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Who will win the 79th Masters? PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno

 

The 79th playing of the Masters has many notable storylines:


Rory McIlroy goes for the career Grand Slam and his fifth major championship.

Bubba Watson attempts to win his third Jacket in the last four years.

Tiger Woods returns after a long absence from competition - can he contend?

Jordan Spieth nearly won the Masters last year, what lessons did he learn?

Phil Mickelson can tie Woods with 4 titles, is that enough motivation to bring out his best?

Adam Scott goes back to the anchored broomstick this week, can he do it again?

 

With the exception of Woods, who's making another return from injury and swing/

shortgame issues, the other five are legit contenders. Who else in the field has a legit

chance to wear green on Sunday evening?

 

Is there any Masters magic left for Phil & Tiger?

 

 

 

There are six others that are primed to grab their first Green Jacket come Sunday:

 

Jimmy Walker might be playing the best golf of anyone on the planet right now, and

Augusta National sets up perfect for his high right to left ball flight.

 

Dustin Johnson for the same reasons as Walker is on the radar of many this week.

The question for DJ is on the greens (he's perhaps the most talented ball striker in the

field).

 

Rickie Fowler got a sniff in all four majors of 2014, but with a slow start this season

he's being overlooked - it's a bit of a gut call, but he has the goods to contend.

 

Henrik Stenson ranked #2 in the world, has done it all except win a major. The

Swede's game mimics that of Dustin Johnson - it's all about the flatstick for him.

 

 

Jason Day has been so close the last few years in majors, especially at Augusta

National. He's put in copious amounts of shortgame prep this year leading up to

this years Masters. I was able to spend sometime inside the ropes observing close

up at Bay Hill, he has all the shots and looks poised to break through. Only he

can get in his own way of one day winning his favorite event. The 27 year old

Aussie is our pick to win the 2015 Masters and bring another Green Jacket to the

people of Oz.

 

 

Under the Radar:


Brooks Koepka - Long hitting 24 year old playing in his first Masters.


Brandt Snedeker - Is his flatstick enough to compete with the bombers on what

likely will be a long wet track this week?


Keegan Bradley - He has the length, does he have the touch?


Sergio Garcia - Has all the physical skills, but does he believe?

 

Justin Rose - Tough start to 2015, but he's too good to not be a serious threat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
Rukket Sports - Golf Nets PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno

If you're like me, practicing is a passion. The desire to stay competitive and continue improving

is never ending. Getting to the course or the range is often the biggest challenge for so many with

busy schedules...that's where Rukket Sports factors in. We first noticed the "Haack Net" (designed

by college coach Chris Haack) at the PGA Show in Orlando a few weeks back. Their golf nets are

really easy to construct, within minutes of unpacking the box, I was hitting golf shots.

 

One of the things rarely mentioned when considering purchasing a golf net for your personal

use is the amount of money saved on range balls (I only use premium urethane golf balls like

Pro V1's when I'm practicing at home) and the convenience of having it all outside your doorstep

. . . Rain or shine, indoor or out you can practice as much as you'd like. The Haack golf net is

constructed of five ply - 3/4 inch netting, steel and fiberglass frame. I especially liked the side

nets, keeps golf balls from rebounding away from the hitting area.

 

 

 

My personal set up at the compound sits beside my synthetic putting green. I use it to work

on fundamentals (I often use in junction with Zepp technology, that keeps track of swing plane,

swing speed, and tempo) and just the overall process without constantly getting hung up on

results. I prefer to start testing drivers here first to get a sense for how each feels before taking

to the course for further testing. The Rukket net is sturdier than the previous set up I had

installed previously, the only factor of concern is how well the frame will hold up to the South

Florida elements as compared to the PVC unit I used previously.

 

If you want to practice on your terms, Rukket Sports has a variety of golf nets and accessories

to help you set up your very own practice station.

 

 

http://www.rukket.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Europe Dominates Ryder Cup at Gleneagles PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno

Team Europe celebrates another Ryder Cup triumph at Gleneagles.

 


Perthshire, Scotland - This edition, the 40th in Ryder Cup history didn't quite live up to the hype.

Team Europe took care of business on Sunday, dusting off team USA 16.5 to 11.5. The two very

lopsided foursomes sessions Friday and Saturday destroyed any hope for Sunday drama - the

alternate shot competition favored Team Europe 7 points to 1 - Game Over.

 

There was to be no Brookline like Miracle on Sunday, trailing 10-6 heading into singles play was too

tall an order for this group of Yanks that didn't have Tiger, Phil, Duval, Payne, Hal Sutton and Furyk

in their prime (Mickelson & Furyk were winless in 2014, and are both 44 years old now). A few Americans

managed to make a game of it Sunday, including Phil who handled native Scotsman Stephen Gallacher in

his match. Patrick Reed edged out Henrik Stenson 1 up, Kuchar took care of Bjorn 4 & 3 and Jimmy

Walker continued his solid play beating Ryder Cup stalwart Lee Westwood 3 & 2 . . . but little else went

the Americans way. Big comebacks by Graeme McDowell over Jordan Spieth, and Justin Rose (who was

Europe's MVP for the week) came from 4 down to earn a halve against Hunter Mahan. World number 1

Rory McIlroy absolutely blitzed Ricky Fowler 5 & 4. It was Welshman Jamie Donaldson who secured

the clincher on the 15th hole, when he routed Keegan Bradley 4 & 3.

 

Europe's continued dominance in the alternate shot (foursomes) format will continue to be the story.

It seems as if neither side has an answer for Team USA's incompetence in this format. Many have

speculated about the Americans lack of team chemistry as the reason, but that's an intangible that

Team Stars & Stripes haven't found the solution to (with the exception of Paul Azinger in '08 at Valhalla).

 

Granted, Captain Watson made a few blunders, first leaving Chris Kirk off the squad, then taking

Spieth & Reed out of the foursomes Friday afternoon . . . but when you get drubbed by 5 points,

these are minor reasons to blame. Perhaps a bigger factor was the loss of Tiger Woods (even in sub-

prime form), and being without ball striking dynamo Dustin Johnson (who took a leave of absence

after testing positive for an illegal substance this summer).

 

Talent is no longer the only element required to be victorious. Once upon a time it was said that the

Euro's needed to win in order for the Ryder Cup to grow, and it was treated as the main focus of the

European Tour - to beat America. It's now reversed, Team USA needs a system - their own template to

make this great event competitive again.

 

 

 

For all of the scores from the 40th Ryder Cup: http://www.rydercup.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
The 40th Ryder Cup - Preview PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno



Ok, it's almost "Go Time" at Gleneagles for the 40th playing of the Ryder Cup.

The Europeans are big favorites in this edition . . . and understandably so. After

the "Miracle at Medinah", there is a clear sense that the Euro's have figured out

the formula for victory. The European PGA keeps the half dozen past captains in

the loop as consultants and vice captains and often grooms the future team leaders

by having them aboard as assistants or observers. The term being thrown around

by the Euro hierchy is "template", which Captain Paul McGinley has mentioned many

times this week. The PGA of America hasn't embraced such a concept - successful

past captains and their methods are left to be, choosing to turnover regimes without

keeping continuity.


Team Europe, not just top heavy as in years past, has McIlroy, Rose, Garcia,

and Stenson as front runners, but McDowell, Kaymer and Bjorn might be the

backbone. Ryder Cup intensity and pressure is like no other, and Euro 1st

timers: Stephen Gallacher, Jamie Donaldson and young Frenchman Victor

Dubuisson (aka - V Dub) are the wild cards. Westwood and Yankee dominator -

Ian Poulter have been in sub-par form all year, and come in to the event as

perhaps Team Blue's biggest question marks.


Winners of 7 of the last 9 Cup matches, the European contingent appears

loose and confident, and for good reason. The Euro's return 7 of the 12 miracle

makers from Chicago (and Captain Paul McGinley - who was a vice captain at

Medinah in 2012). Can the American's motivation overcome Europe's confidence?

It will be no easy task for Team USA to emerge with Samuel Ryder's trophy.


The venue is Jack Nicklaus' Centenary course at Gleneagles - an American style

parkland course that features tight fairways, heavy rough and softer & slower

greens than the Americans see on a weekly basis on the PGA Tour. . . but for the

most part, the layout favors neither side. If the weather gets ugly, combine that

with a raucous Euro home crowd for two factors that fall heavily in Europe's favor.


Do the Americans and Captain Tom Watson have the horses to make it a dogfight?

Clearly on the top half of the squad - they do. Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk,

Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker have been solid all year. Players like Bubba Watson,

Keegan Bradley, Zach Johnson and Patrick Reed have been up and down throughout

2014 and may end up deciding the final tally. Webb Simpson, Hunter Mahan and Phil

Mickelson have had down years and have only shown short glimpses of brilliance this

year. It will all depend on the chemistry of each pairing, and how the team gels as a

whole.


Likely we'll see Phil/Keegan, Bubba/Webb and Spieth/Kuchar, with the other pairings

still unknown. For certain the European Team will toss out combinations of Rory/Sergio,

Rory/Poulter, and Rose/Poulter. If McIlroy and Ian Poulter gain momentum early on, it

could ease the nerves of rookies - Gallacher, Donaldson, and Dubuisson - pulling them

along for the ride. If that's the case, the matches could get lopsided quick.


Here's to hoping the singles matches on Sunday are as compelling as Brookline

and Medinah.


Prediction: In the end it comes down to who hits the best golf shots and holes

putts, but it'll take a huge week from new comers Spieth, Walker, and Patrick Reed

for Team USA to have a punchers chance. The two middle aged vets Furyk and

Mickelson will probably need to have a winning record for the Cup to make its way

back to America . . . Europe 15 - USA 13

 


 

 

 

 

 


 


 

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