Joy of Golf: Revamped events set to energise PGA & European Tours

Joy Chakravarty 09:06 20/04/2017
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Rose and Stenson will hope to take their Ryder Cup success to New Orleans.

There are a couple of tournaments coming up which are creating quite a buzz in the golfing circles – the revamped Zurich Classic on the PGA Tour (April 27-30) and the brand-new, two-day GolfSixes on the European Tour (May 6-7).

That’s because both the tournaments will be using a different format instead of the usual 72-hole strokeplay.

The Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana in New Orleans is a full-field, two-man team event featuring 160 players.

It will have Foursomes (alternate shot) during the first and third rounds and Four-Ball (best ball) during the other two rounds.

The GolfSixes goes one step further in introducing a new format.

The tournament, to be played at the Centurion Club in St Albans near London, features two-player teams from 16 different nations, who will play the Greensomes format.

The teams have been divided in four groups, and the first day will feature round-robin matches over six holes, before the knock-out rounds the next day.

The big interest in New Orleans right now is who enters the field, and whom do they chose as partners. As of now, the two most interesting pairings seem to be world No3 Jason Day with Rickie Fowler, and the tried and tested European Ryder Cup duo of Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson. Jordan Spieth with Ryan Palmer is another interesting team, and so is the big-hitting partnership of Bubba Watson and JB Holmes.

The 16 pairs for GolfSixes is already determined, with Chris Wood and Andy Sullivan representing hosts England. Nations were chosen based on the rankings of available players, and it is heartening to note two Asian teams (Thailand and India) in the fray.

While both the tournaments offer an exciting departure from the tried and tested, the only caveat is that performances obviously  will not count towards the world rankings.

And I completely agree with Stenson, who said: “As long as golfing skills decide the winners, I am all game for new formats.”

Tommy’s Honour

After a long, long time, Hollywood has come out with a movie based on golf. Tommy’s Honour, released last week, may not become a cult classic like Caddyshack, but it has got a warm reception from critics and fans.

Directed by Jason Connery and based on a book by the same name written by Kevin Cook, the movie is about the relationship and times of Old and Young Tom Morris, who in between them shared eight Open Championship titles between 1861 and 1872.

The movie has got a very decent 68 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, even though it was only 23rd in the US Box Office weekend collections.

However, the critics have loved it, with Hollywood Reporter commenting: “An engrossing and accessible celebration of the game’s modern origins, enhanced by striking locations and a standout cast, led by Scottish actors Peter Mullan and Jack Lowden.”

Tommy’s Honour has already won the Best Feature Film at the 2016 British Academy Scotland Awards, but one factor that goes against the movie, especially for its commercial success in the US, is that it does not have any of the bigname Hollywood stars.

More changes for Ko Just when it looked like Lydia Ko was coming out of her slump – she finished tied second in last week’s LOTTE Championship – she is ringing in more changes to her entourage.

The world No1 player and her new caddie Gary Matthews have split up after being together for just seven tournaments.

Remarkably, Matthews was the ninth caddie used by Ko in her comparatively short career, although, to be fair to the player, she had made it very clear that he was just a temporary appointment.

The 19-year-old New Zealander made some wholesale changes towards the end of last year, dropping her previous caddie Justin Hamilton, as well as long-time coach David Leadbetter. Her new coach is Gary Gilchrist.

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