The first Ryder Cup held today. 94 years ago

It all began here.

The United States team, led by Walter Hagen, won the inaugural Ryder Cup match at Worcester Massachucets. Thet beat the team from Great Britain and Ireland 9.5 points to 2.5 points.

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Tiger talks about his rehab for the first time. “More painful than anything I’ve ever experienced”.

Tiger gave an exckusive interview to Daniel Rappaport of Golf Digest.

Three months after sustaining serious leg injuries in a single-car crash outside Los Angeles, Tiger Woods finds himself in a familiar routine: rehab, rehab, rehab.

“This has been an entirely different animal,” Woods said of the post-crash injuries. “I understand more of the rehab processes because of my past injuries, but this was more painful than anything I have ever experienced.”

The rehab is focused on strengthening his right leg, which suffered traumatic injuries when he lost control of his vehicle on the morning of Feb. 23. According to a report from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Woods was speeding when he crossed over onto the wrong side of Hawthorne Avenue and eventually struck a tree off the side of the road. Authorities said there was no sign that Woods was impaired while driving and declined to press charges in connection with the accident.

Woods’ injuries included comminuted open fractures to both his tibia and fibula bones in his right leg. Those required immediate surgery at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center before he was subsequently transferred to Cedars Sinai and, finally, back to South Florida in mid-March to continue his rehab from home. Still unclear is whether additional procedures will be necessary, or if Woods can expect to regain full mobility and strength in his leg.

Asked about his hopes of playing golf again, Woods had no comment, but said, “My physical therapy has been keeping me busy. I do my routines every day and am focused on my No. 1 goal right now: walking on my own. Taking it one step at a time.”

Woods is no stranger to long-term recoveries. At the time of the crash, the 45-year-old was recovering from a microdiscectomy procedure he underwent in December. It was Woods’ fifth back operation overall and the first since his spinal-fusion surgery in April 2017.

Woods has also had five surgeries on his left knee—the one he famously tore before winning the 2008 U.S. Open—and most recently an arthroscopic procedure to clear scar tissue in August 2019.

number of fellow PGA Tour players have visited Woods in recent months, and the general consensus is that the 15-time major winner is in good condition and spirits, all things considered. Prior to his win at the Players Championship in March, Justin Thomas described encouraging texts he received from Woods, who was watching from home.

“I’m happy and I hope he’s happy, and I always appreciate his help,” Thomas said. “If you would have told us when we were 15, 20 years old that Tiger Woods was texting us the night before we have a chance to win the tournament trying to inspire us, that’s pretty cool.”

Shortly after the Masters, Woods posted a picture to his Instagram page showing himself smiling, on crutches and in a walking boot.

“It’s funny because in that photo, the crutches definitely make my shoulders look big!” he said. “Maybe it’s the workouts, too. It’s been nice having the ability to still stay strong and work out my upper body.”

One motivating element Woods did acknowledge was the outpouring of support he’s received from around the world.

“It’s been incredible,” Woods said. “I have had so much support from people both inside and outside of golf which means so much to me and has helped tremendously.”

Woods also took note of Phil Mickelson’s historic performance at the PGA Championship, describing his longtime rival’s win as “inspirational” in a congratulatory post.

“Truly inspirational to see @PhilMickelson do it again at 50 years of age. Congrats!!!!!!!”

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Golf Marriage Counsellor

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Mickelson wins USPGA to become oldest major champion

Whilst we must acknowledge this achievement a bigger question arises in the time of pandemic. Why were so many fans allowed to crowd behind him like this, no social distancing, no masks, shouting, screaming and booing the opponent, spraying airborne particles into the air. I truly hope that no one gets sick from the excitement.

Later, Brooks Koepka criticised Kiawah Island crowd after being caught up in melee following Phil Mickelson’s victory stroll up final fairway at PGA Championship; PGA of America chief executive Seth Waugh said: “I have spoken to both players and apologised on behalf of the association”

The head of the PGA of America has apologised to champion Phil Mickelson and runner-up Brooks Koepka after they were mobbed by fans on the 18th fairway at the US PGA Championship.

The playing partners were surrounded by spectators when Mickelson hit a superb approach to the 18th, with the eventual victor needing assistance from security guards to force his way onto the green.

PGA of America chief executive Seth Waugh said in a statement: “While we welcome enthusiastic fan engagement, we regret that a moment of high elation and pent-up emotion by spectators… briefly overwhelmed security and made two players and their caddies feel vulnerable.”

Mickelson described the experience at the time as “slightly unnerving, but exceptionally awesome”, but Koepka was not so amused.

“It would have been cool if I didn’t have a knee injury and got dinged a few times in the knee in that crowd because no one really gave a s***,” said Koepka, who had surgery to deal with a knee cap dislocation and ligament damage on March 16.

It’s cool for Phil, but getting dinged a few times isn’t exactly my idea of fun.

“I don’t think anybody really understands until actually you’re coming out of surgery how… I mean, even when I was doing rehab and there’s five people kind of standing by your knee, you get a little skittish.”

Waugh appeared to take Koepka’s concern into account, saying: “We always put player safety at the top of our list and are grateful that order was restored. I’ve apologised on behalf of the association.

“Being dinged” in a dodgy knee? What about spreading the virus?

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May 7: 10 years since Seve Ballesteros departed

Today is all about one man.

Ten years ago, on May 7 2011, Seve Ballesteros finally lost his two year battle with a malignant brain tumour and passed away.

I recently discovered some notes that I took from a documentary that Peter Alliss made at Seve’s home in Pedrena. It was 2010, and Seve had some things he wanted to say. When I re-read these notes, the words leapt off the page. He spoke about how he was coping with his condition and passed on his advice to anyone who might go through a similar ordeal then, or at any time in the future, to encourage them to pull through.

“Think positive – about anything and everything. It will change your mindset and vibration which will aid your recovery.

“Remember anything happy. Good things. Stay strong and fight. If you don’t fight you might as well pull out the white handkerchief of surrender.

“You don’t win by panicking. Stay relaxed and optimistic. Never give up. Recall all the good you have done rather than the bad or your mistakes. Like Roberto De Vincenzo said “when life rains on you, put up the umbrella and wait for it to stop”. Continue to set goals, continue to look forward”.

He said that he had become a champion because “I try to do things other guys are too cautious to do”.

He and Peter then talked about how Seve was perceived. Peter said “some winners in golf are not liked, but Seve has always been loved”. Seve agreed.

“There was always such chemistry between me and the gallery. The people help me play the game”.

“Ah yes,” replied Peter “Some of them would help look for your ball from a wayward shot and when found they would flatten the lie”.

Indeed. Unless you lived through the time that Seve played, you will never know. You can’t really know Seve Ballesteros from a book. In his galleries in Europe, right to the end of his career, the love from men, women and children alike for Seve, it was tangible. Women admired him, men wanted to be him. When he rewarded them with his play the roars were animal like, the electricity and emotion was always there sending him onwards. It wasn’t the same kind of support that Tiger or Jack or even Arnie had, this was something different. It surrounded him. That feeling has certainly lived on in the hearts of those of us who were out there through his times.

I also rediscovered some notes that I had made about Seve’s retirement from professional golf. There was shock and sadness and no warning when a hastily called press conference took place one afternoon during the Open at Carnoustie. Someone who had been there – it was a rare Open that I missed – told me what it was like.

They said that it was upsetting because Seve was doing his best not to cry, But it was also a mixture of brilliance and charisma which held hardened hacks spellbound for 30 minutes. He talked about the British public in particular, who adored Seve like no other. He said he never took their loyalty for granted.

“Right from the start there was that connection, that chemistry. They never forgot me from the moment I made my debut to last year at Hoylake (2006) they always came out to cheer and hope. I will never forget it. I say that many times but I want to say it one more time that most of the tournaments I won were thanks to them”.

It was a most dignified, poignant and warm exit from the stage.

Most of the journalists present were held in the palm of his hand at that moment. Except for one veteran American broadcaster who just had to say “Seve retires- who cares!”. Apparently, one of the men had to be restrained, saying “as old as he is I want to deck him for saying that”.

Jose-Maria Olazabal, Seve’s great Ryder Cup partner, withdrew from the Championship at the news. I found these words that I wrote in my notes. “Better to write a retirement piece than an obituary”. Which was strangely prophetic because at that point Seve lived on for less than four years.

Caddies were the butt of anything that went wrong, and they would sometimes describe him as a pink farm animal with a curly tail. But even some of them would love and admire him regardless. “God he was hard work” said David Musgrove, who caddied for him when he won the 1979 Open.

Tiger called Seve “The most creative player ever to play the game. The best short game ever”. Jack Nicklaus spoke of him with such genuine friendship and affection. Jack had been in regular touch and strongly supportive. Arnold Palmer sent him a dog for companionship, whom Seve called Phil (after Mickelson). Then, in the documentary, this happened.

Seve looked down the camera lens and addressed his people.

“I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. I have had so much luck and fun and great moments, it’s been like two or three lifetimes for some people.

And please know that I love you from the bottom of my heart”.

It would be the last time we ever saw him speak in public.

That was in 2010. A year later, on May 6, Seve’s family paid his people such gracious consideration when they let us know through a statement that Seve’s condition had seriously worsened. That gave us a short amount of time to prepare for the news the following day that he had passed away aged just 54.

A couple of weeks later before the start of the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, the tour had arranged a special pro-am event in his honour which they called Ole Seve. It was well meant, but… Flags were at half mast, and people were still walking around in a daze. I remember seeing Sir Bruce Forsyth wandering around, just looking for people to talk to about it. A reporter from local television was tactlessly asking people how they felt, and no one would talk to him, such was the upset.

Now, ten years on, Peter Alliss, Arnold Palmer, Roberto De Vincenzo, Sir Bruce Forsyth and Seve’s brilliant caddie Davy Musgrove have joined him in the afterlife. What larks they must all be having together. It’s a comforting thought for today.

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Shigeki Maruyama Masters Champion


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Seve: His Life Through The Lens

Golf photographer Dave Cannon has compiled a new photographic book about Seve Ballesteros with written contributions by journalist Robert Green, which will be on sale on May 7, the 10th anniversary of Seve’s passing. Here is the information:

A beautiful tribute to Severiano Ballesteros

‘An outstanding book.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘David Cannon has produced an incredible book.’ Golf Monthly

This R&A and European Tour supported book, launched on May 7th 2021 to coincide with the tenth anniversary of Seve’s passing, is a stunning photographic celebration of his life.

Award-winning photographer, David Cannon (who was a friend of Seve and took the iconic picture on the cover of the book), has curated the best pictures from Seve’s life and career.

The book opens with a moving ‘Thank You’ letter written by his eldest son Javier and on behalf of his brother, Miguel, and sister, Carmencita. The Ballesteros family have also generously supplied a number of previously unpublished ‘family portraits’ of them with their father.

Each chapter begins with an essay by renowned golf writer Robert Green, author of two books on Seve, and includes a ‘Moment in Time’ piece by David where he reveals some of the background stories behind some of his favourite images of Seve. The book concludes with Sir Nick Faldo describing how his great rival acquired legendary status in the game and Jose Maria Olazábal paying tribute to a ‘very special friend’.

Supported by the Seve Ballesteros Foundation – this book is a fitting tribute to one of Golf’s most charismatic characters and will appeal to fans who remember Seve as one of the greatest players of all time.

As well as the standard edition of the book a very special Collectors’ Edition with a limited run of 1,000 copies has been produced. Each copy is presented in a bespoke leather-style clamshell box and includes a numbered signed print by David Cannon of his iconic photograph of Seve winning The Open at St Andrews in 1984. 

More information about the Collectors’ Edition can be found here

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Rose Ladies Series 2021 begins today

At West Lancs Golf Club today the 2021 Rose Ladies Series begins its stretch of 11 professional tournaments, building on the success of last year’s tour.

Last year Charley Hull, pictured with Justin Rose’s wife Kate, took the £20,000 prize for winning the Order of Merit. This year Charley, Georgia Hall and Gemma Dryborough will be playing on the LPGA tour, but there will still be substantial support from Ladies European Tour professionals ready to warm up for the start of the LET season in May.

Justin and Kate Rose have continued their generous financial support to the series with bigger prize money, and the the tournaments are ably overseen by Tournament Director Molly Bull and Justin’s Manager Paul McDonnell. The events are supported by the R&A, BMW, American Golf, Computacentre and Excel Sports.

Last year a devastating fire curtailed the three day final at Wentworth Club, so this year the final has been reduced to one day at Bearwood Lakes. The tournament venues and dates are:

April 29 West Lancs

May 6 Woburn

May 13 Brokenhurst Manor

May 21 The Berkshire

Aug 3 Royal Birkdale

Aug 5 JCB Golf and Country Club

Aug 7 Scotscraig

Sep 20 North Hants

Sep 23 The Buckinghamshire

Sep 25 Bearwood Lakes

During the height the pandemic last year with the series offered Ladies European Tour pros a welcome opportunity to compete, especially to play the Open Championship venue Royal St George’s. This year the events have expanded from 7 events to 11 with a much bigger geographical spread. No spectators will be allowed on site due to coronavirus restrictions at the moment.

Sky Sports Golf will be televising every event with each also appearing on Sky Sports You Tube channel, making them free to biew for a much bigger audience.

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Moving car catches European tour pro’s shot

In a Guiness World Record attempt, watch European Tour pro Marcus Armitage attempt the farthest golf shot hit into a moving car.

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Heir shot by Royal Tee, Duchess of Cambridge misses the ball

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took some golf shots at a school on Monday. The Duke hit his shot but Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge completely missed the ball.

An heir shot by royal tee perhaps. In Her Royal Highnesses’ defence, looks like they’ve both been given ancient persimmon woods, requiring much more skill to hit the ball than hybrids or metal woods with much bigger sweet spots!

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