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

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Five Canadians tee it up at the rainy Career Builder Challenge (ie the Hope)

PGA Tour Career Builder Challenge leaderboard http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html

The PGA Tour has moved to the California desert at Palm Springs, albeit in the rain today, for what will always be known as the Bob Hope or just the Hope, this year it's called the Career Builder Challenge.

One of the year's biggest Pro-Ams it is still played on 3 courses, La Quinta, Nicklaus Tournament course and the home course, the Stadium.

Scores are usually very low, so far today a pair of 65's by Americans Patrick Kizzire and Harold Varner III have the clubhouse lead.

There are 5 Canucks in the field, Adam Hadwin, David Hearn, Graham DeLaet, Nick Taylor and Brad Fritsch.

There is rain in the forecast for everyday but Saturday and it's cool by desert standards, only 18*c the high.

Jason Dufner is the defending champion, and Phil Mickelson returns to action after recovering from a sports hernia operation.

Bryan Angus

Brilliant Stenson shoots 64 in Abu Dhabi

European Tour HSBC Abu Dhabi leaderboard http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2017/tournamentid=2017004/leaderboard/index.html#/leaderboard

After a career year that saw Sweden's best male golfer win the Silver medal at the Olympics, the most stunning of Open Championships and the Race to Dubai for the second time, big Henrik Stenson opened up the defence of his European #1 status at this prestigious Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a bogey-free -8 64 good for a 2 shot lead over three-time winner Martin Kaymer, Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat, England's Oliver Fisher and Scot Marc Warren all with 66's. Stenson holds the course record,  a 62 in 2006.

Kaymer loves this course, he has five top threes in ten appearances here and he finished his round with three birdies, while Warren made four late birdies while Aphibarnrat made four in a row himself midway through his round.

Other notables Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson opened with disappointing E,72 while stalwarts Lee Westwood shot -4 68 and Ian Poulter -3 69.

Headliner Rory McIlroy had to withdraw with a stress fracture in a rib that will take a few weeks to heal.

Bryan Angus

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Rory loses in a playoff..Justin Thomas cruising in Hawaii

European Tour BMW SA Open final leaderboard http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2017/tournamentid=2017002/leaderboard/index.html?showLeaderboard=Y#/leaderboard

Graeme Storm (68) beat Rory McIlroy (71)) in a play-off to win the BMW SA Open hosted by City of Ekurhuleni just 84 days after he thought he had lost his European Tour card.

The Englishman missed a par putt on the 18th green at the Portugal Masters in October to lose his playing privileges by just 100 euros but was handed a reprieve when Patrick Reed opted not to play the Final Series.

He made the very most of his second chance at Glendower Golf Club, overcoming World Number Two McIlroy on the third extra hole after an enthralling closing round.
Storm hit his approach to the heart of the 18th and made his par three times in the play-off, with McIlroy missing the green at the third attempt and leaving himself an eight-foot putt for par that missed on the low side.

McIlroy was playing the event for the first time since 2009 after being drawn to Gauteng by tournament host and great friend Ernie Els, and the huge crowds that flocked to see him and the rest of the field on Sunday were treated to a wonderful spectacle. Unfortunately he has injures his back and is off to have it scanned before he can confirm his spot in Abu Dhabi next week.
AP....Justin Thomas has turned the first full-field event of the year into a blowout.With three birdies over the last five holes Saturday in the Sony Open – the last for another entry into the PGA Tour record book – Thomas played bogey-free and shot a 5-under 65 to stretch his lead to seven shots going into the final round at vulnerable Waialae Country Club.

He won last week and is lapping the field this week at  22-under 188, tying the 54-hole record that Steve Stricker set in 2010 at the John Deere Classic with caddie Jimmy Johnson on his bag. Johnson now caddies for Thomas, though this performance surely stands out because no one is close to him.

Zach Johnson kept pace with a 65 and is leading the B-flight at 15-under 201.

MacKenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., shot a 68 and is tied for 28th at 9 under. David Hearn and Nick Taylor both missed the cut.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Jim Furyk is a solid choice as 2018 US Ryder Cup captain..

If you wanted a well respected, squeaky clean, experienced player to be the next captain of the US Ryder Cup team, my guess is you couldn't do better than veteran Jim Furyk to lead the troops next year at the National just outside Paris, France.

He was appointed yesterday as the unanimous choice by the Ryder Cup committee.

He has played on nine consecutive teams starting in 1997, and he was an assistant captain to Davis Love III last year at Hazeltine and Love will be one of his assistants in France to maintain the new continuity of the American squad under the Ryder Cup committee of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Love and 3 top PGA of America officials.

They have not won on the road in 25 years. Furyk is now 46 and still playing well on the PGA Tour. He is currently #37 in the world.

Much of the early debate is whether he should be a playing captain should he qualify, something that hasn't happened since Arnold Palmer in 1963 at East Lake.

Personally I don't think so. There are enough talented young guns who should continue to be blooded in this most pressure packed of all golf events, and the captain's job has evolved completely since Arnie's day when the US could send out any 12 they wanted to beat the old GB and Ireland teams.

Plus the whole world is watching now, with the Europeans holding the upper hand until last year.

 Bryan Angus

Rory begins his 2017 year at the BMW SA Open

European Tour BMW South African Open leaderboard http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2017/tournamentid=2017002/leaderboard/index.html?showLeaderboard=Y#/leaderboard

The wonderboy as he is referred to privately and publicly on and around the European Tour, Rory McIlroy is making an early and rare appearance at the Glen Gower GC near the city of Ekurhaleni this week at the BMW SA Open, where Ernie Els is the honorary host.

Even Sir Nick Faldo, the former world #1 who has recently lost 20 pounds after being diagnosed with sleep apnoea, has arrived and shot an opening -2 70, just 4 shots off the lead. He is 59 now and hasn't played regularly on tour since 2004.

McIlroy who hasn't played here since he just missed out in a playoff in 2009  was pleased with his first round -5 67 which left him just one shot behind South Africans Trevor Fisher Jnr and Keith Horne who both had -6 66.

McIlroy has been in the top 5 of his first event every year for the last 8.

With Nike getting out of the club and ball business, he has a mixed bag of clubs he's been selecting during a week of practice in Dubai, including a Calloway driver and 3 wood.

Last week he and his cute little blonde American fiancĂ© Erica Stall went off into the bush for a 4 day luxury safari, but he claims the hard work in previous week's have shaken off the rust.

Still his arrival has given this prestigious national championship of South Africa a big boost and my next thought for the 27 year old is what will come first, his next win or announcement of his marriage to the delightful Miss Stall...

Bryan Angus

Hawaiian Islands provide a dream start for 2017

Let's be honest, especially for those of us who live in northern climes, a holiday in Hawaii is at or near the top of many of our bucket lists..

It was always on mine and luckily in a previous life I was lucky enough to make the 12 hour flight from Toronto to Honolulu for a holiday every year and got to know the islands very well through my fiancĂ© at the time, who was a long time flight attendant first with Wardair then with Canadian Pacific.

The temperature is never below 55*F and there is always a breeze, just beautiful and once you get away from the tourist beaches and their resorts, the islands have a spectacular and varied topography set in the middle of the Pacific ocean that is simply stunning.

That background is the annual start of the year for pro's on the PGA Tour and then the Champions Tour, and what a soft start to a long grinding season it is.

Last week, another rising young super star Justin Thomas got it all under way holding off the charge of Hideki Matsuyama down the stretch in the SBS Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, and this week the first full field of the year are on the island of Oahu for the Sony Open on the tight little Waialea course and Thomas is already -8 through 10 holes to lead early in round 1. MacKenzie Hughes, Nick Taylor and David Hearn are the Canadian contingent. Jordan Spieth is the top ranked player.

PGA Tour Sony Open leaderboard http://www.pgatour.com/competition/2017/sony-open-in-hawaii/leaderboard.html

Many of the pros bring their families out a couple of weeks early for a holiday, we saw pictures of Ben Crane and his kids last week watching a huge sea turtle walk across the beach, Crane noting he'd finally found "something that moves slower than he does !!"

Next week they all move to the California desert for the Hope, the seniors take over their empty accommodations as they kick of their year January 19-21 with the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.

It's a long, but very lucrative season for the 200 or so who have status on the PGA Tour and the older 125 or so on the Champions. They stay and travel first class all the way, and all are millionaires and more who have led a very charmed life.

Still, as you struggle home from work or whatever and tune in this evening to the blue skies and palm trees shrouding the blue Pacific, you must admit it is a dream start to the season.

Bryan Angus

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Ringing in the 2017 season here on 'FairwaysPlus'

Hi everybody, it's a very rainy Tuesday January 3 2017 in the GTA and I hope it finds you all in good spirits, looking forward to a happy, healthy year.

After a very busy holiday season I am back here on a daily basis with the 2017 golfing year about to get underway yet again.

Tiger playing his new Bridgestone ball will be playing a full schedule, at least full by his standards which usually means 15-18 events and I along with everyone else will be watching his progress unfold in one of the year's top stories.

Jason Day begins his season this weekend at the Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii as the world's #1 with a brand new clothing sponsor in Nike.
Official world rankings http://www.owgr.com/

Brooke Henderson won twice on the LPGA Tour in 2016 and was also named Player of the Year and the Canadian Golf story of the year by the CJAC. She starts the year ranked #8, with Lydia Ko at #1
Official Rolex world rankings http://www.rolexrankings.com/en/rankings/

They also named MacKenzie Hughes the male Player of the Year.

Here are the schedules for the PGA and European Tours, with the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in Southport with Henrik Stenson defending. Dustin Johnson defends his US Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin while Jimmy Walker defends his PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte NC. The Masters is the first week of April with Danny Willett as the champion.

Our Canadian Open is back at Glen Abbey, you'll remember Jhonattan Vegas won last year, and it's a Presidents Cup year, this time under the Statue of Liberty at Liberty National in Jersey City.

PGA Tour http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/schedule.html
European Tour http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/tournament/index.html

Join me as always, your comments, and opinions are always welcome, and listen for my analysis along the TSN Radio network.

All the very best,