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Top Golf Instructor Passes Away

jim flickJames Myron Flick, better known as Jim Flick, one of the pillars of the golf sport, passed away at age of 82 due to cancer. He was one of the top golf instructors in the United States and has taught many amateurs and professionals including Jack Nicklaus. His wife, Geri, shared that his husband loved to work and taught until October 8. She also mentioned that the pancreatic cancer and kidney problems his husband had was diagnosed just recently.

Flick spent 50 years in the golf industry and have taught numerous number of golf players. Very few people could have taught more students than he had. He was also known for his honest opinion about the new trends in golf technology including the properties of modern golf clubs and swing analyses.

He once said in 2010, “All the kids that come to see me today, that are going to other golf academies, they’re taught to turn their shoulders, clear their hips and make body movements, assuming the club head will show up at the right place and hit the right shot. And it doesn’t work that way. In my opinion, the priority is learning to use the club first. Then you train the body to be supportive of what you want the club to do.”

Aside from being Nicklaus’ instructor after Jack Grout, Flick also administered the Nicklaus-Flick Golf Schools from 1991 to 2003. It was a business both he and Nicklaus established together. He also administered golf schools by ESPN and Golf Digest. He was then recognized as one of the Top 10 Golf Teachers of the Century in 1999.

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Gainey Bags His First PGA Title

tommy gainey wins PGA TourTommy Gainey had always dreamt of winning the PGA tour. Now, it has become a reality. This golfer started low. He worked in a hot water tank wrapping insulation job and eventually played in mini-golf tours in a reality program for Golf Channel. He was then known as “Two Gloves”.

Gainey bagged his very first PGA win at the McGladrey Classic with an awesome score of 60 coming from seven shots away at the start of the final round. He pulled far enough that it took David Toms, Jim Furyk and Davis Love III more than two hours to catch him, but all of them failed thus giving the new champion his victory. He also set a new record of 10-under 60 at the Sea Island Golf Course closing the game with a single shot ahead of the second placer Toms.

“Oh, man. I tell you, you’re out here on the PGA Tour. You’re playing with the best players in the world. Ninety-nine percent of these guys have already won, and won majors, big tournaments. The only show I can say I’ve won is the ‘Big Break’,” Gainey said enthusiastically.

“Now I can sit here and say I’ve won the McGladrey Classic here at Sea Island, and I’m very proud to be in this tournament and very proud to win. And wow, it’s been a whirlwind day. I didn’t know having 24 putts and shooting 60 would be like this. So I’m pretty stoked about it,” he added.

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LPGA Pros Compete Against Breast Cancer

lpga fights breast cancerMany families all over the world, regardless of social and economic status, have been affected by cancer in one way or the other. Various organizations have taken action to help fight this dreadful disease. Many companies donate a fraction of their sales to support cancer research programs. Sport groups conduct fund raising games to help provide assistance to patients and families.

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is one of which that supports the fight against breast cancer and the official voice of the women’s professional golf industry. LPGA supports breast cancer cause through its collaboration with the world’s largest non-profit provider of breast cancer research funds, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Several golf professionals from the LPGA league have also taken serious actions to support the same cause. One is Val Skinner, a golf veteran being an LPGA winner for six times. She established the Val Skinner Foundation and the LPGA Pros in the Fight to Eradicate Breast Cancer or LIFE Event which was established in 2000. The organization has accumulated almost $8 million, all for the different activities related to breast cancer including research, awareness and prevention programs. This year’s LIFE Event was said to be the biggest one-day golf fundraising event for the cause of breast cancer.

The 16-year LPGA member and golf veteran Cristie Kerr recently organized the Birdies for Breast Cancer Celebrity Golf Classic. The event, which is currently on its eighth year, was held at the Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City.
Some of the active LPGA participants are Juli Inkster, Morgan Pressel, Natalie Gulbis and Cindy LaCrosetto.

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Prolonged Rivalry Foreseen Between Tiger and Rory

Tiger Woods versus Rory McIlroy

Tiger Woods was said to have found his good match through the person of Rory McIlroy and he believes that the rivalry between them will last quite long, that is, it may be over a decade.

Tiger, the 14-time major winner, will go and play against Rory, currently world number one, in an exhibition game at the Jinsha Lake, Zhengzhou. The two also had a tough fight at the World Golf Final in Turkey but Tiger eventually turned out winning over Rory with a six stroke difference.

Currently world number two, Tiger is so excited to meet Rory for another exhilarating golf game. Rory is foreseen to be the “next Tiger Woods” by many golf followers. “We’ve all seen how talented Rory is. It’ll be fun to battle him for the next decade or so and hopefully we’ll have many battles to come,” says Tiger.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun going head to head with Rory. I enjoy head-to-head events so it’s great to do this in China. China is a growing market and what they’ve done in golf over the past decade or so is incredible. China is young in golf terms but rising fast, especially with the sport joining the Olympics,” Tiger added.

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Who’s Who at the McGladrey Classic

McGladrey Classic 2012Danny Lee of New Zealand did well at the first round of the McGladrey Classic held in Sea Island, Georgia. The event was a very important competition for Lee who is working hard to keep his PGA Tour card.

Lee, who shot three birdies and an eagle in five holes, scored a five under par 65 closing the round with a tie at the sixth place and three shots lagging from the leading Americans, Bud Cauley and Marco Dawson. He shot another birdie at the 11th hole which placed him in the lead but failed to make a good shot on the par four-16th landing him at 65.

Dawson led the initial round of competition early on by shooting nine birdies and one bogey. Cauley, on the other hand, shot six birdies out of his last nine holes which allowed him to catch up with Dawson and eventually, share the lead. Cauley turned professional before the 2011 US Open.

Cauley was glad with his bogey-free performance in the competition. “Really no complaints today. I’ve been struggling with my driving a little bit lately but I’ve been working hard on that and was able to drive it really well today. And then I took advantage of that with some great iron shots and made most of the putts, so all in all it was a really good day,” he shared.

Cauley earned his PGA Tour card without undergoing a qualifying school. This was also done by the prominent golfers Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. “Obviously I’ve thought about winning every tournament I’ve teed up in this year. It’s been a long year and although I’ve played a lot this year, I haven’t won. This is probably going to be it. This is probably my last tournament (this season),” he said with full of optimism.

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Bubba Watson Graces the Tonight Show

Bubba Watson Graces the Tonight Show

2012′ Masters winner and Ryder Cup team member Bubba Watson was the featured guest on Jay Leno’s “The Tonight Show” last Monday night. Having been a guest for several different talk shows, Watson coolly and cheerfully went along with the discussion about some topics thrown by Leno: from Ryder Cup, his fears, Twitter then Justin Bieber.

Watson shared that the Ryder Cup was a match play team event competed by the American and European golfers. Twelve professional golfers compose each team, competing against the other in front of more than 60,000 audiences and fans, vying not for any amount of money but for a chic but prestigious trophy.

Known by the public to be an emotional person, Watson admitted crying after losing the game. He said, “We tried to win… Europe decided to play good that day. They played great… They beat us.” When asked what the last movie that made him cry was, Leno laughed out loud when Watson said, “The Expendables 2!”

Leno revealed that Watson’s biggest fears are: crowd, heights and the dark. Watson, however, said that he loves the show’s audience and he is not afraid to admit his fears.

Showing off a video of Watson performing a practice shot using a watermelon, Leno simulated the same using bell pepper, pineapple, pumpkin pie and a cake. The golfer, wearing safety goggles, took his personal pink driver then smashed the full-sized cake decorated with Leno’s face. What a hilarious sight!

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Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Events and Happenings

Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Events and Happenings

 

New Zealand’s Michael Campbell continues to do very well at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship being held at St. Andrews. After scoring one under par at the second round, Campbell is now in the 28th place with a tie and totaled six under during the tournament. Campbell is still 12 shots behind the leading scorer, Brendan Grace of South Africa.

The 24-year-old Grace currently holds the title and is trying to catch a back-to-back win this year by sprinting five birdie shots in the field. The $5 million event was held in three courses, one of which is St. Andrews where Grace scored a 5-under 67, finishing the event at 17-under with a total of 127.

“That was really good for me. To have a good week like that put some fire in my game coming here to Scotland,” Grace said during an interview right after incurring the burning birdies.

“I didn’t know quite what to expect today but I did get the round going with that birdie at the fifth where I hit a great rescue club to a foot. That settled my nerves. I think it helped that I was playing in a different course. If I had played in Kingsbarns again after shooting the lights out yesterday I might have pushed it too much,” he added.

The Joburg Open held last January gave Grace his first European Tour victory succeeded by another victory at the Volvo Golf Championship held at South Africa. He recently went back to his homeland to compete and eventually won the Sunshine Tour at the Vodacom Origins of Golf.

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Saturday’s Counterattack brought European’s Ryder Cup Win

Saturday’s Counterattack brought European’s Ryder Cup Win

 

The counterattack made by the European golfers allowed them to close the Ryder Cup victoriously.

It was almost seemingly too weak for the Europeans to come back after trailing at 10-4 at the second session until Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald ably reduced the score discrepancy fighting against Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker. Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter also performed their bests claiming a dramatic win over Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson. Poulter birdied the last five holes closing the game in their favor.

“The most important part of the week was Saturday afternoon. That session was crucial and I think the players got the feeling of the atmosphere of the Ryder Cup, ” said the team captain Jose Maria Olazabal few days after the game. “Down the stretch the crowds were very loud, but we managed to turn the tide that afternoon session, and I think that was key. The way those last two matches went turned around the whole context of the Ryder Cup,” he added.

Olazabal claimed that he considers the win as the highlight in his and Seve Ballesteros’ career. The latter is a Ryder Cup legend who had passed away in May 2011 and is Olazabal’s good friend. Ballesteros’ memories are still fresh in Olazabal’s thoughts.

“It’s going to take a little while before it completely sinks in. It’s been a very emotional week, especially when things were not going our way, but yesterday, everything turned round for us. It’s completely different from playing, being a Ryder Cup captain. I think in my career it ranks number one,” the Spanish Olazabal said.

“Seve’s been on my mind the whole week, during the whole journey of this Ryder Cup. When we managed to retain the trophy, all those memories were very vividly coming to life. If someone had written a script for it, that would be the ideal one, and for it to happen, Seve had to have something to do with it,” he emotionally recalled.

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Jeff Klauk is Returning

Jeff Klauk is Returning

Many people believe that if someone is really good at something, despite how long his absence could be, when he comes back, he would still have it. Could this happen to be true for Jeff Klauk?

The 34-year-old Klauk is back on the teeing zone for the Web.com Tour after 14 months of absence due to health reasons. He fought against multiple medical examinations, procedures and medications. Way back in 2006, Klauk was already diagnosed with epilepsy but not until Christmas Eve of 2010 did he experience the worst side effects.

“I’m still the same person I was before, except occasionally I have these 20-second space-outs that happen at night most of the time,” said Klauk during an interview with PGATour.com. The same spacing out happened that Christmas Eve of 2010 when he was on the steering wheel heading to church with his family. The incident led him to a series of medical examinations. He was found to be suffering from complex partial seizures.

PGATour.com reported that Klauk went through a medical procedure where his skull was infused with 108 electrodes to determine where the seizures come from.

Returning to the golf course once again for the Albertsons Boise Open after the incident, Klauk says, “My golf game hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s just a process of getting my golf game back. There’s no reason I shouldn’t play well this week. My game’s good.”

Prior to the incident, Klauk was a two-time amateur NCAA Division II Individual Champion plus two Web.com Tour victories in 2003 and 2008.

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Matt Henry Gets Champion of Champions

Matt Henry Gets Champion of Champions

Things just went well for South Hills’ Matt Henry as he tried to bag his first victory at the York County Amateur Golf Association Champion of Champions. The event which happened at Henry’s home course was sponsored by Etzweiler Family Funeral Services.

Henry understood that as the player understands a course, the better he can play. And so it was, though he had struggles after the three holes, he basically did a good job. The event ended with the much-coveted trophy in his hand defeating all other players with a score of 1-over 70.

“I know how the course plays. It’s not easy and you got to know where to put it. Being a member here was definitely a huge advantage,” Henry said. “A zero percent chance of rain? We were there and got soaked. But then after that it quit,” he jokingly said after a short and sudden downpour of rain almost threw him off.

The rain didn’t stop him. Not even the painful dislocated finger on his right hand prevented him from getting the victory. He shared, “I started hitting it good late on the front nine. I made a birdie on eight, but I could have birdied seven, could have birdied six. Five I just missed. I just missed a lot of birdies.” He redeemed the bogeys on the 11th and 12th holes by a 12-foot eagle shot on the 13th hole.

Henry was very glad of the event’s outcome which is one of the tournament wins he has been dreaming of. “This is big because it’s one that I’ve never won. And this is my home course and it means a lot to me to win here,” he concluded.

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