Wales. Golf. Madrid
Remember back in the day when Gareth Bale posed behind a flag with his Welsh teammates after reaching the Euro 2020 finals? The flag had the words "Wales. Golf. Madrid." on it indicating the footballer's sporting preferences, which didn't go down well at all with supporters of Real Madrid at the time.
Anyway, golf remains a big part of Bale’s sporting passion and the Wales and Real Madrid winger has become a global ambassador for the R&A to support the governing body’s activities to inspire more young people to take up the sport.
Singer Niall Horan also went on board with the R&A to promote golf as an attractive sport for the young boys and girls to play. Horan - with 41 million followers on Twitter and 29 million on Instagram - has been a powerful influencer in promoting golf to the youth of the world and it was through his company Modest! Golf that Bale - with 100 million followers on social media - has agreed to join as an ambassador.
“Golf is an amazing sport and it has always been an ambition of mine to encourage more people to take it up. This is a really exciting move by the R&A and I’m honoured to be able to play my part in their efforts to inspire people of all ages to give golf a try,” said Bale.
At 34 years of age, Beatriz Recari has played her last professional event . . . a three-time winner on the LPGA Tour and also with one win on the Ladies European Tour, the Spaniard - who missed the cut at the LPGA Gainbridge tournament - has called it a day.
“After a bit of soul searching, I felt like it was the right time for me to move on. You know, enjoy all the good moments that I have on the course and the not-so-good moments, because they had a lot of silver linings. This game has been such an important part of my life,” said Recari
Recari was given the moniker “Iron Woman” for her play on the LPGA Tour in 2012, when she made all 27 cuts in 27 tournaments played. Her last professional win was in the 2013 Marathon Classic.
By the Numbers
€38,375,163 - Lee Westwood remains the all-time money winner on the DP World Tour (aka the European Tour) with €38,375,163 . . . however, Rory McIlroy has closed the gap on the Englishman. McIlroy's career winnings on the circuit amount to €38,195,554, just €179,609 behind.
Word of Mouth
I feel like there is still a long way to go. With everybody involved with the LPGA and the commissioner, I believe that the women's game is going to keep growing and growing. The future generations that are getting to be able to play for some of these big purses, I think it's great.
When you're out there playing I'm trying to make as many birdies as I can and shoot the lowest score I can, and money is a kind of a bonus"
- Lydia Ko, who collected a $300,000 payday for winning the LPGA Gainbridge. It was the 24-year-old New Zealander's 17th win on the LPGA Tour and brought her career earnings on that circuit to $12,668,796.
In the Bag
Luke List (Farmers Insurance Open)
Driver - TaylorMade SIM2 (9 degrees)
3-wood - TaylorMade Stealth Plus (15 degrees)
Irons - Callaway X Forged UT (19 degrees), PXG 0311 ST Gen4 (4-PW)
Wedges - Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (50 and 54 degrees), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (60 degrees)
Putter - Odyssey O-Works 1W
Ball - Titleist Pro V1
On this day
February 1st, 1970 - Pete Brown's win in the Andy Williams-San Diego Open at Torrey Pines was remarkable on so many fronts. Brown, a native of Mississippi who took up golf in his teenage years after working as a caddie, contracted a near-fatal bout of polio at 19 and survived after a period of hospitalisation.
Brown turned professional in 1954 and became the first black person to win on the PGA Tour when, a decade later in 1964, he captured the Waco Turner Open in Oklahoma. However, it would be his triumph in the San Diego Open which provided the highlight of his playing career.
He nearly didn't even enter the tournament because his form had been so poor. But play he did. After the first round he trailed by 11 shots, after the second by 10 and was seven behind going into the final round: ahead of him was Tony Jacklin and Jack Nicklaus.
But Brown erased the deficit with a stunning 31 on his front nine and with birdies on the 10th, 12th and 13th, he edged into the lead en route to a closing 65 for a total of 275. Nicklaus missed a downhill four-footer on the last to get into a playoff, Jacklin birdied to get into the shootout with Brown.
On the first playoff hole, the 15th, Jacklin drove behind a eucalyptus tree and his approach hit a branch. Brown made par to win the $30,000 first prize, in what would be his second and last PGA Tour win before becoming a club professional.
"If it's any consolation @McIlroyRory, and of course I know it isn't, but I once hit my fourth shot with a 3 wood into that lake" - Eddie Pepperell reaching out to Rory McIlroy (well, kinda) after the 72nd hole antics in Dubai.
“Thanks to @SlyncDDC for a great week of golf. The @Emirates was one tough test @DPWorld” - Pádraig Harrington after securing a top-10 finish, which moved him to 15th on the updated Race to Dubai order of merit.
"Well it was fun while it lasted, being on top of the @DPWorldTour rankings. Congrats Viktor Hovland" - Thomas Pieters tipping his cap to the Norwegian who bumped him off top spot.
"2nd place, week 2, of 2022" - Danielle Kang playing with numbers, after following up her win in the Tournament of Champions with a runner-up to Lydia Ko in the LPGA Gainbridge.
Know the Rules
Q In strokeplay, a player bends long grass near her ball so that she can see the ball when playing her stroke. She plays her shot. Has she infringed any rule?
A Yes. A player is not necessarily entitled to see her ball when making a stroke. By bending and moving the grass the player improved the lie of the ball and the area of intended swing contrary to rule 8.1a(1) and the player gets a two stroke penalty.