the commentators, although they do tend to fawn over TW, appreciate what he has done for the game, his talent and can get on without hypocritical judgmental lambasting of real/and or perceived character traits and flaws he may posses. I dare say that if Luke or Lee had some of these traits which some on here take as a flaw, then they would have won those elusive majors their talents promise. And on here they would be heralded for their single minded determination.

  • Comment number 79.

    Mickelson might win the masters actually, its an even numbered year!

  • Comment number 80.

    No 68 . tiger has done nothing wrong on te golf course!!! really. Was I the only one who saw the most sullen faced sour toned individual beiong interviewed after the 4th round , in fact every round, isnt this the same person who said at THE PRESS conference,, that he would strive to be the best person on and off the course he could , then gave glib monotone answers in the most surly attitude you can imagine.
    Didnt he get fined by the European tour for spitting into the hole when he missed a putt. A hole that other players had to come to and pick their ball out of. he is an self comsumed, sour faced sullen abrupt disrespectful a person as you could have the misfortune to be the best golfer of his generation, I hope McIlroy absolutelu leaves him in his dust for the next 10 years and he never reaches jACKS RECORD.
    btw i COULD TELL YOU A FEW STORIES ABOUT JACK TOO! HE WASN'T AS CUDDLY AS EVERYONE THINKS HE IS..

  • Comment number 81.

    Anglesdan - Come on it was a tinpot tournament (Always was to be honest) with the weakest field in years. And the flaws in Tigers character are real and not simply perceived. My point about US golf commentators is that they have rose coloured spectacles on when talking about both Tiger and the PGA tour. Even Rory's magnificent win was questioned by some because of this.

  • Comment number 82.

    karlwbrown - I would say bravo but I promised to be nicer to Tiger fans

  • Comment number 83.

    Whats all the negative press about Tiger on here? He is a model Professional on and off the course. Somebody here suggested he was cheating on his wife, where did this outrageous accusation come from? Tiger has always behaved with great intergrity.
    Golfnut99, your thoughts please.

  • Comment number 84.

    Ahhhh Don, Back to the unwise "Tiger is done and dusted comment". I'm afraid the wish was the father of the thought. And as you no doubt you noticed (as you are one of the more thorough bloggers) i went on to qualify my remarks leaving the egg on my face to be only of the powdered variety and therefore it was easy enough for me to mop up the mess.

    Cue "I Wont Back Down" (Tom Petty not in sight though Tigers win was a heartbreaker)

    Out of interest has Wee-Macs miraculous comeback victory left you feeling as vindicated as his devastating world cup collapse?

  • Comment number 85.

    yorkieboycanada and sjg_oth @73, 74 etc.

    Earlier this year - along with his wife and mother both battling cancer - Big Phil was diagnosed with some sort of arthritic back problems (see anglesdan @ 78). I believe he's since changed his diet and does stretching exercise to keep things right where they should be.

    Given all the things he's had to face off the course, Big Phil's done relatively well on the course this year. Plus, he reverted back to his old putter at the Presidents Cup so that aspect of his game should improve in 2012!

    Anyway, don't right Big Phil him off, he's still got the game to "get in the mix" at the Masters and the British Open when he goes on one of his charges and his whole face lights up in response to the crowds urging/willing him on.

    Big Phil is also very generous with his time and now mentors the "new breed" like Keegan Bradley; not only that, but he can have a rejuvenating effect on "oldies" like Jim Furyk ... who he specifically chose as his playing partner at the Presidents Cup. As you know, Jim rediscoved his lost form and won all his 5 matches!

    Ernie Els' youngest son is autistic - that's why Ernie moved the family from Wentworth to Florida for the sunshine and also to the close to specialised treatment.

    Ernie also does a tremendous amount of helping young players in South Africa (like Charl S and Louis O) and charity work to help disadvantaged children.

    These two multiple-major winners do a great job keeping their careers going in often difficult circumstances with their respective families, travelling from continent to continent (admittedly in private jets) and helping young players and the community at large.

    anglesdan @78:

    Singlemindness, huge ego, tremendous will to win (at anything and everything), highly self-opinionated .... Nick Faldo certainly shares all these "traits and flaws" with Tiger!

    Yet Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson exude more class and dignity, as well as a greater sense of history and legacy.

    Multiple major champions come in all/many guises ... if you could define/bottle it, you'd be a multi-millionare!

  • Comment number 86.

    No 84,, jimmy. Wee mac has been playing the last few weeks with a virus. he woke up on the last day of the missionhills with a 101 temperature and having to play every other shot, he didnt make excuses for their poor play and neither did Gmac. I wonder if Tiger like Federer would whinge that they werent at the best they were carrying an injury all that guff. so back off the capitulation crap , if you dont know all the facts then shut it

  • Comment number 87.

    Karl = I can only thank you for that insight, you have genuinely made my night

  • Comment number 88.

    Yorkie Boy

    The point I was making was not in the stature of the tournament itself, although with Bubba, KJ, Kuchar, Stricker, Zach it wasn't the weakest, it was the built up pressure of not winning that could prove the boost and get that corner turned and bode well for 2012.

    I agree his off the field antics and spitting on course and sullen interviews afterwards do not engraciate himself to many admirers of the golden years of Jack Arnold, Payne et all but i think this win will prove invaluable in his quest to break Jack's record.

    And Don I agree its a myriad of things which makes greatness, although i have the sneaking suspicion that those that oozed class may have indeed had all the above ingredients which we will never hear about such is the way the world and media has moved to a more intrusive beast that it is. This is just an opinion however and not meant to denigrate any of our Heroes

    Still, 2012 looks to be set up to be a cracker. So whose picks for the weekend?. I am going for Kaymer with Rory leading after 2nd round then shooting a 75 then ending up third with LUUUUUUUUUUKE plodding along and winning the money list by finishing tied for 7th

  • Comment number 89.

    Don247 - Well said and nicely summed up - However I have heard that Jack could be quite short tempered in the day - However Tom W and Gary P exude everything good about the game. It's amazing to think just how many miles Gary travelled commercial at a time when air travel was somewhat primitive compared to today to promote the game worldwide - Growing up he was my very favourite player and I used to love watching the Shell Wonderful World of Golf when he was featured

  • Comment number 90.

    Jimmy @84:

    You know I was only trying to make you feel a little uncomfortable after your "major dig" at Tiger .... but, surprise, surprise, the Tiger fans let you off almost scot-free (... if I'm allowed to use that term in your presence!!)

    Anyway, back to the almost-forgotten man on this blog, i.e. Rory McIlroy. I was indeed happy that he won - 5 official career wins are a whole lot better than 4 when you talking about living up to your potential but - as the "self-appointed Very Influential Person in the world of the #2's world" aiming to pull off the "Rory Slam" next year and achieve "total golfing world domination" even with Tiger back in the hunt/pack - I'm still not about the manner in which Wee-Mac won (... against a pretty poor-quality field it has to be said!)!

    I will be putting forward from "Suggestions for Rory Improvement" (i.e. "constructive criticism") tomorrow when all this fresh (tsunami-style) wave of Tigermania has died down!

    Hopefully our bloggers will be looking forward to the big showdown/shoot-out in the desert sun and more willing to discuss the prospects of Rors, Luuke, Westy, G-Mac and "our" Darren.

    (I'm sure - as the highly perspicacious gentleman that you seem to be - you noticed that I correctly predicted the "golfer" who wasn't going to win in Sun City ... yes "our" reigning Open champion, Darren "I totally fluked it" Clarke!)

  • Comment number 91.

    Good blog Iain, although a bit of a surreal segue into the life and times of mark foster. although he often looks like he's just been ordered to go back to the dentist for another painful episode, i feel for him coming close so many times but not getting past the post. also, imagine always having to listen to comments about your high flying neighbour LW, when you cant win a tournament. it is a bit sad so I wish him well.
    As for Tiger, a bit of a curate's egg - he finished off the tournament with pure killer instinct, but not much of a tournament was it? so he may have the bot between his teeth, but let's see how often he can do it when he's not at home with only 17 players to play against. James Lawton's usual intelligent piece was interesting. I think the big difference between Tiger and jack is that there were far fewer players in jack's day that were close to him. Tiger is more talented than almost everyone, but his great gift was the mental strength - and his ability to putt brilliantly when it mattered. Remember how Gmac beat him last year with 2 brilliant putts - that really is the key. If Tiger hits real form, the players who have no fear will be his toughest opponents ie mcilroy, kaymer, gmac although they will have to have not only their A Game but their A* putting game.
    Unfortunately Tiger will never be happy on the golf course, unless perhaps he passes Jack's total, although in about a zillion hours of coverage i did see him smile once when he fluked a shot in. even when he wins he doesnt actually smile, he shouts and screams as though he is going into battle to kill someone. on the weekend he hit one putt about 60-70 feet and left it about an inch away from the hole, and he looked disgusted and sick with the world, when it was a magnificent putt.
    I would still love to see him and mcilroy fighting it out down the stretch in the majors where it matters to both of them
    Don 247 thanks for keeping the scores on the predictions, good fun I promise to try harder next time. Mcilroy has the chance to do to LD what LW did to him 2 years ago. LD not right mentally and who can blame him - Im not sure he will get it together by then could be a huge end of season triumph for mcilroy.

  • Comment number 92.

    For what it's worth, my prediction for this week is an LD "W".
    With the recent sad loss of his father, followed by a new addition to the family on 11.11.11 and the chance to make history by capping the money list on both sides of The Pond surely it's a forgone conclusion??

    Cue: "Written In The Stars" - Tinie Tempah

    Anyone who questions his mental fragility and calss him a chocker only needs to remember his remarkable back 9 at The Disney - enuf said!!

  • Comment number 93.

    a few other points
    1. while i love the baked bean reference to choking, i am laughing as i type this, it is in my humble opinion ludicrous to suggest LW or LD is a bottler. LD won more tournaments and more money than anyone in the world this year and more money than anyone in the world last year. LW has won about 30 tournaments worldwide in his career. how would they do if they didnt bottle it?
    2. its true that a player hardly ever follows a fantastic scoring round with another. i think ben hogan said that faced with a choice of playing someone who has just shot a great score and someone who sot a lousy score, he said he would prefer to take on the guy who had a great score. LW did what he need to get the job done in what most people recognise was a difficult situation .
    3. interesting dynamic being played out between rory and LW. LW tried to put him down when he and clarke played rory and gmac a few years ago, when rory had the temerity to say how funny it would be if he and gmac beat their more experienced betters. apparently LW told rory that he and clarke had beaten woods and mickelson and were in no way concerned with the likes of him and gmac. then in dubai 2 years ago when LW won the title and the race to dubai to beat rory there were reports of LW lording it over rory when they played together, deciding when and where they would actually speak, on the course. then there was LW negative comments about rory when he decided to go on the US tour and when he and chandler split up. I think I'd like to see them playing down the stretch for an important tournament, although i'd prefer to see rory with a tougher caddie on his bag. LW has a big incentive to win now the young pup has surpassed him in the word rankings and has won a major!!!!
    4. harrington was great to watch - ridiculous putting style but great putter just dropping those putts into the hole, and a magnificent scrambler. but until he goes back to bob torrance or another straight talking no nonsense coach i think he's got no chance to return to winning ways. he spends too much time and energy messing about and needs a good old seargent major to stop all that nonsense! hope he makes it - gives a lot of entertaining interviews, not the same sleep inducing "I hit it well today dross" you get from most players. would love someone to come off the course after a bad round and say "i was just **** today, now sod off and leave me alone"
    5. one other contest i would like to see - Garcia putting well and otherwise on form v Woods down the stretch. go garcia go!!

  • Comment number 94.

    @ lovegolf0712 ....Lee Westwood doesnt have half the Golf Ability that Rory McIlroy has. Thats why Westwood is cheeky to him sometimes. McIlroy probably doesnt care one bit what Lee Westwood thinks. He knows Westwood is finished with and will never be a major champion. Westwood simply doesnt have the stones to win a major.

  • Comment number 95.

    I cant believe people are questioning McIlroy's win last week, he won playing (by his own admission ) not at his best with a virus. We all know now that his best is better than everyone elses best ( 3 rounds of the master's, all of the US Open, ) including Westwood. LW obviously does not care for Macca but it no longer matters, he has caught and passed him and has a lot more time in his locker. Remember only a hand full of people have won a major after their 40th birthday.
    BTW Clarke's Open win was not a fluke in context of his whole career it was over due by 10 years but now he has it the edge has defo left his game maybe he will get it back next year but only in patches he has one more major than LW, LD IP and P casey put together and I think it will stay that way .
    McIlroy to rule the world barring girlfriend trouble..

  • Comment number 96.

    I read an interesting article about how much emphasis is placed on the majors, as against the performance of a player over a year or two, and how unbalanced this is. it is an interesting point. it is pretty well established that the majors are the game's focal points, but has it always been this way? if a player wins a major but not much else, has he got/had a better career than someone who has won many more times and been consistent? is the major the cake, or just the icing? is the number of majors won a true measure of a player's career/success? haven't all the really good players won lots of tournaments as well as the majors? does this mean its the icing, and not the cake? do we need to reconsider?

  • Comment number 97.

    Don - You can take it as read that i was squiring in my seat all day that i was squirming in my seat as the Battle lines Re Mr Woods were being drawn, just praying that my previous weeks faux pas would slip under the radar.

    Lovegolf - It is a fascinating debate and one i have seen rage on here several times. Logic would dictate that the best golfers in the world will win more titles and therefore, purely by extension win more majors, historically this has been the case, I know i cant really name a "great of the game" from the 60's, 70's or 80's that didnt win a major, the best i can come up with is either Doug Sanders or Isao Aoki (Admittedly not being alive for the majority of this period doesn't help so no doubt i've missed a name or two)

    In the past 20 years or so however the overall standard of world golf has risen with more potential Major winners meaning that majors are spread much more thinly, in previous generations the best in the world would win 6, 7, 8 majors (Palmer, Trevino, Watson) now with the exception of Woods you have Mickleson with 4 and a handful with 3. This has lead to a situation where some of the worlds best golfers through a combination of misfortune, lack of bottle, just not bringing their best golf at the right time, have, or look likely to miss out on majors.

    Colin Montgomerie is a prime example of this, For me Colin "Mrs Doubtfire" Montgomerie was a better golfer in the period from the early 90's through to the mid 00's than 90% of major winners, so too the likes of Donald, Garcia and Westwood (though unlike Monty they do still have time) Will posterity remember just how good they are despite not having won a major over the likes of Beem, Micheel, Glover, Steve Jones (Remember him?).

    Having said that it must be remembered that it is the players themselves who place such emphasis on trying to build up for the majors, thus by doing so perpetuate imbalance, if indeed there is one.

  • Comment number 98.

    funniest thing about this was cotter tweeted that he would be more impressed(something like that) if TW won a tournament with more players than holes, no mention of LW then.Can someone remind me when you get more than 3/4 players in contention in the final round, it doesnt matter if there was 1000 players???? oh well all you haters get used too the fact this living legend is running the pretenders scared....mickey saus...i also agree the masters is a good bet for him

  • Comment number 99.

    Negativity regarding TW is uncalled for from anyone. The majority say that he is less dignified than others when losing or after playing a bad shot; this shows his overall passion and desire to win (which cannot be criticised.) If he was not 'made' this way, he would not be the 14 times major winner that he is. Yes. yes Nicklaus wasn't like that, Watson, Player and the like, the same....but doesn't the game of golf need Woods, Saliva in tow.... Who does it really hurt...Spitting, big deal, he cheats on his wife and yet the crowds still cheer for him...NO-ONE cares for the spitting, they (WE) just want the Tiger back that we all remember...If he wins another major or not, he will still be the best player in most of our generations...

    Yes, the spitting, the sullen looks and comments made in press conferences (of which modern day players have many more arduous duties to uphold than those of bygone days) do nothing to promote the game of golf in any way, however as many have stated, this era of golf has become probably the hardest to win a major, never mind an 18 man invitational tournament (where his nearest challenger is Zach Johnson.) Hard work is never done with a smile...lets face it...the Kuchar's who goes round with a smile on his face the whole 18 holes, playing 'steady golf' picking up a decent cheque at the end of every tournament...I think he would trade in all of his wins for just a taste of the fianl 9 holes of a major when you are in contention, never mind victory....

    Bilo McT - With reference to your much earlier statement that LW's 62 was a fluke....give it a rest....give me an example whereby anyone has gone round in flawless golf for 4 rounds in a row, making it a perfect tournament...IT DOES NOT HAPPEN.. A 62 on a golf course, where you have the World Number 1 and 4 not even getting close to that can in no way be considered a fluke...As you said, you have a prior dislike for LW, making that most likely your primary reason for criticism. I do not particularly like LW, however can give credit where credit is due...Well and truly deserved to win...If you still disagree then, what does deserve to win, 4 solid rounds in a row?! If so then KT Kim should have won with consecutive 70's but oh!!! wait! golf doesn't work like that, the lowest score wins!!!!... as 'someone' has already mentioned, humble pie awaits you...

    Louis Oosthuizen for the win this week

  • Comment number 100.

    @99

    Oh dear, I think you've got caught up in the moment re TW - "arduous duties" & "hard work" indeed! He plays golf for a living!! Maybe if he took time out and worked down a coal mine or in a factory packing boxes for a few weeks he might actually appreciate what he's got, lighten up a little and smile more often.

    People DO care for the spitting (a truly disgusting affliction) and the sullen looks and comments made in press conferences as it shows a lack of respect and humility and only enhances the viewpoint that he is borish, dismissive and arrogant.
    How ironic it is that the only person in golf to usurp him in this regard is his ex-caddie! He really does take arrogance to a whole new level...!

    That said, it is great to see Tiger play well and get the job done - I'm sure LW, RM, "my" LD et al still regard a fit & motivated TW firing on all cylinders as their benchmark.

    Cue: "The Boy(s) are Back In Town" - Thin Lizzy

 

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