Next time round, golf will be in the
The format has yet to be finalised –
with the R&A keen to consider alternatives to 72-hole individual
strokeplay – but in four years' time in Rio de Janeiro the Olympics
will again include golf.
Ignoring the politics for a moment, it
will clearly be an exciting and stimulating event that should do much
to promote golf to a new global audience, and also to secure
additional funding from governments.
The result will hopefully be more and
better facilities around the world and a game that is easier to get
into regardless of age, gender, nationality, race or social class.
Many would be happier if it were open
only to amateurs rather than professionals, while some kind of team
element would also be welcome and true to the Olympic ideal. It also
remains to be seen just how 'special' it will feel and how different
to a regulation tour event.
But however it all works out, we can
only hope that the game is shown in its best possible light and
catches the imagination of the wider public.
Couples finally wins the (Senior) Open
For years he was a contender in the
Open, and as recently as 2005 finished in a tie for third at St
Andrews, behind Tiger Woods.
That was just one of nine top 10s in 17
appearances going all the way back to his debut at the Old Course in
Now, on his first attempt, he has won
the Senior Open Championship ,
Couples birdied Turnberry’s closing
two holes to seal the deal, finishing two shots clear of compatriot
Gary Hallberg, with long-time leader Bernhard Langer third..
“Obviously I never won the Open,”
said Couples. “I came close. This is my biggest Senior Tour win, by
far, winning on a truly great, great golf course.”
Park wins last pre-Major Evian Masters
It is the most glamorous event in
ladies' golf and attracts as strong a field as any tournament
worldwide. So it is fitting that from next year onwards the Evian
Masters, played on the banks of Lake Geneva on the French side of the
border, will be officially recognised as the game's fifth Major.
Quite how an event becomes a Major is a
matter for discussion but something had to give, not least in terms
of scheduling with the calendar imbalanced to say the least.
With two of the five Majors now being
played outside the USA, there is at least a global feel to it, though
it is surely only a matter of time before one moves to Asia, given
that continent's dominance of the ladies' game in recent years.
It was a South Korean who won the final
Evian in its current form. Inbee Park closed with three straight
birdies for a final round of 66 . The 24-year-old, whose only other
victory on the LPGA Tour was the US Women’s Open in 2008 when she
became the youngest-ever winner of the title, finished two shots
ahead of Australian Karrie Webb and Stacy Lewis of the United States.
A sky diver delivered the Korean flag
to the 18th green during the prize giving and Park said: “I feel
really special. In the Olympics when I was watching all the athletes
have their flags on when they had a medal, I wanted to do that also.
The Evian Masters Golf Course will now
undergo a redevelopment in preparation for becoming a Major next
English Amateur heads to Silloth
It is an outpost of Cumbrian let alone
English golf, but that will not stop the cream of the country's
golfing talent heading to the north-west this week.
Silloth is a links located the best
part of an hour's drive west from Carlisle, but having made the
journey the field will be delighted by what they see.
At just over 6,600 yards, it is short
by modern standards but when the wind blows its hazards are many and
significant. Qualifying will also take place at Seascale, just down
This takes the form of 36 holes of
strokeplay – a round at either course – on Monday and Tuesday.
After that, the leading 64 players and
ties will be drawn in a matchplay knockout format, until the winner
emerges on Sunday.
Former champions who have gone on to be
sucessful tour pros in recent years include Paul Casey, Richard
Finch, Ross McGowan and Danny Willett.
Bernd does it again
Bernd Wiesberger claimed his second
title of the season by winning his home open and now heads for
America to play in the WGC Bridgestone and PGA Championship.
The Austrian described Saturday as the
best day of his life after a brilliant seven under par 65 gave him
victory on home soil at the Lyoness Open.
The 26-year-old from Vienna hauled in
overnight leader Thorbjørn Olesen and Frenchman Thomas Levet with
four birdies in five holes around the turn.
It made Wiesberger the second Austrian
to win his national Open – Markus Brier did it first in 2006 –
and came just three months after his first European Tour victory at
the Ballantine’s Championship.