June 24, 2014

The announcement on his Facebook page delivered a jolt of good news to golf. Woods has been the game's biggest draw since he turned pro in 1996, and with limited information about his recovery, speculation was starting to build that he might not make it to any majors this year.
"After a lot of therapy, I have recovered well and will be supporting my foundation next week at the Quicken Loans National," Woods said on Facebook. "I've just started to hit full shots, but it's time to take the next step. I will be a bit rusty, but I want to play myself back into competitive shape. Excited for the challenge ahead."
This is the first year for a new title sponsor at the PGA Tour event that donates its charity money to the Tiger Woods Foundation, and the tournament earlier this year secured an agreement to return to Congressional every other year through 2020.
Woods on Thursday announced that he signed a new endorsement deal with MusclePharm, which will display its logo on his golf bag.
"He has been the face of golf for the last 15, 20 years, and golf is a better sport and a better place with Tiger Woods in it," two-time major champion Rory McIlroy said last week at the US Open. "So hopefully, he has a speedy recovery and he gets back on the course soon, because any tournament where Tiger Woods is a factor, he creates a big buzz."
This is the second-longest break Woods has taken from golf because of injury. He missed the second half of the 2008 season when he had reconstructive surgery on his left knee just a week after winning the U.S. Open for his 14th major.
Even though he spent the offseason working on his body, there were signs early that something might be wrong.


He missed the 54-hole cut at Torrey Pines, where he was the defending champion and an eight-time winner at one of his favorite courses. He had his worst finish ever at Dubai when he tied for 41st. Then, he withdrew in the final round of the Honda Classic because of back spasms, and despite being in the penultimate group at Doral, he struggled badly with his back on the final day after taking a swing from an awkward stance outside a bunker.

Woods had microdiscectomy surgery a week before the Masters, and he has said in rare appearances that he did not know how long it would take to properly heal. His agent, Mark Steinberg at Excel Sports Management, said earlier this week that Woods was making enough progress to extend his swing.
Even so, playing the Quicken Loans National was thought to be too soon.
It couldn't come soon enough for the tournament.
"We're thrilled, obviously," said Mike Antolini, the tournament director and vice president of championships for the Tiger Woods Foundation. "Anytime you get that call and Tiger is in your field, it's really the best news you can get. The fact he's a two-time champion and the tournament hosts, we're very excited for the fans."
He said he expected a spike in ticket sales with Friday's announcement.

The strength of Quicken Loans National field has suffered in recent years as more Europeans moved into the top 20 in the world, and they headed across the Atlantic Ocean as the European Tour headed places like Ireland, France and Scotland leading up to the British Open.

Adam Scott, who has replaced Woods at No. 1 in the world while he has been out, is not planning to return to Congressional this year.
"To be honest, we were prepared regardless for a good event," Antolini said. "Our ticket sales, we think they're going to be increased on this news now."
Three years ago, Woods withdrew after nine holes at The Players Championship because of an Achilles tendon injury and missed more than two months. He said then he had learned from past mistakes and would not try to return before he was in full health.

June 23, 2014

Jayvie Agojo is all primed up to nail the elusive win when the P500,000 ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour event is fired off on Wednesday at Riviera’s Couples layout in Silang, Cavite.

Jayvie Agojo

Jayvie Agojo

Agojo has had a series of heartbreak finishes in last year’s inaugurals of the country’s first-ever ladies pro tour, turning in a pair of runner-up finishes and barely losing the Order of Merit crown at the close of the five-leg circuit in Baguio.

The former Philippine Ladies Open champion also placed second to Cyna Rodriguez in this year’s ICTSI LPGT kickoff leg at Orchard last April but hopes to put it all together this week to finally bag the coveted crown.

“It’s still anybody’s game. But if the break goes my way and my putt falls, I am going to do very well,” said Agojo, who actually scored her breakthrough pro win at Singha LPGA in Thailand last September.

But she will be up against a field also chasing their first win on the circuit sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. including likely rival Chihiro Ikeda.

The Fil-Japanese, a former SEA Games individual golf medalist and a former PH Ladies Open winner, is out to make up for her final day meltdown at Orchard when she closed out with a 75 and yielded the runner-up honors to Agojo.

June 05, 2014

Dasmarinas, Cavite — Angelo Que birdied the 18th hole for a five-under 67 to get a share of the lead at the start of the ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship at Orchard’s Palmer course yesterday.

Also shooting a 67 were Japanese Yutaka Araki, Aussie Matthew McBain and local ace Cassius Casas as they took a one-shot lead over Japan’s Yuki Usami and Masaru Takahashi, Scot Clarke Lutton, and local bets Arnold Villacencio, Aussie R.J. Caracella and Clyde Mondilla, who all carded 68s.

Que, who skipped last week’s ICTSI Riviera Classic to rest following a hectic stint on the Asian Tour and the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour, came out fresh in the $60,000 event and joined 33 others in breaking par at the course which was defenseless in the absence of the wind.

“I’m really not comfortable with the opening hole here but I played very relaxed throughout since I don’t want to feel any pressure,” said Que, who nearly drove out-of-bounds on No. 1 but salvaged a par just the same to set his bid in motion.

He birdied four of the next 10 holes, dropped a shot on No. 13 but birdied two of the last five in the 72-hole championship sponsored by International Container Terminals Services, Inc.

The event is the second of the two-leg Philippine swing of the Asian Development Tour.

Caracella missed grabbing the solo lead after gunning down two eagles as he holed out with a bogey on the par-4 ninth, his final hole of the day.

He went on a birdie-eagle start, birdied No. 13 then made the turn at 31 with another birdie on the 18th. But he stumbled with back-to-back bogeys from No. 4 and though he bounced back with an eagle on No. 6 and a birdie on the eighth, he missed the green and bogeyed the final hole.

Twenty-four others beat par, including Jhonnel Ababa, Rufino Bayron, Korean Victor Lee and Malaysian Arie Irawan, who all fired 69s, while 12 others matched par as the talent-laden international cast had a field day at Palmer after a punishing campaign at Riviera’s Langer course last week.

Araki, McBain and Casas hit an eagle each to highlight their respective five-under cards with Araki completing a bogey-free round spiked by three birdies at the back where he started.

June 04, 2014

Que leads local bid at ICTSI Orchard tilt

June 2, 2014

Angelo Que spearheads the local challenge against a strong international field when the ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship is played beginning tomorrow at The Orchard’s Palmer course in Dasmariñas, Cavite.

Que, a three-time Asian Tour champion, skipped last week’s ICTSI Riviera Classic for a much-deserved rest following a grueling two-month campaign on the local circuit and the Asian Tour.

And the former Philippine Open winner hopes to contend for this week’s crown in a bid to complete the Filipinos’ sweep of the ADT events following Elmer Salvador’s five-stroke romp at Riviera over the weekend.

But Salvador, along with reigning back-to-back ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit champion Tony Lascuna, Miguel Tabuena, Jay Bayron and Mars Pucay will not be around as they opted to compete in the Asian Tour’s Queen’s Cup in Thailand, also slated this week.

That leaves Que as the top local bet for the top $10,500 purse in this seventh leg of the ADT and the ICTSI PGT where he finished in joint 18th when the event was last held at Orchard two years ago.

“I think I have a pretty good chance but a lot of good foreign players are here, too so it will be tough,” said Que, still in search for a first win this year after finishing joint third at ICTSI Eagle Ridge last April and placing fifth at ICTSI John Hay last March.

Other local top guns tipped to contend in the four-day championship, sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc., are ICTSI Sherwood Hills winner Charles Hong, John Hay leg champion Jun Rates, Marvin Dumandan, Jhonnel Ababa, Clyde Mondilla, Rufino Bayron, Carl Santos-Ocampo and veteran Robert Pactolerin, who turned in an impressive fifth place finish at Riviera.

Cassius Casas, winner of the PGT’s final leg last year at Wack Wack and this year’s The Country Club Invitational, is also out to atone for his missed cut stint at Riviera, along with Zanie Boy Gialon, Rey Pagunsan, Michael Bibat, Ferdie Aunson, Jessie Balasabas and Mhark Fernando.

Peter Richardson, who finished tied for second at Riviera, heads the crack foreign cast that includes fellow Englishman Grant Jackson, Japanese Masaru Takahasi, Mitsuhiko Hashizume and Tomokazu Yoshinaga and American Brett Munson, who is seeking for a follow-up to his maiden ADT win in Malaysia last March.

June 04, 2014

Sir Nick Faldo  (Getty Images)


Sir Nick Faldo, the most successful British golfer in history, will return to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open for the first time in five years when he takes his place in the world-class field at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, from July 10-13. 
The six-time Major Champion, now spotted more often in the commentary box than on the fairways, will make a rare appearance on The European Tour the week before he plays in The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club. 

Faldo’s best finish in the Scottish Open came in 1995 when he finished runner up to Australian Wayne Riley at Carnoustie, but the Englishman did win three Open Championships on Scottish soil – at Muirfield in 1987 and 1992, and St Andrews in 1990. 

Those historic achievements in Scotland, the Home of Golf, should ensure he receives a warm reception from the galleries at Royal Aberdeen, when he joins a cast of fellow Major winners including Darren Clarke, Paul Lawrie, José María Olazábal, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson, the defending champion. 

“I’m really looking forward to playing at Royal Aberdeen,” said the 56 year old. “The Scottish Open was always one of the leading tournaments on The European Tour in my playing days and I think you can see by strength of the field we have in July that it remains so.  

“I’ve always enjoyed playing in Scotland and I am particularly looking forward to the test that Royal Aberdeen will present. I think it is important for me to play in a big event like this before heading to The Open.”

In addition to his three Claret Jugs, Faldo also won the Masters Tournament on three occasions, in 1989, 1990 and 1996. He won 30 European Tour titles in total and is the all-time leading points’ scorer in The Ryder Cup with 25 points from 11 appearances.  

Faldo has largely moved away from his illustrious playing career in recent years to take up a successful career as lead analyst with CBS Sports and the Golf Channel.

Discounted tickets to see the host of world-class players in action at the 2014 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open are now on sale.  A season ticket can be purchased for £70 in advance of the tournament, a saving of £10 on admission at the gate. Adult day tickets are currently priced at £30, rising to £35 on the gate.

Concessions (60 and over) start at £50 for a season ticket and £20 for any one day tickets if purchased in advance. Under-16s accompanied by an adult are admitted free of charge and all car parking is also free. Entrance to the Pro-Am on Wednesday is £10 in advance and £15 on the day.

Full ticket information can be found at: www.aamscottishopen.com and www.europeantour.com/tickets or telephone Ticket Hotline:  +44 (0) 800 023 2557. Postal enquiries should be sent to: European Tour Tickets, Mirren Court Three, 123 Renfrew Court Three, Paisley, PA3 4EA.

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