Abu Dhabi Golf Club has evolved into a golfing test every bit as imposing as its monumental clubhouse (I hear it doubles as the lair of a supervillain hell-bent, naturally, on world domination). A par-72 that clocks in at a frankly ridiculous 7,600 yards, it’s a layout that places its emphasis firmly on powerful, straight hitting.
Unsurprising, then, that the upper echelons of the first round leaderboard should be dominated – and dominated thoroughly – by class ball-strikers.
The European Tour’s 2012 schedule begins in earnest this week with the Volvo Golf Champions at Fancourt, something of a poor man’s Tournament of Champions (didn’t think that was possible, did you?).
With eligibility limited to recent European Tour winners and those who have amassed more than 10 victories in their career, the 35-man field is an unusual blend of established stars and young pretenders.
If you’re looking for a succinct evaluation of the set-up at this week’s Dubai World Championship, who better to turn to than businesslike 2010 champion Robert Karlsson?
Such was the reasoning of Reuters’ man-about-course Tony Jimenez this evening, who managed to extract some precious quotage from the Swede ahead of tomorrow’s opening round.
My customary post-major (and WGC) hangover is kicking in right on schedule! Good news is those thrilling contrived PLAYOFFS start next week. Oh, can you feel the magic of the obscene $10 million prize to the winner?? Almost, right? Bad news is the Masters isn’t for another seven- to-eight months!
The final round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic evolved into a golfing duel between two very different personalities, but as pronounced as the contrast between Harrison Frazar (not ‘Frasier’!), a Tour veteran of 13 years, and Robert Karlsson, one of the European Tour’s leading lights, was at times, both spent the day managing the same, bowel-tightening pressure that anticipates a first PGA Tour victory.
While you’re all probably aware of the Elliot Saltman case, which is still ongoing, and my views on the issue, it’s worth returning to it for a few minutes, if only to watch Sky Sports News’ SPECIAL REPORT(!) on the subject: Rough Justice (see what they did there?).
In a year plagued by strange rules infractions, it’s almost fitting that Ian Poulter capped off the year with another one at the Dubai World Championship. On the second playoff hole against Robert Karlsson, Poulter was bending over to replace his ball when he dropped it, causing it to fall and move his “lucky” marker. He was assessed a one-stroke penalty and instead of putting for birdie to force another extra hole, he was going for par and he missed the 40-footer.