What Size Is A Winner? Masters Champions Come in Many Sizes.

Professional golfers come in an impressive array of shapes and sizes. 

One need only look at the men who’ve won The Masters to see the disparity:20th Century extremes were 6’6″ George Archer, the
1965 champion, and 5’4″ Ian Woosnam, who donned his green jacket in 1991.

The size disparity hasn’t been quite so massive in recent years, but there’s been a fair amount of variation. 

Modern Masters champions range from the diminutive to the statuesque… with a bit of portly thrown in for good measure. 

And speaking of measureHave you ever wondered how a perfectly sized green jacket always manages to be available to the winner… almost the minute he sinks his winning putt?  Well wonder no more, Brent Kelley at About Sports has the answer to that and other pressing green jacket questions. 

So how do you measure up when it comes to golfers and their green jackets? Can you accurately size up the 21st Century Masters champions? Why not test your skill with my little match game above. 

The answers can be found on this brilliant interactive Masters infographic created by our partners at Ticket City. Enjoy the challenge.

Top 5 US Masters long shots

As the 2015 season gets under way, the golfing world’s focus is already looking forward to the first major of the year at the Masters in April.

While the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and defending champion Bubba Watson will be the focus of much of the betting public’s interest in the build-up to the event at Augusta, there will be a lot of players being overlooked that have more than enough talent to win the tournament.

These long shots might not always come off, but the Masters has shown in recent years that players can come from nowhere to win the famous green jacket.

Mike Weir’s victory in 2003 surprised a lot of fans, but not as much as Trevor Immelman’s 2008 success.

It has been a few years since a shock winner took the Masters title, but there are some real contenders in 2015 that could start the tournament with some very long odds.

Martin Kaymer

With odds of around 50/1 with some bookmakers, including betfair online, Martin Kaymer could well be one of the most overpriced players at Augusta in April. While the Masters is by far the German’s least successful of the four majors, it wouldn’t be a massive shock if Kaymer was in contention come the final round this year. The two-time major winner has a best finish of 31st at Augusta but victory in last year’s US Open showed he has the ability to succeed in a tournament he has previously struggled in.

Luke Donald

Donald’s current betting odds are a reflection of a dismal 2014 but the Englishman will know he has the tools to prove a lot of people wrong this year. The former world number one might not have been at his best over the past couple of seasons but the 37-year-old still has plenty of time to turn things around. After missing the cut at the Masters and US Open in 2014, Donald failed to impress in the remaining two majors of the season. Recent form aside, Donald is still a name that many feel will one day win a major, and the Masters looks as likely as any. Continue reading “Top 5 US Masters long shots”

Breakfast With Joe LaCava: Tiger Woods’ Caddy Supports Richter Park

Legendary Looper Joe LaCava has had an extraordinary life. Fortunately… as I found out over breakfast this morning… he’s also an exceptional storyteller. The Newtown, CT native was guest speaker at the annual Friends of Richter Park fundraiser today, and kept the audience entertained for almost an hour with compelling tales of life on tour. 

A PGA caddy for nearly three decades,  LaCava first spent several years caddying for his cousin, the mercurial champion Ken Green, then came more than two decades on the bag of easygoing golf icon, Fred Couples. After a brief stint with Dustin Johnson,  LaCava signed on with Tiger Woods in October 2011. To say that he’s caddied for contrasting personalities would be an understatement.  

Obviously, this is a man with high emotional intelligence… and the ability to read people as well as he reads putts… and that’s what’s allowed him to become a valued asset to such a diverse group of players.

This morning LaCava wove a narrative, with a dozen or more interconnected stories. They touched upon the joys and challenges of a job that’s quite enigmatic to most of the population. It was plain to see that Joe LaCava enjoyed sharing his stories… he’s naturally garrulous and open… and the audience clearly enjoyed the glimpse he gave them into his unique lifestyle. 

Meanwhile the Third Annual Friends of Richter Park fundraiser breakfast was very well attended, and we’re looking forward to getting back onto our wonderful town course for the season.  In addition to the golf course Richter Park is home to a performing arts center, tennis courts, a network of hiking trails and an excellent restaurant… it’s a multi-faceted recreational/arts destination.

Rory McIlroy ready to step up at The Masters

Rory McIlroy has insisted he is ready to take the role of Tiger Woods at this year’s Masters and be the man to watch at Augusta in the first major of the year. Woods was forced to withdraw from the Masters following surgery on his back, opening the door for McIlroy to step into the limelight left by the absent world number one.

After his victories at the 2011 US Open and then the 2012 US PGA Championship, McIlroy won his first two majors at a younger age than Woods, but the Northern Irishman has so far failed to add to his collection. While Augusta holds some dark memories for McIlroy following his famous final round meltdown in 2011, the 24-year old will still head into the first major of the year as the Betfair favourite for the title.

With the first major of the year fast approaching, McIlroy has admitted he is looking to use the tournament as a chance to establish himself as a dominant force in the sport, knowing victory at Augusta would be the best way for him to prove to Betfair fans that he is the man to beat this year.

“You are getting so many different winners and there are not as many guys dominating the sport like in the past with Tiger, Vijay and Phil,” said McIlroy.

“I’d like to establish myself as that sort of player and someone’s got to step up, so I’m trying to be that person and it would be a great place to start next week.”

Following on from a dismal 2013 season, McIlroy has found himself down in seventh in the world rankings and some way away from where he wants to be. But a morale-boosting victory in December ensured McIlroy didn’t end the year without a title to his name and now the 24-year old will be hoping to re-establish himself as top dog in Tiger’s absence.

Anticipation Builds for Adam Scott’s Australian-Inspired Masters Dinner

Australian food is huge on Pinterest
Here in New England, the ground is still frozen and covered with snow. In fact, some of us haven't seen a blade of grass since early January.  However, the Masters… that hopeful harbinger of spring… is just a few weeks away.

The final field is taking shape and Tiger Woods is the early pick to win.  Though the recent Augusta ice storm… and the unfortunate demise of the iconic Eisenhower Tree… has forever altered the landscape of the 17th hole, the storied course was spared further damage and will undoubtedly shine as it does each year.  
In Adam Scott, the 2014 Masters has an exceptionally popular defending champion. The talented Aussie is undeniably affable and extremely attractive, however some former Masters winners… who'll be dining with him at the Masters Champion's Dinner the Tuesday before the tournament… may be a tad anxious about possible menu items.

Though the final spread has yet to be revealed, Scott has let slip a couple of hints, and kangaroo, bugs and that bitter, dung-colored yeast paste known as Vegemite are a few of the more… exotic… Australian-inspired options he's alluded to.  It all brings to mind that awkward moment a couple of years ago when Champion's Dinner guests picked up the South African-inspired menu of 2011 winner, Charl Schwartzel and spotted three rather disconcerting words: monkey gland sauce.  It turns out that sauce was simply a fruit chutney infused with ginger and blended with worcestershire sauce, however the prospect of a meal that included primate excretions may have left some guests with… a bad taste in their mouths.


Golf betting is growing in popularity

Golf has been synonymous with betting for most of its history.  There are not shortage of variations for golfers wanting to bet on the outcome of their game from the venerable Nassau to countless of more esoteric wagering formats.  While betting among golfers is old news there’s another form of golf betting that has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years—betting on professional golf tournaments at Las Vegas sports books.

At first consideration golf would appear to be a poor fit for sports betting enthusiasts.  The pace of the game is ‘leisurely’ at best with many considering it downright boring.  A tournament takes several days to determine the outcome.  It’s the antithesis of fast moving and popular betting sports like basketball or football.  Despite all of this, golf betting is one of the fastest growing betting sports in Nevada sports books.   It’s popularity now rivals—if not exceeds—long established betting sports like baseball and hockey.

So what makes golf such an attractive sport for sports betting?  Statistics—and plenty of them.  There’s a wide assortment of metrics that allow handicappers to evaluate golfers, courses and most importantly how individual golfers perform at specific courses or types of courses.  In addition to the availability of analytical data golf is a very ‘formful’ sport yet one in which players can go on ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ streaks.  There are plenty of tournaments featuring hundreds of golfers every week which creates a myriad of betting opportunities.

There are two primary types of golf wagering.  The first is a ‘to win’ wager on the individual tournament.  This is definitely the most simple form of golf betting in which the bookmaker quotes odds to win on all golfers entered in a tournament.  The bettor selects which golfer(s) he wants to back and if ‘his’ player wins he cashes a bet.

The other common golf bet is the head to head matchup.  In a matchup bet, a sportsbook will pair up two golfers and quote moneyline odds on each. The golfer that finishes with the best score wins the matchup.  Matchups are posted on the entire tournament as well as each individual round. Many people like to bet on golf due to the simplicity in lines presented to users. For a full list of golf sportsbook reviews, you can take a look at the list on Sports Betting Pal.

There are other proposition wagers offered to golf bettors at some sports books.  Players can bet on the nationality of a winning player, whether or not he’ll make the cut, whether he’ll finish above or below par and many other elements of the sport.

At North American sportsbooks it’s almost inevitable that Tiger Woods will be heavily bet for any tournament in which he’s entered.  ‘Sharp’ golf bettors look for other players that offer better returns on investment or who might not be as familiar to the casual fan or recreational bettor.

Ryo Ishikawa Has A Birthday… and Earns His 2014 PGA Tour Card

Several years ago he was known as the Bashful Prince, a talented teenage golfer who stormed to the summit of fame in his native Japan and delighted fans everywhere with his sweet, shy smile.

Ryo Ishikawa played his first PGA Tour events in 2009.  Trailed by a constant crowd of Japanese journalists, his abilities impressed many as he lit up the fairways with a whimsical candy-colored wardrobe.

Expectations for the precocious phenom were stratospheric. By the Spring of 2010 more than a few golf scribes were looking for one of golf's alliterative young guns… Rory, Rickie or Ryo… to quickly become that mythical entity known as "the next Tiger".  In retrospect those predictions seem somewhat silly; here we are in waning months of 2013 and Tiger's just captured both the PGA of America's Player of the Year Award and the Vardon Trophy… for the 11th and 9th time, respectively. Even the most committed Tiger detractors seem to accept that we probably won't see "the next Tiger" any time in the forseeable future. Ever.