Evian Masters Preview

Oui, Oui! The ladies don their berets and fly to France for the Evian Masters.

LPGAThe top ten LPGA money leaders travel to the Evian Masters Golf Club in France this week seeking glory and a piece of the $2.5 million purse. A whopping $375,000 will be claimed by the one person who can successfully contend against a field which runs the gamut from the number-one female professional golfer on tour to the most extensively discussed amateur golfer in the world today.

In addition to Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie flying to the city of Evian-les-Bains, Wendy Doolan will be on hand to defend her 2004 one-stroke victory which she took convincingly from Sorenstam after trailing by five strokes.

It Hasn’t Been Easy for the Big Easy

Has the extended traveling finally caught up to the Big Easy?

Thrash TalkThe British Open has come and gone, and it definitely lived up to the hype. The Old Course was once again the site of history. Tiger Woods won his second Claret Jug and completed the career grand slam for a second time. He and Jack Nicklaus are the only two golfers in history to accomplish that feat. Speaking of Nicklaus, the Golden Bear said farewell once and for all to major championship golf. He missed the cut by two strokes, and his walk down the 18th fairway on Friday will be remembered forever.

Those two stories will stick out in most people’s minds for years to come, but one other thing really caught my attention this past weekend. A certain South African once again struggled in a major championship, and I’m talking about Ernie Els. The “Big Easy” was plagued by inconsistent play once again, finishing at -2 overall and in a tie for 34th. Els started off with a shaky opening round and then bounced back with a 67 on Friday. He then shot a 75 on Saturday and finished with a 70 in the final round. This is definitely not the same Ernie Els we are used to seeing.

British Open Equipment Wrap

Equipment moves are rare prior to a major championship, but there was some equipment news out of St. Andrews last week.

Bag DropAs you know by now, Tiger Woods left St. Andrews with the Claret Jug following the 2005 British Open. Tiger stuck with the equipment setup that he used to win the Masters in April, including his array of 13 Nike golf clubs. That includes his Ignite 460 driver, T-60 3-wood, Nike custom irons and wedges and his Titleist by Scotty Cameron putter.

The Big 24?

Tiger Woods is out – once again – to a greater than four-point advantage in the Official World Golf Ranking. Time to expand: The Big 24 is now all the rage!

The Big Five? They don’t exist. It was a myth. It expanded in March or April or so to include Retief (remember “The Big Four?”), but it should have shrunk to “The Terrific Two” or “The Winning One” as Phil Mickelson has faltered, Ernie can’t win anything with a top-50 player in the field, and Retief falls apart whenever his calendar says “Sunday.” Vijay Singh hasn’t holed a putt for a month or two now.

Volume Eighteen

Some links for your viewing pleasure after a great weekend of golf.

Let me start by thanking Brian for filling in last week as I was celebrating my birthday. (Presents are still welcomed, in fact they are encouraged!) Second, I need to preface my next few sentences with the following: I’ve forever hated Colin Montgomerie.

But, was it just me, or did you find yourself not exactly rooting against him this weekend at the Open? I’m not saying I wanted him to win, but I am saying I wasn’t trying to squish his head with my fingers or hope that Tiger would mistakenly hit him with a 2-iron. I’m just saying, it might have been okay to see him do well in his native land. I could tell he desparately wants to win a major.

No? Okay, uh, me either. On to the links.

British Open Running Diary

Maybe you watched every minute of the final round of the 2005 British Open, or maybe you had something better to do. Either way, here’s a minute-by-minute rundown of how it all went down, direct from my couch.

Tiger Woods Claret JugOne of my favorite days of the year is the Sunday of the British Open. The TV comes on early and I settle in to watch the whole thing. I wish I could have invited you all over to my heavily fortified compound to watch with me, but there are space constraints and noise ordinance issues. Instead, as a public service, I kept a running diary of the final round’s events for you, as seen from my couch. Let’s get started.

8:00 a.m.: I am fully ready for the final round to begin. Caffeine and sugar are in abundance, and ABC’s coverage is on the air. An opening shot of the Swilken Bridge and an understated opening from Mike Tirico welcome us to St. Andrews, leading into a taped package showcasing the Old Course as the equivalent of Yankee Stadium. It also touches on Jack Nicklaus exiting the scene, and some exciting young fellow named Tiger playing well. Hmm. I think we might hear more about both today.

Meena Lee Takes Canada by Storm with First Victory

Meena Lee confirms her first ever victory on the LPGA at the BMO Financial Group Canadian Women’s Open.

While golfers around the world watched Tiger Woods carry all four rounds of the British Open, Scottish sensation Janice Moodie was attempting a similar phenomenon. Moodie led the Women’s Open through three spectacular rounds but her conclusion was not the same.

Her “Tigeresque” move fell short and Moodie slipped into a tie for sixth place. Instead a rookie took Moodie’s place atop the leaderboard. South Korean Meena Lee, who has skirted victory on the LPGA tour this year grabbed her own “claret jug” at the Open. Lee sealed the deal firing a 3-under 69 to grab the victory away from the dejected Scot.

Although Lee claimed the eventual win, two bogeys at the 14th and 15th holes dropped her into a four-way tie atop the leaderboard. A “recovery” eight-foot birdie putt on the 16th closed out the competition for the young South Korean.

Biggest Golf Controversies

Golf is not without its controversies. Commentators, players, and even equipment have been at the center of a few storms.

Trap Five LogoThey say you drive for show and putt for dough, so that would make the putter many player’s “money club,” right? This week, we’re going to look at famous money clubs.

Putters, as we all know, come in many shapes and sizes. Putters can be shaped like Futura Phantoms or the Ping Docs and look perfectly normal sitting next to a Ping Answer or a Bullseye. Putters may be the most personal instrument in a player’s bag, with everything from the lie angle, face angle, grip, shaft length, and weight coming into play and combining to give that magical sensation – feel – to the player.

When the tournament is on the line, what famous putters stroked some famous putts? Find out in this week’s edition of Trap Five.

Bag Boy EZ Fold 12 Three Wheel Push Cart Review

The Bag Boy EZ Fold 12 Push Cart is both lightweight and as simple to fold as its name implies. But how did it stack up on the golf course?

bag_boy_ez_fold_push_cart.jpgAs Tiger Woods separates himself from the field at the British Open, I pay tribute to something they call a “trolley” across the pond. Though we call them “pull carts” or “push carts” here in the States, trolleys are a staple in the home of golf – a way to relieve players of the burden of carrying clubs without the necessity of a caddie.

Out With the Old
I’ve been lugging around my old two-wheel pull cart on the golf course for several years. It’s old but reliable. Every round, it seems to get heavier and harder to drag. Casting my old cart aside, I felt it was time to enter the 21st century and try the latest in trolleys. My old cart was a pull cart. My new one? I push it like a baby stroller.

What better product to try than a push cart created by an innovative company like Bag Boy? With excitement, I opened the box to my new EZ Fold 12 Push Cart. I’m not particularly handy and leave all areas of assembly to my husband, but I heard that the EZ Fold was simple to put together. I told Barry to leave it to me.