Jerry Kelly On Track To Take Home Zurich Classic

jerry-kelly_1New Orleans might be shaping up to be a pretty kind little trip for Jerry Kelly if he can just hold onto the lead he has this morning.  The simple fact that he shot a bogey-free round at 3-under yesterday means that he is fairly set up to take home top honors today.  All he has to do is hang on.

$1.1 Million or Fun...You Decide

When asked his motivation for this tournament, you'd think the $1.1 million purse would have something to do with it?  Au contraire, because all Jerry Kelly wants is to have some fun.  When asked how he'd approach his round today, here's what Kelly had to say:

"I'm going to try to have fun and see what happens...That's the key to my success when I come to a place like this. I have fun outside the ropes and inside the ropes."

Luckily for Kelly and the rest of us, when it comes to fun he's in the best place possible.  New Orleans, with its music, bars and nightlife is certainly a hotspot.  The question is, will the fun he's looking for in New Orleans translate into a fun end of the day this fine Sunday and a giant check?  Time will tell.  Truth is, he's got some work ahead of him.

Marino Making A Surge

Some of that work will just be keeping Steve Marino out of his head and off the top spot on the scoreboard.  At the close of yesterday, Marino had made a healthy charge towards the leader by shooting an impressive, albeit shakey at times, round that put him in second place all alone at -10.  If anyone is in position to take out Kelly, it will be Marino, but once again, he too has some work to do.

Time to Tune In

Tune in today, it should be a finish worth catching and hopefully will have a few of the lesser known stars of the PGA Tour taking home a bit of spotlight alongside their paychecks.

(image via UPI.com)


Ochoa Leading Corona Championship By 1

ping-lorena-ochoaLooks like windy conditions couldn't stop Lorena Ochoa from shooting an impressive -4, 69 yesterday at the Corona Championship Tournament in Morelia, Mexico.  That round of golf put her in the driver's seat of the tourney by a slim one stroke lead.

Ready To Win, But Respectful Of Petterson

When asked about her performance up to this point in the Corona Championship, which started with consecutive bogey-free 65s on Thursday and Friday, she finished up yesterday with an impressive eight birdies, but two bogeys and a double bogey.  Here's what she had to say, according to Golf.com:

"I was aggressive, but I can't be perfect every day...I missed a couple of shots, and that's just the way golf is. I'm still happy because I'm still on the lead and the goal is to remain there. Sunday will be complicated. Nothing is going to be easy. Suzann has the desire. So do I. I have to respect her."

Suzann is Suzann Petterson who is nipping at Ochoa's heels in this tournament.  Petterson is sitting in 2nd place at the start of today, one stroke behind Ochoa.  After failing to convert a birdie chance on 18 yesterday, Petterson was interviewed:

"Whatever happened, happened, there's nothing you can do about it. I'm happy because there are still 18 holes to play...It was a good round, not perfect. I managed to gain ground on Lorena, which was one of my goals. ... Hopefully tomorrow, I can go out and shoot as low as I can."

Fan of the LPGA or not, anyone who is a fan of Golf should be tuning into this final round.  Bottom line is, these women are good.


Woods Commits to Next Two PGA Events

tiger_woods_swingLooks like we'll be seeing a lot more of Tiger Woods, at least for the next two tournaments.  That's right, according to reports from PGATour.com Tiger Woods has indeed committed to playing in the next two events, both the Quail Hollow Championship next week and THE PLAYERS Championship the week after that.  Good news if you're more of a Phil fan than a Woods fan, as Phil Mickelson will also be playing in both.

According to PGATour.com:

"Woods' schedule has remained in flux since returning earlier this year from an eight-month absence following reconstructive knee surgery. His last appearance was at the Masters two weeks ago when he tied for sixth.

Woods won at Quail Hollow in 2007 but couldn't defend last year because he was recovering from his first knee surgery to repair cartilage damage. That surgery also kept him out of last year's PLAYERS Championship. Woods would eventually return to win the U.S. Open before undergoing season-ending knee surgery eight days later.

"We are very happy to have Tiger coming back," said Executive Director Kym Hougham. "With the exception of Joey Sindelar, who has moved on to the Champions Tour, we have all of our past champions returning. The patrons and the community of Charlotte are in for a real treat this year." "

So, fan of Woods or just a fan of golf in general, it's pretty clear you won't want to be missing the next two weeks worth of golf.  If for no other reason than to see Tiger and Phil square off again in Masters fashion.  Tune in...it's getting good.


What’s In Returning Champs Andres Romero’s Bag?

andres-romero-golf-clubs_550x600As we speak, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans is going on and unfortunately, it doesn't look like Andres Romero is playing at exactly the same level as he was last year when he took home top honors.  Nevertheless, there is still another day of tournament left, so who knows what could happen.  One of the things we find most interesting here, is looking inside a Pro's bag and seeing what tools he or she is using to make a charge at the top spot of the leaderboard.

What's in Romero's Bag?

Today we're lucky enough to get a peek inside Andres Romero's bag.  The first thing you'll notice is he's quite obviously supporting Taylor Made and almost every piece of his arsenal comes from them.  He plays a Titleist ball, not surprisingly, and a Rife Antigua putter.  Here's the tools of his trade for this weekend's tournament:

DRIVER: TaylorMade R9 (9.5°) with Aldila One NV prototype 80 shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: TaylorMade R9 (15°) and Burner TP (17.5°) with Aldila One NV prototype 80 shafts
IRONS: TaylorMade R7 TP (3,4) with True Temper X100 shafts; Tour Preferred (5-PW) with Rifle Project X shafts
WEDGES: TaylorMade RAC (54°, 60°)
PUTTER: Rife Antigua
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

Credit: Fred Vuich/SI

Taylor Made To Surprise Us This Year?

I'll be curious to see what Taylor Made is coming out with in the next few months.  They're always good for an annual surprise or two as far as a new product.  Nevertheless, tune in today and tomorrow for the last two days of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.  See if we can't will Romero higher up the board.

(image via Golf.com)


Tiger Woods Struts His Stuff and is “Staying Alive”

It's absolutely no secret that Tiger Woods is the most popular golfer in the world.  You know it, I know it, and everyone else who's ever even heard the word "Golf" knows it.  What I dig about Tiger Woods, however, is his ability to still have fun with himself and when not on the course, not take himself entirely too seriously.  Want proof?  Watch any one of his television ads up to this point, or better yet, watch some of the stuff he's done for EA Sports as far as viral videos go.

Tiger Struts His Stuff

Since today is Friday, I thought we'd end the work week with a bang and show you one of his most rent commercials.  In this bad boy, he's strutting his stuff to none other than "Staying Alive," and making it look comedic and good at the very same time.  Granted the first Gillette commericals were a bit odd and didn't exactly go over very well, but with this one, they totally redeemed themselves.

Poking Fun At Yourself Key To Victory?

The ability to balance being the best at whatever you do, with still being willing enough to poke fun at yourself is a good trait to have, and I'm beginning to wonder if it might just be the thing that keeps him on top despite everything that goes on around him.  Maybe that is his winning secret.

Stayin' Alive!

Nevertheless, check out the commercial, it should be a great way to cap off your work week.  Stayin' Alive, after all, aren't we?


Chie Arimura’s Bag: A new trend signalling the end of the Tourstage ViQ line??

chiebagA few months ago, a fellow TSG forum member from Hawaii was talking to me about what's in the bag for serveral JLPGA pros and he noted that many of the Tourstage pros were no longer playing the ViQ line, the most dominant line on the Japanese ladies tour which also happens to be one of the best selling lineups for the average male golfer in Japan. At the time, I kinda brushed it off thinking, no way Tourstage would dump their number one selling line focused on the largest group of golfers in Japan.

Now that I think back and look at Tourstage's movement over the last few months. That forum member could very well be correct. It is only speculation but based on the fact that no new ViQ model has been even whispered about since late 2007 and the old and popular ViQ Forged iron from early 2007 has never been replaced does make one wonder. Then you look at all the JLPGA Tourstage pros. As I said what the girls play on tour actually parallel what is popular for the average golfer in Japan and its been that way for a long time.

If you look at Tourstage's top female Pros, many of them are in transition away from ViQ line models. Almost all the girls are now playing X-Drive driver  models of some sort (including Tourstage number one Ai Miyazato), and many have switched over to X-Blade irons. Perhaps Tourstage's sudden decision to release the X Series, traditionally their athlete low handicapper line, this year with multiple models targeting multiple levels of player also signaled a move that the X Series models like the GR are moving to replace the ViQ.

If you look at up and coming Tourstage pro Chie Arimura who I do frequently talk about on my blog, she has gone from playing several ViQ models last season to none now. Here is a break down of her current bag. Does it signal the end of the ViQ line? Only time will tell.

Chie-chan is playing the new X-Drive deep faced 701R 9.5* with Tour AD EV-5 shaft in stiff flex.  She's got a Callaway X 3 Wood and then 5 7 and 9 X-Drive woods with pink Rombax 5X07 in stiff flex. Her new irons are the X-Blade GR C-1 Forged with NS Pro 750GH regular flex. She's playing her trusty old 2006 X-Wedges in 52 and 58* lofts with 950GH regular flex. Her putter is the Odyssey Japan Black Series #1 with Prototype insert.

Here are Chie-chan's distances:

1W      : 240yards
3W     : 205yards
5W     : 195yards
7W     : 185yards
4I     : 175yards
5I     : 165yards
6I     : 155yards
7I      : 145yards
8I     : 135yards
8I     : 135yards
9I     : 120yards
PW     : 105yards
AW     : 90yards(50*)
SW     : 75yards(58*)


Time To Raise the Golf Hall Of Fame Age?

sept_olazabal_434x600Looks like the time has come to re-ask a question that's been circulating for a few years now.  The question is:  Is it time to change the minimum age for a golfer to be eligible for the Golf Hall of Fame?  I am having trouble thinking of another sport in which a person can enter the prestigious Hall of Fame and then the very next week, go out and continue to play extremely well on the tour or in their sport.  What happened to players retiring, being retired for awhile and THEN entering the Hall of Fame?

Why So Young?  Why So Rushed?

All of this was once again stirred up as news that both Lanny Wadkins and Jose Maria Olazabal have been selected for entry into the World Golf Hall of Fame.  Why did this stir it up?  Simple, really.  While it's great that Wadkins is in, who at 59 is most likely done playing, for good, but in the case of Olazabal, is only 43 and still has a whole heck of a lot of golf left to play.  As the article just  mentioned:

"...the World Golf HOF should follow the lead of other sports and wait for a point in their careers where they are no longer competitive on the world's most elite tours. Complicating the issue is the fact that 40 is the new 30 in golf -- and older guys can still beat up on the young whippersnappers every so often...In his first start after turning 50, Tom Lehman was the 54-hole leader at last month's Transitions Championship before finishing T-8. A few weeks later, Fred Couples, 49, owned the same distinction at the Shell Houston Open, eventually taking a share of third place. And no one is a greater example than Kenny Perry, who has won four titles since his 47th birthday and nearly became the oldest major champion in history at the Masters recently."

Make The Change...50 or 55

What's even worse, in 2005 when Vijay Singh was inducted, he'd just come off a run of winning 13 PGA Tour Victories.  He then delayed his induction, yes delayed it, to go play more golf.  The question is, why the rush, and when are they going to change how early people are being inducted.  ESPN suggests, and we agree, upping the age to at least 50, and even better 55, up from the current 40.  40 isn't old anymore, and golfers at 40 are playing some of their best golf ever.  Come on Hall of Fame, get with it.


Japan Golf Tours: See It All, Do it All

japangolfLooking for the vacation of a lifetime but have little to no idea where to start?  Join the millions of people in exactly your shoes!  The bottom line is, when you're looking for a vacation that will be memorable, exciting and exactly what you want, it's not always easy to find the right destination, the right idea, or the right motivation.  All that's going to change.

Change The Way You Vacation

I just found a company that offers Japan Golf Tours, and Asian Golf Tours that will literally change the way you feel about a golf vacation.  You might not be aware of it, but Japan has some of the most amazingly beautiful golf courses in the entire world, surrounded by natural beauty and close to the buzz of the city.  A simple ride on a bullet train can take you across the entire country and before you know it, you are golfing on some of the most exciting and beautiful courses you've ever seen.

Spring Tour Rapidly Approaching...Book Now!

Coming up soon is their famous "Spring Tour" which runs from May 18-May 26.  During those days you will play 5 amazing rounds of golf on different courses and be treated like royalty.  The price you pay includes all of this:

Price includes all transportation and transfers, 5 rounds of golf including caddy and cart*, lunch with each round of golf, Get Acquainted Cocktail Party, Farewell Cocktail Party, 3 group dinners, 8 nights deluxe hotel accommodations, breakfast each day, all sightseeing entrance fees, English speaking guide for sightseeing and English speaking guide accompanying the tour.  *All courses will have caddies. Hirono Golf Club, however, does not have golf carts. You will be required to walk at Hirono Golf Club.

The bottom line is, it's time to change the way you think about golf vacations.  If you're going to do it, you should do it right.  Head over and check out Japan-Golf-Tours.com and start doing your resarch.  It's more than just golf, and it's more than just a vacation.


Quote of the Day & Interview by Kenny Perry

"I went from hitting the greatest shot of my life to the poorest shot of my life within 20 minutes"

_44079797_golf_getty

Gotta feel sorry for the guy, he almost had one arm in what was supposed to be his new green jacket until he missed his chip on the first hole of the playoff. Kenny Perry might have gained more fans by losing The Masters than he would have by winning it. "I've received hundreds of cards and letters from people who genuinely care about me," Perry said

This Week he makes his return at Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Kenny Perry answered some questions at the Zurich Classic press confrence this week, Keep Reading for transcripts from the Interview that day:

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