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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

McGinley Team Europe's 2014 Captain

Paul At His Best
Absolutely glorious news coming from Dubai  where the European golfing committee decided that Paul McGinley a Dublin man will lead the troops into battle in Gleneagles in 2014.

McGinley, who has had vast experience managing European sides in the past has been chosen ahead of previous captain Montgomerie. Who has a residence just a few miles from th course. McGinley will captain the team in Gleneagles with the support of the entire continent, possibly one of the most satisfying roles in professional golf. He will forever hold the accolade of first Irish Ryder cup captain one of many to come in the not so distant future.

McGinley is one of Ireland's most successful golfers beginning his brilliant career in Grange Golf Club in County Dublin Ireland near where I reside. However, it is not just the course or the club that made Growing up in the company of the best junior squad in Ireland Including Leslie Walker, British Boys Champion..Paul's brother (Michael) was at just about the same standards Paul was at at the time. Paul's brother was capped at junior level and of course that helped Paul along always making sure he was just that little bit better thank his younger brother
Paul has received great support from the European players and committee members alike. Well deserved swell.

I would hope that it will be an Irish trio of captaincies with McGinley then Darren Clarke in 2016 and finishing it off with Padraig Harrington in 2018 that would be a nice accolade to have as the Irish golf is in a great level at this moment and I can only see it getting better.

Good Luck Paul!!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Blast From The Past: Alan McGloughlin

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland, Alan McGloughlin.
Windsor park, Belfast, 17th of November 1993.
A win would send Ireland to the USA for their second ever World Cup in 1994, a draw would to depending on the outcome of the Spain v Denmark game.
The Northern Irish had nothing to play for, however, these two nations don't meet very often on the football pitch and they were looking to make the most out of their opportunity. This game came towards the end of the troubles which made for a very hostile atmosphere especially because many of the Republic's players were of British decent. Republic of Ireland fans were not allowed to travel to the game because of security reasons and it was inevitable that the staff and players would be subject to dog's abuse.
Jimmy Quinn scored the opener for Northern Ireland late in the second half and the Windsor Park faithful felt they were hope and dry...
Step forward Alan McLoughlin! There has never been a goal met with a stonier silence then McLoughlin's stunning half volley which sent Ireland to USA '94!
P.S. Spain beat Denmark.

Take a look through : Here

Sunday, 13 January 2013

McIlroy Backs McGinley for Captaincy

World Number 1 Rory McIlroy has backed Ryder Cup captain candidate Paul McGinley with his support ahead of the announcement of the Team Europe 2014 Captain.
McIlroy said, via Twitter,
"RC (Ryder cup) captaincy should be a one time thing... Everybody deserving gets their chance and moves on... Would love to play under McGinley in 2014"

This news comes in light of speculation that Colin Montgomerie might come back to retain the captaincy. The man who is mainly 'against' McGinley for the captaincy

 (even though its not really a competition but us golf viewers always want to make things competitive.)  

Is Darren Clarke. However all of eight months ago McGinley announced that Darren had come and expressed his support for him when it came to being the 2014 captain.

The USA team have already made their selection for Captaincy. In Tom Watson. The oldest USA captain in Ryder Cup history but he does have a serious amount of experience.

Their is also gossip that when Team Europe do make their decision on the captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup in Gleneagles they might make the call on the 2016 captain swell because Theo's two picks available and they might as well get that over with. Just speculation of course. 

I hope the Dublin born, Grange Golf Club man does get the nod for the upcoming Ryder Cup as he has enough experience playing and maneging, he has been the captain of two winning Seve Trophy teams, and never being on a loosing Ryder cup team.

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Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Volvo Golf Champions: Preview

There has been good news surrounding the Volvo Golf Champions, worldwide household names have committed themselves to playing this tournament that begins on the 10-13 January 2013, most of them begin their seasons' here.

Such names like young gun Manassero, Charismatic Jiménez , Mr. Practise Harrington and Back to the big time Retief Goosen.
A star studded cast that will compete on a course measuring 6157 metres.

The course will be soft under foot as Durban has been victim of Much rain over the past few months.
Not A Lake But the GOLF Course Itself
There is also a 30-60 risk of rain and thunderstorms everyday. (European tour .com)

The course is predominantly flat but the last two holes will be testing as they were built on the sand dunes of Durban.  These two are 367 and 250 metres in length as par 4's so not long in the context of the golfing world.

However, if the weather does favour the tournament it adds the glorious sun shine to the course and it looks like this.

Durban Country Club is actually the only course in Africa to be rated in the top 100 golf courses of the world by Golf Magazine USA.

The third hole has been rated the best third in the world so you can understand why so many top European players have decided to start their seasons here.

I predict high scoring maybe -13. And Oleson to make a good showing. Quality player.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

The Start Of The 2013 Season

Finally Official play got underway today at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Kapalua, Hawaii.

The windswept championship be gain play just over an hour ago. They have seen up to 60 mph winds completely unplayable for the tour pro.

However the players playing who would consider them serious major championship contenders could consider this a chance to get some British Open wind practice before the open as it always seems to be too windy for the Americans to make a play for the Claret Jug.

Rickie Fowler made the first birdie of the 2013 season with a birdie on number 2 of the plantation course. Theoretically, Webb Simpson made the first birdie as on day one,  Friday he was -3 through 7 but that was cancelled as the tournament was postponed until today.

This is a sight I have never seen before, Fowler is also sporting a rather blue Sunday outfit compared to the usual bright Orange get up he usually goes for.

It has been an intriguing start to the Pga Tour this season and let's hope it continues in this fashion for another while.

The next tournament is the Sony open in Hawaii, that will be fun.

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Edward Kennedy.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Hyundai Tournament of Champions : Take A Look

Steve Sticker 2012 Champion
This week's PGA Tour tournament is of course the 'tournament of champions'.
A prestigious event to be included in as the field only consists of 30 tour pros.

However, the tournament does lack a key ingredient, star quality.
For example, within the field of 30 only 3 are in the top 10 of the world golf rankings. Those 3 are Bubba Watson, Brandt Snedeker and Jason Dufner. They are ranked from 7-10 so the first 7 are missing.

Most noticeably, Mr. Golf, Rory McIlroy.
Closely followed by Tiger Woods. As a result of the lack of abundance in world class household names slightly diminishes the tournament plus it will also lack the media attention the 'Tournament of Champions' deserves.

The course, the plantation course at Kapalua, is a par 73 with the length of 7411 yards. So not a longest course considering the par.

Number 3, the first test the players will find will be a welcomed par when the trade winds are up. Or down.

Number 9, a 'long' par 5 requires 2 good hits to make it over the valley as anything short will leave a a blind approach shot into a demanding green.

Finally, Number 18 named 'home' is a beast of a number but luckily for the players It is reachable in two for the longer hitters. Sitting at 663 yards it is the longest hole on the PGA tour.  

Unparallelled within the pga tour for its beautiful surroundings it is defiantly a hole that will be important to the final winner as after playing 17 holes in Hawaiian weather the mental capability to not get too distracted will be most important.

Blast From The Past : Jason McAteer

Ireland v Netherlands, 1st of September 2001

Jason McAteer

Lansdowne erupted like never before as Ireland beat Holland 1-0 back in 2001.

It was also Roy Keane's finest hour as an Ireland player after he set the tone for the match with a bone crunching challenge on Mark Overmars.

Gary Kelly was sent off for a silly foul which led to Robbie Keane being replaced by Steve Finnan which would prove to be a major decision.

The ball fell to Steve Finnan's feet in the 67th minute and he whipped in a cross to find Jason McAteer unmarked on the far side of the box and he coolly finished past the Dutch 'keeper.

Pandemonium ensued as Ireland were reminded of the glory days of the late 80's and early 90's.

McAteer has always been a fan favourite for his hilarious personality and sense of humour, and for scoring that goal of course!

Take a look at this amazing moment in Irish footballing through < This Link  >

Blast from the past is as always brought to you by Jack Flynn.
Jack's twitter page here.
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Thursday, 3 January 2013

McLaughlin Makes Move To N. Forrest

Stephen McLaughlin has been signed up by NPower Championship side Nottingham Forest.
McLaughlin has been kept watch by Forest for the past two seasons and the English side have finally decided to hand in the offer to the Derry City team for the speedy left mid-fielder. 

It has been reported that Forest offered (£166,000) or 200,000 euros for McLaughlin. He is been contracted for three and a half years. 

Newly introduced Forrest boss Alex McLeish was the man to confirm the signing and the president of Forrest is also thrilled they were able to secure his signature ahead of the other clubs looking for McLaughlin's services. 

"Stephen is an exciting young talent who has been attracting attention from a number of English clubs. We are  delighted he is joining us and looking forward to help him develop his career and fulfilling his potential"

McLaughlin follows a good group of Airtricity League players to make their way across the pond to follow the footsteps of successful Irish players to make it big in the premier league as a result of starting off in the Airtricity League.

This signing is great news for Loi players as it shows the English side's are looking at the League Of Ireland for young potentially brilliant players.

Forrest are currently sitting in 11th place in the Championship.

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Edward Kennedy