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Sports Then and Now



Can Tiger Woods Regain His Magic? 3

Posted on August 04, 2011 by Thomas Rooney

It has been a frustrating year so far for former top golfer Tiger Woods.

Some bookmakers are offering odds of 16-1 that Tiger Woods will mark his return to golf with a sensational win at the Bridgestone Invitational this week.

The event, which begins this week, will see Woods make his first appearance in a competition since he limped out of The Players’ Championship after just nine holes, 12 weeks ago.

At such odds, Woods is considered by most placing free bets to be the fourth favorite to win the tournament, testament to his undoubted ability as a player.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is a Northern Irishman who goes into the event as favourite. US Open winner Rory McIlroy will be looking to put a disappointing British Open behind him, and remind the world that he is one of the finest players in golf at the moment.

England’s Lee Westwood is another who will be hoping to win this week – he is second favourite, just ahead of Steve Stricker.

But it is Woods who will no doubt be the main talking point.

There are many questions that cannot be answered until he gets out onto the course and shows everyone what level he is at. Read the rest of this entry →

Thomas Levet Joins Tiger Woods on the Sidelines for the British Open 10

Posted on July 10, 2011 by Pete South

Thomas Levet will miss the British Open thanks to an injury suffered during this celebration jump after winning the French Championship.

Paris-born golfer Thomas Levet might be feeling a little bit silly today, after his over-enthusiastic celebration at the French Open Championship left him with an injury to his lower leg. Levet, who finished seven under par to win the contest, one shot ahead of closest rival, Thorbjorn Olesen, fractured his shin jumping into a lake with his manager, Patrice Bartez.

Speaking about the painful injury, the Frenchman said, “I will be off for six weeks”. The length of Levet’s hiatus means that he will not be available for the start of the British Open, which begins next week. The 42-year-old is the second high-profile golfer to be forced out of the Open, following the news that Tiger Woods’ injuries have consigned the American to a sun lounger for the immediate future. Those following the British Open betting will have noted their withdrawals with interest.

The Open Championship will be contested at the Royal St. George’s Golf Course for the first time in almost a decade. Levet finished tied for 2nd after a playoff at the British Open in 2002. Read the rest of this entry →

Tiger Woods Still Planning to Play at 2011 U.S. Open 4

Posted on May 18, 2011 by Pete South

Tiger Woods hopes his trip to the U.S. Open will last longer than the nine holes he played at the Players Championship.

Tiger Woods is still confident of competing in next month’s US Open despite suffering another injury setback. The former world-number one pulled up after nine holes at last week’s Players Championship at Sawgrass, with a series of nagging injuries in his left leg.

Tiger’s left knee (again), Achilles and calf all tightened halfway through his opening round, so much so that he was forced to withdraw from the tournament. It was clear to anybody watching that Tiger wasn’t fully fit, his opening nine holes saw him shoot a disastrous 42 before making the decision to retire hurt. Anyone following the 2011 US Open golf betting will have been very worried by the nature of the injury.

Speaking after his enforced withdrawal from the Players Championship, Woods confirmed the injury was worryingly a flare up of an old knee problem, which had then caused tightness in his achilles and calf.

“The knee acted up, then the achilles followed and then the calf started cramping up. Everything started getting tight, so it’s just a whole chain reaction,” he said.

With the US Open less than a month away Woods has maintained he is still focusing on participating at the season’s second major, to be held at the Congressional from the 16th to the 19th of June. Woods released a statement on his personal website following his withdrawal from Sawgrass.

“Aggravating my injury is very disappointing. I’ll do whatever is necessary to play in the US Open and I’m hopeful I can be there to compete,” it read.

The course at the Congressional has happy memories for Tiger after he won the AT&T National in 2009 at the Maryland held event. The US open was Tiger’s last major win in 2008 and that year had a similar feel to it for the former dominant force in world golf. Injury then had affected Tiger’s warm-up to the Torrey Pines held US Open in 2008, a lack of practice rounds didn’t hinder him though and Woods prevailed at the first extra hole after the 18th hole play-off. Those looking at the US Open betting won’t be expecting him to pull off a miracle this time around.

While plenty will never lose any doubt that Tiger will one day return to the top of his game, some however don’t believe we’ll ever see the day when Woods is the same player as he was before his problems. Winning this year’s US Open would certainly silence those critics, but it would take a hell of an effort to do it without any preparation time.

Faldo’s Three Open Championship Wins Sets The Standard For Even Tiger to Surpass 3

Posted on May 04, 2011 by Rod Crowley

There are a lot of golf fans who remember with relish the manner with which Sir Nick Faldo defeated Greg Norman in that incredible final round in the 1996 US Masters at Augusta. Faldo on that occasion came back from being six shots behind at the first tee, to win the ‘Green Jacket’ by five shots by the time the two men had finished. Faldo fired a 67, while the hapless Norman shot  a six over 78, his worst ever round at Augusta.

It was of course a disaster for Norman, who was destined never to win a Masters title, but the victory for Faldo gave him his sixth ‘Major’ victory and his third at Augusta. The fact that Faldo won however should not have been as big as a surprise as it was, because just a few years earlier in 1990 at St Andrews, Faldo achieved something very similar.

This time Faldo and Norman, who were the top two in the world rankings at the time, went head to head in the third round of the British Open. They were the final pairing on 12 under par and had established a four stroke lead over the rest of the field. However, as early as the first hole, it was clear that Faldo was the less intimidated as he fired a sublime birdie, while Norman, managed to find the brook to bogey, which gave Faldo an immediate two stroke advantage. Read the rest of this entry →

Can Tiger Woods Recapture His Form at the Masters? 6

Posted on March 20, 2011 by Pete South

Despite not winning the Masters since 2005 and not winning a tournament since 2009, Tiger Woods is still the betting favorite at the 2011 Masters.

Tiger Woods is the current favorite in the Masters Golf odds. This can be viewed as either a fair reflection of the pedigree of a 14-time major winner in a wide-open tournament or unrealistic expectations of a player desperately short of form and confidence.

Woods won his first major at Augusta in 1997 and has donned the famous green jacket three times since, which should make him the man to beat whenever he arrives at the idyllic Georgia setting. Current form suggests he is more of an outsider in many people’s eyes.

The Farmers Insurance Open brought Woods his worst ever season-opening finish of his career, a 44th place that hinted at the problems of last year being close to the surface. Woods improved to finish 20th at the Dubai Desert Classic, but his fine for spitting in the final round grabbed the headlines, an incident which said more about his state of mind than the player’s own statements of improvement. Read the rest of this entry →

Things Keep Getting Worse for Tiger Woods 0

Posted on February 15, 2011 by Pete South

His spitting incident in Dubai is just the latest negative setback for Tiger Woods.

On the back of a turbulent, controversial couple of years in Tiger Woods’ private life, Woods has this weekend been at the center of controversy for his actions on the course.

His etiquette and behavior was called into question as he was seen spitting on the Golf course and greens, as he took part in the Dubai Desert Classic in Saturday. He has consequently being fined $10,000 by the European Tour for breach of the tour code of conduct. Fans following the latest golf scores won’t have been impressed.

For all the good that Tiger has produced on the golf course, the dark side of Tiger was not welcomed by the golfing world with sky sports commentators referring to his actions as ‘arrogant and petulant’.  It is also claimed that Tiger was heard swearing on parts of the course. Read the rest of this entry →

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