BBC BLOGS - Iain Carter

Archives for April 2012

McIlroy still seeking the perfect schedule

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Iain Carter | 20:23 UK time, Monday, 30 April 2012

When Rory McIlroy tees off at Quail Hollow on Thursday he will have played only four competitive rounds in the last 51 days.

The reigning US Open champion tells us he plays his best golf when at his freshest and certainly there can be no excuse for golf fatigue as he heads into the meat of the 2012 season.

Those four rounds came at last month's Masters, where McIlroy's highly promising halfway position was squandered over a miserable weekend that left him tied for 40th place.

Just as he had done a year earlier, the Northern Ireland youngster had played sparingly before heading to Augusta. There was no competitive golf after the WGC event at Doral in early March.

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'Bubba is everything I would like to see in a player'

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Iain Carter | 13:03 UK time, Monday, 23 April 2012

This week marks the start of the rest of Bubba Watson's golfing life. In New Orleans he is both the defending champion and teeing off in competition for the first time as a major winner.

Along with the inevitable riches that have accompanied his recent victory at the Masters, the major title holder tag also brings prestige, respect and scrutiny.

Watson has already tasted heightened attention by completing an exhaustive post-Augusta tour of the US chat show circuit. He wowed the audiences with homely explanations of "Bubba Golf" and its inherent hallmarks of fun and creativity.

It is time now for his unique game to come under the public gaze like never before and the fascinating thing about Watson is he will shoulder that burden all on his own.

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The curious case of Lee Westwood

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Iain Carter | 15:05 UK time, Monday, 9 April 2012

What did it take to win the 2012 Masters? "Bubba" golf. That's what the new champion calls his unique approach to the game.

The winner departed the Augusta National with no need to break into his prize money to pay a coach because, famously, Bubba Watson claims never to have received a golf lesson.

"My caddie has always called it Bubba golf," Watson explained. "I just play the game, the game that I love."And truthfully, it's like the game that Seve played. He hit shots that were unbelievable. Phil Mickelson hits the shot, he goes for it.

"He goes for broke and that's why he wins so many times," Watson added explaining the philosophy that enabled him to hook a wedge 40 yards right from the trees to win the second sudden death hole against Louis Oosthuizen.

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Donald well placed to end era of unpredictability

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Iain Carter | 17:47 UK time, Monday, 2 April 2012

It's being billed as the most eagerly anticipated Masters for years. The form of the top contenders as they prepare to drive down Magnolia Lane points to an enthralling shoot-out between the biggest names in golf.

Don't bank on it, though. Predicting major winners in recent times has been a hazardous business. The players commanding the shortest odds have invariably been eclipsed by rank outsiders.

It is almost as though the weight of expectation has become an unbearable burden for those attracting favouritism.

Put it this way: if you had an accumulator with the names of Keegan Bradley, Darren Clarke, Rory McIlroy and Charl Schwartzel as the winners of the four most recent majors, the drinks would be on you for quite some time.

All four were surprise winners last year, McIlroy included when you consider his US Open win came in his first major after capitulating in the final round at Augusta.

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