with Bryan Angus

Thanks for joining me today. I look forward to your comments . They are always welcome here on FairwaysPlus. Bryan Angus bryanangus4@gmail.com

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Crowded leaderboard into the weekend at Dunhill Links in Scotland

European Tour Alfred Dunhill Links Championship leaderboard

As play got under way this morning Jimmy Mullen and Anthony Wall shared a one-stroke lead after Mullen, who I mentioned yesterday is making his pro debut, added a -3 69 at St. Andrews to his opening 64 at Kingsbarns to finish on -11, 133 alongside fellow England's Wall.

Remember they play over three courses, alternating between St. Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie with the final round at the Old Course on Sunday.

Mullen, just 21 turned professional after winning all 4 points in September’s Walker Cup victory over the United States. Meanwhile Wall shot a -4, 68 at St. Andrews with seven birdies and three bogeys.

It's a crowded leaderboard as just a shot behind Mullen and Wall is Ireland’s Paul Dunne (70), veteran Welshman Jamie Donaldson (65), Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen (66) and American Chris Stroud (66).

Scoring conditions were just ideal and the lowest rounds of the day came at Kingsbarns, where Bradley Dredge -8 and Kiradech Aphibarnrat -6 both shot -9,63

Defending champion Oliver Wilson could only card a second consecutive 74 to finish +4 and will likely miss the cut projected at -4.

Of note Ernie Els is -4 on today's round at the turn, playing the Old Course and has move up to -9 T8

There is a Canadian in the field. Richard T. Lee of Toronto sits T102 after a second-round -4 68.

Bryan Angus
(notes from europeantour.com)

Spieth wins Player of the Year, Furyk withdraws from Presidents Cup

No surprise here as Jordan Spieth was voted PGA Tour player of the year, giving him a sweep of the awards board. Winning the Tour championship removed any doubt that Jason Day's fabulous summer had provided.

Just to remind you, Spieth had five wins this year, including the Masters and U.S. Open to become the youngest player since Tiger Woods to win the Jack Nicklaus Award. Spieth also won the Arnold Palmer Award by topping the money list with a record $12 million, and the Vardon Trophy for having the lowest adjusted scoring average. Woods is the only other player to sweep the awards, win a major and the FedEx Cup.

Spieth will lead the Presidents Cup against Day and his International mates in South Korea next week. The Americans are 8-1-1 in the ten events so far and are heavy favourites again. Jim Furyk has had to withdraw with a wrist injury. JB Holmes will replace him

Daniel Berger was voted rookie of the year.

Bryan Angus

Friday, October 2, 2015

Walker Cup team mates leading Dunhill Links in glorious sunshine

European Tour Alfred Dunhill Links Championship leaderboard http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2015/tournamentid=2015076/leaderboard/index.html#KFiUPOmsIiBQ7BbX.97

You will never see Carnoustie, the Old Course or Kingsbarns in more pristine conditions than we are watching over these first two days of this Dunhilll Links Championship. Emerald green with nothing but blue skies and brilliant sunshine are showing off these three jewels in the golfing world.

Spectators are in for free for the first 3 days, they haven't erected the huge stands that are necessary to house the Open Championship so the courses look more like they are day in and day out. I am so impressed with the new Kingsbarns which looks like a links but isn't really in that it hasn't been built on land linking the sea to the mainland, but it looks like it's been there for a long time and I am glad they built a stone clad traditional looking Scottish clubhouse instead of some monster 5 star hotel. It like the rest of the course, fits..

Two young Walker Cup team mates England's Jimmy Mullen (-11) and Irishman Paul Dunne (-10)  both playing St Andrews today and both playing their first pro tournament, lead the way after opening 64's in round one and continue to do so as play is under way in round two.

Martin Kaymer and Jamie Donaldson, much more well known, are lurking just behind at -9 currently, playing Kingsbarns. As always Carnoustie is playing the toughest of the three courses. There are 5 players at -8, so a long way and many twists and turns to come

Consider Paul Dunne's life recently. He led the Open championship going into the final round, then won the Walker Cup in convincing fashion, turned pro and here he is leading his first tournament ! Mullen won all 4 of his matches in the Walker Cup, only the fourth man to do so. Mullen ranks 1695th in the World Rankings while Dunne is World Number 942.

They both will try and get their cards via Q school, however a win here by either would change all that.

The weather will get partly cloudy tomorrow with rain in the forecast for Sunday, but more importantly no significant wind.

Bryan Angus

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A wonderful week of golf at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

European Tour Alfred Dunhill Links Championship leaderboard http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2015/tournamentid=2015076/leaderboard/index.html#8YmEk1QzIfU20TbE.97

For those of you who have never travelled over to Scotland to visit and in particular play golf it is hard for me to put into words exactly how wonderful an experience it is. In fact as a golfer your journey is not complete until you do. The links courses, the people, the history, the food and drink, the smell of the salt sea air and the camaraderie are unsurpassed.

This week is a marvellous event, now called the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship where most of the top European Tour stars are paired with a combination of celebrities, family members or, and I could do without this, giants of industry, and they all play St. Andrews, Carnoustie and the relatively new Kingsbarns over 4 days, with a format similar to the annual AT&T pro-am at Pebble Beach,

The weather as always is embraced, or endured depending on your point of view, but it is usually a factor on the famous links courses on Scotland's south east coast. Today the sun is shining, it's calm, so the lads and a few lasses are in short sleeves and the scoring will be low.

I was asked earlier this week why this prestigious event was sponsored by a company that makes it's billions making cigarettes, considering that line of sponsorship is banned in Canada and all I can say is that I never thought for a minute when Peter Jackson or du Maurier were sponsoring the Canadian Open that it made one child or adult anywhere run out and start smoking. Many other factors are responsible for that, peer pressure for kids, or mom's and dad's who smoke are much more responsible than Alfred Dunhill spending millions to sponsor a golf tournament.

A Swede called Kristoffer Broberg is taking advantage of the benign weather on the Old Course and is at -8 through 15 having started on #10 and played the back nine  in 32 strokes. The course record is -10 62 held by 5 players and considering the sport was first played on the Links at St Andrews in the early 1400s it's a tribute to this venerable layout that only 5 guys have shot that score.

FYI, Scotland's Tom Kidd won the first Open Championship in 1873 with a score of 91,88 179 !

Bryan Angus

Monday, September 28, 2015

Why Rory made Tim Finchem cringe this weekend..

Maybe it is my Scottish heritage, but I and many people from the UK like Rory McIlroy and his parents were brought up to work hard, save our pennies so we'd have enough to enjoy our retirement when we turned 65 with enough money to be comfortable....

I have argued on air so often I've lost count, on hearing today's pro athletes who are already set for life financially at 29 years of age and are being paid millions of dollars to play in a city that adores them, who say they will test free agency to see who wants to pay them even more !!

When you already have $20 million stashed away, why do you need even more ? It is at the heart of what turns hard working fans off more than anything else.

Colleagues of mine from a different ilk, have a different view. They just can't get enough. Dollar signs replace their eyeballs, why stop at $20 million when you can have $40 million.

In an interview this weekend 25 year old Rory McIlroy when asked if he was motivated to get the $10 million dollar bonus, said "Not really, the money doesn't mean that much to me anymore,, that's not what excites me. Playing good golf, winning tournaments, adding the FedEx Cup to my CV is what excites me, not getting a cheque.."

Commissioner Tim Finchem I'm sure must have cringed when he heard those words. Did you ever hear Tiger or Jack or Arnie say that. For them winning a $10 million dollar cheque was nothing more than very important.

How do you think the folks at FedEx felt when they heard Rory. The whole premise of these playoffs was to offer all the final 30 millionaires who make it to the Tour Championship so much money as a bonus they'd get excited, unbelievably motivated..

Here was Rory, who is at the top of the food chain admittedly, casually dismissing the money, reducing it to " it would be nice, if I wanted to buy something nice I could, but that's not what motivates me"

There are those in Player Association offices for all sports who insist that their stars go out and demand the most they can get to drive the money bar higher and higher for their team mates who are not as talented. They remember the old timers who were nothing more than chattels to the billionaire owners. Remember the Black Sox scandal they say.

Those days are long gone and are never coming back. More and more money for players has a knock on effect that ultimately means more and more money for tickets for the fans, who actually need all the money they can get just to survive.

Good for you Rory, you were honest and truthful in what you said as much as many including some of your peers wished you hadn't.

In general pro athletes including golfers are incredibly talented, the very best and do get fabulously rewarded, but we reached the point in my opinion a long time ago when enough is enough.

It was refreshing to hear just that from one of the faces of, and future of, the game of golf this weekend.

Well done Rory..

Who has the trophy's this morning..

As the PGA Tour season wraps up 2015, before the 2016 wrap around season begins again in a few weeks there was as always a lot of golf going on around the world, and there is a lot more to come with the President's Cup and the Race to Dubai..

Here is who won the trophy's this weekend and the final scoreboards.

PGA Tour Championship final scoreboard http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/tour-championship-by-coca-cola/leaderboard.html
Jordan Spieth caps off an MVP year winning the FedEx Cup and the Tour Championship.

European Tour Championship final scoreboard http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2015/tournamentid=2015074/leaderboard/index.html#ot1p5FzdFSmGFY2f.97
Thongchai Jaidee wins European Tour Championship by a shot in Germany.

Champions Tour Nature Valley First Tee Open final scoreboard http://www.pgatour.com/champions/tournaments/nature-valley-first-tee-open-at-pebble-beach/leaderboard.html
Estaban Toledo edged Tom Watson at Pebble Beach

Web.com Tour Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship final scoreboard http://www.pgatour.com/webcom/tournaments/nationwide-children-s-hospital-championship/leaderboard.html
Andrew Loupe earned his PGA Tour card with a 2 shot victory in Columbus, Ohio.

Symetra Tour El Dorado Championship final scoreboard http://www.symetrascoring.com/public/Leaderboard.aspx
Jackie Stoelting won the El Dorado Shootout on Sunday for her first Symetra Tour title.

US Women's Senior Amateur Championship final scoreboard http://www.usga.org/championships/2015/u-s--senior-women-s-amateur/scoring.html
Canada’s Mary Ann Hayward shot a two-day total of 1-over 145 and earned medalist honors at the 2015 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship

Bryan Angus

Two "J's" at the top of my list..

I was working late all weekend as usual, and when I do I have lot's of time on my own to absorb what's going on  in golf, sports, news, life in general, and for a guy who has spent the last 25 years covering sports as a broadcaster, producer, and writer this time of year has so many stories going on at once it's hard to keep up with them all.

After another sun drenched weekend two young men are at the top of my list this rainy Monday morning.

Jordan Spieth capped off his dream season with a four shot win at the Tour Championship. At 22 he is the world #1, the tour MVP, has the tour's lowest scoring average, has won $22 million this year alone winning 5 times including the Masters and the US Open, and is about to lead his country into the Presidents Cup in South Korea.

He can stop playing all together today and will have had a great career for most of the professional golfers who are his peers. Most impressive for me in this world of me, me, me pro athletes, is his demeanour.

What a great example and credit he is for the game. There he was with his family front and center, first and foremost, quietly confident, polite, smart, a loving son and brother.. refreshing isn't he!

Josh Donaldson hit yet another walk off  home run in front of a suddenly sold out Rogers Center as the Blue Jays swept the Rays and head off on the road to Baltimore and Tampa again as they strive to win the league championship.

I remember an Oakland team mate being interviewed at Spring Training lamenting the fact that the A's brass had just traded away their best player. He is having a career year, playing incredible 3rd base, has hit 41 homeruns as I speak, driven in over 100 runs and counting, coming through in the clutch time after time, making the selection of league MVP an easy one for the voters.

I will not anoint him the best Jay ever as many have already, let him play out his career and he may well be that. Robbie Alomar was pretty damn good and has 2 World Series during his magical career here in Toronto.

My colleague Scott Metcalfe, so long the news director at 680 News once said that sports is a great and important diversion in our lives and as we consider all the serious problems we face in our lives, big and small he is right.

I am glad to have  these two "J's" providing us all with great diversions this morning and for years to come..

Bryan Angus