Tag Archives: golf

Man City youngster Courtney Meppen-Walter was not racing friend before car crash, say police

City youngster Meppen-Walter was NOT racing a friend before car crash which left two dead, according to police

PUBLISHED:

15:34 GMT, 18 December 2012

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UPDATED:

15:34 GMT, 18 December 2012

Police have stated that Manchester City youth player Courtney Meppen-Walter was not racing a friend before a car crash, which resulted in the death of two people.

The 18-year-old was arrested on suspicion of death by dangerous driving in September after the crash between his Mercedes and a Nissan Micra.

Kulwant Singh, 32, who was driving the Nissan, was killed along with his sister, Ravel Kaur-Singh, 37.

Tragic: Courtney Meppen-Walters was involved in a car crash which resulted in two people being killed

Tragic: Courtney Meppen-Walters was involved in a car crash which resulted in two people being killed

A GMP spokesman told Manchester Evening News: ‘The driver of the Mercedes, an 18-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has been rebailed until January 24.

‘A file has been prepared and sent to the Crown Prosecution Service to make a final decision.’

The 19-year-old driver of a Volkswagen Golf was released from bail without charge and the spokesman added that the GMP were satisfied that the two cars were not racing before the fatal incident on September 1.

The police had been investigating whether the crash was caused by the footballer racing the other driver on Bury New Road in north Manchester.

Sgt Danny Byrne told the MEN: ‘Having reviewed all the available information and evidence, I am satisfied that the vehicles were not racing each other and the driver of the VW Golf is not involved in this incident.

‘A file of evidence has now been completed and passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for a decision on the driver of the Mercedes.’

Ravel Kaur-Singh’s two sons, aged 16 and 17, who were passengers in the back seat, are making a good recovery from the head injuries they sustained, according to police.

Schwartzel on course for successive victories after opening up 10-shot lead

Schwartzel on course for successive victories after opening up 10-shot lead

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UPDATED:

15:48 GMT, 15 December 2012

Out in front: Charl Schwartzel

Out in front: Charl Schwartzel

Charl Schwartzel, an 11-shot winner in Thailand last weekend, takes a 10-stroke lead into the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship in his native South Africa tomorrow.

But if the week is belonging to the 28-year-old from Johannesburg then the 192-yard 12th at Leopard Creek is compatriot Keith Horne's property – incredibly, he holed-in-one for the second day running.

/12/15/article-0-1686E1D3000005DC-518_634x393.jpg” width=”634″ height=”393″ alt=”Sealed with a kiss: Keith Horne of is presented with a BMW after his second hole-in-one ” class=”blkBorder” />

Sealed with a kiss: Keith Horne of is presented with a BMW after his second hole-in-one

'I just want to keep playing with no expectations. Tee it up, hit the ball down the fairway, hit it on the green, make the putt and see where it leads me.

'In the back of your mind you know what you want to achieve. We all want to win golf tournaments, but I can't be thinking about wanting to win because that's not how I'm actually going to win.

'I have to just stay right where I am and plod along. If I play the best I'll win – that's the way I see it.'

Tom Watson to captain United States Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles

Captain America! United States to drop Ryder Cup bombshell by naming legend Watson as skipper for Gleneagles

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UPDATED:

10:06 GMT, 12 December 2012

Surprises don't happen often when it comes to announcing Ryder Cup captains but the PGA of America will come up with a jaw-dropping one on Thursday when they name Tom Watson as US skipper for the match at Gleneagles in 2014.

Captains on both sides for the past 15 years have all come from a narrow profile of players in their late 40s or early 50s.

'We've done something a little bit different this time,' Ted Bishop, PGA of America president, teased the US media at a lunch on Tuesday.

Leader: Tom Watson will captain the United States Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles in 2014

Leader: Tom Watson will captain the United States Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles in 2014

No-one thought he meant as different as Watson, who will have celebrated his 65th birthday by the time the match comes around.

While the decision will undoubtedly spark incredulity and astonishment in some quarters, it looks an inspired move from this one.

The last time America won on foreign soil was in 1993 when Watson just happened to be the captain at The Belfry.

Think about what has happened since. The last four US captains for away matches have been Tom Kite, Curtis Strange, Tom Lehman and Corey Pavin, who were up against Seve Ballesteros, Sam Torrance, Ian Woosnam and Colin Montgomerie respectively.

Tartan Army: Scottish golf fans love Watson - he won four Opens north of the border

Tartan Army: Scottish golf fans love Watson – he won four Opens north of the border

In other words, four US skippers with little profile in Europe who were all monstered when it came to the vital PR battle against four huge personalities.

America effectively found themselves a couple of points down in each instance before the matches had even started.

So no wonder the PGA of America looked at the widely expected line-up for next time of the immensely popular Darren Clarke against the relatively unknown David Toms and wearily thought to themselves: we've seen this movie before.

Now, in going for a legend who could not be held in higher esteem in Europe, they have changed the dynamic completely.

Watson, lest we forget, won four of his five Open titles in Scotland, where he might even be more popular than Andy Murray. How does Europe counter that one

Where Watson might struggle is that he will not know a great deal about most of the players who will make up his team.

This was one of the complaints about Sir Nick Faldo's captaincy in Kentucky in 2008.

Squaring up: Darren Clarke (right) is set to captain Europe - following on from Jose Maria Olazabal (centre)

Squaring up: Darren Clarke (right) is set to captain Europe – following on from Jose Maria Olazabal (centre)

The argument against that is that Watson has always been much more of a people person than the aloof Englishman. He might not know much about their music tastes and their personalities, but it is hard to imagine there will be a member of the US team who won't look up to Watson and respect his decisions.

Well, maybe there is one. In 2010, at the height of the Tiger Woods scandal, Watson was scathing in his criticism.

'I feel that Tiger has not carried the same stature as the other great players that have come along like Jack (Nicklaus), /12/12/article-2246805-05C54D86000005DC-660_634x408.jpg” width=”634″ height=”408″ alt=”Fairytale: Watson was so close to winning The Open at Turnberry in 2009 before Stewart Cink pipped him” class=”blkBorder” />

Fairytale: Watson was so close to winning The Open at Turnberry in 2009 before Stewart Cink pipped him

Playing in the Australian Open last week, everyone wondered why an Aussie writer asked Watson how he would feel about being Ryder Cup captain once more. Now the journo looks like a positive sage.

'It would be pretty cool,' said Watson. 'I would like to go back again as a captain. It would be a great honour if I got tapped on the shoulder.'

Northern Irishman Clarke, the overwhelming favourite to be standing in the opposite corner at Gleneagles, is playing in Australia this week and said: 'Obviously if Tom does get it he is one of the legends of the game. I am sure he would be a fantastic captain, not just to the team but that whole aspect of the Ryder Cup. The man is a huge name in the world of golf and rightly so.'

Watson's four Open wins in Scotland came at Carnoustie in 1975, Turnberry in 1977, Muirfield in 1980, and Royal Troon in 1982.

He came close to winning again at Turnberry in 2009 and writing one of the great sports stories of all time at the age of 59 but missed a short putt at the 72nd hole and then lost out in a play-off to Stewart Cink.

Interestingly, in four Ryder Cup teams as a player and one as a captain, he has never been on a losing side.

Given that America have lost seven of the last nine contests, no wonder he got the nod.

The man who will feel most disappointed is the personable Toms, but expect him to be chosen for the match at Hazeltine in 2016.

Unless America win at Gleneagles, of course. In which case it will probably be Arnold Palmer.

Glen Johnson studying for Maths degree

I'll show you: Johnson aims to prove his teachers wrong as Liverpool star takes up a Maths degree

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UPDATED:

12:10 GMT, 10 December 2012

Liverpool defender Glen Johnson is aiming to prove his old school teachers teachers wrong by gaining a degree in maths.

While many footballers spend their spare time playing golf, computer games or shopping, the England defender spends his days with his head buried in text books.

The 28-year-old – who has been shortlisted for England's player of the year award – is half-way through the second year of his Open University degree, having passed his first year.

Opening the scoring: Glen Johnson celebrates after netting a goal against former club West Ham

Opening the scoring: Glen Johnson celebrates after netting a goal against former club West Ham

Johnson, who scored the first goal in Liverpool's 3-2 win over former club West Ham on Sunday, told The Sun: 'I love the planning, equations and problem-solving.

'For example, working out how much fuel a plane needs. I was good at maths at school but I didn’t really think of anything else but football. My teachers used to say, ‘You ain’t going to achieve anything’. So I was thinking, ‘I’ll show you’.

Doing the day job: Johnson is studying for a maths degree when he is not busy playing for Liverpool and England

Doing the day job: Johnson is studying for a maths degree when he is not busy playing for Liverpool and England

'The last thing they’d expect me to do is a maths degree. But anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it.'

Former Burnley defender and chairman of the PFA Clarke Carlisle became the first footballer to appear on game show Countdown in 2010, and has also made a couple appearances on the political debate show Question Time.

Working from home: Johnson is enrolled at The Open University

Working from home: Johnson is enrolled at The Open University

Spurs wizard Gareth Bale shows off his new trick shot – video

Spurs wizard Bale shows off his new trick shot… on the golf course

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UPDATED:

12:53 GMT, 5 December 2012

Spurs winger Gareth Bale is revered for his deft touch, mazy dribbles and silky skills – and his ball juggling on the golf course is not bad either.

The Welsh wizard, who shares 11 as his squad number and golf handicap, is regular on the golf course with team-mates Michael Dawson, Carlo Cudicini and Gylfi Sigurdsson.

And Bale finished off a recent session at the driving range with a trick shot.

Watch the video

Bale mimicked Tiger Woods famous Nike advert by juggling the ball on an iron before smashing it down the range on the half volley.

But he may need a little bit more practice before he is really a match for Tiger.

Watch the video

Graeme McDowell pulls three strokes clear in World Golf Challenge in California

McDowell pulls three strokes clear after superb round in California

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UPDATED:

00:38 GMT, 1 December 2012

Graeme McDowell hit the round of the day to go three shots clear at the World Golf Challenge in California.

The Northern Irishman, who was in a chasing pack of three after a first-round 69, signed for a six-under 66 today to move to nine under overall.

He kicked off with three successive birdies and added four more in the back nine to weigh against a solitary dropped shot at the par-four seventh.

Round of the day: Graeme McDowell pulled three shots clear

Round of the day: Graeme McDowell pulled three shots clear

American trio Bo Van Pelt, Jim Furyk and Keegan Bradley are tied for second on six under, with the latter making a bogey-free round including three birdies.

Host Tiger Woods lies one stroke further back after signing for a 69 – dropping shots at eight and 15 either side of four birdies in five holes.

Australia's Jason Day is bottom of the 18-man field on two over through 36 holes, with the third and final non-American, England's Ian Poulter, also struggling on one above par.

Overnight leader Nick Watney slipped back to five shots off the lead after following his day-one score of 67 with a 73.

When it rains... McDowell sought cover from the rain

When it rains… McDowell sought cover from the rain

Tied: Bo Van Pelt is in joint second place

Tied: Bo Van Pelt is in joint second place

Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley, Ernie Els and Co wait to hear if long putters will be banned

Scott, Bradley, Els and Co wait to hear if controversial long putters will be banned

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UPDATED:

11:08 GMT, 26 November 2012

Golfers around the world are waiting to hear if long putters are to be banned – or at least the way many currently use them is banned.

But one influential voice is urging professionals not to take radical action even if they do not like having to change.

European Tour chief executive George O'Grady said: 'Speaking personally on behalf of the Tour, one of our great facets is that we are connected to the game that every amateur can play as well.

Verdict: Long putters could be banned from the game

Verdict: Long putters could be banned from the game

Justin Rose feels the fourth

Justin Rose

Justin Rose's closing 62 for second
place behind Rory McIlroy in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai has
taken him to fourth in the world – his highest placing.

But by finishing only joint 48th in
the 56-strong field, Lee Westwood has dropped to sixth – his lowest
position for over three years.

'We could go separately. I would urge the Tour to follow the rules as laid down by the governing bodies.

'We are a very strong lobbyist, our views being sought all the time. There's been a lot of discussion throughout the year with the USGA (United States Golf Association) and the R&A (Royal and Ancient Club) and the PGA Tour.

'I think the rules-making bodies have to do what they think is right for the game.

'The view of our leading members and our players must be listened to, but I haven't heard one of our members want to break away at the moment. They want to be connected to the game.'

The issue has come to the fore with three of the last five major champions – Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els – among those using long putters.

Nobody had ever won a major with one until Bradley's victory at the USPGA Championship last year.

Peter Dawson, the R&A chief executive, said in July after The Open: 'Anchoring is what we're looking at -method of stroke – and it's all about putting around a fixed pivot point, whether that is in your belly or under your chin or on your chest.

'It has dramatically increased and we're also seeing now people who can putt perfectly well in the conventional way thinking that an anchored stroke gives them an advantage.

'I think that's the fundamental change that we've witnessed in the last couple of years.

'The objections I find from those at elite level are “if people have become failed putters in the conventional way why should they have a crutch to come back and compete against me when I haven't failed in the conventional way” That's the general argument one hears.'

DP World Tour Championship: Live leaderboard

DP World Tour Championship leaderboard: Keep up to date with the latest scores

UPDATED:

08:00 GMT, 22 November 2012

The European Tour season comes to an end this week at the DP World Tour Championship.

Rory McIlroy has the Race to Dubai wrapped up but plenty of big guns are looking to finish with a flourish at the Jumeirah Golf Estates.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIVE LEADERBOARD

First past the post: Race to Dubai winner Rory McIlroy

First past the post: Race to Dubai winner Rory McIlroy

Why can”t the R&A see sense on women members? – Derek Lawrenson

If Augusta can see sense on women members, why can't the R&A

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UPDATED:

22:59 GMT, 12 November 2012


Open season: R&A chief executive Peter Dawson will be under fire

Open season: R&A chief executive Peter Dawson will be under fire

Watching grown men defend the indefensible is never a comfortable experience and so it was with Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National, at the Masters this year.

One minute he was waxing lyrical about all the initiatives the club were doing to grow ‘the great game of golf.’ The next he was being skewered by a very reasonable question: ’If you’re that keen on growing the game, why haven’t you got any women or junior members’

Let’s say this about Mr Payne. Sure, he squirmed and shifted in his seat and tried to save face, like so many of his predecessors. But here’s the difference. He then went away and made sure he was never put in such a position again. A month later, the first two women members were invited to join the club and Billy Payne had put right the obvious hypocrisy.

Now we come to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. They are already bracing themselves for unfavourable headlines next year. A men-only club taking The Open to another men-only establishment in Muirfield At least over the past week they’ve had a warm-up, as one former Minister of Sport in Colin Moynihan and then present incumbent Hugh Robertson laid into them over their anachronistic stance.

Breakthrough: Augusta National, home of the Masters, which was won by Bubba Watson in April, have now admitted women members

Breakthrough: Augusta National, the world-famous home of the Masters, which was won by Bubba Watson in April, have now admitted women members

Peter Dawson, the R&A’s chief executive, believes this subject to be simply a Press obsession, that most golfers couldn’t give two hoots, and he’s at least partly right. Most golfers couldn’t care less.

But it doesn’t make the R&A’s stance right. There’s no hiding from the fact it is embarrassing for the sport to have a governing body who don’t have any women members, and that will not change until the R&A do. It’s all well and good to allow juniors to attend The Open for free but what message are you sending out if you then take the event to clubs that don’t allow juniors to join

And so next summer, like so many before it, we’ll watch grown men defend the indefensible – and pray silently for the day when the R&A finally comes up with its own Billy Payne.

Another side to the glamour game

‘Rory McIlroy leads a galaxy of stars to Hong Kong’ proclaimed the main headline on the European Tour’s website on Monday. He also leads a cavalcade of dead men walking.

No disrespect to the leading players like Rory at either the Hong Kong Open or the South African Open being played at the same time on another continent this week, but these final full-field events of the regular season are all about the men at the other end of the table.

Men like the English trio, Tommy Fleetwood, Jamie Elson and Richard Bland, all within agonising touching distance of the top 115 who keep their cards for next year but in need of a good last week to seal the deal.

Last year in Hong Kong I sat in a courtesy car with two of the fallen, Nick Dougherty and Oliver Wilson, and the devastation they were feeling at missing out was plain.

No-one would seek to minimise the pressure that McIlroy so adeptly copes with as the world’s No 1. But that is surely a nice kind of pressure. Down among those worried about keeping their jobs, the pressure exerted by a game that is supposed to be all about relaxation must be hell.

Quote of the Week

’When Luke Donald won both money lists last year we thought “how good was that” Now Rory has done it and won a second major as well at the age of 23. The sky really is the limit.’

Eight-time Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie eloquently sums the feelings of a sport regarding the extraordinary Rory McIlroy.

Remarkable talent: Life just gets better and better for Rory McIlroy

Remarkable talent: Life just gets better and better for Rory McIlroy

Challenge Tour goes East

The Middle East has become such a vital part of the regular European Tour over the past two decades it is surprising that no event is staged in the region on the Challenge Tour.

That will all change next year when the Sultanate of Oman joins the party, with the National Bank of Oman Classic becoming the penultimate event, complete with a very respectable 200,000 prize fund.

One nice thing about the tournament is that there will be a reciprocal arrangement with five other Challenge Tour events during the season whereby promising Arab National players, both amateur and professional, will have the opportunity to gain some invaluable experience.

Beljan's Miracle moment

They say the traditional closing event on the US Tour might not take place next year, which would be a great shame. ‘Where Dreams Come True,’ declares the slogan outside the gates at Walt Disney World in Orlando, and so it has proved these past two years at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic.

Last year, Luke Donald complemented the fireworks seen at the Disney theme parks with some of his own, as he won the final event when nothing else would do if he were to clinch the US Tour money list.

Fairytale: Charlie Beljan won the Children's Miracle Network Classic

Fairytale: Charlie Beljan won the Children's Miracle Network Classic

This time it was 28-year-old American Charlie Beljan making the headlines. On Friday, he was rushed to hospital after suffering a panic attack on the course that left him fearing he might die. Two days later he was in heaven all right, as he claimed his maiden victory to end all thoughts of anxiety for at least the next two years.

‘You never know what’s going to happen in this game or this game of life,’ he said. ‘You just keep plugging away.’

Keep plugging way like this, Charlie, and you might even become that rarest of creatures. A famous Beljan.

Charlie Beljan has three stroke lead in Children"s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic

Beljan overcomes health scare to take three stroke lead in Florida

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UPDATED:

01:16 GMT, 10 November 2012

Charlie Beljan defied a health scare to take a halfway three-stroke lead in the the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in Florida.

The American, who suffers from asthma, had to rest on several occasions during his round after battling shortness of breath and an elevated heart rate.

Out in front: Charlie Beljan leads the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals golf tournament in Lake Buena Vista

Out in front: Charlie Beljan leads the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals golf tournament in Lake Buena Vista

The 28-year-old was expected to be taken to hospital after recording a magnificent 64, which moved him to 12 under par overall.

'I think he's scared,' Beljan's caddie Rick Adcox told the Golf Channel. 'He kept saying he thought he was going to die.'

'I've got to give Charlie credit for what he did. I thought he was going to quit out there a few times. Unbelievable.'

'A couple of times I thought he might pass out,” Adcox added.

'He just said, 'I'm gonna keep going until I pass out or they take me off,' and I kept saying 'it doesn't matter to me, it's only a golf tournament'.'

Beljan was reportedly struggling throughout, with medical personnel keeping a close watch on him for much of his back nine.

He was eight under for his round after 11 holes, carding two eagles and four birdies.
He then bogeyed the par-four 12th before picking up back-to-back shots on his next two holes although he dropped back to eight under for his round at the 17th.

Despite clearly struggling, he courageously carried on and managed to hit a brilliant up-and-down for par on the final hole before bursting into tears.

'He was trying to keep upright,” playing partner Ed Loar said. 'Hopefully he'll be all right. It was pretty bizarre.'

Overnight leader Charlie Wi was among seven players three strokes behind Beljan.
The Korean, without a win on the PGA Tour, failed to build on yesterday's magnificent 64 after recording a one-under-par 71.

He enjoyed mixed fortunes on the Magnolia course with five birdies and four bogeys.
Australia's Matt Jones put himself into contention with an excellent round of 64 to join Wi, Ryuji Imada, Harris English, Charles Howell III, Mark Anderson and Henrik Stenson on nine under overall.