BBC BLOGS - Iain Carter

Archives for May 2012

Donald hopes Wentworth win can lead to major glory

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Iain Carter | 14:17 UK time, Monday, 28 May 2012

Heading into the final competitive showdown before the US Open, the world's leading two players have yet again swapped positions in an absorbing game of golfing snakes and ladders.

Rory McIlroy's two-day encounter with a metaphoric Wentworth viper saw him miss the cut, while Luke Donald ascended his ladder with the ease of the most accomplished window cleaner.

Now this week's world number one is justifiably wondering whether he is climbing a stairway to golfing heaven and the paradise of becoming a major champion.

But winning the BMW PGA Championship offers no guarantee of landing one of the big four global titles - just ask the last man before Donald to successfully defend the West Course title.

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Golf can no longer be slow on the uptake

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Iain Carter | 12:24 UK time, Monday, 21 May 2012

As Colin Montgomerie was supporting a radical idea to speed up slow play, Doug Brecht - an official who barely stirs the mercury in the thermometer of fame - was becoming golf's newest hero.

The LPGA rules man took a huge step in imposing a genuine penalty to punish the malaise that is the biggest blight on the game.

It came in Sunday's semi-final of the women's Sybase Matchplay Championship between American Morgan Pressel and eventual champion Azahara Munoz.

Brecht's intervention to award a hole to Munoz to punish her tardy opponent undoubtedly influenced the eventual outcome of the match, making it all the more significant.

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Why Rickie Fowler is American golf's next big thing

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Iain Carter | 17:21 UK time, Monday, 14 May 2012

Tom Watson doesn't make rash predictions, he prefers to use the tool of hindsight when it comes to making judgements on the modern game.

But there is no doubt that the 62-year-old American likes what he sees from his country's most exciting young golfing talent, Rickie Fowler.

Just to be clear - it's this blog, not Watson, that is making no apology for pinning that hyperbolic tag on the wide peak of Fowler's trademark cap.

Veteran eight-time major champion Watson is too circumspect to go down that route, even after a fortnight that surely signalled the 23-year-old's coming of age on the PGA Tour.

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How 'the fifth major' won the heart of Sandy Lyle

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Iain Carter | 09:00 UK time, Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Twenty-five years ago Sandy Lyle became the first overseas winner of the Players' Championship, the tournament that carries most prestige outside the four majors.

The Scot broke an American stranglehold on the PGA Tour's flagship event and that grip has completely disintegrated in recent years. Twelve months ago, Korea's KJ Choi became the event's fourth successive non-US winner.

In the past decade only Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson and Fred Funk have provided cause for the Stars and Stripes flag to be raised over the Tour's Sawgrass headquarters, where play in the 2012 tournament begins on Thursday.

Lyle's stunning victory in the tournament, which back in 1987 was still called the Tournament Players' Championship, carried huge significance as it offered proof that non-Americans could prosper in Uncle Sam's backyard.

And no-one was more surprised than the champion himself.

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