Golf Claps & Silent Treatment: PGA Championship

August 15, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Entertaining News, Golf News, Pro Insider, Spy Blog 

Pat Bradley’s nephew, Keegan, claimed the 93rd PGA Championship Sunday with a stirring playoff victory at Atlanta Athletic Club.

Who’s Pat Bradley, you ask?

An LPGA Hall-of-Famer who won six majors and 31 tournaments from 1976-1995. But enough about her.Keegan Bradley

Sunday was all about Keegan, author of a remarkable comeback after a triple-bogey on the 15th hole. The lanky rookie from Vermont outlasted Jason Dufner to become just the second player since Francis Ouimet in 1913 to win a major on his first try.

When the name Francis Ouimet is invoked, you’re talking serious history.

Like Ouimet’s U.S. Open victory over Harry Vardon and Ted Ray, Bradley’s was big for the U.S. of A., snapping a six-major drought for Americans.

Before we get to this week’s Golf Claps and Silent Treatment, a quick look at how our darkhorse picks fared. The verdict: meh. While four of five made the cut, none finished better than T56 (Ricky Barnes). Hey, there’s a reason they were darkhorses.

On with the awards…

Golf Claps

  • Keegan Bradley: Can you say “baby-faced assassin”? Bradley’s chances appeared to drown when he skulled a chip into the water on par-3 15th. But he rebounded with birdies on the next two holes, made a gutsy par on 18, then bettered Dufner by a shot in the three-hole playoff. Bravo, Mr. Bradley.
  • Jason Dufner: Having missed four consecutive cuts and being, well, Jason Dufner, the 34-year-old journeyman was farther under the radar than a burrowing mole. But Dufner’s unerring driver and cucumber-cool demeanor served him well until back-to-back-to-back bogeys dropped him into a playoff. Still, golf gained a new appreciation for this tobacco-chewing, college-football-loving everyman from Auburn. War Eagle, indeed.
  • The long putter: It pains us to say, but the darn thing done good. Again. A week after delivering a win for Steve Williams, er, Adam Scott, the long putter was a flat-out weapon for Bradley, whose birdie bomb on the 71st hole will live forever in highlights.
  • Atlanta Athletic Club: Abused by players and pundits for its penal, strategy-killing design, the course got the last laugh by producing Sunday’s high drama. That wasn’t enough, though, to keep us from giving it the…

Silent Treatment

  • Atlanta Athletic Club: With fairways and greens hemmed in by water and sand, the course gave golfers two options for each shot – straight and straighter. The antithesis of strategic golf and worthy of the scorn it received from Phil Mickelson, among others.
  • Tiger Woods: Actually, Woods gave galleries a lot to cheer about in the form of eight birdies. Unfortunately, he nixed those with five double-bogeys and exited after rounds of 77-73. See ya next year, Tiger.
  • Rory McIlroy: He gets more of an under-the-breath ouch than stone silence, but it’s hard to imagine what the U.S. Open champ was thinking Thursday when he took a full whack at his ball against a tree root. Since the resulting wrist strain prevented McIlroy from contending, let’s hope young Rory isn’t in for a career full of injurious setbacks like a certain someone else we know…

Spy Golfer Pro Tour Wrap Up

August 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Golf News, Pro Insider 

Pro Golf Wrap Up


PGA Championship   August 11 -14

Atlantic Athletic Club

First Round Leaders

Steve Stricker -7

Jerry Kelly  -5

Shaun Micheel  -4


Steve Stricker comes within one stroke of all time low PGA score

Rory McIlroy injures wrist but plays on

Tiger shoots 77 – his worst PGA score ever



Safeway Classic     August 19 - 21

Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club

North Plains, Oregon


Champions Tour

Constellation Energy Seniors Players Championship   August 18 - 21

Westchester Country Club

West Harrison, New York

PGA Championship: 5 Spy Picks to Surprise

August 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Entertaining News, Pro Insider, Spy Blog 

Golf may lack a dominant player at the moment, but the favorites for this week’s PGA Championship are pretty obvious. Take the world top 10, add sexy picks like Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler, toss in Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and voila – a solid batch of down-the-middle selections.2011 PGA Championship

We’ll go the less traveled route, veering off the beaten path to find a handful of darkhorses to win the season’s final major. Here are five guys who might surprise at Atlanta Athletic Club starting Thursday:

  • Zach Johnson: Not the darkest of horses, mind you. But the diminutive Iowan flies only one way – below the radar – making him a perennial darkhorse in our eyes. Why this week? For starters, Johnson enters on good form (T16 or better in his last three events) and claimed top-10 finishes in the last two PGA’s. Plus, three of his seven career wins have come in the state of Georgia, including two in Hot-lanta itself.
  • Ricky Barnes: All he does is play well in majors (and other tournaments on tough courses). His recent performances offer little promise, and his swing hasn’t held up so great under the gun. Still, we like him to sneak into the top 10 by week’s end.
  • Stewart Cink: Let’s see, Cink has no momentum to speak of, missed the cut at this year’s Masters and U.S. Open, and placed a distant T59 when the PGA was held at the AAC in 2001. Nope, we’re banking on the hometown vibe and Cink’s history of solid play in the majors to carry him into contention.
  • Y.E. Yang: The 2009 PGA champion is a bulldog, the kind of grinder who can survive the AAC’s length (7,467 yards at par 70) and sweltering ATL heat. He’s had a solid if hardly spectacular year, highlighted by a T3 at the U.S. Open and four top-10’s in 13 events.
  • Steve Williams: Easily the most accomplished player in the field with 145 career wins, Williams is coming off a week he called the best of his life – a resounding four-shot victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Despite all that – and his four career PGA titles – no one is picking Williams. Sounds like a classic darkhorse to us.

What’s that? Williams is just a caddie? But he said... Oh, nevermind. Guess we’ll have to look elsewhere for our final pick. How about:

  • Davis Love III: Another former PGA winner, DLIII has enjoyed a resurgence in 2011. His T11 at the U.S. Open and T9 at the British bode well for his chances in Atlanta, where he contended in 2001 before fading with a final-round 77.

TaylorMade’s Penta TP Five-Piece Golf Ball

August 6, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Spy Pics 

taylormade-five-piece-penta-tp-ballFinally! The ball that TaylorMade has been working on for 3 years is finally starting to show up on tour. Players like Sergio Garcia and Ratief Goosen will be gaming the new TaylorMade Penta TP during next weeks PGA Championship at Hazeltine. The Penta was just added to the USGA's conforming ball list last Wednesday. Unfortunately, it will not become available to the public until December 1st, but I'm sure we'll end up seeing numerous black market sales as a result of early caddy kick downs.

The main goal of the Penta is to optimize performance in driving, long irons, middle irons, short irons, and wedge shots. Funny, they were gutsy enough to claim performance increases in just about every area, why not throw in a lie about putting performance?

SpyGolfer's Opinion

TaylorMade expects the Penta to be the new "be all and end all" to their golf ball lineup. Their auspicious marketing and design departments claim that it is perfect for all types of golfers, due to the fact that it utilizes 5 layers in a consecutive order, based on swing speeds. At a first glance this seems like a good idea; however, once we read the descriptions for each individual layer, we began to realize that it will most likely just be another good ball that good players will experience the best results from. Each layer is designed to work with specific clubs, but the swing speed required to activate the layers that correlate to those clubs, is based on tour swing speeds. And while it is true that players with slower swing speeds will activate the outer layers, they will not receive its initially intended performance results based on the situations they are in. So it's probably not worth the extra money for the slower swinging player, but definitely worth the extra buck for players that can utilize all of its layers.

The 5 Layers

The cover is a soft urethane material(beware of cart paths and flop shots, this cover is as strong as Phil Mickelson after a yoga routine) similar to the one on the Pro V1, which is great for feel, just doesn't last long. It's used to promote a high spin rate with low trajectory on wedge shots and pitches for more control.

The outer mantel layer under the white cover is the most compressible and was designed to create optimal spin and flight when the ball speed is below 120mph (short irons for pros).

The middle layer has a medium firmness which was designed to be compressed on shots with a ball speed between 120 and 140 mph (mid-irons).

The next inner layer was created for high-luanching, low spinning shots for a ball speed between 140 and 160 mph (long irons).

The center of the ball is the core which is made from a low compression substance that only fast swingers will be able to activate. According to TaylorMade, those who do reach high enough swing speeds to activate the center will see more ball speed and less spin on drives for increased distance.

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