US Open 2017: Brooks Koepka is the Champion@ Erin Hills


June 19, 2017

US Open 2017: Brooks Koepka is the Champion@ Erin Hills

http://www.bbc.com/sport/golf/40322068

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American Brooks Koepka equalled the US Open’s lowest winning score of 16 under to claim his first major at Erin Hills.

Koepka had three successive birdies from the 14th to match the total set by Rory McIlroy when he won in 2011 on a par-71 layout compared to this par 72.

Image result for Brooks Koepka wins 2017 US Open Golf

His five-under 67 was only bettered by Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama who posted 66 to tie for second on 12 under with overnight leader Brian Harman (72). England’s Tommy Fleetwood, shot a level-par 72 to end fourth on 11 under.

The 26-year-old from Southport, playing in just his second US Open, was unable to keep pace with playing partner Koepka on the front nine.The pair started Sunday’s final round one off the lead but Koepka holed three birdies in his first eight holes, while Fleetwood followed a birdie on the second with three bogeys in his next six holes for a five-shot swing.

Fleetwood, ranked 33rd in the world, steadied his round with a birdie on the ninth and returned to 11 under by picking up another shot on the par-five 14th and then parred his final four holes.

“I didn’t play how I wanted to,” he said on Sky Sports. “You never know how you’re going to react being up there in the final round – you’ve got to deal with that and it’s all new for me.”

However, he was quick to praise the champion. “He was brilliant, the shots he hit down the stretch, you can’t describe how hard some of them are,” Fleetwood continued.

“He was phenomenal – I would’ve like to have played like that. It was windy and he shot five under, fair play.”

How did Koepka win the title?

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BBC Radio 5 live’s Jay Townsend said in commentary that Koepka only seriously got into golf after being involved in a car accident at the age of 10.

Townsend added: “As a result, he was banned from playing contact sports and that’s how he seriously got into golf. It was kind of by accident.”

The 27-year-old from Florida had won four times on the European Tour and just once on the PGA Tour before this week.

He opened his final round in perfect fashion with birdies on his opening two holes. Another followed on the eighth and he battled hard after dropping a shot on the 10th, holing a 10-foot par-putt on the 13th before effectively winning the title with his birdie streak from the 14th.

The statistics show that he won with a combination of power and accuracy from tee to green on the 7,845-yard course, the longest in major championship history,

The fairways were the widest in US Open history and Koepka took full advantage, averaging 307 yards off the tee and hitting 88% of them across the four rounds, tied fourth overall.

“It was bombs away,” he said. “You could hit it far and the fairways were generous enough. That was a big plus for me. I’m a big ball striker. On some of these par fives I don’t even need to hit driver to get there.”

Staying on the fairways and out of the punishing thigh-deep fescue rough helped Koepka hit the most greens in regulation, 62 out of 72.

Once on the greens Koepka said he “putted brilliantly”, although he took 1.71 putts per hole, slightly above the average for the field.

On joining the likes of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as a US Open winner, he added: “To be in the same category as some of the guys on this trophy is unbelievable. This is truly special, it really is.”

What of the world’s best?

For the first time since world rankings were introduced in 1986, the top three, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, all missed the cut at a major.

American Jordan Spieth, winner in 2015, closed with a three-under 69 as the fifth best player on the planet finished on one over. The 22-year-old was pleased with his tee-to-green play but conceded he was “not comfortable” on the greens all week and has “work to do with the putter”.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia is world number seven and the Spaniard had a solid, if unspectacular, week in Wisconsin. A two-under 70, followed by two 71s and a 72 returned a four under par total.

Rickie Fowler started the final round two off the lead and birdied the first but the world number nine did not threaten the lead at any point and costly bogeys on the 12th and 15th holes saw him finish on 10 under par after a 72.

Rest of the Brits

Eddie Pepperell was the only one of the six other Britons to make the cut to finish the day better than he started it. The 26-year-old, playing in his second US Open, carded a one-under 71 to improve to five under.

Paul Casey, who was in a four-way tie for the lead at halfway on seven under par, saw his challenge effectively end with a three-over 75 on Saturday. A quiet finish with just the two bogeys saw the 39-year-old end on two under.

Scotland’s Martin Laird also went backwards, closing with a 73 to finish the tournament as he started, on level par.

Matt Fitzpatrick of England was next best on one over after posting a four-over 76 that featured six bogeys, one double bogey and four birdies. Compatriot Andrew Johnston dropped five shots in five holes on his front nine but rallied with a couple of birdies on the back nine as he closed with a three-over 75 and two over total.

Lee Westwood finished his 18th US Open with a four-over 76 to end on seven over.

Sergo Garcia wins the 2017 US Masters in style


April 10, 2017

Sergo Garcia wins the 2017 US Masters in style

by Ewan Murray

Image result for sergio garcia wins 2017 mastersSpain’s Sergio Garcia dons the Green Jacket as the 2017 Masters Champion

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/apr/09/sergio-garcia-wins-the-masters-justin-rose

The long, painful wait is over. On what would have been the 60th birthday of Seve Ballesteros, at the conclusion of his 71st consecutive major, Sergio García is a champion. Amid moving scenes at Augusta National, which emphasised so many frustrations, sudden-death victory over Justin Rose afforded García the status he courted since childhood but had been so cruelly, so routinely denied him in the past. Sergio García, major winner: it is a phrase many thought impossible.

Dean takes a dig at Trump and Putin and fires a cannon shot at Najib


February 12, 2017

Dean takes a dig at Trump and Putin and fires a cannon shot at Najib in an orgy of self adoration

by Dean Johns@www.malaysiakini.com

Image result for Trump, Putin and Najib

Malaysia’s Prime Minister will be trying to do a Obama con on Trump–Will he get a chance to play golf at Trump’s Resort, Mar-a-Lago?

With St Valentine’s day due next week, my thoughts naturally turn to love. And given that a column is no place for portraying or pursuing my personal amours, I’ve been getting lots of vicarious, indeed voyeuristic enjoyment from observing some of the most passionate love affairs currently being conducted publicly, if not pubicly, by various famous or notorious figures.

To me the most extreme of these, and by far the most excruciating because it’s impossible to avoid incessantly watching, reading and hearing about, is the absolute orgy of self-regard, adoration, infatuation, call it what you will, between new US President Donald Trump and himself.

The man personifies and projects narcissism to such a pathological extent that it’s almost beyond caricature. And in any event all the countless attempts to caricature him only seem to accentuate the crush he has on himself.

Just as those who swoon over him are genuine and only doing him justice, he seems to reason, those swine who refuse to swoon are just revealing how justifiably jealous they are of his supreme excellence.

And every time the media rebut one of his pathologically lying statements, he feels entitled to justify himself with the flagrant falsehood that he’s the innocent victim of ‘fake news’.

At this juncture I imagine some readers will be thinking I’m being a bit unfair to Trump, as on the face of it he does appear to have feelings for some others, like, for example, First Lady Melania and First Daughter Ivanka, even to the point of flagrantly un-presidentially promoting the latter’s fashion brand.

But I’m not prepared to believe that Trump sees these or any others who belong to him as people in their own right, but only as part of his desperate narcissistic need to feed his love of ‘me’ with as much as possible as he can get of ‘my’ and ‘mine’.

That being said, however, I can’t deny one glaring piece of evidence against my thesis that Donald loves only Trump and Trump loves only Donald. And that’s the curious fact that, while he hates just about everybody but himself, or possessions, extensions or supporters of himself, he has the total hots for the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin.

Given the plainly evident fact that Putin runs a kleptocracy as corrupt as inept as any on earth, including my perennial bugbear, UMNO-BN’s Malaysia, and is an ally of Bashar al-Assad in his all-out bloody war on the Syrian people, this is a very curious love-fest indeed.

So much so, that as I wrote on Trump’s inauguration, or, more accurately, Inughuration Day, I’m amazed that the penny or rather rouble hasn’t dropped with conspiracy theorists that he could well in real if not TV reality be a Russian security agency FSB operative named Trumpski, and thus the first Russian agent to not only successfully and safely breach US security, but to actually run for and seize the presidency into the bargain.

Bizarre blip

But whatever the rationale for the bizarre blip, flaw or anomaly in his constitutional narcissism that enables Trump to feel something that looks for all the world like romantic love for the highly undesirable Vladimir Putin, as far as I’m concerned I can’t help thinking of February 14, 2017 as international St Vladentine’s Day.

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Though of course members and supporters of Malaysia’s UMNO-BN regime won’t agree with me at all. Firstly because in their attempts to appear supportive of Islam, the religion they so disgrace, these crooks choose not to recognise St Valentine’s Day or any variant of it because it’s ‘Christian’.

And secondly they would surely claim that the love that dares not speak its name between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin is far outshone by the relationship between Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and any significant world leader who deigns to give him a game of golf.

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As he’s already boasted that Donald Trump did years before he even thought of running for President, although as far as I’m aware Trump himself has no recollection of this event.

In any case, as his supporters can persuasively argue, Najib is every bit as big-time as Trump is in the self-love stakes. It was Najib, after all, who, earlier in his premiership, lavished heaps of public money on signs proclaiming ‘I love PM’ and on paying crowds of people to carry and display them.

Image result for Najib I Love PM pictures

And Najib, allegedly, at least, who even arguably trumped Trump in the self-love department by arranging to have RM2.6 billion of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds into his own, personal bank account(s).

But then came Najib’s big mistake in my book. Any world-class narcissist worth his salt would have welcomed revelations of these payments with the comment that he was entitled to the cash and worth every cent of it, but Najib failed the test by claiming that it was a ‘donation’ from some anonymous ‘rich Saudi’ benefactor.

In other words, Najib’s pretence to pure, narcissistic Trump-style self-love is fatally marred not only by his lust for other people’s money, but also by his complete failure to take responsibility for, let alone to show pride in this self-indulgence.

So, even though as I recall giving him a dishonourable mention in ‘Be my Villaintine’ back at this time in 2014, and he’s clearly right up there with Trump and Putin when it comes to self-love, he’s clearly not a party to their special relationship, and thus, however hard he might be Valentryin’, he’ll never be a candidate for Vladentine.

 

Golf Legend Jack Nicklaus pays his tribute to Arnold D. Palmer


September 27, 2016

Golf Legend Jack Nicklaus pays his tribute to Iconic Arnold D. Palmer

Arnold Palmer Jack Nicklaus

“Arnold transcended the game of golf. He was more than a golfer or even great golfer. He was an icon. He was a legend. Arnold was someone who was a pioneer in his sport. He took the game from one level to a higher level, virtually by himself.–Jack Nicklaus

Nicklaus’ full tribute, from his Facebook page (transcription courtesy of FTW):

“I just got the news at about 8:45 that Arnold had passed. I was shocked to hear that we lost a great friend—and that golf lost a great friend.

At this point I don’t know what happened, and I suppose it is not important what happened. What is important is that we just lost one of the incredible people in the game of golf and in all of sports. My friend—many people’s friend—just wore out. I know he was in Pittsburgh trying to find out how to make himself better. That’s what Arnold has always tried to do. He has always been a fighter and he never gave up on anything. He didn’t give up even now. Maybe his body did, but I know Arnold’s will and spirit did not.

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I wish I had another chance to talk to him, but I am so glad we talked a couple weeks ago on his birthday (September 10), when he sounded great. So Barbara and I are just in shock and incredibly saddened. Our hearts, thoughts, prayers and sympathies go out to Kit, his kids, grand-kids, great-grandchildren, and his entire loving family.

He was one of my best friends, closest friends, and he was for a long, long time. I will miss him greatly.

Image result for Nicklaus Vs Palmer

Arnold transcended the game of golf. He was more than a golfer or even great golfer. He was an icon. He was a legend. Arnold was someone who was a pioneer in his sport. He took the game from one level to a higher level, virtually by himself. Along the way, he had millions of adoring fans—Barbara and I among them. We were great competitors, who loved competing against each other, but we were always great friends along the way. Arnold always had my back, and I had his. We were always there for each other. That never changed.

He was the king of our sport and always will be.”–Jack Nicklaus

 

Golf Legend Arnold Palmer Dies at 87


September 26, 2016

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Arnold Palmer, the champion golfer whose full-bore style of play, thrilling tournament victories and magnetic personality inspired an American golf boom, attracted a following known as Arnie’s Army and made him one of the most popular athletes in the world, died on Sunday, according to a spokesman for his business enterprises. Palmer was 87.