Transfers prove crucial for success


"I'm well but I'm nervous, very nervous," says Colin Rutherford as he contemplates the chance of winning our £15,000 first prize. "After being in front for so long I would be disappointed to lose although I have to say that I've enjoyed the competition and it's great fun. That other fella in second place (Brian Buttimer) is a dangerous man because he has the transfer left. I think it's going to be very close."

Because of Tiger Woods' winning habit, transferring the high-value players in and out has been more important this season than ever before and Rutherford, a Golf Masters rookie, was quick to cop on.

Glenmore Eagles 2 started with Woods but swapped him for Lee Westwood after the US Open. That proved a masterstroke as Westwood quickly won the European Grand Prix and the European Open. With £400,000 on offer for a home winner, Rutherford brought Padraig Harrington in for the Irish and European Opens, then it was Monty for Loch Lomond before Woods was re-hired just in time for the British Open.

They are the switches that have taken Rutherford to top spot, but it could have been even better. The optimum strategy would have seen Woods employed until after the US Masters (week 6) by which time he had amassed £330,000. Montgomerie won £226,625 in weeks nine to 11, almost four times Woods' earnings in the same period.

The key move was to bring in Lee Westwood before week 12 when he tamed the Tiger in the TPC of Europe. Inspired Golf Masters manager would have seen the Worksop man haul in £617,500 over the following eight weeks.

The next step was to bring back Woods for week 21 (British Open) and so garner another £529,000 over the next six weeks. If Rutherford had done all that and stuck with the rest of his team (Clarke, Brooks, Flesch, O'Hern, Jacobson and Russell) he would now have £3,923,016, a transfer in hand and a lot less nerves. But "if" is a big word and instead we are looking at another thrilling finish to a Golf Masters season.

How to transfer

If you have a team entered in the Golf Masters you can check its score and position, remind yourself of the line-up or change any of the information you left when entering by calling the numbers below at any time.

Transfers may be conducted each Tuesday and Wednesday during the competition with up to four transfers allowed per team. These four may be made all at one time or singly over the duration of the competition. It is important to remember, however, that you must at all times have seven players in your team, at least one of whom must be Irish, and you must stay within the £12.5 million budget.

If you wish to transfer you should have your team's PIN number ready before calling the competition number.

1550 92 49 05 (Republic of Ireland)

0906 604 0100 (Northern Ireland and Britain)

Calls cost 58p per minute in the Republic of Ireland and 60p per minute in Northern Ireland and Britain - all charges include VAT.

Competition helpline: 01-2844060 between 10.0 am and 5.30 pm (Monday to Friday). Normal telephone charges apply to this number. Service provided by Phonovation Ltd.